Apple addressed two zero-day vulnerabilities, exploited by threat actors, affecting iOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices.
The two flaws are:
- CVE-2022-32893 – An out-of-bounds issue in WebKit which. An attacker can trigger the flaw by tricking target devices into processing maliciously crafted web content to achieve arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.
- CVE-2022-32894 – An out-of-bounds issue in the OS Kernel that could be exploited by a malicious application to execute arbitrary code with the highest privileges.
The vulnerabilities have been fixed with the release iOS 15.6.1, iPadOS 15.6.1, and macOS Monterey 12.5.1. The iOS and iPadOS updates are available for iPhone 6s and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation).
The IT giant solved both the vulnerabilities with improved bounds checking.
Apple has addressed other six zero-day vulnerabilities since January, below is the list of fixed issues:
- January 2022: CVE-2022-22587 and CVE-2022-22594.
- February 2022: CVE-2022-22620.
- March 2022: CVE-2022-22674 and CVE-2022-22675.
- May 2022: CVE-2022-22675
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Apple)
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Exploit code for a critical vulnerability affecting networking devices using Realtek RTL819x system on a chip released online.
The PoC exploit code for a critical stack-based buffer overflow issue, tracked as CVE-2022-27255 (CVSS 9.8), affecting networking devices using Realtek’s RTL819x system on a chip was released online. The issue resides in the Realtek’s SDK for the open-source eCos operating system, it was discovered by researchers from cybersecurity firm Faraday Security
“On Realtek eCos SDK-based routers, the ‘SIP ALG’ module is vulnerable to buffer overflow. The root cause of the vulnerability is insufficient validation on the received buffer, and unsafe calls to strcpy. The ‘SIP ALG’ module calls strcpy to copy some contents of SIP packets to a predefined fixed buffer and does not check the length of the copied contents.” reads the advisory published by Realtek, which published the issue in March 2022. “A remote attacker can exploit the vulnerability through a WAN interface by crafting arguments in SDP data or the SIP header to make a specific SIP packet, and the successful exploitation would cause a crash or achieve the remote code execution.”
Millions of devices, including routers and access points, are exposed to hacking.
A remote attacker can exploit the flaw to execute arbitrary code without authentication by sending to the vulnerable devices specially crafted SIP packets with malicious SDP data.
The issue is very dangerous because the exploitation doesn’t require user interaction.
The PoC code developed by the experts works against Nexxt Nebula 300 Plus routers.
“This repository contains the materials for the talk “Exploring the hidden attack surface of OEM IoT devices: pwning thousands of routers with a vulnerability in Realtek’s SDK for eCos OS.”, which was presented at DEFCON30.” reads the description provided with the exploit code on GitHub.
The repo includes:
analysis: Automated firmware analysis to detect the presence of CVE-2022-27255 (Run
- exploits_nexxt: PoC and exploit code. The PoC should work on every affected router, however the exploit code is specific for the Nexxt Nebula 300 Plus router.
- ghidra_scripts: Vulnerable function call searching script and CVE-2022-27255 detection script.
- DEFCON: Slide deck & poc video.
Johannes Ullrich, Dean of Research at SANS shared a Snort rule that can be used to detect PoC exploit attempt.
“The rule looks for “INVITE” messages that contain the string “m=audio “. It triggers if there are more than 128 bytes following the string (128 bytes is the size of the buffer allocated by the Realtek SDK) and if none of those bytes is a carriage return. The rule may even work sufficiently well without the last content match. Let me know if you see any errors or improvements.” wrote the expert.
Slides for the DEFCON presentation along with exploits, and a detection script for CVE-2022-27255 are available in this GitHub repository.
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Realtek)
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A China-linked APT group named RedAlpha is behind a long-running mass credential theft campaign aimed at organizations worldwide.
Recorded Future researchers attributed a long-running mass credential theft campaign to a Chinese nation-state actor tracked RedAlpha. The campaign targeted global humanitarian, think tank, and government organizations.
Experts believe RedAlpha is a group of contractors conducting cyber-espionage activity on behalf of China. Recorded Future identified a link between RedAlpha and a Chinese information security company, whose name appears in the registration of multiple RedAlpha domains. The company called “Nanjing Qinglan Information Technology Co., Ltd.” is now known as “Jiangsu Cimer Information Security Technology Co. Ltd.
“In this activity, RedAlpha very likely sought to gain access to email accounts and other online communications of targeted individuals and organizations.” reads the report published by Recorded Future.
“RedAlpha’s humanitarian and human rights-linked targeting and spoofing of organizations such as Amnesty International and FIDH is particularly concerning given the CCP’s reported human rights abuses in relation to Uyghurs, Tibetans, and other ethnic and religious minority groups in China.”
