Mar072011

Langevin Bridge

Published by hirantha at 3:00 PM under Photography

Langevin Bridge by hirantha
Langevin Bridge a photo by hirantha on Flickr.


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Mar032011

Android apps infected with rootkit malware

Published by hirantha at 8:36 AM under Google | Andriod | Security

android-virus

More than 50 applications on Google's Android Market have been discovered to be infected with malware called "DroidDream" which can compromise personal data by taking over the user's device, and have been suspended from the store. The apps, according to analysts, may have been downloaded up to 200,000 times before they were found.

The apps were not newly developed ones. The malicious apps were just a bunch of existing applications that had been repackaged to include the virus code.

According to “Android Police” , the malware sends sensitive data including product ID, model, partner (provider), language, country, and user ID. The most dangerous aspect of the rootkit malware is its ability to download codes.

Those who are on  version 2.3+ not vulnerable to the exploits DroidDream uses. They can simply uninstall the offending application(s).

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Feb282011

Thunderbolt Security Issues

Published by hirantha at 9:09 AM under Apple | Apple | Intel | Intel

Intel-ThunderboltApple released a new set of Macbook Pros few days ago, sporting the first implementation of  "Thunderbolt", a new interconnect technology based on what Intel so far called "Light Peak". It promises 10 GBit/sec duplex connectivity to everything from storage to video devices. The technology is similar to Firewire (i.Link, IEEE 1394) in some ways. Like for Firewire, multiple devices may be daisy chained. However, if a display port display is used as part of the chain, the display has to be the last device in the chain.

One speculation put forward in an article in the register is that devices connected via Thunderbolt are not authenticated and like for Firewire, have full bus access. This speculation is supported by the so far available material form Intel and Apple. Like with Firewire, this bus would provide direct access to RAM and possibly disks. As a result, a malicious device may be able to read RAM and disks without authentication.

These attacks have been shown to work for Firewire, and have been used for example in memory forensics to extract memory content from live systems. However, with the larger variety of devices expected for thunderbolt, it may be more of a threat. In particular, the scenario put forward in the article: Connecting a laptop to a projector at a conference via display port. There is no telling if inside the projector a second device sits in line waiting to extract memory from the attached laptop.

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Feb252011

Speed up the internet with DNS Settings

Published by hirantha at 9:42 PM under Google | DNS

When Google launched its own DNS service a year ago, one of the main stated goals behind the project was speed. While there are alternative services such as OpenDNS and UltaDNS, the problem is that most Internet users have no idea what a DNS server is, let alone how to configure one, or test how fast it is.

Google created Namebench, a piece of software to find the fastest DNS server available for you to use. The program is available for OS X, Windows, and Linux, and the entire thing has been open sourced.

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Feb242011

Windows 7/2008 R2 SP1

Published by hirantha at 8:25 PM under Microsoft | Security | Windows 7

The very first service pack for Windows 7 should be popping into your Windows Update right around now. There are few areas that might cause some issues. Here’s what to watch for.

  • Whitelisting / Blacklisting: Whitelisting software may not have checksums yet to verify all the files that are modified by the service pack.
  • Firewalls: Third party firewalls may find that some of the low level hooks they use have changed.
  • Disk Encryption: In particular full disk encryption that modifies the boot process may find that some of the changes it did are undone by the SP install
  • Custom hardware: If you are using drivers other then those that are included in Windows 7 (or 2008 R2)
  • Dual boot : Linux dual boot might cause some issues

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