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A Dangerous, Norm-Destroying Attack

Kim Zetter has a new story out describing a very serious attack. In fact, the implications are about as bad as possible. The attack has been dubbed ShadowHammer by Kaspersky Lab, which discovered it. Briefly, some crew of attackers -- I suspect an intelligence agency; more on that below -- has managed to abuse ASUS' update channel and private signing key to distribute bogus patches. more

How to Track Online Malevolent Identities in the Act

Want to be a cybersleuth and track down hackers? It may sound ambitious considering that malevolent entities are extremely clever, and tracing them requires certain skills that may not be easy to build for the typical computer user. But then again, the best defense is offense. And learning the basics of sniffing out cybercriminals may not only be necessary nowadays, it has become essential for survival on the Web. So where can you begin? more

Continued Threats from Malware

As part of my job, I manage an incident response team that was engaged by a significant organization in Georgia whose network was infected by the QBOT (a.k.a. QAKBOT) malware. The customer had been infected for over a year, several teams before ours had failed to solve the problem, and they continued to get reinfected by the malware when they thought they had eradicated it. Over time it had spread to more than 1,000 computers in their ecosystem stealing user credentials along the way. more

Court Finds Anti-Malware Provider Immune Under CDA for Calling Competitor's Product Security Threat

Plaintiff anti-malware software provider sued defendant -- who also provides software that protects internet users from malware, adware etc. -- bringing claims for false advertising under the Section 43(a) of Lanham Act, as well as other business torts. Plaintiff claimed that defendant wrongfully revised its software's criteria to identify plaintiff's software as a security threat when, according to plaintiff, its software is "legitimate" and posed no threat to users' computers. more

No One is Immune: Qatar Crisis Started by a Targeted Poli-Cyber Attack

The Qatar Crisis started with a targeted Poli-Cyber hack of an unprecedented nature. Its shockwaves and repercussions continue to alter political and business fortunes, directions and paradigms not only in the Gulf region but globally. Almost everyone around the world is now aware of the this crisis that started early June. By mid July a Washington Post report cited US intelligence officials that the UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval that started it all. more

Security Costs Money. So - Who Pays?

Computer security costs money. It costs more to develop secure software, and there's an ongoing maintenance cost to patch the remaining holes. Spending more time and money up front will likely result in lesser maintenance costs going forward, but too few companies do that. Besides, even very secure operating systems like Windows 10 and iOS have had security problems and hence require patching. (I just installed iOS 10.3.2 on my phone. It fixed about two dozen security holes.) more

WannaCry: Patching Dilemma from the Other Side

WannaCry, originated firstly in state projects but spread by other actors, has touched upon myriads of infrastructure such as hospitals, telecommunication, railroads that many countries have labelled as critical. IT engineers are hastily presenting patching codes in various localized versions. The other patch needed, however, is more than technical. It is normative and legislative. The coding of that patch for a situation like this is in two layers of dilemma. more

The Criminals Behind WannaCry

359,000 computers infected, dozens of nations affected world-wide! A worm exploiting a Windows OS vulnerability that looks to the network for more computers to infect! This is the most pernicious, evil, dangerous attack, ever... Queue the gnashing of teeth and hand-wringing! Wait, what? WannaCry isn't unprecedented! Why would any professional in the field think so? I'm talking about Code Red, and it happened in July, 2001. more

Patching is Hard

There are many news reports of a ransomware worm. Much of the National Health Service in the UK has been hit; so has FedEx. The patch for the flaw exploited by this malware has been out for a while, but many companies haven't installed it. Naturally, this has prompted a lot of victim-blaming: they should have patched their systems. Yes, they should have, but many didn't. Why not? Because patching is very hard and very risk, and the more complex your systems are, the harder and riskier it is. more

IoT Devices Will Never Be Secure - Enter the Programmable Networks

Harvard Business Review just ran an interesting article on the information security aspects of Internet of Things (IoT). Based on the storyline, the smart city initiatives are doomed to fail unless the security of the IoT devices and the systems will be improved. While security of the digital society is obviously a key concern, I am not entirely convinced that relying on the security of individual devices and systems is the best course of action. more

