Post Tagged with: "APT"

IDS And The IoT: Snort Creator Marty Roesch On Securing The Internet of Things

April 13, 2014 15:580 comments
IDS And The IoT: Snort Creator Marty Roesch On Securing The Internet of Things

Martin Roesch is one of the giants of the security industry: a hacker in the truest sense of the term who, in the late 1990s created a wide range of security tools as a way to teach himself about information security. One of them, the open source SNORT intrusion detection system, turned into one of the mostly widely used and respected security tools in the world. SNORT became the foundation for Sourcefire, the company Marty helped found in 2001. And Sourcefire went on to fantastic success: first as a startup, then as a publicly traded company and, as of October of last year, as part of Cisco Systems, after the networking giant bought Roesch’s company for $2.7 billion. These days, Marty serves as a Vice President and Chief Architect of Cisco’s Security Business Group, where he’s helping shape that company’s strategy for securing the next generation of enterprise (and post-enterprise) networks. […]

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Heartbleed For Poets And Other Must-Reads

April 10, 2014 18:380 comments
The (nerdy) Heartbleed SSL vulnerability story has jumped into the mainstream led to lots of rumination about the proper short and long term response.

It’s H-Day + 2 – two full days since we learned that one of the pillars of online security, OpenSSL, has contained a gaping security hole for the past two years that rendered its protections illusory. As I wrote over on Veracode’s blog today: this one hurts. It exposes private encryption keys, allowing encrypted SSL sessions to be revealed. Trend Micro data suggests around 5% of one million Internet top-level domains are vulnerable.  IOActive notes that Heartbleed also appears to leave data such as user sessions subject to hijacking, exposes encrypted search queries and leaves passwords used to access online services subject to snooping, provided the service hasn’t updated their OpenSSL instance to the latest version. In fact, its safe to bet that the ramifications of Heartbleed will continue to be felt for months – even years to come. In the meantime, there is a lot of interesting coverage and […]

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Analysis Finds Blurry Lines Between Rovio, Advertisers

March 28, 2014 15:520 comments
Analysis Finds Blurry Lines Between Rovio, Advertisers

Rovio, the maker of the massively popular Angry Birds, makes no secret about collecting personal data from those who download and play its games. But an analysis from the advanced threat detection firm FireEye is helping to expose the extend of data harvesting, and also to sketch out the blurry line that separates Rovio and third-party advertising networks it contracts with. In a blog post on Thursday, FireEye analysts Jimmy Suo and Tao Wei described the findings of an investigation into the interaction between Rovio’s mobile applications, including the latest version of Angry Birds, and third party ad networks such as Jumptap and Millenial Media. Using FireEye’s Mobile Threat Prevention (MTP), the two gathered and analyzed network packet capture (PCap) information and analyzed the workings of Angry Birds and its communications with third-party ad networks. The two were able to reveal a multi-stage information sharing operation, tracking code paths from the reverse-engineered […]

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Is Analog The Answer To Cyber Terrorism?

March 17, 2014 09:405 comments
Ralph Langner, an expert on the security of industrial control systems, suggests that the critical infrastructure sector might consider the use of analogue systems as a backstop to cyber attacks on ICS software. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress).

Ralph Langner is one of the foremost experts on the security of critical infrastructure that we have. So, generally, when Ralph says something – whether its about Stuxnet, or cyberwar or the security of nuclear power plants – folks listen. And these days, Ralph is wondering, out loud, whether our reliance on digital systems to manage critical infrastructure has gone too far. The answer, he suggests, may be to go “back to the future,” as it were: reintroducing analog systems into the control process chain as a backstop for cyber attacks. Case in point: the Department of Homeland Security’s ICS-CERT warned on Friday that firmware for Siemens SIMATIC S7-1500 CPUs (Central Processing Units) contain nine vulnerabilities that could enable attacks such as cross site request forgery, cross site scripting and URL redirection. (Siemens has issued a firmware update that patches the holes.) Langner is among the world’s foremost experts on […]

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Experts: Despite Warnings, Slow Progress Securing Industrial Systems

January 16, 2014 12:03Comments Off
Experts: Despite Warnings, Slow Progress Securing Industrial Systems

Despite increased media attention to the security of industrial control systems and critical infrastructure, progress in securing those devices has been slow, experts say. Despite progress in some areas, critical infrastructure - including energy and transportation networks- remains vulnerable to attacks leveled at known security holes for months or years because of a lack of vendor response or customers who lack the incentive or know-how to patch vulnerable systems. That according to some of the world’s top experts in cyber security and industrial systems, who are gathering this week at an industry conference in Miami. The S4 Conference, sponsored by the firm DigitalBond, is one of the premiere conferences for cyber security as it pertains to industrial control systems and often coincides with disclosures from industrial system vendors about serious security holes in their products. The security of industrial control systems has been a top concern of IT security experts and government […]

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Cisco Survey: 100% of Fortune 500 Hosting Malware?

