Off the Wire

Off The Wire Archive

News items for July 2008

Thousands of UK passports stolen
Anyone in search of a new identity in the coming years might find it easiest to opt for becoming British. [more]
Thursday, 31 July 2008, 3:16 PM CET

Despite mandate, only 30% of government devices are encrypted
A Government Accountability (GAO) report on the status of government agency efforts to encrypt and protect sensitive information identified commercially available technology, reviewed laws and policies on sensitive information, and examined 24 federal agencies. The report recommends that Office of Management and Budget (OMB) policies be clarified and that selected agencies strengthen their efforts. [more]
Wednesday, 30 July 2008, 3:36 PM CET

Skype won't say if it decrypts VoIP calls
Company may keep keys so authorities can decrypt encrypted VoIP phone calls. [more]
Wednesday, 30 July 2008, 10:30 AM CET

Traditional vs. non-traditional database auditing
Traditional native audit tools and methods are useful for diagnosing problems at a given point in time, but they typically do not scale across the enterprise. The auditing holes that are left in their wake leave us blind to critical activities being performed within the systems that contain our most coveted trade secrets, customer lists, intellectual property, and more. [more]
Tuesday, 29 July 2008, 9:11 PM CET

Cyber threats accelerate and browser vulnerabilities proliferate
IBM released results from its X-Force 2008 Midyear Trend Statistics report that indicates cyber-criminals are adopting new automation techniques and strategies that allow them to exploit vulnerabilities much faster than ever before. The new tools are being implemented on the Internet by organized criminal elements, and at the same time public exploit code published by researchers are putting more systems, databases and ultimately, people at risk of compromise. [more]
Tuesday, 29 July 2008, 9:10 PM CET

Q&A: SSL VPN security
Max Huang is the founder and Executive Vice President of O2Micro and President for O2Security, a subsidiary company of O2Micro. In this interview he discusses the importance of SSL VPNs in the overall security architecture, the difference between IPSec and SSL VPNs as well as the future of SSL VPNs. [more]
Monday, 28 July 2008, 10:59 PM CET

Webcast - PCI compliance 2008: what you need to know
This 15-minute webcast briefing focuses exclusively on key facts you need to know as a PCI Merchant. [more]
Monday, 28 July 2008, 5:50 PM CET

Malicious spam campaigns continues with Rustock botnet
The recent, large-scale campaign is designed to infect computers with malware and convert them into part of the Rustock botnet, and it is succeeding. Over the last month, Rustock has grown to claim second place among the largest spam producing botnets behind the Srizbi botnet in first place. Rustock has increased its share of global spam volumes from 10 percent in mid-June to 21.5 percent last week. [more]
Sunday, 27 July 2008, 3:22 PM CET

Security policy considerations for virtual worlds
Virtual worlds offer significant outreach and business development opportunities to companies, governments, and the world at large. As these worlds evolve and grow in popularity and acceptance, and become more integrated into many aspects of business and society, they offer new and uncharted terrain for security practitioners to embrace, explore and apply corporate governance and information security policy. [more]
Thursday, 24 July 2008, 9:00 PM CET

4 reasons not to use mod_security
mod_security provides many options for validating URLs, URIs, and application data. You are, essentially, implementing a custom web application firewall using configuration directives. [more]
Thursday, 24 July 2008, 12:18 PM CET

Interesting pattern in Storm worm traffic
This blog post contains a few graphs with interesting observations he made when tracking the Storm Worm botnet as part of his thesis on detection of advanced botnets. [more]
Tuesday, 22 July 2008, 10:03 PM CET

Q&A: Web 2.0 security
Sam Masiello has more than 18 years of email systems and IT management experience, including nearly 10 years network and security systems management. In this interview he discusses various aspects of Web 2.0 security. [more]
Tuesday, 22 July 2008, 9:27 PM CET

Whitepaper - Institutional identity theft
Learn how the identity theft of your customers leads to the erosion of your company's profits and good name. [more]
Tuesday, 22 July 2008, 9:27 PM CET

Local file inclusion – tricks of the trade
Everyone understands that local file includes are bad. The ability to execute an arbitrary file as code is unquestionably a security risk and should be protected against. [more]
Tuesday, 22 July 2008, 12:43 AM CET

Video: The vulnerability economy
Jeff Moss, the founder of DEFCON and Black Hat, discusses the unfolding of the vulnerability economy. Nowadays, instead of exposing high profile zero-day vulnerabilities at conferences, many researchers opt for selling their discoveries on a growing market. [more]
Monday, 21 July 2008, 10:05 PM CET

Protecting against Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID data attacks
Using a laptop, cell phone headset, building access badge, credit cards, or even a passport can make you a walking target for data thieves and other criminals, a security expert warned at the Last HOPE hacker conference here late Friday. [more]
Monday, 21 July 2008, 2:00 PM CET

