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Cisco has a severe VPN bug, Patch immediately!

This just in, Cisco, the “worldwide leader in IT and networking”  has a severe but, that has been rated a “10 out of 10” by a security researcher.

The bug has to do with Cisco’s ASA software (Adaptive security Appliance). This bug is identified as a severe double-free vulnerability that is located in the Secure Sockets Layer VPN.  The danger in this vulnerability of the VPN service, is that an unauthenticated person may gain access via remote, and gain the ability to reload an affected system, or remotely execute code.

Furthering the potential danger, if an unauthenticated person were to use a specially crafted XML packet, they could gain complete control of the affected system. This information is all from Cisco’s advisory which is now lighting up the net.

As for the rating that is applied with this bug, which is identified as “CVE-2018-010”, there is a scoring system that indicates the vulnerability level of such bugs, and it was indicated that this specific bug rates a full 10 out of 10 on the scoring system.

Cisco want’s to stress that the bug is only exploitable if the ASA devices have the webvpn  feature enabled. Users may check this setting and ensure it is disabled by following the command-line interface instructions that is being provided by Cisco. Those commands can be found here.

The following is a list of known vulnerable technology:

  • 3000 Series industrial Security Appliance (ISA)
  • ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances
  • ASA 5500-X series Next-Generation Firewalls
  • ASA Services Module for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches
  • Cisco 7600 Series Routers
  • ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall
  • ASA Virtual appliance (ASAv)
  • Firepower 2100 Series Security Appliance
  • Firepower 4110 Securtity Appliance
  • Firepower 9300 ASA Security Module
  • Firepower Threat Defense Software (FTD)

The bug is also known to apply to Cisco’s first remote access supported VPN, FTD 6.22 which was released last September. Versions before FTD 6.22 are not vulnerable.

You can check which versions you have through the instructions provided by Cisco here.

As of right now there are no known attacks involving this vulnerability, however Cisco is expecting reports of abusing this vulnerability.

Go check your systems and patch what you can. Stay vigilant in your defenses and don’t open any phishing emails!

 

Keep up to date on your technology and it’s vulnerabilities and solutions with RE2Tech. We make I.T. easy!

Have you taken precautions? Is your sensitive information at risk?

Give us a call or send us an email for all your I.T needs! We at Re2tech make I.T. happen!

Phone: 952-223-4422

helpdesk@re2tech.com

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Googles discovered CPU vulnerabilities, and how it can affect you

Google is a forerunner in the online world for many aspects, but one of the main focuses of Google is security. Google has a “Project Zero” team dedicated to researching vulnerabilities their customers may be facing while also doing their best to provide solutions to the problems.

Last year the Project Zero team had come across a security flaw due to something called “speculative execution”, which is described as a technique used by most modern processors (CPUs) to optimize performance.

This security flaw is seen as a more serious flaw, due to it’s capabilities for leaking vulnerable information to an unknown party. Malicious persons may take advantage of the said vulnerability in the speculative execution process to read system memory that should otherwise be inaccessible. This may lead to the exposure of information such as passwords, encryption keys, or even sensitive information that is present in open applications. It was also noted that a virtual machine attacked through the vulnerabilities of speculative execution could also lead to access of physical memory in the host machine, further enhancing the dangers.

The affected CPUs are rather wide, but include AMD, ARM and Intel, as well as devices and OS running on those CPUs. Google has stated that the research team has updated their systems to defend against the speculative execution attacks, and cooperated with hardware and software manufacturers across the industry to protect a more broad range of technology and people. This cooperation has lead to mitigation of the affected from this form of attack.

Google has released a list of products and machines that have the mitigation and protection in place, the following are secured from the speculative execution attacks.

  • Android- Those with the latest security update are secure. Nexus and Pixel devices are also secure with the latest security update.
  • Google apps/ G Suite- no action needed
  • Google Chrome- There may be some necessary actions required on the users end. A link to the page is here
  • Google Cloud Platform- Google App engine is secure.
    Google Compute Engine: additional action required here
    Google Kubernetes Engine: additional action required here
    Google Cloud Dataflow: additional action required here
    Google Cloud Dataproc: additional action required here
  • All other Google Cloud products have been cleared and are secured.
  • Google Home/Chromecast -no action needed
  • Google Wifi/OnHub – no action needed

Google has stated that in order to take advantage of this new method of attack that uses speculative execution, the attacker must first run malicious code on the system they targeted.

