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Some security blogs I followCNXriv2VjbgCfgont2013-07-01T21:55:27Z
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Symantec axing as many as 1,700 jobs, says report

Dom, 06/16/2013 - 22:29

Symantec could let go of as many as 1,700 employees starting as soon as today, according to a report.

The security solutions provider is cutting roughly 8 percent of its global work force in two phases, with about 1,000 positions going first, this month, and another 700 people receiving pink slips in July, AllThingsD reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

The layoffs shouldn't come as much of a surprise, as Symantec first talked about the reorganization strategy in January amid its fiscal third-quarter earnings announcement. The big target here is middle management.

Tags: SymantecIndustry Newsl33tdawg
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Google detects Iranian hackers at work

Dom, 06/16/2013 - 22:28

Google said Wednesday that it has discovered and stopped a series of attempts to hack the accounts of tens of thousands of Iranian users in what the company believes is an attempt to influence the country's upcoming election.

"For almost three weeks, we have detected and disrupted multiple email-based phishing campaigns," Eric Grosse, the vice president for security engineering, wrote in a post on the company's blog.

Tags: GoogleSecurityIranl33tdawg
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Options for secure file removal in the OS X Terminal

Dom, 06/16/2013 - 22:11

While deleting files in OS X simply involves moving them to the trash and emptying it, this routine does not remove the data of these items, but instead only clears the directory entry for them. The content of the items is kept on disk with the system having no way to access it; as a result, there is potential for the content to be scanned and recovered by data recovery tools.

Tags: OS XAppleSecurityl33tdawg
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Friday Squid Blogging: Sperm Consumption in the Southern Bottletail Squid

Vie, 06/14/2013 - 19:53

It's a novel behavior.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered.

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DEF CON 20 CTF PCAPS Now Available!

Vie, 06/14/2013 - 18:13
For all of you CTF enthusiasts, and in honor of the DEF CON 21 CTF Quals starting today, we are releasing a torrent of the complete packet captures from CTF at DEF CON 20! You can start downloading all of the CTF goodness at DEF CON 20 ctf.torrent, or on the new DEF CON Torrents page!(author unknown)
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Adobe Flash exploit grabs video and audio, long after “fix”

Vie, 06/14/2013 - 17:27

A security flaw in Adobe Flash thought to be repaired in October of 2011 has resurfaced again with a new proof-of-concept hack that can grab video and audio from a user’s computer without getting user authentication. Employing a transparent Flash object on a page to capture a user’s click, the exploit tricks a user into clicking to activate the object. The object can then take control of the camera and microphone regardless of the permissions set by the user.

The exploit was demonstrated by developer Egor Homakov and was based on code by Russian security researcher Oleg Filippov. (Note that the demonstration uses images of scantily-claid women and may not be considered safe for work.)

“This is not a stable exploit (tested on Mac and Chrome. I do use Mac and Chrome so this is a big deal anyway),” Homakov wrote. "Your photo can be saved on our servers but we don't do this in the PoC. (Well, we had an idea to charge $1 for deleting a photo but it would not be fun for you). Donations are welcome though.”

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Lieberman Software Launches First Security-As-A-Service PIM Platform

Vie, 06/14/2013 - 16:02
ERPM’s newest version offers two interfaces that provide a programmatic option for identity management(author unknown)
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Sólo el 50% de los usuarios cierra sesión al usar servicios on line

Vie, 06/14/2013 - 15:55
Entre los servicios se incluye Internet Banking, webmail y redes sociales, entre otros. Además, 2 de cada 3 encuestados dijo que el control gubernamental impide el crecimiento de internet y desalienta la innovación (Internacional) Durante 2012, The Internet Society (ISOC) llevó a cabo el estudio Global Internet User Survey a 10.000 usuarios de internet (Seguridad de la Información)
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Sixth Annual Movie-Plot Threat Contest Semifinalists

Vie, 06/14/2013 - 15:20

On April 1, I announced the Sixth Annual Movie Plot Threat Contest:

I want a cyberwar movie-plot threat. (For those who don't know, a movie-plot threat is a scare story that would make a great movie plot, but is much too specific to build security policy around.) Not the Chinese attacking our power grid or shutting off 911 emergency services -- people are already scaring our legislators with that sort of stuff. I want something good, something no one has thought of before.

Submissions are in, and -- apologies that this is a month late, but I completely forgot about it -- here are the semifinalists.

  1. Crashing satellites, by Chris Battey.
  2. Attacking Dutch dams, by Russell Thomas.
  3. Attacking a drug dispensing system, by Dave.
  4. Attacking cars through their diagnostic ports, by RSaunders.
  5. Embedded kill switches in chips, by Shogun.

Cast your vote by number; voting closes at the end of the month.

