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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»

A Cynic's View of 2015 Security Predictions - Part 1

Cyber security was a hot topic in 2014. It seemed not a week went by without details of a high profile data breach hitting the headlines. To recap, the Sony breach was one of the most notable, as was the Home Depot hack, while details of widespread security vulnerabilities such as Heartbleed, Shellshock and Poodle were also revealed. But what will 2015 bring? Will it be more of the same, or have cyber criminals got some new tricks up their sleeves? more»

A Cancerous Computer Fraud and Misuse Act

As I read through multiple postings covering the proposed Computer Fraud and Misuse Act, such as the ever-insightful writing of Rob Graham in his Obama's War on Hackers or the EFF's analysis, and the deluge of Facebook discussion threads where dozens of my security-minded friends shriek at the damage passing such an act would bring to our industry, I can't but help myself think that surely it's an early April Fools joke. more»

Spamhaus Tells Us That Botnets Are Getting Worse

The Spamhaus Project just published a long article about the botnets they've been watching during 2014. As this chart shows, we're not making any progress. They also note that the goals of botnets have changed. While in the past they were mostly used to send spam, now they're stealing banking and financial information, engaging in click fraud, and used for DDoS and other malicious mischief. more»

Bashbleed - A Nasty Reminder Never to Forget Security 101

After the botched burglary at the Watergate Apartments, every scam and scandal that hit the headlines became a 'gate' -- Irangate, Contragate, you name it. The Heartbleed bug is possibly the closest thing to Watergate that this generation of computer security had seen till the past few days -- an exploit in a component that is "just there" -- something you utterly rely on to be there and perform its duties, and give very little thought to how secure (or rather, insecure) it might be. So, fittingly, every such catastrophic bug in an ubiquitous component is now a 'bleed'. more»

Call for Nominations: M3AAWG J. D. Falk Award Seeks Stewards of a Better Online World

Anyone seeking to honor a groundbreaking contribution toward a better online world should submit a nomination for the 2014 M3AAWG J. D. Falk Award. Presented to people whose work on specific projects made the Internet a safer, more collaborative, more inclusive place, the J. D. Falk Award has recognized leaders and pioneers who saw elements of the online experience that needed improvement and took action to fix them.  more»

Is Your New TLD Protected Against Phishing and Malware?

Until now, the criminals behind malware and phishing have had only 22 generic top-level domain names (TLDs) to abuse -- names like .com, .net or .org. But with hundreds of new TLDs entering the marketplace, e.g. .buzz, .email, and .shop, there are many more targets than ever... What can attackers do with domain names? more»

Namecoin Decentralized DNS Research

The holidays open up a block of time to catch up on "I meant to read that" bookmarks, RSS feeds, and all the favorited and forgotten tweets. I made it through 50 before a NormanShark blog post kicked off a research project. The analysts found a malware sample which was using .bit domains in their communications infrastructure, but .bit ... what is that? .bit is a TLD operating outside of ICANN. Some would say they are TLD squatting, but I leave that opinion up to the reader. more»

Extreme Vulnerability at the Edge of the Internet - A Fresh New Universal Human-Rights Problem

By design, the Internet core is stupid, and the edge is smart. This design decision has enabled the Internet's wildcat growth, since without complexity the core can grow at the speed of demand. On the downside, the decision to put all smartness at the edge means we're at the mercy of scale when it comes to the quality of the Internet's aggregate traffic load. Not all device and software builders have the skills - and the quality assurance budgets - that something the size of the Internet deserves. more»

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»

2014 M3AAWG Mary Litynski Award Nominations Now Being Accepted

In 2010 the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG) and the Internet industry as a whole lost a great friend and supporter, Mary Litynski. Her dedication, excellence, perseverance and tireless work behind the scenes of M3AAWG helped make the organization the success that it is today. Through this award, M3AAWG seeks to bring attention to the remarkable work that is done far from the public eye over a significant period of time... more»

Is There Really a Mobile Malware Pandemic?

Much of the discussion regarding mobile security revolves around the growing "pandemic" of mobile malware. It's not uncommon to see headlines reporting the discovery of large numbers of new malware samples. However, as Google recently pointed out, with quite a bit of data to support them, there's little discussion of real world impact of these discoveries. This raises a number of relevant questions. Is the average user likely to be infected? Where does this malware come from? These are questions that deserve analysis and thoughtful responses. more»

Canadian Government Quietly Pursuing New ISP Code of Conduct

If approved, the code would technically be voluntary for Canadian ISPs, but the active involvement of government officials suggests that most large providers would feel pressured to participate. The move toward an ISP code of conduct would likely form part of a two-pronged strategy to combat malicious software that can lead to cybercrime, identity theft, and other harms. First, the long-delayed anti-spam legislation features new disclosure requirements for the installation of software along with tough penalties for non-compliance. more»

ICANN and Your Internet Abuse

In spite of the material we were presented with in Durban something has gone very wrong inside of ICANN Compliance. KnujOn has published a report which demonstrates that ICANN Compliance appears to completely collapse between September 2012 and December 2012. Following December 2012, ICANN seems to stop responding to or processing any complaints. It is around this time certain compliance employees start disappearing. This was not limited to the Sydney office as some would have us believe... more»

Network Security: How Attackers Gain Access from Inside

Most people - mistakenly - believe that they are perfectly safe behind a firewall, network address translation (NAT) device or proxy. The fact is quite the opposite: if you can get out of your network, someone else can get in. Attackers often seek to compromise the weakest link in a network and then use that access to attack the network from the inside, commonly known as a "pivot-and-attack." more»

News Briefs

Google Announces Project Zero to Secure the Internet

Paul Vixie on How the Openness of the Internet Is Poisoning Us

Widespread Compromised Routers Discovered With Altered DNS Configurations

Israeli Tunnel Hit by Cyberattack Causing Massive Congestion

US Government Releases Cybersecurity Framework Proposal

Rodney Joffe on Security Vulnerabilities of Modern Automobiles

Google Data on State of Web Security

US Should Take More Aggressive Counter-Measures On IP Theft, Including Use of Malware

Massive Spam and Malware Campaign Following Boston Tragedy

ICANN Releases Guideline for Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure Reporting

SANS Develops Small-Scale City to Train Cyber Warriors

Latest Makadocs Malware Uses Google Drive Viewer As Proxy to Command and Control Server

M3AAWG, London Action Plan Release Best Practices to Address Online and Mobile Threats

FBI Agent Thomas X. Grasso Receives First J.D. Falk Award for Establishing DNS Changer Working Group

The Tale of Thousands of Hacked Modems in Brazil, Affecting Millions

Researchers Detail Faster Methods to Defeat Botnets Like Conficker and Kraken

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

Google Notifying Half a Million Users Affected By DNSChanger

Eugene Kaspersky: World Needs International Agreements On Cyber-Weapons

DNSChanger Disruption Inevitable, ISPs Urged to Bolster User Support

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