Our weekly audio security column
& podcast by Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte
TechTV's Leo Laporte and I spend somewhat shy of two hours each week to discuss important issues of personal computer security. Sometimes we'll discuss something that just happened. Sometimes we'll talk about long-standing problems, concerns, or solutions. Either way, every week we endeavor to produce something interesting and important for every personal computer user.

(This was not our idea. It was created by a fan of the podcast using GIMP (similar to
Photoshop). But as a work of extreme image manipulation, it came out surprisingly well.)

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 Leo also produces "This Week in Tech" (TWiT) and a number of other very popular podcasts (TWiT is America's most listened to podcast!) So if you are looking for more informed technology talk, be sure to check out Leo's other podcasts and mp3 files.

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Episode Archive

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Episode #845 | 16 Nov 2021 | 94 min.

This week we look at a critical 9.8-rated vulnerability affecting Palo Alto Network's widely deployed VPN/Firewall appliance, and at a welcome new micropatch from the 0patch guys, the nature of which leads me into a bit of philosophical musing about the Zen of coding. We're then rocketed back to reality by a review of last week's Patch Tuesday, looking at what it broke and happily what more it fixed, including hints that Christmas might finally be coming to printing by December. We have some more encouraging ransomware vs the law news, and we examine the question of how to make big money defrauding online advertisers. I'll then share some fun and interesting closing the loop feedback from our listeners, update on my SpinRite work, and then we're going to take a look at “Blacksmith” – the evolution of Rowhammer attacks on DRAM.
45 MB 11 MB  819 KB   <-- Show Notes 96 KB 73 KB 278 KB

Episode #844 | 09 Nov 2021 | 112 min.
Bluetooth Fingerprinting

This week we quickly cover a bunch of welcome news on the combating ransomware front. We look at the results from last week's Pwn2Own contest in Austin Texas and at a weird problem that only some users of Windows 11 started experiencing after Halloween. There's a serious problem with GitLab servers and additional supply-chain attacks on JavaScript's package management. Google fixed a bunch of things in Android last Tuesday, and Cisco has issued an emergency CVSS 9.8 alert and US Federal agencies are being ordered to patch hundreds of outstanding vulnerabilities. We have some fun closing the loop feedback from our listeners. I'm going to share the details of an interesting IRQ problem I tracked down last week. Then we'll take a look at an aspect of radio frequency fingerprinting that has apparently escaped everyone's notice until seven researchers from UCSD did the math.
54 MB 13 MB  327 KB   <-- Show Notes 128 KB 87 KB 330 KB

Episode #843 | 02 Nov 2021 | 99 min.
Trojan Source

This week we keep counting them Chrome 0-days, we look at a pair of badly misbehaving Firefox add-ons with Mozilla's moves to deal with their and future proxy API abuse. We check-in for Windows news from Redmond which I'm again unable to resist commenting upon, then we look at a surprise motherload of critical updates from Adobe and at the still-ongoing DDoS attacks against VoIP providers and their providers. We'll look at some fun and interesting Closing The Loop feedback from our listeners and I'm able to share some surprising early benchmarks from SpinRite. Then we finish by looking at a frighteningly clever and haunting new attack against source code known as “Trojan Source.”
48 MB 12 MB  511 KB   <-- Show Notes 82 KB 74 KB 251 KB

Episode #842 | 26 Oct 2021 | 106 min.
The More Things Change...

This week we share some welcome news about Windows 11. Leo gets his wish about REvil. Microsoft improves vulnerability report management, attempts to explain their policy regarding the expiration of security updates, and prepares for the imminent release of the next big feature update to Windows 10, 21H2. Zerodium publicly solicits vulnerabilities in three top VPN providers. Three researchers disclose their new and devastating "Gummy Browser" attack, which I'll debunk. Another massively popular JavaScript NPM package has been maliciously compromised and then widely downloaded. We close the loop by looking at "Nubeva's" claims of having solved the ransomware problem. We touch on a new annoyance spreading across websites, and also briefly touch on four sci-fi events: "Dune," "Foundation," "Arrival," and "Invasion." I briefly update on SpinRite. Then we'll take a look back to share and discuss a conversation Leo and I had more than 20 years ago. What's surprising is the degree to which "The More Things Change..." how little, like nothing, actually has.
51 MB 13 MB  374 KB   <-- Show Notes 167 KB 90 KB 393 KB

Episode #841 | 19 Oct 2021 | 109 min.
Minh Duong's Epic Rickroll

This week we, of course, update on various controversies surrounding Win11 and catch up on the aftermath of last week's Patch Tuesday. We note that REvil's brief reappearance appears to have ended – perhaps this time forever – and we examine, just for the record, the outcome of the big, virtual, 30-nation anti-ransomware meeting where the invitations for China and Russia were apparently lost in the mail. We look at the amazing results of this past weekend's Tianfu Cup 2021 hacking competition in China, at the startling success of a prolific botnet's clipboard hijacking module, and at LinkedIn's decision to dramatically pare down its offerings in China. And then, after quickly sharing Sunday's big news about SpinRite, we're going to take a very fun and detailed look at the sophisticated senior prank orchestrated by Illinois' Minh Duong who miraculously sidestepped his own arrest.
52 MB 13 MB  573 KB   <-- Show Notes 124 KB 84 KB 326 KB

Episode #840 | 12 Oct 2021 | 98 min.
0-Day Angst

This week we look at Microsoft's decision to finally disable Excel's legacy XLM by default, but not for everyone. We look at Google's warning sent to more than 14,000 of its Gmail users and at their move toward enforced two-step verification. We look at recent hacking and ransom payment legislation and at last week's massive breach at Twitch. We cover the emergency Apache web server update and the mass exodus from WhatsApp during last week's Facebook outage. We look at new Windows 11 side effects and at Patch Tuesday. We close the loop with some listeners and I quickly update on SpinRite's progress. Then we settle down to consider the true significance and import of the various year-to-date 0-day counts.
47 MB 12 MB  572 KB   <-- Show Notes 101 KB 74 KB 283 KB

Episode #839 | 05 Oct 2021 | 105 min.
“Something Went Wrong”

This week we, of course, look at the massive global outage that took down all Facebook services for 6 hours yesterday. But before we get there we look at this week's new pair of 0-day flaws which Google fixed in Chrome, we note the arrival of Windows 11 with a yawn and also caution about one known flaw that it's already known to have. We look at some potential for global action against ransomware, and some possible movement by the FCC to thwart SIM swapping and number transporting attacks. We also examine a widespread Android Trojan which is making its attackers far too much money, and speaking of money, there's a known flaw in Apple Pay when using a VISA card that neither company wants to fix. And finally, after a quick check-in on SpinRite, we're going to examine what exactly did “go wrong” at Facebook yesterday?
51 MB 13 MB  606 KB   <-- Show Notes 136 KB 83 KB 348 KB

Episode #838 | 28 Sep 2021 | 97 min.

This week we examine a new pair of 0-days which have forced emergency updates to their respective products. We examine the growing annoyance of those who are reporting bugs to Apple, Epik's belated confirmation of their mega data breach, Windows 11's further progress toward its release, and its new and much more useful PC Health Check tool. We look at some additional fallout from this month's ever-exciting Patch Tuesday and take notice of a clever new approach for bypassing anti-malware checking under Windows. And after a quick check-in about the first two episodes of AppleTV's Foundation series, we settle in to examine the week's most explosive, worrisome and somewhat controversial disclosure of yet another huge Microsoft screw-up which caused this week's episode to be given the domain name: autodiscover.fiasco.
47 MB 12 MB  469 KB   <-- Show Notes 101 KB 72 KB 277 KB

Episode #837 | 21 Sep 2021 | 100 min.
Cobalt Strike

This week we examine a devastating and still ongoing DDoS attack against the latest in a series of VoIP service providers. We checkout the once again mixed blessing of last Tuesday's Microsoft patches, and we examine a welcome feature of Android 11 that's being back-ported through Android 6. We catch-up with Chrome's patching of two more new 0-day vulnerabilities and attacks, then we look at a “Pwnage” eMail I received from Troy Hunt's Have I Been Pwned site – was GRC Pwned? I then have a quick Sci-Fi reminder for the end of the week, a SpinRite update and a fun related YouTube posting. Then we'll wrap up by introducing the latest weapon in the malign perpetrator's arsenal, the powerful commercial tool known as Cobalt Strike.
48 MB 12 MB  880 KB   <-- Show Notes 109 KB 75 KB 285 KB

Episode #836 | 14 Sep 2021 | 118 min.
The Meris Botnet

This week we're going to note the apparent return of REvil--not nearly as dead and gone as many hoped. We're going to look at a new and quite worrisome 0-day exploitation of an old Windows IE MHTML component. Even though IE is gone, it's guts live on in Windows. We're going to share the not surprising but still interesting results of security impact surveys taken of IT and home workers, after which we'll examine a fully practical JavaScript based Spectre attack on Chrome. I have bit of closing the loop feedback to share and a surprisingly serious question about the true nature of reality for us to consider. Then we'll finish out today's podcast by looking at the evolution of Internet DoS attacks through the years which recently culminated in the largest ever seen, most problematic to block and contain RPS DDoS attack where RPS stands for Requests Per Second.
57 MB 14 MB  536 KB   <-- Show Notes 141 KB 89 KB 353 KB

