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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.

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Episode Archive

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2022 Archive Below...

Episode #903 | 27 Dec 2022 | 133 min.
The Best of 2022

This week is our annual holiday best of the year wrap up. Stories include: • Anatomy of a Log4j Exploit. • Will Russia Disconnect? • FCC Says Kaspersky Labs is a National Security Threat. • Lenovo UEFI Firmware Troubles. • That "Passkeys" Thing. • Dis-CONTI-nued: The End of Conti? • Steve's Take on the LastPass Breach.
54 MB 14 MB

Episode #902 | 20 Dec 2022 | 101 min.
A Generic WAF Bypass

This week we answer another collection of burning questions: Is there no honor among thieves? What was discovered during this year's Toronto Pwn2Own competition? What did we learn from last Tuesday's patchfest? Whose fault was the most recent Uber data breach? What happened when Elon tried to block all the bots? What's the first web browser to offer native support for Mastodon? What exactly is "Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior" and why is it such a problem? What will happen to GitHub submitters at the end of next year? What measure could every member of the US senate possibly agree upon? Exactly what applications are there for a zero-width space character? And finally, what larger lesson are we taught by the discovery of a serious failure to block a problem that we should never have had in the first place? The answer to all those questions and more await the listeners of today's Security Now podcast #902.
49 MB 12 MB  418 KB   <-- Show Notes 121 KB 79 KB 317 KB

Episode #901 | 13 Dec 2022 | 120 min.
Apple Encrypts the Cloud

This week we answer the following questions and more: What browser just added native support for passkeys and where are they stored? What service have I recommended that suffered a major multi-day service outage? How can you recognize a totally fake cryptocurrency trading site? Which messaging platform has become cybercrime's favorite, and how would you go about monetizing desirable usernames? What's the latest in TikTok legislative insanity, and is it insane? Which two major companies have been hit with class action lawsuits following security breaches? Was Medibank's leaked data truly useless? And Apple has finally given us the keys to our encrypted data in the cloud, holding none for themselves... or have they?
58 MB 14 MB  377 KB   <-- Show Notes 149 KB 99 KB 369 KB

Episode #900 | 06 Dec 2022 | 103 min.
LastPass, Again

This week we answer a few questions: What if an Australian company doesn't secure their own network? Has Ireland NOT levied fines against any major Internet property owned by Meta? What's in REvil's complete dump of Australia's Medibank data disclosure? We finally answer the question: Is nothing sacred? (It turns out it's not rhetorical.) Also, whose root cert just got pulled from all of our browsers, and how did a handful of Android platform certs escape? What US state has banned all use of Tik-Tok? What country is prosecuting its own ex-IT staff after a breach? How has memory-safe language deployment actually fared in the wild? Are last August's BlackHat 2022 videos out yet? And which brand of IoT security camera do you probably NOT want to use or purchase? Which podcast had the most amazing guest last week? What happened when SpinRite was run on an SSD? And what does LastPass's announcement of another hacker intrusion mean for it and its users? Answers to those questions and more coming your way during this week's Security Now! podcast.
49 MB 12 MB  440 KB   <-- Show Notes 148 KB 84 KB 355 KB

Episode #899 | 29 Nov 2022 | 102 min.
Freebie Bots & Evil Cameras

What happens when you: Run a Caller ID spoofing service? Or when you mis-list and underprice online goods? Or click on a phishing link for a cryptocurrency exchange? Or consider working for a underworld hacking group? Use a webserver from the dark ages in your IoT device? Or rattle your sabers while attempting to sell closed networking systems to your enemies? Or decide whether or not to continue to suspend your Twitter ad buys? Or login to Carnival Cruises with a passkey? Or use hardware to sign your code? This week's podcast answers all of those questions and more!
49 MB 12 MB  623 KB   <-- Show Notes 138 KB 85 KB 353 KB

Episode #898 | 22 Nov 2022 | 120 min.

This week we note that Firefox moved to v107 and that Google recently reached a nearly $400 million dollar user-tracking settlement. Red Hat has started cryptographically signing its ZIP distributions, the FBI purchased the nefarious Pegasus spyware and Greece paid 7 million euros for the similar Predator spyware. Passkeys have a directory listing sites where they can be used, the OMB has decreed a quantum decryption deadline, and 33 US state attorneys general have asked the FTC to get serious about online privacy regulation. We have some engaging listener feedback and SpinRite is finally a day or two away from starting its final testing. And we're going to wrap up by examining some chilling research which allows the physical location in space of every WiFi device within range to be accurately determined by someone walking past or flying a tiny drone.
57 MB 14 MB  377 KB   <-- Show Notes 168 KB 100 KB 401 KB

Episode #897 | 15 Nov 2022 | 90 min.
Memory-Safe Languages

This week we have another event-filled Patch Tuesday retrospective. We look at a newly published horrifying automated host attack framework which script kiddies are sure to jump on. We have a welcome new feature for GitHub, crucial vulnerabilities in the LiteSpeed web server, a spiritual successor to TrueCrypt and VeraCrypt for Linux, Australia's announcement of their intention to proactively attack the attackers, a controversial new feature in iOS 16.1.1, a couple more decentralized finance catastrophes, some miscellany and listener feedback. Then we'll finish by looking at a just-published advisory from U.S.'s National Security Agency, our NSA, promoting the use of memory-safe languages.
43 MB 11 MB  469 KB   <-- Show Notes 105 KB 73 KB 281 KB

