Security Newsletter
1 March 2021
SolarWinds Supply Chain Attacks: Blames Intern for 'solarwinds123' Password Lapse
As cybersecurity researchers continue to piece together the sprawling SolarWinds supply chain attack, top executives of the Texas-based software services firm blamed an intern for a critical password lapse that went unnoticed for several years. To date, at least nine government agencies and 100 private sector companies have been breached in what's being described as one of the most sophisticated and well-planned operations that involved injecting the malicious implant into the Orion Software Platform with the goal of compromising its customers.
The said password "solarwinds123" was originally believed to have been publicly accessible via a GitHub repository since June 17, 2018, before the misconfiguration was addressed on November 22, 2019. "I've got a stronger password than 'solarwinds123' to stop my kids from watching too much YouTube on their iPad," Representative Katie Porter of California said. "You and your company were supposed to be preventing the Russians from reading Defense Department emails."
In the weeks following the revelation, SolarWinds was hit with a class-action lawsuit in January 2021 that alleged the company failed to disclose that "since mid-2020, SolarWinds Orion monitoring products had a vulnerability that allowed hackers to compromise the server upon which the products ran," and that "SolarWinds' update server had an easily accessible password of 'solarwinds123'," as a result of which the company "would suffer significant reputational harm." While it's still not clear as to the extent the leaked password may have enabled the hack, a third-party spokesperson for the company claimed to the contrary. Likening the SolarWinds cyberattack to a "large-scale series of home invasions," Smith urged the need for strengthening the tech sector's software and hardware supply chains, and promoting broader sharing of threat intelligence for real-time responses during such incidents. SolarWinds, for its part, said it's implementing the knowledge gained from the incident to evolve into a company that is "Secure by Design" and that it's deploying additional threat protection and threat hunting software across all its network endpoints including measures to safeguard its development environments.
Read More on TheHackerNews
New 'Silver Sparrow' Malware Infected Nearly 30,000 Apple Macs
Days after the first malware targeting Apple M1 chips was discovered in the wild, researchers have disclosed yet another previously undetected piece of malicious software that was found in about 30,000 Macs running Intel x86_64 and the iPhone maker's M1 processors.
However, the ultimate goal of the operation remains something of a conundrum, what with the lack of a next-stage or final payload leaving researchers unsure of its distribution timeline and whether the threat is just under active development.
"Though we haven't observed Silver Sparrow delivering additional malicious payloads yet, its forward-looking M1 chip compatibility, global reach, relatively high infection rate, and operational maturity suggest Silver Sparrow is a reasonably serious threat, uniquely positioned to deliver a potentially impactful payload at a moment's notice," Lambert said.
Read More on TheHackerNews
Judge approves $650m settlement for Facebook users in privacy, biometrics lawsuit
A $650 million settlement to close a class-action lawsuit alleging that Facebook violated user privacy has been approved. The case, a class-action lawsuit filed against the social media giant six years ago, alleged that Facebook violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which prevents companies from gathering or using biometric information from users without consent.
The lawsuit claimed that the Facebook Tag Suggestions feature, which used facial markers to suggest people in image tagging, violated BIPA by scanning, storing, and using user biometrics to create "face templates" without written permission. In total, close to 1.6 million Facebook users in Illinois could receive as much as $345 each within months, on the assumption that no appeal is filed, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
In a statement, Facebook said, "we are pleased to have reached a settlement so we can move past this matter, which is in the best interest of our community and our shareholders." In related news over the past week, video content-sharing platform TikTok has agreed to a $92 million settlement to resolve claims that the company harvested and shared data belonging to minors.
Read More on ZDNet
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