Month: May 2015
Security researchers speaking at the Hack in the Box conference in Amsterdam this week have demonstrated that users of hidden services on Tor are putting themselves at risk of being identified – if an attacker is willing to put in the time and resources.
The discovery is significant, because browsing hidden services had been thought to be more secure than the more typical practice of using the Tor network to browse the open web anonymously.
Not so, say Filippo Valsorda, a member of CloudFlare’s security team, and George Tankersley, an independent researcher. In their presentation, the pair showed that it’s surprisingly easy to subvert anonymous access to a hidden server – and thus possibly identify a user of that server – if you’re sneaky about it.
That’s bad, because hidden services are operated not just by dodgy sites like the Silk Road but also by legitimate sites like Facebook. Tor often hits the headlines for enabling things like online drug souksand other criminal operations, when it can be and is used by journalists, whistleblowers, security researchers, and anyone who values their privacy, to exchange information and surf the web anonymously.
“If you run a hidden service that does not need location hiding, you are unnecessarily exposing your users to this risk,” the researchers said. “It would probably be better to let them use Tor on your TLS-enabled clearnet site.”
When using Tor to browse the open web anonymously, you log into an entry point server and then your traffic is rerouted and fed out of an exit server, disguising your IP address. The weakness in this approach is that it would technically be possible to run enough rogue entry and exit nodes to link where users hop onto the Tor network to where they hop off. It would require massive resources and for Tor operators not to notice, but it’s possible.
Hidden services eliminate this possibility, because all traffic stays within the Tor network itself. There’s no exit node to link to an entry node, which is why using hidden services is thought to be more secure.
What the researchers found, however, is that it’s possible to spoof connections to hidden services to identify their users – and doing so might be even easier than identifying users by their exit nodes.
Hidden services require the use of HSDir (hidden service directory) nodes to operate, two sets of three apiece. These nodes manage connections to the hidden service, and it only takes four days of continuous operation for an HSDir node to be considered “trusted.”
The two suggest an attacker could identify users’ connections by running rogue HSDir nodes themselves, something that is relatively easy and computationally cheap to do. To demonstrate, they set up such nodes and then successfully convinced Facebook’s hidden service to accept most of them as its HSDir providers.
There are ways for site operators to protect against this, however. Hidden service providers are advised to be very wary of young HSDir nodes – or even better, to run their own HSDir nodes, which has the benefit of also providing a warning if other HSDir nodes try to attach themselves to the service.
The researchers have released software tools to help spot dodgy HSDir nodes and they say that aproposed change to the Tor software for hidden services could stop this kind of correlation attack. A spokesperson for the Tor Project could not be reached for comment.
Update: Gaana.com is currently back online. The hacker MakMan posted the below tweet and stated that no financial details of any user was accessed. The hacker also added that he has not stored any information locally.
One of India’s popular music streaming service Gaana has been reportedly hacked and its massive database, about 10 million users, has been compromised. The hacker goes by the name MakMan who appears to be based in Lahore, Pakistan who posted a link to his Facebook page of what appears to be the entire database of Gaana.com’s users containing personal details.
The reason behind the hack is unknown. If a person enters the registered email address of a Gaana.com account, they can have access to their full name, email address, date of birth, MD5-encrypted password, along with Facebook & Twitter profiles as well. According to a report by The Next Web, the hack appears to be a SQL injection-based exploit of Gaana’s systems.
The hacker had updated his database page with the following message:“The vulnerable parameter I was using here, has been patched by the Admin. Now the question is, Was this the only vulnerable parameter I had .. ? ;)”
However, when we checked, the following message appeared.
In any case, users are advised to not simply change their Gaana.com password but rather deactivate their account till the problem is solved. Also, users should change their email, Facebook and Twitter passwords if they’re the same as on Gaana.com. At the moment, there is no official statement from Times Internet Limited, which owns Gaana.com. As of now, website displays, “Site is down due to server maintenance. We will be back shortly. Kindly bear with us till then”.
An international group of hackers operating under the name AnonCoders defaced the main website of the Republican Party of Kentucky to raise awareness that Muslims are not terrorists.
The message pasted on the homepage of rpk.org showed the logo of group, the famous Guy Fawkes mask used by Anonymous hacktivists, and the names of those claiming the deed.
Despite displaying the Guy Fawkes mask, the outfit separates itself from the Anonymous movement and said that they refused collaboration with its members when asked.
Website showed hacker’s message for almost 3 days
Defacing websites is regarded as an act of vandalism and consists in changing the appearance of the main page of the website to something the attacker chooses. It is often used to spread messages, and more recently, as a means for less skilled hackers to prove themselves in their community.
