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

Security / Recently Commented

The Report on "Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency"

A report "Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency" has just been released. While I don't agree with everything it says (and in fact I strongly disagree with some parts of it), I regard it as required reading for anyone interested in cybersecurity and public policy. The analysis of the threat environment is, in my opinion, superb; I don't think I've seen it explicated better. Briefly, the US is facing threats at all levels, from individual cybercriminals to actions perpetrated by nation-states. The report pulls no punches... more»

Severe Vulnerability Affecting IE5, IE6, and IE7

An unpatched vulnerability found in Internet Explorer 7 also affects older versions of the browser as well as the latest beta version, Microsoft has warned. The new information widens the pool of users who could be at risk of inadvertently becoming infected with malicious software installed on their PC, as Microsoft does not yet have a patch ready. In an advisory updated on Thursday, Microsoft confirmed that IE 5.01 with Service Pack 4, IE6 with and without Service Pack 1 and IE8 Beta 2 on all versions of the Windows operating system are potentially vulnerable. more»

Newly Launched Cyber Secure Institute Says Constant Hack and Patch Not the Answer

The Cyber Secure Institute has recently announced its launch with the mission to raise awareness and pressure on addressing issues related to cyber threats faced by the U.S., companies, and individuals. The Institute is unique in that it is not a trade association or industry group. Rob Housman, the Institute's Executive Director, said "We formed the Cyber Secure Institute because this is a critical time for cybersecurity. ... However, we can't address this threat through cybersecurity as we now know it -- endless after-the-fact struggles to close gaps exposed in inherently insecure technologies. If we continue this constant cycle of hack and patch we will never be secure." more»

Google Releases a One-Stop Reference Source to Browser Security

Today via its Online Security Blog, Google announced the release of its Browser Security Handbook aimed at providing web application developers, browser engineers, and information security researchers a "one-stop reference" to critical security attributes of modern web browsers. "Insufficient understanding of these often poorly-documented characteristics is a major contributing factor to the prevalence of several classes of security vulnerabilities," says the introduction to the 60-page document. more»

US Number One Country Hosting Malware in 2008, According to a New Security Report

The latest security report from Sophos suggests that more malware is hosted on U.S. websites and more spam is relayed from American computers, than any other country. As evidence of this, when an American Internet company, McColo Corp., accused of collaborating with spammers and hackers, was taken offline last month, there was a staggering 75% drop in global spam volume. more»

Policy Review: Botnets are eWMD, electronic Weapons of Mass Destruction

The latest issue of Policy Review from the Hoover Institution, a public policy research center -- focused on advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy -- has an essay titled eWMDs – electronic weapons of mass destruction. The Policiy Review readers are warned that botnets should be considered a serious security problem and that "cyber attacks present a grave new security vulnerability for all nations and must be urgently addressed." more»

Cybercriminals Profiting from Global Recession and Distracted Governments

McAfee, Inc. today announced findings from its annual cybersecurity study in which experts warned that the recession is proving a hotbed for fraudulent activity as cybercriminals capitalize on a climate of consumer fear and anxiety. The economic downturn is diverting political attention worldwide and cybersecurity is not enough of a priority around the globe for real headway to be made against the perpetrators of online crime. Experts warned that unless significant resources are committed to international efforts to fight malicious cyberactivity, there is a risk that cybercrime will impact consumer confidence, further hindering the speed of global recovery. more»

Obama Urged to Appoint Cybersecurity Chief in White House

A committee of cybersecurity experts today released a 96-page report detailing recommendations for the next administration on how to combat the growing number of criminal attacks aimed at government networks. Creating a National Office for Cybersecurity within the White House is chief among the report's recommendations. A top cybersecurity official would help coordinate a national strategy among agencies, and would also work with the private sector to boost defenses against hackers, according to the report. more»

Yet Another Web Malware Exploitation Kit in the Wild

With business-minded malicious attackers embracing basic marketing practices like branding, it is becoming increasingly harder, if not pointless to keep track of all XYZ-Packs currently in circulation. How come? Due to their open source nature allowing modifications, claiming copyright over the modified and re-branded kit, the source code of core web malware exploitation kits continue representing the foundation source code for each and every newly released kit. more»

Cybercrime and "Remote Search"

According to news reports, part of the EU's cybercrime strategy is "remote search" of suspects' computers. I'm not 100% certain what that means, but likely guesses are alarming. The most obvious interpretation is also the most alarming: that some police officer will have the right and the ability to peruse people's computers from his or her desktop. How, precisely, is this to be done? Will Microsoft and Apple – and Ubuntu and Red Hat and all the BSDs and everyone else who ships systems – have to build back doors into all operating systems? more»

Hackers Penetrated Pentagon Computer Systems, Called Most Severe on US Military Network

Computer hackers suspected of working from Russia successfully penetrated Pentagon computer systems in one of the most severe cyber attacks on US military networks, according to reports. The electronic attack was so serious that Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the joint chief of staff, briefed President George W Bush and Robert Gates, the defense secretary. "This one was significant, this one got our attention," said an official, speaking anonymously. more»

Localizing Cybercrime

It's where you advertise your services, and how you position yourself that speak for your intentions, of course, "between the lines". There's a common misunderstanding that in order for a malware campaigner or scammer to launch a localized attack, they need to speak the local language. This misconception is largely based on the fact that a huge number of people remain unaware on how core strategic business practices have been in operation across the cybercrime underground for the last couple of years. more»

World Bank Removes CIO Following Recent Cyberattacks

According to recent reports, The World Bank has effectively removed a vice president who served as its chief information officer while struggling to deal with a series of embarrassing cyberattacks. The World Bank Group's network, which had been raided repeatedly by outsiders for more than a year, is one of the largest repositories of sensitive data about the economies of every nation. Servers in the institution's highly restricted Treasury unit were deeply penetrated with spy software, and the invaders also had full access to the rest of the bank's network for nearly a month in June and July, sources say. At least six major breaches have been detected at the World Bank since the summer of 2007, with the most recent breach occurring just last month. more»

Criminals Regain Control of Srizbi Botnet, Spam Volume Rising

Experts are that the spam volumes may spike significantly over the next few days now that one of the world's largest networks of compromised computers used for blasting out junk email has been brought back to life, reports Brian Krebs of the Washington Post. "The Srizbi botnet, a collection of more than half a million hacked PCs that were responsible for relaying approximately 40 percent of all spam sent worldwide, was knocked offline two weeks ago due to pressure from the computer security community." more»

Feds Urged to Deploy DNSSEC and Signing of the Root Zone

Security experts and leading vendors are urging the U.S. federal government for the rapid adoption of DNSSEC and signing of the root zone. In recent weeks, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has received 30-plus comments in favor of securing DNS root zone data. These comments are from the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and the Internet Society as well as ISPs and domain name operators such as PayPal, Akamai Technologies, NeuStar, Comcast and Afilias. more»