Episode #835 | 07 Sep 2021 | 115 min.
TPM 1.2 vs 2.0

This week we look at a way of protecting ourselves from Razor-mouse-like local elevation of privilege attacks. We reexamine the meaning of the phrase “Internet Anonymity” following the ProtonMail revelation. We revisit Apple's now delayed CSAM plans. We look at some new troubles for Bluetooth and at a popular and persistently unpatched residential security system which can be trivially disarmed by bad guys. We share some interesting closing the loop feedback and a new Sci-Fi discovery. Then we take a long and careful look at the details and differences between version 1.2 and 2.0 of the Trusted Platform Module specification to discover just what it is that Microsoft wants to insist is available for Windows 11.
55 MB 14 MB  536 KB   <-- Show Notes 131 KB 86 KB 329 KB

Episode #834 | 31 Aug 2021 | 92 min.
Life: Hanging by a PIN

This week we'll start out by clarifying the terms credit freeze and credit lock. Then we have news of the T-Mobile breach from its perpetrator. We examine the evolving and infuriating question of where will Windows 11 run and we look at yet another newly revealed attack against Microsoft's Exchange server known as ProxyToken. I wanted to clarify a bit about Tailscale's source openness, and touch on the disturbing revelations shaking the mass storage industry with SSD performance being deliberately reduced once they've been well reviewed and adopted. I'll update our patient SpinRite owners on my recent work and progress, we'll touch on some cellular phone terminology, then conclude by considering the power of the PIN and look at just how much damage it can do.
44 MB 11 MB  421 KB   <-- Show Notes 107 KB 69 KB 280 KB

Episode #833 | 24 Aug 2021 | 107 min.
Microsoft's Reasoned Neglect

This week we briefly look at Firefox's plan to block unsecured downloads. We examine the threat posed by T-Mobile's massive and deep data breach and what current and past customers of T-Mobile should do. We look at three additional so-called “Overlay Networks” in addition to Tailscale, and also at the consequences of another Orange Tsai Microsoft Exchange Server exploit chain discovery. We'll also examine a simple-to-make flaw in the Razer gaming mouse installer, cover another worrisome IoT protocol screw-up, and share a couple of feedback notes and a question from our listeners. Then I want to conclude by following up on last week's discussion of Microsoft's apparent culpable negligence with a proposed explanation of their behavior and motivation which fits the facts so well that it becomes Reasoned Neglect.
51 MB 13 MB  801 KB   <-- Show Notes 112 KB 79 KB 313 KB

Episode #832 | 17 Aug 2021 | 79 min.
Microsoft's Culpable Negligence

This week we look at another very significant improvement in Firefox's privacy guarantees and the first steps for Facebook into native end-to-end encryption. We look at several well-predicted instances of abuse of Microsoft's PrintNightmare vulnerabilities, and at a clever cryptocurrency mining Botnet that optimizes the commandeered system for its own needs. We note ASUS' terrific move to help their motherboard users make the move to Windows 11, and at the merger of NortonLifeLock and Avast. Then, after touching upon a bit of errata and some closing-the-loop feedback from our terrific podcast followers, we conclude with a sober consideration of Microsoft's handling of vulnerability patching during the past year. And we ask what it means.
38 MB 9.5 MB  325 KB   <-- Show Notes 95 KB 62 KB 267 KB

Episode #831 | 10 Aug 2021 | 103 min.
Apple's CSAM Mistake

This week we look at a pervasive failure built into the random number generators of a great many, if not nearly all, lightweight IoT devices. We look at some old, new and returned critical vulnerabilities in major VPN products. And we encounter 14 fatal flaws in a widely used embedded TCP/IP stack. We look at a number of terrific bits of feedback from our listeners. Then we carefully examine the operation and consequences of Apple's recent announcement of their intention to begin reacting to the photographic image content being sent, received and stored by their iOS-based devices.
50 MB 12 MB  1.0 MB   <-- Show Notes 131 KB 80 KB 322 KB

Episode #830 | 03 Aug 2021 | 118 min.
The BlackMatter Interview

This week we look at FireFox's declining active user count, at the evolution of the Initial Network Access Broker world, at several different ransomware group renamings and revivals and we encounter a well-informed Active Directory security researcher who feels about Microsoft's July pretty much as we do. I want to turn our listeners onto a very interesting looking Hamachi'esque overlay for WireGuard and share a fun diagnostic anecdote that cost me a day of work last Friday. We have a bit of closing the loop feedback from a couple of our listeners, then we're going to share an interview with a member of the “maybe new or maybe rebranded” ransomware group BlackMatter which Recorded Future posted yesterday.
57 MB 14 MB  583 KB   <-- Show Notes 130 KB 90 KB 330 KB

Episode #829 | 27 Jul 2021 | 100 min.
SeriousSAM & PetitPotam

This week we will plow into another two new serious vulnerabilities brought to the industry by Microsoft named SeriousSAM and PetitPotam. But we first look at how Chrome managed to hugely speed up its Phishing website early warning system (making it even earlier). We cover the striking news of Kaseya having obtained a universal decryptor which is effective for every one of their victims, we look at the massive HP printer driver mess and consider the larger lesson that it teaches, and then we look at the new security features GitHub is bringing to its support of the "Go" language. Then, after sharing one bit of listener feedback, we plow into SeriousSAM and PetitPotam.
48 MB 12 MB  801 KB   <-- Show Notes 109 KB 75 KB 287 KB

Episode #828 | 20 Jul 2021 | 99 min.
REvil Vanishes!

This week we look at the continuing attacks on Chrome with yet another zero-day and at Mozilla's continuing work to give their users the most privacy possible. We reexamine that iOS WiFi SSID bug and a related bug which, it turns out, Apple apparently knew was a showstopper. Amazingly, two more new problems have surfaced with Microsoft printer technology. We have a review of last week's Patch Tuesday including the importance of also updating any instances of Adobe's Acrobat and Reader. We revisit an old friend and consider the folly of rolling one's own crypto. We look at the explosive revelations surrounding the widespread abuse of iPhone and Android "surveillance-ware" produced by the NSO Group. And finally, after sharing one fun piece of errata, we're going to finish by examining the curious, sudden, complete and total disappearance of the REvil ransomware organization.
48 MB 12 MB  722 KB   <-- Show Notes 105 KB 74 KB 284 KB

Episode #827 | 13 Jul 2021 | 107 min.
REvil's Clever Crypto

The past week has been dominated by the unimaginable mess that Microsoft has created with what have become multiple failed attempts to patch the two PrintNightmare flaws, and the continuing “Cleanup on Aisle 5” following what is widely regarded as the single most significant ransomware supply chain attack event ever. So today we first catch up on the still sadly relevant PrintNightmare from which the industry has been unable to awaken. We'll cover a few more bits of security news. Then, as planned, we'll take a deep dive into the detailed operation of the REvil/Sodinokibi malware's cryptographic design.
51 MB 13 MB  639 KB   <-- Show Notes 96 KB 80 KB 287 KB

Episode #826 | 06 Jul 2021 | 94 min.
The Kaseya Saga

The so-called Windows “PrintNightmare” remote code execution flaw, as bad as it is, was overshadowed by the Sodinokibi malware which the REvil ransomware gang managed to infiltrate into Kaseya, a popular provider of remote network management solutions for managed service providers. Since those MSP's all, in turn, have their own customers, the result was a multiplicative explosion in simultaneous ransomware attacks. Since those attacks reportedly numbered in excess of 1000(!), this makes it the worst ransomware event in history. So, while we'll definitely be covering the PrintNightmare and other events of the week, our topic will be the reconstruction of the timeline and details of the Kaseya Saga.
45 MB 11 MB  1.37 MB   <-- Show Notes 113 KB 71 KB 309 KB

Episode #825 | 29 Jun 2021 | 97 min.
Halfway through 2021

This week we look at the story behind an important Edge update and revisit Google's now-delayed FloC liftoff. We consider the cost of Ireland's recovery from the Conti ransomware attack, and ask who's responsible for the damage and data loss following the remote wiping of many Western Digital My Book NAS devices. We take a moment to observe the passing of an industry legend. Then, we look at the mess surrounding questions of where Windows 11 will run. I share my favorite web browser keyboard shortcut, and also my favorite web site cloning tool, which I just had the occasion to use. We have a worthwhile looking cybersecurity Humble Bundle, then we'll wrap up by responding to two pieces of closing the loop feedback from our terrific listeners. And that will bring us to the end of the first half of an event-filled 2021.
47 MB 12 MB  385 KB   <-- Show Notes 133 KB 76 KB 323 KB

Episode #824 | 22 Jun 2021 | 120 min.
Avaddon Ransonomics

This week, believe it or not, we have yet another 0-day stomped out in Chrome. We also have some additional intelligence about the evolution of the ransomware threat. I also want to closely look at a curious WiFi bug that was recently discovered in iOS and what it almost certainly means about the way we're still programming today. Under our miscellany topic I want to share the SHA256 hash of the developer release .ISO of Windows 11 that Paul Thurrott, I and many others have been playing with this past week. I have a tip about creating an offline account and restoring Windows 10's traditional Start menu under Windows 11. A new purpose has also been discovered for this podcast which I want to share, and I've decided to explain in more detail than I have before what I've been doing with SpinRite's evolution - it's much more than anyone might expect - yet no more than is necessary. Then we're going to conclude with the view of ransomware from Russia, from two Russian security researchers who believe they know exactly why the Avaddon ransomware as a service decided to shutter its operations and publish its keys.
58 MB 14 MB  429 KB   <-- Show Notes 132 KB 92 KB 347 KB

