Researchers Hacked Amazon’s Alexa to Spy On Users, Again

“On default, Alexa ends the sessions after each duration… we were able to build in a feature that kept the session going [so Alexa would continue listening]. We also wanted to make sure that the user is not prompted and that Alexa is still listening without re-prompts,” Erez Yalon, manager of Application Security Research at Checkmarx, told Threatpost.

Source: Researchers Hacked Amazon’s Alexa to Spy On Users, Again | Threatpost | The first stop for security news

Repair Shops Are Stoked That the Samsung Galaxy S8 Is the Most Fragile Phone Ever Made

Soon after its release, electronics insurance company SquareTrade put Samsung’s new flagship phone through its breakability test, a series of drops, dunks, and tumbles. It was deemed the most breakable phone of all time: “S8 is the first phone we’ve tested that’s cracked on the first drop on ALL sides,” SquareTrade wrote in a video demonstrating the drops.

Source: Repair Shops Are Stoked That the Samsung Galaxy S8 Is the Most Fragile Phone Ever Made – Motherboard

About 90% of Smart TVs Vulnerable to Remote Hacking via Rogue TV Signals

According to Scheel, the problem is that the HbbTV standard, carried by DVB-T signals and supported by all smart TVS, allows the sending of commands that tell smart TVs to access and load a website in the background.

Knowing this, Scheel developed two exploits he hosted on his own website, which when loaded in the TV’s built-in browser would execute malicious code, gain root access, and effectively take over the device.

Source: About 90% of Smart TVs Vulnerable to Remote Hacking via Rogue TV Signals

Reverse engineering an IP camera

During setup the app instructs the user to either plug in an Ethernet cable or press the ‘pair’ button on the camera which causes the camera to switch to host mode and offer up an open (aka insecure) wireless network.  The app then scans for this network which is typically called CameraHD-(MAC address) and prompts the user to connect to it. This is an alarming feature for a camera designed for outdoor use particularly as the camera also offers a host of unfiltered network services, including the network video feed (RTSP), a bespoke internal messaging service for initiating alerts and two distinct web servers (nuvoton and busybox), one of which has an undocumented firmware upgrade page. Readers of our other blogs will know how much we like upgrading firmware…

Source: Push To Hack: Reverse engineering an IP camera

Hacking Team’s RCS Android: The most sophisticated Android malware ever exposed

The spyware is delivered either via the aforementioned app, or via an SMS or email that contain a specially crafted URL that will trigger exploits for several vulnerabilities in the default browsers of Android versions 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to 4.3 Jelly Bean.

This will allow the attacker to gain root privilege, and allow the installation of a shell backdoor and RCS Android.

Source: Hacking Team’s RCS Android: The most sophisticated Android malware ever exposed

Hacking Gmail with 92 Percent Success

The researchers monitor changes in shared memory and are able to correlate changes to what they call an “activity transition event,” which includes such things as a user logging into Gmail or H&R Block or a user taking a picture of a check so it can be deposited online, without going to a physical CHASE Bank. Augmented with a few other side channels, the authors show that it is possible to fairly accurately track in real time which activity a victim app is in.

There are two keys to the attack. One, the attack needs to take place at the exact moment the user is logging into the app or taking the picture. Two, the attack needs to be done in an inconspicuous way. The researchers did this by carefully calculating the attack timing.

via UCR Today: Hacking Gmail with 92 Percent Success.

The researchers created three short videos that show how the attacks work. They can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1ByiCd3.