Cyberattack

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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 ├ža change. more

Schneier and Kerr on Encryption Workarounds

Bruce Schneier is a famous cryptography expert and Orin Kerr a famous cyberlaw professor. Together they've published a law journal article on Encryption Workarounds. It's intended for lawyers so it's quite accessible to non-technical readers. The article starts with a summary of how encryption works, and then goes through six workarounds to get the text of an encrypted message. more

Is Blockchain Causing More Cybersecurity Attacks in the Financial Industry?

There's a lot of misunderstanding about blockchain. A recent study by HSBC, for example, found that 59 percent of customers around the world had never heard of it. Yet, while that alone is quite telling, it's probably more alarming to consider the fact that very same poll revealed that 80 percent of people who had hard of blockchain did not understand what it is. This level of confusion isn't confined to the general population either. more

Routing Attacks on Internet Services

This post was co-authored by Yixin Sun, Annie Edmundson, Henry Birge-Lee, Jennifer Rexford, and Prateek Mittal. In this post, we discuss a recent thread of research that highlights the insecurity of Internet services due to the underlying insecurity of Internet routing. We hope that this thread facilitates important dialog in the networking, security, and Internet policy communities to drive change and adoption of secure mechanisms for Internet routing. more

1 Terabit DDoS Attacks Become a Reality; Reflecting on Five Years of Reflections

Reflection amplification is a technique that allows cyber attackers to both magnify the amount of malicious traffic they can generate, and obfuscate the sources of that attack traffic. For the past five years, this combination has been irresistible to attackers, and for good reason. This simple capability, of turning small requests into larger, 'amplified' responses, changed the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack landscape dramatically. more

Humming an Open Internet Demise in London?

In mid-March, the group dubbed by Wired Magazine 20 years ago as Crypto-Rebels and Anarchists - the IETF - is meeting in London. With what is likely some loud humming, the activists will likely seek to rain mayhem upon the world of network and societal security using extreme end-to-end encryption, and collaterally diminish some remaining vestiges of an "open internet." Ironically, the IETF uses what has become known as the "NRA defence": extreme encryption doesn't cause harm, criminals and terrorists do. more

Why Is It So Hard to Run a Bitcoin Exchange?

One of the chronic features of the Bitcoin landscape is that Bitcoin exchanges screw up and fail, starting with Mt. Gox. There's nothing conceptually very hard about running an exchange, so what's the problem? The first problem is that Bitcoin and other blockchains are by design completely unforgiving. If there is a bug in your software which lets people steal coins, too bad, nothing to be done. more

The Over-Optimization Meltdown

In simple terms, Meltdown and Spectre are simple vulnerabilities to understand. Imagine a gang of thieves waiting for a stage coach carrying a month's worth of payroll. There are two roads the coach could take, and a fork, or a branch, where the driver decides which one to take. The driver could take either one. What is the solution? Station robbers along both sides of the branch, and wait to see which one the driver chooses. more

A Year in Review: 14,000 Routing Incidents In 2017

How was the state of the Internet's routing system in 2017? Let's take a look back using data from BGPStream. Some highlights: 13,935 total incidents (either outages or attacks like route leaks and hijacks); Over 10% of all Autonomous Systems on the Internet were affected; 3,106 Autonomous Systems were a victim of at least one routing incident; 1,546 networks caused at least one incident. more

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2017

It is once again time for our annual review of posts that received the most attention on CircleID during the past year. Congratulations to all the 2017 participants for sharing their thoughts and making a difference in the industry. 2017 marked CircleID's 15th year of operation as a medium dedicated to all critical matters related to the Internet infrastructure and services. We are in the midst of historic times, facing rapid technological developments and there is a lot to look forward to in 2018. more

Meltdown and Spectre: Security is a Systems Property

I don't (and probably won't) have anything substantive to say about the technical details of the just-announced Meltdown and Spectre attacks. What I do want to stress is that these show, yet again, that security is a systems property: being secure requires that every component, including ones you've never heard of, be secure. These attacks depend on hardware features... and no, many computer programmers don't know what those are, either. more

News Briefs

Criminals Using New Phishing Techniques to Hide from Victims and Investigators, Reports APWG

Hackers Behind Marriott Breach Left Clues Suggesting Link to Chinese Government

Strange Email Used to Inform Marriott Customers About the Massive Data Breach

Paris Cyber Agreement Has Grown to More Than 450 Signatories

US, Russia and China Stay Out of Paris International Cybersecurity Pact

Weekend Cyberattack on Pakistani bank reported to be a Historic $6 Million Loss, Bank Denies Claim

Yahoo Agrees to Pay $50M and Other Costs for the Massive Security Breach Disclosed in 2016

Most Cyberattacks Are From Hostile States, Reports U.K.'s National Cyber Security Centre

Facebook Security Vulnerability Allowed Attackers to Steal User Access Tokens Affecting 50 Million

Trump Administration Says US Will Start Using Offensive Strategy Towards Cyberattacks

Current Security Measures Not Enough to Protect Data in Lost or Stolen Laptops, Experts Warn

Frequency of DDoS Attacks Risen by 40% While Duration of Attacks Decrease

British Airways Issues Apology for Cyberattack Affecting Hundreds of Thousands of Customers

Iranian Influence Operation Worldwide Significantly Larger Than Previously Identified

Trump Relaxes U.S. Regulation to Launch Cyberattacks

Russian Hackers Have Penetrated U.S. Electric Utilities

Oracle Launches Internet Intelligence Map Providing Insight Into the Impact of Internet Disruptions

FCC Accused of Intentionally Lying to Media Saying Net Neutrality Comment Flood Was Cyberattack

Newly Discovered Malware Called VPNFilter is Targeting at Least 500K Networking Devices Worldwide

EU Considers Integrating New Norms of Cyberwar Into Security Policies

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