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#deepweb | A Public Index for the Web? How the Blockchain Could Potentially Fight Deepfakes

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Over the past two years a cottage industry has emerged of media experts and journalists warning of the potential dangers of “deep fakes.” Videos of Vladimir Putin or Barack Obama saying whatever a video-editor wants them to say have been widely shared on mainstream networks to raise fears over privacy and the dangerous “post-truth” world of the Internet. 

While most mainstream networks have a vested interest in questioning the legitimacy of digital and citizen-led news, there is no doubt that verifying video content is becoming more difficult. 

On the one hand, deep fakes are likely to become a central component of internet culture, fueling the political caricature and memes of tomorrow. On the other hand, there is a darker side. It’s not unrealistic to envision a future in which videos from inside Syria or a protest in Iraq are doctored in a way that could alter our understanding of key events.

It’s not unrealistic to envision a future in which videos from inside Syria or a protest in Iraq are doctored in a way that could alter our understanding of key events.

The blockchain may have a solution. According to Amy James of Alexandria Labs, one of the fundamental problems of the web is that there is no public index. Today when we search the web, we’re searching a private index. This makes detecting changes to search rankings, or the de-platforming of certain ideas and even individuals, very difficult to determine.
 


Amy James of the’Open Index Protocol’ explains how a distributed global index for the web could help fight deepfakes.
 

There’s also a less obvious reason why a public index might be a good idea. James argues that “because the web doesn’t have a transparent, secure and version-controlled index it can be difficult to discern truth from fiction online.”

“the web was intended to be fully decentralised.”

On a blockchain immutable index in which every ‘transaction’ is public and recorded, it should be easier to notice when a video is first uploaded and edited, or if different versions of the exact same video are in existence. 

James adds “the web was intended to be fully decentralised.” The apps we all know and love – from Spotify, to Netflix – provide customization and allow networks to scale. At the same time, “private companies build the walled garden infrastructure that we have today so the web could scale and be convenient.” While this model maybe profitable, it centralizes information and control in the hands of closed platforms. “When the web was developing in the early 90s the technology didn’t exist yet to build an index as an open standard protocol,” states James.

“When the web was developing in the early 90s the technology didn’t exist yet to build an index as an open standard protocol”

Alexandria Labs believes the future is a “fully decentralized open protocol for indexing and distribution.” Instead of artificial barriers to content access, an open-source and decentralized protocol would index all public data on the Web, recording it on the blockchain. That’s one way of figuring out if a video of Nancy Pelsoi drunk is actually real. 
 

Full disclosure: Al Bawaba is exploring blockchain solutions on the Open Index Protocol. 

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#school | #ransomware | U.S. National Guard ready for potentially devastating domestic cyberattack – Defence Blog

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans The U.S. National Guard has confirmed that it is ready to mobilize its cyberdefenses in case of a potentially devastating domestic attack. Everyday the National Guard and other state agencies are preparing and battle to protect and deter malicious cyberattacks to U.S. cyberinfrastructure, according to a […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

32,000+ WiFi Routers Potentially Exposed to New …

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Researchers detect an updated Gafgyt variant that targets flaws in small office and home wireless routers from Zyxel, Huawei, and Realtek.

A newly discovered variant of the Gafgyt Internet of Things (IoT) botnet is attempting to infect connected devices, specifically small office and home wireless routers from brands that include Zyxel, Huawei, and Realtek.

Gafgyt was first detected in 2014. Since then, it has become known for large-scale distributed denial-of-service attacks, and its many variants have grown to target a range of businesses across industries. Starting in 2016, researchers with Unit 42 (formerly Zingbox security research) noticed wireless routers are among the most common IoT devices in all organizations and prime targets for IoT botnets.

When a botnet strikes, it can degrade the production network and reputation of a company’s IP addresses. Botnets gain access to connected devices by using exploits instead of attempting to log in via unsecured services. As a result, a botnet can more easily spread through IoT devices even if a business’s admins have disabled unsecured services and use strong login credentials.

The new Gafgyt variant, detected in September, is a competitor of the JenX botnet. JenX also leverages remote code execution exploits to access and recruit botnets to attack gaming servers, especially those running the Valve Source engine, and launch a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. This Gafgyt variant targets vulnerabilities in three wireless router models, two of which it has in common with JenX. The two share CVE-2017-17215 (in Huawei HG532) and CVE-2014-8361 (in Realtek’s RTL81XX chipset). CVE-2017-18368 (in Zyxel P660HN-T1A) is a new addition to Gafgyt.

“Gafgyt was developed off JenX botnet code, which just highlights how much interest there is when it comes to building botnets within that community,” says Jen Miller-Osborn, deputy director of threat intelligence at Unit 42. This evolution of Gafgyt indicates a dedicated group of people is working to update these botnets and make them more dangerous, she notes. Most of the time when a botnet is updated, it typically means a new CVE has been added to its lineup.

“The difference with this one is the developers added a new vulnerability to it that wasn’t present in the previous one,” Miller-Osborn says. “That added to its potential reach.” Shodan scans indicate at least 32,000 Wi-Fi routers are potentially vulnerable to these exploits.

Gafgyt uses three “scanners” in an attempt to exploit known remote code execution bugs in the aforementioned routers. These scanners replace the typical “dictionary” attacks employed by other IoT botnets, which typically aim to breach connected devices through unsecured services.