Episode #896 | 08 Nov 2022 | 98 min.
Something for Everyone

This pure news week we look at Dropbox's handling of a minor breach, and we follow-up on last week's OpenSSL flaws. The FTC has had it with a repeat offender, and we know how much total (reported) ransom was paid last year. Akamai reports on phishing kits, we have some stats about what Initial Access Brokers charge, and we look at the mechanics of cyber bank heists. Several more DeFi platforms defy belief, Russia is forced to move to Linux, the Red Cross wants a please don't attack us cyber-seal, nutty Floridians get themselves indicted for a bold tax fraud scheme, is China cheating with 0-days?, the NCSC will be scanning its citizenry... and more!
47 MB 12 MB  388 KB   <-- Show Notes 106 KB 77 KB 286 KB

Episode #895 | 01 Nov 2022 | 108 min.
After 20 years in GCHQ

This week we revisit the Windows driver block list which has received a long-needed update and at Microsoft's own definition of a CVE. We note that sometime today the OpenSSL project will be releasing an update for an ultra-CRITICAL flaw in OpenSSL v3 and we look at a remote code execution flaw in Windows TCP/IP stack. We have a ubiquitous problem in the past 22 years of the widely used SQLite library and a surprising percentage of malicious proofs-of-concepts found in GitHub. Passkeys gets another supporter and the first part of a professional tutorial explaining how to exploit the Chrome browser is released. After some listener feedback and a SpinRite update, we look at the goodbye posting of the UK's head of cyber security after 20 years.
52 MB 13 MB  467 KB   <-- Show Notes 127 KB 85 KB 326 KB

Episode #894 | 25 Oct 2022 | 102 min.
Data Breach Responsibility

This week we note the release of an updated Firefox browser and Google's welcome and interesting announcement of a super-secure-by- design open source operating system project. We look at the latest cryptocurrency craziness and at a new Windows 0-day which bypasses downloaded executable file security checks. And speaking of 0-days, Apple just patched their iPhone and iPad OS's against their 9th 0-day of the year. We then take a look at the forces driving the evolutionary demise of previously rampant banking malware and at today's critical VMWare update. Then, after sharing and addressing some interesting listener feedback, we'll take a look at new Australian legislation aimed at punishing data breaches and consider the ethics of Australia's proposed new heavy fines.
49 MB 12 MB  947 KB   <-- Show Notes 115 KB 79 KB 315 KB

Episode #893 | 18 Oct 2022 | 101 min.
Password Change Automation

This week we examine several more serious Microsoft security failures which have just come to light, and a new useful Windows security feature that was just added. The new Passkeys logon technology received its own website to monitor its progress, and Cloudflare logs another record breaking DDoS attack. Signal drops its legacy support for SMS/MMS on Android, Fortinet attempts to keep a new bad authentication bypass quiet, the White House proposes work on an IoT cybersecurity seal of approval, and the US Treasury department levies a hefty fine against a cryptocurrency exchange for not caring who they send money to. I have some updates on SpinRite, my just-discovered ZimaBoard and two pieces of listener feedback. Then we're going to finish by examining a new standardized means of accessing websites' password change pages. And we also have our first-ever Security Now VIDEO of the Week.
48 MB 12 MB  918 KB   <-- Show Notes 109 KB 79 KB 287 KB

Episode #892 | 11 Oct 2022 | 105 min.
Source Port Randomization

This week we look at a massive customer information leak from a surprising source. Meta notes where their users are being harvested. And in an industry first, Uber's CSO has been convicted. We have more, much more, cryptocurrency industry turmoil. A new appointee in the U.K. wants to drop their use of the GDPR. The NSA is looking for next summer interns, IBM learns that incident responders are feeling quite stressed out, and Microsoft continues to fumble their Exchange Server response. I have news of SpinRite and of my discovery of a lovely little Single Board Computer. And after sharing some listener feedback, we're going to look at a recent mistake made in the Linux kernel that allowed its users to be tracking online.
50 MB 13 MB  818 KB   <-- Show Notes 141 KB 86 KB 358 KB

Episode #891 | 04 Oct 2022 | 102 min.
Poisoning Akamai

This week we examine a puzzlingly insecure implementation by Microsoft in Teams' design and at their complete re-write of Microsoft Defender Smartscreen. Roskomnadzor strikes again, and Exchange Server is again under serious attack with a new 0-day. CloudFlare introduces Turnstile, their free CAPTCHA improvement and Google published a fabulously engaging 6-video YouTube series under the banner: “Hacking Google.” We'll then spend some time sharing and replying to listener feedback before we examine a breathtaking flaw that was discovered in Akamai's global CDN caching, and what became of it.
49 MB 12 MB  483 KB   <-- Show Notes 151 KB 85 KB 359 KB

Episode #890 | 27 Sep 2022 | 93 min.
DarkNet Politics

This week we examine Europol's desire to retain data on non-criminal EU citizens, and we look at the forth EU nation to declare that the use of Google Analytics is an illegal breach of the GDPR. Has Teapot been caught? Seems like. And Mozilla says it's no fair that operating systems bundle their own browsers. Here we go again. Meanwhile, Chrome's forthcoming V3 Manifest threatens add-on ad-blocker extensions, and past Chrome vulnerabilities are leaving embedded browsers vulnerable. Windows 11 actually gets a useful feature, and some US legislation proposes to improve open source software security. We revisit the Iran-Albanian cyber-conflict now that we know how Iran got into Albania's networks. And after one important and interesting bit of listener feedback about multi-factor authentication fatigue and a quick SpinRite update, we look at some new trends in the Dark underworld with the leak of another major piece of cybercrime malware.
45 MB 11 MB  568 KB   <-- Show Notes 112 KB 75 KB 310 KB

Episode #889 | 20 Sep 2022 | 92 min.