Episode #823 | 15 Jun 2021 | 123 min.
TLS Confusion Attacks

This week we're going to start by looking at a moment-by-moment reconstruction of a recent Chrome browser attack and patch battle. Then we're going to recap last week's industry wide June patch-fest followed by looking at TikTok's controversial but unsurprising privacy policy update. We need to also cover the wonderful spy-novel'ish ANOM sting operation which lowered the boom on as many as 800 criminals. For our happily infrequent Errata section we'll challenge an apparently erroneous statement I made last week, then I want to share an interesting laptop data recovery experience which BitLocker made much more complex a few weeks ago which I think our listeners will find interesting. Then we're going to tackle this week's topic of some very troubling research which again demonstrates just how difficult it is to design robustly secure networked systems.
59 MB 15 MB  445 KB   <-- Show Notes 176 KB 97 KB 402 KB

Episode #822 | 08 Jun 2021 | 114 min.
Extrinsic Password Managers

This week I want to start off with a calm rant to summarize why today's computer security is so atrocious. I think it's worth a bit of a reality check on that. Then we're going to look at a new feature in Firefox and at Firefox's apparent jump in performance. We'll touch on three new ransomware victims, look at what's been learned about how Colonial Pipeline was breached, and at the curious news that the FBI somehow managed to snatch all of DarkSide's Bitcoins. We'll look at the latest good and bad news regarding WordPress, and at Github's updated policy regarding posting proofs-of-concepts for ongoing attacks. I've finished Project Hail Mary, so I have a comment to make there, and I want to address the surprisingly controversial question of NAT vs IPv6. Then we'll wrap up by examining the question of whether password managers should be intrinsic to our browsers or extrinsic. I think we're going to have some fun!
55 MB 14 MB  513 KB   <-- Show Notes 138 KB 92 KB 357 KB

Episode #821 | 01 Jun 2021 | 104 min.
Epsilon Red

This week we begin by examining the recent advances made by the just-released Chrome 91 and revisit Google's configurable long-term activity logging. On the ransomware front we look at yet another likely addition to the ransomware ecosystem: trusted 3rd-party file decryptors. We anticipate next week's activation of the Amazon Sidewalk ultra-wide area network, look at the questionable claims of another massive cyberattack, and at WhatsApp's privacy struggles with India and Brazil – couldn't happen to nicer folks. Then we'll touch on just a single bit of trivia before plowing into a detailed examination of the operation of the newest ransomware in town: Epsilon Red.
50 MB 12 MB  678 KB   <-- Show Notes 125 KB 80 KB 323 KB

Episode #820 | 25 May 2021 | 88 min.
The Dark Escrow

This week we examine Firefox's just-released and welcome re-architecture under codename "Fission." We look at a new and recently active ransomware player named "Conti" and at a recently paid, high-profile mega ransom. We then ask the question, "When they say IoT, do they mean us?" We examine the implications of a new industry term, "mean time to inventory." We'll then lighten things up a bit with a new form of CAPTCHA and, of all things, a screensaver I discovered that I cannot take my eyes off of. (Leo, it's not quite as bad as whatever that game is that you cannot stop playing, but still.) We'll then share an ample helping of closing-the-loop feedback from our terrific listeners, after which I want to conclude by predicting what I would bet we're probably going to next see emerge from the evolving ransomware business model sad though it is to utter the phrase "ransomware business model."
42 MB 11 MB  589 KB   <-- Show Notes 95 KB 67 KB 273 KB

Episode #819 | 18 May 2021 | 105 min.
The WiFi Frag Attacks

This week we follow-up on last week's “News from the Darkside” with a surprising amount of happenings including the dark web's rejection of further ransomware. We look at blockchain analytics which are used to follow the dark money, the mixed signals now coming from the Darkside group and a live list of more than 2000 ransomware attacks during the past two years from the dark web. We cover last week's Patch Tuesday that you won't want to miss. We have a bit of miscellany, including the “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force” which is actually a thing, and some closing-the-loop feedback from our listeners regarding last week's Andy Weir's “Hail Mary” book mention. Then we take a close look at the biggest non-Colonial Pipeline news from last week: a new round of research which revealed a range of attacks on WiFi's security.
50 MB 13 MB  1.27 MB   <-- Show Notes 119 KB 83 KB 320 KB

Episode #818 | 11 May 2021 | 94 min.
News from the DarkSide

This week we look at a new (and old) thread to our global DNS infrastructure. We ask what the heck Google is planning with two-step verification, and we examine a huge new problem with the Internet's majority of email servers. We look at the reality of Tor exit node insecurity, touch on a new sci-fi novel by a well-known author, share a bit of closing-the-loop feedback, then take a look at this latest very high-profile ransomware attack from a previously low-key attacker.
45 MB 11 MB  516 KB   <-- Show Notes 97 KB 70 KB 273 KB

Episode #817 | 04 May 2021 | ??? min.
The Ransomware Task Force

This week we touch on several topics surrounding ransomware. We look at the REvil attack that affected Apple, and at this past weekend's attack that brought down Southern California's world renown Scripps Health system. We catch up on the multinational takedown of the Emotet botnet and the FBI's contribution of more than 4 million compromised eMail addresses to Troy Hunt's Have I Been Pwned. We also look at the two notification services that Troy now offers. I take the opportunity to pound another well-deserved nail into QNAP, and take note of an update I just made to my favorite NNTP newsreader, Gravity. I also ran across a Dan Kaminsky anecdote that I had to share, then we have two pieces of closing the loop listener feedback before we conclude by taking a look at the just-announced task force to combat ransomware. Is there any hope that this scourge can be thwarted?
57 MB 14 MB  363 KB   <-- Show Notes 137 KB 93 KB 361 KB

Episode #816 | 27 Apr 2021 | 115 min.
The Mystery of AS8003

This week we begin by remembering Dan Kaminsky, who the world lost last Friday at the age of 42. We finally catch up with this month's Patch Tuesday, and look at a welcome maturation in Google's Project Zero vulnerability disclosure policy. We shine a light upon a new startup venture which, if successful, promises to dramatically improve the future of IoT security. We then look at some controversial security research, for which the researchers have apologized, and wonder whether any apology was due. We shine another light onto a new battle Cloudflare has chosen to wage against an abusive patent troll, to help Cloudflare with additional attention, and to let our listeners know that they can participate in a money-making hunt for prior art. And after a brief SpinRite progress report, we engage with the Internet mystery of the Autonomous System 8003.
55 MB 14 MB  457 KB   <-- Show Notes 132 KB 89 KB 358 KB

Episode #815 | 20 Apr 2021 | 106 min.
Homogeneity Attacks

This week we touch on the Vivaldi browser project's take on Google's FLoC. We look at Chrome's vulnerability-driven update to v89, and then its feature-embellished move to Chrome 90. We consider the surprising move by the FBI to remove web shells from U.S. Exchange Servers without their owners' knowledge or permission, and WordPress's consideration of FLoC Blocking. We also have an interesting-looking programmer's Humble Bundle, some interesting closing-the-loop feedback from our listeners, and a brief progress report on SpinRite. We finish by examining an important privacy guarantee provided by Google's FLoC implementation which prevents homogeneity attacks, where users presenting a common cohort ID also share a sensitive attribute.
51 MB 13 MB  767 KB   <-- Show Notes 104 KB 79 KB 288 KB

Episode #814 | 13 Apr 2021 | 108 min.
PwnIt and OwnIt

This week we start with some needed revisiting of previous major topics. We look at an additional remote port that Chrome will soon be blocking, and the need to change server ports if you're using it. We look again at Google's forthcoming FLoC non-tracking technology and a new test page put up by the EFF. We revisit the PHP GIT server hack now that it's been fully understood. We look at Cisco's eyebrow-raising decision not to update some end-of-life routers having newly revealed critical vulnerabilities, and we also examine another instance of the industry's failure to patch for years. Then, we conclude with a blow-by-blow, or hack-by-hack, walkthrough of last week's quite revealing and somewhat chilling Pwn2Own competition.
52 MB 13 MB  664 KB   <-- Show Notes 112 KB 81 KB 318 KB

Episode #813 | 06 Apr 2021 | 109 min.
A Spy in Our Pocket

This week, by popular demand, we examine the big cover-up at Ubiquiti. We look at the consequences of the personal data of 533-plus million Facebook users appearing on the 'Net and how to tell if you're represented there. We look at another water treatment plant break-in with a very different outcome. We look at a new move by Google to further lock down Android against abuses of its permissive-by-design API services. We look at the new threat to Call Of Duty cheaters, and yet another set of serious vulnerabilities in QNAP NAS devices. Then, after sharing a catchy tweet, we look into some new research from researchers in Ireland into the unwarranted chattiness of iOS and Android mobile phones.
52 MB 13 MB  862 KB   <-- Show Notes 92 KB 83 KB 289 KB

Episode #812 | 30 Mar 2021 | 87 min.
GIT Me Some PHP!

