Information Security

Internet of Things Demands Visibility-Driven Security

In an earlier blog, I discussed essentials for visibility-driven security and the importance of having both visibility and correlation to quickly assess events in real-time. In this post, we will examine the different dimensions of visibility across the attack continuum and how crucial it is to have these dimensions in place in order to defend against known and emerging threats. Visibility-driven capabilities are critical if cybersecurity professionals are to do their job effectively. In order to accurately see what’s really happening across dynamic, changing, environments and provide a full understanding of malicious incidents, visibility must provide an accurate picture of users, devices, data, threats, and the relationships between them. And it must do so in near real-time and across  a wide range of infrastructures to support new business models related to mobility, cloud, and the Internet of Things (IoT). For many security breaches, the gap between the time of compromise and the […]

Regin Espionage Tool Active since 2008 | Symantec Connect

Symantec on Sunday published research describing a new family of malware that it claims has been circulating, quietly, for close to six years. (Gulp!) According to a post on Symantec’s Security Response blog, Regin infections have been observed as far back as 2008, but the malware went quiet after about 2011, only to resurface in 2013 in attacks on a wide range of targets including private and public entities and research institutes. Symantec also observed the malware used in attacks on telecommunications firms and say it appears the malware was being used “to gain access to calls being routed through their infrastructure.”   In a separate research paper, Symantec describes the malware, dubbed “Backdoor.Regin” as a multi-staged threat that uses encrypted components – installed in a series of stages – to escape detection. The key the malware’s stealth is compartmentalization, Symantec found: “each individual stage provides little information on the complete package. Only by acquiring all five stages is it possible […]

an image of a metal tower of Power Lines

Malware Campaign Against Industrial Systems Almost 3 Years Old

The U.S. Government’s Industrial Control System CERT (ICS-CERT) said on Thursday that a campaign targeting industrial control system (ICS) software began in January, 2012 and targeted industrial systems that were directly connected to the public Internet. ICS-CERT said in an alert published on Wednesday that “HMI” (or Human-Machine Interfaces) products from vendors including GE, Advantech/Broadwin and Siemens may have been infected with variants of the BlackEnergy malware since January, 2012. Infected firms were running versions of the GE’s Cimplicity, Advantech/Broadwin’s WebAccess or Siemens’ WinCC with what ICS-CERT called a “direct Internet connection.” In some cases, as with the GE Cimplicity attacks, hackers exploited a known vulnerability in the Cimplicity software to gain access. In others (as with WebAccess and WinCC) the method by which the software was compromised isn’t known, ICS-CERT said. CERT said it hasn’t documented any cases of control processes being modified by the malware. However, BlackEnergy is typically used […]

Is IoT Innovation Outpacing Our Ability To Keep It Safe?

GigaOm has an interesting, high-level piece that looks at the issue of law, liability and the Internet of Things. The article takes off from a discussion at the Download event in New York City earlier this month, wondering whether adoption of Internet of Things technologies like wearables is starting to run far ahead of society’s ability to manage them.   Specifically: is the pace of technology innovation outstripping the ability of our legal system to reign in excess and protect public safety and civil liberties? On the list of ‘what-if’s’ are some familiar questions: How to assign liability. (“If one of Google’s automated cars crashes, is it the fault of the driver or Google?”) Read more Security Ledger coverage of Internet of Things here.  What responsibility to users have to take advantage of safety features in connected products? (Does a parent’s failure to password-protect a baby monitor change the manufacturer’s liability when and […]

The IoT Comes To Chicago: IoT World Forum

The Internet of Things is increasingly an industry unto itself, with the conferences to prove it. And “no,” I’m not just talking about The Security of Things Forum – Security Ledger’s own IoT and security show. (Videos from our first annual show are now available, by the way. Register to view them here.) No: there are forums and symposiums focused on all different aspects of IoT: smart cities, design, wearables, and so on. There’s O’Reilly’s Solid, GigaOm Structure and any number of smaller, regional events. I’m at one of the more prominent IoT shows this week: The Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF), which is sponsored by Cisco Systems. I’m moderating a really interesting panel that addresses a critical issue: the ways in with information technology (IT), operations technology (OT) and consumer technology (CT) converge in the IoT. These are three areas that, until recently, were separate. But a variety of developments […]