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Apple

Microsoft: We’ll beef up security, admin tools in Windows 10 Creators Edition Fall Update

The next big update to Windows 10 Creators Edition is out in the Fall1 and Redmond is hyping up its security chops and admin tools. For a start, we’re told Windows Defender will be extended from client to Microsoft’s server operating systems . In addition, Redmond is adding Windows Defender Exploit Guard and Application Guard to the security suite and updating its Device Guard and Defender Antivirus software. Exploit Guard is basically Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) security software reworked for the new operating system . Last year Microsoft was forecasting the death of EMET, but now it appears it has listened to advice from its users2 and security experts3 that the code should be retained.

“We love EMET so much we built it fully into Windows 10,” Rob Lefferts, director of the Windows and Devices Group, told The Register. “Everything you could do with EMET you can do with Exploit Guard.”

Exploit Guard will come with new rules designed to detect unauthorized system access, and will take advice from Microsoft’s security center in real time . Redmond even says it will protect against zero day exploits. Application Guard is designed to work with the browser to detect whether local users have downloaded or installed code that they shouldn’t . The new code will lock any infection onto a local machine to stop it spreading, and notify the security team that something has gone seriously amiss.

Device Guard is getting an upgrade and uses whitelisting to keep dodgy software off PCs . Lefferts said that Microsoft is working with developers to constantly update the whitelists and ensure that legitimate code will run without a problem. On the pure antivirus side, IT admins running Defender will get a new security analytics screen that will use data from all Microsoft customers to advise on potential or incoming threats . APIs will also be released so third-party app vendors can use the same information to secure their apps.

Autopilot for Admins

Also new in the update is a suite called Windows Autopilot, which is a set of custom tools for IT admins designed to make their lives easier. In addition to the new security features, Microsoft is augmenting the Autopilot computer setup program that works with Azure and Intune to configure enterprise PC farms . A new Autopilot Reset function lets admins wipe a PC for example if someone leaves the company without wiping out all the settings, just the non-essential local content. Redmond will also begin putting out updates for its mobile device management suite to allow better integration with Windows 10 . The tools will now give regular update progress reports to IT controllers and will add support for Active Directory domain-joined devices .

There’s also support for configuring and locking down kiosks running Windows. A new update to the Windows Analytics package include a category known as Device Health . This scans the PCs on a network, noting bad configurations or missing updates and alerting staff.

Sponsored: How Artificial Intelligence Will Secure the 21st Century4

References

  1. ^ in the Fall (www.theregister.co.uk)
  2. ^ its users (www.theregister.co.uk)
  3. ^ security experts (www.theregister.co.uk)
  4. ^ How Artificial Intelligence Will Secure the 21st Century (go.theregister.com)

Microsoft: We’ll beef up security in Windows 10 Creators Edition Fall Update

The next big update to Windows 10 Creators Edition is out in the Fall1 and Redmond is hyping up its security chops. For a start, we’re told Windows Defender will be extended from client to Microsoft’s server operating systems . In addition, Redmond is adding Windows Defender Exploit Guard and Application Guard to the security suite and updating its Device Guard and Defender Antivirus software. Exploit Guard is basically Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) security software reworked for the new operating system . Last year Microsoft was forecasting the death of EMET, but now it appears it has listened to advice from its users2 and security experts3 that the code should be retained.

“We love EMET so much we built it fully into Windows 10,” Rob Lefferts, director of the Windows and Devices Group, told The Register. “Everything you could do with EMET you can do with Exploit Guard.”

Exploit Guard will come with new rules designed to detect unauthorized system access, and will take advice from Microsoft’s security center in real time . Redmond even says it will protect against zero day exploits. Application Guard is designed to work with the browser to detect whether local users have downloaded or installed code that they shouldn’t . The new code will lock any infection onto a local machine to stop it spreading, and notify the security team that something has gone seriously amiss.

Device Guard is getting an upgrade and uses whitelisting to keep dodgy software off PCs . Lefferts said that Microsoft is working with developers to constantly update the whitelists and ensure that legitimate code will run without a problem. On the pure antivirus side, IT admins running Defender will get a new security analytics screen that will use data from all Microsoft customers to advise on potential or incoming threats . APIs will also be released so third-party app vendors can use the same information to secure their apps.

Sponsored: Advanced Threat Prevention .

Visit The Register’s Endpoint Security Hub4

References

  1. ^ in the Fall (www.theregister.co.uk)
  2. ^ its users (www.theregister.co.uk)
  3. ^ security experts (www.theregister.co.uk)
  4. ^ Advanced Threat Prevention .

    Visit The Register’s Endpoint Security Hub (go.theregister.com)

Buggy devices and lazy operators make VoLTE a security nightmare

Voice over LTE leaks like a sieve, because nobody’s paying attention to the details. That’s the conclusion in a paper (PDF)1 presented to the Symposium on Information and Communications Technology Security in Rennes, France last week. The researchers, from Priority 1 Security, warn the vulnerabilities could affect any of the hundred-plus operators using VoLTE worldwide.

VoLTE is the technology that back-ports voice calls onto the IP data-centric 4G standards via the IP Media Subsystem (IMS) . Without it, phones need the ability to fall back to 3G standards to place calls . Phones use the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) for call signalling, with the Session Description Protocol (SDP) to let the callee know what type of call (for example voice or video) is requested. And, in an entirely unsurprising development, implementations aren’t particularly secure either on Android handsets, or in carriers’ networks. Some of the more outstanding insecurities outlined by the researchers include user enumeration using SIP INVITE messages; user spoofing with INVITE messages; a side-channel around data billing systems; IMEI leaks; personal information leaks and more.

Not all the attacks are simple . For example, the paper notes, while traffic eavesdropping (including password sniffing) is feasible, it depends on a compromise of a handset so the attacker can run something like tcpdump. User fingerprinting, on the other hand, is possible on a massive scale, the paper claims, via mass scanning of network address blocks to locate vulnerable systems . SIP OPTIONS response messages would let an attacker fingerprint customers, and on the operator side, both IMS and VoLTE network elements can be fingerprinted.

The free data vulnerability goes beyond the merely entertaining . An attacker can inject traffic into Session Description Protocol (SDP) messages, and it will travel over the network without hitting the billing system but it could also bypass a carrier’s lawful intercept infrastructure. MSISDN, the Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number, maps phone number to SIM card and this is what’s exploited to spoof a user in a SIP INVITE message. Rated critical, this vulnerability means the person receiving the call would think it comes from the spoofed identity, so Alice, thinking she’s receiving a call from Bob, will answer an attack call from Eve.

So what ? It’s exactly the kind of attack that can help someone access third parties’ voicemail and somewhat depressingly, the researchers that saw sit present in today’s VoLTE networks note that it was first disclosed by Hongil Kim and Dongkwan Kim and detailed in a presentation at the Chaos Computer Club’s CCC 32 conference. Also rated critical is the ability to localise users based on how their phones’ implementation completes the SIP session progress message: the response can include details of the cell station the callee is connected to including country, mobile network operator, area code, radio network controller and cell tower ID.

The paper notes that the vulnerabilities are fixable: they’re down to how operators configure their network, and vendor implementation of network elements and subscriber handsets.

Sponsored: When the bad guys design malware just for you2

References

  1. ^ paper (PDF) (www.sstic.org)
  2. ^ When the bad guys design malware just for you (go.theregister.com)