This week we look at last week's Patch Tuesday and at the changing cyber insurance landscape. We visit and revisit a collection of major network breaches at Uber, Rockstar Games and LastPass. We look at another significant problem facing 280,000 WordPress users and at a recommended mitigation for the future. We examine the cost to processing performance of the most recent Retbleed security mitigations, and look at Google's very welcome use-after-free vulnerability technology. And after sharing a few pieces of feedback from our listeners, we examine a somewhat surprising consequence of enabling Chrome's enhanced spell check and provide some mitigations.
44 MB 11 MB  678 KB   <-- Show Notes 102 KB 73 KB 280 KB

Episode #888 | 13 Sep 2022 | 107 min.
The EvilProxy Service

This week we look at an unusual and disturbing escalation of a cyberattack. I also note that cryptoheists have become so pervasive that I'm not mentioning them much anymore. The While House conducted a “Listening Session” to dump on today's powerful tech platforms, and a government regulator in The Netherlands quit his position and tells us why. There's another QNAP mess which is bad enough to exceed my already quite high QNAP mess threshold, and D-Link routers need to be sure they are running their very latest firmware. I have another comment about my latest Sci-Fi author discovery and two quick bits of feedback from our listeners. Then we're going to examine EvilProxy, the conceptual cousin to Ransomware as a Service.
51 MB 13 MB  830 KB   <-- Show Notes 137 KB 85 KB 352 KB

Episode #887 | 06 Sep 2022 | 108 min.
Embedding AWS Credentials

This week we look at Google's just-announced and launched open source software vulnerability rewards program. We ask the question whether TikTok leaked more than 2 Billion of their user's records. We look at Chrome's urgent update to close its 6th 0-day of 2022 and at a worrisome “feature” -- I think it a bug! --in Chrome. A somewhat hidden autorun facility in PyPI's pip tool used for downloading and installing Python packages is being used to run malware. And we examine a recent anti-Quantum computing opinion from an Oxford university quantum physicist. Then I have two bits of miscellany, three pieces of listener feedback, a fun SpinRite video discovery, and my discovery of a wonderful and blessedly prolific science fiction author. And after all that, we look at the result of Symantec's recent research into their discovery of more than 1800 mobile apps which they found to be leaking critical AWS cloud credentials, primarily due to carelessness in the use of today's software supply chain.
52 MB 13 MB  252 KB   <-- Show Notes 153 KB 87 KB 360 KB

Episode #886 | 23 Aug 2022 | 112 min.
Wacky Data Exfiltration

This week we begin by discussing the implications of last week's LastPass breach disclosure. We look at some recent saber-rattling by the U.S.'s FTC and FCC over the disclosure of presumably private location data. We share pieces of a fascinating conversation with a Russian ransomware operator, gaining some insight into the way he conducts attacks and the way he views the world. We tell everyone about a new tracking-stripping and privacy-enforcing email forwarding service that's just come out of a yearlong beta from the DuckDuckGo people. We have another big and widespread IoT update mess to share. I have some welcome progress to report about my work on SpinRite, and some listener feedback. Finally, we're going to look at some recent goings on at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, which never fails to entertain.
54 MB 13 MB  511 KB   <-- Show Notes 151 KB 93 KB 367 KB

Episode #885 | 23 Aug 2022 | 92 min.
The Bumblebee Loader

This week we'll start off with a bit of fun over the most tweeted by far wacky tech news item. We then get serious with a very worrisome flaw which very likely exists in the WAN interface of the routers that many of us probably own. DDoS attacks have broken another record by a large margin, and both Chrome and Apple deal with, if not emergency then at least high priority software updates. We also have another major software repository tightening up its security against supply chain attacks. Then after sharing just a few, but powerful, bits of feedback, we're going to step through the blow-by-blow operation and actions of the newest and meanest kid on the block with the emergence of a powerful malware loader that gets its name from the DLL it first loads: Bumblebee.
44 MB 11 MB  544 KB   <-- Show Notes 93 KB 68 KB 270 KB

Episode #884 | 16 Aug 2022 | 98 min.
TLS Private Key Leakage

This week we look back at last week's Patch Tuesday to learn how much better Microsoft various products are as a result. We look at Facebook's announced intention to creep further toward end-to-end encryption in Messenger, and at the puzzling result of a recent scan of the Internet for completely exposed VNC servers. I want to take a few minutes to talk about the importance of planning ahead for a domain name's future, share my tip for a terrific website cloning tool, and a few more updates. Then, after sharing some feedback from our ever-attentive listeners, we're going to address the question: Can a remote server's TLS private key be derived simply by monitoring a sufficient number of its connections? What?! We all know that everything has been designed so that's not possible. But edge cases turn out to be a surprising problem and the details of this research are quite interesting.
47 MB 12 MB  283 KB   <-- Show Notes 120 KB 78 KB 316 KB

