Cyberattack

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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

A Cynic's View of 2015 Security Predictions - Part 3

A number of security predictions have been doing the rounds over the last few weeks, so I decided to put pen to paper and write a list of my own. However, I have a quite a few predictions so I have listed them over several blog posts. After all, I didn't want to bombard you with too much information in one go! Part three examines the threats associated with data breaches. more

Email User Safety At Risk - MAAWG Consumer Survey 2010

The 2010 version of the now-annual Messaging Anti-abuse Working Group (MAAWG) 'Email Security Awareness and Usage Report' was released yesterday. While un-belied by the title, the vernacular name might get a bit more attention: "The MAAWG Consumer Email Survey". ... Consumers were surveyed in North America and across Europe with variety of questions from computer expertise and savvy, to their preferences of email. more

Mobile Malware Growing Exponentially, Limited Capability of Current Security Solutions Big Concern

Security analysis suggest troubling and escalating trends in the development of malware that exploits vulnerabilities on mobile devices. "From turning mobile devices into bots, to infiltration of mobile applications, driven by the use of personal devices in the workplace, cybercriminals are taking full advantage of this market," reports M86 Security Labs in its just released Threat Predictions Report. more

Summary Report Now Posted of W3C/IAB "Strengthening The Internet (STRINT)" Workshop

Given that I've written here about the original call for papers for the W3C/IAB "Strengthening The Internet Against Pervasive Monitoring (STRINT)" Workshop and then subsequently that the STRINT submitted papers were publicly available, I feel compelled to close the loop and note that a report about the STRINT workshop has been publicly published as an Internet-draft. more

Homeland Security Department Seeks Boost in Cybersecurity Funding, $936 Million for Fiscal 2012

Aliya Sternstein reporting in Nextgov: "The Homeland Security Department has requested an unprecedented $936 million in funding for fiscal 2012 to grow the federal cybersecurity workforce and enhance network protections. President Obama's budget would grant DHS, which last year assumed responsibility for governmentwide cyber operations, a $100 million increase over funding enacted the last time Congress passed full-year appropriations in 2010." more

Password Leaks

The technical press is full of reports about the leak of a hashed password file from LinkedIn. Worse yet, we hear, the hashes weren't salted. The situation is probably both better and worse than it would appear; in any event, it's more complicated. more

No New Cybersecurity Regulations Needed, ISPs Tell U.S. Lawmakers

A group of ISPs on wednesday told U.S. Congress that passing new cybersecurity rules affecting broadband and mobile service providers is counterproductive and should be resisted. Jason Livingood, vice president of Internet systems engineering at Comcast, during a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee's communications subcommittee, said: ISPs have "strong incentives" to secure their networks and invest heavily in cybersecurity because of competition. more

Kelihos Is Dead: Long Live Kelihos

The King is dead. Long live the King! Or, given this week's events, should the phrase now be "Kelihos is dead. Long live Kelihos"? It is with a little amusement and a lot of cynicism that I've been watching the kerfuffle relating to the latest attempt to take down the Kelihos botnet. You may remember that a similar event ("Kelihos is dead") occurred late last year after Microsoft and Kaspersky took it on themselves to shut down the botnet known as Kelihos (or sometimes as Waledac 2.0 or Hlux). more

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

China and the United States will set up a working group on cybersecurity, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday, as the two sides moved to ease months of tensions and mutual accusations of hacking and Internet theft. Speaking to reporters in Beijing during a visit to China, Kerry said the United States and China had agreed on the need to speed up action on cyber security, an area that Washington says is its top national security concern. 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

Flame Virus Was Developed by U.S., Israel to Slow Iranian Nuclear Efforts, According to Officials

The United States and Israel are reported to be responsible for developing the Flame virus aimed at collecting intelligence in preparation for cyber-sabotage aimed at slowing Iran's ability to develop a nuclear weapon, according to Western officials with knowledge of the effort. According the Washington Post, "[t]he massive piece of malware secretly mapped and monitored Iran's computer networks, sending back a steady stream of intelligence to prepare for a cyberwarfare campaign, according to the officials." more

EC3, the European Cybercrime Centre, Opened - Challenges All Around

On Friday 11 January 2013 the European Cybercrime Centre, EC3, officially opened its doors at Europol in The Hague. If something shone through from the speeches of the panel participants, it is that there are tight budget restraints and a strong wish to cooperate with the U.S., the Interpol centre in Singapore and Russia. Let me share my thoughts on expectations. more

Researchers Detail Faster Methods to Defeat Botnets Like Conficker and Kraken

Michael Cooney reporting in NetworkWorld: "Security researchers this week will detail a prototype system they say can better detect so-called Domain Name Generation- (DGA) based botnets such as Conficker and Kraken without the usual labor- and time-intensive reverse-engineering required to find and defeat such malware. The detection system, called Pleiades, monitors traffic below the local DNS server and analyzes streams of unsuccessful DNS resolutions..." more

Notes from NANOG 69

NANOG 69 was held in Washington DC in early February. Here are my notes from the meeting. It would not be Washington without a keynote opening talk about the broader political landscape, and NANOG certainly ticked this box with a talk on international politics and cyberspace. I did learn a new term, "kinetic warfare," though I'm not sure if I will ever have an opportunity to use it again! more