Bug Bounty Programs As Security & Compliance Strategies

Facebook recently announced Hacker Plus, a loyalty program for its bug bounty program. As per the company’s claim, it is the first of its kind program, built on the loyalty programs issued by airlines and hotels.

Read more: https://analyticsindiamag.com/how-effective-are-bug-bounty-programs-as-security-compliance-strategies/

#cybersecurity #dataprivacy #hacking #bugbounty #facebook

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Bug Bounty Programs As Security & Compliance Strategies
Micheal  Block

Micheal Block


Wormable Apple iCloud Bug Allows Automatic Photo Theft

A group of ethical hackers cracked open Apple’s infrastructure and systems and, over the course of three months, discovered 55 vulnerabilities, a number of which would have given attackers complete control over customer and employee applications.

Of note, a critical, wormable iCloud account takeover bug would allow attackers to automatically steal all of a victim’s documents, photos, videos and more.

The discovery by hackers Sam Curry, Brett Buerhaus, Ben Sadeghipour, Samuel Erb and Tanner Barnes demonstrated key weaknesses in the company’s “massive” infrastructure while it also earned the team nearly $300,000 to date in rewards for their efforts, Curry wrote in an extensive blog post detailing the team’s findings.

Among the flaws found in core portions of Apple’s infrastructure includes ones that would have allowed an attacker to: “fully compromise both customer and employee applications; launch a worm capable of automatically taking over a victim’s iCloud account; retrieve source code for internal Apple projects; fully compromise an industrial control warehouse software used by Apple; and take over the sessions of Apple employees with the capability of accessing management tools and sensitive resources,” he wrote.

Of the 55 vulnerabilities discovered, 11 were rated with critical severity, 29 with high severity, 13 with medium severity and two with low severity. Researchers rated the bugs based on the CvSS vulnerability-severity rating, and “our understanding of the business-related impact,” Curry said.

The wormable iCloud bug is a cross-site scripting (XSS) issue, according to the writeup. iCloud is an automatic storage mechanism for photos, videos, documents, and app related data for Apple products. Additionally, this platform provides services like Mail and Find my iPhone.

“The mail service is a full email platform where users can send and receive emails similar to Gmail and Yahoo,” explained Curry. “Additionally, there is a mail app on both iOS and Mac which is installed by default on the products. The mail service is hosted on www.icloud.com alongside all of the other services like file and document storage.”

He added, “This meant, from an attackers perspective, that any cross-site scripting vulnerability would allow an attacker to retrieve whatever information they wanted to from the iCloud service.”

#bug bounty #cloud security #hacks #iot #mobile security #privacy #vulnerabilities #web security #$300 #000 #apple #apple bug bounty program #applications #authentication bypass #bug bounty #critical bugs #critical flaws #developers #ethical hackers #hackers #hardware #icloud #sam curry #software #source code #takeover #vulnerabilities #wormable #xss

Christa  Stehr

Christa Stehr


Apple Security Research Device Program Draws Mixed Reactions

Apple’s Security Research Device program is now open to select researchers – but some are irked by the program’s vulnerability disclosure restrictions.

Apple’s long anticipated Security Research Device program has launched, giving select security researchers access to testable iPhones that will make it easier for them to find iOS vulnerabilities.

The program offers security researchers specially configured iPhones with shell access, and special features such as advanced debug capabilities. The devices behave “as closely to a standard iPhone as possible in order to be a representative research target,” said Apple.

“As part of Apple’s commitment to security, this program is designed to help improve security for all iOS users, bring more researchers to iPhone, and improve efficiency for those who already work on iOS security,” according to Apple in a Wednesday announcement. “It features an iPhone dedicated exclusively to security research, with unique code execution and containment policies.”

To be eligible for the program, researchers must be a membership Account Holder in the Apple Developer Program and have a “proven track record of success” in finding security issues on Apple platforms.

The devices are provided on a 12-month renewable basis, are not meant for personal use, and must remain on the premises of program participants at all times, according to Apple.

