Trusting, lazy humans a common theme in recent security vulnerabilities

The persistence of a new iOS vulnerability, affecting the estimated one-third of iOS devices that haven't been updated in the past five months, is the latest in a string of vulnerabilities whose discovery by various vendors highlights the ongoing role of careless and unquestioning humans opening the door to potentially damaging vulnerabilities.

The latest finding, announced this week by security vendor FireEye, highlighted the ongoing risks from the Plugin Masque vulnerability, which the company said in a statement “bypasses iOS entitlement enforcement and hijacks VPN traffic”.

The vulnerability manifests itself in five different ways – including an 'app masque', 'URL Masque', “Manifest Masque', 'Plugin Masque', and 'Extension Masque'. Each allows attackers to bypass built-in trust mechanisms to attack other apps and hijack services, with fixes available for three of the Masque attacks available in iOS since version 8.1.3 was released five months ago; the other two have been partially fixed in the newly released iOS 8.4.

Despite the availability of fixes, however, an estimated one-third of iOS devices have still not been updated past iOS 8.1.3, FireEye warned – leaving mobile users exposed to exploitation by malicious attacks that can quietly substitute legitimate versions of applications with malware-infected alternatives.

Such attacks are only a small proportion of the entire threat landscape, which continues to expand as hackers figure out both new technological attacks and new methods of using malware for information gathering and exploitation.

Trend Micro, for its part, recently documented a cybercrime campaign in which Nigerian cybercriminals have been using the Hawkeye keylogger to surreptitiously gather information about victim companies' supplier networks, ultimately funneling funds into their own accounts by sending doctored payment details.

Samsung was recently called to task for a significant security hole in its smartphones, while

And Symantec researchers recently found a password-recovery scam that is helping cybercriminals bypass two-factor authentication checks by tricking users into handing over the details of their Web mail accounts.

Victims are targeted using their email address and mobile number – two pieces of information that are relatively easy to uncover. Researchers noted the scam's success due to its “simplicity and the fact that people have an overwhelming tendency to trust figures of authority. These two qualities work just as well in the world of cybercrime.”

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

Feeling social? Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn Now!

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags VulnerabilitiesMasque vulnerabilitytrend microFireEyeiOS vulnerabilityVPN trafficCSO Australia

More about CSOEnex TestLabFireEyeSamsungSymantecTrend MicroTwitter

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by David Braue

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts