Security News for the Week Ending June 12, 2020

Singapore Updates Contact Tracing App

Singapore is not exactly a democracy, so this isn’t a complete surprise. They are updating their contact tracing app to include foreigner’s passport number and scanning of barcodes to facilitate tracking when someone enters a store or mall or restaurant. They would like the program to run in the background, but Apple does not allow Bluetooth to be active in the background, so the software doesn’t work right on iPhones. So, for iPhone users, people who don’t have smartphones and people who won’t install the app, they are working on building a wearable device to perform the same function and possibly issuing a device to everyone in the country. Credit: ZDNet

Indian IT Company Ran Hack for Hire Operation

BellTroX, a small Indian IT company based in Delhi, ran (allegedly) a hack-for-hire operation that targeted thousands of high profile politicians, investors and journalists on six continents over the last 7 years. Initially thought to be state sponsored, investigators now think they were just in it for the money. The group is known as Dark Basin by researchers, who have begun to unravel their work and notify hacked individuals. Credit: The Hacker News

Thanos Ransomware as a Service Weaponizes RIPlace Vulnerability

Thanos Ransomware as a Service tool weaponizes the Windows RIPlace attack tactic. RIPlace is a technique that uses a legacy API to bypass enpoint protection (AKA anti-virus) tools. That that Thanos is available as a service to any wanna hacker, expect to see even more ransomware attacks. The Thanos developer continues to add features including a light version (as in less features) and a company (full featured) version. Credit: Threatpost

Copy Protection Comes in Many Flavors

GE has, apparently, “copy protected” the water filters for their refrigerators so that you cannot use a $13 filter that is physically the same and have to pay GE $55 for their filter.

One customer was sufficiently annoyed that he bought a domain, www.GEFilterGate.com and explained how to “hack” GE’s refrigerator. All you have to do it take GE’s RFID tag off a legit filter and put it in the right place on the fake GE filter. I am not sure if it is legal, but that was one ticked off user. Credit: Vice

Federal Agencies Spending Millions on Crossbow

Crossbow, AKA Stingray, version 2, has been purchased by multiple federal agencies including ICE. Stingray is a device made by Harris to intercept cell phone traffic and is used by the military. They are also being used by federal, state and local governments, including during protests. Think of it as a cell tower in a small suitcase. Whether version 1 or version 2, they can be used to track down fugitives or surveil anyone, anywhere. We have reports of finding many Stingrays around Washington, DC, likely placed there by UNfriendly countries. Harris was so keen to keep information about the Stingray quiet that police regularly dropped charges rather than reveal information. Assume that Crossbow will be the same. Credit: Vice

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