Meltdown and Spectre – Bugs in modern computers leak passwords and sensitive data.

Meltdown and Spectre exploit critical vulnerabilities in modern processors. These hardware bugs allow programs to steal data which is currently processed on the computer. While programs are typically not permitted to read data from other programs, a malicious program can exploit Meltdown and Spectre to get hold of secrets stored in the memory of other running programs. This might include your passwords stored in a password manager or browser, your personal photos, emails, instant messages and even business-critical documents.

Meltdown and Spectre work on personal computers, mobile devices, and in the cloud. Depending on the cloud provider’s infrastructure, it might be possible to steal data from other customers.


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Meltdown and Spectre

Every WiFi connection at risk of new “KRACK” WiFi hacking attack

The first new WiFi security vulnerability to be found in 14 years is real a doozey!  


The WPA2 encryption protocol which is widely used to secure WiFi traffic is at risk from multiple vulnerabilities, collectively known as “KRACK Attacks”, or Key Reinstallation AttACKs, that were publicly disclosed on October 16, 2017. Every single WiFi connection currently in use is potentially at risk of being hacked security researchers disclosed in a recently released research paper.  These vulnerabilities effect both WiFi Access Points or Routers as well as WiFi enabled devices such as Phones, Laptops, Cameras and any devices connected to and communicating over a WiFi network.

The attacks, which cannot be carried out remotely, allow a malicious individual to replace, or reinstall, one of the security keys used to encrypt the communications on a WiFi network with a key of the attacker’s choosing.  This allows an attacker to gain access to otherwise encrypted data.  This could allow them to view your passwords, credit card numbers, photos and snoop on all traffic sent over the WiFi network.  If your home or business uses a single network for Wired and Wireless communication, as most off-the-shelf routers do, this could even include communications to wired devices as well.  While the attack is not technically easy to complete for all devices, tools are likely to be made available shortly that will allow less technically savvy people to carry out the attack.

As of this time, the only way to fix this flaw would be to manually replace or patch every WiFi device in existence currently, no small feat.  Given that the publication of these vulnerabilities has been withheld, a fix is likely already in the works — or already completed — from major device vendors, but this will only affect those devices that are currently receiving software updates.  Older, abandoned devices, will likely remain vulnerable to these attacks.

Full details on the attacks with P.O.C. demonstrations and further news are available on the following website:


KRACK Attacks: Breaking WPA2

CCleaner 5.33 hacked to deliver malware

CCleaner 5.33 users take note:


Cisco Talos Intelligence labs has recently became aware of a supply chain attack against CCleaner v 5.33.  Talos recently observed that the legitimate download servers used by CCleaner were leveraged to deliver malware to unsuspecting victims.  For an unknown period of time, the legitimate, signed version of CCleaner v5.33, being distributed by Avast, also included a multi-stage malware payload that rode on top of the installation of CCleaner.  Given the potential for damage that could be caused by a network of infected computers even a tiny fraction of the size of CCleaner’s installed user base, Talos decided to move quickly.  On September 13, 2017 Cisco Talos immediately notified Avast of their findings so they could initiate appropriate response measures.

It is believed that attackers gained a foothold inside one or more development or build environments and leveraged that access to insert malware into the CCleaner build that was released between August 15th 2017 to September 12th, 2017.  If you downloaded CCleaner or your system updated to the newest build during this time, it is highly advised that you remove this program from your system and take measures to clean it immediately.

Contact POCC today to ensure your system has not been compromised!

Read the blog post from Cisco Talos to learn more about this discovery:

Massive data breach leaves nearly 1/2 of all Americans vulnerable to identity theft

From the OMG, this is scary department:

Equifax has just announced that a massive data breach in July of 2017 has left nearly 1/2 of all Americans vulnerable to identity theft.  On Thursday, the company disclosed that a data breach it discovered on July 29 may have impacted as many as 143 million consumers in the United States. Equifax is one of the three main organizations in the US that calculates credit scores, so it has access to an extraordinary amount of personal and financial data for virtually every American adult. The company says that hackers accessed data between mid-May and July through a vulnerability in a web application. Attackers got their hands on names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, some driver’s license numbers, and about 209,000 credit card numbers. 182,000 “dispute documents,” essentially complaint submissions that include personal identifying data, were also compromised in the breach.

Equifax is offering a website – – where you can check if you are one of the 143 million people who may have had their personal information compromised.  Equifax is also offering a year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection on that site that you can (and should) sign up for if your personal information has been compromised in the breach.  You might consider paying for additional protection after the first year is over as it’s likely that attackers may have better luck abusing your leaked data once the free year of identity theft protection has expired.

