May 19 2023


Category: Hacking,Mobile Securitydisc7 @ 9:54 am

Researchers have identified a new sort of attack that they have given the name “Ghost Touch.” This new form of attack may access the screen of your mobile device without even requiring you to touch it.

It would seem that those who commit crimes online are constantly able to one-up themselves and surprise everyone with innovative new strategies. You are already familiar with methods such as phishing, frauds, and the use of malware to infect devices. However, researchers from the Zhejiang University in China and the Darmstadt University of Technology in Germany have now uncovered a new hardware-based way that cybercriminals may use to get their hands on your smartphone.

These are known as Ghost Touch, and they may be used to unlock a mobile device, allowing the user to get access to sensitive information like passwords or banking apps, and even install malware. According to their explanation, the attack makes advantage of “electromagnetic interference (EMI) to inject fake touch points into a touch screen without physically touching it.”

Make note of the fact that this latest attack is aimed. To put it another way, in order to adjust the gadget, it is essential to have knowledge on the make and model of the cell phone belonging to the victim. The attacker may additionally need extra knowledge about it, such as the access code, which has to be obtained via social engineering. This might be a need for the attack. The attack is effective from a distance of up to 40 mm and makes use of the sensitivity of the touch screen to electromagnetic interference (EMI). Attackers have the ability to inject electromagnetic impulses into the implanted electrodes of the screen, which will cause the screen to record these signals as touch events (a touch, exchange, press, or hold).

On a total of nine different smartphone models, including the iPhone SE (2020), the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G, the Redmi 8, and the Nokia 7.2, its efficacy has been shown. If a user’s screen has been hacked, it will begin operating on its own without the user’s intervention. For instance, it will begin answering calls on the user’s behalf or it will become unblocked.

When a mobile device begins visiting arbitrary web sites, entering into the user’s bank account, opening files, playing a movie, or typing on Google without the user’s interaction, this is another clear indication that the device has been compromised.

“You can protect yourself against touchscreen attacks in a number of different ways, including adding more security to your phone and being more vigilant in public places,” the article states. They recommend that you keep your phone in your possession at all times, since this will significantly lower the likelihood that it will be hacked.

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Jan 06 2022

Apple Home software bug could lock you out of your iPhone

Category: Mobile SecurityDISC @ 10:14 am

A security research called Trevor Spiniolas has just published information about a bug he claims has existed in Apple’s iOS operating system since at least version 14.7.

The bug affects the Home app, Apple’s home automation software that lets you control home devices â€“ webcams, doorbells, thermostats, light bulbs, and so on – that support Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem.

Spiniolas has dubbed the bug doorLock, giving it both a logo and a dedicated web page, claiming that although he disclosed it to Apple back in August 2021, the company’s attempts to patch it so far have been incomplete, and his specified deadline of 01 January 2022 for “going live” with details of the flaw has now passed:

I believe this bug is being handled inappropriately as it poses a serious risk to users and many months have passed without a comprehensive fix. The public should be aware of this vulnerability and how to prevent it from being exploited, rather than being kept in the dark.

You’ll have to make your own mind up about whether this bug truly â€śposes a serious risk”, but in this article we’ll tell you how to deal with the issue anyway.

The good news is that the bug doesn’t let attackers spy on your phone (or your HomeKit devices), steal data such as passwords or personal messages, install malware, rack up fraudulent online charges, or mess with your network.

Also, there are some easy ways to avoid getting bitten by this bug in the first place while you wait for Apple to come up with a complete fix.

The bad news is that if an attacker does trick you into triggering the bug, you could end up with a phone that’s so unresponsive that you have to do a firmware reset to get back into the device.

And, as you probably already knew – or, if you didn’t, you know now! – using Device Recovery or DFU (a direct firmware update, where you completely reinitialise the firmware of a recalcitrant iDevice over a USB cable) automatically wipes out all your personal data first.

Which devices are affected?

Spiniolas doesn’t say, but we’re assuming that this same bug is present in iPadOS, which has shipped separately from iOS since version 13, though always with a matching version number.

We also don’t know how far back this bug goes: as mentioned above, Spiniolas says “from iOS 14.7”, which we’re guessing is the earliest version he’s been able to test.

Apple doesn’t allow iPhones and iPads to be downgraded, as a way of preventing would-be jailbreakers from reverting to known-buggy iOS versions in order to reintroduce exploitable security holes on purpose.

iOS Application Security

Tags: iOS Application Security, iPhone, Software Bugs

Sep 02 2021

Zero-Click iPhone Exploits

Category: Smart PhoneDISC @ 2:31 pm

IT’S A SHOCKING revelation: The Bahraini government allegedly purchased and deployed sophisticated malware against human rights activists, including spyware that required no interaction from the victim—no clicked links, no permissions granted—to take hold on their iPhones. But as disturbing as this week’s report from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab may be, it’s also increasingly familiar.