Google has stated that there are three variants of the attack, which cant be mitigated with one method, but needs a specific method for all three attack variant. Some vendors have patches for one or two of the attack variants, and Google is working with them to ensure all three get mitigated over time.

It is good to know Google is helping to spread the necessary information for others to protect themselves against such a potentially dangerous attack! As for other means of protection, why not give us a call at Re2tech! We will ensure a strong security for your network and help teach you about your own system along the way! We make I.T. happen!

Keep up to date on your technology and it’s vulnerabilities and solutions with RE2Tech. We make I.T. easy!

Have you taken precautions? Is your sensitive information at risk?

Give us a call or send us an email for all your I.T needs! We at Re2tech make I.T. happen!

Phone: 952-223-4422

helpdesk@re2tech.com

 

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Smartphones with breach options, new option discovered

Smartphones are the present and the future, there is no doubt about that. They offer an immense control in a life and helps people stay up to date on what people are eating and how close WW3 is. It’s no surprise this is also the same device that is the target of hackers and the like, who want to steal information and jump start their own lives off of someone else’s.

Recently a study from NTU (Nanyang Technoloical University, Singapore) discovered a new method to which hackers may abuse in order to gain access to our little rectangular life box’s. The new access method actually involves your phones pin code.

There has been many vulnerabilities with smartphones since they have been released, involving things like the accelerometer, gyroscope, and proximity sensors. However through each vulnerability we have always come up with a means of patching said vulnerability. Well now we have another to patch involving the pin code. This was discovered through the experimentation with six different smartphone sensors and state-of-the-art machine learning, and deep learning algorithms. Through this experimentation the researchers from NTU has had a 99.5% accuracy within a three attempt confines, and the type of smartphones involved were using the Android operating system. The researchers used the 50 most common PIN numbers to experiment in this process.

Before this method came to be, the dominant phone hacking technique only had a 74% chance of success, while that is still very large, this new method is much more alarming. NTU’s technique can be used to guess all 10,000 possible combinations in a four-digit PIN.

The means by which the researchers came across this method is quit astounding actually. What was studied was the orientation, the light variation across the screen, and which thumb pressed the pin numbers. This led to the realization of variables that the phone is exposed to while someone enters specific numbers, allowing the deep thinking algorithm to narrow the possibility in pin combination and have a much easier time at assessing the correct possible combination. It is also worth mentioning that the technology used has a means of increasing it’s success rate with more exposure to possible pins and means of them being entered.

While this discovery may be frightening, it also means we have a way to understand it’s method and develop some manner to combat it, preventing hackers to use and abuse this information. Researchers at the University think that access to phones sensors and sensor information is too large of a risk and should be on lock-down in devices to prevent this method of access from ever becoming an issue.

Technology sure can be daunting, but with every virus there is a cure, with every method there is an equally effective anti-method. Let’s be sure to continue our cautiousness with our sensitive information and stay up to date on their strengths and weaknesses! That’s all for today, be sure to call for e-mail use for any questions or installations! Here at Re2tech, we make I.T. happen!

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Cloud security going into 2018

The cloud is becoming more and more preferred as times goes by. Data and applications are streaming to it at a faster rate every hour, and more people are deciding to turn to cloud services on a daily. There is no question as to why this is happening, the cloud services are extremely convenient and offer functionality that you cant find anywhere else! In saying that, this also means cloud services are under a watchful eye by everyone, even the nefarious types.

Threats to the cloud

Generally when we have something good, people like to mess it up. The cloud is no different, there are people who have already interfered with the cloud and it’s services to steal data for very selfish and rather rude reasons. 2018 will be no exception to this, for there are quit a few issues with the newly born service that can easily be manipulated. Despite popular belief, cloud services and their security are not in the hands of the service provider, rather the customer. Knowing that, we should evaluate the potential risks with cloud technology and understand the vulnerabilities of the information stored on the cloud.

