Dell Issues Removal Tool for Superfish-Like Vulnerability

25 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Dell’s security-shattering PC root certificate debacle: What you need to know.

In an attempt to streamline remote support, Dell installed a self-signed root certificate and corresponding private key on its customers’ computers, apparently without realizing that this exposes users’ encrypted communications to potential spying.GAUGING THE ISLAMIC STATE’S CAPABILITIES ONLINE: Is the Islamic State actually tech savvy, or has its online prowess been overblown in the aftermath of the Paris attacks? “The group’s technological knowhow is becoming more widespread.If you’ve noticed articles on Facebook loading a little quicker recently, that’s because the new Instant Articles have been launched to all iPhone users. Even more surprising is that the company did this while being fully aware of a very similar security blunder by one of its competitors, Lenovo, that came to light in February.

Analysts have noticed members sharing online pamphlets that teach the basics of hiding online communication from the watchful eyes of governments that want to track them,” Mashable writes. “Yet … the most high-profile cyberattack arguably occurred when ISIS supporters took over the U.S. military’s Central Command YouTube and Twitter accounts — more of an embarrassment to the military than an actual problem.” DELL ADMITS SECURITY HOLE: Some recently shipped Dell laptops contain a security hole that could provide a way in for hackers, the company acknowledged. “A pre-installed program on some newly purchased Dell laptops that can only be removed manually by consumers makes them vulnerable to cyber intrusions that may allow hackers to read encrypted messages and redirect browser traffic to spoofs of real websites such as Google or those belonging to a bank, among other attacks,” Reuters reports. “Dell declined to say how many computers or which specific models are affected. Instant Articles load up to 10 times quicker than a regular article, and have some enriched features – such as unobtrusive autoplay videos, zoomable high-definition images and interactive maps Gamers looking forward to playing Halo 5: Guardians on its release on 27 October 2015 will have to wait to download a 9GB day one patch before the game’s multiplayer mode can run properly. The software began getting installed on laptops in August, according to a spokeswoman.” THE TOLL OF ONLINE HARASSMENT: The Daily Dot tells the story of a family in Oswego, Ill., who says their life is being upended by an online hacker across the Atlantic: “Since 2010, the Straters have been under assault from an online campaign of ever-increasing harassment—prank deliveries, smear attacks, high-profile hacks, and threats of violence against schools and law enforcement officials in their name—and it’s slowly torn them apart. Those without the patch won’t even be able to play multiplayer at all until it’s downloaded, in yet another case of a blockbuster game needing a patch on the day of launch HTC has launched its latest Desire 626 handset with the Sense 7 software which automatically detects whether you’re at work, at home or on-the-go and alters its theme to suit your location. In Dell’s case it was one of the company’s own support tools, which is arguably even worse because Dell bears full responsibility for the decision.

Masterminding it all, Blair charges, is a teenage computer hacker from Finland, at war with him over a seemingly minor dispute spun completely out of control. This advanced technology intelligently analyses your favourite photos to modify the look and feel of your apps, allowing you to modify the colour scheme and backgrounds – the ultimate in personalisation Nasa has announced that it has found evidence of flowing water on Mars. Scientists have long speculated that Recurring Slope Lineae — or dark patches — on Mars were made up of briny water but the new findings prove that those patches are caused by liquid water, which it has established by finding hydrated salts.

The product pages for Dell’s Inspiron 20 and XPS 27 All-in-One desktops, Inspiron 14 5000 Series, Inspiron 15 7000 Series, Inspiron 17 7000 Series laptops and probably other products, read: “Worried about Superfish? Each application we pre-load undergoes security, privacy and usability testing to ensure that our customers experience the best possible computing performance, faster set-up and reduced privacy and security concerns.” The eDellRoot self-signed certificate is installed in the Windows certificate store under the “Trusted Root Certification Authorities.” This means that any SSL/TLS or code-signing certificate that is signed with the eDellRoot certificate’s private key will be trusted by browsers, desktop email clients and other applications that run on affected Dell systems. The company released the new phone with much fanfare, but almost all of the changes — a new camera and pressure-sensitive display — were on the inside. For example, attackers can use the eDellRoot private key, which is now publicly available online, to generate certificates for any HTTPS-enabled websites. In these so-called Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks, the attackers intercept users’ HTTPS requests to a secure website—bankofamerica.com for example.

However, the certificate is actually installed by the Dell Foundation Services (DFS) application which, according to its release notes, is available on laptops, desktops, all-in-ones, two-in-ones, and towers from various Dell product lines, including XPS, OptiPlex, Inspiron, Vostro and Precision Tower. Researchers from security firm Duo Security found a second eDellRoot certificate with a different fingerprint on 24 systems scattered around the world. Most surprisingly, one of those systems appears to be part of a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) set-up, like those used to control industrial processes. Roaming corporate users, especially traveling executives, could be the most attractive targets for man-in-the-middle attackers exploiting this flaw, because they likely have valuable information on their computers. “If I were a black-hat hacker, I’d immediately go to the nearest big city airport and sit outside the international first class lounges and eavesdrop on everyone’s encrypted communications,” said Robert Graham, the CEO of security firm Errata Security, in a blog post.

In addition to stealing information, including log-in credentials, from encrypted traffic, man-in-the-middle attackers can also modify that traffic on the fly. This means someone receiving an email from an affected Dell computer or a website receiving a request on behalf of a Dell user can’t be sure of its authenticity.

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