AnonCoders’s change on the Kentucky Republican Party’s website remained visible from Saturday afternoon until mid-Tuesday.
No sensitive information was available for taking because the site was used only to deliver news updates.
Talking to The State Journal, the group said that amusement was not their goal, but to send to governments from all countries the message that “it is a misconception that Muslims are spreading terrorism, when in all reality, the governments are killing innocents and they are the true terrorist.”
Group claims attack on TV5Monde
They also told the news publication that they were the ones behind the devastating attack against TV5Monde in April, which paralyzed the activity of the television network by taking away the ability to emit its programs for a significant period.
However, the attack on Kentucky GOP’s site cannot compare to the one on the French broadcaster neither in complexity nor in the messages delivered.
AnonCoders are not at their first website defacement attempt. One of their latest victims is the Nashville Turf, a company making synthetic turf. Some of their other victims, and the messages left on their websites, can be viewed at Zone-h, an archive with website defacements.
Hex-Rays, developers of IDA (Interactive Disassembler), became the target of a cyber-attack, which may have compromised the license keys issued to customers.
IDA is used for software reverse engineering purposes, and it is widely used in the security industry to get the source code of malware samples, thus revealing the functions and instructions that make the threat tick.
The product also includes debugging functionality, which often helps analysts deal with the obfuscation techniques added by malware authors in their code.
Briefly put, IDA is an essential tool in malware analysis and this is reflected not only in its list of capabilities, but also in its price. A license for the starter edition is $589 (€529), while the price for the Professional variant starts at $1,129 (€1019).
Intrusion may have occurred via the forum or blogging software
On Monday, Hex-Rays support team sent an email notification to its customers about a recent attack that may have resulted in the compromise of some license keys along with the web forum and the quotation system.
Justin Case from Android Police took a screenshot of the letter, which added that the license keys contained customer names and email addresses.
The company did not discover any evidence that other type of information (financial data or credentials) was affected by the incident.
“Unfortunately we do not know when exactly the attack was carried out because the attacker kept low profile,” reads the email from Hex-Rays.
However, the company believes that the intrusion occurred via the forum and the blogging software, which represent the dynamic part of its web server.
Old keys replaced, customers advised to change access password
To make sure that customers do not face any trouble using IDA, the company decided to issue new license keys. The old ones have been discarded and can no longer be used to receive software updates.
As precaution, the developer advises clients to change their password for the forum and the quotation system.
The idea of hacking IKEA products is not new, but it’s still great. It’s such a great idea that the flatpack furniture giant is developing an official IKEA Hack product. This is almost exactly a year after IKEA enlisted lawyers to shut down a down fan-made IKEA hack website, pissing off reasonable customers all over the world.
IKEA clearly doesn’t want a good idea to go to waste. The company recently announced the plan for an official Hack kit during the second annual IKEA Democratic Design Day at its headquarters in Sweden. I was there (on IKEA’s dime) to peer through the company’s utopian vision for the future. By the time two young designer types presented the hack idea and a compelling furniture swapping program, everyone in the room full of jet-lagged journalists and PR teams was at least one drink deep into the evening’s festivities. The buzz made the whole plan sound especially terrific.
Note: So that I could attend this year’s Democractic Design Day, IKEA paid for my transportation, meals, and drinks over the course of four days. The company also gave me a free poster and a free tote bag—both of which I immediately gave away.
The Hack idea is based on an interesting question. “What if you could browse a site and see hacks for all the available products?” one of the young designer types asked the crowed. “Doesn’t that already exist?” I asked my neighbor. (More on that in a second.) But what if IKEA built and curated it? You could even know when you were buying a hackable product in the store.
That’s it. IKEA would build a website that hosted a number of hack ideas for all hackable products. You’d pick a hack kit that worked with your furniture and buy it from IKEA. The prototype shown at the event involved the iconic Frosta stool. Thanks to the Frosta Hack kit, the stool became a chair.
The finished product looked a little bit janky. That’s it to the left:
But again, this is just a program that IKEA is considering. And it would be silly for IKEA to make its hacked furniture look as polished and well designed as the highly designed pieces of furniture it sells at the store. However, IKEA hacking is something that the company knows people like.
IKEA knows that its customers are already modifying furniture they buy at the stores. In some cases, sellers on Etsy and so forth are selling custom-built parts for IKEA furniture. (I know this because I just bought some.) IKEA tried to take a swipe at this burgeoning market last year by shutting down IKEAhackers.net, however the company relented after a massive backlash from fans. Now, it appears that IKEA is taking a more aggressive grab at the market.
