Android discovery awards security researcher $70,000 reward • The Register

Android discovery awards security researcher $70,000 reward • The Register

Briefly A security researcher whose Google Pixel battery died while sending a text message might have been grateful for the outage — turning it back on led him to discover he had been rewarded $70,000 by Google for a lock screen bypass bug.

Now patched, the vulnerability would allow anyone with a backup SIM card and access to a device to bypass the lock screen entirely, giving them unfettered access to the device.

Hungarian security researcher David Schutz V said blog post It found detection when he turned on his Pixel 6 and forgot his SIM PIN, requiring him to search for his Personal Unlock Key, or PUK, which would allow him to reset the PIN. After rebooting, his phone got stuck again and again on the “Running Pixel” screen.

Schutz tried to replicate the problem, but on one occasion forgot to turn the phone back on. “As before, I entered the PUK code and chose a new PIN. This time the phone crashed, and I was on my home screen,” said Schutz.

After a few more tries, Schutz said he was sure he had “Completely bypass the lock screenon fully patched [at the time] Pixel 6. I got my old Pixel 5 and tried to reproduce the error there as well. I succeeded too.”

The problem arose from Android calling the .dismiss() function whenever the SIM PUK was reset. What Android apparently did, Schutz said, was to dismiss the screen prompting the PUK to reset it, while this request wasn’t accidentally sent so the PUK reset screen actually goes away. Since the active security layer underneath was all that was left, Android rejected it without realizing the error.

Schutz said Google quickly resolved the issue when he submitted it, but it remained silent for months. After asking to continue, he was told that the problem was a duplicate. Later, Google admitted that although its bug was a duplicate, it was only because of its report that the company took action and patched it in the November 5 Android security update.

Being a duplicate, Google couldn’t give the full $100,000 a bug so serious deserved, but the company decided to give him $70,000 because he got it to work.

A phishing gang is upping their game

A threat actor known to Microsoft as DEV-0569 has reportedly upped its game from phishing and spamming emails to using more dangerous tactics, and even selling access to ransomware operators trying to introduce a new series of ransomware known as Royal. .

DEV-0569 shows a continuing pattern of innovation, Microsoft He saidmaking these latest pivots just one in a long line of tactics the group has adopted and the payloads it has deployed.

Recently adopted tactics spotted by Microsoft include using contact forms on targeted websites to offer phishing links, hosting fake installer files on fake download sites as well as legitimate repositories, and extending malicious advertising activity into Google ads, “effectively mixing with ad traffic.” Normal, Microsoft said.

Regarding the Royal ransomware deployment, Microsoft said the DEV-0569 infection chain cases “ultimately facilitated human-run ransomware attacks distributing Royal,” but the company does not explicitly say DEV-0569 is behind the attacks.

The group will likely continue to rely on phishing and false advertising. Microsoft recommends that you protect systems accordingly; For example, updating systems, blocking certain web traffic, and so on.

Another Booz Allen employee caught smuggling data

Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Company, former employee Former NSA contractor W Russian citizen Edward Snowden told her employees that before leaving the company, one of their coworkers stole a copy of a report containing their personally identifiable information.

Lots of it.

“Based on our review, personal information was disclosed including: your name, Social Security number, compensation, gender, race, ethnicity, date of birth, eligibility, and US government security clearance status as of March 29, 2021,” the company said in a statement. Sample message [PDF] Send to the staff.

The company does not believe the employee intended to misuse the data, and believes the threat to its employees is low. However, Booz Allen offers two years of Equifax credit monitoring to employees just in case.

You may remember that Booz Allen was Edward Snowden’s employer when he leaked details about NSA spying operations to the press in 2013. This isn’t Boz Allen’s only high-profile leaking incident, either: Three years after the Snowden case, another employee got He was arrested with secret documents He snuck home from the intelligence contractor.

Now may also be a good time for Booz Allen to consider changes to the hiring process. ®

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