Mikrotic Routers have been popular targets for all kinds of shennanigans recently, and yet another round of vulnerabilities has dropped (archived). This suggests the lulz won't be ending any time soon.
Various "national security" agencies in the US and Airstrip One are aggressively denying reports that server motherboards assembled in China for their darlings including Amazon and Apple by way of a defense contractor, contained hardware implants allowing for Chinese ownership of the machines (archived). The language of the denials, especially on the part of the afflicted darlings, involves substantial claims and fabrications of ignorace with respect to this particular embarrassing episode. At the same time the denials on the part of the companies are sufficiently slimey to likely evade claims of fraud over the denials when weighed according to the rituals performed by empire courts at a later date.
Given their hallucinations of immunity from claims, denials by "national security" agencies are rarely bounded by such cautions. Given the weight of incentives, hedging by parties that might have problems, and the contrasting boldness by parties imagining themselves to immunity from those problems… The credibility of these denials is very low.
Bloomberg reports that servers used by Apple, Amazon, and others have been bugged using hardware implants thanks to China owning the supply chain. Bloomberg's report specifically mentions server boards commisioned by USG contractor Elemental and manufactured by California based Supermicro in China. Before Amazon became interested in Elemental, Elemental had contracted with the US Department of Defense to assist with surveillance drone video processing. The Chinese implant appears to work by tapping into the baseboard management controller, itself a USG backdoor.
Russian President Putin and Jewish Leader Bibi Netanyahu are offering measured, concilliatory words after Israeli planes conducting air strikes in Syria used a Russian Il-20 observation plane as radar cover leading to its destruction by Syrian air defenses (archived). Soon after the plane went down Russia was swift to condemn Israel for their role in the destruction of the planeand loss of the crew.
Two gentlement associated with a firm calling itself "Positive Technologies" have documented a manner for acquiring JTAG access to the "Intel Management Engine" on a machine running an 'Apollo Lake' family Intel Celeron (archived). Their recipe involves creating a special debug mode dongle of the sort used for opening up other consumer devices. This has been a very rough year for Intel's marketing wank.
Intel has begun attaching a license clause prohibiting comparative benchmarking to its CPU microcode updates (archived). Intel has spent the past year deluged with reports of critical flaws in their CPUs related to speed optimizations which fundamentally compromise the ability of their chips to be secure, especially in multi user systems. This fumbling by Intel to supress comparative benchmarks between patched and unpatched chips is only their latest attempt to paper over how much of their chips' fradulent speed advantage is lost with anything resembling effective mitigations1 for these engineered holes.
Semiconductor Fabricator TMSC annouced that they were hit with a virus that multiple pieces of their production operation in Taiwan. TMSC alleges the virus entered their systems as they were installing software for a new tool. TMSC's full announcement:
Issued by: TSMC
Issued on: 2018/08/05
Hsinchu, Taiwan, R.O.C., Aug 5, 2018 – TSMC today provided an update on the Company’s computer virus outbreak on the evening of August 3, which affected a number of computer systems and fab tools in Taiwan. The degree of infection varied by fab. TSMC contained the problem and found a solution. As of 14:00 Taiwan time, about 80% of the company’s impacted tools have been recovered, and the Company expects full recovery on August 6.
TSMC expects this incident to cause shipment delays and additional costs. We estimate the impact to third quarter revenue to be about three percent, and impact to gross margin to be about one percentage point. The Company is confident shipments delayed in third quarter will be recovered in the fourth quarter 2018, and maintains its forecast of high single-digit revenue growth for 2018 in U.S. dollars given on July 19, 2018.
Most of TSMC’s customers have been notified of this event, and the Company is working closely with customers on their wafer delivery schedule. The details will be communicated with each customer individually over the next few days.
This virus outbreak occurred due to misoperation during the software installation process for a new tool, which caused a virus to spread once the tool was connected to the Company’s computer network. Data integrity and confidential information was not compromised. TSMC has taken actions to close this security gap and further strengthen security measures.
The US Department of "Justice" has charged a Chinese man, Micheal Yin of Beijing, with 14 felony charges of securities fraud in the Southern District of New York. Yin is alleged to have traded shares of Lattice Semiconductor using non-public information. A second man, Benjamin Chow who worked for a private equity firm in Palo Alto is alleged to be the source of the information following Chow's own guilty plea. The full text is below: Continue reading
A great many types of vulnerability-by-design in consumer routers have been public for a rather long time: Linksys, MikroTik, NETGEAR, TP-Link, and other vendors, have — for the entire history of this product type — been selling boxes that are, essentially, public toilets, free for the remote taking by any reasonably-intelligent teenager.
It appears that this "news" has finally percolated down through the drains and into the dark cellars where USG gendarmerie dwell. As part of their regular work to force the replacement of systems containing old, burned NSA-authored vulnerabilities, with new and fresh ones — USG.FBI have recently turned their attention to consumer routers.
The lively petri dish of self-propagating shitware now commonly known to be dwelling in the NSA victims' home routers, has been officially blamed on Putin's omnipotent DNC-diddling brigade. Respectable, non-terrorist USG subjects will, presumably, be issued new, "clean" routers, in the nearest future.
The burning of these vulnerabilities was handled by having "researchers" affiliated with Cisco unveil the presence of a botnet populated by ~500,000 small routers commandeered by an artful piece of malware which persists across device reboots (archived). Meanwhile, Cisco continues having its own profound and self-inflicted security issues.