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The Telecom Digest for September 4, 2012
Volume 31 : Issue 211 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Can YOU crack the Gauss uber-virus encryption? (Monty Solomon)
Apple will buy back-and recycle-your iPhone 4S (Monty Solomon)
Hack on Saudi Aramco hit 30,000 workstations, oil firm admits (Monty Solomon)

====== 31 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======

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Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2012 19:52:17 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Can YOU crack the Gauss uber-virus encryption? Message-ID: <p062408e6cc6aebdfc4fe@[]> Can YOU crack the Gauss uber-virus encryption? Appeal for help to break open hidden scrambled payload By John Leyden 14 August 2012 The Register Antivirus experts have called on cryptographers and other clever bods for help after admitting they are no closer to figuring out the main purpose of the newly discovered Gauss supervirus. While it's known that the complex malware features many information-stealing capabilities, with a specific focus on capturing website passwords, online banking account credentials and system configuration data from infected machines, the content of the virus's encrypted payload is still a mystery. Kaspersky Lab had tracked Gauss for weeks before announcing its discovery last week. Antivirus experts at the security biz and elsewhere have been burning the midnight oil in the days since, and although progress has been made - for example in analysing its architecture [1], unique modules and communication methods - the payload encryption is unbroken. Researchers reckon the hidden binary blob, when decrypted and executed, looks for a program specifically named using an extended character set, such as Arabic or Hebrew. What that program might be remains unclear as long as the encryption remains unbroken. The general concuss among security experts is that Gauss - like Flame, Duqu and Stuxnet before it - is a nation-state sponsored cyber-espionage toolkit, quite possibly built from the same components as Flame. ... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/14/gauss_mystery_payload/
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2012 20:06:00 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Apple will buy back-and recycle-your iPhone 4S Message-ID: <p062408ebcc6af64434ab@[]> Apple will buy back-and recycle-your iPhone 4S The move could be another indicator that a new iPhone is on the way. by Jacqui Cheng Aug 30 2012 Ars Technica Apple has expanded its iDevice buyback program to include the iPhone 4S ahead of a highly anticipated new iPhone launch. The buybacks are being done through Apple's recycling program, which not only recycles old electronics, but also allows users to trade in their used-but-still-functional Apple devices for Apple Store gift cards. The company made no formal announcement about the addition of the iPhone 4S, but recent retail discounts and rumors of a pending media event have helped to fuel speculation that the iPhone 4S is ready to be replaced. We recently discussed Apple's recycling program in a piece about places to sell your old electronics. To sell Apple your old iPhone 4S, you are required to answer a number of questions about whether it boots up, has seen any kind of water damage, has scuffs or marks, can hold a full battery charge, and so on. For a 32GB iPhone 4S that works properly, has no water damage, but has a few scuffs, Apple offers $280 in gift cards. (That's not a bad price, considering that many users probably bought their iPhone 4S with subsidized discounts from their carriers. A new 32GB iPhone 4S cost $299 last year from AT&T and Verizon.) ... http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/08/apple-will-buy-back-and-recycle-your-iphone-4s/
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2012 19:52:17 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Hack on Saudi Aramco hit 30,000 workstations, oil firm admits Message-ID: <p062408e5cc6aeb6caa27@[]> Hack on Saudi Aramco hit 30,000 workstations, oil firm admits First hacktivist-style assault to use malware? By John Leyden 29 August 2012 The Register Analysis Saudi Aramco said that it had put its network back online on Saturday, 10 days after a malware attack floored 30,000 workstations at the oil giant. In a statement [1], Saudi Arabia's national oil firm said that it had "restored all its main internal network services" hit by a malware outbreak that struck on 15 August. The firm said its core business of oil production and exploration was not affected by the attack, which resulted in a decision to suspend Saudi Aramco's website for a period of a few days, presumably as a precaution. Corporate remote access services were also suspended as a result of the attack. Oil and production systems were run off "isolated network systems unaffected by the attack, which the firm has pledged to investigate. In the meantime, Saudi Aramco promised [2] to improve the security of its network to guard against fresh assaults. ... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/29/saudi_aramco_malware_attack_analysis/
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