  • Data breaches– This can occur in multiple ways, ranging from intent to steal information on the cloud, human error, vulnerabilities in applications relating to the cloud, or just poor security understanding and practices.
  • Insufficient identity, credentials, and access management– Persons with ill intent may gain access to cloud stored information and cause all sorts of trouble due to a lack of credential security, which would enable unauthorized access to your data.
  • Insecure interfaces and application programming interfaces– Cloud technology providers expose UI’s and API’s that customers may use to manage their cloud experience. This is both great and bad, for this means the protection you could have is in your hands, and were you to become accessed by some unwanted party, they now have full access to your cloud security, and the providers of that cloud will have little to no feasible way to rescue you. There is a lacking of accidental and malicious attempts of policy circumventing.
  • System vulnerabilities– This is the big contender that has gained spotlight this last year for cloud tech. These are exploitable bugs in the program that allow malicious actions to gain access to a system and steal data, taking control of the system, or disrupting service operations.  Vulnerabilities within the components of the operating system put security of all the services and data at significant risk. Because the cloud has systems from various organizations placed close to each other, if the cloud is breached, that means those other systems are now vulnerable as well.

The cloud is a fantastic service that will no doubt lead to other great systems and functionality in the world, however right now while it is still young, it has quit a few quirks to work out before it can be considered a fully safe and developed system. Now that doesn’t mean don’t use the cloud, it means be mindful of what you put on there, and the risks that are present in the technology your using.

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The most popular passwords, proven by hacked accounts

So apparently, every year SplashData compiles a list of passwords and rates them according to occurrence. These passwords are from accounts that have been stolen and made public. There are millions of these accounts and the similarities in the passwords show the unoriginal ideas people come up with to secure their information.

Due to the sheer number of accounts that was used to support this data, you can trust what your about to see as being something that can be applied to a greater population. The reason SplashData makes this list every year, is  to make it apparent that we need to take our passwords more seriously, and stop using pop culture and sports references. SplashData also noted that the list supplied this year, is using passwords mainly from North America and Western Europe, and that adult websites and the Yahoo hack were excluded from this list.

We actually did an article a while back about password security, and how our thoughts on a strong password have changed and the best way to form a password. You can find that article by clicking here

Now, for the list of disappointments

  1. 123456
  2. Password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. 12345
  6. 123456789
  7. letmein
  8. 1234567
  9. football
  10. iloveyou
  11. admin
  12. welcome
  13. monkey
  14. login
  15. abc123
  16. starwars
  17. 123123
  18. dragon
  19. passw0rd
  20. master
  21. hello
  22. freedom
  23. whatever
  24. qazwsx
  25. trustno1

They say great minds think alike, but it seems not so great passwords do the same thing!

It is amazing to see the thought that occupies someones mind for a split second that makes them say “hey that should be my password, no one will ever think it’s so simple and obvious!” as you turn around and high five your friend for wearing the same Starwars shirt.

Let’s try to take our online security a bit more seriously into this next year, you could even call it a new years resolution!

If you do have any concerns about other aspects of your online security or network, give us a call and let’s ensure your walls are made of hacker kryptonite! (my password is Sup3rM4n…not really)

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Net neutrality and the FCC’s use of deceased people’s name

Lately the internet has been abuzz about net neutrality and preventing it from being stolen from us, lest we want to see a degradation in our society. Even knowing this, and having sent the FCC millions of petitions and signatures, the chair of the FCC still ignored the pleas of the masses and voted for tearing down our rights to online access and freedom to roam. Not only did the FCC ignore the masses, but the FCC also decided to revive the dead and use them against us.

 

What is net neutrality? 

First lets quick cover the basis of what net neutrality is. Net neutrality is basically a guiding rule or principle. It preserves our right to roam and communicate freely online, without the interference of those in a higher power position. It is free speech for the internet. This allows us to have access to all forms of information without any bias in the mix, restricting what we see and read and learn. For example, if net neutrality does become history, Fox news could pay to have specific internet providers show news from them, and them alone. This would cause a great tunnel vision in our society, and depending on peoples specific situations, cause a rift in general knowledge and understanding, leading to more chaos separation in our society.

