This Week In Security: LastPass Shoe Drops, Keys Lost, And Train Whistles Attack

There has been a rash of cryptocurrency thefts targeting some unexpected victims. Over $35 million has been drained from just over 150 individuals, and the list reads like a who’s-who of the least likely to fall for the normal crypto scams. There is a pattern that has been noticed, that almost all of them had a seed phrase stored in LastPass this past November when the entire LastPass database was breached.

The bulletproof security of the LastPass system depends in part on the rate limiting of authenticating with the LastPass web service. Additionally, accounts created before security improvements in 2018 may have had master passwords shorter than 12 characters, and the hash iterations on those accounts may have been set distressingly low. Since attackers have had unrestricted access to the database, they’ve been able to run offline attacks against accounts with very low iterations, and apparently that approach has been successful.

Microsoft’s Signing Key

You may remember a story from a couple months ago, where Microsoft found the Chinese threat group, Storm-0558, forging authentication tokens using a stolen signing key. There was a big open question at that point, as to how exactly an outside group managed to access such a signing key.

This week we finally get the answer. A crash log from 2021 unintentionally included the key, and Microsoft’s automated redaction system didn’t catch it. That crash dump was brought into development systems, and an engineer’s account was later accessed by Storm-0558. That key should not have worked for enterprise accounts, but a bug in a Microsoft key validation allowed the consumer systems key to work for enterprise accounts. Those issues have been fixed, but after quite a wild ride. Continue reading “This Week In Security: LastPass Shoe Drops, Keys Lost, And Train Whistles Attack”

This Week In Security: Minecraft Fractureiser, MOVEit, And Triangulation

Modded Minecraft is having a security moment, to match what we’ve seen in the Python and JavaScript repositories over the last few months. It looks like things started when a handful of burner accounts uploaded malicious mods to Curseforge and Bukkit. Those mods looked interesting enough, that a developer for Luna Pixel Studios (LPS) downloaded one of them to test-run. After the test didn’t pan out, he removed the mod, but the malicious code had already run.

Where this gets ugly is in how much damage that one infection caused. The virus, now named fractureiser, installs itself into every other Minecraft-related .jar on the compromised system. It also grabs credentials, cookies, cryptocurrency addresses, and the clipboard contents. Once that information was exfiltrated from the LPS developer, the attacker seems to have taken manual actions, using the purloined permissions to upload similarly infected mod files, and then marking them archived. This managed to hide the trapped files from view on the web interface, while still leaving them exposed when grabbed by the API. Once the malware hit a popular developer, it began to really take off.

It looks like the first of the malicious .jar files actually goes all the way back to mid-April, so it may take a while to discover all the places this malware has spread. It was first noticed on June 1, and investigation was started, but the story didn’t become public until the 7th. Things have developed rapidly, and the malware fingerprints has been added to Windows Defender among other scanners. This helps tremendously, but the safe move is to avoid downloading anything Minecraft related for a couple days, while the whole toolchain is inspected. If it’s too late and you’ve recently scratched that voxel itch, it might be worth it to take a quick look for Indicators of Compromise (IoCs).

Continue reading “This Week In Security: Minecraft Fractureiser, MOVEit, And Triangulation”

This Week In Security: OpenEMR, Bing Chat, And Alien Kills Pixels

Researchers at Sonar took a crack at OpenEMR, the Open Source Electronic Medical Record solution, and they found problems. Tthe first one is a classic: the installer doesn’t get removed by default, and an attacker can potentially access it. And while this isn’t quite as bad as an exposed WordPress installer, there’s a clever trick that leads to data access. An attacker can walk through the first bits of the install process, and specify a malicious SQL server. Then by manipulating the installer state, any local file can be requested and sent to the remote server.

There’s a separate set of problems that can lead to arbitrary code execution. It starts with a reflected Cross Site Scripting (XSS) attack. That’s a bit different from the normal XSS issue, where one user puts JavaScript on the user page, and every user that views the page runs the code. In this case, the malicious bit is included as a parameter in a URL, and anyone that follows the link unknowingly runs the code.