“If you use the SRD to find, test, validate, verify, or confirm a vulnerability, you must promptly report it to Apple and, if the bug is in third-party code, to the appropriate third party,” according to Apple.

Mixed Reactions

The Security Research Device program has been praised by some in the security space as a “good step forward” for the iPhone maker, which up until last summer had a historically restricted bug bounty program.

Patrick Wardle, security researcher with Jamf, said that the new program will make the analysis of third-party apps much easier – which is “something that may directly impact end users in a positive way.”

“I’m happy that Apple is moving forward with this program,” Wardle told Threatpost. “Though the devices may not be fully open (i.e. probably won’t have the ability to boot custom kernels, etc) and there are some legal restraints (i.e. any bug found must be reported to Apple), I still think it’s a good step forward.”

On the flip side, however, Google Project Zero’s security research team, Ben Hawkes, took to Twitter to air complaints about the program’s vulnerability disclosure restrictions.

“It looks like we won’t be able to use the Apple ‘Security Research Device’ due to the vulnerability disclosure restrictions, which seem specifically designed to exclude Project Zero and other researchers who use a 90 day policy,” he said.

Apple’s program policy says that if researchers report a vulnerability affecting Apple products, Apple will provide them with a publication date (usually the date on which Apple releases the update to resolve the issue).

“Apple will work in good faith to resolve each vulnerability as soon as practical,” according to the policy. “Until the publication date, you cannot discuss the vulnerability with others.”

Threatpost has reached out to Apple for further clarification on this policy.

Hawkes said Google Project Zero will continue to research Apple platforms and provide Apple with their findings. “But I’ll confess, I’m pretty disappointed,” he said.

#bug bounty #mobile security #apple #apple bug bounty #apple developer program #bug bounty #ios #iphone #mac #macos #security research device program #vulnerability

Houston  Sipes

Houston Sipes


Grindr's Bug Bounty Pledge Doesn't Translate to Security

SAS@Home 2020– After a Grindr security flaw was disclosed this week, the dating site promised it would launch a bug-bounty program in an effort to “[keep its] service secure.” But Katie Moussouris, CEO of Luta Security and a bug bounty program expert, warned at this week’s SAS@home virtual event that simply launching a bug-bounty program won’t result in better security.

The Grindr bug, which allowed attackers to launch password resets without accessing a user’s email inbox, made news headlines as it was extremely trivial to exploit. Speaking during a Tuesday virtual session, Moussouris said that if organizations have that level of “low-hanging fruit” when it comes to vulnerabilities, bug-bounty programs can sometimes pose more problems than they solve.

“We have a lot of hope for bug-bounty programs, but they’re not the ‘easy button’ we thought they were,” she said, speaking on Tuesday at SAS@Home, which is Kaspersky’s virtual Security Analyst Summit conference.

Grindr isn’t alone – many companies are looking to adopt, or have already adopted, bug-bounty programs or vulnerability-disclosure programs (VDPs). It’s important to distinguish the two: A bug-bounty program offers cash rewards for finding flaws (which in theory should then be fixed by the organization), while a VDP covers when a vulnerability is reported by a third party to an organization. Ideally, those involved would follow the ISO standards for vulnerability disclosure (ISO 29147) and vulnerability handling (ISO 30111) processes.

Katie Moussouris talks about the separate definitions of VDPs, bug-bounty programs and pentesting during SAS@Home.

But companies are rushing in to adopt bug-bounty programs and VDPs without first fleshing out important issues — whether that’s defining what’s in scope, looking at how an organization can handle an influx of vulnerabilities being reported, or properly training triage teams.

In December, for instance, a CISA directive was proposed that would require all U.S. agencies to develop and implement vulnerability disclosure processes for their internet-connected systems. While CISA recommended that agencies consider guidance around what’s in-scope and who to contact, Moussouris noted that holes remained in terms of setting up the back-end processes to receive reports, or gaining the resources that are necessary to fix the bugs reported.

