Feb 26 2010

How hackers took down Baidu

Baidu Hacked

China’s leading search engine claims a shocking lack of security nous at its chosen domain name registrar was responsible for a prolonged outage last month.

China’s Baidu says in legal papers that that an obvious scammer was able to con Register.com support staff into handing over the keys to its kingdom, resulting in millions of dollars of lost revenue.

Baidu, which commands 70 percent of the Chinese search market, was offline for at least four hours on the 12th of January. During the incident, its baidu.com home page instead showed the messaged “This site has been hacked by the Iranian Cyber Army”.

In its lawsuit, the company claims a Register.com support rep allowed the hacker to reset the administrative email address for the domain to ‘antiwahabi2008@gmail.com’, despite the imposter providing obviously incorrect security codes during an online chat.

The hacker then allegedly used Register’s automated password reminder function to change Baidu’s account password, giving him access to the domain’s name servers. The whole rudimentary scam took less than 45 minutes, Baidu claims.

Baidu is suing for negligence and breach of contract, among other things. Register.com denies the charges. The case is being heard in New York.

Source: THINQ.co.uk

Feb 21 2010

Zero day exploit for Firefox 3.6

Russian security firm Intevydis has made a Windows exploit for a previously unknown security hole in Firefox 3.6 available to its customers. Firefox 3.6 ExploitThe exploit allows attackers to remotely gain control of a PC. Intevydis develops the commercial VulnDisco add-on for the also commercial Canvas exploit toolkit by vendor Immunity. On the Immunity forum, developer Evgeny Legerov praises his exploit for Windows XP (SP3) and Vista as being quite reliable. The developer says It was an interesting challenge to find the flaw – a buffer overflow – and to exploit it.

While the post dates back to the beginning of February, the hole is likely to remain open since no updates have been released for Firefox 3.6 so far. Secunia rates the problem as critical, but hasn’t provided any further information in its advisories and the Mozilla Foundation has become aware of the problem, but has yet to release an official statement. Whether the exploit has already been widely circulated or used on a large scale remains unknown.

However, according to the analysis on the Extraexploit blog, a significant increase in the number of Firefox 3.6 crashes was noted on the 12th and 13th of February. It is unclear whether the crashes were connected to the exploit being tested. The pages causing the highest number of crashes are listed in Mozilla’s crash reports.

In passing, Legerov also mentions zero day exploits for Lotus Notes 8.5/8.5fp1 and for RealPlayer 11. The exploit for RealPlayer is the modernised version of an exploit that appeared two years ago for a hole that RealPlayer closed only recently.

Feb 17 2010

Viewing the Mouse Tracks You Leave Behind

If you’ve ever wondered about the flow of your mouse around your computer screen, a free downloadable application, called “mouse pointer track,” can help you follow these esoteric movements and turn them into a fascinating blur between art and information.

Mouse Tracks

The simple application was developed by Anatoly Zenkov, a Russian graphic designer and programmer, and has been downloaded tens of thousands of times since he first released it in late January this year.

The software runs on any Macintosh or Windows computer and tracks every movement and click of your mouse.

Mr. Zenkov explained in an interview that the project began as a simple attempt to create something visually interesting with computer code. “It was just for fun,” Mr. Zenkov said. “It was meant to be an experiment for me, and then I saw the interest from so many other people, so I decided to share it for free on the Internet.”

As you can see from the images on Mr. Zenkov’s Flickr page, he has been tracking different mouse movements in different application settings.

The images at the top and bottom of this post were made by tracking my mouse movements for 30 minutes, during which time I was writing this blog post and surfing the Web.

Source: The NewYork Times