Episode #883 | 09 Aug 2022 | 94 min.
The Maker's Schedule

This week we examine the collapse of one of the four NIST-approved post-quantum crypto algorithms. We look at what VirusTotal has to tell us about what the malware miscreants have been up to, and at the conditions under which Windows 11 was corrupting its users' encrypted data. We also celebrate a terrific-looking new commercial service being offered by Microsoft, and we briefly tease next week's probable topic, which is cryptographer Daniel Bernstein's second lawsuit against the United States. I want to share a bunch of interesting feedback in Q&A style from our terrific listeners, then I want to share my discovery of a coder, serial entrepreneur, and writer by sharing something he wrote which I suspect will resonate profoundly with every one of our listeners.
45 MB 11 MB  506 KB   <-- Show Notes 97 KB 72 KB 279 KB

Episode #882 | 02 Aug 2022 | 119 min.
Rowhammer's Nine Lives

This week we're going to note an urgent vulnerability created by an add-on to Atlassian's Confluence corporate workgroup server. Next week's Usenix security conference will be presenting TLS-Anvil for testing TLS libraries. Google has decided to again delay their removal of 3rd-party cookies from Chrome, and attackers were already switching away from using Office Macros before Microsoft actually did it. We have a bunch of listener feedback, some thoughts about computer science theory and bit lengths, and some interesting miscellany. Then we're going to look at the return of Rowhammer thanks to some new brilliant and clever research.
57 MB 14 MB  371 KB   <-- Show Notes 130 KB 88 KB 329 KB

Episode #881 | 26 Jul 2022 | 107 min.
The MV720

This week we start off by updating our follow-up to this month's Patch Tuesday. Things were more interesting than they originally seemed. Then we keep up with the evolving state of Microsoft Office's VBA macro foreign document execution. We also have a fabulous bit of news about some default security policy changes for Windows 11 announced by Microsoft. Then, with August rapidly approaching, we have a few calendar notes to mention; I have a welcome and long-awaited bit of SpinRite news to share; we have a bit of miscellany and some brief bits of listener feedback to cover. Then we take a deep dive into the poor-by-design security of a very popular and frightening widely used aftermarket GPS tracking device. You don't want one of these anywhere near you or your enterprise. Yet 1.5 million are.
51 MB 13 MB  654 KB   <-- Show Notes 179 KB 86 KB 394 KB

Episode #880 | 19 Jul 2022 | 105 min.

This week we start with a quick update on last week's Rolling Pwn problem. Then we look at the state of IPv4 space depletion and the rising price of an IPv4 address. We have an interesting report on the Internet's failed promise, Facebook's response to URL-tracker trimming, Apple's record-breaking Lockdown Mode bounty, ClearView Ai's new headwinds, a new feature being offered by ransomware gangs, the return of Roskomnadzor, last Tuesday's patches and some feedback from our listeners. Then we look at the details of the latest way of exfiltrating secrets from operating system kernels thanks to insecurities in Intel and AMD micro-architecture implementations. Yes, some additional bleeding
51 MB 13 MB  529 KB   <-- Show Notes 86 KB 77 KB 265 KB

Episode #879 | 12 Jul 2022 | 116 min.
The Rolling Pwn

This week we look at a recently made and corrected mistake in the super-important OpenSSL crypto library. The NIST has settled upon the first four of eight post-quantum crypto algorithms. Yubico stepped-up to help Ukraine. Apple has added an extreme “Lockdown Mode” to their devices. Microsoft unbelievably re-enables Office VBA macros received from the Internet. The FBI creates a successful encrypted message app for a major sting operation. We close the loop with some of our listeners. Then we examine an even more egregious case of remote automotive wireless unlocking and engine starting.
56 MB 14 MB  518 KB   <-- Show Notes 152 KB 94 KB 370 KB

Episode #878 | 05 Jul 2022 | 99 min.
The ZuoRAT

This week we look at Chrome's 4th 0-day of the year and at another welcome privacy-enhancing bump from Firefox. And also share the disclosure and forensic investigation of the bug bounty clearinghouse HackerOne's discovery of a malicious (now ex-) employee among their ranks. And some listener feedback draws us into a discussion of the nature of the vulnerabilities of connecting Operation Technology systems to the Internet, ans also some hope for the future amalgamation of the currently-fragmented SmartHome IoT industry. And before we start into our deep dive into some new and worrisomely prolific malware, we're going to consider whether we'd rather have one 9-inch pizza or two 5-inch pizzas? As always, another gripping episode of Security Now!
48 MB 12 MB  1055 KB   <-- Show Notes 101 KB 73 KB 279 KB

Episode #877 | 28 Jun 2022 | 110 min.
The “Hertzbleed” Attack

This week, after dealing with a major piece of errata from last week, we look at Germany's reaction to the EU's proposed “let's monitor everyone and privacy be damned” legislation. The Conti gang finally pulls the last plug. We have an update on the status of Log4J and Log4Shell and a weird proposal for a "311" cyber attack reporting number, and a sweeping 56 new vulnerabilities were found and reported across the proprietary technologies of major industrial control technology providers. And this week we have a piece of miscellany, followed by ten interesting items of closing-the-loop feedback to share from our listeners. We will then take a deep dive into the latest “HertzBleed Attack” which leverages the dynamic speed scaling present in today's modern processors. We'll examine another effective side-channel attack – which is even effective against carefully-written post-quantum crypto – and can be used to reveal its secret keys.
53 MB 13 MB  609 KB   <-- Show Notes 90 KB 80 KB 281 KB