And what code would an attacker want an authenticated user to run? A file upload, of course. OpenEMR has function for authenticated users to upload files with arbitrary extensions, even .php. The upload folder is inaccessible, so it’s not exploitable by itself, but there’s another issue, a PHP file inclusion. Part of the file name is arbitrary, and is vulnerable to path traversal, but the file must end in .plugin.php. The bit of wiggle room on the file name on both sides allow for a collision in the middle. Get an authenticated user to upload the malicious PHP file, and then access it for instant profit. The fixes have been available since the end of November, in version 7.0.0-patch-2.

Bing Chat Injection

Or maybe it’s AI freedom. So, the backstory here is that the various AI chat bots are built with rules. Don’t go off into political rants, don’t commit crimes, and definitely don’t try to scam the users. One of the more entertaining tricks clever users have discovered is to tell a chatbot to emulate a personality without any such rules. ChatGPT can’t comment on political hot button issues, but when speaking as DAN, anything goes.


This becomes really interesting when Bing Chat ingests a website that has targeted prompts. It’s trivial to put text on a web page that’s machine readable and invisible to the human user. This work puts instructions for the chat assistant in that hidden data, and demonstrates a jailbreak that turns Bing Chat malicious. The fun demonstration convinces the AI to talk like a pirate — and then get the user to click on an arbitrary link. The spooky demo starts out by claiming that Bing Chat is down, and the user is talking to an actual Microsoft engineer.

LastPass Details — Plex?

Last time we talked about the LastPass breach, we had to make some educated guesses about how things went down. There’s been another release of details, and it’s something. Turns out that in one of the earlier attacks, an encrypted database was stolen, and the attackers chose to directly target LastPass Engineers in an attempt to recover the encryption key.

According to Ars Technica, the attack vector was a Plex server run by one of those engineers. Maybe related, at about the same time, the Plex infrastructure was also breached, exposing usernames and hashed passwords. From this access, attackers installed a keylogger on the developer’s home machine, and captured the engineer’s master password. This allowed access to the decryption keys. There is some disagreement about whether this was/is a 0-day vulnerability in the Plex software. Maybe make sure your Plex server isn’t internet accessible, just to be safe.

There’s one more bit of bad news, particularly if you use the LastPass Single Sign On (SSO) service. That’s because the SSO secrets are generated from an XOR of two keys, K1 and K2. K1 is a single secret for every user at an organization. K2 is the per-user secret stored by Lastpass. And with this latest hack, the entire database of K2 secrets were exposed. If K1 is still secret, all is well. But K1 isn’t well protected, and is easily accessed by any user in the organization. Ouch.

The Ring Alien

Turns out, just like a certain horror movie, there is a video that the very watching causes death. If you happen to be a Pixel phone, that is. And “death” might be a bit of an exaggeration. Though the video in question certainly nails the vibe. Playing a specific YouTube clip from Alien will instantly reboot any modern Pixel phone. A stealth update seems to have fixed the issue, but it will be interesting to see if we get any more details on this story in the future. After all, when data can cause a crash, it can often cause code execution, too.


The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) maintains a list of bugs that are known to be under active exploitation, and that list just recently added a set of notches. CVE-2022-36537 is the most recent, a problem in the ZK Framework. That’s an AJAX framework used in many places, notable the ConnectWise software. Joining the party are CVE-2022-47986, a flaw in IBM Aspera Faspex, a file transfer suite, and CVE-2022-41223 and CVE-2022-40765, both problems in the Mitel MiVoice Business phone system.

Bits and Bytes

There’s yet another ongoing attack against the PyPI repository, but this one mixes things up a bit by dropping a Rust executable as one stage in a chain of exploitation. The other novel element is that this attack isn’t going after typos and misspellings, but seems to be a real-life dependency confusion attack.

The reference implementation of the Trusted Platform Module 2.0 was discovered to contain some particularly serious vulnerabilities. The issue is that a booted OS could read and write two bytes beyond it’s assigned data. It’s unclear weather that’s a static two bytes, making this not particularly useful in the real world, or if these reads could be chained together, slowly leaking larger chunks of internal TPM data.

And finally, one more thing to watch out for, beware of fake authenticator apps. This one is four years old, has a five star rating, and secretly uploads your scanned QR codes to Google Analytics, exposing your secret authenticator key. Yoiks.

This Week In Security: Lastpass Takeaway, Bitcoin Loss, And PyTorch

We mentioned the LastPass story in closing a couple weeks ago, but details were still a bit scarce. The hope was that LastPass would release more transparent information about what happened, and how many accounts were accessed. Unfortunately it looks like the December 22nd news release is all we’re going to get. For LastPass users, it’s time to make some decisions.

