Last week, home broadband router maker ASUS was the latest vendor to issue an emergency patch for a critical vulnerability in its products. This, after proof-of-concept exploit code was released for the so-called “Inforsvr” vulnerability that affects several ASUS home routers. That vulnerability -if left unpatched – would allow anyone with access to a home- or small business network that used an ASUS broadband router to, essentially, commandeer the device. The “infosvr” feature is typically used for device discovery by the ASUS Wireless Router Device Discovery Utility, but the service also allowed unauthenticated users to execute commands through it using the “root” permissions, according to researcher Friedrich Postelstorfer, who created a proof of concept exploit for the security hole and released it on January 4. The exploit code finally prompted a patch from ASUS on January 13. The company had spent months analyzing the issue and working on a fix. Patch aside, it has been a worrying month for the […]
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President Obama used a speech at the Federal Trade Commission on Monday to call for a raft of new laws and reforms that would protect the privacy and online security of U.S. citizens and corporations. Speaking at the FTC, President Obama highlighted a number of policies that he will propose in his State of the Union address to Congress. They include new laws aimed at endemic problems like identity theft and online tracking of consumer behavior. The visit was notable for being the first time a sitting President has visited the FTC in 80 years, since 1937 and the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Obama, who has been highlighting issues and ideas he will unveil in his State of the Union Address, said the address is one of a series of talks he will give this week focused on computer and online privacy. The President said he will follow his speech aimed at […]
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) used his final days in office to warn that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is struggling to fulfill its mission to protect the nation from cyber attack. The report, “A Review of the Department of Homeland Security’s Missions and Performance,” (PDF) was released on Saturday, as the retiring Senator from Oklahoma was leaving office. In it, the outgoing Senator said that DHS’s strategy and programs “are unlikely to protect us from the adversaries that pose the greatest cybersecurity threat.” The warnings on DHS cyber operations were part of a larger critique of the Department in the report, in which Coburn called on reforms of Homeland Security focused on accountability and streamlining. Despite spending $700 million annually on a range of cybersecurity programs, Coburn said it is hard to know whether the Department’s efforts to assist the private sector in identifying, mitigating or remediating cyber […]
As a cyber security professional, I spend most of my days speaking with customers and colleagues about all of the nefarious ways “the bad guys” can wreak havoc and how we can best defend ourselves. The topics we discuss often include situational awareness, defense-in-depth, threat intelligence, and new cyber security paradigms we may find ourselves adopting as the Internet of Things (IoT) evolves. I would assert that these are extremely important topics to sort out. But there’s a very important element not being discussed: the question of who will sort them out. Simply put: what difference does it make if you have the world’s greatest technology if nobody in your organization knows what to do with it? Cisco estimates that there will be a deficit of one million skilled cyber security professionals over the next five years. By 2015, 90 percent of jobs in the developed world will require some set of […]
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday put out a call for ideas and input on how best to secure medical devices and the healthcare system from cyber attack. In a federal notice, the FDA announced that it will hold an October workshop entitled “Collaborative Approaches for Medical Device and Healthcare Cybersecurity.” It also solicited input from stakeholders within the government and from the public health sector on medical device and healthcare cyber security. The workshop is scheduled for October 21 and 22 and will run from 9:00 AM to 5:00PM at the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center Auditorium in Arlington, Virginia. [Read more Security Ledger coverage of connected medical devices here.] The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is looking for ideas about how best to implement aspects of both Executive Order 13636 for“Improving Critical Infrastructure” and follow-on guidance like the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) “Framework for Improving […]