This week we begin by checking in on the patching progress, or lack therefore, of the ProxyLogon Exchange Server mess. We examine a new Spectre vulnerability in Linux, a handful of high-severity flaws affecting OpenSSL, still more problems surfacing with SolarWinds code, an intriguing new offering from our friends at Cloudflare, and the encouraging recognition of the need for increasing vigilance of the security of increasingly prevalent networked APIs. I'll check in about my work on SpinRite. Then we're going to take a look at the often breathlessly reported hack of the PHP project's private Git server, and why I think that all the tech press got it all wrong.
42 MB 10 MB  969 KB   <-- Show Notes 106 KB 67 KB 276 KB

Episode #811 | 23 Mar 2021 | 114 min.
What the FLoC?

This week we briefly, I promise, catch up with ProxyLogon news regarding Windows Defender and the Black Kingdom. We look at Firefox's next release which will be changing its Referer header policy for the better. We look at this week's most recent RCE disaster, a critical vulnerability in the open source MyBB forum software, and China's new CAID (China Anonymization ID). We then conclude by taking a good look at Google's plan to replace tracking with explicit recent browsing history profiling, which is probably the best way to understand FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts). And as a special bonus we almost certainly figure out why they named it something so awful.
55 MB 14 MB  375 KB   <-- Show Notes 131 KB 87 KB 328 KB

Episode #810 | 16 Mar 2021 | 113 min.

This week we start off with a bunch of interesting browser-related news, zero-days, updates, a browser-based PoC for Spectre, a zero-script tracking kludge, and a look at last Tuesday's Patch Tuesday, what it fixed and what it broke. Some wonderful news for the Open Source community, a bit of miscellany, some listener feedback, and a screenshot of the final replacement for SpinRite's "Discovering System's Mass Storage Devices..." screen. Then we revisit the Microsoft Exchange disaster, another week downstream and still drowning.
54 MB 14 MB  2.3 MB   <-- Show Notes 111 KB 85 KB 319 KB

Episode #809 | 09 Mar 2021 | 95 min.

This week we look into last week's critical Chrome update and also cover the wackiest-but-true Chrome extension of all time. We look at Google's new funding of Linux security development; a surprisingly undead, long-unheard-from media player that just received a massive collection of updates; and, yes, still another way of abusing Intel's latest processor microarchitecture. We need to update everyone on our Dependency Confusion topic from two weeks back because there's big news there. We have several bits of identical listener feedback all wanting to be sure that I knew something had happened. Then we're going to cover the world's latest global crisis which we first mentioned as breaking news in the middle of last week's podcast. It was breaking then. It's badly broken now.
46 MB 11 MB  795 KB   <-- Show Notes 94 KB 68 KB 272 KB

Episode #808 | 02 Mar 2021 | 109 min.
CNAME Collusion

This week we discuss a welcome change coming soon to the Chrome browser, and a welcome evolution in last week's just released Firefox 86. We're going to look at questions surrounding the source of the original intrusion into SolarWinds servers, and at a new severity-10 vulnerability affecting Rockwell Automation PLC controllers. We'll touch on VMware's current trouble with exploitation of their vCenter management system, and I want to share a recent code debugging experience I think our listeners will enjoy and find interesting. Then we're going to conclude with some information about something that's been going on quietly out of sight and under the covers which must be made as widely public among web technologists as possible.
52 MB 13 MB  526 KB   <-- Show Notes 123 KB 81 KB 319 KB

Episode #807 | 23 Feb 2021 | 105 min.
Dependency Confusion

This week we'll follow-up on the Android SHAREit app sale. We look at a clever new means of web browser identification and tracking and at a little mistake the Brave browser made that had big effect. I want to remind our listeners about the ubiquitous presence of tracking and viewing beacons in virtually all commercial eMail today. We'll look at Microsoft's final SolarWinds Solorigate report and at another example of the growing trend of mobile apps being sold and then having their trust abused. I'll share a post from the weekend about a dramatic improvement in SSD performance after running SpinRite, but also why you may wish to hold off on doing so yourself. And then we're going to look at what everyone will agree was -- and perhaps still is -- a breathtaking oversight in the way today's complex software products are assembled which creates an inherent massive vulnerability across the entire software industry.
51 MB 13 MB  360 KB   <-- Show Notes 107 KB 77 KB 285 KB

Episode #806 | 16 Feb 2021 | 107 min.

This week we'll begin by following up on last week's headline-making attack on the Oldsmar, Florida water treatment plant with new details that have since come to light. We'll then take a look into last week's Patch Tuesday event and at some of the sadly broken things that have once again been fixed. Also, anyone using Adobe's PDF tools, Acrobat or Reader, needs to update. We're going to look at a dangerous Android App with 1.8 billion (with a "b") users, and at Microsoft's note about the rise of web shells, which dovetails nicely into this week's WordPress add-on disaster. I'll briefly update about my past eventful week with SpinRite, which includes a 25-second movie of new SpinRite code running. Then we'll take a look at the recent discovery of the largest list of email and password combinations ever compiled, and what we can each do about it.
51 MB 13 MB  405 KB   <-- Show Notes 127 KB 82 KB 321 KB

Episode #805 | 09 Feb 2021 | 121 min.
SCADA Scandal

This week we begin with a collection of interesting and engaging news surrounding Google's Chrome browser. We look at a high-profile Windows Defender misfire, and at new WordPress plugin nightmares. We check in on the world of DDoS attacks and cover the meaning of three new critical vulnerabilities in SolarWinds software. We have a bit of closing-the-loop feedback from our listeners, an update on my work toward the next SpinRite, and then we look at a near-miss disaster in a poorly designed industrial control system.
58 MB 14 MB  255 KB   <-- Show Notes 132 KB 90 KB 357 KB

Episode #804 | 02 Feb 2021 | 114 min.
NAT Slipstreaming 2.0

This week we examine another instance of a misbehaving certificate authority losing Chrome's trust. We cover a number of serious new vulnerabilities including an urgent update need for the just-released Gnu Privacy Guard; another supply chain attack against end users; a disastrous 10-year-old flaw in Linux's SUDO command; and, thanks to Google, some details of Apple's quietly redesigned sandboxing of iMessage in iOS 14. I'm going to share something that I think our listeners will find quite interesting about some recent architectural decisions for SpinRite, and then we'll conclude with a look at the inevitable improvement in NAT bypassing Slipstreaming.
55 MB 14 MB  279 KB   <-- Show Notes 121 KB 85 KB 323 KB

Episode #803 | 26 Jan 2021 | 115 min.
Comparative Smartphone Security

This week we look at the updates in release 88 of both Chrome and Edge with their evolving password manager features. We also look at two recent headshaking consequences of the hard end of life for Adobe's Flash. Ransomware gangs have added another new incentive for payment, and additional details continue emerging about last year's SolarWinds attacks. We have newly disclosed discoveries from a Google Project Zero researcher, and I spend a bit of time wondering out loud how we're ever going to change the low priority that's currently being given to serious security problems that don't directly inconvenience end users. And we finish by examining a very useful analysis of the comparative security of iOS and Android recently published by Johns Hopkins' Matthew Green and team.
55 MB 14 MB  413 KB   <-- Show Notes 118 KB 86 KB 321 KB

Episode #802 | 19 Jan 2021 | 87 min.
Where the Plaintext Is

This week we look at one aspect in which Chrome and Chromium differ, and then at a bit of growth news from the DuckDuckGo folks. Google's Project Zero reports on some terrific detective work, and we look at last week's Patch Tuesday. There's also Microsoft's pending change to the flaws which enabled last year's Zerologon debacle, and the NSA's interesting statement about enterprises and the DoH protocol. We look at the research that cracked the secret key out of Google's supposedly uncrackable Titan FIDO U2F dongle, and we catch up with a bit of listener feedback. Then we wrap up by looking at various aspects of the frenzy caused by WhatsApp's quite predictable move to incorporate its users' conversation metadata into Facebook's monetization ecosystem.
42 MB 10 MB  506 KB   <-- Show Notes 86 KB 65 KB 244 KB

Episode #801 | 12 Jan 2021 | 110 min.
Out With the Old

This week we address critical updates for Firefox and all Chromium-based browsers and a potentially unwelcome, but reversible, change coming to Firefox. We look at another new tactic being employed by ransomware gangs; an update on ransomware's profitability; a bogus-seeming announcement from Intel during yesterday's CES; and the first use, on this podcast, of the term "teledildonics." Following that, we have some residual SolarWinds news, the formation of a security screw-up crisis management group, news of the inevitable attacks on Zyxel users, the mass exodus from WhatsApp following their plans to force all metadata sharing, and a sci-fi note about "The Expanse." Then, inspired by the amazing amount of old code I have rediscovered inside SpinRite, I will take our listeners back to the roaring '80s with a look at how far we have come from DOS v3.3, whose maximum partition size was 33.5 megabytes.
53 MB 13 MB  350 KB   <-- Show Notes 120 KB 83 KB 320 KB

Episode #800 | 05 Jan 2021 | 106 min.

This week we open the New Year taking a longer look at fewer topics since the bad guys were apparently enjoying their New Year holiday, too. So we look at an interesting kludge that's been forced upon Chrome by ill-mannered antiviral scanners. We need to warn all enterprise users of Zyxel network border security products of another recently discovered built-in backdoor. We look at the rise in IoT compromise swatting attacks and a series of new flaws and vulnerabilities in the PHP Zend and Yii frameworks. We have a quick bit of miscellany to share, then I want to explain a lot about the value of trimming SSDs and newer SMR drives. And we'll conclude by catching up with what will hopefully be the last news, for a while at least, of the disastrous SolarWinds breach and intrusions.
51 MB 13 MB  293 KB   <-- Show Notes 117 KB 77 KB 314 KB
2020 Archive Below...

