15 Bullet Friday – The Best Security News of the Week – 2019.08.02

The Top 15 Security Posts – Vetted & Curated

*Threats & Defense*
1. Chances of destructive BlueKeep exploit rise with new explainer posted online (Ars Technica, Jul 22 2019)
Slides give the most detailed publicly available technical documentation seen so far.

2. China-Linked Threat Actor Using New Backdoor (SecurityWeek, Jul 23 2019)
The China-linked threat actor known as APT15 has been using a previously undocumented backdoor for more than two years, ESET’s security researchers have discovered. 

3. A VxWorks Operating System Bug Exposes 200 Million Critical Devices (Wired, Jul 29 2019)
WHEN MAJOR VULNERABILITIES show up in ubiquitous operating systems like Microsoft Windows, they can be weaponized and exploited, the fallout potentially impacting millions of devices. Today, researchers from the enterprise security firm Armis are detailing just such a group of vulnerabilities in a popular operating system that runs on more than two billion devices worldwide. But unlike Windows, iOS, or Android, this OS is one you’ve likely never heard of. It’s called VxWorks.


One of My Favorite Things
Since I started this curated newsletter in June 2017, I’ve clipped ~10,000 articles and narrowed them down into the best 20 per day & best 15 per week. This is my favorite way to cut through all the security marketing and hype. If you’re enjoying it, tell a friend. If you hate it, tell an enemy.
Thanks! – Lucas Samaras

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*AI, IoT, & Mobile Security*
4. Judge allows suit against AT&T after $24 million crypto theft (Ars Technica, Jul 23 2019)
It’s usually not possible to reverse fraudulent cryptocurrency transactions.

5. Sophisticated Android spyware toolset ‘Monokle’ linked to sanctioned Russian defense contractor (SC Magazine, Jul 24 2019)
A company that was sanctioned by the U.S. government for allegedly helping Russia interfere with the 2016 elections has developed an advanced set of offensive spyware tools with functionality that researchers claim they have never before witnessed in real-life attack campaigns. Dubbed Monokle, the spyware toolset was actually developed as far back as 2015, according…

6. Why Huawei Matters (Privacy, Power, & Protection In The Cyber Century, Jul 29 2019)
It’s the second in my “Projectionist” series. The series is ultimately about power and the great forces and constraints shaping our world. I’m going to talk about 5G, Huawei, China and the consideration the UK and her allies are giving to the use of Huawei’s products in national mobile networks.

*Cloud Security, DevOps, AppSec*
7. Capital One Data Theft Impacts 106M People (Krebs on Security, Jul 30 2019)
“The FBI says Capital One learned about the theft from a tip sent via email on July 17, which alerted the company that some of its leaked data was being stored out in the open on the software development platform Github. That Github account was for a user named “Netcrave,” which includes the resume and name of one Paige A. Thompson.”

8. Azure publishes guidance for secure cloud adoption by governments (Microsoft Azure Blog, Jul 25 2019)
To help governments worldwide get answers to common cloud security related questions, Microsoft published a white paper, titled Azure for Secure Worldwide Public Sector Cloud Adoption. This paper addresses common security and isolation concerns pertinent to worldwide public sector customers.

9. Software Developers and Security (Schneier on Security, Jul 25 2019)
According to a survey: “68% of the security professionals surveyed believe it’s a programmer’s job to write secure code, but they also think less than half of developers can spot security holes.” And that’s a problem.

*Identity Mgt & Web Fraud*
10. How the West Got China’s Social Credit System Wrong (Wired, Jul 29 2019)
It occupies a spot next to ‘Black Mirror’ and Big Brother in popular imagination, but China’s social credit project is far more complicated than a single, all-powerful numerical score.

11. Complete Personal Fraud Kits Sell for Less Than $40 on Dark Web (Dark Reading, Jul 26 2019)
The low cost of records reflects the huge supply of PII after many breaches at hospitals, government agencies, and credit bureaus.

12. Russian Fake News Targeted Ukraine Elections (Infosecurity Magazine, Jul 29 2019)
Facebook forced to remove over 100 accounts

*CISO View*
13. Report: Russian-sponsored hackers could have modified U.S. voter data, but didn’t (SC Magazine, Jul 26 2019)
Russian state-sponsored cyber actors “conducted an unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastructure in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. elections,” the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concludes in the first volume of its report on Russia’s efforts to interference in America’s most recent presidential election.

14. WannaCry slayer, malware author Marcus Hutchins won’t go to prison (Ars Technica, Jul 26 2019)
Hutchins helped stop the WannaCry outbreak, but he had a dark past.

15. Silicon Valley Issues Election Security Report (Infosecurity Magazine, Jul 26 2019)
A grand jury finds that San Mateo email and online communications platforms are vulnerable.

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