Cybercrime

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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»

M3AAWG Releases Anti-Abuse Best Common Practices for Hosting and Cloud Service Providers

Jointly published by the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2C) and the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group, the new document outlines proven activities that can help Web hosting services improve their operations and better protect end-users. more»

A Cynic's View of 2015 Security Predictions - Part 4

Lastly, and certainly not the least, part four of my security predictions takes a deeper dive into mobile threats and what companies and consumer can do to protect themselves. If there is one particular threat category that has been repeatedly singled out for the next great wave of threats, it has to be the mobile platform -- in particular, smartphones... The general consensus of prediction was that we're (once again) on the cusp of a pandemic threat. more»

Stopping Illegal Activity Online - It's More Complicated Than It Seems

There was a compelling article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) the other day about ICANN and illegal online pharmacies. The result of a six-month investigation, the reporter, Jeff Elder, calls into question ICANN's effectiveness in investigating complaints of suspected illegal activity on domain names it has a contractual relationship with. Elder cites a recent incident where Interpol and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tried to have 1,300 websites shut down because they were suspected of selling drugs without a prescription. more»

Where Is Cyberspace?

In my first CircleID post, I compared the cyberspace to a farmland, which has to be cultivated and developed. I ended by asking: Where is cyberspace? I have asked this same question from many people, many of whom are internet experts. They all said the cyberspace is in the computers, networks, or servers, or the Internet itself. I agree with these cyberspace ideas. In addition, my opinion is a bit different. 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»

UDRP Failure Endangers Consumers

Yesterday I participated in a panel at the International Consumer Product Safety Conference sponsored by the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) held at the European Commission in Brussels Belgium. This conference brings together the global community of product safety engineers, manufacturers, retailers, regulators, inspectors, and counterfeiting investigators. The role of online fraud and illicit product traffic is clearly one of the conference priorities. more»

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Botnet Takedowns (July 15, 2014)

The background is of course quite interesting, given how soon it has followed Microsoft's seizure of several domains belonging to Dynamic DNS provider no-ip.com for alleged complicity in hosting trojan RAT gangs, a couple of days after which the domains were subsequently returned -- without public comment -- to Vitalwerks, the operator of No-IP. This is by no means a new tactic for Microsoft, who has carried out successful seizures of various domains over the past two or three years. more»