This Week in Security: A Digital Café Américain, The Linux Bugs That Weren’t, The Great Nation, and More

This Week in Security: A Digital Café Américain, The Linux Bugs That Weren’t, The Great Nation, and More

A government is going after a human rights activists in Morocco. It sounds familiar, but I don’t think Humphrey Bogart is running the gin joint this time around.


Questionable Casablanca references aside, Amnesty International has reported another attack against human rights workers. In this case, a pair of Moroccan activists were targeted with what appears to be NSO’s Pegasus malware suite. Researchers identified text message phishing that led to malicious web pages, as well as HTTP man in the middle attacks against their mobile devices. Once the target was successfully directed to the malicious site, A collection of zero-day vulnerabilities were used to compromise the phone with the NSO malware.


NSO is an Israeli company that specializes in building malware and other cybersecurity tools for governments. As you can imagine, this specialization has earned NSO the scorn of quite a few organizations. NSO claims to have a policy framework in place that allows them to evaluate and terminate the use of their software when it is deemed illegal or abusive, but due to the nature of their contracts, that process is anything but transparent.


Sudo Vulnerability


A problem in sudo was disclosed this week, that allowed users to run commands as root even when they don’t have permission to do so. Sudo allows a user to specify a numeric user ID instead of a username. It was discovered that specifying -1 as the user did something unexpected, it failed. Trying to switch to user -1 fails, but sudo runs the rest of the command anyway, as root i ..