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 IPv6 represents new territory for most Internet stakeholders, and its rollout will introduce some unique security challenges.

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Verisign's Preliminary Comments on ICANN's Name Collisions Phase One Report

Verisign posted preliminary public comments on the "Mitigating the Risk of DNS Namespace Collisions" Phase One Report released by ICANN earlier this month. JAS Global Advisors, authors of the report contracted by ICANN, have done solid work putting together a set of recommendations to address the name collisions problem, which is not an easy one, given the uncertainty for how installed systems actually interact with the global DNS. However, there is still much work to be done. I have outlined the four main observations... more»

Blocking Amplification Attacks: Sometimes the Incentives Work Against You

Since the end of last year, amplification attacks have been increasingly used by attackers and received heavy media coverage. Everyday protocols not given much thought before, like Network Time Protocol (NTP), can be asked in a very short remote command to send a very large response (list of 600 clients last connected to the NTP server) to a spoofed IP address (the target) by the requestor/attacker. more»

Open Source Software Is the Worst Kind Except for All of the Others

Heartbleed, for anyone who doesn't read the papers, is a serious bug in the popular OpenSSL security library. Its effects are particularly bad, because OpenSSL is so popular, used to implement the secure bit of https: secure web sites on many of the most popular web servers such as apache, nginx, and lighttpd. A few people have suggested that the problem is that OpenSSL is open source, and code this important should be left to trained professionals. They're wrong. more»

Heartbleed: Don't Panic

There's been a lot of ink and pixels spilled of late over the Heartbleed bug. Yes, it's serious. Yes, it potentially affects almost everyone. Yes, there are some precautions you should take. But there's good news, too: for many people, it's a non-event. Heartbleed allows an attacker to recover a random memory area from a web or email server running certain versions of OpenSSL. The question is what's in that memory. It may be nothing, or it may contain user passwords (this has reportedly been seen on Yahoo's mail service), cryptographic keys, etc. more»

Is Your Organization Prepared for a Cyberattack?

Infamous heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson once said "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." As any organization that has faced a cyber attack will tell you, it is a lot like getting punched in the face, and if you're not ready, you might get knocked out. You've likely read recent headlines of major retailers, financial institutions, and now even universities, being hit with data breaches. As some of them have learned the hard way, it's not a question of if your organization will be attacked; it's a question of when. more»

A Bad Year for Phishing

Here at the Anti-Phishing Working Group meeting in Hong Kong, we've just released the latest APWG Global Phishing Survey. Produced by myself and my research partner Rod Rasmussen of Internet Identity, it's an in-depth look at the global phishing problem in the second half of 2013. Overall, the picture isn't pretty. There were at least 115,565 unique phishing attacks worldwide during the period. This is one of the highest semi-annual totals we've observed since we began our studies in 2007. more»

Proceedings of Name Collisions Workshop Available

Keynote speaker, and noted security industry commentator, Bruce Schneier (Co3 Systems ) set the tone for the two days with a discussion on how humans name things and the shortcomings of computers in doing the same. Names require context, he observed, and "computers are really bad at this" because "everything defaults to global." Referring to the potential that new gTLDs could conflict with internal names in installed systems, he commented, "It would be great if we could go back 20 years and say 'Don't do that'," but concluded that policymakers have to work with DNS the way it is today. more»

Cloud Computing Can Make You More Secure

The number one concern cited for avoiding cloud computing is security. And there is a reason for that. Cloud providers have demonstrated some spectacular failures in the past, including Amazon's near total shutdown of an entire region, Dropbox's authentication snafu, and innumerous cloud providers that go belly-up. However, in the long run, cloud computing is destined to become more secure than in-house IT. I will briefly describe two dynamics in the industry that point in that direction, with substantiating evidence. more»

The Name Collision Conference

Earlier this week Verisign sponsored a two day conference on name collisions in the DNS. Despite the very short time frame in which it was organized, only a month from announcement to meeting, there were some very good presentations. I'll just hit some highlights here; all of the papers and slides are on their web site at namecollisions.net. Sunday morning started with a keynote by Bruce Schneier, who is not a DNS expert (and doesn't claim to be) but had some interesting observations on names in general. more»

Dynamic DNS Customers, Check Your Router Settings!

There have been quite a few news stories released over the last 24 hours regarding a wide-scale compromise of 300,00 Internet gateway devices. Here's the executive summary of what happened, how to check if you are vulnerable, and what you can do to fix it... If you use any of these devices, you should check it to ensure your device has not been compromised. more»