Cyberattack / Featured Blogs

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, 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