Since 2019, RedAlpha registering and weaponizing hundreds of domains that were spoofing organizations such as the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Amnesty International, the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), Radio Free Asia (RFA), the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), and other global government, think tank, and humanitarian organizations.
Experts also noticed that the attackers used domains spoofing major email and storage service providers like Yahoo (135 typosquat domains), Google (91 typosquat domains), and Microsoft (70 typosquat domains). The domains some cases were hosting fake login pages for popular email providers such as Outlook and Zimbra.
The attackers sent out phishing messages leading victims to phishing pages posing as legitimate email login portals. Experts believe attackers target individuals affiliated with the above organizations rather than imitating these organizations to target other third parties.
The attack vector is phishing emails containing PDF files that embed malicious links that point to the phishing login pages.
“RedAlpha’s activity has expanded over the past several years to include credential-phishing campaigns spoofing ministries of foreign affairs in multiple countries.” continues the report. “We observed phishing pages imitating webmail login portals for Taiwan and Portugal’s MOFAs, as well as multiple domains spoofing Brazil and Vietnam’s MOFAs.”
“Based on these findings and wider activity examined, it is very likely that RedAlpha operators are located within the PRC. Chinese intelligence services’ use of private contractors is also an established trend, with groups such as APT3, APT10, RedBravo (APT31), and APT40 all identified as contractors working for China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) (1,2,3,4).” concludes the report. “In the case of RedAlpha, the group’s targeting closely aligns with the strategic interests of the Chinese government, such as the observed emphasis on China-focused think tanks, civil society organizations, and Taiwanese government and political entities.”
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, RedAlpha)
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Researchers have discovered a previously undocumented Android dropper, dubbed BugDrop, that’s still under development.
Recently, researchers from ThreatFabric discovered a previously undetected Android dropper, dubbed BugDrop, which is under active development and was designed to bypass security features that will be implemented in the next release of the Google OS.
The experts noticed something unusual in the latest sample of the malware family Xenomorph, it was an improved version of the threat that included RAT capabilities by using “Runtime modules”. The Runtime modules allow the malware to perform gestures, touches, and other operations.
The new version of Xenomorph was dropped by the BugDrop malware which is able to defeat security measures that Google will introduce to prevent malware requesting Accessibility Services privileges from victims.
The dropper was developed by a cybercriminal group known as Hadoken Security, which is the same threat actor that is behind Xenomorph and Gymdrop Android malware.
The malicious application spotted by the researchers poses as a QR code reader.
Upon launching the application it will request the Accessibility Services access to the user to perform gestures and touches on behalf of the victim.
“Once granted, while showing a loading screen, the dropper initiates a connection with its onion.ws C2, which relies on the TOR protocol, obtaining back its configuration and the URL of the payload to download and install.” reads the analysis of the experts. “Throughout the course of our investigation, this URL changed from being one of the samples in the open folder, to an external URL again referring to QR code scanners functionalities, which used a endpoint very similar to what was used by Gymdrop samples that we observed in the wild in the last few months.”
The presence of instructions in the dropper code to send error messages back to the C2 suggests it is still under development.
The experts noticed that starting with Android 13, Google is blocking accessibility API access to apps installed from outside of the official app store.
However, BugDrop, attempts to bypass this security measure by deploying malicious payloads via a session-based installation process.
“In this context, it is important to remind the new security features of Android 13, which will be released in fall of 2022. With this new release, Google introduced the “restricted setting” feauture, which blocks sideloaded applications from requesting Accessibility Services privileges, limiting this kind of request to applications installed with a session-based API (which is the method usually used by app stores).” states the analysis. “With this in mind, it is clear what criminals are trying to achieve. What is likely happening is that actors are using an already built malware, capable of installing new APKs on an infected device, to test a session based installation method, which would then later be incorporated in a more elaborate and refined dropper.”
Upon completing the development of the new features, BugDrop will give attackers new capabilities to target banking institutions and bypass security solutions currently being adopted by Google.
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, BugDrop)
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Google addressed a dozen vulnerabilities in the Chrome browser, including the fifth Chrome zero-day flaw exploited this year.
Google this week released security updates to address a dozen vulnerabilities in its Chrome browser for desktops including an actively exploited high-severity zero-day flaw in the wild.
The actively exploited flaw, tracked as CVE-2022-2856, is an Insufficient validation of untrusted input in Intents. The flaw was discovered by Ashley Shen and Christian Resell of Google Threat Analysis Group on 19 July 2022.
“Google is aware that an exploit for CVE-2022-2856 exists in the wild.” reads the advisory published by Google.