Deceased commentators 

So back to the first paragraph, deceased persons coming to life. On multiple instances, there has been a realization that people who have passed away are somehow posting onto the FCC’s site, tickets that are in favor of getting rid of net neutrality. Family members of these deceased commentators have outright called on the FCC for their immoral and illegal actions, demanding they stop such horrid actions and be taken to court for just desserts.

Comments by the deceased were sometimes word for word, the same as other comments by other deceased persons. This shows the action as being a form of spam. But the issue at hand is that the FCC is using identities of Americans who have died to try and defend their actions by putting words in their mouths and pretending they were still alive.

As a response, the FCC has said that unvetted commentary has lost all forms of power online, and will therefore be dismissed. The only way comments will be considered is if they are cryptographically secure identities, tied to living persons.

The FCC has stated they will not help in the pursuit of those using deceased Americans identities.

Net neutrality is obviously something very important for more than just online surfing, it gives access for students and education, for keeping the world in mind and staying up to date on global events and being able to read both sides and come to ones own conclusions. Net neutrality is so much more than just “the internet” it is a necessity in a world ever growing in technological involvement.

Educated yourself on the issue

Learn about net neutrality, make an educated, well thought out decision on the matter, and then give your comments to the FCC. Here is a helpful link to the FCC’s site where you can submit your comments. http://gofccyourself.com

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Android security update! KRACK be gone and band-aid adhesion!

Android deployed its recent patch for their phones. This patch holds significant updates, that involve KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack) and also some fixes for the newly released Pixel 2 phones!

Surprisingly, Google actually released three updates for November. There is the main update that involves the normal bug fixes and performance updates. The second patch is in relation to the Qualcomm bug that left users vulnerable to Wi-Fi breaches.

The Qualcomm bug comes second to the Krack update. Earlier this year a weakness was found in the WPA2 Protocol that put thousands of people in a vulnerable position, allowing them to be hacked through most all Wi-Fi points. Krack is all about that new vulnerability in the WPA2, those most vulnerable however would be the Linux and Android 6.0+ devices, this is because their system can be tricked into installing an all-zero encryption key.

The 2017-11-06 patch that addresses KRACK issues affects versions ranging from Android 8.0 Oreo and all the way back to 5.0.2 Lollipop. As for Google’s Pixel and Nexus, the patches thus far released are only up to 2017-11-05, so the KRACK update has not hit those customers yet, but it is presumed they will receive the 2017-11-06 update sometime closer to December.

Along with bug fixes and security reinforcement, Google is now adding functional updates in the mix. When the Google Pixel was released, the XL variation received a lot of criticism due to the screen brightness and burn of the battery that occurred passively. To help diminish these concerns, Google updated the phone with new functionalities. The first would be a new dimming navigation bar, that dims the navigation bar when it is not in use, while also changing to white while in some applications. The patch also lowers the max brightness.

Another complaint was the colors of the display were dull. It seems Google anticipated this possibility and had installed a “Vivid color” check box in the settings menu. However this saturation wasn’t enough for some customers so Google released a new “colors” option that gives three options for saturation, ranging from natural, to saturated, to boosted. Supposedly there have been reports of clicking noises while on the phone with the Pixel, but Google states the November patch fixes that as well.

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Qualcomm VS Apple

Apple is being sued by Qualcomm for a breach in software license contract.

As of yesterday, it was made public that Qualcomm is suing Apple, saying Apple violated a license contract to benefit a rival chipmaker known as Intel Corp for making broadband modems. Apparently, this isn’t the first time Apple and Qualcomm have butted heads.

Qualcomm stated in a California court Wednesday, that Apple used it’s commercial leverage to demand unprecedented access to the chipmaker’s highly confidential software, including the almighty source code.

Thus far, Apple has declined to comment on the suit, however it should be noted that Apple has started using Intels broadband modem chips in their iPhone 7’s.

