Cybercrime / Recently Commented

The Cock and the Goat: ICANN in the Age of Horrorism

Like everyone else, former ICANN board members have been preoccupied by the horrific November 13th, 2015 attacks on Paris, France, by a bunch of cold-blooded mass murderers. Our email list discussion of the Paris attacks covered a number of issues, including the inevitable question: what, if anything, should ICANN do in response? Some list subscribers concluded that the events had nothing to do with ICANN's mission, and that we should just sigh and move on. Others, on the other hand, said: not so fast, it would serve ICANN well to take a closer look at the matter, and its ramifications on wider world of ICANN.  more»

Officially Compromised Privacy

The essence of information privacy is control over disclosure. Whoever is responsible for the information is supposed to be able to decide who sees it. If a society values privacy, it needs to ensure that there are reasonable protections possible against disclosure to those not authorized by the information's owner. In the online world, an essential technical component for this assurance is encryption. If the encryption that is deployed permits disclosure to those who were not authorized by the information's owner, there should be serious concern about the degree of privacy that is meaningfully possible. more»

Taking Back the DNS

Most new domain names are malicious. I am stunned by the simplicity and truth of that observation. Every day lots of new names are added to the global DNS, and most of them belong to scammers, spammers, e-criminals, and speculators. The DNS industry has a lot of highly capable and competitive registrars and registries who have made it possible to reserve or create a new name in just seconds, and to create millions of them per day. Domains are cheap, domains are plentiful, and as a result most of them are dreck or worse. more»

ICANN Compliance Lends a Hand to a Violent Criminal While Trashing a Legitimate Business

Imagine a California non-profit corporation providing material assistance to a criminal wanting to do you physical and financial harm. Then, imagine that corporation is ICANN. Imagine no longer, because that is precisely what the ICANN Compliance department managed to pull off this week, in an all-too-common demonstration of the havoc they can cause by sheer ineptitude, without apology or concern. This is the situation which crossed my desk this week. more»

The Cyber Security Ecosystem: Collaborate or Collaborate - It's Your Choice

As cyber security as a field has grown in scope and influence, it has effectively become an 'ecosystem' of multiple players, all of whom either participate in or influence the way the field develops and/or operates. It's increasingly evident that, more than ever, it is crucial for those players to collaborate and work together to enhance the security posture of communities, nations and the globe. more»

World Body Declares Cyber Security Top Issue

Sovereign nations around the globe have clearly defined borders, but as attendees were shown at a UN Conference several years ago, cybercrime is a borderless phenomenon. In 2011 Norton Security released statistics that showed that every 14 seconds an adult is a victim of cybercrime and the numbers are growing. As internet use grows, so does the amount and type of information streaming across the web. This information crosses transnational lines, public and private sectors. more»

Global Paradigms We Relied Upon Were Destroyed Overnight - How Prepared Are You for New Realities?

Unprecedented new Political and Cyber Security Threats are happening at a scale that has never been witnessed before. These threats are large and malicious enough to take down nuclear programs, render oil refineries inoperable, and take billion-dollar websites offline (not to mention smaller ones). Recent events confirm that NO ONE IS IMMUNE. Despite the obvious warning signs, Internet business stakeholders the world over continue to act as if nothing has changed, and seem unaware that global paradigms have undergone a seismic shift almost overnight. more»

Managing (in)Security Through Regulation: A Key Phase for Nation States

Not so long ago, the notion of introducing laws and other regulatory responses to address cyber security issues was regarded with significant hesitation by governments and policy makers. To some extent, this hesitation may well have stemmed from a general perception by those who do not work directly in the field that the world of cyber security is somewhat of a 'dark art'. More recently, however, there has been a substantial shift in this attitude, with proposals to regulate a range of cyber security related matters becoming increasingly numerous. more»

Understanding the Threat Landscape: Cyber-Attack Actors and Motivations

The threat landscape has rapidly expanded over the past few years, and shows no signs of contracting. With major establishments in both the public and private sectors falling victim to cyber-attacks, it is critical for organizations to identify the motivations, modus operandi (MO) and objectives of adversaries in order to adequately and effectively defend their networks. Understanding the taxonomy of cyber-attacks is the first step in preparing an organization against exposure to them. more»

Hacking: Users, Computers, and Systems

As many people have heard, there's been a security problem at the Internal Revenue Service. Some stories have used the word hack; other people, though, have complained that nothing was hacked, that the only problem was unauthorized access to taxpayer data but via authorized, intentionally built channels. The problem with this analysis is that it's looking at security from far too narrow a perspective... more»

The Economics of Magic

Arthur C. Clarke said any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Milton Friedman said there's no such thing as a free lunch. The validity of the former statement does not invalidate the later. From this we can see that even magic has a price. Hence, its application is subject to cost-benefit analysis. There are many developing technologies that may eventually qualify as magic. more»

The Internet of Stupid Things

In those circles where Internet prognostications abound and policy makers flock to hear grand visions of the future, we often hear about the boundless future represented by "The Internet of Things". This phrase encompasses some decades of the computing industry's transition from computers as esoteric piece of engineering affordable only by nations, to mainframes, desktops, laptops, handhelds, and now wrist computers. Where next? more»

Asking a Better Question to Uncloak the Online Copyright Debate

The proverbial Pandora's box that is opened whenever the topic of online copyright infringement is raised throws into sharp relief a host of challenges that have confounded policy makers, internet service providers and consumers for many years. Chief amongst them is how to strike an appropriate balance between protecting the rights of content owners while continuing to promote the interests of the public and preserving the benefits of the internet, given its unprecedented ability to facilitate the rapid dissemination of copyrighted content. more»

Is Upping the Minimum Wage Good for the Information Security Industry?

The movement for upping the minimum wage in the US is gathering momentum. Protests and placard waving are on the increase, and the quest for $15 per hour is well underway. There are plenty of arguments as to why such a hike in minimum wage is necessary, and what the consequences could be to those businesses dependent upon the cheapest hourly labor. But, for the information security industry, upping the minimum wage will likely yield only good news. more»

Internet Security Marketing: Buyer Beware

As security breaches increasingly make headlines, thousands of Internet security companies are chasing tens of billions of dollars in potential revenue. While we, the authors, are employees of Internet security companies and are happy for the opportunity to sell more products and services, we are alarmed at the kind of subversive untruths that vendor "spin doctors" are using to draw well-intentioned customers to their doors. Constructive criticism is sometimes necessarily harsh, and some might find the following just that, harsh. But we think it's important that organizations take a "buyers beware" approach to securing their business. more»