The most important IT security-related news in July has definitely been the affair surrounding a theft of data from the Hacking Team – company, which develops commercial spyware intended for use by police departments and other security agencies. More than 400 GB of stolen data were made public and afterwards analyzed by IT security specialists, leading to discovery of a large number (still growing) of zero-day vulnerabilities which were used in Hacking Team’s products.
May has been at least as rich on cybersecurity incidents and events as any of the previous months of the year. Some of the more important are described in the following text. The VENOM (Virtual Environment Neglected Operations Manipulation) vulnerability may be considered to be a very significant one. VENOM is a vulnerability in the code of a virtual floppy drive which is used by some of the virtualization platforms (QEMU, KVM, Xen).
An international research team has devised attack called FREAK (Factoring attack on RSA Export Keys) with which it is possible to lower the level of encryption used in SSL connections. Attack is based on forcing server and client to use legacy (the vulnerability has been present for a long time) weak cryptographic suites which are still supported by some of the mainstream browsers (Safari and OpenSSL-based Android browser among others) and servers.