Apparently Qualcomm claims that under the contract, Apple was required to ensure that Apple engineers working with Qualcomm did not communicate details about Qualcomm chips to Apple engineers working on competing chips from Intel.

Supposedly Apple asked Qualcomm for “highly confidential” information about their chips and how it works on an unidentified wireless carrier’s network. Furthermore, Apple supposedly copied an Intel engineer in the email for information.

There have also been reports that an Apple engineer that was working on a competing  chip asked an Apple engineer that was working with Qualcomm chips, to get technical information form Qualcomm.

Rumors say that Apple will be dropping Qualcomm’s chips entirely from its iPhones and iPads beginning next year.

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Not sure if your company has some loopholes in its cyber security? Let us test it for you!

Recently with the more and more hacking news coverage, people are becoming increasingly worries about their cyber security. With reason to be worried, there are businesses hiring ethical hackers to test their systems and discover any loopholes that may be present.

In India, there is a new platform startup that’s become increasingly popular. An ethical hacker, or in other words, a hacker who tests the networks of businesses/companies, has been getting more and more attention. The basis is that there are a lot of loopholes in cyber security, but if you don’t know what to look for, there’s no way of knowing it’s there.

This startup was started by two young men who thought businesses should be aware of their vulnerabilities. At first people were skeptical about trusting self proclaimed “hackers” but were later happy about their decision to go through the process. The two young men have become somewhat famous in India for their service to businesses and even home networks.

The idea that cyber-security  is not necessary or something to worry about, is being overwritten by the recent activity of malicious hackers. The Equifax breach was a tough blow to stomach, however it has helped people become more aware of the possible vulnerabilities that lay in front of them.

We at Re2tech may not be hackers, but we are better! We are I.T.! We have a more elaborate skill set and understanding of cyber security and networking. We can provide you with a strong sense of security when it comes to your business or home network, helping you move along with your day not worrying about your data that is essential in your everyday life!

Give us a call today and lets ensure your network is above standards! We will ensure to close any loopholes we find, and trust us, we know what to look for! Don’t wait until you are already a victim, its better to make plans that anticipate, rather than plans that react! Lucky for you we do both! 

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What is Cloud technololgy?

Most often, when someone mentions the ‘cloud’, there is often someone who is too embarrassed to ask ‘what’ the cloud is.

Cloud technology has taken the world by storm (no pun intended) in most all areas these days, the cloud is involved in the information storage/management. Businesses to college campus’ to home networks.

So what is the cloud?

The cloud refers to technology that runs software and services on the internet, rather than locally, on your computer. Most all cloud services are accessed through hosting websites, like Firefox or Google Chrome, however there are some companies that offer mobile apps dedicated to cloud functionality as well.

Well known examples of cloud technology would be Google Drive, the application that people often use for image storage, or documents as well. There is also Apple iCloud, Netflix, Yahoo Mail, and Dropbox.

Why the cloud?

The pro’s of cloud technology are often seen through the ability to access your information on any device with an internet connection. For example say your in India on a business venture and you need to pull up some documents you saved on the cloud while back in Chicago. Just connect to an internet source and you’ll be able to access the same location you saved your documents to! You can even edit the files in India and see the changes back in Chicago! Not only that, but you can allow others to have access to the documents, and they can add or subtract information as well, from all across the globe!

Another nice benefit, is due to the cloud servers doing most all the computing and storage, it means your computer doesn’t need to be a high-end machine! Google actually the Chromebook specifically for that reason. It gives accessibility to a wider range of people with multiple different situations, to be able to accomplish the same form of information sharing/storage.

The cloud is awesome!

Correct! However you must still be aware, that without an internet connection, your completely shut out from all of your information stored onto the cloud. This can become a problem for some people. It’s also important to note, that the cloud could become prone to hacking. If the companies security measures are not strong enough against an outside access, your information may be at risk.

It is wise not to put everything onto the cloud and make a habit of storing the vital/sensitive information on your personal drive with a strong network security (which we can help you with!) so that your information security isn’t in the hands of others.

Give us a call at Re2tech today and we can help you set up a cloud storage option, and bulk up your network security! We make I.T. happen! 

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