Cybersecurity / Recently Commented

Cyber Security Word Salad

Two months ago, the Trump White House published its National Cyber Strategy. It was followed a few days ago with the release of its draft NSTAC Cybersecurity "moonshot." The Strategy document was basically a highly nationalistic America-First exhortation that ironically bore a resemblance to China's more global two-year-old National Cybersecurity Strategy. more

Securing the Routing System at NANOG 74

The level of interest in the general topic of routing security seems to come in waves in our community. At times it seems like the interest from network operators, researchers, security folk and vendors climbs to an intense level, while at other times the topic appears to be moribund. If the attention on this topic at NANOG 74 is anything to go by we seem to be experiencing a local peak. more

KSK Rollover, Elliptical Curve Vulnerabilities, Surveillance and Privacy. Are We Building Trust?

ICANN just recently performed a Root Zone DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) Key Signing Key (KSK) Rollover. The recent KSK Rollover that took place on the 11th October 2018. The KSK Rollover has been successful and congratulations are in order. The Root Zone DNSSEC Key Signing Key "KSK" is the top most cryptographic key in the DNSSEC hierarchy. The KSK is a cryptographic public-private key pair. more


At a recent workshop on cybersecurity at Ditchley House sponsored by the Ditchley Foundation in the U.K., a primary topic of consideration was how to preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet while protecting against the harmful behaviors that have emerged in this global medium. That this is a significant challenge cannot be overstated... That these harmful behaviors can and do cross international boundaries only makes it more difficult to fashion effective responses. more

Why Foldering Adds Very Little Security

I keep hearing stories of people using "foldering" for covert communications. Foldering is the process of composing a message for another party, but instead of sending it as an email, you leave it in the Drafts folder. The other party then logs in to the same email account and reads the message; they can then reply via the same technique. Foldering has been used for a long time, most famously by then-CIA director David Petraeus and his biographer/lover Paula Broadwell. Why is foldering used? more

Taking a Multi-Stakeholder Look at Cyber Norms

Recently we've seen several examples of likely state sponsored security incidents of which the appropriateness was later strongly debated. Incidents such as states impacting commercial enterprises during cyber attacks; purported sabotage of critical infrastructure, and attacks on civilian activists have all, to a greater or lesser degree, led to concerns being raised by both civilian watchdog groups, academics, technologists and governments. more


The APNIC Blog has recently published a very interesting article by Willem Toorop of NLnet Labs on the relationship between Security Extensions for the DNS (DNSSEC) and DNS over Transport Layer Security. Willem is probably being deliberately provocative in claiming that "DoT could realistically become a viable replacement for DNSSEC." If provoking a reaction was indeed Willem's intention, then he has succeeded for me, as it has prompted this reaction. 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

HTTPs Interceptions Are Much More Frequent Than Previously Thought

I have written about the problems with the "little green lock" shown by browsers to indicate a web page (or site) is secure. In that article, I consider the problem of freely available certificates, and a hole in the way browsers load pages. In March of 2017, another paper was published documenting another problem with the "green lock" paradigm - the impact of HTTPS interception. more

Russian Hackers Have Penetrated U.S. Electric Utilities

U.S. federal government officials have revealed Russian hackers have been able to gain access to the networks of electric utilities in the country, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. more

Why Government Agencies Use Ugly, Difficult to Use Scanned PDFs - There's More Than Meets the Eye

Sometimes, a government agency will post a PDF that doesn't contain searchable text. Most often, it's a scan of a printout. Why? Don't the NSA, the Department of Justice, etc., know how to convert Word (or whatever) directly to PDF? It turns out that they know more than some of their critics do. The reason? With a piece of paper, you know much more about what you're actually disclosing. more

Why You Must Learn to Love DNSSEC

It's been nearly two months since the high profile BGP hijack attack against MyEtherwallet, where crypto thieves used BGP leaks to hijack MEW's name servers, which were on Amazon's Route53, and inserted their own fake name servers which directed victims to their own fake wallet site, thereby draining some people's wallets. It generated a lot of discussion at the time... What isn't fully appreciated is that attack has, in fact, changed the game somewhat... more

Google Engineer Ben McIlwain on Why HSTS Could Be a Perfect Fit for .Brands Security

The Google-run .app TLD was always destined to draw attention and scrutiny, from the moment it fetched a then-record ICANN auction price of $25 million. Since it reached General Availability in May it has gained more than 250,000 registrations making it one of the world's most successful TLDs. However perhaps more interesting was Google's choice to add the .app TLD and its widely used .google extension to the HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) Top-Level Domain preload list, offering an unprecedented level of security for all domains under .google and .app. more

DNS Firewall Market Expected to Grow From $90.5 Million in 2018 to $169.7 Million by 2023

DNS firewall market size is expected to grow from USD 90.5 million in 2018 to USD 169.7 million by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.4% according to a market research conducted by MarketsandMarkets. more

GDPR PII Time-Bomb? Kill it With Fire!

Hi! My name is spamfighter. I investigate spam and phish in a post-GDPR dystopia. Recently, I invented Fire, to save you millions of €uros. One day, my Boss suggested I automate some of my processes. I, for one, welcome our Robot Overlords (and a happy boss), but I can be exacting about the tools I use. Perhaps not to the degree of the infamous Van Halen 'no brown M&M's' contractual clause but I have no patience for poorly-designed software, and truly dislike typing when... more