Cyberattack

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Proactive Cybersecurity: What Small Businesses Can Actually Do

In the business world, there are two main paths a company can take with cybersecurity -- the reactive and the proactive approach. The problem with a purely reactive attitude is that it can easily put companies in constant firefighting mode. And for small companies with limited resources, this can turn out to be an increasingly uncomfortable place to be in.
With that in mind, experts today suggest proactive cybersecurity by monitoring suspicious activity and identifying risks before they turn into full-blown attacks. more

Threat Intelligence in Latter 2019: Overcoming the Same and New Challenges

Does threat intelligence (TI) work? I looked into that question last year, exploring the reasons why it actually doesn't and what can be done to remediate the situation. Since then, more companies have incorporated TI into their security processes, and many are still not getting the benefits they expect. What's causing the dissatisfaction? Interestingly, pretty much the same aspects... more

WHOIS Database Download: Proactive Defense Against the Rising Tide of BEC Fraud

How many times have you heard that humans are the weakest link in cybersecurity? The headlines have proven that over and over again. In particular, business email compromise or BEC (also known as email account compromise or EAC) scams, which typically target an employee with access to the financial resources of his company -- this could be a C-level executive or any high-ranking officer -- for fraud are still on a constant uphill trend. more

Why Passive DNS Matters in Cybersecurity

Imagine a scenario. Your website analysis shows that your page has stopped receiving visitors, yet there are no complaints that your domain is unreachable. Strange, isn't it? You are certainly wondering: What's going on? Where are my customers? You see, what happened is that you are facing the consequences of the lack of domain name system (DNS) security. more

A Dangerous, Norm-Destroying Attack

Kim Zetter has a new story out describing a very serious attack. In fact, the implications are about as bad as possible. The attack has been dubbed ShadowHammer by Kaspersky Lab, which discovered it. Briefly, some crew of attackers -- I suspect an intelligence agency; more on that below -- has managed to abuse ASUS' update channel and private signing key to distribute bogus patches. more

Putting Cyber Threats Into Perspective

As society uses more digital technologies we are increasingly also faced with its problems. Most of us will have some horror stories to tell about using computers, smartphones, and the internet. But this hasn't stopped us from using the technology more and more. I believe that most people would say that their lives would be worse without technology -- in developed countries but equally in the developing world. more

Some Thought on the Paper: Practical Challenge-Response for DNS

Because the speed of DNS is so important to the performance of any connection on the 'net, a lot of thought goes into making DNS servers fast, including optimized software that can respond to queries in milliseconds, and connecting DNS servers to the 'net through high bandwidth links. To set the stage for massive DDoS attacks based in the DNS system, add a third point: DNS responses tend to be much larger than DNS queries. more

Microsoft is Abandoning SHA-1 Hashes for Updates - But Why?

Microsoft is shipping a patch to eliminate SHA-1 hashes from its update process. There's nothing wrong with eliminating SHA-1 - but their reasoning may be very interesting. SHA-1 is a "cryptographic hash function". That is, it takes an input file of any size and outputs 20 bytes. An essential property of cryptographic hash functions is that in practice (though obviously not in theory), no two files should have the same hash value unless the files are identical. more

Building a Secure Global Network

Recently, the DNS has come under an extensive attack. The so-called "DNSpionage" campaigns have brought to light the myriad methods used to infiltrate networks. These attacks employed phishing, system hopping via key exfiltration, and software zero day exploits, illustrating that many secure networks may not be fully protected. more

Routing Security - Getting Better, But No Reason to Rest!

