Google reCAPTCHA Fooled By Bot

CAPTCHA, or Completely Automated Procedures for Telling Computers and Humans Apart, was a system first theorized by cryptographer Alan Turing in 1950.  We find these little “I am not a robot” challenges popping up all over the place, especially when creating a new account, registering for a web service the first time, or sometimes as form of poor man’s two-factor authentication.  (Something ...

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Apple Pushing Two-Factor Authentication

Users of the Apple iOS 10.3 phone operating system are being offered two-factor authentication (2FA) for their Apple IDs.  This offers an additional layer of security for iCloud data, too.

As we have discussed in previous posts, the benefits of 2FA are that your account cannot be breached with only a stolen password.  In addition to the password, a one-time passcode is required to ...

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The Top Cybersecurity Strategies That Prevent Targeted Attacks

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there are seven strategies that will prevent 85% of targeted attacks.  To this list I have added a few of my favorites.

  • Password Manager Programs – If you are truly going to have dozens or hundreds of unique and long passwords, you will need the help of a password manager program to keep them all straight, and enter ...
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Securing Your Social Networks

Social networks are a tremendous source of personal information leakage.  Actually, more like a waterfall.  As we learned in the last post, attackers use social networks to perform reconnaissance against their chosen targets.  Since few of us are going to delete all our social network accounts and move of the grid, we have to find a way to live with ...

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Protecting Your Professional Reputation

Controlling your professional information can mean managing the information you disclose on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.  It can also mean protecting the client and employee information you have gathered through your employment.   It may mean securing your computer network from outside and inside attackers, or your website from compromise.  It may mean properly securing online assets such ...

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Facebook Strengthens Password Recovery Process

As a regular reader of this blog, you are probably using a long, unique, 20 character password with two-factor authentication, and a password manager to keep it all straight.  But let’s say that you fall for a phishing scam, and give away the password to your email account.  The attacker can now use your email account to request password reset emails from your other online accounts, and you have yourself one big ...

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Facebook Adds USB Key Two-Factor Authentication

Facebook has added USB key security to it’s two-factor authentication options.  Previously, Facebook users could add the additional security of two-factor authentication to their account by using the Facebook app to receive a six digit one-time passcode, or by having the code sent to their smart phone via SMS text message.  Facebook now supports the open-source Universal 2 Factor (U2F) standard established by the FIDO Alliance, such as the  Yubikey from Yubico.

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The Problem With Biometric Authentication

NIST is working on new authentication standards, and there are some surprising changes coming out of this effort.  One of the issues that NIST is dealing with is the use of biometrics for authentication.  But there are problems with biometrics.  Here they are from the NIST Special Publication 800-63b.  Emphasis is mine.

“5.2.3. Use of Biometrics

For a variety of reasons, this ...

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Passwords Are On Life Support

Passwords are not dead – not yet.  But they are on life support.  They are no longer enough to truly secure anything on their own.

I just read an sobering, eye-popping article on NetMux that discussed easy ways to crack passwords that are longer than 12 characters.

What makes this so disheartening for me is that I have been telling everyone to increase their password length ...

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Password Policy Improvements

password2On Monday we attacked the utility of current password policies and standards.  Today we will offer up an array of improvements.

To be truly effective from a security perspective, password policies need to be designed to withstand both online and offline password cracking methods. We discussed offline methods in our post last month, so we will not do more than recap them here. ...

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