August 3, 2023
- CYBERSECURITY HEADLINES TODAY -
Don't Let Your Printer Compromise Your Network
Space Pirates Attack Across Russia and Serbia
Worldcoin says it will share its data
Apple and UK
UK Ambulance Patient Records Hauled Offline Cyber Attack Probe
This Day, August 3 in Tech History
In this Episode:
Marcel Brown: August 3rd, 1977. Radio Shack introduces their first computer, the TRS80. Originally forecasting sales of just 3000 to 5,000 per year, the TRS80 sold over 10,000 units in the first month and a half of sales. and 200,000 over the lifetime of the product.
Edwin Kwan: Canon recently released a security advisory stating that Wi-Fi connection information does not get wiped on some of their inkjet printers during initialization. The Wi-Fi connection information includes wifi network, SSID, password, network type, such as WPA3 or WEP, assigned IP address, MAC address, and network profile.
Ian Garrett: First aliens and now Space Pirates? In this case, it’s the notorious threat actor known as Space Pirates, and they’ve launched attacks across Russia and Serbia using novel tactics targeting various sectors, from government agencies and educational institutions, to aerospace manufacturers and healthcare firms.
Katy Craig: Worldcoin, the brainchild of OpenAI’s Sam Altman, keeps making headlines with its iris-scanning orb. Worldcoin’s ambition goes beyond just offering free crypto tokens.
Marcel Brown: The UK government is attempting to update the Investigatory Powers Act of 2016, in order to force message providers to provide back doors into their encrypted messaging systems. Apple has joined WhatsApp and Signal in basically stating their only option will be to remove their services if these laws are passed.
Olimpiu Pop: Ambulance patients from cities such as Bristol or Oxfordshire, and regions of Cornwall and Devon were impacted by a cyber attack targeted against health software company Ortivus, based in Sweden.
From Sourced Network Productions in Washington, DC, it’s 5:05. I’m Hillary Coover. Today is Tuesday, August 3rd, 2023. Here’s the full story behind today’s cybersecurity and open source headlines.
Edwin Kwan: Don’t Let Your Printer Compromise Your Network
This is Edwin Kwan from Sydney Australia.
Researchers from Google’s Threat Analysis Group released a review report of zero-day vulnerabilities that were exploited in the wild in 2022. A total of 41 zero-day vulnerabilities were detected and disclosed that year. This is a 40% decrease from the previous year, which had 69 detected zero-day vulnerabilities.
While the downward trend may be comforting, the report said that 40% of those zero-days in 2022 were variants of vulnerabilities that had already been reported. The researcher said the lack of complete patching is sometimes the cost of the variant zero-day vulnerabilities. This can happen when vendors address only the attack path shown in the proof of concept or exploit sample, rather than fixing the vulnerability as a whole. Similarly, security researchers often report bugs without following up on how the patch works and exploring related attacks.
Recommendations for how to improve are for the industry to get fixes and mitigations to users quickly, perform detailed analysis to ensure the root cause is addressed, and share as much technical details as possible.
– CP2023-003 Vulnerability Mitigation/Remediation for Inkjet Printers (Home and Office/Large Format) – Canon PSIRT
–1 / 7 CP2023-003 Vulnerability Mitigation/Remediation for Inkjet Printers (Home and Office/Large Format) July 31, 2023 Canon Inc
–Canon Inkjet Printers at Risk for Third-Party Compromise via Wi-Fi
Ian Garrett: Space Pirates Attack Across Russia and Serbia
First aliens and now Space Pirates? In this case, it’s the notorious threat actor known as Space Pirates, and they’ve launched attacks across Russia and Serbia using novel tactics targeting various sectors, from government agencies and educational institutions, to aerospace manufacturers and healthcare firms.
Hey folks, this is Ian Garrett in Arlington, Virginia
Positive Technologies, a Russian cybersecurity company, has recently published a deep dive report on the Space Pirates activity, revealing their main goals of espionage and stealing confidential information. What’s even more concerning is their interest in harvesting PST email archives and the use of a malware artifact called Deed RAT, believed to be a successor of ShadowPad, which has been associated with Chinese cyber espionage groups.
Deed RAT is capable of dynamically retrieving additional plug-ins from a remote server. Among its functions are file enumeration, command execution, writing arbitrary files to disc, and port forwarding. The threat actors even utilize a previously undocumented malware called Voidoor, designed to infiltrate a legitimate forum called Voidtools, known for its desktop search utility for Microsoft Windows.
Space Pirates has been hard at work, constantly modifying their existing malware and developing new ones like Voidoor, implementing unconventional techniques to carry out their attacks. They don’t shy away from using publicly available tools to navigate through networks, and they even employ the Acunetix web vulnerability scanner to recon the infrastructures they target.
This is a good reminder that while advanced threats produce custom malware, they also leverage existing tools to conduct their attacks.
–Researchers Expose Space Pirates’ Cyber Campaign Across Russia and Serbia
Katy Craig: Worldcoin Says It will Share its Data
Worldcoin, the brainchild of OpenAI’s Sam Altman, keeps making headlines with its iris-scanning orb. Worldcoin’s ambition goes beyond just offering free crypto tokens.
This is Katy Craig in San Diego, California.
The project imagines various applications including, distinguishing between humans and artificial intelligence, supporting global democratic processes, and exploring a potential path to universal basic income.