These “zero-click” attacks can happen on any platform, but a string of high-profile hacks show that attackers have homed in on weaknesses in Apple’s iMessage service to execute them. Security researchers say the company’s efforts to resolve the issue haven’t been working—and that there are other steps the company could take to protect its most at-risk users.

Interactionless attacks against current versions of iOS are still extremely rare, and almost exclusively used against a small population of high-profile targets around the world. In other words, the average iPhone owner is very unlikely to encounter them. But the Bahrain incident shows that Apple’s efforts to defuse iMessage risks for its most vulnerable users have not fully succeeded. The question now is how far the company is willing to go to make its messaging platform less of a liability.

“It’s frustrating to think that there is still this un-deletable app on iOS that can accept data and messages from anyone,” says longtime macOS and iOS security researcher Patrick Wardle. “If somebody has a zero-click iMessage exploit, they can just send it from anywhere in the world at any time and hit you.”

The Stealthy iPhone Hacks That Apple Still Can’t Stop

After another “zero-click” attack, security experts say it’s time for more extreme measures to keep iMessage users safe.

Tags: exploits, iPhone, NSO Group, zero click

May 09 2021

iPhone Hack Allegedly Used to Spy on China’s Uyghurs

Category: Smart PhoneDISC @ 10:02 pm

U.S. intelligence said that the Chaos iPhone remote takeover exploit was used against the minority ethnic group before Apple could patch the problem.

In 2019, a Chinese security researcher working with the internet security and antivirus company Qihoo 360 unveiled an intricately woven exploit: One that would allegedly let a remote attacker easily jailbreak an iPhone X iOS 12.1. 

The researcher, Qixun Zhao, dubbed the exploit Chaos, for good reason. As this proof-of-concept video allegedly shows, a successful exploit would allow a remote attacker to jailbreak an iPhoneX, with the targeted user none the wiser, allowing the intruder to gain access to a victim’s data, processing power and more. It worked as a drive-by malware download, only requiring that the iPhone user visit a web page containing Qixun’s malicious code. 

It would have made a superb spying tool, seeing how it would let an attacker easily take control of even the newest, most up-to-date iPhones, enabling a snooper to read a victim’s messages and passwords and to track their location in near-real time. 

Source: iPhone Hack Allegedly Used to Spy on China’s Uyghurs

Tags: China’s Uyghurs, iPhone

Feb 05 2013

Is biometric authentication a new standard for Smartphone’s

Category: Smart PhoneDISC @ 5:07 pm

biometric authentication

Biometric device rely on measurement of biological characteristic of an individual such as fingerprinting, hand geometry, voice recognition and Eris pattern. In this post we will discuss if biometric authorization is going to become a standard technology in the future especially the Finger Print technology which matches with loops and whorls of the finger and compare with the stored data template of an individual and when match is found, access is granted.

Issues surrounding biometric authentication

Significant issues when considering biometric technology is counterfeiting, data storage, user acceptance and reliability. The most significant issue of this technology is the integration with existing infrastructure, more specifically integration with network access software. Continue reading “Is biometric authentication a new standard for Smartphone’s”

Tags: Android, Apple, AuthenTec, Biometrics, Fingerprint, Fujitsu, iPhone, Japan

Dec 28 2009

Hackers’ attacks rise in volume, sophistication

Category: Information SecurityDISC @ 6:41 pm


Year in review for online security attacks – 2009 is going to be known as a year of change in tactics of exploitation, rather than creating more new tools in hacker’s community. They are utilizing social media as a tool to exploit and using built-in trust in social media to their advantage. That’s why stealing social media accounts are considered as a treasure trove in hacker’s community to spread malwares (rogue anti-virus) which helps them to steal personal and private information. This perhaps was another reason why social media community was busy in 2009 changing their security and privacy policy on a frequent basis. Do you think, as social media grow, so does the threat to personal and private information?.

At the same time 2009 comes to an end with a bang with an appointment of Howard Schmidt by Obama’s administration as a cybersecurity coordinator. A great choice indeed but why it took them a whole year to make this important decision. This indecision will cost them, no matter how you look at it. Now hopefully the current administration is going to keep the politics aside and take his recommendations seriously to make up for the lost time.

Alejandro MartĂ­nez-Cabrera, SF Chronicle

Security experts describe the typical hacker of 2009 as more sophisticated, prolific and craftier than ever. If anything, criminals will be remembered by the sheer number of attacks they unleashed upon the Web.

While the year didn’t see many technological leaps in the techniques hackers employ, they continued to expand their reach to every corner of the Internet by leveraging social media, infiltrating trusted Web sites, and crafting more convincing and tailored scams.