Episode #876 | 21 Jun 2022 | 118 min.
Microsoft's Patchy Patches

We begin this week by answering last week's double-decryption strength puzzler. I then take a look at what's currently known about FIDO2 support in LastPass and Bitwarden. We look at last week's Mozilla announcement of Total Cookie Protection for Firefox (which doesn't appear to be working for me) and invite everyone to test their browsers. DDoS attacks have broken yet another record, another NTLM relay attack has been uncovered in Windows, Apple messed up Safari five years ago, more than a million WordPress sites were recently force-updated, and another high-severity flaw was fixed in a popular JAVA library. Then after sharing a bit of miscellany and some fun closing-the-loop feedback, we look at the awareness the rest of the security industry is sharing regarding the deteriorating quality of Microsoft's security management.
57 MB 14 MB  625 KB   <-- Show Notes 144 KB 90 KB 359 KB

Episode #875 | 14 Jun 2022 | 101 min.
The PACMAN Attack

This week will, I expect, be the last time we talk about passkeys for awhile. But out listeners are still buzzing about it, and some widespread confusion about what Apple presented during their WWDC developer's session needs a bit of clarification. While doing that, I realized and will share how to best characterize what FIDO is, which we're going to get, with respect to SQRL, which we're not. I also want to turn our listeners onto a free streaming penetration testing security course which begins Wednesday after next. Then we have a TON of listener feedback which I've wrapped in additional news. And one listener's question, in particular, was so intriguing that I'm going to repeat it but not answer it yet, so that all of our listeners can have a week to contemplate its correct answer. And although I wasn't looking for it, I also stumbled upon a surprising demonstration proof that we are, indeed, living in a simulation. When I share it, I think you'll be as convinced as I am. And finally, as suggested by this podcast's title, we're going to take a very deep dive into the past week's headline-capturing news that Apple's famous M1 ARM chips all contain a critical bug that cannot be fixed. Just how bad is it?
48 MB 12 MB  346 KB   <-- Show Notes 146 KB 83 KB 355 KB

Episode #874 | 07 Jun 2022 | 90 min.
Passkeys, Take 2

This week we have a response from ServiceNSW to the news of their insecure digital driver's license. ExpressVPN is the first VPN to pull the plug on India. Turning off the Internet is becoming a common practice by repressive regimes. The Windows Follina exploit explodes in the wild. Another Windows/Word URL scheme can be exploited. A critical cellular modem chip defect has surfaced. Named ransomware is being impacted by U.S. sanctions and ransomware is taking aim at our system boot firmware. We have a bit of errata and closing the loop feedback. Then, in the wake of Apple's big WWDC 2022 keynote, which mentioned Apple's forthcoming adoption of the FIDO2 Passkeys, I want to highlight one glaring concern that everyone seems to have missed.
43 MB 11 MB  393 KB   <-- Show Notes 138 KB 72 KB 337 KB

Episode #873 | 31 May 2022 | 110 min.

This week we examine the difficult to believe in 2022 design of Australia's New South Wales Digital Driver's License which was sold as being quite difficult to counterfeit. We examine the latest, once again fumbled, extremely pervasive Microsoft Office zero-day remote code execution vulnerability. We look at the first instance of touchscreen remote touch manipulation, and at Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom's difficult to believe yet already being piloted plan to further monetize their customers by somehow injecting persistent supercookies into their customer's connections at the carrier level. Then, after sharing some feedback from our terrific listeners, we'll dig into the discovery that the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser carved out a privacy exception for Microsoft.
53 MB 13 MB  1,067 KB   <-- Show Notes 124 KB 83 KB 321 KB

Episode #872 | 24 May 2022 | 103 min.
Dis-CONTI-nued: The End of Conti?

This week we'll start by following-up on Microsoft's Patch Tuesday Active Directory domain controller mess. We're going to look at several instances of the Clearview AI facial recognition system making news, and at the systems which fell during last week's Vancouver Pwn2Own competition. We cover some welcome news from the U.S. Department of Justice and some disturbing news about a relatively simple and obvious hack against popular Bluetooth-link smart locks. We have some closing-the-loop feedback from our listeners, including a look at what's going on with the Voyager 1 space probe, and another interesting look into the looming impact of quantum crypto. Then we finish by sharing an in-depth examination of the surprisingly deliberately orchestrated shutdown of the Conti ransomware operation.
50 MB 12 MB  717 KB   <-- Show Notes 106 KB 80 KB 288 KB

Episode #871 | 17 May 2022 | 99 min.
The New EU Surveillance State

This week we look back at what no one wanted, an eventful Patch Tuesday. Apple has pushed a set of updates to close an actively exploited zero-day. Google announced the creation of their Open Source Maintenance Crew. A ransomware gang wants to overthrow a government. Google's Play Store faces an endlessly daunting task. The predicted disaster for F5's BIG-IP systems arrived. A piece of errata and some closing-the-loop feedback from our terrific listeners. Then we're going to look at just how far afield the European Union has wandered with their forthcoming breathtaking surveillance legislation.
48 MB 12 MB  610 KB   <-- Show Notes 125 KB 77 KB 319 KB