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NSA gets early access to zero-day data from Microsoft, others

Vie, 06/14/2013 - 14:55

The National Security Agency (NSA) has used sensitive data on network threats and other classified information as a carrot to gain unprecedented access to information from thousands of companies in technology, telecommunications, financial, and manufacturing companies, according to a report by Michael Riley of Bloomberg. And that data includes information on “zero-day” security threats from Microsoft and other software companies, according to anonymous sources familiar with the data-swapping program.

The NSA isn’t alone in the business of swapping secrets with the corporate world. The FBI, CIA, and Department of Defense (DOD) also have programs enabling them to exchange sensitive government information with corporate “partners” in exchange for access to things like information on cyberattacks, traffic patterns, and other information that relate to network security.

The NSA’s dual role as the security arbiter for many government networks and as point organization for the US government’s offensive cyberwarfare capabilities means that the information it gains from these special relationships could be used to craft exploits to gain access to the computer systems and networks of foreign governments, businesses, and individuals. But it remains unclear just how much of a head start information about bugs actually gives NSA or whether companies actually delay posting fixes on the NSA's behalf.

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EiQ Networks Announces ThreatVue

Vie, 06/14/2013 - 13:31
New solution combines SIEM data with other critical security data(author unknown)
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Encrypted e-mail: How much annoyance will you tolerate to keep the NSA away?

Vie, 06/14/2013 - 11:00
Aurich Lawson

In an age of smartphones and social networking, e-mail may strike many as quaint. But it remains the vehicle that millions of people use every day to send racy love letters, confidential business plans, and other communications both sender and receiver want to keep private. Following last week's revelations of a secret program that gives the National Security Agency (NSA) access to some e-mails sent over Gmail, Hotmail, and other services—and years after it emerged that the NSA had gained access to full fiber-optic taps of raw Internet traffic—you may be wondering what you can do to keep your messages under wraps.

The answer is public key encryption, and we'll show you how to use it.

The uses of asymmetry

The full extent of the cooperation between the NSA and various technology companies is unclear. It will probably remain that way for the foreseeable future. For the time being, however, it seems likely that the standard cryptographic tools used to secure data "in flight"—that is to say, the SSL that protects data traveling between machines on the Internet—remain secure as long as certain best practices are used.

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Ricin as a Terrorist Tool

Vie, 06/14/2013 - 10:15

This paper (full paper behind paywall) -- from Environment International (2009) -- does a good job of separating fact from fiction:

Abstract: In recent years there has been an increased concern regarding the potential use of chemical and biological weapons for mass urban terror. In particular, there are concerns that ricin could be employed as such an agent. This has been reinforced by recent high profile cases involving ricin, and its use during the cold war to assassinate a high profile communist dissident. Nevertheless, despite these events, does it deserve such a reputation? Ricin is clearly toxic, though its level of risk depends on the route of entry. By ingestion, the pathology of ricin is largely restricted to the gastrointestinal tract where it may cause mucosal injuries; with appropriate treatment, most patients will make a full recovery. As an agent of terror, it could be used to contaminate an urban water supply, with the intent of causing lethality in a large urban population. However, a substantial mass of pure ricin powder would be required. Such an exercise would be impossible to achieve covertly and would not guarantee success due to variables such as reticulation management, chlorination, mixing, bacterial degradation and ultra-violet light. By injection, ricin is lethal; however, while parenteral delivery is an ideal route for assassination, it is not realistic for an urban population. Dermal absorption of ricin has not been demonstrated. Ricin is also lethal by inhalation. Low doses can lead to progressive and diffuse pulmonary oedema with associated inflammation and necrosis of the alveolar pneumocytes. However, the risk of toxicity is dependent on the aerodynamic equivalent diameter (AED) of the ricin particles. The AED, which is an indicator of the aerodynamic behaviour of a particle, must be of sufficiently low micron size as to target the human alveoli and thereby cause major toxic effects. To target a large population would also necessitate a quantity of powder in excess of several metric tons. The technical and logistical skills required to formulate such a mass of powder to the required size is beyond the ability of terrorists who typically operate out of a kitchen in a small urban dwelling or in a small ill-equipped laboratory. Ricin as a toxin is deadly but as an agent of bioterror it is unsuitable and therefore does not deserve the press attention and subsequent public alarm that has been created.

This paper lists all known intoxication attempts, including the famous Markov assassination.

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Pre-Order The Practice of Network Security Monitoring Before Price Hike

Jue, 06/13/2013 - 22:24

When my publisher and I planned and priced my new book The Practice of Network Security Monitoring, we assumed the book would be about 250 pages. As we conclude the copyediting process and put print in layout format, it's clear the book will be well over 300. The current estimate is 328, but I think it could approach 350 pages.

