Open the storage bay doorways, HAL [Audio + Text] – Bare Safety

DOUG  Patches aplenty, related storage doorways, and motherboard malfeasance.

All that and extra on the Bare Safety podcast.


Welcome to the podcast, everyone.

I’m Doug Aamoth; he’s Paul Ducklin.

Paul, how do you do?

DUCK  I’m nonetheless making an attempt to make sense of once you mentioned “related storage doorways”, Doug.

As a result of that is connectivity on a complete new scale!

DOUG  Oh, sure!

What might probably go mistaken?

We’ll get into that…

We like to begin the present with the This Week in Tech Historical past section.

Now we have many choices… at the moment we’ll spin the wheel.

What occurred this week?

The primary man in house, Yuri Gagarin, in 1961; Ronald Wayne leaves Apple and sells his inventory for $800 in 1976 – most likely a little bit of remorse there; the germination of COBOL in 1959; the primary House Shuttle launch in 1981; the Apollo 13 rescue mission in 1970; Metallica sues Napster in 2000; and the primary West Coast Pc Faire in 1977.

Let’s go forward and spin the wheel right here, and see the place we land.




DOUG  And we obtained COBOL!

Congratulations, Paul – good job.

This week, in 1959, there was a gathering, and on the assembly had been some crucial and influential computing pioneers who mentioned the creation of a typical, business-friendly programming language.

The one-and-only Grace Hopper recommended that the US Division of Protection fund such a language.

And, fortunately sufficient, a DOD computing director was on the identical assembly, favored the concept, and agreed to fund it.

And with that, COBOL was born, Paul.

DUCK  Sure!

COBOL: COmmon Enterprise-Oriented Language.

And it got here out of a factor referred to as CODASYL.

[LAUGHS} That’s the acronym to begin/end all acronyms: The Conference/Committee on Data Systems Languages.

But it was an intriguing idea that, of course, has come full circle several times, not least with JavaScript in the browser.

A language like FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation) was very popular for scientific computing at the time.

But every company, every compiler, every little group of programmers had their own version of FORTRAN, which was better than everybody else’s.

And the idea of COBOL was, “Wouldn’t it be nice if you could write the code, and then you could take it to any compliant compiler on any system, and the code would, within the limits of the system, behave the same?”

So it was a way of providing a cmmon, business-oriented language… exactly as the name suggests.

DOUG  Exactly!


Alright, we’ve come a long way (good job, everybody), including up to the most recent Patch Tuesday.

We’ve got a zero-day; we’ve got two curious bugs; and we’ve got about 90-some other bugs.

But let’s get to the good stuff, Paul…

Patch Tuesday: Microsoft fixes a zero-day, and two curious bugs that take the Secure out of Secure Boot

DUCK  Yes, let’s just knock on the head the zero-day, which is CVE-2023-28252, if you want to search that one down.

Because that’s one that crooks obviously already know how to exploit.

It’s a bug in a part of Windows that we’ve seen bugs in before, namely the Common Log File System driver.

And that’s a system driver that allows any service or app on your device to do system logging in (supposedly) a controlled, secure way.

You write your logs… they don’t get lost; not everyone invents their own way of doing it; they get properly timestamped; they get recorded, even if there’s heavy load; etc.

Unfortunately, the driver that processes these logs… it’s basically doing its stuff under the SYSTEM account.

So if there’s a bug in it, when you log something in a way that’s not supposed to happen, usually what happens is that you have what’s called an Elevation of Privilege, or EoP.

And somebody who a moment ago might have just been a GUEST user suddenly is running under the SYSTEM account, which basically gives them as-good-as total control over the system.

They can load and unload other drivers; they can access pretty much all the files; they can spy on other programs; they can start and stop processes; and so on.

That’s the 0-day.

It only got rated Important by Microsoft… I presume because it’s not remote code execution, so it can’t be used by a crook to hack into your system in the first place.

But once they’re in, this bug could, in theory (and in practice, given that it’s an O-day), be used by a crook who’s already in to get what are effectively superpowers on your computer.

DOUG  And then, if you take the Secure out of Secure Boot, what does it become, Paul?


DUCK  “Boot”, I suppose?

