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A Digital 'Red Cross'

A look into the past reveals that continuous developments in weaponry technology have been the reason for arms control conventions and bans. The banning of the crossbow by Pope Urban II in 1096, because it threatened to change warfare in favour of poorer peasants, the banning of poisoned bullets in 1675 by the Strasbourg Agreement, and the Geneva protocol banning the use of biological and chemical weapons in 1925 after world war 1, all prove that significant technological developments have caused the world to agree not to use certain weapons. more

WHOIS: How Could I Have Been So Blind?

A colleague was recently commenting on an article by Michele Neylon "European Data Protection Authorities Send Clear Message to ICANN" citing the EU Data Commissioners of the Article 29 Working Party, the grouping a determinate factor In the impending death of WHOIS. He is on point when he said: What the European Data Protection authorities have not yet put together is that the protection of people's mental integrity on the Internet is not solely due to the action of law enforcement... more

Voluntary Reporting of Cybersecurity Incidents

One of the problems with trying to secure systems is the lack of knowledge in the community about what has or hasn't worked. I'm on record as calling for an analog to the National Transportation Safety Board: a government agency that investigates major outages and publishes the results. In the current, deregulatory political climate, though, that isn't going to happen. But how about a voluntary system? more

The Hack Back Bill in Congress is Better Than You'd Expect

Rep's Graves and Sinema recently introduced H.R. 4036, the catchily named Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act or ACDC act which creates some exceptions to criminal parts of computer crime laws. Lots of reports have decried "hack back" but if you read the bill, it's surprisingly well targeted. The first change is to what they call Attributional Technology, and says it's OK to put bait on your computer for an intruder intended to identify the intruder. more

Equifax Breach: 9 Fraud Prevention Steps Everyone Should Take

The U.S. Internet Revenue Service now says that criminals already had most of the information that credit bureau Equifax lost in a breach that revealed personal information about nearly 150 million people. The incident at Equifax and the IRS' mid-October admission of how much-stolen data was already in criminal hands may force changes in how the world handles personal information. more

Two More Crypto Holes

If you work in computer security, your Twitter feed and/or Inbox has just exploded with stories about not just one but two new holes in cryptographic protcols. One affects WiFi; the other affects RSA key pair generation by certain chips. How serious are these? I'm not going to go through the technical details. For KRACK, Matthew Green did an excellent blog post; for the other, full details are not yet available. There are also good articles on each of them. What's more interesting are the implications. more

The Darkening Web: Is there Light at the end of the Tunnel?

In his book "The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace" (Penguin Books, New York 2017), Alexander Klimburg, an Austrian-American academic, gives "Internet Dreamers" a "Wake Up Call". He tells us the background-story why people start to be "anxious about the future of the Internet", as the recent ISOC Global Internet Report "Paths to Our Digital Future" has recognized. Klimburg refers to Alphabets CEO Erich Schmidt, who once said that "the Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity does not understand". more

A European Perspective on the Equifax Hack: Encouraging Data Security Through Regulation

The Equifax hack is understood to have compromised the personal data of over 140 million individuals. Although recent hacks of other businesses have affected more individuals, the personal data held by Equifax is significantly more sensitive than the data compromised in other hacks and includes Social Security numbers, birth dates, current and previous addresses and driver licence details... (Co-authored by Peter Davis and Brendan Nixon.) more

Preliminary Thoughts on the Equifax Hack

As you've undoubtedly heard, the Equifax credit reporting agency was hit by a major attack, exposing the personal data of 143 million Americans and many more people in other countries. There's been a lot of discussion of liability; as of a few days ago, at least 25 lawsuits had been filed, with the state of Massachusetts preparing its own suit. It's certainly too soon to draw any firm conclusions... but there are a number of interesting things we can glean from Equifax's latest statement. more

Abusive and Malicious Registrations of Domain Names

When ICANN implemented the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) in 1999, it explained its purpose as combating "abusive registrations" of domain names which it defined as registrations "made with bad-faith intent to profit commercially from others' trademarks... Bad actors employ a palette of stratagems, such as combining marks with generic qualifiers, truncating or varying marks or by removing, reversing, and rearranging letters within the second level domain (typosquatting). more

