Computer & Network Security

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2015 Cyber Security Awareness Month

What is Cybersecurity? According to US-CERT, "The activity or process, ability or capability, or state whereby information and communications systems and the information contained therein are protected from and/or defended against damage, unauthorized use or modification, or exploitation." In other words, it is the people, processes and technology that manage or maintain the Integrity, Availability, and Confidentiality of the systems and data with which an organization functions.  Many times these roles are shared with IT which in turn can come with its own challenges.  Often times, IT is focuses solely on availability, or up-time and ease of use, and both [...]

By | 2015-10-02T09:15:18-05:00 October 2nd, 2015|Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Information Security, Research|Comments Off on 2015 Cyber Security Awareness Month

Third Party Apps: Consider The Risks

What are 3rd party tools? Everyone, from individuals to enterprises, uses third party tools and applications on their workstations, servers and mobile devices.  Some examples are Adobe Reader, Java, WinRAR, and many more.  They are applications that are run or installed, but are typically not centrally managed by your organization. Why are they important to an organization? Many times these tools are required to carry out critical job functions.  These can be running applications that require Java applets, fax services, custom written applications and so on. What risks can they introduce? Since these applications are usually not centrally managed, their [...]

By | 2015-10-01T09:22:47-05:00 October 1st, 2015|Adobe, Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Java, Vulnerabilities|Comments Off on Third Party Apps: Consider The Risks

iOS Malware – The Sky Is (not) Falling!

By now you should have heard that malware has been detected in apps available from Apple's App Store.  (Let's take a short break to let the rival Android users stop chuckling)  Should you be panicked?  Should you contact your IT department and have them wipe all of your company's iPhones?  Should you rush home and trade your teenager's iPhone for an old Samsung flip phone?  No, you shouldn't - the Appleocalypse is not upon us.  (except maybe for the last one - have you seen the trouble teenagers can get into on smart phones?  Sheesh!) Because this is somewhat of [...]

By | 2015-10-02T08:40:54-05:00 September 26th, 2015|Apple, Computer & Network Security|Comments Off on iOS Malware – The Sky Is (not) Falling!

Ransomware! – It’s here to stay…

“My firm WILL be affected by ransomware.” If you intone that rather gloomy mantra to yourself every morning before you go to work, you might end up being prepared to deal with the situation when it happens. Ransomware is a type of malware that most often encrypts the contents of a hard drive and then rather helpfully offers you an email address or phone number to contact for removal instructions. And did I mention they’re going to ask for payment for the key to your now locked-up hard drive? They’ll ask for payment. And when the email with the funny [...]

By | 2015-10-02T08:39:49-05:00 August 28th, 2015|Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Data Breach|Comments Off on Ransomware! – It’s here to stay…

Android Security Flaw: Stagefright – What You Need to Know

Update: As of Thursday, August 6th, 2015, Google and some phone carriers are pushing out a security fix to address this vulnerability. Source: http://www.zdnet.com/article/after-stagefright-samsung-and-lg-join-google-with-monthly-android-patches/ What is StageFright? Stagefright is a remotely exploitable software bug in Android that can allow an attacker to perform arbitrary operations on the affected device through remote code execution and privilege escalation.  This flaw currently affects versions 2.2 and newer of the Android operating system. Source: http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/07/950-million-android-phones-can-be-hijacked-by-malicious-text-messages/ How Can This Affect Me? An attacker can send specially crafted MMS (multimedia) text messages to the victim device, which require no end-user actions upon receipt, for the vulnerability to succeed.  The [...]

By | 2015-08-06T14:42:18-05:00 July 28th, 2015|Android, Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Privacy|Comments Off on Android Security Flaw: Stagefright – What You Need to Know

Java vs. Javascript

We field questions about Java security issues on a regular basis, and have noticed that users are often confused about the differences between Java and Javascript. Java is a standalone application that runs separately from your browser, although it can be called on by your browser to run Java ‘applets.’ Applets aren’t that common any more, but the Java application is a different matter. Java has a history of being exploited for vulnerabilities, and updates have historically released on a somewhat tardy basis. Even more painful is that users have to manually watch for and install those updates unless they [...]

By | 2015-07-09T12:28:50-05:00 May 11th, 2015|Computer & Network Security, Information Security|Comments Off on Java vs. Javascript

Do you really need a smart toaster?

Even though you CAN buy it, you need to ask yourself if you really SHOULD you buy that Internet-connected appliance…….. Very few people would seriously consider this question before purchasing a brand new appliance or item that has all sorts of nifty and exciting ‘up-sell’ features, such as network or direct Internet-connectivity. But for those of us who work in the computer and network security fields, this question is neither academic nor trivial. It’s easy to understand why Internet-connected gadgets are tempting. Who wouldn’t want a dog collar with a GPS in it, in case Fido runs away? Who would [...]

By | 2015-07-09T12:30:28-05:00 May 2nd, 2015|Computer & Network Security|Comments Off on Do you really need a smart toaster?

Now It’s Microsoft’s Turn, SSL Vulnerability in SCHANNEL

It's official, all major SSL stacks are now vulnerable.  There are already a number of detailed blogs written about this new vulnerability, so I am not going to rewrite all of the details.  I am going to sum it up and bottom line it for you.  Here is a good detailed account of the issue if you are interested. SCHANNEL is to Windows in the same way OpenSSL is to Linux.  It is used in almost all instances where Windows is listening for SSL traffic. Many people are claiming this is something that needs to be pushed out asap, but as [...]

By | 2014-11-21T18:20:21-05:00 November 12th, 2014|Microsoft, Microsoft Security Bulletin, Patches|Comments Off on Now It’s Microsoft’s Turn, SSL Vulnerability in SCHANNEL

Trustwave Global Security Report 2014: An Overview

The Trustwave Global Security Report for 2014 was recently released.  There are a number of very useful and insightful statistics in this report, which we can corroborate, based on our assessments of numerous organizations' networks.  We wanted to highlight a few of these statistics below: Top 10 Internal Network Penetration Test Vulnerabilities - which include weak passwords, shared accounts, and unencrypted storage [av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center'] Top 10 External Network Penetration Test Vulnerabilities - which include default SNMP strings and weak passwords: [av_hr class='short' height='50' shadow='no-shadow' position='center'] Top 10 Web Application Vulnerabilities - including path traversal, authentication bypass, SQL injection, unencrypted pages [...]

eBay Asking Users To Change Passwords

Ebay will be forcing users to change their passwords later today, according to their announcement.  According to the announcement, employee credentials were stolen and used to access internal databases containing "customers' name, encrypted password, email address, physical address, phone number and date of birth."  The theft was not discovered until a couple of weeks ago even though it took place nearly 2 months ago.  This is another example of why proactive log monitoring and correlation is essential for organizations with any type of sensitive data.  As the data breaches continue, Target is quickly finding itself among company. Ebay says that passwords were [...]