Evil insulin pumps and laptop batteries, war texting, and a tween hacker captured our imagination -- and our attention.
Some hacks are epic not merely for their significance in IT security, but for their sheer creativity and novelty. They're those in-your-face hacks that both entertain and educate, and crack those things we take for granted in our everyday lives.
For the fifth year in a row, Dark Reading has compiled an end-of-the-year list of the coolest hacks executed by those imaginative, inquisitive, and resourceful hackers who dare to go the distance to try some of the most unique--and sometimes bizarre--hacks.
Some of this year's coolest hacks are downright chilling in that they could mean life or death, like the ones that tampered with the dosage dispensed by popular insulin pumps, or that remotely shut down the power on industrial control systems that run power plants. Others were both charming and precocious, like the 10-year-old hacker who found a major flaw in her favorite mobile gaming app after getting bored and looking for a way to progress further with it.
So grab a cup of eggnog, kick back by the fireplace, and time-travel back--to some of the coolest hacks of the year.
1. Remotely starting a car via text message.
There's war driving, and then there's war texting. Security researcher Don Bailey discovered how simple it is to remotely disarm a car alarm system and control other GSM and cell-connected devices: He showed off his find by remotely starting a car outside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas during the Black Hat USA and DefCon shows.
It took Bailey, a security consultant with iSec Partners, only two hours to first hack into a popular car-alarm system and then start the car from afar with a text message. He and fellow researcher Mat Solnick later re-enacted the hack via video in Vegas.
Heightened concern that users could inadvertently expose or leak--or purposely steal--an organization's sensitive data has spurred debate over the proper technology and training to protect the crown jewels. An Insider Threat Reality Check, a special retrospective of recent news coverage, takes a look at how organizations are handling the threat--and what users are really up to. (Free registration required.)
Published: 2015-10-15 The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...
Published: 2015-10-15 Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.
Published: 2015-10-15 Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.
The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.
So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?
Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?
Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.