Yes, these are two bugs that just intrigued me enough to want to focus on them in the article on Naked Security. (If you want to know everything about all the patches, go to and read the SophosLabs report on these bugs.)

I won’t read out the numbers, they’re in the article… they both are headlined with the following words: Windows Boot Manager Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability.

And I’ll read out how Microsoft describes it:

An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could bypass Secure Boot to run unauthorised code.

To be successful, the attacker would need either physical access or administrator privileges…

…which I imagine they might be able to get through the bug we spoke about at the start. [LAUGHS]

DOUG  Precisely, I used to be simply considering that!

DUCK  However the factor about, “Hey, guys, don’t fear, they’d want bodily entry to your laptop” is, in my view, somewhat little bit of a pink herring, Doug.

As a result of the entire thought of Safe Boot is it’s meant to guard you even in opposition to individuals who do get bodily entry to your laptop, as a result of it stops issues just like the so referred to as “evil cleaner” assault…

…which is the place you’ve simply left your laptop computer in your resort room for 20 minutes whilst you nip all the way down to breakfast.

Cleaners come into resort rooms day-after-day; they’re imagined to be there.

Your laptop computer’s there; it’s closed; you assume, “They don’t know the password, to allow them to’t log in.”

However what if they may simply pop the lid open, stick in a USB key, and energy it up whereas they full the cleansing of your room…

…in order that they don’t must spend any time really doing the hacking, as a result of that’s all automated.

Shut the laptop computer; take away the USB key.

What in the event that they’ve implanted some malware?

That’s what’s recognized within the jargon as a bootkit.

Not a rootkit, even decrease than that: a BOOT package.

One thing that truly influences your laptop between the time that the firmware is run and Home windows itself really begins.

In different phrases, it fully subverts the underpinnings on which Home windows itself bases the safety that’s coming subsequent.

For instance, what if it had logged your BitLocker keystrokes, so it now knew the password to unlock your complete laptop for subsequent time?

And the entire thought of Safe Boot is it says, “Nicely, something that isn’t digitally signed by a key that’s been preloaded into your laptop (into what’s referred to as the Trusted Platform Module), any code that anyone introduces, whether or not they’re an evil cleaner or a effectively intentioned IT supervisor, merely received’t run.

Though Microsoft solely charges these bugs Vital as a result of they’re not your conventional distant code execution exploits, if I had been a daily-driver Home windows consumer, I believe I’d patch, if just for these alone.

DOUG  So, get patched up now!

You’ll be able to examine these particular gadgets on Bare Safety, and a broader article on Sophos News that particulars the 97 CVEs in whole which have been patched.

And let’s keep on the patch prepare, and speak about Apple, together with some zero-days, Paul.

Apple points emergency patches for spyware-style 0-day exploits – replace now!

DUCK  These had been certainly zero-days that had been the one issues patched on this explicit replace launched by Apple.

As ever, Apple doesn’t say prematurely what it’s going to do, and it doesn’t offer you any warning, and it doesn’t say who’s going to get what when…

…simply at the start of the Easter weekend, we obtained these patches that lined a WebKit zero-day.

So, in different phrases, merely a booby-trapped web site might get distant code execution, *and* there was a bug within the kernel that meant that after you had pwned an app, you possibly can then pwn the kernel and primarily take over the entire machine.

Which mainly smells of, “Hey, browse to my pretty web site. Oh, pricey. Now I’ve obtained spyware and adware throughout your telephone. And I haven’t simply taken over your browser, I’ve taken over every thing.”

And in true Apple style… at first, there have been updates in opposition to each of these bugs for macOS 13 Ventura (the most recent model of macOS), and for iOS and iPad OS 16.

There have been partial fixes – theere had been WebKit fixes – for the 2 older variations of macOS, however no patches for the kernel stage vulnerability.

And there was nothing in any respect for iOS and iPadOS 15.

Does this imply that the older variations of macOS don’t have the kernel bug?

That they do have the kernel bug, however they simply haven’t been patched but?

Is iOS 15 immune, or is it needing a patch however they’re simply not saying?

After which, lo and behold, within the aftermath of the Easter weekend, [LAUGHS] abruptly three extra updates got here out that stuffed in all of the lacking items.

