Cyberattack

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Blocking Amplification Attacks: Sometimes the Incentives Work Against You

Since the end of last year, amplification attacks have been increasingly used by attackers and received heavy media coverage. Everyday protocols not given much thought before, like Network Time Protocol (NTP), can be asked in a very short remote command to send a very large response (list of 600 clients last connected to the NTP server) to a spoofed IP address (the target) by the requestor/attacker. more»

Is Your Organization Prepared for a Cyberattack?

Infamous heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson once said "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." As any organization that has faced a cyber attack will tell you, it is a lot like getting punched in the face, and if you're not ready, you might get knocked out. You've likely read recent headlines of major retailers, financial institutions, and now even universities, being hit with data breaches. As some of them have learned the hard way, it's not a question of if your organization will be attacked; it's a question of when. more»

Proceedings of Name Collisions Workshop Available

Keynote speaker, and noted security industry commentator, Bruce Schneier (Co3 Systems ) set the tone for the two days with a discussion on how humans name things and the shortcomings of computers in doing the same. Names require context, he observed, and "computers are really bad at this" because "everything defaults to global." Referring to the potential that new gTLDs could conflict with internal names in installed systems, he commented, "It would be great if we could go back 20 years and say 'Don't do that'," but concluded that policymakers have to work with DNS the way it is today. more»

Dynamic DNS Customers, Check Your Router Settings!

There have been quite a few news stories released over the last 24 hours regarding a wide-scale compromise of 300,00 Internet gateway devices. Here's the executive summary of what happened, how to check if you are vulnerable, and what you can do to fix it... If you use any of these devices, you should check it to ensure your device has not been compromised. more»

More Denial of Service Attacks

There are quite a lot of NTP-amplified denial of service attacks going around at the moment targeting tech and ecommerce companies, including some in the email space. What does NTP-amplifed mean? NTP is "Network Time Protocol" - it allows computers to set their clocks based on an accurate source, and keep them accurate. It's very widely used - OS X and Windows desktops typically use it by default, and most servers should have it running. more»

Extreme Vulnerability at the Edge of the Internet - A Fresh New Universal Human-Rights Problem

By design, the Internet core is stupid, and the edge is smart. This design decision has enabled the Internet's wildcat growth, since without complexity the core can grow at the speed of demand. On the downside, the decision to put all smartness at the edge means we're at the mercy of scale when it comes to the quality of the Internet's aggregate traffic load. Not all device and software builders have the skills - and the quality assurance budgets - that something the size of the Internet deserves. more»

Securing the Core

BGP. Border Gateway Protocol. The de-facto standard routing protocol of the Internet. The nervous system of the Internet. I don't think I can overstate the importance, the criticality of BGP to the operation of the modern Internet. BGP is the glue that holds the Internet together at its core. And like so many integral pieces of the Internet, it, too, is designed and built on the principle of trust... The folks who operate the individual networks that make up the Internet are generally interested in keeping the Internet operating, in keeping the packets flowing. And they do a great job, for the most part. more»

April 8 2014: A World Less Secure

Not long after the message that Microsoft will stop updating Windows XP from 8 April onwards, after extending it beyond the regular life cycle for over a year already, came the soothing message that malware will be monitored for another year. That may be good news to some, but the fact remains that this is not the same as patching. Remaining on XP leads to a vulnerable state of the desktop, lap top and any other machine running on XP; vulnerable to potential hacks, cyber crimes, becoming part of a botnet, etc. more»

W3C/IAB "Strengthening the Internet" Workshop: Deadline Monday to Submit Position Papers

How can the open standards organizations of the IETF and W3C "strengthen the Internet" against large-scale pervasive monitoring? That is the topic up for discussion at the "Strengthening the Internet Against Pervasive Monitoring (STRINT)" workshop planned for February 28 and March 1, 2014, and jointly sponsored by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and the W3C. The workshop is by invitation-only and has a deadline of Monday, January 20, 2014 (by 11:59 UTC) for submission of either position papers or Internet drafts. more»