Episode #870 | 10 May 2022 | 108 min.
That “Passkeys” Thing

This week we look at a patch to Android to thwart an actively exploited vulnerability. We briefly revisit Connecticut's new privacy law and we take a quick look at the raft of recent ransomware victims. The U.S. State Department has added another ransomware group to its big bounty list and we look at what's being called the biggest cybersecurity threat facing the U.S. Meanwhile, the White House issues a memorandum about the threat from quantum computing and we have the discovery of a new and pernicious DNS vulnerability that's unlikely to be fixed in our IoT devices. And after looking at F5 Networks new and quite serious troubles, we close the loop with some listener feedback, briefly discuss the past week of Sci-Fi news, then finish by looking at the past week's most Tweeted-to-me question: “What's that passkeys thing that Apple, Google and Microsoft are adopting?”
52 MB 13 MB  701 KB   <-- Show Notes 144 KB 84 KB 357 KB

Episode #869 | 03 May 2022 | 91 min.
Global Privacy Control

This week we're going to examine the success of the abbreviation overloaded DoD's DIB-VDP pilot program. We're going to introduce the relatively new OpenSSF - Open Source Security Foundation - and its Package Analysis Project. We're going to look at some hopeful new privacy legislation recently passed in Connecticut's house which if signed into law would cause it to join four other privacy-progressive states, and we're going to look at Moxie Marlinspike's irreverent rationale for the need for port knocking. Then, after sharing some interesting listener feedback, we're going to look at the background, implementation and future of a very encouraging development in user web browser and Internet privacy.
44 MB 11 MB  649 KB   <-- Show Notes 86 KB 69 KB 259 KB

Episode #868 | 26 Apr 2022 | 104 min.
The 0-Day Explosion

This week we're going to take a close look at the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's mandated must update list, including some recent entries. We're going to examine the somewhat breathtaking mistake that Lenovo made across more than 100 of their laptop models, and a cryptocurrency wallet implemented in a web browser (what could possibly go wrong?) Then we're going to look at another startling vulnerability that was recently discovered in Java versions 15, 16, 17 and 18. We have a bunch of interesting listener feedback, a brief Sci-Fi interlude, and the announcement of a major milestone reached for SpinRite. Then we're going to wrap up by taking a look across the past ten years of 0-day vulnerabilities thanks to some recent research performed by the security firm Mandiant. The title of this week's podcast gives away what's been happening.
50 MB 12 MB  535 KB   <-- Show Notes 123 KB 81 KB 319 KB

Episode #867 | 19 Apr 2022 | 98 min.
A Critical Windows RPC RCE

This week we examine Chrome's third zero-day of the year, followed by Microsoft's massive 128-patch fest last week, and we note that we don't even bother counting Windows zero-days, though there were another two this month amid the 47 critical vulnerabilities that were patched, one of them being so worrisome that it captured this week's podcast title, which we'll cover at length before we conclude. We also have more WordPress add-on trouble, the return of a longstanding problem in Apache Struts, and we have some interesting commentary about the current hackability status of the United States nuclear arsenal. I want to share a bit of closing-the-loop feedback with our listeners and give everyone a snapshot into the recent work on SpinRite. Then we're going to take a close look at the one flaw, out of 128 that Microsoft patched last week, that truly has the entire security industry on pins and needles because it enables a zero-click Internet worm.
47 MB 12 MB  652 KB   <-- Show Notes 91 KB 72 KB 277 KB

Episode #866 | 12 Apr 2022 | 81 min.

We'll wrap up this week's podcast by revisiting Spring4Shell. Last week, when we first mentioned it, it was just a questionable itch. Now, a week later, it's a full blown outbreak deserving of today's podcast title. But before we roll up our sleeves for that we're going to examine credible reports of a 0-day in the Internet's most popular web server platform. We're going to take a look at Microsoft's newly announced “Autopatch” system, and the rapidly approaching end-of-security life of some Windows 10 editions. We have another instance of an NPM protest-ware modification of a highly used library, and I want to share a bit of miscellany and listener feedback. Then we'll finish by looking at what one week has done to Spring4Shell.
39 MB 10 MB  396 KB   <-- Show Notes 92 KB 63 KB 266 KB

Episode #865 | 05 Apr 2022 | 104 min.
Port Knocking

This week we examine a critical Java framework flaw that's been named “Spring4Shell” because it's mildly reminiscent of Java's recent “Log4J” problem. We'll also take a look at the popular QNAP NAS devices and several recent security troubles there. Sophos has got themselves an attention grabbing must patch now 9.8 CVSS vulnerability and it didn't take long (10-days) for the theoretical Browser-in-the-Browser spoof to become non-theoretical. There's more worrisome news on the NPM supply-chain package manager exploitation nightmare, the FinFisher spyware firm happily bites the dust, and some of the young hackers forming the Lapsus$ gang have been identified. Squarely in the doghouse this week is WYZE whose super-popular webcams have problems which are just as serious as those of the company itself... and, oh!, the authentication bypass details, which I'll share, are SO wonderful! Then after a bit of closing-the-loop feedback with our listeners, I want to talk about and put the idea of “Strong Service Concealment” on everyone's radar. “Port Knocking” is not a new idea by any means. But it is extremely clever, cool and useful. In today's world, there's more reason than ever for ports and the services behind them that are not actively soliciting public traffic to be kept completely hidden. There are a number of ways this can be done which are very cool.
50 MB 13 MB  316 KB   <-- Show Notes 101 KB 76 KB 285 KB