Although there were a handful of firsts – like the first iPhone worm – most attacks in 2009 were near-identical to tactics used in prior years, changing only in the victims they targeted and their level of sophistication.

One of the most preoccupying trends was personalized attacks designed to steal small and medium business owners’ online banking credentials. The scheme was particularly damaging because banks take less responsibility for the monetary losses of businesses than of individual consumers in identity theft cases.

In October, the FBI estimated small and medium businesses have lost at least $40 million to cyber-crime since 2004.

Attacks continued to plague larger organizations. The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the FBI was investigating the online theft of tens of millions of dollars from Citigroup, which has denied the incident.

Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, said criminals shifted the focus of their tactics from developing attack techniques to improving the social engineering of their scams.

“It’s not the tools but the skills. That’s a new idea,” he said.

One example is rogue antivirus schemes, which often trick computer users with a fake infection. Criminals then obtain their victims’ credit card information as they pay for a false product, all the while installing the very malicious software they were seeking to repel.

Even though these scams have been around for several years, they have become more a popular tactic among criminals because they pressure potential victims into making on-the-spot decisions.

“People have been told to look out for viruses and want to do the right thing. There’s security awareness now, but the criminals are taking advantage of their limited knowledge,” said Mike Dausin, a researcher with network security firm TippingPoint’s DVLabs.

Chester Wisniewski, senior adviser for software security firm Sophos, said social networks also continued to be an important target for attackers. Despite Facebook and Twitter’s efforts to beef up their security, it has become a common tactic for scammers to hijack Facebook accounts and post malicious links on the walls of the victim’s friends or distribute harmful content through tweets.

“We haven’t had this before – a place where all kinds of people go and dump their information, which makes it very valuable for criminals,” Wisniewski said. “It’s kind of a gold mine for identity thieves to get on people’s Facebook account.”

Using PDFs
Another common ploy was malicious software that piggybacked on common third-party applications like Adobe PDFs and Flash animations.

Although Adobe scrambled this year to improve its software update procedures and roll out patches more frequently, criminals have increasingly exploited the coding flaws in Adobe products in particular because of their ubiquity and the abundance of vulnerable old code, said Roel Schouwenberg, senior virus analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

By using ad networks or taking advantage of exploitable Web programming errors to insert malicious content, criminals cemented their presence in legitimate Web sites and made 2009, according to anti-malware firm Dasient, the year of the “drive-by download,” in which users only have to visit a compromised Web site to become infected.

An October report from the San Jose company estimated that 640,000 legitimate Web sites became infected in the third quarter of 2009, compared with 120,000 infected sites during the same period of 2008.

Damaging reputations
The trend was not only a security threat for consumers, but also stood to damage the reputation and traffic of the victimized Web sites. In September, a fake antivirus pop-up made its way into the New York Times’ Web site by infiltrating the company’s ad network.

Researchers also noted a high volume of attacks disguised as content related to popular news items – anything from Michael Jackson to the swine flu – to coax Web users into downloading malicious content. This closing year also saw a handful of notorious politically motivated online attacks, and the issue of national cybersecurity continued to gain prominence.

On Dec. 18, Twitter’s home page was defaced by hackers calling themselves the “Iranian Cyber Army,” although authorities said there was no evidence they were in fact connected to Iran. An August attack on a Georgian blogger also indirectly affected the popular microblogging site and brought it down for several hours.

In July, several U.S. and South Korean government Web sites went offline after being hit by a denial-of-service attack that South Korea has attributed to a North Korean ministry. U.S. defense officials revealed in April that hackers have stolen thousands of files on one of the military’s most advanced fighter aircrafts.

“Now it’s in the agenda of every government to pay attention to the cyberworld,” Schouwenberg said.

Security coordinator
On Tuesday, the White House announced the appointment of Howard A. Schmidt as the Obama administration’s new cybersecurity coordinator. Schmidt occupied a similar post under the Bush administration.

Even though crime continued to evolve into a more organized and compartmentalized operation this year, experts believe a new White House administration conscientious of threats and partnerships between law enforcement agencies and security firms offer encouraging signs for next year.

An example is the Conficker Work Group, an international industry coalition that joined to mitigate the spread of the Conficker worm. The group also collaborates with law enforcement agencies by providing them with forensic information.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen such partnership between countries. Typically it’s the Wild West and nobody is in charge of anything. Now it’s clear there’s a lot more international collaboration,” Dausin said.

Tags: antivirus, cybersecurity coordinator, Denial-of-service attack, facebook, hacker, howard schmidt, Identity Theft, iPhone, Law enforcement agency, Malware, Michael Jackson, South Korea, Twitter