Episode #799 | 29 Dec 2020 | 96 min.
SunBurst & SuperNova

This week, as we end 2020, we look at Chrome's backing away from a security initiative, Firefox's move to further thwart tracking, all of the browsers once again saying “No!” to Kazakhstan, the formation of a new industry-wide Ransomware Task Force, this week's widespread WordPress security disaster, the return of Treck's insecure embedded TCP/IP stack, and yes... finally, the long awaited announcement of the release of the ReadSpeed benchmark which serves as a testbed and proof-of-operation for the next generation of SpinRite. And then we look at everything more that has come to light three weeks downstream from the first revelations of the SolarWinds-based massively widespread network intrusion and compromise.
46 MB 12 MB  592 KB   <-- Show Notes 97 KB 69 KB 274 KB

Episode #798 | 22 Dec 2020 | 73 min.
The Best of 2020

This week is our annual holiday best of the year wrap up.
54 MB 14 MB

Episode #797 | 15 Dec 2020 | 113 min.

This week is crammed with news leading up to our holiday break. Chrome is throttling ads. There's new cross-browser as insertion malware. We have a new term in the ransomware world. We have last week's Patch Tuesday, a jaw-dropping policy leak from Microsoft, trouble for Cisco's Jabber, an embarrassing vulnerability in many D-Link VPN servers, the brief Google outage, more horrific news of IoT network stack vulnerabilities, another WordPress mess, the 2020 Pwnie Awards, the welcome end-of-life of Flash, JavaScript's 25th birthday and free instruction classes, a bit of closing the loop, and SpinRite news. Then we take a full reconnaissance dive into what happened with the monumental and in so many ways horrific SolarWinds supply chain security breach.
54 MB 14 MB  271 KB   <-- Show Notes 116 KB 87 KB 324 KB

Episode #796 | 08 Dec 2020 | 112 min.
Amazon Sidewalk

At the beginning of this podcast, you're going to receive some details about another update to Chrome, and news of a few new high-profile ransomware victims. You'll learn about a breathtaking, remotely exploitable zero-click complete iPhone security compromise, as well as another significant big step forward for DNS privacy beyond DoH. We'll explain the nature of another serious and probably lingering problem within many Android apps. I have a few interesting bits of miscellany and SpinRite news to share. And before this is over, you will have obtained a full working sense for exactly what it is that Amazon has created and why, with their Amazon Sidewalk neighborhood IoT network concept, coming soon to all of your Amazon devices.
54 MB 13 MB  237 KB   <-- Show Notes 115 KB 85 KB 318 KB

Episode #795 | 01 Dec 2020 | 106 min.
DNS Consolidation

This week we look at a couple of new and forthcoming Chrome features. I'll quickly run though some new and notable ransomware casualties, including a couple of follow-ups. We'll look at a critical flaw in the Drupal content management system, the big trouble with generic smart doorbells, an interesting attack on Tesla Model X key fobs, CA's adaptation to single-year browser certs, several instances of leaked credential archives, a critical RCE in a major MDM server, a bit about the Salvation Trilogy, and some extremely promising news about SpinRite's future. Then we'll wrap up by taking a look at the consequences of the increasing consolidation of DNS service providers. It's not good if staying on the Internet is important to you.
51 MB 13 MB  510 KB   <-- Show Notes 117 KB 81 KB 315 KB

Episode #794 | 25 Nov 2020 | 93 min.

This week we have a bunch of news on both the Chrome and Firefox fronts with patches, updates, and new features. We have a comical bit of news from the ransomware front, and more troubling ongoing WordPress attack specifics, including a weird eCommerce site spoofing attack. We look at the future consequences of ongoing vulnerability announcements coupled with their very incomplete patching, and Android's bold move right into the middle of the unbreakable end-to-end encryption controversy. And then we'll conclude with a look at a large, multiyear (as in 11-year) advanced very-persistent threat state-based attack perpetrator known as "Cicada."
45 MB 11 MB  497 KB   <-- Show Notes 69 KB 64 KB 237 KB

Episode #793 | 17 Nov 2020 | 100 min.

This week the Chrome zero-days just keep on coming, and we contemplate what it means for the future. We have two interesting bits of ransomware meta news including a new tactic. We update after last week's Super Tuesday patch marathon, and examine new research into the most common source of Android malware to see where most unwanted apps come from and it's not what we would likely guess. We'll share a bit of listener feedback and an update on my work on SpinRite. Then we look at the new "SAD DNS" attack which successfully regresses us 12 years in DNS cache poisoning and spoofing attack prevention.
48 MB 12 MB  317 KB   <-- Show Notes 106 KB 75 KB 285 KB

Episode #792 | 10 Nov 2020 | 98 min.
“Slipstream” NAT Firewall Bypass

This week we look at the dilemma of Let's Encrypt's coming root expiration, new Chrome and Apple zero-day vulnerabilities, some new high-profile ransomware victims, China's Tianfu Cup pwning competition, the retirement of a PC industry insider, the continuing Great Encryption Dilemma, police monitoring of consumers' video, more ongoing pain for WordPress, a note about a sci-fi book event one week from now, and Samy Kamkar's tricky Slipstream attack and its mitigations.
47 MB 12 MB  366 KB   <-- Show Notes 114 KB 75 KB 310 KB

Episode #791 | 03 Nov 2020 | 89 min.
Chrome's Root Program

This week we examine a serious newly revealed Windows zero-day flaw, a public service reminder from Microsoft, Google's newly announced plan to get into the VPN service business, CERT's unappealing plan for automatic vulnerability naming, and a real mess that WordPress just made of an incremental security update to 455 million sites. Then we'll close a loop, I'll update about SpinRite, and we'll finish by examining Google's new plan to go their own way with a new Chromium browser certificate Root Store.
43 MB 11 MB  241 KB   <-- Show Notes 116 KB 68 KB 304 KB

Episode #790 | 27 Oct 2020 | 88 min.
The 25 Most Attacked Vulnerabilities

This week we examine a recently patched zero-day in Chrome and a nice new feature in that browser. We look at the site isolation coming soon to Firefox, and Microsoft's announcement of Edge for Linux. We have some movement in the further deprecation of Internet Explorer, and a potentially massive SQL injection attack that was recently dodged by more than one million WordPress sites, despite the fact that some admins complained. Then we have a bit of miscellany, closing-the-loop feedback, and an update on my work on SpinRite. We end by looking at the NSA's recently published list of the top 25 network vulnerabilities being used by malicious Chinese state actors to attack U.S. assets.
42 MB 11 MB  222 KB   <-- Show Notes 95 KB 69 KB 275 KB

Episode #789 | 20 Oct 2020 | 94 min.
Anatomy of a Ryuk Attack

This week we examine the coming controversial changes to the WebExtension API. We look at the revelations and fallout from last week's Patch Tuesday, and at Zoom's latest announcement of this week's roll-out of end-to-end encryption. We make sure everyone knows about the latest horrific SonicWall vulnerability and Microsoft's pair of not-that-worrisome out-of-cycle patches. We share a bit of miscellany and closing-the-loop feedback. Then we examine an actual Ryuk Ransomware intrusion and attack... step-by-step.
45 MB 11 MB  241 KB   <-- Show Notes 100 KB 70 KB 277 KB

Episode #788 | 13 Oct 2020 | 104 min.
Well-Known URIs

This week we catch up with Chrome 86's handful of security-related improvements. We touch on several recent ransomware events and on the consequences of not logging free WiFi users in France. We look at the results of an amazing bit of hacking of Apple, give an update on the enduring Zerologon threat, introduce the revenge of DNT with legislation-enhanced GPC, and describe another renewed attack on undecryptable E2EE now by seven countries. Then, following a bit of SpinRite and GRC forum news, we're going to add the concept of IANA-registered well-known URIs to our bag-of-tricks knowledgebase.
50 MB 12 MB  301 KB   <-- Show Notes 116 KB 77 KB 313 KB

Episode #787 | 06 Oct 2020 | 93 min.
Why Win7 Lives On

This week we examine several new and welcome Google initiatives aimed at improving Android general web browser security. We look at Microsoft's solution for updating aging Windows offline images with the latest Defender definitions. We note some surprising network behavior from Windows second Subsytem for Linux. We check-in on Exchange Server updates after eight months. We cover Cloudflare's announcement of a very welcome WebAPI firewall, the US Treasury's recent policy regarding Ransomware payments, and Kaspersky's discovery of the use of UEFI Bootkits. Then we have a bit of errata and a GRC forums update. And we conclude by sharing the results of an interesting poll which illuminates the many reasons why Windows 7 refuses to die.
45 MB 11 MB  397 KB   <-- Show Notes 92 KB 69 KB 274 KB

Episode #786 | 29 Sep 2020 | 107 min.

