Security News for the Week Ending February 4, 2022

Who is Interested in Attacking My Little Website?

I have written about this before but it is worth repeating. I have a simple firewall on my blog sites. There is nothing terribly sensitive there; it is not connected to my company’s network, but still I continue to be amazed. Yesterday there were 1175 attacks from Lithuania alone on one of my sites last week. This included a sustained attempted SQL injection attack. These are mass, indiscriminate attacks. Imagine what the attack drumbeat looks like if you are targeted. Are you protected? Do you care if you website goes down due to an attack? Or is defaced? Or is made unavailable?

CISA is Getting Aggressive on Patching Flaws

CISA has produced a list of bugs that are being actively exploited and is requiring that executive branch agencies actually install the patches (imagine that). This requirement came out of a Binding Operational Directive. While no one is going to jail if they do not follow a BOD, it is not likely to make the boss happy, which could affect both your budget and job security. This list is now over 350 bugs (compare that to the number of CVEs -bugs- publicly indexed in 2021, which is over 10,000, and was over 18,000 in 2020, so this is a tiny fraction of the total bugs. And, it seems, that they add new bugs every week. While this is mandatory for agencies, it is just smart for everyone else. If you are not watching this list, you should. Source: CISA’s Known Exploited Vulnerabilities List

NSO Group Has an Evil Twin

While everyone has been focused on the NSO and its ability to hack iPhones, lurking in the darkness is another Israeli security company, QuaDream. A competitor, they seem to, up until now, stay under the radar, even though they used the same iPhone vulnerability, called ForcedEntry. When Apple patched it last year, it broke both NSO’s and QuaDream’s hacking software. QuaDream’s software, like NSO’s can take over the iPhone camera and microphone, record phone calls and other fun stuff. Just to point out that the problem is bigger than NSO. Credit: Metacurity

DoJ Charges 6 Indian Call Centers With Scamming U.S. Citizens

You know all those calls you get pretending to be Microsoft or the IRS or Social Security? A lot of them come from India and now the feds have gone after them. The feds have indicted 6 companies and their owners personally. It is much more likely that they will be extradited to the U.S. since we are on reasonably friendly terms with India. Credit: The Hacker News

Stalkers Are Silencing Apple AirTags Used to Stalk Victims

AirTags were, ostensibly, designed to help people find their keys, but stalkers have figured out that it is a great way to find out where victims, typically young and female, live, work and go. In theory, Airtags make a quiet beep after it has been separated from its owner for 8-24 hours. The idea is that if it is being used to stalk someone, they might hear the quiet beep. But stalkers didn’t like that so they have figured out how to physically disable the speaker without damaging its tracking ability. There is no software fix for this and likely even if the design is changed, that won’t stop the stalkers either. Since these things are so tiny, it is unlikely that a hidden one would be detected. Credit: Gizmodo

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