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What Happens When A Regular Person Finds A Huge Security Flaw?

The biggest news in the infosec world, besides the fact that balaclavas are becoming increasingly popular due to record-low temperatures across the United States, is that leet haxors can listen to you from your iPhone using FaceTime without you even answering the call. There are obvious security implications of this bug: phones should only turn on the microphone after you pick up a call. This effectively turns any iPhone running iOS 12.1 or later into a party line. In response Apple has taken group FaceTime offline in preparation of a software update later this week. So, how does this FaceTime bug work? It’s actually surprisingly simple. First, start a FaceTime call with an iPhone contact. While the call is dialing, swipe up, and tap Add Person. Add your own phone number in the Add Person screen. This creates a group call with two…

If you installed PEAR PHP in the last 6 months, you may be infected

Enlarge (credit: Thomas Hawk) Officials with the widely used PHP Extension and Application Repository have temporarily shut down most of their website and are urging users to inspect their systems after discovering hackers replaced the main package manager with a malicious one. “If you have downloaded this go-pear.phar [package manager] in the past six months, you should get a new copy of the same release version from GitHub (pear/pearweb_phars) and compare file hashes,” officials wrote on the site’s blog. “If different, you may have the infected file.” The officials didn’t say when the hack of their Web server occurred or precisely what the malicious version of go-pear.phar did to infected systems. Initial indications, however, look serious. For starters, the advice applies to anyone who has downloaded the package manager in the past six months. That suggests the hack may…

Firmware Vulnerability In Popular Wi-Fi Chipset Affects Laptops, Smartphones, Routers, Gaming Devices

Embedi security researcher Denis Selianin has discovered a vulnerability affecting the firmware of a popular Wi-Fi chipset deployed in a wide range of devices, such as laptops, smartphones, gaming rigs, routers, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. According to Selianin, the vulnerability impacts ThreadX, a real-time operating system that is used as firmware for billions of devices. ZDNet reports: In a report published today, Selianin described how someone could exploit the ThreadX firmware installed on a Marvell Avastar 88W8897 wireless chipset to execute malicious code without any user interaction. The researcher chose this WiFi SoC (system-on-a-chip) because this is one of the most popular WiFi chipsets on the market, being deployed with devices such as Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Surface laptops, Samsung Chromebooks, Samsung Galaxy J1 smartphones, and Valve SteamLink cast devices, just to name a few. “I’ve managed…