To recap, an attacker used information from the August 2022 breach to target a LastPass Employee with a social engineering ploy. This succeeded, and the attacker managed to access LastPass backups, specifically a customer account database and customer vaults. There has been no official word of how many users’ data were included, but the indication is that it was the entire dataset. And to make matters worse, the encrypted vault is only partially encrypted. Saved URLs were exposed as plain-text to the attacker, though usernames and passwords are still encrypted using your master password.

So what should a LastPass user do now? It depends. We can assume that whoever has the LastPass vault data is currently throwing every password list available at it. If you used a weak password — derived from words in any language or previously compromised — then it’s time to change all of your passwords that were in the vault. They are burned. Continue reading “This Week In Security: Lastpass Takeaway, Bitcoin Loss, And PyTorch”

This Week In Security: GitHub Actions, SHA-1 Retirement, And A Self-Worming Vulnerability

It should be no surprise that running untrusted code in a GitHub Actions workflow can have unintended consequences. It’s a killer feature, to automatically run through a code test suite whenever a pull request is opened. But that pull request is run in some part of the target’s development environment, and there’s been a few clever attacks found over the years that take advantage of that. There’s now another one, what Legit Security calls Github Environment Injection, and there were some big-name organizations vulnerable to it.

The crux of the issue is the $GITHUB_ENV file, which contains environment variables to be set in the Actions environment. Individual variables get added to this file as part of the automated action, and that process needs to include some sanitization of data. Otherwise, an attacker can send an environment variable that includes a newline and completely unintended environment variable. And an unintended, arbitrary environment variable is game over for the security of the workflow. The example uses the NODE_OPTIONS variable to dump the entire environment to an accessible output. Any API keys or other secrets are revealed.

This particular attack was reported to GitHub, but there isn’t a practical way to fix it architecturally. So it’s up to individual projects to be very careful about writing untrusted data into the $GITHUB_ENV file.

Continue reading “This Week In Security: GitHub Actions, SHA-1 Retirement, And A Self-Worming Vulnerability”

This Week In Security: Huawei Gets The Banhammer, Lastpass, And Old Code Breaking

While many of us were enjoying some time off for Thanksgiving, the US government took drastic action against Huawei and four other Chinese companies. The hardest hit are Huawei and ZTE, as the ban prevents any new products from being approved for the US market. The other three companies are Dahua and Hikvision, which make video surveillance equipment, and Hytera, which makes radio systems. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr noted the seriousness of the decision.

[As] a result of our order, no new Huawei or ZTE equipment can be approved. And no new Dahua, Hikvision, or Hytera gear can be approved unless they assure the FCC that their gear won’t be used for public safety, security of government facilities, & other national security purposes.

There is even the potential that previously approved equipment could have its authorization pulled. The raw FCC documents are available, if you really wish to wade through them. What’s notable is that two diametrically opposed US administrations have both pushed for this ban. It would surely be interesting to get a look at the classified reports detailing what was actually found. Maybe in another decade or two, we can make a Freedom of Information Act request and finally get the full story.

Continue reading “This Week In Security: Huawei Gets The Banhammer, Lastpass, And Old Code Breaking”

This Week In Security: Zeroconf Strikes Again, Lastpass Leaks Your Last Password, And All Your Data Is Belong To Us

VoIP cameras, DVRs, and other devices running the Web Services Dynamic Discovery (WSDD) protocol are being used in a new type of DDoS attack. This isn’t the first time a zeroconf service has been hijacked as part of a DDoS, as UPnP has also been abused in similar ways.

Feel like alphabet soup yet? A Denial of Service attack is one where the target is simply made unavailable, rather than actually compromised. The classic example of this is the SYN flood, where an attacker would open hundreds of connections to a web server at once, exhausting the server’s resources and interrupting legitimate use of that server. As mitigations for these attacks were developed (SYN Cookies, for example), DoS attacks were replaced by Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks. Rather than attack a weakness on the target machine, like available RAM or CPU cycles, a DDoS generally targets available network bandwidth by hitting the target website from many, many locations at once. No clever software tricks can help when your Internet connection is fully saturated with junk traffic. Continue reading “This Week In Security: Zeroconf Strikes Again, Lastpass Leaks Your Last Password, And All Your Data Is Belong To Us”