The problem affects 37% of all smartphones in the world.
MediaTek, a Taiwanese company that manufactures a wide range of chips for smartphones and other IoT devices, has released security updates to address dangerous vulnerabilities that could allow malicious Android apps to record sound and spy on phone owners.
Three issues were fixed in October (CVE-2021-0661, CVE-2021-0662, and CVE-2021-0663), and the fourth (CVE-2021-0673) will receive a fix next month. MediaTek chips contain a dedicated AI Processing Unit (APU) and Digital Signal Processor (DSP) to improve media performance and reduce CPU utilization. APU and DSP have individual microprocessor architecture, making MediaTek DSP a challenging target for cybersecurity research. Check Point experts were able to to carry out reverse engineering the MediaTek audio processor, revealing several vulnerabilities.
Malicious applications installed on the device can interact with the MediaTek audio driver. Applications can send malicious messages to MediaTek’s firmware in order to gain control of the driver and then use it to eavesdrop on any audio stream passing through the device.
The vulnerabilities prevent attackers from connecting to microphones, but once audio data passes through the MediaTek driver, it can be recorded, including phone calls, WhatsApp calls, videos in browser and video players.
Today, MediaTek chips are installed on about 37% of all smartphones in the world, and vulnerabilities represent a huge attack surface for any malicious application and malware developer.
As reported by MediaTek, there is currently no evidence that the vulnerabilities were exploited in real attacks.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance was robbed of $570 million. Hacker withdrew BNB tokens
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has undergone another hacker attack. The attackers managed to withdraw BNB tokens worth about $570 million.
Somewhat earlier it was reported that the attack allowed the hackers to steal about $110 million, but now it turned out that everything is much worse. At the same time, the specialists of the exchange managed to freeze part of the funds, but we are talking about only 7 million dollars, which is clearly insignificant against the background of 570 million.
The exchange revealed that a cross-chain bridge connected to its BNB chain was attacked, allowing hackers to move BNB tokens off the network. Now the network has been restored, and the clients’ funds, according to Binance, are safe.
The fact of the theft of funds contributed to a sharp drop in the BNB rate by almost 5%, but after a few hours, almost half of the fall was redeemed.
Hacker who earned $27 million in cyberattacks will spend 20 years in prison and pay $21 million in fines
A Florida district court has sentenced 34-year-old IT engineer Sebastien Vashon-Desjardins to 20 years in prison for carrying out at least 90 cyberattacks.
It is noted that for several years of his activity, the hacker, using the NetWalker encryption virus, earned about $ 27 million. A search of Vashon-Desjardins revealed a crypto wallet containing 719 bitcoins, which was about $22 million at the time of the cybercriminal’s arrest in January 2022.
According to investigators, the 34-year-old cybercriminal acted in collusion with other hackers. Vashon-Desjardins himself played the role of an attacker: he infected the corporate networks of various companies with a virus and then demanded a ransom from them. Organizations from the USA, Canada and a number of European countries suffered from the activities of the criminal.
It is noted that, in addition to the prison term, the court also imposed a fine on Vashon-Desjardins in the amount of $ 21 million. Also, the criminal will have to pay compensation to the companies affected by his actions. The amount of damages has not yet been established.
Unique behavior of Ryzen 7000 processors. The notorious patches from the Specter vulnerability improve the performance of new CPUs
Recently, various vulnerabilities in processors have been talked about much less often, and users no longer worry about performance degradation due to patches. As it turns out, Ryzen 7000 processors generally benefit from such patches!
At least this is true for Linux, since it was in this OS that the author tested the Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 5 7600X. It turned out that when working out of the box, the CPUs show better performance than when loading a special version of Linux with a deactivated patch from the Specter V2 vulnerability.
Of course, such results do not appear everywhere, and during normal work they are unlikely to be critical. In particular, in total, according to the results of 190 tests, the difference was only 3%.
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