Security experts aren’t done poking holes in LTE’s armor — not by a long shot. South Korean researchers have found 36 vulnerabilities in LTE that enable a range of attacks, some more sinister than others. They include temporary inconveniences like disconnecting someone from the cell network through to eavesdropping and controlling the data itself. The team found the abundance of exploits by using a custom “fuzzing” (feeding large chunks of random data to look for irregularities) tool.
The past few days haven’t been great for the internet’s broader security. Iran’s Communication and Information Technology Ministry has reportedthat it was a victim in a global cyberattack that compromised about 200,000 Cisco switches that hadn’t yet received patches for exploits in the company’s legacy Smart Install protocol. The attackers displayed a US flag on at least some screens, complete with a “don’t mess with our elections” warning, but the attack wasn’t focused on Iran — only 3,500 switches fell to the exploit in the country. About 55,000 of the victim devices were in the US, IT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said, while 14,000 were in China. Other victims were located in Europe and India.
Would-be hackers don’t always have to jump through hoops to bring down a website. Researchers have discovered relatively simple exploits in ImageMagick, a common package for processing pictures on the web, that let attackers run any code they like on a targeted server. If someone uploads a maliciously coded image and ImageMagick handles it, they could theoretically compromise both the site and anyone who visits it. That’s particularly dangerous for forums and social networks, where user uploads are par for the course — a vengeful member could wreck the site for everyone.