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

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Why Attribution Is Important for Today's Network Defenders

It makes me cringe when I hear operators or security practitioners say, "I don't care who the attacker is, I just want them to stop." I would like to believe that we have matured past this idea as a security community, but I still find this line of thinking prevalent across many organizations -- regardless of their cyber threat operation's maturity level. Attribution is important, and we as Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) professionals, need to do a better job explaining across all lines of business and security operations... 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»

IPv6 Security Myth #6: IPv6 is Too New to be Attacked

Here we are, half-way through this list of the top 10 IPv6 security myths! Welcome to myth #6. Since IPv6 is just now being deployed at any real scale on true production networks, some may think that the attackers have yet to catch up. As we learned in Myth #2, IPv6 was actually designed starting 15-20 years ago. While it didn't see widespread commercial adoption until the last several years, there has been plenty of time to develop at least a couple suites of test/attack tools. 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»

IPv6 Security Myth #5: Privacy Addresses Fix Everything!

Internet Protocol addresses fill two unique roles. They are both identifiers and locators. They both tell us which interface is which (identity) and tell us how to find that interface (location), through routing. In the last myth, about network scanning, we focused mainly on threats to IPv6 addresses as locators. That is, how to locate IPv6 nodes for exploitation. Today's myth also deals with IPv6 addresses as identifiers. more»

Notes from NANOG 63

The following is a selected summary of the recent NANOG 63 meeting, held in early February, with some personal views and opinions thrown in! ...One view of the IETF's positioning is that as a technology standardisation venue, the immediate circle of engagement in IETF activities is the producers of equipment and applications, and the common objective is interoperability. more»

Phishing Costs Companies over $411 Million per Alert

Phishing blindsides businesses' best defenses and takes a toll whose price tag still hasn't been pinned down. Here's one estimate: $441 million per attack, according to a recent study of the cybercrime's effect on stock market data (market value, volume of shares traded, and stock volatility) of global firms. The authors use "event studies" techniques (i.e., analyzing the impact of specific types of events on companies' market performance) to analyze nearly 2,000 phishing alerts by 259 companies in 32 countries... more»

The Uses and Abuses of Cryptography

Another day, another data breach, and another round of calls for companies to encrypt their databases. Cryptography is a powerful tool, but in cases like this one it's not going to help. If your OS is secure, you don't need the crypto; if it's not, the crypto won't protect your data. In a case like the Anthem breach, the really sensitive databases are always in use. more»

IPv6 Security Myth #4: IPv6 Networks are Too Big to Scan

Here we are, all the way up to Myth #4! That makes this the 4th installment of our 10 part series on the top IPv6 Security Myths. This myth is one of my favorite myths to bust when speaking with folks around the world. The reason for that is how many otherwise well-informed and highly experienced engineers, and others, hold this myth as truth. It's understandable, really. 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»