Cybersecurity – Where Are We?

cybersecurity_436x270Sometimes in the maelstrom of cybersecurity battles, it is helpful to step back and see where we came from, where we are, and where we are going.  This year, in addition to studying for and passing the CISSP exam, I have been to a bunch of security conferences.  I’ve been to MISC.conf, Secure360, B-Sides, and the Tech Security Conference.  Here are some highlights and insights ...

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Personal Privacy Through Email Encryption

encrypted-emailOne of the easiest ways for an intruder to learn about you is through a compromised email account.  And since most email is transmitted in the clear or in plain text, it is a simple thing for a bad actor to read intercepted email traffic.  Encrypting your email makes it harder for criminals, competitors, law enforcement, and government spy agencies to read your email messages.

You can set up secure email yourself using ...

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The Growing Threat of Ransomware

The cyber-criminal underground has found a real moneymaker in the various forms of encryption based ransomware schemes.  These exploits turn all your readable work product, your documents, pictures, music and video files, into a collection of encrypted gibberish, and then kindly offers to sell you the decryption key.  I recently saw an infographic from Symantec on the Bromium blog that illustrated the problem perfectly.

ransomeware-infographic

What ...

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WhatsApp? What Else?

encryptionHappy Friday the 13th.  In honor of all the governmental and law enforcement agencies that want to deny the privacy and security of encrypted communications to the general public, today we will be looking at encrypted messaging apps for your smart phone.

When the bad guys can break into your digital assets and steal your information with impunity, encryption is a necessity.  Encryption is the lock on your data. I am a proponent ...

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Inside the Perimeter

razor-wireAh, the good old days, when perimeter defenses and endpoint security software was all you needed to keep your network secure.  Was it ever really that simple? Probably not, but many business owners and IT professionals are still hoping that keeping the firewall and antivirus updated is enough.

Over 90% of exploits start as an email in somebody’s inbox.  According to NSS Labs, 97% of all breaches are enabled by ...

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Millions of Insecure Devices Share The Same Keys

keySo how would it be if you found out that the key to your house also worked at your neighbor’s house.  What if it turned out the builder in your subdivision used the exact same lock on every house they built, and your key could get you into every house in your neighborhood?

This is essentially the situation that security researchers at SEC Consult discovered with a host of Internet connected ...

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Crypto-Ransomware Round-Up

cryptolockerSome of the nastiest exploits going around are the many variants of the CryptoLocker and CryptoWall malware that encrypt all your personal files and hold them for ransom.  Payment in bitcoin is required, in amounts starting at $200 and ranging upward to the $17,000 (400 BTC) that Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital just paid to unlock their files.  Or even more.  The amount will be whatever the attackers think they can extract from the victim.

  • The latest ...
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Why The Government Can’t Be Trusted with Back Doors

backdoorHow would you feel if, in order to gain access to a known terrorist’s house, the government passed a law that required every lock manufacturer to create a master key that would unlock every locked door anywhere?  What if the police promised that they would only use the key on the one house?  What if they promised to keep the key safe and secure so it could never get into the hands ...

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Perils From The Edge – A Solution

turris-onamiaThere is a small company in the Czech Republic called Turris that developed a home and small office wireless router that may be the most secure small router available.  That is – when it’s available in April.  Right now its an Indegogo project.  You can pre-order it now for about $200.

This is an open-source project running OpenWrt.  According to the manufacturer, the router will be available in several ...

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Perils From The Edge – Insecure Routers

juniper-networksAt the end of December last year Juniper Networks discovered that some malicious actors had added code to the firmware and software that run their routers, creating a back door that would allow attackers to access the router remotely, assume administrator privileges, and view and decrypt VPN traffic running through the routers.  As the story unfolded, it turns out that Juniper was using a random number generator from NIST, and that the Continue Reading →

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