The company is also considering taking on Craigslist and the IKEA furniture re-sale market. They’re calling it IKEA Swap. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Once IKEA launches the program, it would offer a “buy back guarantee” on certain items. There would be a little Swap logo on the tag.
Then, when you move or redecorate, you take your old furniture items to an IKEA store and exchange them for points that you can use on—you guessed it—more IKEA furniture. What’s extra cool about this idea, however, is that IKEA is also thinking of creating a second-hand furniture marketplace that would mean people could buy even cheaper IKEA furniture. The designer types called this a “Second Life” market, though I think something got lost in translation there.
The official IKEA Hack and IKEA Swap programs might not happen. Everything IKEA does is highly deliberate and well thought out, so if the numbers don’t make sense, you can be sure that IKEA will continue its inevitably symbiotic relationship with the IKEA hacker community and leave the second-hand market alone. Unsurprisingly, IKEA didn’t mention the unofficial hacking sites or the legal action in its presentation.
In the coming days, I’ll be writing about a number of IKEA products that are supposed to happen in the next couple of years. Some of them are truly exciting—especially the ones that delve into the world of home electronics. Some of them are fascinating—especially the ones that turn trash into furniture. All of them are very IKEA. You’ll see what I mean by that—if you stay tuned.
In today world we use satellite communication in many respects and industries and we all know how important they are in our lives. There different kinds of satellites depending upon the distance from the earth and others depending upon their orbits. Circular and elliptical orbital are two kinds of orbital satellites.
Also satellites are classified based on their height above Earth’s surface. The kinds of satellites are
- Low-Earth orbits (LEO)— These satellites are in range of 180 kilometers to 2,000 kilometers above Earth. Most of these satellites are for military purposes and for collecting weather data.
- Medium-Earth orbits (MEO)— These satellites are in range of 2,000 kilometers to 36,000 kilometers. Navigation satellites are of this kind.
- Geosynchronous orbits (GEO)— GEO satellites, also known as geostationary satellites, are in range greater than 36,000 kilometers. Television and communication satellites are of this kind.
Satellites used for television or communication signals are generally in either elliptical orbit or geostationary orbit. Most of these satellites uses DVB standard for transmission.
The DVB Project is an Alliance of 200 worldwide companies. Digital video broadcasting is been used worldwide to deliver multimedia content and television. DVB standard has been adopted by all the countries and is the benchmark for digital television worldwide. The DVB-S, DVB-C system is used across the world. Around 1 Billion DVB receivers are used worldwide. DVB is not encrypted and is broadcast so anybody can receive the signal if you have the right tools and knowledge. Since 2002 lot of people have been using technique to download digital content from satellites for free. Below are the steps for intercepting satellite communications as per Mike Stevens, Professor of satellite ethical hacking training at International Institute of Cyber Security.
STEP 1( HARDWARE)
To sniff the Satellite broadcast you will need a Satellite dish with Low Noise Block down converter (LNB). The bigger the dish the better the range of signal it can pick. The cost of good satellite dish can vary from 50 USD to 300 USD.
Below you can see how easy is it to buy a satellite dish.
The size of the antenna depends upon the satellite you wish to sniff; you would like to just sniff one particular satellite then a small dish of 75cm will also do. This you can easily find out by searching over the Internet or you can visit the website of satellite company.
You can get details about the satellite you want to intercept from Internet; for example the below are details of some of the satellites in Latin America.
As per expert from International Institute of Cyber Security, Mike Stevens you can use website like below to find the Polarization Setting (LNB Skew), Elevation, Azimuth for your Antenna dish placement according to your satellite and location.
STEP 2 (INTERFACE)
The next thing you need is a DVB Tuner card (DVB-S/S2 tuner card). A DVB tuner card is a kind of card that allows satellite signals to be received by a computer. Most DVB tuners also function as video and multimedia content capture cards, allowing them to record satellite content onto a hard disk. The cards come in PCI Express (PCIe), PCMCIA, ExpressCard, or USB devices standards. The tuner card is easily available in market and cost around 100 USD. Different brands of cards that work smoothly are DVBWorld, TBS/QBOX, Azureware, TechniSat, TechnoTrend, Genitech, and TeVii. As per ethical hacking experts most commonly used card is Technisat skystar 2.
You can install these cards as normal PCI cards or in USB form and their installation is very easy.
STEP 3 (FEED HUNTING)
Now you will need a Feed scanner software (Feed hunting) so that you can do automatic scanning and streamreader.dll , it’s basically the protocol driver that turns streams into readable data such as binary and ASCII files “Videos, documents, pages, torrents, iso files”. There are many free software available online. Some of the scanning softwares are CrazyScan, Easy Blind Scan. With this software you can do Blind Scan and Auto Scan.