Google did not share technical details about the issue to prevent further exploitation in the wild.
The IT giant also fixed a critical issue, tracked as CVE-2022-2852, which is use after free in FedCM. This issue was reported by Google Project Zero researcher Sergei Glazunov on August 2, 2022.
Below is the list of the other issues addressed by the company:
- [$7000] High CVE-2022-2854: Use after free in SwiftShader. Reported by Cassidy Kim of Amber Security Lab, OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp. Ltd. on 2022-06-18
- [$7000] High CVE-2022-2855: Use after free in ANGLE. Reported by Cassidy Kim of Amber Security Lab, OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp. Ltd. on 2022-07-16
- [$5000] High CVE-2022-2857: Use after free in Blink. Reported by Anonymous on 2022-06-21
- [$5000] High CVE-2022-2858: Use after free in Sign-In Flow. Reported by raven at KunLun lab on 2022-07-05
- [$NA] High CVE-2022-2853: Heap buffer overflow in Downloads. Reported by Sergei Glazunov of Google Project Zero on 2022-08-04
- [$3000] Medium CVE-2022-2859: Use after free in Chrome OS Shell. Reported by Nan Wang(@eternalsakura13) and Guang Gong of 360 Alpha Lab on 2022-06-22
- [$2000] Medium CVE-2022-2860: Insufficient policy enforcement in Cookies. Reported by Axel Chong on 2022-07-18
- [$TBD] Medium CVE-2022-2861: Inappropriate implementation in Extensions API. Reported by Rong Jian of VRI on 2022-07-21
- CVE-2022-2294 (July 4) – Heap buffer overflow in the Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) component
- CVE-2022-0609 – (February 14) – use after free issue that resides in the Animation component.
Users should update to version 104.0.5112.101 for macOS and Linux and 104.0.5112.102/101 for Windows.
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Chrome)
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The North Korea-linked Lazarus Group has been observed targeting job seekers with macOS malware working also on Intel and M1 chipsets.
ESET researchers continue to monitor a cyberespionage campaign, tracked as “Operation In(ter)ception,” that has been active at least since June 2020. The campaign targets employees working in the aerospace and military sectors and leverages decoy job offer documents.
ESET published a series of tweets detailing the recent attacks, the experts spotted a signed Mac executable disguised as a job description for Coinbase. The malicious code was uploaded to VirusTotal from Brazil on August 11, 2022.
Malware is compiled for both Intel and Apple Silicon, it drops three files: a decoy PDF document Coinbase_online_careers_2022_07.pdf, a bundle http://FinderFontsUpdater.app and a downloader safarifontagent. The discovery is similar to other attacks detected by ESET researches in May.
The bundle employed in the attack is signed July 21 using a certificate issued in February 2022 to a developer named Shankey Nohria and team identifier 264HFWQH63.
“The application is not notarized and Apple has revoked the certificate on August 12.” states ESET.
Experts noticed that unlike May attacks, the downloader safarifontagent connects to a different C&C server (https://concrecapital[.]com/%user%.jpg). The C2 server did not respond at the time ESET experts analyzed this malware.
The researcher @h2jazi also discovered a Windows counterpart of this malware on August 4, it was dropping the exact same decoy.
ESET also shared Indicators of compromise (IoCs) for this threat.
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, North Korea)
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Researchers uncovered a new flaw, dubbed ÆPIC, in Intel CPUs that enables attackers to obtain encryption keys and other secret information from the processors.
ÆPIC Leak works on the newest Intel CPUs based on Ice Lake, Alder Lake, and Ice Lake SP and does not rely on hyperthreading enabled.
“A potential security vulnerability in some Intel® Processors may allow information disclosure.Intel is releasing firmware updates to address this potential vulnerability.” reads the advisory published by Intel.
“Improper isolation of shared resources in some Intel(R) Processors may allow a privileged user to potentially enable information disclosure via local access.”
The discovery of the flaw is the result of research conducted by boffins from the Sapienza University of Rome, the Graz University of Technology, Amazon Web Services, and the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security.
Unlike Meltdown and Spectre, ÆPIC Leak is an architectural bug, which means that the sensitive data are disclosed without relying on side channel attacks
“ÆPIC Leak is like an uninitialized memory read in the CPU itself.” reads the description published by the researchers. “A privileged attacker (Administrator or root) is required to access APIC MMIO. Thus, most systems are safe from ÆPIC Leak. However, systems relying on SGX to protect data from privileged attackers would be at risk, thus, have to be patched.”