Lessons Learned from Harvey and Irma

One of the most intense natural disasters in American history occurred last week...You may wish to donate or get involved with hurricane Harvey relief to help the afflicted. That's great, but as we all know, we should be wary of who we connect with online... The FTC warned last week that there are many active relief scams in progress and noted that there always seems to be a spike in registration of bogus domains. more

Fighting Phishing with Domain Name Disputes

I opened an email from GoDaddy over the weekend on my phone. Or so I initially thought. I had recently helped a client transfer a domain name to a GoDaddy account (to settle a domain name dispute), so the subject line of the email -- "Confirm this account" -- simply made me think that I needed to take another action to ensure everything was in working order. But quickly, my radar went off. more

Security is a System Property

There's lots of security advice in the press: keep your systems patched, use a password manager, don't click on links in email, etc. But there's one thing these adages omit: an attacker who is targeting you, rather than whoever falls for the phishing email, won't be stopped by one defensive measure. Rather, they'll go after the weakest part of your defenses. You have to protect everything -- including things you hadn't realized were relevant. more

The IoT Needs a Paradigm Shift from Security to Safety of Connected Devices

Building IoT ventures from scratch by prototyping hardware devices and their backend systems as well as working for a large company that tries to sell IoT devices itself, we learned a lot about the pitfalls and problems concerning security in the IoT. Nearly every connected device out there proved to be vulnerable to attacks. Researchers showed that it's possible to remotely take control over autonomous vehicles, implanted medical devices were manipulated, voting machines compromised and of course all sorts of other "smart" devices... more

Probability of ROI and Tighter Network Security by Blocking Malicious Subdomains

Failing to block a stealthy malicious host from making connections to your network could cost your company millions of dollars, a damaged reputation, and severe losses in sensitive private data. Threat intel teams have faced on-going problems: Expensive feeds that are slow to catch new threats; Chasing false positives in alerts wastes time and money; and Vendors selling a new appliance for every ill. Would 100% of your users Spot the Bot? more

News Briefs

Former Rutgers University Student and Two Other Men Plead Guilty to 2016 Mirai Botnet Attacks

Russian-Speaking MoneyTaker Group Suspected of Stealing $10M From Companies in Russia, UK and US

Bitcoin Miner NiceHash Reports Hack, More Than $60 Million Worth of Bitcoin Potentially Stolen

Russian Behind Massive LinkedIn, Dropbox Hack Subject of Extradition Fight Between US and Russia

IBM Launches Quad9, a DNS-based Privacy and Security Service to Protect Users from Malicious Sites

Security Researchers are Warning About a New IoT Botnet Storm Brewing

New Wave of Ransomware Spreading Rapidly Through Russia, Ukrain and Other Nations

Cyberattacks Against Abortion Clinics on the Rise

China to Create National Cyberattack Database

Equifax Breach Blamed on Open-Source Software Flaw

Equifax Hacked, Nearly Half of US Population Affected

British Security Researcher Credited for Stopping WannaCry Is Charged in a U.S. Cybercrime Case

Kansas System Hacked, Social Security Numbers of Millions Accessed Spanning 10 States

Afghanistan Enacts Law Targeting Online Crime and Militancy

U.S. Critical Infrastructure Will Be Attacked Within 2 Years, According to 2017 Black Hat Survey

U.S. Nuclear Power and Other Energy Companies Hacked by Russians According to Government Officials

U.S. Lawmakers Wary of Kaspersky Lab, the Russian Cybersecurity Firm

Petya Ransomware Spreading Rapidly Worldwide, Effecting Banks, Telecom, Businesses, Power Companies

South Korean Banks Receive DDoS Threat from Hacker Group, Record Ransomware Payment Demanded

North Korea's Spy Agency Behind WannaCry

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Taking Back the DNS

Domain Tasting Target of US Federal Cybersquatting Lawsuit

Fake Bank Site, Fake Registrar

When Registrars Look the Other Way, Drug-Dealers Get Paid

Who Is Blocking WHOIS? Part 2

Industry Updates

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