Hacker Who Created Fake Game Listing On Steam Says More Vulnerabilities Will Be Found

Earlier this week Ruby Nealon became famous on the internet for managing to get a game onto Valve’s steam store without anyone at Valve even knowing about it. The Watch paint dry game raised concerns about the system Valve has in place when it comes to Steams content, with him saying that more vulnerabilities will be found on the platform.

Nealon states that it was an HTML-based attack that let him post the game without anyone at Valve approving or even seeing the game before it went live. With this exploit noted and fixed, Nealon went on to point out a way of inserting scripts into pages, potentially taking details from a Valve administrator who wanted to check out their games page. This second exploit was then fixed, although Nealon doesn’t seem too impressed with Steam’s website.

In discussions with ArsTechnica, Nealon told them that “it looks like their website hasn’t been updated for years” and even went on to say that “Compared to even other smaller Web startups, they’re really lacking. This stuff was like the lowest of the lowest hanging fruit.”.

Nealon wasn’t just upset with the website, though, saying that he won’t be hacking Steam’s platform anymore due to a lack of recognition from Valve on the matter. Nealon wrote on his site saying that the exploit he used for posting the “watching paint dry” game he had tried to contact Valve for months about, but it was only fixed when he publicly demonstrated its viability.

Nealon isn’t happy with Valve’s lack of a bug bounty system, a program where users are rewarded for alerting the company about bugs and issues in their software, something that even apps like Uber have started in recent weeks. In his “won’t be finding bugs anymore for Valve because there are plenty of companies that appreciate the time and effort put in by security researchers” and even went on to explain how the entire process had made him feel like “Valve were exploiting me”.

Steam isn’t a service that’s immune to hacks either, last year it was hacked and allowed people to bypass the two-factor authentication required to log into an account from a new machine. They’ve even accidentally exposed users details before, no external help required for that blunder.

Personally, I feel like anyone who puts time and effort into finding a problem and then revealing it to a company should be rewarded, not brushed under a matt and ignored until it becomes an issue the public are aware of.

Swedish Hacker Finds Serious Security Flaw in OS X Yosemite

The white-hat hacker Emil Kvarmhammer from the Swedish security firm Truesec has found a serious security hole in Apple’s new OS X Yosemite. He dubbed the new vulnerability “rootpipe” and explains that it is a so-called privilege escalation vulnerability. This means that an attacker could get full root access without the need for any password and thereby take over the entire system.

Kvarnhammer didn’t disclose any details about the flaw and this is of course to give Apple time to come up with a fix before it becomes widely abused on unsuspecting users. While the bad news is that there isn’t a fix yet, nor is there any real time frame for it. The good news is that you can limit the damage a potential attacker can cause you to almost zero with just a few easy steps.

Most Apple machines are set up with just one user that has full admin privileges and there is no limit to the damage that can be done when the admin user is infected. So the first step would be to set up a user for everyday tasks next to the admin account.

The easiest way to do this without having to redo all your configurations is to create a new user and give him admin rights. Then log into that new admin user and remove the admin rights from your day-to-day user. Done. You’ll have to provide the admin password when you want to make changes to the systems such as install software, but that’s a tiny hassle in return for the huge security improvement. This is also good advice for any user of Windows or Linux.

The second step you can take to protect your data in case of an infection is to use the Apple’s FileVault tool. This will encrypt the hard drive without a too big hit on the system performance. You might not even notice it, depending on which Mac you own.

“Normally there are ‘sudo’ password requirements, which work as a barrier, so the admin can’t gain root access without entering the correct password. However, rootpipe circumvents this,” said Emil Kvarnhammer.

Kvarnhammer said he found the bug while researching new flaws in Mac OS X for two presentation he had to do. By studying the code and trying to follow the same lines of thought the original programmer had, he discovered this new flaw. Truesec works with responsible disclosure and they have received a time-frame from Apple when they are allowed to tell us more about this flaw and how it works. This date wasn’t revealed either, but there is talk about a full-disclosure from Apple about the issue in January 2015. So the fix might not be an easy one, either that or they feel confident enough that no one else will find it before then.

Thanks to Macworld for providing us with this information 

Images courtesy of Macworld

Microsoft to “Fool Around” With Windows Phone’s User Suggestion Resolutions

WCCF Tech recently posted an article indicating that new features will be added to the new Windows Phone 8 update that is due to arrive in the near future. The source was based on an administrator confirming and closing the suggestions with the following message: ““This feature is now available in Windows Phone 8”.

The suggestions in question were based on key features that Windows Mobile 8 OS currently lacks, such as the File Manager, the ability to store apps and attachments on external storage along with improved microSD support, and a simple flick gesture to close the applications inside the Task Manager. Shortly after, the same administrator re-opened the same suggestions in with the following message attached: “This request was mistakenly marked as completed”.

We can draw two conclusions from this interesting shift of resolution marking. The first is that the features that are to be added to the new Windows Phone update were mistakenly leaked by the confirmation previously made, which would be one of the best productivity improvements that the Windows Phone OS has seen so far, bringing a lot of flexibility in file managing, file storage and quick access and app manipulation inside the OS. The second insight might be, unfortunately, that Microsoft has to look into its suggestion workflow management on the website and correct the “bugs” in there as well, since this could indicate a clear sign of miscommunication between departments.

Either way, we hope that the above mentioned features will eventually be implemented and Windows Phone users could finally enjoy a more fluid and productive way in using their Windows Phone devices. Hopefully sooner than later.

Thank you WCCF Tech for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Windows Phone