#government #hacks #security analyst summit #vulnerabilities #web security #bounty hunter #bug bounty #bugcrowd #cisa #grindr #hackerone #katie moussouris #luta security #pentesting #security vulnerability #vdp #vulnerability disclosure program #zoom

Wilford  Pagac

Wilford Pagac


Best Custom Web & Mobile App Development Company

Everything around us has become smart, like smart infrastructures, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, to name a few. The innovation of smart devices makes it possible to achieve these heights in science and technology. But, data is vulnerable, there is a risk of attack by cybercriminals. To get started, let’s know about IoT devices.

What are IoT devices?

The Internet Of Things(IoT) is a system that interrelates computer devices like sensors, software, and actuators, digital machines, etc. They are linked together with particular objects that work through the internet and transfer data over devices without humans interference.

Famous examples are Amazon Alexa, Apple SIRI, Interconnected baby monitors, video doorbells, and smart thermostats.

How could your IoT devices be vulnerable?

When technologies grow and evolve, risks are also on the high stakes. Ransomware attacks are on the continuous increase; securing data has become the top priority.

When you think your smart home won’t fudge a thing against cybercriminals, you should also know that they are vulnerable. When cybercriminals access our smart voice speakers like Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri, it becomes easy for them to steal your data.

Cybersecurity report 2020 says popular hacking forums expose 770 million email addresses and 21 million unique passwords, 620 million accounts have been compromised from 16 hacked websites.

The attacks are likely to increase every year. To help you secure your data of IoT devices, here are some best tips you can implement.

Tips to secure your IoT devices

1. Change Default Router Name

Your router has the default name of make and model. When we stick with the manufacturer name, attackers can quickly identify our make and model. So give the router name different from your addresses, without giving away personal information.

2. Know your connected network and connected devices

If your devices are connected to the internet, these connections are vulnerable to cyber attacks when your devices don’t have the proper security. Almost every web interface is equipped with multiple devices, so it’s hard to track the device. But, it’s crucial to stay aware of them.

3. Change default usernames and passwords

When we use the default usernames and passwords, it is attackable. Because the cybercriminals possibly know the default passwords come with IoT devices. So use strong passwords to access our IoT devices.

4. Manage strong, Unique passwords for your IoT devices and accounts

Use strong or unique passwords that are easily assumed, such as ‘123456’ or ‘password1234’ to protect your accounts. Give strong and complex passwords formed by combinations of alphabets, numeric, and not easily bypassed symbols.

Also, change passwords for multiple accounts and change them regularly to avoid attacks. We can also set several attempts to wrong passwords to set locking the account to safeguard from the hackers.

5. Do not use Public WI-FI Networks

Are you try to keep an eye on your IoT devices through your mobile devices in different locations. I recommend you not to use the public WI-FI network to access them. Because they are easily accessible through for everyone, you are still in a hurry to access, use VPN that gives them protection against cyber-attacks, giving them privacy and security features, for example, using Express VPN.

6. Establish firewalls to discover the vulnerabilities

There are software and firewalls like intrusion detection system/intrusion prevention system in the market. This will be useful to screen and analyze the wire traffic of a network. You can identify the security weakness by the firewall scanners within the network structure. Use these firewalls to get rid of unwanted security issues and vulnerabilities.

7. Reconfigure your device settings

Every smart device comes with the insecure default settings, and sometimes we are not able to change these default settings configurations. These conditions need to be assessed and need to reconfigure the default settings.

8. Authenticate the IoT applications

Nowadays, every smart app offers authentication to secure the accounts. There are many types of authentication methods like single-factor authentication, two-step authentication, and multi-factor authentication. Use any one of these to send a one time password (OTP) to verify the user who logs in the smart device to keep our accounts from falling into the wrong hands.

9. Update the device software up to date

Every smart device manufacturer releases updates to fix bugs in their software. These security patches help us to improve our protection of the device. Also, update the software on the smartphone, which we are used to monitoring the IoT devices to avoid vulnerabilities.

10. Track the smartphones and keep them safe

When we connect the smart home to the smartphone and control them via smartphone, you need to keep them safe. If you miss the phone almost, every personal information is at risk to the cybercriminals. But sometimes it happens by accident, makes sure that you can clear all the data remotely.