STEP 4 (SATELLITE FISHING)
You will need sniffing software depending on what your end motive is. These softwares allow offline downloading of data, live streaming of Radio and video, satellite internet and intercepting signals. Some of these softwares are:
SkyGrabber is software that is used to tune a satellite dish for the best reception of satellite internet service or television programming. The software has the scanner mentioned in step 3 and gives the option to select a satellite from a dropdown list. Virtually all the world’s regional satellite networks appear in that list, arranged by longitude. If your satellite provider is not listed, you can manually add the provider through a New Provider dialog. As soon as you’ve chosen a satellite, it shows various signal quality configurations that, that you can use to point the satellite antenna en correct direction as covered in step 2. You can set file filters to download particular type of data.
You can even watch television programs through the card at the same time as using the software to download content.
This software is priced around 40 USD Euros and belongs to Russian company. However most people used cracked version of this software which is more easily available.
Software similar to Skygrabber but in this we have to configure PID for specific transponders. This list is available in Internet.
This software is free but its mostly used in Middle East and it is for DSL frequencies for downloading DSL related data.
Streaming software for Windows.
Streaming software, also available for Android.
TSReader is a transport stream analyzer, decoder, recorder and stream manipulator for MPEG-2 systems.
Dvbsnoop is a DVB / MPEG stream analyzer program, which enables you to watch (live) stream information in human readable form.
Its purpose is to debug, dump or view digital stream information (e.g. digital television broadcasts) sent via satellite, cable or terrestrial.
You can use DVBSnoop kind of software with wireshark for data analysis purposes. And can be used for advance hacking attacks.
In next article we will cover more about satellite encryption and hacking attacks involving satellites with the help of telecommunications ethical hacking expert, Dan Morris. This article is only for educational purposes.
A group of anti-NSA pranksters have planted recording devices in public places across New York, saying that they are “gathering information to help win the war on terror.”
The devices can be found everywhere in New York – in cafes, under benches, in shops, restaurants and bars.
“Eavesdropping on the population has revealed many saying, ‘I’m not doing anything wrong so who cares if the NSA tracks what I say and do?’” the group, dubbed “We Are Always Listening,” wrote on its website.
According to anti-NSA activists, the citizens “don’t seem to mind this monitoring.”
“[So] we’re hiding recorders in public places in hopes of gathering information to help win the war on terror. We’ve started with NYC as a pilot program, but hope to roll the initiative out all across The Homeland.”
The pranksters say they are “declassifying excerpts from the recordings and highlighting” where some devices are located “for greater transparency.” Each recording on the website has the location, terrorism status and device status.
The recordings are rather mundane and reveal everything from cheating to conversations with personal
coaches and job interviews.
The group says it is listening, “as you cut up friends behind their backs.” The recording on their website shows “Asians belittling other Asians for sounding too Asian.”
The group said it is even listening to people’s very intimate moments, such as when they talk about sexual encounters, or the moments you “are scheming.” One conversation revealed deception, and in the terrorism status the activists ironically wrote: “Plot detected, though not terrorist in nature.”
The recording devices are still in place at Building on Bond in Brooklyn and Cafe Orlin and Cafe Mogador in Manhattan, according to the group’s website.
A representative of the group told RT that the activists have deleted the lion share of the recordings that they have obtained releasing most likely less than 10 minutes of audio.
“That’s really just to show people the types of conversation that are being monitored and that even the most mundane conversations reveal a great deal about your life. They can reveal your sexual preference; they can reveal what type of medical condition you have; they can reveal who you associate with and how often and where you travel and how often and what the places you travel to can say about your life.”
According to the group, the NSA doesn’t know about its unofficial counterpart in New York.
“We haven’t had an email or phone call exchange [with the NSA] yet. Based on the actions that they take, we think they’d approve,” theactivists told Mashable.
The group hopes eventually ”that the NSA will adopt the We Are Always Listening project and make it a fully funded and functional arm of the NSA,” another representative of the organization told The Guardian.
“We hope that we’re lauded and applauded for helping to keep the country safe,” the source said. “Even the most mundane conversations, as the NSA will tell you, are of vital importance,” he said, adding they don’t release “anybody’s first and last names”.
He said that if it turns out that it’s illegal, “we’ll put a full stop to it. We’ll continue to keep the country safe from terror until then.”
The group’s representative told the paper that “We Are Always Listening” also has plans to start the surveillance of people in Germany, just like the real NSA.