Apple zero-day spyware and adware patches prolonged to cowl older Macs, iPhones and iPads

It certainly turned out that each one supported iOSes and iPadOSes (which is variations 15 and 16), and all supported macOSes (that’s variations 11, 12 and 13) contained each of those bugs.

And now all of them have patches in opposition to each of them.

On condition that this bug was apparently discovered by a mixture of the Amnesty Worldwide Safety Lab and the Google Menace Response Staff…

…effectively, you’ll be able to most likely guess that it has been used for spyware and adware in actual life.

Due to this fact, even for those who don’t assume that you simply’re the form of one who’s prone to be liable to that form of attacker, what it means is that these bugs not solely exist, they clearly appear to work fairly effectively within the wild.

So for those who haven’t carried out an replace examine in your Mac or your iDevice these days, please accomplish that.

Simply in case you missed out.


As we all know, related storage door corporations code these storage doorways with cybersecurity in thoughts.

So it’s surprising that one thing like this has occurred, Paul…

Hack and enter! The “safe” storage doorways that anybody can open from wherever – what you could know

DUCK  Sure.

On this case, Doug (and I really feel we’d higher say the model title: it’s Nexx), they appear to have launched a particular type of cybersecurity.

Zero-factor authentication, Doug!

That’s the place you are taking one thing that isn’t supposed to be made public (not like an e mail deal with or a Twitter deal with, the place you need individuals to realize it), however that isn’t really a secret.

So, an instance is likely to be the MAC deal with of your wi-fi card.

On this case, they’d given every of their units a presumably distinctive machine ID…

…and for those who knew what any machine’s ID was, that counted as mainly username, password and login code multi function go.

DOUG  [GROAN] That’s handy…

DUCK  Much more handy, Doug: there’s a tough coded password within the firmware of each machine.

DOUG  Oh, there we go! [LAUGHS]

DUCK  [LAUGHS] As soon as somebody is aware of what that magic password is, it permits them to log into the cloud messaging system that these units use across the globe.

What the researcher who did this discovered, as a result of he had one among these units…

…he discovered that whereas he was awaiting his personal site visitors, which he would perhaps count on to see, he obtained everybody else’s as effectively, together with their machine IDs.

DOUG  [BIGGER GROAN] Oh, my goodness!

DUCK  Simply in case the machine ID wasn’t sufficient, additionally they occur to incorporate your e mail deal with, your preliminary, and your loved ones title within the JSON information as effectively.

Simply in case you didn’t already know how one can stalk the individual again to the place they lived.

So, you possibly can both go spherical to their home and open their storage after which steal their stuff. (Oh, by the best way, this additionally appears utilized to their dwelling alarm techniques as effectively, so you possibly can flip off the alarm earlier than you opened the storage door.)

Or, for those who had been of sufficiently evil intent, you possibly can simply randomly open individuals’s storage doorways wherever they lived, as a result of apparently that’s terribly amusing. Doug.

DOUG  [IRONIC] The least that this researcher might have carried out would have been to alert the corporate, say, three-plus months in the past, and provides them time to repair this.

DUCK  Sure, that’s in regards to the least he might have carried out.

Which is precisely what he did do.

And that’s finally why, a number of months later (I believe it was in January he first contacted them, and he simply couldn’t get them shifting on this)…

…finally he mentioned, “I’m simply going to go public with this.”

To again him up, the US CISA [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] really put out a kind of APB on this saying, “By the best way, simply so you recognize, this firm isn’t being responsive, and we don’t actually know what to advise you.”

Nicely, my recommendation was… think about using good quaint bodily keys; don’t use the app.

To be honest, though the researcher described the character of the bugs, as I’ve described them to you right here, he didn’t really put out a proof-of-concept.

It wasn’t like he made it super-easy for everyone.

However I believe he felt that he nearly had an obligation of care to individuals who had this product to know that perhaps they too, wanted to lean on the seller.

DOUG  Alright, this can be a basic “we’ll regulate that” kind of story.

And an amazing reminder on the finish of the article… you write, because the previous joke places it, “The S in IoT stands for Safety”, which could be very a lot the case.

DUCK  Sure, it’s time that we put the S in IoT, isn’t it?

I don’t know what number of instances we’re going to be telling tales like this about IoT units… each time we do it, we hope it’s the final time, don’t we?

Exhausting coded passwords.

