Path Reverses Course After Revelation That App Uploads User Contacts

After a researcher discovered that any person who decides to download the Path app onto their mobile device is unknowingly sending their address book to a server belonging to the social network and photo-sharing service without prior notification, the company has released a new version of the app that asks people to opt in to that behavior.

How Offensive Research Drives Down the Cost of Attacks

CANCUN–The offensive security research community has evolved in the last decade or so from a relatively small and insular group inwardly focused, to a large and rather vocal group with a wide variety of motives, opinions and skill levels. But, to hear Brad Arkin of Adobe tell it, the huge amount of talent in that community could be put to better use trying to develop new defensive technologies and techniques rather than searching for the next bug in an infinite sea of bugs.

The fallout from last month’s S4 Conference continues in February, with a planned Valentine’s Day release of tools that make it easy to test and exploit vulnerable programmable logic controllers and other industrial control systems. Among the releases will be a tool for cracking passwords on the common ECOM programmable logic controllers by Koyo Electronics, a Japanese firm, according to a blog post by Reid Wightman for Digital Bond.

Attackers and malware authors are well-known for their proclivity for taking whatever tactics and techniques work for others and making them their own. That adaptive ability has now extended to the idea of open-source projects, with one malware gang having set up its own community for improving and updating a piece of malware known as Citadel, a derivative of Zeus.

Researchers at a German university have broken the encryption of the two main standards used to protect calls from satellite phones, giving them the ability to intercept conversations that are meant to be private. The attacks on the GMR-1 and GMR-2 standards are thought to be the first such work against the satellite phone ciphers.

Injecting malicious code into the HTML used on legitimate Web sites is a key part of the infection lifecycle for many attack crews, and they often disguise and obfuscate their code to make it more difficult to analyze or so it appears to be legitimate code. The latest instance of this technique has seen attackers employing code that is meant to look like Google Analytics snippets, but instead sends victims off to a remote site that’s hosting the Black Hole Exploit Kit. Not the desired result.

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