Security

It's not just banking apps...

You thought the news about banking apps was bad. Well, it's not just the banking apps...

The Starbucks mobile app, the most used mobile-payment app in the U.S., has been storing usernames, email addresses and passwords in clear text, Starbucks executives confirmed late on Tuesday (Jan. 14). The credentials were stored in such a way that anyone with access to the phone can see the passwords and usernames by connecting the phone to a PC. No jailbreaking of the phone is necessary. And that clear text also displays an extensive list of geolocation tracking points (latitude, longitude), a treasure trove of security and privacy gems for anyone who steals the phone.

So You Thought Your Personal Banking App Was Secure...

IOActive have just published a report covering the security of online banking apps for mobile devices. They found that:

  • 90% of the apps they tested had security vulnerabilities.
  • 70% of the apps offered no support at all for two-factor authentication.
    This is where a third token is used for extra security in addition to the user name and password. It could be a picture identification, a pin code, or one-time password sent via SMS (text message) to the user.
  • 40% of the apps accepted any SSL certificate for secure HTTP traffic.
    This is a major issue as it completely invalidates the chain of trust between you and your bank, and allows anyone to misdirect you to a phishing site, for example while you are using an untrusted network such as a Wi-Fi hotspot. The magnitude of this issue is that you cannot detect this happening, and there's nothing you can do to stop it.

You thought your browser was secure...

[Update: 4th Feb 2014 - Firefox 27 enables TLS 1.1 and 1.2 by default now]

If you think your web browser is secure, think again. If you run over to How's My SSL?, you will get a quick summary of what your browser looks like to the outside world.

Even if you keep up with the current release version, you'll be surprised to find your browser will probably get the following report:

Your SSL client is Bad.

Why? Because the latest security features in your browser includes may be installed disabled.

Of Proxies And Porn....

In a previous blog post, I mentioned that SSL proxy servers, deployed in 1999, were used for finding and monitoring the downloading of porn. In the context of that blog post, this was originally done to find employees who were wasting work time, and provide a solid reason for terminating a non-productive employee without the unions pitching a fit.

Fast forward to 2013, and that same tech is being used to "undermine a target's credibility, reputation and authority"...

Weaponizing the Internet...

Here's a gem:

According to revelations about the QUANTUM program, the NSA can “shoot” (their words) an exploit at any target it desires as his or her traffic passes across the backbone... Which means the rest of us — and especially any company or individual whose operations are economically or politically significant — are now targets. All cleartext traffic is not just information being sent from sender to receiver, but is a possible attack vector.