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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»

DNS-Based DDoS: Diverse Options for Attackers

Denial of service attacks have been around since the Internet was commercialized and some of the largest attacks ever launched relied on DNS, making headlines. But every day a barrage of smaller DNS-based attacks take down targets and severely stress the DNS ecosystem. Although DNS servers are not usually the target of attacks they are often disrupted so attention from operation teams is required. There is no indication the problem is going away and attackers continue to innovate. more»

Deadline of April 10 to Apply For CARIS Workshop on Coordinating Response to Internet Attacks

You have just a couple of days to either complete a survey or submit a paper to join the "Coordinating Attack Response at Internet Scale (CARIS)" Workshop happening on June 19, 2015, in Berlin, Germany... If you are interested in helping improve the overall security and resilience of the Internet through increased communication between the groups responding to the large-scale attacks happening on the Internet every day, I would strongly encourage you to apply! more»

Coordinating Attack Response at Internet Scale

How do we help coordinate responses to attacks against Internet infrastructure and users? Internet technology has to scale or it won't survive for long as the network of networks grows ever larger. But it's not just the technology, it's also the people, processes and organisations involved in developing, operating and evolving the Internet that need ways to scale up to the challenges that a growing global network can create. more»

Hiding in the Firmware?

The most interesting feature of the newly-described "Equation Group" attacks has been the ability to hide malware in disk drive firmware. The threat is ghastly: you can wipe the disk and reinstall the operating system, but the modified firmware in the disk controller can reinstall nasties. A common response has been to suggest that firmware shouldn't be modifiable, unless a physical switch is activated. more»

What Must We Trust?

My Twitter feed has exploded with the release of the Kaspersky report on the "Equation Group", an entity behind a very advanced family of malware. (Naturally, everyone is blaming the NSA. I don't know who wrote that code, so I'll just say it was beings from the Andromeda galaxy.) The Equation Group has used a variety of advanced techniques, including injecting malware into disk drive firmware, planting attack code on "photo" CDs sent to conference attendees, encrypting payloads... 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»

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»

News Briefs

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

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

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