Essential Hacking Tools

Kali-logo2Here is a short list of applications that I use frequently when undertaking a penetration test of vulnerability scan.  I don’t use all of these all the time, but they are probably the most popular tools in the security community.  We start with Kali, the Swiss Army knife of exploitation tools.  What can’t Kali do?  Then we look several stand alone tools for host enumeration, port scanning, packet sniffing, vulnerability detection, password ...

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NIST Nixes TFA Via SMS

NISTHoly acronyms Batman!  What the heck does this headline mean?  Well, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has removed two-factor authentication (TFA) via short-messaging service (SMS) from the approved list of two-factor authentication methods.  The reason is that SMS is an unencrypted service, and the lack of encryption makes it too insecure for use in Federal authentication systems.  NIST is recommending that all companies ...

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Which Is Better – SMS or App-based TFA?

google-authenticatorI am a firm believer in, and user of two-factor authentication (TFA or 2FA).  Heck, if there was three-factor authentication I would probably sign up.  The two most popular authenticator apps are Authy and Google Authenticator.  I primarily use Google Authenticator wherever I can.  I use SMS when Authenticator isn’t an option, or won’t work.  I had trouble, for instance, getting Facebook to work and ...

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Changing Passwords Regularly May Be Insecure

password1Bruce Schneier had an interesting post where he attacked the commonplace practice of requiring regular password changes.  Usual corporate IT policies require changes every 90 days, and in some high security environments, more frequently than that.

The basic issue with frequent password changes is that humans will create a system that makes it easy to remember the next iteration of the password.  This ...

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Recovering from Ransomware

teslacryptYou have trained your staff and improved your defenses.  In spite of your best efforts, you have an active case of crypto-malware running on a system in your business.  How do you recover?

Here are the steps to recovery:

  • Disconnect the affected system from the network by removing the Ethernet network cable connection or turning off the Wi-Fi connection.
  • Determine if the encryption process has completed.
    • If so, leave the system running, but disconnected from the network. ...
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Detect and Defend Against Ransomware

maktub-lockerEncryption ransomware can be a devastating event if it happens to your or your company.  The three solutions are basically pay the money, restore from backup, or accept your losses and move on.  All are expensive, and some can be severe enough to drive a business out-of-business.Monday we gave you several ways to prevent, or at least prepare a response to a crypto-ransomware exploit.  Today we are going to look at early ...

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Prepare and Prevent Ransomware Attacks

cryptolockerThis week we will be focusing on preventing, detecting, and recovering from the many variants of the crypto-ransomware exploit.  Ransomware attacks, such as CryptoLocker, CyrptoWall, Locky, Chimera, Zepto, and the like, have become one of the best money-making exploits for cyber-criminals, with new variants appearing on the scene every month.  These attacks usually start with a phishing email and a ZIP file attachment or a malicious link, so email vigilance can help. ...

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Shields Up For WordPress Websites and Blogs

mbclogofinal-smallI will be a featured presenter at the MN Blogger Conference, on Saturday October 15, at Concordia University in St.Paul, from 8:15 am to 5:15 pm.  Tickets are $20.

My presentation is titled Shields Up For WordPress Websites and Blogs.

In this presentation you will learn why WordPress sites are an attractive target for cyber-criminals and attackers, why they want to hijack your site, and how ...

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10 Ways To Drive A Cybersecurity Geek Crazy

crazyActually there are way more than ten ways, but here are some I see all the time.  We can play this like a game, so go ahead and give yourself a point for each one of these that apply to you.  This game scores like golf – low score wins.

  1. Weak, Guessable Passwords – short and simple passwords may be easy for you to remember, but they make an attacker’s job simpler too. ...
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