Episode #864 | 29 Mar 2022 | 99 min.
Targeted Exploitation

This week we start by looking at Chrome's second zero-day vulnerability of the year. We then spend some time with an interview of the Chief Technical Officer of one of Ukraine's largest ISPs learning of the challenges they're currently facing. JavaScript's most popular package manager npm is under attack again, and Honda tells worried reporters that they have no plans to address the consequences of a new glaring security vulnerability affecting five recent years of their Honda Civic design. The FCC classifies Kaspersky Lab as a national security threat and adds a bunch of Chinese Telecom companies and services, as well. Then, after addressing a piece of use-after-free listener feedback, we take a detailed look at the consequences of Chrome's first zero-day of the year and at the attacks launched by North Korea which leveraged that flaw.
48 MB 12 MB  604 KB   <-- Show Notes 114 KB 77 KB 315 KB

Episode #863 | 22 Mar 2022 | 98 min.
User After Free

This week we look at the US's new cybercrime reporting law that was just passed. We examine a worrisome software supply chain sabotage and the trend it represents. We look at “Browser-in-the-browser,” a new way to spoof sign-in dialogs to capture authentication credentials, and we examine the way MicroTik routers are being used by the TrickBot botnet to obscure their command and control servers. A very concerning infinite loop bug has been uncovered in OpenSSL (time to update!) and CISA walks us through their forensic analysis of a Russian attack on an NGO. We then take a look at the Windows vulnerability that refuses to be resolved, and we'll finish by spending a bit more time than we have so far looking more closely at why User-After-Free flaws continue to be so challenging.
47 MB 12 MB  284 KB   <-- Show Notes 117 KB 77 KB 314 KB

Episode #862 | 15 Mar 2022 | 98 min.
QWACs On? or QWACs Off?

This week we briefly touch on last week's Patch Tuesday for both Windows and Android, the world's two most used operating systems. We look at a recent emergency update to Firefox and the need to keep all of our systems' UEFI firmware up to date. NVIDIA suffers a huge and quite embarrassing network breach, and ProtonMail handles their Russian customers correctly. The Linux kernel has seen some challenging times recently, and Russia has decided to start signing website certificates. Research was just published to put some numbers to WordPress add-ons' observably miserable security, and the European Union legislators who brought us GDPR and mandatory website cookie notifications are at it again. What now?
47 MB 12 MB  840 KB   <-- Show Notes 113 KB 77 KB 311 KB

Episode #861 | 08 Mar 2022 | 88 min.
Rogue Nation Cyber Consequences

This week we examine many of the cyber-consequences of Russia's unilateral aggression against Ukraine. In a world as interconnected as today, can a rogue nation go it alone? Ukraine has formed a volunteer IT Army. Hacking groups are picking sides. Is Starlink a hope? Actors on both sides of Russia's borders are selectively blocking Internet content. Google has become proactive. The Namecheap registrar has withdrawn service. Use of the Telegram encrypted messenger service has exploded. Cryptocurrency exchanges block tens of thousands of wallets. Russia releases the IP addresses and domains attacking them, and likely some which are not. They also prepare to amend their laws to permit software piracy and appear to be preparing to entirely disconnect from the global Internet. All of the technologies we've been talking about for years are in play.
42 MB 11 MB  436 KB   <-- Show Notes 80 KB 69 KB 243 KB

Episode #860 | 01 Mar 2022 | 103 min.
Trust Dies in Darkness

This week we examine the consequences of paying ransomware extortion demands. How did that work out for you? We take a deep look into "Daxin," a somewhat terrifying malware from attackers linked to China. We take something of a retrospective look at Log4j and draw some lessons from its trajectory. We touch on some technical consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, including which kitchen appliances Russia's servers are claiming to be, and the question of the possible consequences of the U.S. becoming involved in launching some cyberattacks at Russia. We have a piece of interesting listener feedback and the results of last week's next SpinRite development pre-release. Then we're going to take a look at the significant mistake Samsung made which crippled and compromised the security of all 100 million of their most recently made Smartphones.
49 MB 12 MB  855 KB   <-- Show Notes 112 KB 78 KB 310 KB

Episode #859 | 22 Feb 2022 | 94 min.
A BGP Routing Attack

This week we talk about another WordPress plug-in mess, this one so bad that WordPress themselves force-installed updates on more than three million sites. We look at the new Xenomorph Android malware and at a mistake made by a new and prominent ransomware service. We examine why blurring or pixelating text for redaction was never a good idea, and what can go wrong with a plan to shut off one's teenagers' Internet access at home. We unfortunately need to revisit the supercritical Magento/Adobe Commerce platform patch which didn't quite work completely the first time, and we consider the implications of the technology behind last week's denial-of-service attacks on some of Ukraine's critical infrastructure. Then, after quick sci-fi and SpinRite updates, we'll take a look at an effective and lucrative attack that was perpetrated by deliberately abusing the still-too-trusting Border Gateway Protocol.
45 MB 11 MB  273 KB   <-- Show Notes 86 KB 71 KB 265 KB

Episode #858 | 15 Feb 2022 | 92 min.

