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Zero-day disclosed in Android OS



Details about a zero-day vulnerbility impacting the Android mobile operating system have been published online, yesterday, September 4.

The vulnerability resides in how the Video for Linux (V4L2) driver that’s included with the Android OS handles input data.

Feeding the driver malicious input can allow an attacker to elevate their access from a lowly user to root access.

The good news is that this vulnerability — categorized as a privilege escalation issue — can’t be exploited remotely. Attackers need local access, meaning they need to plant malicious code on the device beforehand.

This zero-day can’t be used to break into users’ phones, but it can be used to make hacks much worse, by allowing attackers to take full control of a device, post the initial infection.

Zero-day can be easily weaponized

One scenario where this zero-day can come in handy is when malware authors bundle it within malicious apps they distribute via the official Play Store or through third-party app stores.

After the user installs one of these malicious apps, the zero-day can grant the malicious app root access, and the app can then carry out any operations it wants — stealing user data, downloading other apps, etc..

This is how all privilege escalation bugs are normally used on Android devices.

Some security experts might play down the importance of this zero-day — which hasn’t received a CVE number yet — but privilege escalation vulnerabilities are very easy to weaponize on the Android ecosystem, unlike on most other operating systems, where they’re not considered a priority.

For example, nowadays, many malicious Android apps come bundled with the Dirty COW privilege escalation exploit that lets the apps gain root access on older Android smartphones.

Android devs were notified, but failed to deliver a patch

However, despite a history of malicious apps abusing privilege escalation bugs to gain root access, the maintainers of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) have not patched this one.

They had all the time in the world, since the issue was first reported to AOSP back in March this year, after being discovered by two Trend Micro security researchers. In spite of acknowleding the bug report and promising a patch, the fix never came.

Yesterday, Trend Micro researchers went public with their findings after Google published the September 2019 Android Security Bulletin, which didn’t include a fix for their bug.

For the moment, there’s no easy solution to prevent malicious apps from exploiting this issue.

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The Five Pillars of (Azure) Cloud-based Application Security



This 1-hour webinar from GigaOm brings together experts in Azure cloud application migration and security, featuring GigaOm analyst Jon Collins and special guests from Fortinet, Director of Product Marketing for Public Cloud, Daniel Schrader, and Global Director of Public Cloud Architecture and Engineering, Aidan Walden.

These interesting times have accelerated the drive towards digital transformation, application rationalization, and migration to cloud-based architectures. Enterprise organizations are looking to increase efficiency, but without impacting performance or increasing risk, either from infrastructure resilience or end-user behaviors.

Success requires a combination of best practice and appropriate use of technology, depending on where the organization is on its cloud journey. Elements such as zero-trust access and security-driven networking need to be deployed in parallel with security-first operations, breach prevention and response.

If you are looking to migrate applications to the cloud and want to be sure your approach maximizes delivery whilst minimizing risk, this webinar is for you.

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Data Management and Secure Data Storage for the Enterprise



This free 1-hour webinar from GigaOm Research brings together experts in data management and security, featuring GigaOm Analyst Enrico Signoretti and special guest from RackTop Systems, Jonathan Halstuch. The discussion will focus on data storage and how to protect data against cyberattacks.

Most of the recent news coverage and analysis of cyberattacks focus on hackers getting access and control of critical systems. Yet rarely is it mentioned that the most valuable asset for the organizations under attack is the data contained in these systems.

In this webinar, you will learn about the risks and costs of a poor data security management approach, and how to improve your data storage to prevent and mitigate the consequences of a compromised infrastructure.

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CISO Podcast: Talking Anti-Phishing Solutions



Simon Gibson earlier this year published the report, “GigaOm Radar for Phishing Prevention and Detection,” which assessed more than a dozen security solutions focused on detecting and mitigating email-borne threats and vulnerabilities. As Gibson noted in his report, email remains a prime vector for attack, reflecting the strategic role it plays in corporate communications.

Earlier this week, Gibson’s report was a featured topic of discussions on David Spark’s popular CISO Security Vendor Relationship Podcast. In it, Spark interviewed a pair of chief information security officers—Mike Johnson, CISO for SalesForce, and James Dolph, CISO for Guidewire Software—to get their take on the role of anti-phishing solutions.

“I want to first give GigaOm some credit here for really pointing out the need to decide what to do with detections,” Johnson said when asked for his thoughts about selecting an anti-phishing tool. “I think a lot of companies charge into a solution for anti-phishing without thinking about what they are going to do when the thing triggers.”

As Johnson noted, the needs and vulnerabilities of a large organization aligned on Microsoft 365 are very different from those of a smaller outfit working with GSuite. A malicious Excel macro-laden file, for example, poses a credible threat to a Microsoft shop and therefore argues for a detonation solution to detect and neutralize malicious payloads before they can spread and morph. On the other hand, a smaller company is more exposed to business email compromise (BEC) attacks, since spending authority is often spread among many employees in these businesses.

Gibson’s radar report describes both in-line and out-of-band solutions, but Johnson said cloud-aligned infrastructures argue against traditional in-line schemes.

“If you put an in-line solution in front of [Microsoft] 365 or in front of GSuite, you are likely decreasing your reliability, because you’ve now introduced this single point of failure. Google and Microsoft have this massive amount of reliability that is built in,” Johnson said.

So how should IT decision makers go about selecting an anti-phishing solution? Dolph answered that question with a series of questions of his own:

“Does it nail the basics? Does it fit with the technologies we have in place? And then secondarily, is it reliable, is it tunable, is it manageable?” he asked. “Because it can add a lot overhead, especially if you have a small team if these tools are really disruptive to the email flow.”

Dolph concluded by noting that it’s important for solutions to provide insight that can help organizations target their protections, as well as support both training and awareness around threats. Finally, he urged organizations to consider how they can measure the effectiveness of solutions.

“I may look at other solutions in the future and how do I compare those solutions to the benchmark of what we have in place?”

Listen to the Podcast: CISO Podcast

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