Replay assaults being potential, as a result of there’s no cryptographic uniqueness in every request.

Leaking different individuals’s information.

Together with pointless stuff in requests and replies… for those who’ve obtained the machine ID and also you’re making an attempt to establish the machine, you don’t want to inform the machine its proprietor’s e mail deal with each time you need the door to open!

It’s simply not vital, and for those who don’t give it out, then it will possibly’t leak!

[IRONIC] However aside from that, Doug, I don’t really feel strongly about it.

DOUG  [LAUGHS] OK, superb.

Our final story of the day, however actually not the least.

Motherboard producer MSI is having some certificate-based firmware complications these days.

Consideration avid gamers! Motherboard maker MSI admits to breach, points “rogue firmware” alert

DUCK  Sure, this can be a fairly horrible story.

Allegedly, a ransomware crew going by the title Cash Message have breached MSI, the motherboard makers. (They’re very fashionable with avid gamers as a result of they’re very tweakable motherboards.)

The criminals declare to have huge portions of knowledge that they’re going to breach until they get the cash.

They haven’t obtained the precise information on their leak web site (no less than they hadn’t after I appeared final night time, which was simply earlier than the deadline expired), however they’re claiming that they’ve MSI supply code.

They’re claiming that they’ve the framework that MSI makes use of to develop BIOS or firmware recordsdata, so in different phrases they’re implying that they’ve already obtained the insider information they want to have the ability to construct firmware that can be in the appropriate format.

And so they say, “Additionally, we’ve got personal keys.”

They’re inviting us to deduce that these personal keys would enable them to signal any rogue firmware that they construct, which is sort of a worrying factor for MSI, who’ve form of gone down the center on this.

They admitted the breach; they’ve disclosed it to the regulator; they’ve disclosed it to legislation enforcement; and that’s just about all they’ve mentioned.

What they *have* carried out is give recommendation that we strongly advocate you observe anyway, particularly telling its prospects:

Acquire firmware or BIOS updates solely from MSI’s official web site, and don’t use recordsdata from sources aside from the official web site.

Now, we’d hope that you simply wouldn’t go off-piste to go and get your self probably rogue firmware BLOBs anyway… as a few of our commenters have mentioned, “What do individuals assume after they try this?”

However previously, for those who couldn’t get them from MSI’s web site, you possibly can no less than maybe depend on validating the digital certificates by your self for those who favored.

So I believe you must say what you often do about watching this house, Doug…

DOUG  Let’s regulate this one then, too!

And it begs the query from one among our readers (I couldn’t have mentioned it higher myself) on the MSI story… Peter asks:

Might MSI not revoke the certificates that was used to signal the recordsdata?

So even when somebody did obtain a file that had been compromised, it could then fail the certificates examine?

Or does it not work like that?

DUCK  Nicely, it does work like that in *concept*, Doug.

However for those who simply blindly begin refusing anyone who’s already obtained firmware that was signed with the now deprecated certificates, you do run the chance, primarily, of getting individuals who have nearly as good as “locked their keys within the automotive”, if you recognize what I imply.

For instance, think about that you simply simply go, “Proper! On each laptop on this planet from tomorrow, any MSI firmware signed with this key that has been compromised (if the crooks are telling the reality) simply received’t work. You’ll need to get a brand new one.”

Nicely, how are you going besides up your laptop to get on-line to get the brand new one? [LAUGHS]

DOUG  [LAUGHS] A slight drawback!

DUCK  There’s that chicken-and-egg drawback.

And this doesn’t simply apply to firmware… for those who’re too fast in blocking everyone’s entry to recordsdata which are reliable however had been signed with a certificates that has now grow to be untrustworthy, you do threat probably doing extra hurt than good.

You have to go away a little bit of an overlap interval.

DOUG  Alright, wonderful query, and wonderful reply.

Thanks very a lot, Peter, for sending that in.

When you have an fascinating story, remark or query you’d prefer to submit, we’d like to learn it on the podcast.

You’ll be able to e mail [email protected], you’ll be able to touch upon any one among our articles, or you’ll be able to hit us up on social: @nakedsecurity.

That’s our present for at the moment; thanks very a lot for listening.

For Paul Ducklin, I’m Doug Aamoth, reminding you till subsequent time to…

BOTH  Keep safe!