This week we look back at the just-released Chrome 85. We see that an enterprise's choice of VPN gateway really does make a difference. We drop in for an update on what would have to be called the new ransomware gold rush, and we examine the implications of Ring's latest announcement of their flying spy drone I mean webcam. Then we learn how much Vitamin D Dr. Fauci takes, and invite our podcast listeners to lock down their UserID of choice at GRC's new web forums using a non-public URL. Then we conclude with the required big update to the Zerologon story which we began last week.
51 MB 13 MB  544 KB   <-- Show Notes 132 KB 83 KB 326 KB

Episode #785 | 22 Sep 2020 | 103 min.
Formal Verification

This week we look at an important security update to Android for Firefox. We bid a fond farewell to Firefox Send and Notes. We look at the promise and growing popularity of the disastrously-named DuckDuckGo Internet search service. We dig into what's behind last Friday's Emergency Directive 20-04 from the DHS/CISA. We'll also take a look at the recent privacy and security improvements incorporated into Android 11 and iOS 14. We have a bit of errata, closing-the-loop feedback, and SpinRite news. Then we're going to take a look at the need for Formal Verification of our complex security protocols going forward in the context of another critical failure of a massively widespread system.
49 MB 12 MB  186 KB   <-- Show Notes 117 KB 82 KB 317 KB

Episode #784 | 15 Sep 2020 | 93 min.
BlindSide & BLURtooth

This week we look at the Chrome browser's proactive technology which is designed to punish abusive ads. We also look at the last hurrah for exploiting IE and Adobe Flash users, some Microsoft Edge updates, last Tuesday's Microsoft Patch-a-Palooza, Zoom's new implementation of two- factor authentication, that very bad WordPress File Manager attack two weeks out, the new Raccoon attack against TLS, and a quick SpinRite update. Then we conclude with a look at two newly discovered attacks named BlindSide and BLURtooth.
45 MB 11 MB  196 KB   <-- Show Notes 92 KB 66 KB 271 KB

Episode #783 | 08 Sep 2020 | 110 min.
IoT Isolation Strategies

This week we look at another device to receive DoH privacy, a browser to block drive-by downloads, my favorite messaging solution going open source, a new and trivial attack against hundreds of thousands of WordPress sites, Facebook's new vulnerability disclosure policy and their publication of WhatsApp security advisories, forthcoming security researcher policies for U.S. government properties, a new Tor Project membership program, Intel's latest microcode patches, the result of a small but significant double-blind controlled trial related to COVID outcomes, a SpinRite update, and a discussion of the need and means of enforcing strict IoT network isolation.
53 MB 13 MB  315 KB   <-- Show Notes 114 KB 83 KB 307 KB

Episode #782 | 01 Sep 2020 | 94 min.
I Know What You Did Last Summer

This week we take some deeper dives into fewer topics. We look at a bunch of the new features offered by Chrome's latest update, we look into the fascinating details of a Russian attempt to co-opt and bribe an employee of Tesla, and at some sobering security research which successfully circumvents VISA's point of sale PIN protection, allowing purchases of any amount. We also have a bunch of closing-the-loop feedback and miscellany. Then we examine the surprising research into just how well knowing where our browser has gone in the past identifies who we are today. Knowing what someone did last summer tells us who they are with surprising accuracy.
45 MB 11 MB  340 KB   <-- Show Notes 99 KB 72 KB 278 KB

Episode #781 | 25 Aug 2020 | 105 min.

This week we look at a new Chrome remote code execution flaw, some interesting news of three new ransomware victims, an emergency patch from Microsoft, the emergence of amateur RDP exploiters, the 15th birthday of the Zero Day Initiative, finally a good Windows 10 garbageware remover, recommendations of several of my most recommended remote networking utilities, then a bit of miscellany and SpinRite news. Then, finally, we examine a really terrific new high-tech hack against low-tech locks and their keys.
51 MB 13 MB  307 KB   <-- Show Notes 120 KB 79 KB 320 KB

Episode #780 | 18 Aug 2020 | 108 min.
Microsoft's 0-Day Folly

This week we discuss the "Achilles" Snapdragon DPS flaw affecting more than one billion Android Smartphones, last week's third-largest Patch Tuesday in history, Mozilla's sadly uncertain future, the other shoe dropping after the ransomware attack on Canon, the nature of the so-called "software glitch" preventing California from accurately tallying Coronavirus lab test results, the significance of Microsoft's addition of their Control Flow Guard technology to the Rust and LLVM code bases, Threema's addition of video calling to their super-secure communications platform, a bit of closing-the-loop feedback, news of a SpinRite technology decision, and then we take a sad look at Microsoft's recent seeming unconscionable behavior with regard to the two zero-day vulnerabilities that were finally patched last week.
52 MB 13 MB  407 KB   <-- Show Notes 119 KB 82 KB 319 KB

Episode #779 | 11 Aug 2020 | 107 min.

This week we note the completion of the first virtual Black Hat and Defcon conferences. We also examine the latest academic work to emerge from the Graz University, which dramatically advances our understanding of the past few years of performance optimizing processor vulnerabilities. We look at the ransomware attack on Canon, a mishandled vBulletin vulnerability disclosure, the forthcoming support for DoH on Windows 10, and the result of Troy Hunt's yearlong quest to find a home for his much-loved "Have I Been Pwned" services. We have a bit of miscellany, some feedback, and an update on my SpinRite work. Then we examine a very interesting new technology being used to evade state-based Internet censorship known as "Geneva."
52 MB 13 MB  353 KB   <-- Show Notes 119 KB 81 KB 319 KB

Episode #778 | 04 Aug 2020 | 105 min.

This week we touch on the recent update of Firefox to v79. We check back on the Twitter hack with the news of the identity of the accused perpetrators. We have more information about the Garmin ransomware hack. We look at the behavior of another disgruntled vulnerability researcher and consider another aspect of the ethics of vulnerability disclosure. We examine Zoom's bug of the week and the consequences of Microsoft's removal of all SHA-1 signed downloads, and note that QNAP NAS devices are still suffering from real trouble and neglect by their owners. I'm going to check in with the SpinRite work. Then we take a look at the week's biggest security event - the discovery of a boot security bypass for Linux.
50 MB 13 MB  393 KB   <-- Show Notes 112 KB 79 KB 316 KB

Episode #777 | 28 Jul 2020 | 88 min.

This week we revisit the trouble with F5 Networks' BIG-IP devices, we update on the epic Twitter hack, and we look at a security update for GnuTLS. We also cover the big five-day Garmin outage and Cisco's latest troubles. We'll point out a new Win10 debloater app and a bit of errata. Then I want to wrap up by sharing some truly surprising and interesting results that are emerging from my work on the pre-SpinRite hyper-accurate storage benchmark.
42 MB 11 MB  434 KB   <-- Show Notes 87 KB 64 KB 240 KB

Episode #776 | 21 Jul 2020 | 102 min.
A Tale of Two Counterfeits

This week we, of course, start off by looking at what happened at Twitter last week. We look at Checkpoint's discovery of the headline-grabbing wormable DNS vulnerability that's been present in all Windows Servers for the past 17 years. We touch on last week's Patch Tuesday, Cloudflare's surprise outage, another glitch in Zoom's product, and seven "no-logging" VPN providers whose logs were all found online. We cover some other quick news and some interesting SpinRite development developments, then examine the problem of counterfeit networking equipment - which, as our Picture of the Week shows, is actually a big problem.
49 MB 12 MB  784 KB   <-- Show Notes 119 KB 78 KB 317 KB

Episode #775 | 14 Jul 2020 | 88 min.

This week we look at Mozilla's surprise suspension of their Firefox Send service, Zoom's latest remote code exploit vulnerability, the latest revision of the U.S. Congress's EARN IT Act legislation, the growing tension with stalkerware apps, a Chinese Internet equipment vendor in the hot seat, the challenge of geolocating illegal drone operators, Fraunhofer's report of rampant router vulnerabilities, and SpinRite's move toward increased political correctness. Then we wrap up by looking at Tsunami, Google's latest and extremely useful-looking contribution to the open source community.
42 MB 11 MB  345 KB   <-- Show Notes 86 KB 65 KB 241 KB

Episode #774 | 07 Jul 2020 | 97 min.

This week we look at two new just-released emergency Windows 10 updates, and the new and curious path they will need to take to get to their users. We look at a slick new privacy feature coming to iOS 14 and how it is already cleaning up prior behavior. We'll take our annual survey of the rapidly growing success of the HackerOne program, and also note the addition of a major new participant in their bug bounty management program. We briefly note the latest American city to ban the use of facial recognition for law enforcement, but we mostly examine the result of NIST's analysis of demographic bias in facial recognition outcomes. We'll also look at a high-velocity vulnerability and exploitation, and close the loop with a couple of listeners. I'll share an interesting bit of work on SpinRite's AHCI controller benchmarking. Then we'll look at this episode's mysterious title: "123456."
47 MB 12 MB  239 KB   <-- Show Notes 111 KB 75 KB 300 KB

Episode #773 | 30 Jun 2020 | 97 min.
Ripple20 Too

This week we look at news in the shortening of certificate lifetime change, at Apple's decision to deliberately ignore support for a bunch of new Web APIs, at Apple's announcement of DoH support, at some troubling Mozilla/Comcast news, at some welcome legislation to head off the use of facial recognition, and at another less welcome attempt to outlaw strong encryption. We also look at the growing legislation against mandatory "chipping" and remind our listeners about the utility of VirusTotal. Then, after catching up with a bit of miscellany and listener feedback, we revisit last week's very worrisome revelation of the many flaws in a very widely used embedded TCP/IP stack. There's much news there.
47 MB 12 MB  222 KB   <-- Show Notes 95 KB 72 KB 276 KB

Episode #772 | 23 Jun 2020 | 113 min.