New Chapter Working Groups Open Closed Doors

One thing was clear from a recent presentation by the new leaders of the SF-Bay Internet Society (ISOC) Chapter Working Groups: inclusion and collaboration will be the key to these groups' success. As Dr. Brandie Nonnecke, the Internet Governance Working Group (WG) Chair said, "We haven't yet cracked the code on what 'multistakeholder' means." But that won't stop her and Dr. Jaclyn Kerr, the Data Protection, Privacy, and Security WG Chair, from trying. more

Notes from NANOG 69

NANOG 69 was held in Washington DC in early February. Here are my notes from the meeting. It would not be Washington without a keynote opening talk about the broader political landscape, and NANOG certainly ticked this box with a talk on international politics and cyberspace. I did learn a new term, "kinetic warfare," though I'm not sure if I will ever have an opportunity to use it again! more

Cyber-Terrorism Rising, Existing Cyber-Security Strategies Failing, What Are Decision Makers to Do?

While conventional cyber attacks are evolving at breakneck speed, the world is witnessing the rise of a new generation of political, ideological, religious, terror and destruction motivated "Poli-Cyber™" threats. These are attacks perpetrated or inspired by extremists' groups such as ISIS/Daesh, rogue states, national intelligence services and their proxies. They are breaching organizations and governments daily, and no one is immune. more

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2016

The new year is upon us and it's time for our annual look at CircleID's most popular posts of the past year and highlighting those that received the most attention. Congratulations to all the 2016 participants and best wishes to all in the new year. more

Maintaining Security and Stability in the Internet Ecosystem

DDoS attacks, phishing scams and malware. We battle these dark forces every day - and every day they get more sophisticated. But what worries me isn't just keeping up with them, it is keeping up with the sheer volume of devices and data that these forces can enlist in an attack. That's why we as an industry need to come together and share best practices - at the ICANN community, at the IETF and elsewhere - so collectively we are ready for the future. more

News Briefs

Florida Cities Are Paying Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Ransom to Get Their Data Back

Notorious Hacker Group XENOTIME Expands Its Targeting Beyond Oil and Gas to Electric Utility Sector

Use of DNS Firewalls Could Have Prevented More Than $10B in Data Breach Losses Over the Past 5 Years

Baltimore Gets Hacked: Main Computer Systems Crippled, Experts Estimate Months to Recover

Two Years Later WannaCry Continues to Spread to Vulnerable Devices, Nearly 5M Devices Affected

FBI, Department of Homeland Security Issue Warning About a North Korean Trojan Malware Variant

Volunteer-Based Project Succeeds in Taking Down 100,000 Malware Distribution Sites Within 10 Months

McAfee Labs 2018 Report Reveals 480 New Threats Per Minute, Sharp Increase in IoT-Focused Malware

British Airways Issues Apology for Cyberattack Affecting Hundreds of Thousands of Customers

Newly Discovered Malware Called VPNFilter is Targeting at Least 500K Networking Devices Worldwide

Large Open-Source Data Set Released to Help Train Algorithms Spot Malware

2.6 Billion Records Were Stolen, Lost or Exposed Worldwide in 2017, an 88% Increase From 2016

Enterprise Networks Are Being Impacted by Unwanted and Unidentified Cryptomining Activity

Access Logs Reveal 12M Visits to .CM Typosquatted Sites Just in 2018 So Far

Boeing Says WannaCry Outbreak 'Overstated and Inaccurate'

Report Estimates Cybercrime Taking $600 Billion Toll on Global Economy

UK's Government Websites Infected by Cryptocurrency Mining Malware

Gold Dragon Helps Olympics Malware Attacks Gain Permanent Presence on Systems, Reports McAfee

Thailand has Become the World's Leading Hotspot for Cryptocurrency Mining Malware

Industrial Plant Attack Generates Renewed Concerns Over Critical Infrastructure Hacking Threats

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