Oyster card hack to be unveiled
Details of how to copy the Oyster cards used on London's transport network can be published, a Dutch judge has ruled. The ruling overturns an injunction to suppress the information won by NXP - makers of the travel smartcards used in London and many other cities. [more]
Monday, 21 July 2008, 1:58 PM CET

Integrate encryption into Google Calendar with Firefox extensions
Today's Web applications provide many benefits for online storage, access, and collaboration. Although some applications offer encryption of user data, most do not. [more]
Monday, 21 July 2008, 12:00 AM CET

Whitepaper: Auditing privileged access and activity in Windows
Regulatory compliance and governance are critical areas of focus for organizations of all kinds, often including extensive auditing and monitoring requirements. [more]
Friday, 18 July 2008, 3:37 PM CET

Increasing threat of confidential information loss
A national security and privacy survey sponsored by CA showed that security threats from within an organization now are a bigger problem than attacks from external sources. At the same time, the number of U.S. organizations reporting loss of confidential data and reduced customer satisfaction has increased by 55 percent and 65 percent, respectively, in the past two years. [more]
Friday, 18 July 2008, 11:37 AM CET

Reinvigorate your threat modeling process
There are many things called threat modeling. Rather than argue about which is "the one true way," consider your needs and what your skills, abilities, and schedules are, and then work with a method that's best for you. [more]
Friday, 18 July 2008, 1:30 AM CET

Self-signed certificates in production point to a failure of SSL
I am realising that, although the problem that many Firefox users have with self-signed certificates points to a failure in software design (this is not a stab at Firefox, rather a testament to how difficult it is to design software to suit a diverse user base), it really points to a failure of SSL. [more]
Thursday, 17 July 2008, 3:26 PM CET

Book review - Security Power Tools
By reading through security web sites, traversing through software depositories and using Google, you can keep your self updated with the latest tools and attack/defense scenarios based on them. If you want a centralized place on reading this kind of information, "Security Power Tools" is definitely the book you should check out. [more]
Wednesday, 16 July 2008, 7:12 PM CET

Automate backups on Linux
The loss of critical data can prove devastating. Still, millions of professionals ignore backing up their data. [more]
Wednesday, 16 July 2008, 7:11 PM CET

Cybercrime organizational structures and modus operandi
This report explores the trend of loosely organized clusters of hackers trading stolen data online being replaced by hierarchical cybercrime organizations. These organizations deploy sophisticated pricing models, crimeware business models refined for optimal operation, crimeware drop zones, and campaigns for optimal distribution of the crimeware. [more]
Tuesday, 15 July 2008, 10:27 PM CET

DNS vulnerability overview and suggested mitigations
On July 9th, 2008 a massive effort was made among software and hardware vendors to release a simultaneous patch to their products. This patch was created to mitigate or minimize the effects of a vulnerability discovered in the basic operation of the Internet Domain Name System or DNS. This subsystem is critical to the operation of the Internet and provides for the translation of human readable names into computer usable IP addresses. [more]
Tuesday, 15 July 2008, 7:41 PM CET

Q&A: Insider threat
Bob Farber is the CEO of Symark and in this interview he discusses the growing problem of insider threat with thoughts on evolution, the main challenges of controlling access to proprietary systems and more. [more]
Monday, 14 July 2008, 2:04 PM CET

Is DNSSEC the answer to Internet security?
DNSSEC (DNS Security Extensions) provides a form of signed verification for DNS information, which is intended to assure DNS authenticity. [more]
Monday, 14 July 2008, 1:41 PM CET

Whitepaper: Avoiding the compliance trap for travel and expenses
Discover how on-demand T&E solutions are helping companies quickly meet requirements to enforce policies and controls and are also providing capabilities to meet evolving compliance requirements. [more]
Monday, 14 July 2008, 1:40 PM CET

8 best practices for encryption key management and data security
From centralization to support for standards, these encryption key management and data security best practices can help you protect your organization’s confidential data and comply with regulatory mandates. [more]
Monday, 14 July 2008, 12:00 AM CET

How Apple was scammed
While phishing isn't an uncommon means for scammers to get personal information these days, you don't hear all that often that the scammer gets your info directly from the credit card company. [more]
Thursday, 10 July 2008, 11:57 AM CET

Monitoring network performance with GNetWatch
GNetWatch is a network monitoring and performance testing tool that lets you can see the status of hosts on your network, send ping requests of varying size and quality of service to hosts, and investigate SNMP information. [more]
Thursday, 10 July 2008, 11:39 AM CET

Whitepaper: Virtualization everywhere
Adoption of virtualization is concentrated among large enterprises, while mid-sized companies have hesitated because of concerns about cost, complexity, and vendor lock-in. [more]
Wednesday, 9 July 2008, 10:37 PM CET

The extended HTML form attack revisited
HTML forms are one of the features in HTTP that allows users to send data to HTTP servers. An often overlooked feature is that due to the nature of HTTP, the web browser has no way of identifying between an HTTP server and one that is not an HTTP server. Therefore web browsers may send this data to any open port, regardless of whether the open port belongs to an HTTP server or not. [more]
Wednesday, 9 July 2008, 10:34 PM CET