This week we look at Microsoft's interesting decision to update Windows 7 desktops with their new Edge browser, Google's wholesale removal of 106 widely-downloaded malicious Chrome extensions, Microsoft's continuing drama over Win10 printing, a potentially critical remote code execution vulnerability in everyone's favorite VLC media player, an interesting move by RosKomNadZor!, Netgear's residence in the Dog House, a new and startling record in DDoS attack size, a bit of errata and the anticipated announcement of a new piece of spin-off freeware from the SpinRite project. Then we examine the ripple effects of the mass adoption of a embedded TCP/IP stack that is found to be horribly insecure many years after it has been quite widely adopted across the embedded device industry.
54 MB 14 MB  292 KB   <-- Show Notes 123 KB 85 KB 323 KB

Episode #771 | 16 Jun 2020 | 93 min.

This week we address an accident that the Brave browser guys regret. We take a look at last week's Patch Tuesday and its several ramifications and consequences. We note a few odd new and unwelcome behaviors from this year's 2004 Win10 feature update and dip into yet another side-channel attack on Intel chips. But we also note that a long-awaited powerful antimalware technology is also about to ship from Intel. We look at the latest new SMB vulnerability named SMBleed, and conclude with an examination of the latest and more-practical-than-most techniques for covertly eavesdropping on a remote location - via a hanging light bulb.
44 MB 11 MB  307 KB   <-- Show Notes 106 KB 71 KB 278 KB

Episode #770 | 09 Jun 2020 | 98 min.
Zoom's E2EE Debacle

This week we take an interesting new look at some new problems arising with DoH; we look at IBM's new stance on facial image recognition research; we look at two recently disclosed flaws in the Zoom client; we check on the severity of the latest UPnP service flaw; and we update on Microsoft's new Edge rollout. We share a bit of miscellany and some terrific feedback from our listeners, touch on my SpinRite project progress, and then explore last week's truly confusing Zoom encryption reports that give the term "mixed messaging" a bad name.
47 MB 12 MB  186 KB   <-- Show Notes 109 KB 74 KB 283 KB

Episode #769 | 02 Jun 2020 | 113 min.
Zoom's E2EE Design

This week we look at which browsers still permit drive-by website downloads, Google's plan to blacklist notification-abusing websites, a deeper dive into local PC port scanning being performed by websites, Facebook's move to tighten up on high-impact posters, the new lawsuit against Clearview AI, some very interesting strings found embedded in Google's latest messaging app, the very worrisome return of a much more potent StrandHogg for Android, the refusal of SHA-1 to die, a more powerful new USB fuzzer, and an update in some nearly finished SpinRite work. Then we take a look at Zoom's newly detailed plans to become the world's most secure teleconferencing platform.
54 MB 14 MB  328 KB   <-- Show Notes 111 KB 87 KB 319 KB

Episode #768 | 26 May 2020 | 95 min.
Contact Tracing Apps R.I.P.

This week we begin with some browser news to examine a nifty new trick to be offered by the next Firefox 77 and we spend a bunch of time on the many new features -- and how to enable them -- being offered in Chrome's 83rd edition. We also look at Adobe's four emergency out-of-cycle patches, and a surprisingly robust and well designed new Jailbreak for iPhones. We take a look at a surprisingly powerful DNS amplification attack with a packet count multiplier of up to 1620, the sad but true complete collapse of Bluetooth connection security and the odd report of eBay scanning their user's PC's. We'll then share a bit of closing the loop listener feedback and a quick bit of miscellany, then I'm going to editorialize a bit about why I'm very sure that contact tracking apps are dead on arrival.
45 MB 11 MB  301 KB   <-- Show Notes 134 KB 76 KB 319 KB

Episode #767 | 19 May 2020 | 108 min.
WiFi 6

We begin this week as we often do on the third Tuesday with a look at the previous week's Patch Tuesday; and, in this case, a troubling new trend is emerging. We look at the DoH support coming soon to Windows 10, and at a little known packet capture utility that was quietly added to Windows 10 with the October 2018 feature update. We'll spend a bit of time on yesterday's DOJ/FBI press conference, and then take a look at a problem that Microsoft appears to be having a surprising time resolving. We'll take a look at face masks thwarting automated public facial recognition, and Utah's decision to roll their own contact tracing and locating app. And we'll wind up with what I hope will be an interesting walk through the history of Ethernet, from the beginning of wired to the evolution of the many confusing wireless protocols.
52 MB 13 MB  208 KB   <-- Show Notes 123 KB 81 KB 319 KB

Episode #766 | 12 May 2020 | 106 min.

This week we examine Firefox's recent move to 76 and slightly beyond; a wonderful new feature coming to Edge; and the security responsibility that attends the use of WordPress, vBulletin, and other complex and sophisticated web applications. We look at the plans for this summer's much-anticipated Black Hat and DEF CON conferences, a newly revealed CRITICAL bug affecting all of the past six years of Samsung Smartphones, and Zoom's latest security-boosting acquisition. I'll then provide an update on my SpinRite work which includes a bit of a rearrangement in sequence to provide another shorter term deliverable. And then we look at the new Thunderspy vulnerability that has the tech press huffing and puffing.
51 MB 13 MB  297 KB   <-- Show Notes 116 KB 83 KB 318 KB

Episode #765 | 05 May 2020 | 104 min.
An Authoritarian Internet?

This week we add Bruce Schneier's thoughts about the theoretical feasibility of contact tracing apps; we touch on our government's feelings about DNS over HTTPS; we look at yet another whacky way of exfiltrating data from an air-gapped computer; we examine a new vulnerability that has already damaged some large high-profile enterprise infrastructures; we note Adobe's latest round of critical updates, another welcome service coming from Mozilla, a dispiriting bit of over-the-top political correctness from the UK, and Google's plans to clean up the mess which is the Chrome Web Store. We then share a bit of errata, miscellany and SpinRite news, then take a look at China's proposed changes to the fundamental operation of our global Internet.
50 MB 12 MB  402 KB   <-- Show Notes 124 KB 80 KB 321 KB

Episode #764 | 28 Apr 2020 | 94 min.

This week we update on the Apple/Google contact tracing technology. We also take a close look at the past week's frenzy over two newly disclosed vulnerabilities in iOS's mail application. We consider the choice of VPN provider relative to expanding global surveillance agreements. And we look at some recently spotted dangers of public repositories. We have a bit of miscellany, a SpinRite update and some useful feedback from a listener regarding Oracle's VirtualBox VM system. Then we wrap up the week with a look into RPKI, Resource Public Key Infrastructure for finally bringing some security to BGP, the Internet's critical Border Gateway Protocol.
45 MB 11 MB  751 KB   <-- Show Notes 192 KB 71 KB 281 KB

Episode #763 | 21 Apr 2020 | 86 min.
The COVID Effect

This week, as an interesting case study, we continue tracking the latest actions being taken by Zoom and another unfortunate consequence of their overnight success. We have two pieces of Chrome browser news, and security news including what happened with last Tuesday's Windows patch, rollbacks in authentication plans, Signal's reaction to the planned EARN IT Act, trouble at the Tor Project and an interesting CAPTCHA change at Cloudflare. I also want to share my recent change in preferred VM systems, two bits of listener's closing the loop feedback, and a SpinRite update -- since stuff's beginning to happen.
41 MB 10 MB  252 KB   <-- Show Notes 89 KB 65 KB 260 KB

Episode #762 | 14 Apr 2020 | 95 min.
Virus Contact Tracing

This week we follow-up on a bunch of continuing Zoom news, since Zoom appears to be poised to become the teleconferencing platform of choice for the world at large. They've made more changes, have been sued and have been rapidly taking steps to fix their remaining problems. We have some browser news and another worrisome look into Android apps using a novel approach to quickly characterize them. We have an interesting and sad bit of miscellany and a progress report on my SpinRite work, and then we take the sort of full technical deep dive into the joint Apple/Google Contact Tracing system that our listeners have come to expect from this podcast. By the end of this podcast everyone will understand exactly what Apple and Google have done and how the system functions, in detail.
45 MB 11 MB  260 KB   <-- Show Notes 101 KB 72 KB 275 KB

Episode #761 | 07 Apr 2020 | 90 min.
Zoom Go Boom!

This week starts off with a bunch of web browser news including Firefox zero-days, Safari's recent scrape, more coronavirus-related feature rollbacks, the status of TLS v1.0 and 1.1, and some interesting developments on the Edge front. We revisit the lingering STIR and SHAKEN telco protocol mess, then look at a new DNS-filtering add-on service from Cloudflare and at the growing influence of an Internet group hoping to tighten up the mess with BGP. After a quick update on my SpinRite project, we take a look at what's been going on with the security of Zoom, the suddenly chosen tool for hosting Internet virtual classrooms and meetings of all kinds.
43 MB 11 MB  297 KB   <-- Show Notes 86 KB 68 KB 259 KB

Episode #760 | 31 Mar 2020 | 86 min.
Folding Proteins

This week we examine some consequences of increased telecommuting with the use of RDP and VPNs skyrocketing, along with a new bug in iOS's handling of VPN connections. We look at Google's unrelenting quest to get the "www" out, and note some changes to Firefox and further revisions of browser release schedules. We take a deep dive into a very welcome forthcoming code security feature for Windows 10. We share an action item for users of OpenWRT routers, and the result of an audit of Cloudflare's privacy-enforcing DNS service. We divulge a few interesting bits of feedback and some SQRL and SpinRite miscellany, then finish by examining a new opportunity to donate our unused CPU cycles for help with COVID-19 research.
41 MB 10 MB  291 KB   <-- Show Notes 86 KB 63 KB 254 KB

Episode #759 | 24 Mar 2020 | 102 min.

