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Attacking the iOS 7 early_random() PRNG
Attacking Zone Page Metadata in iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks
Attacking Crypto Phones: Weaknesses in ZRTPCPP
Attacking the iOS 7 early_random() PRNG
posted by Tarjei Mandt @ 3/12/2014 09:04:00 PM  

Back in 2012, Mark and I detailed a number of iOS kernel mitigations that were introduced in iOS 6 to prevent an attacker from leveraging well-known exploitation techniques such as the zone free list pointer overwrite. Most of these mitigations rely on entropy (of varying degree) provided by the kernel, and are therefore supported by a separate random number generator known as the early_random() PRNG. As this generator is fundamental to the robustness of these mitigations, and has received additional improvements in iOS 7, it is unarguably a very interesting target that deserves further study.
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Attacking Zone Page Metadata in iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks
posted by Tarjei Mandt @ 12/19/2013 09:23:00 AM  

Over the past several years, zone corruption vulnerabilities have been frequently leveraged by attackers in exploiting the iOS and OS X kernel. In response to their prevalence and gained popularity, iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion introduced numerous mitigations and hardening measures in order to increase the security and robustness of the zone allocator. In particular, these enhancements seek to prevent an attacker from leveraging well-known exploitation primitives such as the free list pointer overwrite. In iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, further improvements have been made to the zone allocator, primary aimed at improving its efficiency. Notably, these improvements have caused significant changes to zone page management and have introduced a new zone page metadata structure. In this blog post, we revisit the zone allocator and detail the updates made by Apple in iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks. We then show how these changes yet again may allow an attacker to generically exploit zone corruption vulnerabilities.
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Attacking Crypto Phones: Weaknesses in ZRTPCPP
posted by Mark @ 6/27/2013 09:08:00 AM  

In the wake of the recent NSA / Prism debacle, there has been a large push for secure, encrypted communications for the average user. This essentially means employing cryptography solutions in order to protect private communications from eavesdroppers (government or otherwise). Whilst this is a very positive course of action that user's can undertake, it makes sense to perform some evaluation of the security products upon which your communications are entrusted - does the attack surface change? Are there new avenues of exposure that didn't previously exist? With this in mind, I decided to take a brief look at the GNU ZRTPCPP library (, which is a core security component of various secure phone solutions (perhaps most notably, the impressive SilentCircle suite of applications). This blog post discusses several vulnerabilities that were uncovered in this initial audit. Note that these vulnerabilities can be triggered by un-authenticated, untrusted, remote parties, and affects the following software:

* SilentCircle (SilentPhone)
* CSipSimple
* Some of the Ostel clients (they use CSipSimple)
* LinPhone
* Twinkle
* Anything using the GNU ccRTP with ZRTP enabled

.. and possibly others. These vulnerabilities were recently reported by Azimuth to ZRTPCPP author/maintainer Werner Dittman who turned around fixes in a very short space of time, and also co-ordinated with some of the other vendors mentioned above. The remainder of this blog outlines some of the most major issues that were uncovered.

(UPDATE: The github now contains the fixes for these bugs, and SilentCircle has made their updates available via Google/Apple's app-stores).

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