IT Giants to Launch Data Transfer Project

Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Facebook common project is aimed at developing tools that would allow to transfer data quickly and without loss
23 July 2018   308

In its blog Google announced support for the Data Transfer Project launched in 2017 in conjunction with Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook. The project is aimed at developing tools that would allow to transfer data quickly and without loss directly from one service to another, bypassing the intermediate stages of their downloading to the device and re-downloading.

Data Transfer Project
Data Transfer Project

Project participants develop tools that can convert private APIs of any service into any standardized format. This will allow the transfer of data between any two providers, using existing tools and mechanisms.

At the moment, developers have created "adapters" for seven different services in five different data formats.

Data Transfer Project
Data Transfer Project

This is an open source project, any developer can contribute to cover more formats, services and hosting systems. Standardization of protocols and procedures allows different companies to develop the same technology in their own way.

Another Android Vulnerability to be Discovered

New vulnerability is called Man-in-the-Disk; popular apps are vulnerable
14 August 2018   69

Cyber ​​security specialists from Check Point have revealed a new type of attack called Man-in-the-Disk (MitD), which exploits vulnerabilities in managing external memory applications on the Android OS. Vulnerable are mobile versions of translators from Google and Yandex, as well as the popular browser from Xiaomi.

How does Man-in-the-Disk work?
According to researchers, there are several reasons for the of the MitD attack. First, every application on Android can access data from another program contained in external memory. Secondly, most applications ask the user for permission to work with memory, and they usually agree, without thinking about the possible risk.

Check Point employees were able to recreate two versions of Man-in-the-Disk:

  1. The first option interferes with the files of the target application, loading malicious data into external memory. It causes an error in the program and leaves gaps for further malicious actions. In addition, this type of MitD allows you to obtain the permissions that the victim application had without additional actions:

    Man in the DIsk Attack
    Man in the DIsk Attack
     

  2. The second version of the attack replaces the temporary update files that applications store in external memory before they are installed. An attacker can force the program to install its malicious version or third-party malware

    Man in the DIsk Attack
    Man in the DIsk Attack

Which applications are vulnerable to attack?
Among the vulnerable applications there are: Google Translate, Google Voice Typing, Yandex Translate and Yandex Search, as well as Xiaomi Browser. It is noteworthy that the solutions from Google and Xiaomi are pre-installed on a large number of Android-devices.

How to defend yourself?
Check Point experts say that application developers, including Google, do not follow such security practices as the Android security guidelines. They recommend using the following Man-in-the-Disk protection:

  • Verify input validation when processing files in external memory;
  • Do not store executable files or classes in external memory;
  • sign and cryptographically check files in external storage before dynamic loading.

In addition, the Check Point team believes that Android security should be strengthened at the system level, rather than software. Only low-level protection can help in preventing such attacks, the company believes.

After detecting the attack, experts sent letters to Google and Xiaomi with a description of the problem. The first quickly responded and already released security updates for vulnerable applications, while the latter preferred not to respond to the developers' letter.