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Dozens of online file converter websites may have been compromised


Recently, a security researcher made an alarming discovery when it was found that a server hosting several popular file conversion web sites had been hacked.  The researcher, who asked not to be named for fear of legal repercussions, recently told ZDNet that the attacker behind the hack had obtained “full root access” to the server and it’s contents.

The researcher claimed the level of access would allow an attacker to quietly copy any file uploaded to the sites, but said it was “impossible to tell” what the root shells were being used for, or if they were even in active use.

The Paris-based server hosted sites including,, and many others.  These sites allow users to convert files and documents to other formats.  While they are hardly the most popular sites in the world, it is estimated that thousands of people use the sites every day, based on various traffic metrics and statistics sites.

The server was found by the researcher to be vulnerable to a year-old set of bugs found in the ImageMagick library, a commonly used tool to convert images. The bugs, known collectively as “ImageTragick,” are extremely easy to exploit — in one case, as simple as uploading an image file containing four lines of code to the server. The bug is so serious that Facebook paid a record bug bounty to a researcher who found that the social network was vulnerable, and Yahoo stopped using the software altogether. Countless servers and websites remain unpatched to this day.

As soon as an exploit file is uploaded to a vulnerable server, the code runs.  This opens a bind shell on the server which listens for commands or code from the attacker.  According to the researcher, there were 3 other bind shells open on this server.  Exactly who was using them or what they were doing remains unknown.

“The impact of this incident is concerning to me,” said the security researcher. “All data going in or out of the server was being tampered with for months on end without the server owner noticing it.”

The full list of affected domains includes:

Read the full article below:

Spotted in the Wild: Fake Facebook messages spreading malicious content

There is a new malware campaign on the rise which has recently been spotted spreading via Facebook private messages.  While the idea behind the campaign is not new, using instant messaging to spread links to malware hosting web pages, the length to which the malware authors have gone to target their victims is not something we typically see in a fly-by-night malware campaign.

The links in the message take you to a Google Docs document page.  The document has already taken a picture from the victim’s Facebook page and created a dynamic landing page which looks like a playable movie. When the victim clicks on the fake playable movie, the malware redirects them to a set of websites which enumerate their browser, operating system and other vital information. Depending on their operating system they are directed to other websites.

It has been a while since I saw these adware campaigns using Facebook, and its pretty unique that it also uses Google Docs, with customized landing pages. As far as I can see no actual malware (Trojans, exploits) are being downloaded but the people behind this are most likely making a lot of money in ads and getting access to a lot of Facebook accounts.

Please make sure that you don’t click on these links, and please update your antivirus!


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The Man Who Wrote Those Password Rules Has a New Tip: N3v$r M1^d!

Bill Burr’s 2003 report recommended using numbers, obscure characters and capital letters and updating regularly—he regrets the error

The man who wrote the book on password management has a confession to make: He blew it.

Back in 2003, as a midlevel manager at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Bill Burr was the author of “NIST Special Publication 800-63. Appendix A.” The 8-page primer advised people to protect their accounts by inventing awkward new words rife with obscure characters, capital letters and numbers—and to change them regularly.

The document became a sort of Hammurabi Code of passwords, the go-to guide for federal agencies, universities and large companies looking for a set of password-setting rules to follow.

The problem is the advice ended up largely incorrect, Mr. Burr says. Change your password every 90 days? Most people make minor changes that are easy to guess, he laments. Changing Pa55word!1 to Pa55word!2 doesn’t keep the hackers at bay.

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If your devices are up and running, your network secure and your business is able to stay in business, you have an amazing SysAdmin (Systems Administrator)!

Take a moment to thank your SysAdmin or IT Department. We often only hear from you when things break and it gets lonely in the server room.

SysAdmin Day


Massive Code Breach Worries Security Researchers.

A massive trove of Microsoft’s internal Windows operating system builds and chunks of its core source code have leaked online.

The leaked code is Microsoft’s Shared Source Kit: according to people who have seen its contents, it includes the source to the base Windows 10 hardware drivers plus Redmond’s PnP code, its USB and Wi-Fi stacks, its storage drivers, and ARM-specific OneCore kernel code.

Anyone who has this information can scour it for security vulnerabilities, which could be exploited to hack Windows systems worldwide. The code runs at the heart of the operating system, at some of its most trusted levels.

Netizens with access to Beta Archive’s private repo of material can, even now, still get hold of the divulged data completely for free. It is being described by some as a bigger leak than the Windows 2000 source code blab in 2004.

Spokespeople for Microsoft were not available for comment.

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