The exploits are designed to work as binary droppers, which pull a corresponding binary from a malicious server depending on the type of device it’s trying to infect. The new Gafgyt variant is capable of conducting different types of DoS attacks at the same time, depending on the commands it receives from the command-and-control server, Unit 42 researchers say in a blog post on the findings.

Gafgyt Sets Sights on Gamers
One of the DoS attacks this Gafgyt variant can perform is VSE, which contains a payload to attack game servers running the Valve Source Engine. This is the engine that runs games like Half-Life, Team Fortress 2, and others. Researchers emphasize this isn’t an attack on Valve, as anyone can run a server for the games on their own network. This attack targets the servers. 

With the rest of the DoS attack methods, operators are targeting other servers hosting popular games such as Fortnite, Unit 42 found. Miller-Osborn says the purpose in targeting gaming servers is mostly to be an annoyance. “They’re not going to make a lot of money doing it,” she adds.

While gaming servers have become popular victims, the diversity of IoT devices targeted in these attacks has grown, researchers say. These is nothing about these routers that makes them more likely to be owned by gamers; home users and small businesses are also at risk.

“Once they’re compromised, they’re used to do malicious activity,” Miller-Osborn explains. “The routers themselves could be owned by anyone. The biggest thing, especially with all these IoT malware families, is for people to keep in mind this is probably just going to get worse.”

An attack on gaming servers is one thing, she says. It’s typically a DoS incident and people aren’t getting hurt. However, if an attacker can effectively compromise a router, they can also move into the network and conduct more nefarious activity — for example, data theft.

These attacks highlight the fact that there are a lot of devices, especially routers, active on the Internet and vulnerable to a number of CVEs. The new Gafgyt variant, for example, targets two router vulnerabilities from 2017 and one from 2014, Miller-Osborn points out. “When it comes to routers, you don’t necessarily see them getting patched,” she notes. Outside the security community, few people will know when they should update their routers or if they’ve been hit by a botnet — unless, of course, their Internet service provider tells them.

Instagram: New Botnet Market
Cybercriminals are also finding new ways to sell botnets, researchers report. Once an activity limited to the Dark Web, the buying and selling of malware has surfaced to social networks.

In one attack analyzed, the new Gafgyt variant looks for competing botnets on the same device and tries to kill them. It does this by looking for certain keywords and binary names present in other IoT botnet variants. Researchers noticed some strings related to other IoT botnets (Mirai, Hakai, Miori, Satori) and some corresponded to Instagram usernames. The team built some fake profiles and reached out, only to find they’re selling botnets in their Instagram profiles.

(Image: Unit 42)

Attackers offered the researchers source code for botnets. Unit 42 has contacted Instagram to report these profiles; it also reported malicious sites being used to handle botnet subscriptions. It’s “pretty common” for these sales to happen on social media, says Miller-Osborn, and a constant fight for social networks to take down malicious accounts.

“People want to market their devices and services, and one of the easiest ways to do that is on social media,” she explains. While it makes things simple for attackers, removing the accounts is “a constant game of whack-a-mole” for social media companies.

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Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial … View Full Bio

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Cybersecurity Badge: One Big Step for Girl Scouts, Potentially Giant Leap for Women

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

My association with the Girl Scouts has spanned decades — as a scout, camp counselor, steadfast cookie connoisseur and now donor. It is an experience strongly associated with the great outdoors. Cook meals on a campfire? Check. Hike long distances wearing a heavy backpack? Check. Lead two dozen 5-year-olds for…

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PHI Security Breach Potentially Affects 2K ND Medicaid Patients

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

PHI Security Breach Potentially Affects 2K ND Medicaid Patients

On May 10, 2017, the North Dakota Department of Human Services (NDDHS) discovered a report of discarded NDDHS Medicaid claim resolution worksheet documents containing PHI. The papers were reportedly found in a dumpster in Bismark, North Dakota. NDDHS recovered the documents the same day and immediately launched an internal investigation….

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All Windows versions potentially exposed to cyberattacks thanks to new code injection Atom Bombing

all-windows-versions-potentially-exposed-cyberattacks-thanks-new-code-injection-atom-bombing

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

All Windows versions potentially exposed to cyberattacks thanks to new code injection Atom Bombing

Hackers can potentially target and attack all Windows versions thanks to a new attack mechanism uncovered by security researchers in the Windows OS (operating system). Threat actors could leverage the new technique to inject malicious code onto users’ PCs.
According

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Cyber Crime Means Business- Potentially YoursNational Cyber Security

nationalcybersecurity.com – MacDonnell Ulsch is Managing Director of Cybercrime and Breach Response at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He served on the United States Secrecy Commission and is the author of two books, Cyber Threat…

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Cyber Crime Means Business- Potentially Yours

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Cyber Crime Means Business- Potentially Yours

MacDonnell Ulsch is Managing Director of Cybercrime and Breach Response at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He served on the United States Secrecy Commission and is the author of two books, Cyber Threat! How to manage the Growing Risk of Cyber Attacks (Wiley, […]

For more information go to http://www.NationalCyberSecurity.com, http://www. GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.LocatePC.net or http://AmIHackerProof.com

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