Book review - Network Warrior
The Cisco CCNA network associate certification validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks, including implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN. "Network Warrior" is a book intended for those who earned CCNA or a similar level of certification and want to push forward with analyzing interesting real world examples. [more]
Tuesday, 8 July 2008, 11:54 PM CET

Cybercriminals reinvent methods of malicious attacks
Cybercriminals are not only leveraging new technologies to propagate cybercrime, but are also reinventing forms of social engineering to cleverly ensnare both consumers and businesses, according to a Trend Micro report. As a result, the last six months saw an upswing in Web threats, but steady decreases in adware and spyware that are generated by outdated technical methods and can no longer compete with high-level security solutions. [more]
Tuesday, 8 July 2008, 3:22 PM CET

Layer 4 vs layer 7 DoS attack
Not all DoS (Denial of Service) attacks are the same. [more]
Tuesday, 8 July 2008, 3:17 PM CET

Whitepaper: Open source security myths dispelled
When choosing between proprietary and open source security solutions, many organizations are misled by open source myths. As a result, they ask the wrong questions when evaluating their options and unnecessarily limit their IT solutions. Is it risky to trust mission-critical infrastructure to open source software? [more]
Tuesday, 8 July 2008, 12:19 PM CET

Remote sign out and info to help you protect your Gmail account
Your email account can contain a lot of personal information, from bank alerts to love letters. [more]
Tuesday, 8 July 2008, 10:33 AM CET

Q&A: Software-as-a-Service and threat management
Misha Govshteyn is the CTO and responsible for security strategy, security research and operations at Alert Logic. In this interview he discusses Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), log management, compliance, threat management and more. [more]
Monday, 7 July 2008, 10:52 PM CET

Analyzing a Trac spam attempt
One of the best web interfaces for visualizing Subversion repositories (as well as providing integrated project management and ticketing functionality) is the Trac Project. [more]
Monday, 7 July 2008, 2:52 PM CET

Even computer 'wipers' leave a mark
When British software developers came up with a program that could wipe files from computer hard drives, they gave it a hard-core name: Evidence Eliminator. [more]
Monday, 7 July 2008, 2:48 PM CET

Our paradoxical attitudes toward privacy
We all cherish our privacy. Then we go and divulge everything about ourselves on Facebook, sprinkle our Social Security number like pixie dust across the Web and happily load up on tracking devices like GPS navigators and cellphones. [more]
Monday, 7 July 2008, 2:33 PM CET

Book review - Google Apps Hacks
With all Google's offerings, getting the best out of them and discovering cool features can sometimes be time consuming. Fortunately, there's "Google Apps Hacks", a typical O'Reilly title that cuts to the chase, eliminates the tedious introductions and makes the reader say: "I never thought you could do that!" [more]
Thursday, 3 July 2008, 11:28 PM CET

An introduction to the Kismet packet sniffer
Kismet is a wireless "detector, sniffer, and intrusion detection system," and one of the growing list of essential open source tools for computer network security professionals. [more]
Thursday, 3 July 2008, 8:07 PM CET

SQL Server and the Windows Server 2008 firewall
For those of you migrating from Windows Server 2003 or earlier to Windows Server 2008, if you have not previously heeded the advice to enable the firewall, you may be surprised by connectivity failures caused by the firewall (for any version of SQL) and you will need to take action to enable the connectivity you want. [more]
Thursday, 3 July 2008, 10:19 AM CET

Writing policy for confined SELinux users
The SELinux management environment (system-config-selinux) has been updated and includes the ability to build customized SELinux policy modules for the confinement of users. [more]
Thursday, 3 July 2008, 1:30 AM CET

Whitepaper - Backup and recovery best practices for Microsoft SQL Server 2005
To help you choose from among the available configuration options and backup and recovery procedures, HP has conducted extensive laboratory tests to determine best practices. [more]
Wednesday, 2 July 2008, 6:53 PM CET

Reverse engineering: anti-cracking techniques
This paper is a guide into better understanding most of the approaches a reverse engineer can follow in order to achieve his goal. Additionally, it includes a number of advices on how to better protect your software against tracing its sensitive information, like serial key checks and authentication procedures. [more]
Tuesday, 1 July 2008, 6:15 PM CET

Inside NSA Red Team secret ops with government's top hackers
What are red teams, you ask? They’re sort of like the special forces units of the security industry—highly skilled teams that clients pay to break into the clients’ own networks. [more]
Tuesday, 1 July 2008, 9:31 AM CET


The synergy of hackers and tools at the Black Hat Arsenal

Posted on 27 August 2014.  |  Tucked away from the glamour of the vendor booths and the large presentation rooms filled with rockstar sessions, was the Arsenal - a place where developers were able to present their security tools and grow their community.

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