This week we look at a couple of new zero-days in Chrome and Apple's OSes. We also look at what the U.S. CISA thinks of not only these, but of 15 other problems that our federal agencies seem to be in no big hurry to fix. And we revisit last summer's SeriousSAM vulnerability in Windows which remains under attack. This being the third Tuesday of the month, we'll look back at the second Tuesday to see how that went. Sunday saw a true emergency patch issued by Adobe that probably canceled some Super Bowl plans, and we have an amazingly bad idea for a WordPress add-on. Google has published their 2021 Bounty Report, and their Project Zero has published stats about how things are going there. We have Microsoft removing a popular and highly abused feature of Windows. And then, because nothing else in the past week commanded the podcast's title, I'll wind up by formally introducing GRC's latest freeware which puts its users firmly "InControl."
44 MB 11 MB  571 KB   <-- Show Notes 109 KB 71 KB 282 KB

Episode #857 | 08 Feb 2022 | 106 min.
The Inept Panda

This week we're going to take a look at our law enforcement and cyber-defense recommendations regarding safe conduct while in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. We're going to take a look at a serious CVSS 9.9 vulnerability affecting Linux's use of SAMBA, and at some interesting details of so-called “Living off the Land” exploitation of commonly present operating system utilities. We'll examine Microsoft's most recent approach to application packaging and installation triggered by their recent wholesale neutering of it's primary application and feature. And we're also going to celebrate a welcome change in Microsoft policy that's been 20 years in the making. I'll share a brief pre-announcement of a new forthcoming GRC quickie freeware utility. Then we'll take a close look at “MY2022” the iOS and Android application which all attendees of the Beijing Olympics are required to install, carry and use. Citizen Lab's reverse-engineering analysis will explain how this week's podcast got its name.
51 MB 13 MB  569 KB   <-- Show Notes 101 KB 79 KB 287 KB

Episode #856 | 01 Feb 2022 | 136 min.
The “Topics” API

This is another of those weeks where we're going to go deeper into fewer topics rather than broader across more topics, with Google's newly announced and explained “Topics” API of course being our title story. So we'll start by looking at “PwnKit” which is a startling and long standing local privilege escalation vulnerability which has existed in every distribution of Linux since May of 2009. It's a MUST PATCH for Linux systems. We'll then look at another of the blessedly few Log4j exploits which is actually happening, update on two new Zerodium limited-time bounty “offers” and at a new means for fingerprinting web browsers. I have a totally random bit of miscellany to share in the form of a tip, a SpinRite update and some closing the loop feedback from our terrific listeners. Then we'll wrap up by taking a really interesting deep dive into Google's new ad-targeting “Topics” API.
65 MB 16 MB  247 KB   <-- Show Notes 112 KB 101 KB 334 KB

Episode #855 | 25 Jan 2022 | 94 min.
Inside the NetUSB Hack

This week we briefly touch on the ongoing Log4j background noise. We look at the result of the insurance industry's pushback against ransomware coverage and at the resulting changing cyber-insurance landscape. We look at another WordPress add-on problem and a supply-chain attack on a very popular add-on provider. We also wonder whether WordPress still makes sense in 2022? We cover the EU's quite welcome major bug bounty funding, and Kaspersky's discovery of a very difficult to root out UEFI bootkit. We'll share some interesting questions and topics suggested by our listeners, then we're going to take another of our recent technical deep dives to examine the precise cause of that pervasive NetUSB flaw – it's really fun and completely understandable!
45 MB 11 MB  336 KB   <-- Show Notes 90 KB 70 KB 272 KB

Episode #854 | 18 Jan 2022 | 102 min.
Anatomy of a Log4j Exploit

This week we start off by looking at how the U.S. Pentagon is dealing with Log4j and how the U.S. administration at the While House wants to improve the security of open source software. This being the 3rd Tuesday of the month, we'll look back last week's decidedly mixed-blessing Patch Tuesday – the good and the unfortunate. We'll then look at a very serious new remotely exploitable problem which affects many popular routers – and provide a shortcut of the week to immediately check your own routers – and then over a new and very welcome access control standard being introduced by the W3C which Chrome is already in the process of adopting. We'll wrap up the top portion of the podcast with yet another set of very serious WordPress add-on blunders. Then we'll share a bit of listener feedback, including answering the very popular questions about refilling empty SodaStream tanks. And after a brief SpinRite progress update we're going to take a close look inside the operation of an actual, Iranian, Log4j exploit kit.
49 MB 12 MB  413 KB   <-- Show Notes 106 KB 79 KB 288 KB

Episode #853 | 11 Jan 2022 | 93 min.
URL Parsing Vulnerabilities

This week we'll begin with another in our series of Log4j updates which includes among a few other bits of news, an instance of a real-world vulnerability and the FTC's somewhat surprising and aggressive message. We'll chronicle the Chrome browser's first largish update of 2022 and also note the gratifying 2021 growth of the privacy-centric Brave browser. WordPress needs updating, but this time not an add-on but WordPress itself. We're going to then answer the age-old question posed during last Wednesday's Windows Weekly podcast: “What exactly is a Pluton? and how many can dance on the head of a pin?” And finally, after a quick Sci-Fi reading recommendation and a very brief touch on my ongoing SpinRite work, we're going to take a gratifyingly deep dive into the unfortunate vagaries of our industry's URL parsing libraries to see just how much trouble we're in as a result of no two of them parsing URLs in exactly the same way.
45 MB 11 MB  765 KB   <-- Show Notes 116 KB 71 KB 310 KB

Episode #852 | 04 Jan 2022 | 90 min.
December 33rd

This week we start off the new year with a handful of Log4j updates including yet another fix from Apache; some false positive alarms; Alibaba in the doghouse; and an underwhelming announcement from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. We note the postponement of a critical industry security conference, an interesting aspirational announcement from DuckDuckGo's CEO, and the soon-to-be-rising costs of cyber insurance. Then, after a bit of miscellany and a SpinRite update, we look at the surprising technological decision that has forced the official creation of December 33rd.
43 MB 11 MB  920 KB   <-- Show Notes 106 KB 68 KB 276 KB

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