Research Saturday

Research Saturday

Every Saturday, we sit down with cybersecurity researchers to talk shop about the latest threats, vulnerabilities, and technical discoveries.
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Recent Episodes

Ep 201 | 9.18.21

An IoT educational exercise reveals a far-reaching vulnerability.

Guest Jake Valletta, Director of Professional Services at Mandiant, joins Dave to talk about the critical vulnerability Mandiant disclosed that affects millions of IoT devices. Mandiant disclosed a critical risk vulnerability in coordination with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) that affects millions of IoT devices that use the ThroughTek “Kalay” network. This vulnerability, discovered by researchers on Mandiant’s Red Team in late 2020, would enable adversaries to remotely compromise victim IoT devices, resulting in the ability to listen to live audio, watch real time video data, and compromise device credentials for further attacks based on exposed device functionality. These further attacks could include actions that would allow an adversary to remotely control affected devices.

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Ep 200 | 9.11.21

A Google Chrome update that just didn't feel right.

Guest Jon Hencinski from Expel joins Dave Bittner to discuss his team's recent work on "Expel SOC Stops Ransomware Attack Aimed at WordPress CMS via Drive-By Download Disguised as Google Chrome Update." In July, 2021, Expel's SOC stopped a ransomware attack at a large software and staffing company. The attackers compromised the company’s WordPress CMS and used the SocGholish framework to trigger a drive-by download of a Remote Access Tool (RAT) disguised as a Google Chrome update. In total, four hosts downloaded a malicious Zipped JScript file that was configured to deploy a RAT, but we were able to stop the attack before ransomware deployment and help the organization remediate its WordPress CMS. Jon walks us through what happened, how they caught it, and provide recommendations on how to secure your WordPress CMS.

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Ep 199 | 9.4.21

Like a computer network but for physical objects.

Guest Ben Seri, Armis' VP of Research, joins Dave to talk about a set of remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities in the pneumatic tube system of Swisslog. Nine vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure used by 80% of major hospitals in North America. Swisslog’s Translogic Pneumatic Tube System (PTS), a solution that plays a crucial role in patient care, found vulnerable to devastating attack. Dubbed PwnedPiper, the vulnerabilities allow for complete take over of the Translogic Nexus Control Panel, which powers all current models of Translogic PTS stations. Older IP-connected Translogic stations are also impacted, but are no longer supported by Swisslog.

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Ep 198 | 8.28.21

Joker malware family: not a joke for Google Play.

Guest Deepen Desai, Zscaler's Chief Information Security Officer and VP Security Research & Operations, joins Dave to discuss their ThreatLabz team's research "Joker Joking in Google Play: Joker malware targets Google Play store with new tactics." Joker is one of the most prominent malware families targeting Android devices. Despite public awareness of this particular malware, it keeps finding its way into Google’s official application market by employing changes in its code, execution methods, or payload-retrieving techniques. This spyware is designed to steal SMS messages, contact lists, and device information, and to sign the victim up for premium wireless application protocol (WAP) services.

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Ep 197 | 8.21.21

Exploring vulnerabilities of off-the-shelf software.

Guest Tomislav Peričin, Reversing Labs' Chief Software Architect and Co-Founder, joins Dave to discuss his team's research that addresses the importance of validating third-party software components as a way to manage the risks that they can introduce. Developing software solutions is a complex task requiring a lot of time and resources. In order to accelerate time to market and reduce the cost, software developers create smaller pieces of functional code which can be reused across many projects. The concept of code reuse is one of the cornerstones of modern software engineering and it is universally accepted that everybody should strive towards it. However, in addition to the positives, organizations need to be aware of the security risks introduced by such third-party components. The growing number of cyber incidents that target the software supply chain are focused on high-value target compromises. With the latest surge and public uproar, the US President Biden has issued the Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity in order to create an institutional framework addressing these kinds of security risks.

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Research Saturday
Host(s)
Dave Bittner
Dave Bittner, is a security podcast host and one of the founders at CyberWire. He’s a creator, producer, videographer, actor, experimenter, and entrepreneur. He’s had a long career in the worlds of television, journalism and media production, and is one of the pioneers of non-linear editing and digital storytelling.
Schedule: Monday-Friday
Creator: CyberWire, Inc.
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