However, securing smart devices is essential in the world of data. There are still cybercriminals bypassing the securities. So make sure to do the safety measures to avoid our accounts falling out into the wrong hands. I hope these steps will help you all to secure your IoT devices.

If you have any, feel free to share them in the comments! I’d love to know them.

Are you looking for more? Subscribe to weekly newsletters that can help your stay updated IoT application developments.

#iot #enterprise iot security #how iot can be used to enhance security #how to improve iot security #how to protect iot devices from hackers #how to secure iot devices #iot security #iot security devices #iot security offerings #iot security technologies iot security plus #iot vulnerable devices #risk based iot security program

Mikel  Okuneva

Mikel Okuneva


Microsoft Revamps Windows Insider Preview Bug Bounty Program

Microsoft has revamped its Windows Insider Preview bug bounty program with higher rewards and an improved portal for bounty hunters to report flaws, in an effort to help sniff out more vulnerabilities on its platform.

The Microsoft Windows Insider Preview bounty program is part of the Microsoft Windows Bounty Program, launched in 2017, which encompasses flaws in all features of the Windows Insider Preview in addition to focus areas in Hyper-V, Mitigation bypass, Windows Defender Application Guard, and Microsoft Edge.

The Windows Insider Preview program specifically is meant for researchers to find and submit vulnerabilities that reproduce in the latest Windows Insider Preview (WIP) Dev Channel. Windows Insiders is a software testing program for software developers that runs pre-release previews of the Windows operating system, called Windows 10 Insider Preview Builds. While bounty payouts for Windows Insider Preview ranged from $500 to $15,000 when the program first launched, Microsoft announced it would bump up those rewards in a new Friday update.

“Today we’re introducing updates to this program to further incentivize research with the highest impact, including new scenario awards up to $100,000,” said Jarek Stanley, senior program manager with Microsoft on Friday. “We’re also announcing procedural updates for more seamless integration with researchers and faster Windows bounty awards for eligible research.”

The revamped Windows Insider Preview bounty program now includes five new “attack scenario” related rewards for flaws that could put customer privacy and security at risk of exploitation. These include unauthenticated, non-sandboxed remote code execution with no user interaction ($100,000 reward), a demonstrated unauthorized, remote access to private user data with little or no user interaction ($50,000 reward) and persistent, remote denial-of-service flaw with no user interaction ($30,000 reward).

Also included is a local sandbox escape “with little or no user interaction” ($20,000 reward) and demonstrated local, unauthorized access to private user data from a sandboxed process with no user interaction ($20,000 reward).

“While we are refocusing the WIP bounty program to defend and protect customers from these five high risk exploit scenarios, we continue to offer bounties for other valid vulnerability reports that do not qualify for scenario-based awards,” said researchers. These vulnerability reports, which are categorized under “general awards,” are eligible to receive awards ranging from $500 and $5,000 and can include spoofing, information disclosure, security feature bypass and more.

Microsoft has also updated its portal for bounty hunters to report bugs, in order to “streamline communication of the data necessary to triage, assess, and award bounty for qualifying submissions.”

“If you think you’ve found a vulnerability that qualifies for a scenario-based bounty award, there are new fields in the MSRC Researcher Portal to indicate the scenario in your report,” said Microsoft. “To enable faster triage and review of WIP bounty submissions and ultimately get awards to researchers faster, we ask that all Windows vulnerability reports indicate if the issue reproduces on WIP Dev Channel, and include the build and revision string in your report.”

Microsoft has widened its various bug bounty programs since starting its first back in 2013. The company announced the Office Insider Builds on Windows, in March 2017. The company said at the time it would pay up to $15,000 for high-severity elevation of privilege vulnerabilities via Office Protected View and for macro execution vulnerabilities that bypass security policies already in place that block macros by default. More recently, in January 2020 Microsoft said it’s offering rewards of up to $20,000 for finding vulnerabilities in its Xbox gaming platform through its latest bug bounty program, the Xbox Bounty Program.

#vulnerabilities #web security #bug bounty #bug bounty program #flaw #microsoft #vulnerability #windows #windows insider preview