Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items tagged security in Dec

Filters: Month: Dec × security ×

How Shopify Uses WebAssembly Outside of the Browser (via) I’m fascinated by applications of WebAssembly outside the browser. As a Python programmer I’m excited to see native code libraries getting compiled to WASM in a way that lets me call them from Python code via a bridge, but the other interesting application is executing untrusted code in a sandbox. Shopify are doing exactly that—they are building a kind-of plugin mechanism where partner code compiled to WASM runs inside their architecture using Fastly’s Lucet. The performance numbers are in the same ballpark as native code. Also interesting: they’re recommending AssemblyScript, a TypeScript-style language designed to compile directly to WASM without needing any additional interpreter support, as required by dynamic languages such as JavaScript, Python or Ruby. # 19th December 2020, 4:46 pm

Two malicious Python libraries caught stealing SSH and GPG keys. Nasty. Two typosquatting libraries were spotted on PyPI—targetting dateutil and jellyfish but with tricky variants of their names. They attempted to exfiltrate SSH and GPG keys and send them to an IP address defined server. npm has seen this kind of activity too—it’s important to consider this when installing packages. # 5th December 2019, 6:07 am

The Mirai Botnet Was Part of a College Student Minecraft Scheme. Fascinating story about last year’s Mirai botnet, which was originally developed to help corner the Minecraft server market. # 15th December 2017, 3:18 am

Extended Validation is Broken. Ian Carroll spent $100 incorporating a company called “Stripe, Inc” in the state of Kentucky and $77 on an Extended Validation certificate tied to that legal entity. Safari (and Mobile Safari) now hide the URL bar completely, displaying “Stripe, Inc” in its place. “This means the attacker does not even need to register a convincing phishing domain. They can register anything, and Safari will happily cover it with a nice green bar.” # 12th December 2017, 1:36 am

Cybersecurity Campaign Playbook (via) “The information assembled here is for any campaign in any party. It was designed to give you simple, actionable information that will make your campaign’s information more secure from adversaries trying to attack your or-ganization—and our democracy.” # 3rd December 2017, 7:22 pm

Why do browsers allow cross-domain JavaScript to execute but not XMLHttpRequests?

It’s called the Same Origin Policy, and it’s principally about intranets. Imagine you have a URL http://intranet.corp/top-secret-...—and you then visit . If cross domain XHR was allowed the evil site could suck that secret document off your intranet without you realising.

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Intercepting Predator Video. Bruce Schneier’s take on the unencrypted Predator UAV story. A fascinating discussion of key management and the non-technical side of cryptography. # 24th December 2009, 9:26 pm

The Dangers of Clickjacking with Facebook. theharmonyguy compiled a list of actions that can be triggered on Facebook by a single click, and hence are vulnerable to clickjacking attacks. The list includes authorising malicious applications, posting links to profiles, sending friend requests and sending messages to other users. Why don’t Facebook include frame busting JavaScript on every page? # 23rd December 2009, 10:20 am

New Facebook clickjacking attack in the wild. I’m not sure why Facebook don’t use frame-busting JavaScript to avoid this kind of thing. The attack is pretty crafty—a Facebook page is positioned with everything obscured bar part of the blue “share this” button, and a fake “Human Test” asks the user to find and click the blue button to continue. # 22nd December 2009, 6:52 pm

Another leak, the worst so far (via) “Arweena, a spokes-elf for Santa Claus, admitted a few hours ago that the database posted at WikiLeaks yesterday is indeed the comprehensive 2009 list of which kids have been naughty, and which were nice.” The first comment is great too. # 22nd December 2009, 10:42 am

Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones. The video feed rather than the control protocol, but still.... “Fixing the security gap would have caused delays, according to current and former military officials. It would have added to the Predator’s price. Some officials worried that adding encryption would make it harder to quickly share time-sensitive data within the U.S. military, and with allies.” # 17th December 2009, 7:36 am

Notes from the No Lone Zone. A computer scientist with a background in cryptography visits a Titan II ICBM launch complex. # 16th December 2009, 10:02 am

Researchers Show How to Forge Site Certificates. Use an MD5 collision to create two certificates with the same hash, one for a domain you own and another for Get Equifax CA to sign your domain’s certificate using the outdated “MD5 with RSA” signing method. Copy that signature on to your home-made certificate to create a fake certificate for Amazon that will be accepted by any browser. # 30th December 2008, 3:27 pm

Microsoft: Big Security Hole in All IE Versions. Looks like a 0-day that’s being actively exploited. # 16th December 2008, 8:26 pm

Yahoo! yesterday launched their new development platform for My Yahoo! and Yahoo! Mail, which uses Caja to protect users from malicious gadgets. This means Caja suddenly got 275,000,000 users. Wow! I guess this makes Caja the most widely used capability language ever.

Ben Laurie # 16th December 2008, 4:33 pm

Now You Can Sign Into Friend Connect Sites With Your Twitter ID. Great. Now even Google is asking me for my Twitter password. Slow clap. How’s that Twitter OAuth beta coming along? # 15th December 2008, 5:20 pm

Warcraft account security. Apparently Blizzard have been selling two factor authentication key fobs for World of Warcraft for about six months. # 6th December 2008, 9:52 am

Secret Geek A-Team Hacks Back, Defends Worldwide Web. Wired’s take on the story of Dan Kaminsky’s breaking-the-internet DNS vulnerability. Horrible headline. # 3rd December 2008, 11:10 am

The backdooring of SquirrelMail. A SquirrelMail developer’s account was compromised and used to insert a backdoor: the other developers initially missed the hole because it used $_SERVER[’HTTP_BASE_PATH’], which can be set with a Base-Path: HTTP header. # 28th December 2007, 11:40 pm

David Airey: Google’s Gmail security failure leaves my business sabotaged (via) Gmail had a CSRF hole a while ago that allowed attackers to add forwarding filter rules to your account. David Airey’s domain name was hijacked by an extortionist who forwarded the transfer confirmation e-mail on to themselves. # 26th December 2007, 12:16 pm

IPy. Handy Python module for manipulating IP addresses—use IP(ip_addr).iptype() == ’PUBLIC’ to check that an address isn’t in a private address range. # 24th December 2007, 1:19 pm

Why the h can’t Rails escape HTML automatically? It would be a pretty huge change, but auto-escaping in Rails 2.0 could close up a lot of accidental XSS holes. # 1st December 2007, 8:34 pm

How is Google giving me access to this page?

Google have an open URL redirector, so you can craft a link that uses that:

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A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection (via) Vista’s content protection is a nightmare for hardware manufacturers and consumers alike. It’s far worse than even BoingBoing readers would expect. # 24th December 2006, 10:34 am

Rogues are very keen in their profession, and know already much more than we can teach them

The Construction of Locks # 19th December 2006, 8:55 am

Never store passwords in a database! The developers just learnt this the hard way. It might be time to change some of your passwords. # 16th December 2006, 12:01 am

Real-World Passwords. Random passwords phished from MySpace are surprisingly decent. # 14th December 2006, 2:14 pm

Chris Shiflett: Google XSS Example (via) UTF-7 is a nasty vector for XSS. # 24th December 2005, 5:21 pm

Don’t be eval()

JavaScript is an interpreted language, and like so many of its peers it includes the all powerful eval() function. eval() takes a string and executes it as if it were regular JavaScript code. It’s incredibly powerful and incredibly easy to abuse in ways that make your code slower and harder to maintain. As a general rule, if you’re using eval() there’s probably something wrong with your design.

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Blaster and the great blackout (via) Bruce Schneier writes for # 17th December 2003, 3:10 am