Because of the much larger page count, the publisher and I agreed to reprice the book. The price will rise from the current list of $39.95 for paperback and $31.95 for ebook to $49.95 for paperback and $39.95 for ebook.

However, those prices will not go into effect until next Friday, June 21st. That means if you preorder at the Web site before next Friday, you will get the current lower prices. Furthermore, use preorder code NSM101 to save 30% off list. If you use NSM101 as your discount code it shows No Starch that you got word of this from me.

Those of you who already preordered have already taken advantage of this deal. Thanks for your orders!

We're still on track for publication by July 22, in time for books on hand at my new Network Security Monitoring 101 class in Las Vegas. Seats for the two editions of the class (weekend and weekday) continue to fill.

If you live in Europe or the Middle East or Africa, you may want to attend my new class in Istanbul in September. I hope the protestors and government can manage their differences in time for this great new Black Hat event!

TweetCopyright 2003-2012 Richard Bejtlich and TaoSecurity ( and

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Vast array of medical devices vulnerable to serious hacks, feds warn

Jue, 06/13/2013 - 22:23

A vast array of heart defibrillators, drug infusion pumps, and other medical devices contain backdoors that make them vulnerable to potentially life-threatening hacks, federal officials have warned.

Tags: HardwareSecurityl33tdawg
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Why the NSA leak may boost Blackberry (and force us to move to Canada)

Jue, 06/13/2013 - 22:21

We seem to have learned three important lessons in the wake of the latest NSA leak. First off, the US and Chinese government have an uncomfortable number of things in common.

Second, the US government hires way too many kids (remember Bradley Manning?) into high security spots that shouldn’t be in high security spots. Third, Blackberry may be the only platform that is actually secure (for two big reasons). So yes, it might be nice to have a secure cell phone - especially if you are a politician or celebrity living in the US or China. Let me explain.

Tags: BlackBerryIndustry NewsPrivacyNSAl33tdawg
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First look: iWork for iCloud beta brings powerful productivity to the Web

Jue, 06/13/2013 - 22:19

Apple revealed at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday that it will be releasing a new version of iWork for iCloud, enabling remote access to the productivity suite with nearly full functionality offered in a Web client.

In an exploration of the beta, AppleInsider found that its overall function was very smooth, with quick loading times and no hiccups or bumps in its animation or responsiveness.

Tags: AppleiCloudcloudl33tdawg
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Spy-proof enterprise encryption is possible, but daunting

Jue, 06/13/2013 - 22:16

Data encryption could help enterprises protect their sensitive information against mass surveillance by governments, as well as guard against unauthorized access by ill-intended third parties, but the correct implementation and use of data encryption technologies is not an easy task, according to security experts.

Tags: Encryptionl33tdawg
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How to stop the NSA spying on your data

Jue, 06/13/2013 - 22:10

BIG BROTHER really is watching you. A series of revelations over the past week has revealed the extent of the US government's snooping. But there are ways that the average citizen can avoid the prying eyes of the state.

Last week, whistleblower Edward Snowden – a former contractor with the National Security Agency (NSA) – told UK newspaper The Guardian that the NSA not only has details of phone calls made by millions of Verizon customers, it also has some form of access to its citizens' internet activity as part of a programme named Prism.

Tags: NSAPrivacySecurityl33tdawg
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Trading Privacy for Convenience

Jue, 06/13/2013 - 19:06

Ray Wang makes an important point about trust and our data:

This is the paradox. The companies contending to win our trust to manage our digital identities all seem to have complementary (or competing) business models that breach that trust by selling our data.

...and by turning it over to the government.

The current surveillance state is a result of a government/corporate partnership, and our willingness to give up privacy for convenience.

If the government demanded that we all carry tracking devices 24/7, we would rebel. Yet we all carry cell phones. If the government demanded that we deposit copies of all of our messages to each other with the police, we'd declare their actions unconstitutional. Yet we all use Gmail and Facebook messaging and SMS. If the government demanded that we give them access to all the photographs we take, and that we identify all of the people in them and tag them with locations, we'd refuse. Yet we do exactly that on Flickr and other sites.

Ray Ozzie is right when he said that we got what we asked for when we told the government we were scared and that they should do whatever they wanted to make us feel safer. But we also got what we asked for when we traded our privacy for convenience, trusting these corporations to look out for our best interests.

We're living in a world of feudal security. And if you watch Game of Thrones, you know that feudalism benefits the powerful -- at the expense of the peasants.

Last night, I was on All In with Chris Hayes (parts one and two). One of the things we talked about after the show was over is how technological solutions only work around the margins. That's not a cause for despair. Think about technological solutions to murder. Yes, they exist -- wearing a bullet-proof vest, for example -- but they're not really viable. The way we protect ourselves from murder is through laws. This is how we're also going to protect our privacy.

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