Vulnerabilities / Threats

4/13/2018
04:14 PM
50%
50%

Power Line Vulnerability Closes Air Gap

A new demonstration of malware shows that air-gapped computers may still be at risk.

Security professionals love to talk about the "air gap" as the ultimate in safety for a computer: When it's not attached to network cables or a wireless network, it's presumed to be safe. Presumed, that is, until now. This week, researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announced that they have come up with a way to exfiltrate data from air-gapped computers via malware that can control the computer's power consumption.

By adding workload to CPU cores that aren't doing anything else, the malware will change how much power (how many watts) the computer is using. Done carefully, the result is, essentially, an FM transmission over the power line. When a probe is placed near the power cable, the modulation can be detected and decoded — and information will have left the system.

The researchers call the malware that controls the power consumption PowerHammer; so far, it's a research proof-of-concept that hasn't been seen in the wild. That's good, because while ways to thwart a PowerHammer-like attack exist, none are perfect.

PowerHammer isn't the first time control or information signals have been sent over power lines. Electric motors are frequently controlled via pulse-width modulation (PWM) sent over the power lines, building control systems have used power-line carriers, and some electrical utilities have experimented with broadband internet access over power lines. This is, however, a reminder that capabilities can be used by individuals and groups with many different agendas.

For more, read here.

Interop ITX 2018

Join Dark Reading LIVE for a two-day Cybersecurity Crash Course at Interop ITX. Learn from the industry’s most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the agenda here. Register with Promo Code DR200 and save $200.

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
New Bluetooth Hack Affects Millions of Vehicles
Dark Reading Staff 11/16/2018
Understanding Evil Twin AP Attacks and How to Prevent Them
Ryan Orsi, Director of Product Management for Wi-Fi at WatchGuard Technologies,  11/14/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Data breach fears and the need to comply with regulations such as GDPR are two major drivers increased spending on security products and technologies. But other factors are contributing to the trend as well. Find out more about how enterprises are attacking the cybersecurity problem by reading our report today.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-19406
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-21
kvm_pv_send_ipi in arch/x86/kvm/lapic.c in the Linux kernel through 4.19.2 allows local users to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and BUG) via crafted system calls that reach a situation where the apic map is uninitialized.
CVE-2018-19407
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-21
The vcpu_scan_ioapic function in arch/x86/kvm/x86.c in the Linux kernel through 4.19.2 allows local users to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and BUG) via crafted system calls that reach a situation where ioapic is uninitialized.
CVE-2018-19404
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-21
In YXcms 1.4.7, protected/apps/appmanage/controller/indexController.php allow remote authenticated Administrators to execute any PHP code by creating a ZIP archive containing a config.php file, hosting the .zip file at an external URL, and visiting index.php?r=appmanage/index/onlineinstall&url= ...
CVE-2018-19387
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-20
format_cb_pane_tabs in format.c in tmux 2.7 through 2.8 might allow attackers to cause a denial of service (NULL Pointer Dereference and application crash) by arranging for a malloc failure.
CVE-2018-19388
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-20
FoxitReader.exe in Foxit Reader 9.3.0.10826 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read, access violation, and application crash) via TIFF data because of a ConvertToPDF_x86!ReleaseFXURLToHtml issue.