Domain Name System (DNS) Security Should Be One of Your Priorities

Most people, even seasoned IT professionals, don't give DNS (the Domain Name System) the attention it deserves. As TCP/IP has become the dominant networking protocol, so has the use of DNS... Due to the reliability built into the fundamental RFC-based design of DNS, most IT professionals don't spend much time worrying about it. This can be a huge mistake! more»

Google's Project Shield May Actually Be A Double-Edged Sword

Google has received a lot of press regarding their Project Shield announcement at the Google Ideas Summit. The effort is being applauded as a milestone in social consciousness. While on the surface the endeavor appears admirable, the long-term impact of the service may manifest more than Google had hoped for. Project Shield is an invite-only service that combines Google's DDoS mitigation technology and Page Speed service... more»

Alleged Power Grab: Is Internet Governance Hanging by a Thread?

The Internet Governance Forum in Bali is not without excitement as usual. There is a rumour about a power grab by the technical community. If the "power grab" is true, then I am assuming that this is a response to threats of institutional frameworks governing or interfering with the current status quo. Personally, I feel that this is anti thesis to "enhanced cooperation". If for some reason, ICANN or the US Government is behind the scenes in instigating this move, then I would suggest that it is very bad strategy and will cause more damage than harm to the current status quo. more»

The Big Bad Internet

I often think there are only two types of stories about the Internet. One is a continuing story of prodigious technology that continues to shrink in physical size and at the same time continue to dazzle and amaze us... The other is a darker evolving story of the associated vulnerabilities of this technology where we've seen "hacking" turn into organised crime and from there into a scale of sophistication that is sometimes termed "cyber warfare". And in this same darker theme one could add the current set of stories about various forms of state sponsored surveillance and espionage on the net. more»

DNS Amplification Attacks: Out of Sight, Out of Mind? (Part 3)

Previous posts (Part 1 and Part 2) offer background on DNS amplification attacks being observed around the world. These attacks continue to evolve. Early attacks focused on authoritative servers using "ANY" queries for domains that were well known to offer good amplification. Response Rate Limiting (RRL) was developed to respond to these early attacks. RRL, as the name suggests, is deployed on authoritative servers to rate limit responses to target names. more»

On the Time Value of Security Features in DNS

There are some real problems in DNS, related to the general absence of Source Address Validation (SAV) on many networks connected to the Internet. The core of the Internet is aware of destinations but blind to sources. If an attacker on ISP A wants to forge the source IP address of someone at University B when transmitting a packet toward Company C, that packet is likely be delivered complete and intact, including its forged IP source address. Many otherwise sensible people spend a lot of time and airline miles trying to improve this situation... The problems created for the Domain Name System (DNS) by the general lack of SAV are simply hellish. more»

News Briefs

European Standardization Organizations Discuss Role of Standards for EU Cybersecurity Strategy

Widespread Compromised Routers Discovered With Altered DNS Configurations

Significant Uptick Reported in Targeted Internet Traffic Misdirection

Israeli Tunnel Hit by Cyberattack Causing Massive Congestion

US Government Releases Cybersecurity Framework Proposal

Google Launches 'Project Shield': Anti-DDoS Service to Protect Free Expression Online

DDoS Awareness Day - Oct 23, Register Today for Live Virtual Event

UK Teams Up With Defence and Telecom Companies to Counter Cyber Attacks

Arrest Made in Connection to Spamhaus DDoS Case

China and the United States Agree on Forming Joint Cybersecurity Working Group

U.S. CERT Issues Alert on DNS Amplification Attacks

Largest DDoS Attack To Date Aimed at Spamhaus Effects Global Internet Traffic

Research Group Releases International Law on Cyber Warfare Manual

North Korea Suffers Internet Outage, U.S. Blamed

ICANN Releases Guideline for Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure Reporting

Obama Signs Cybersecurity Executive Order

DDoS Attacks on US Banks This Week Peaked at 60 Gbps

SANS Develops Small-Scale City to Train Cyber Warriors

M3AAWG, London Action Plan Release Best Practices to Address Online and Mobile Threats

Cyberattackers Targeting Iranian Infrastructure and Communications Companies

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