Skip to main content

"BadUSB" Is Pretty Bad - And The Code Is Now Out

The so-called BadUSB firmware vulnerability seems to be pretty dire, and now the exploit code is available on Github. Given that this is reportedly an "unpatchable" vulnerability and potentially affects all manner of USB devices, putting it "out there" seems like an extraordinarily bad idea.
Previously, it was demonstrated by Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, showcasing that the firmware of USB devices made by Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Phison could be injected with undetectable, unfixable malware.
Crucially, however, Nohl did not release the code used for the exploit at the time. But Caudill and Wilson have subsequently made the decision to release fuller details about BadUSB at the recent DerbyCon hacking conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
“The belief we have is that all of this should be public. It shouldn’t be held back. So we’re releasing everything we’ve got,” Caudill said to the audience at DerbyCon. “This was largely inspired by the fact that [SR Labs] didn’t release their material. If you’re going to prove that there’s a flaw, you need to release the material so people can defend against it.”
The vulnerability functions by modifying USB device firmware, hiding malicious code in USB sticks and other devices in a way that is undetectable. Even wiping the contents of a device doesn’t work, and Wired called the vulnerability “practically unpatchable.”
Once a USB device is infected, it will attempt to infect anything it connects to, or any USB stick that comes into it.
 Lumension

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

VPN Use Is Up, Up, Up

Since the repeal of the Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules, VPN use and traffic is rather predictably spiking, according to many VPN providers. VPNs are not the b-all and end-all of privacy though, and indeed the usual cretins have stepped in to provide shady VPN services that may actually sell on user data.

Also remember:
ISPs still track your location data and DNS records, even if you're using a VPN. Similarly, a VPN doesn't stop a company from using on-device snoopware to track you (remember Carrier IQ?). Neither will it stop ISPs from charging you a premium for privacy (something both AT&T and Comcast have already experimented with). Nor will a VPN stop a company from using your credit score to provide worse customer service (something CableONE has crowed about). DSL Reports

Microsoft's Mild Mea Culpa Over Windows 10 Obscure Upgrade "Choice"

In a cleansing act before the turn of the year, a Microsoft bigwig has admitted that they may have gotten a little carried away in their zeal to upgrade as many users as possible to Windows 10.
Specifically, Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela referred to the upgrade notification that appeared to be deliberately deceptive in the way it handled a users response. If a user clicked the red "X" at the top right of the notice, that closed the dialog box but went ahead and installed the upgrade anyway.
To actually not accept the upgrade, you had to click a link in the notification window itself. Not a few users would come back later and find their system upgraded to Windows 10, or in the process of doing so, when they thought they had expressed their wish not to do so. "Within a couple of hours of that hitting the world, with the listening systems we have, we knew that we had gone too far and then, of course, it takes some time to roll out the update that changes that …

pCloud Cloud Storage On Linux

As a cheapskate user of the Dropbox free plan, I was looking to see if there was another provider that offered a little more free storage than the 2GB from Dropbox (I actually have 2.5GB, due to a couple of bonus offers).
After a bit of research, I came up with Swiss-based pCloud: it has a client for Linux, as well as Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. The free tier offers 10GB of Cloud storage with no file size limits, which is fantastic for my (pretty basic) needs. You can set up your account first from the pCloud website, or during the client install process.