In January 2018, I looked back at 2017 to figure out how routing security looked globally and on a country level. Using the same metrics and methodology, I've recently taken a look at 2018 to see if we're making improvements. The good news is, it seems like the routing system is doing better! But there is still much work to be done. Using BGPStream.com, a great public service providing information about suspicious events in the routing system, I analyzed the number of incidents... more

Lessons Learned from the Namejuice/DROA/DROC Outage

Last week an ICANN registrar, Namejuice, went off the air for the better part of the day -- disappearing off the internet at approximately 8:30 am, taking all domains delegated to its nameservers with it, and did not come back online until close to 11 pm ET. That was a full business day and more of complete outage for all businesses, domains, websites, and email who were using the Namejuice nameservers -- something many of them were doing. more

Continued Threats from Malware

As part of my job, I manage an incident response team that was engaged by a significant organization in Georgia whose network was infected by the QBOT (a.k.a. QAKBOT) malware. The customer had been infected for over a year, several teams before ours had failed to solve the problem, and they continued to get reinfected by the malware when they thought they had eradicated it. Over time it had spread to more than 1,000 computers in their ecosystem stealing user credentials along the way. more

The Economics of Hacking an Election

There have been many news stories of late about potential attacks on the American electoral system. Which attacks are actually serious? As always, the answer depends on economics. There are two assertions I'll make up front. First, the attacker -- any attacker -- is resource-limited. They may have vast resources, and in particular, they may have more resources than the defenders -- but they're still limited. Why? more

Why You Must Learn to Love DNSSEC

It's been nearly two months since the high profile BGP hijack attack against MyEtherwallet, where crypto thieves used BGP leaks to hijack MEW's name servers, which were on Amazon's Route53, and inserted their own fake name servers which directed victims to their own fake wallet site, thereby draining some people's wallets. It generated a lot of discussion at the time... What isn't fully appreciated is that attack has, in fact, changed the game somewhat... more

A Trebuchet Defence in the Age of the Augmented Reality Cyberwarrior

I've been ruminating on this for a while, this follow-up that was a decade in the offing. My article Trench Warfare in the Age of The Laser-Guided Missile from January 2007 did pretty good in terms of views since I wrote it. Less so in terms of how well the ideas aged or didn't, but that's the nature of the beast. Everything gets worse, and simultaneously, better, and so here we are: Using embarrassingly ancient approaches to next-generation threats. Plus ça change. more

News Briefs

Cyber Risk Now on Top of Corporate Risk Agendas, Cyber Insurance Expanding

The Insecurity of the IoT is Only Getting More Profound, Says Principal Researcher at F-Secure

Ransomware Causes 15 Schools in Arizona To Stay Closed For a Second Day

Phishing Attacks Targeting Executives Now Top Cybersecurity Insurance Claims, Says AIG

Close to 200K Phishing Domains Discovered in a 5-Month Span, 66% Targetted Consumers, Akamai Reports

A 60% Rise Reported on Malware Designed to Harvest Consumers' Digital Data, aka Password Stealers

Equifax Announces Comprehensive Consumer Settlement for the 2017 Data Breach

Florida Cities Are Paying Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Ransom to Get Their Data Back

State-Sponsored Cyberattack Against Telecom Providers Is Targetting Data on Specific Individuals

US Launches Cyberattack Against Iran’s Military IT Systems

United States Steps Up Digital Incursions Into Russia's Electric Power Grid, According to NYT

Notorious Hacker Group XENOTIME Expands Its Targeting Beyond Oil and Gas to Electric Utility Sector

Use of DNS Firewalls Could Have Prevented More Than $10B in Data Breach Losses Over the Past 5 Years

Baltimore Gets Hacked: Main Computer Systems Crippled, Experts Estimate Months to Recover

DDoS Storm Is Coming, Warn Researchers Noting an 84% Surge in the First Quarter of 2019

Two Years Later WannaCry Continues to Spread to Vulnerable Devices, Nearly 5M Devices Affected

Israel’s Airstrike on Hamas Hackers: First Real-Time Physical Retaliation Against Cyberattack

Hackers in Possession of Over 312K Files, 516GB Financial Data of Some of World's Largest Companies

Mueller Report: Russians Used Spear Phishing, SQL Injection to Penetrate US Election Administration

State-Sponsored Attack Is Manipulating DNS Systems of National Security Organizations

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