“The scan of the I/O address space on Intel CPUs based on the Sunny Cove microarchitecture revealed that the memory-mapped registers of the local Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller (APIC) are not properly initialized. As a result, architecturally reading these registers returns stale data from the microarchitecture.” reads the research paper. “As the I/O address space is only accessible to privileged software, ÆPIC Leak targets Intel’s TEE, SGX. ÆPIC Leak can leak data from SGX enclaves that run on the same physical core. While ÆPIC Leak would represent an immense threat in virtualized environments, hypervisors typically do not expose the local APIC registers to virtual machines, eliminating the threat in cloud-based scenarios.”
The experts tested the ÆPIC Leak issue with 100 different random keys and tried to leak the AES keys with a single run of the attack. The results are that full key recovery takes on average 1.35 s
(n = 100, σ = 15.70%) with a success rate of 94 %
The flaw enables an attacker with permissions to execute privileged native code on a target machine to extract the private keys, and worse defeat attestation, a cornerstone of the security primitives used in SGX to ensure the integrity of code and data.
“We show attacks that allow leaking data held in memory and registers. We demonstrate how ÆPIC Leak completely breaks the guarantees provided by SGX, deterministically leaking AES secret keys, RSA private keys, and extracting the SGX sealing key for remote attestation.” concludes the paper.
The researchers also propose several firmware and software mitigations that would prevent ÆPIC Leak from leaking sensitive data or completely prevent ÆPIC Leak.
Intel has already released firmware updates to address the flaw.
The experts published a video demo to show how an attacker can disclose data from a protected SGX enclave.
The development comes as researchers demonstrated what’s the first-ever side channel attack (CVE-2021-46778) on scheduler queues impacting AMD Zen 1, Zen 2, and Zen 3 microarchitectures that could be abused by an adversary to recover RSA keys.
The attack, codenamed SQUIP (short for Scheduler Queue Usage via Interference Probing), entails measuring the contention level on scheduler queues to potentially glean sensitive information.
No security updates have been released to patch the line of attack, but the chipmaker has recommended that “software developers employ existing best practices, including constant-time algorithms and avoiding secret-dependent control flows where appropriate.”
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, ÆPIC Leak)
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Zoom addressed two high-severity vulnerabilities in its macOS app that were disclosed at the DEF CON conference.
Zoom last week released macOS updates to fix two high-severity flaws in its macOS app that were disclosed at the DEF CON conference. Technical details of the vulnerabilities were disclosed at the DEF CON conference by security researcher Patrick Wardle during its talk “You’re M̶u̶t̶e̶d̶ Rooted.”
In his talk, the expert explored Zoom’s macOS application to uncover several critical security flaws that can be exploited by a local unprivileged attacker to achieve root access to the device.
Wardle demonstrated that an attacker could hijack the update mechanism to downgrade the software to an older version that is known to be affected by vulnerabilities.
The experts pointed out that macOS users are not prompted for their admin password when Zoom is updated, because the auto-update feature is enabled by default.
Zoom informed customers last week that macOS updates for the Zoom application patch two high-severity vulnerabilities. Details of the flaws were disclosed on Friday at the DEF CON conference in Las Vegas by macOS security researcher Patrick Wardle.
Wardle, who is the founder of the Objective-See Foundation, a non-profit that provides free and open source macOS security resources, showed at DEF CON how a local, unprivileged attacker could exploit vulnerabilities in Zoom’s update process to escalate privileges to root.
“In this talk, we’ll explore Zoom’s macOS application to uncover several critical security flaws. Flaws, that provided a local unprivileged attacker a direct and reliable path to root.” Wardle explained. The first flaw, presents itself subtly in a core cryptographic validation routine, while the second is due to a nuanced trust issue between Zoom’s client and its privileged helper component.”
Wardle demonstrated that a local attacker abusing the auto-update process and leveraging a cryptographic issue related to insecure update package signature validation can install an update package.
Zoom addressed some related vulnerabilities in the past months, but Wardle explained that he was still able to exploit them in his attack. The day after the talk, the company released Client for Meetings for macOS 5.11.5 that fix the auto-update process vulnerability (CVE-2022-28756). The company also announced Version 5.11.3 which addresses the packet signature validation issue (CVE-2022-28751).
Zoom also addressed other critical and high-severity vulnerabilities:
- CVE-2022-28753, CVE-2022-28754: Zoom On-Premise Deployments: Improper Access Control Vulnerability (HIGH)
- CVE-2022-28755: Improper URL parsing in Zoom Clients (CRITICAL)
- CVE-2022-28752: Local Privilege Escalation in the Zoom Rooms for Windows Client (HIGH)
- CVE-2022-28750: Zoom On-Premise Deployments: Stack Buffer Overflow in Meeting Connector (HIGH)
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, macOS)
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