08:00Comments Off
Cisco Survey: 100% of Fortune 500 Hosting Malware?

If you’re working in IT at a Fortune 500 firm, Cisco Systems has some unwelcome news: you have a malware problem. According to the 2013 Annual Security Report from the networking giant, 100 percent of 30 Fortune 500 firms it surveyed sent traffic to Web sites that host malware. Ninety-six percent of those networks communicated with hijacked servers operated by cyber criminals or other malicious actors and 92 percent transmitted traffic to Web pages without content, which typically host malicious activity. “It was surprising that it was 100 percent, but we know that it’s not if you’re going to be compromised, but when,” said Levi Gundert, a technical lead in Cisco’s Threat Research, Analysis and Communications (TRAC) group in an interview with The Security Ledger. Among the high points (or low points) in Cisco’s Report: Cisco observed the highest number of vulnerabilities and threats on its Intellishield alert service in the 13 years […]

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With $8m In Funding, Confer Taps Cloud, Crowd To Secure Endpoints

January 15, 2014 18:15Comments Off
Confer combines a small endpoint agent with cloud- and crowd-based intelligence to spot advanced threats.

A new endpoint security startup, Confer, pulled the covers off its technology on Wednesday, announcing a new services-based endpoint protection product that it claims will provide better protection against malicious software and advanced attacks. Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, Confer has been in existence for just over a year and has received $8 million in venture funding from North Bridge Capital and Matrix Partners. The company’s cloud- and endpoint-based software enables organizations to collaborate to stop sophisticated attacks by sharing attack and malware anonymously with other Confer customers. The company said its technology will appeal to enterprise customers who have grown weary of malware infections that manage to bypass or elude traditional anti virus software. Confer is just the latest company to see dollar signs in corporations’ waning enthusiasm for anti malware software. Modern anti malware products are still focused on securing Windows endpoints. They are geared for use in the […]

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Week In Security: More Target Woes and CES

January 12, 2014 10:53Comments Off
Week In Security: More Target Woes and CES

It was another eventful week in security, with another big revelation in the story of a hack of box retailer Target Inc. That update – which accompanied Target’s fourth quarter earnings guidance – nearly doubled the number of known victims of that attack. It also revealed that credit card data was not the only information stolen by hackers, who also made off with customer names, mailing addresses and emails. In this latest installment of Security Ledger’s Security Week in Review, we spoke with Jody Brazil, the President of the security firm FireMon about the week’s events. Jody is a seasoned security professional who works day-in-day-out with companies that are trying to manage their risk. He said that even large companies like Target can fall victim to sophisticated attacks, but the IT security may be too quick to give up on traditional defensive technologies. Jody and I had an interesting chat about […]

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BitCoin’s Popularity Is Undermining Promises of Anonymity

December 2, 2013 08:051 comment
BitCoin’s Popularity Is Undermining Promises of Anonymity

The virtual currency Bitcoin has soared in value against the U.S. dollar in recent months, topping out a staggering $913 USD to 1 Bitcoin (or BTC) as of late Tuesday. The currency had many ups and downs since it was launched in January 2009. But its main attraction, all along, has been anonymity. Unlike any other online payment system, Bitcoin transactions – like cash transactions – cannot be traced back to specific individuals. Also like cash, they cannot be reversed. Both those factors give Bitcoin users the confidence that their online purchasing activity – whether computer hardware or contraband will remain private. But a group of researchers at two U.S. universities have released a paper that suggests reports of Bitcoin’s anonymity may (to paraphrase Twain) “be greatly exaggerated.” Specifically: the researchers found that, by culling a variety of open source data using public data from the Bitcoin Peer to Peer network and from […]

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Snowden Borrowed from APT Playbook In NSA Hack

November 16, 2013 20:591 comment
Snowden Borrowed from APT Playbook In NSA Hack

We know for sure that Edward Snowden made short work of the protections that the National Security Agency used to segregate classified data. Snowden’s revelations about government spying on foreign governments, domestic and foreign firms and…well…just about everyone else first appeared in print in May. Since that time, a looming question is “how?” In other words: how did a single contractor gain access to such a massive trove of classified intelligence while working for the most security conscious organization in the world?   While the exact methods used by Snowden are still not known, there are many theories. Now the security firm Venafi thinks that it has an answer, and is challenging the NSA to prove it wrong. In a blog post on Wednesday, the company laid much of the blame on poor management of digital certificates and user credentials, which allowed Snowden to move laterally within the NSA’s classified […]

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