Worldcoin’s future is bright. Big shots like companies and governments might pay to use its digital ID system. Imagine coffee shops using it to ensure everyone gets only one free coffee. And the icing on the cake? Their tech is going open-source, letting others jump on the iris-scanning bandwagon.
However, not all is smooth sailing for Worldcoin. Regulators and privacy wonks have raised concerns about data collection and consent issues. Operations in Kenya just got suspended due to safety concerns around thousands queuing up for free money.
So Worldcoin is on a wild ride, earning cheers and jeers alike. Some see it as Web3’s, savior, others call it “irresponsible.” Will it revolutionize, or will it backfire? Stay tuned to find out.
This is Katy Craig. Stay safe out there.
– Worldcoin says will allow companies, governments to use its ID system | Reuters
Marcel Brown: Apple, WhatsApp and Signal threatening to remove their services from UK
Apple joins WhatsApp and Signal in threatening to remove their services from the UK if certain legislative proposals are turned into law.
This is Marcel Brown, coming at you from St. Louis, Missouri.
The UK government is attempting to update the Investigatory Powers Act of 2016, in order to force message providers to provide back doors into their encrypted messaging systems.
Apple has joined WhatsApp and Signal in basically stating that they cannot comply and therefore will not comply, and their only option will be to remove their services if these laws are passed.
If Apple, or any other encrypted messaging service provider wanted to comply with the law, they would have to revamp their encryption for the entire world, in order to comply with the UK’s government demands. Clearly, Apple does not want to threaten the security of their users around the world just to comply with the UK law, and therefore, would have no choice but to pull their services from the UK if these laws are enacted.
This is yet another example of politicians not understanding the mechanisms behind secure encryption protocols, and they continue to try to force through legislation that would attempt to create back doors into encrypted protocols, so that their law enforcement could have access, if they so desired.
Of course, there is a great potential for abuse if encrypted systems did have back doors to allow government in. It will be interesting to see how this develops, as if the UK passes the law, they are going to effectively cut their nose off to spite their face, since these extremely popular services like iMessage and FaceTime along with WhatsApp and Signal, will effectively be banned from the UK.
I honestly don’t see how these proposals can be enacted as law, but it is worth keeping an eye on, just in case something crazy happens. And of course, we will also keep an eye on what future crazy proposals politicians come up with.
Olimpiu Pop: UK Ambulance Patient Records Hauled Offline Cyber Attack Probe
Ambulance patients from cities such as Bristol or Oxfordshire, and regions of Cornwall and Devon were impacted by a cyber attack targeted against health software company Ortivus, based in Sweden.
The main system affected was Ortivus’s MobiMed software, a critical application for monitoring and maintaining patient records in pre-hospital care hosted, surprisingly enough, on Microsoft Windows server. In the wake of the attack, working hands-on with the system was taken literally, as staff resorted to manual systems.
As stated by a company representative, ” the electronic patient records are currently unavailable and are, until further notice, handled using manual systems. No other systems have been attacked and no customers outside of those in the hosted data center have been affected.”
Ortivus is now working on relaunching the software, pending NHS authorities’ final approval. The company’s CEO promised that discussions regarding compensation for the disruptions would be held later, with the immediate focus being the restoration of services. Meanwhile, an NHS England spokesperson confirmed that their cybersecurity operations center, in collaboration with law enforcement, is investigating the incident.
The event could have been a lot more critical, as the affected South Western Ambulance Service Trust and South Central Ambulance Service Trust serve an estimated 12 million patients. However, Ortivus ensured that despite a disruption, no patients were directly affected and no data was reported as stolen or lost.
More resources are available on 505updates.com.
Olimpiu Pop reporting from Transylvania, Romania.
– Ambulance patient records system hauled offline for cyber-attack probe
– Ortivus’ electronic patient record system are down for some United Kingdom based customers due to a cyber-attack
– Ortivus successfully completes the transition of two major customers into a new hosting environment
Marcel Brown: This Day, August 3 in Tech History
This is Marcel Brown serving up some technology history for August 3rd.
August 3rd, 1977. Radio Shack introduces their first computer, the TRS80, with the support of 3,500 Radio Shack stores, plus a relatively low cost, the TRS80 helped drive the acceptance of the personal computer in the home,
Originally forecasting sales of just 3000 to 5,000 per year, the TRS80 sold over 10,000 units in the first month and a half of sales and 200,000 over the lifetime of the product.
August 3rd, 1993. Apple introduces the Newton message pad, one of the world’s first personal digital assistants. The term PDA was first used by Apple’s CEO, John Scully in 1992. While a commercial failure, the Newton platform set the bar for future PDA designs.
But perhaps the most important advancement the Newton offered to the technology industry was the development of the ARM processor architecture. Apple partnered with and invested heavily in the fledgling architecture to power the Newton devices, acquiring 43% of Advanced Risk Machines, LTD in the process. The ARM architecture has been the foundation of most of the world’s mobile devices since that time, including all versions of the Apple iPhone and iPad, and now the M-Series processors for the Macintosh.
Incidentally, in 1998, Apple began selling much of their ownership interest in ARM, reportedly generating around $1 billion through 1999. This gave Apple some much needed cash to carry them through their darkest days and into their turnaround to become the world’s most valuable company.
That’s your technology history for today. For more, tune in tomorrow and visit my website, ThisDayInTechHistory.com.
That’s our update for today, August 3rd, 2023. I’m Hillary Coover. We’ll be back tomorrow, at 5:05.