This week we look at a new unpatched zero-day attack affecting billions of Windows users, Mozilla's reversal on TLS 1.0 and 1.1 deprecation due to the coronavirus, a welcome micropatch for Win7 and Server 2008, Chrome's altered release schedule during the coronavirus, Avast's latest screw-up, a new threat affecting Android users, the results from last week's Pwn2Own competition, and a few observations about the coronavirus math and some worthwhile explainer videos. Then we look at where we are with Rowhammer after six years.
49 MB 12 MB  266 KB   <-- Show Notes 131 KB 82 KB 323 KB

Episode #758 | 17 Mar 2020 | 109 min.

This week we take a deep dive into the many repercussions preceding and following last week's Patch Tuesday. Wouldn't it be nice to have a quiet one for a change? But first, we look at a nice list of free services being maintained by BleepingComputer's Lawrence Abrams. We look at a recent report into the state of open source software vulnerabilities, and at new and truly despicable legislation aimed at forcing social media companies to provide "lawful access" to their customers' encrypted content.
52 MB 13 MB  309 KB   <-- Show Notes 169 KB 94 KB 401 KB

Episode #757 | 10 Mar 2020 | 107 min.
The Fuzzy Bench

This week we consider the new time-limited offers being made for free telecommuting tools, the continuing success of the DOD's "please come hack us" program, another take on the dilemma and reality of Android device security, some unwelcome news about AMD processor side-channel vulnerabilities, a new potentially serious and uncorrectable flaw in Intel processors, a 9.8-rated critical vulnerability in Linux system networking, a "stand back and watch the fireworks" forced termination of TLS v1.0 and v1.1, and the evolution of the SETI@home project after 19 years of distributed radio signal number crunching. We then touch on a bit of miscellany, and finish by looking at a new and open initiative launched by Google to uniformly benchmark the performance of security fuzzers.
51 MB 13 MB  291 KB   <-- Show Notes 116 KB 82 KB 320 KB

Episode #756 | 03 Mar 2020 | 104 min.

This week we look at a significant milestone for Let's Encrypt; the uncertain future of Facebook, Google, Twitter and others in Pakistan; some revealing information about the facial image scraping and recognition company Clearview AI; the Swiss government's reaction to the Crypto AG revelations; a "must patch now" emergency for Apache Tomcat servers; a revisit of OCSP stapling; a tried and true means of increasing your immunity to viruses; an update on SpinRite; and the latest serious vulnerability in our WiFi infrastructure, known as Kr00k.
50 MB 12 MB  236 KB   <-- Show Notes 141 KB 81 KB 351 KB

Episode #755 | 25 Feb 2020 | 115 min.
Apple's Cert Surprise

This week we reexamine the Windows 10 lost profiles problem, and also a consequence of the need to roll back (or avoid in the first place) the Patch Tuesday disaster. We look at a new feature to arrive with the next Windows 10 feature release, unfortunately named the 2004 release. We also examine the details of a new attack on the 4G LTE and 5G cellular technology, the full default rollout of Firefox's support for DoH, and also the availability of a powerful new sandboxing technology for Firefox. We also check in with Chrome's fix earlier today of a zero-day that was found being exploited in the wild. And, finally, before turning our attention to the bomb that Apple dropped in the lap of the entire certificate industry last week, I'm going to update our listeners about the things I've learned after returning to the work on SpinRite's next iteration.
55 MB 14 MB  278 KB   <-- Show Notes 131 KB 86 KB 324 KB

Episode #754 | 18 Feb 2020 | 88 min.
The Internet of Troubles

This week we continue following the continuing agony surrounding this month's increasingly troubled Window Update. We examine several significant failures which have befallen Windows 10 users after applying the month's "fixes," which have had the tendency of breaking things that weren't broken in the first place. We look at the danger presented by a very popular GDPR-compliance add-in for WordPress sites. We look at an eye-opening report about the stresses that CISOs are being subjected to, and also today's pilot test of Microsoft's new ElectionGuard voting system. We then touch on some SQRL and SpinRite news before taking a close look at two newly revealed IoT - Internet of Troubles - security worries.
42 MB 11 MB  569 KB   <-- Show Notes 95 KB 67 KB 273 KB

Episode #753 | 11 Feb 2020 | 101 min.
Promiscuous Cookies

This week we offer some welcome news about Microsoft A/V under Windows 7, we follow even more blow-by-blow consequences of January's final updates for Windows 7, we look at a worrisome exploitable Bluetooth bug Google just fixed in Android and what it means for those not fixed, we update on the ClearView AI face scanning saga, we take a peak into data recovery from physically destroyed phones, we entertain yet another whacky data exfiltration channel, and we conclude by looking at the consequences of the recent changes to make cookies mess promiscuous.
49 MB 12 MB  283 KB   <-- Show Notes 112 KB 79 KB 312 KB

Episode #752 | 04 Feb 2020 | 102 min.
The Little Red Wagon

This week we examine the most recent flaw found in Intel's processors and what it means. We look at the continually moving target that is Windows 10. We consider the Free Software Foundation's suggestion that Microsoft open source Windows 7 and the fact that last month's was apparently NOT the last update of Windows 7 for all non-ESU users. We look at the evolution of exploitation of the Remote Desktop Gateway flaw, Google's record breaking vulnerability bounty payouts, the return of Roskomnadzor, the size of fines, the question of who owns our biometrics, an update on Avast/AVG spying, the future of third-party AV, a major milestone for the WireGuard VPN, and the wonderful Little Red Wagon hack of the decade which titled this podcast.
49 MB 12 MB  375 KB   <-- Show Notes 134 KB 89 KB 343 KB

Episode #751 | 28 Jan 2020 | 107 min.

This week we look at some surprising revelations of Apple's cloud storage encryption (or lack thereof). We also cover a Microsoft cloud database mistake, some interesting legislation under consideration in New York, new attacks against a consumer router firmware, a rise of new attacks against our browsers, a welcome new publication from NIST on Privacy, a massive leakage of telnet usernames and passwords, a welcome micropatch for this month's IE zero-day, a bit of miscellany and SpinRite news, and then some coverage of the final nail that was recently pounded into SHA-1's coffin.
51 MB 13 MB  224 KB   <-- Show Notes 127 KB 81 KB 322 KB

Episode #750 | 21 Jan 2020 | ??? min.
The CurveBall CryptoAPI

This week we look at Google's addition of iOS devices as full Google account logon hardware security keys, as update on Apple vs Attorney General Barr, a serious new Internet Explorer 0-day and how the vulnerability can be mitigated, the release of Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser, the FBI's reaction to the Pulse Secure VPN vulnerability, another new and CRITICAL RDP remote code execution vulnerability that has slipped under the radar, a bit of miscellany, and then we examine the the headline grabbing CryptoAPI vulnerability that's been dubbed “CurveBall.”
44 MB 11 MB  263 KB   <-- Show Notes 104 KB 70 KB 277 KB

Episode #749 | 14 Jan 2020 | 117 min.
Win 7 - R. I. P.

This week's Security Now! podcast is titled "Windows 7 - R.I.P.," not because there's much that we haven't already said about the fact, but that it happens TODAY; and that, given the still massive install base of Windows 7, it's significant that all of those machines will now be going without any clearly needed security updates. So the big news for this week WAS to be the event of the first successful preimage attack on the SHA-1 hash. But that news was preempted at the last minute by the much more immediately significant news of the remotely exploitable "Cable Haunt" vulnerability that's present in most of the world's cable modems right now! So we'll be talking about that after we look at the FBI's recent request to have Apple unlock another terrorist's iPhone; update on the Checkrain jailbreak solution; examine the challenge of checking for illegal images while preserving privacy; look at some deeply worrying research into just how easy it is for bad guys to get SIMs swapped; examine the consequences of not patching a bad VPN flaw; deal with a bit of miscellany; and then, finally, look at the new "Cable Haunt" vulnerability.
56 MB 14 MB  535 KB   <-- Show Notes 174 KB 97 KB 399 KB

Episode #748 | 07 Jan 2020 | 118 min.
A Malware Lexicon

This first podcast of 2020 we look at a proposed standard for creating machine-readable warrant canaries. We also take a precautionary lesson from a big Xiaomi blunder, examine Microsoft's research into brute-forcing RDP, look at the continuing problem at the Point Of Sale, follow-up on Russia's plan to disconnect from the Internet, consider the end of life of Python 2.7, review the top 20 HackerOne bounty payers, warn of some bad new SQLite security vulnerabilities and cover a bit of Sci-Fi, SQRL and SpinRite miscellany. Then we group all malware into a seven-member Lexicon and quickly run through each one.
57 MB 14 MB  186 KB   <-- Show Notes 104 KB 92 KB 298 KB

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