Posts Tagged ‘Security/Exploits’

Think Like A Spy…

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment

PhishingRecently John Sileo spoke at the Department Of Defense’s Joint Family Readiness Conference on the topic of identity protection and theft. As a two time victim of identity theft, John is well placed to speak from the heart about the practical, factual, and emotional aspects of this problem, and though I was not able to attend his presentation the writeup on his presentation is well worth a read.

John advocates a couple of thought processes which I’ll let you read the details of directly from the transcript, but to summarize he encourages us all to “Think Like A Spy” – to question the validity of the request for information at every stage, and with every person. Read more…


Missouri’s new Data Protection Disclosure Law.

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Although maybe unnoticed, a month ago Missouri finally joined that heady club called “States which have Data Privacy Laws”.

On 28th August, the “Missouri Data Breach Notification Law”, or House Bill 62 took effect, not protecting, but at least enforcing care and attention of residents personal information (Social Security Numbers, Driver’s Licence Numbers, and information which could be used to access a residents financial accounts). Note I use the word “resident”, because, as with the other 47 or so State laws, this one applies to the Residents of Missouri, not to the businesses. If you have Missouri resident information in your datacenter in Tinbuktoo, you are still required (under civil and actual damages) to comply. Read more…

Is Encryption enough? Why just encrypting data doesn’t solve today’s information security concerns.

September 3, 2009 7 comments

“But if it’s encrypted, why do I need to login?” the customer across the desk asks me with incredulity.

I realise that I’m about to get into a discussion which boarders on theological and raises passion in both security and business leaders alike. A discussion that I’ve had many times over the last two years, and will have many more times in the near future.

“Because, without authentication, there’s no point to encryption”. I reply, knowing full well that this isn’t an answer that’s wanted, or understood.

With a stifled sigh I start to explain.. Read more…

10 Things you don’t want to know about Bitlocker…

August 28, 2009 18 comments

Nov 2015 Update – It seems bitlocker sans pre-boot has been trivially insecure for some time according to Synopsys hacker Ian Hakan, who found a simple way to change the Windows password and thus allow access to data even while Bitlocker was active. 

So, with the forthcoming release of Windows 7, the ugly beast known as “Bitlocker” has reared its head again.

For those of you who were around during the original release of Bitlocker, or as it was known then “Secure Startup”, you’ll remember that it was meant to completely eliminate the necessity for third party security software. Yes, Bitlocker was going to secure our machines against all forms of attack and make sure we never lost data again.

What happened?

Read more…

TrueCrypt vs Peter Kleissner, Or Stoned BootKit Revisited..

August 4, 2009 59 comments

Peter Kieissner

This weeks flame war between TrueCrypt and Peter Kleissner had me both upset and laughing at the same time.

For a start, hats off to young Peter (18 years old according to his site), who recently presented at Black Hat his concept for a “universal rootkit” exploit, which, using that older-than-he-is technology of MBR replacement, manages to subvert Windows in such a way as to be able to drop a payload into memory as the computer boots.

I’m not sure, but isn’t that what MBR viruses have done since day one? I guess Peter agrees because his new “Stoned Bootkit” rootkit is named “Stoned” in homage to one of the original MBR Viruses of  1987 Read more…

iPhone 3GS and BlackBerry (In)securities..

July 27, 2009 1 comment

This weeks (potential) major fail goes to Apple for the iPhone 3GS security. As reported by Wired and others, it seems the new 3GS encryption touted by Apple in their “iPhone Security Overview” isn’t so secure after all.

The offical description of the new feature sounds pretty good:

iPhone 3GS offers hardware-based encryption. iPhone 3GS hardware encryption uses
AES 256 bit encoding to protect all data on the device. Encryption is always enabled,
and cannot be disabled by users.

iPhone 3GS offers hardware-based encryption. iPhone 3GS hardware encryption uses AES 256 bit encoding to protect all data on the device. Encryption is always enabled, and cannot be disabled by users.

But this excellent 2nd video demonstration by Jonathan Zdziarski shows plainly that there could be something very flawed about it. Read more…

FSA Fines HSBC Companies $7,500,000 for data security issues

July 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Following on from my recent posts regarding fines and the cost of data leakage (TJX and Cornell), I thought I’d also bring to your attention the latest initiated by the FSA (Financial Services Authority of UK) against HSBC – On 22nd July A tidy penalty of £4,550,000 ($7.5m) for two failures to protect personal information. HSBC will get a nice 30% discount on this for early payment, leaving them with a bill for £3,185,000 ($5.26m) plus their own internal costs.

Read more…

AES-256 and Reputational Risk

July 21, 2009 Leave a comment

I came across this excellent article while looking for something different. Dr O’Connor succinctly sums up the idea of impossible, and more impossible when talking about the relative key lengths of encryption algorithms.

Reputational risk is something that everyone understands, particularly businesses who regard their brand as one of their most critical assets. There is considerable trust in the security of AES-256, both in the public and commercial sectors. Reputational risk to AES-256 has a very high impact, and we therefore hope, a very low likelihood of occurrence.

AES-256 and Reputational Risk

About Language and Keyboard Settings in SafeBoot…

July 20, 2009 Leave a comment

I just uploaded a page explaining some of the finer details of the language and keyboard routines in the McAfee Endpoint Encryption for PCs and SafeBoot Device Encryption for PC’s (v5) products. I hope it helps some people iron out some implementation questions.

About Keyboard and Language Settings in McAfee/SafeBoot Encryption

Evesdropping in airports…

July 15, 2009 1 comment

I was flying this week between offices, and being travel-bored and a nosy so-and-so I zeroed in on an extremely loud conversation taking place between a fellow traveler and what must had been his Bangalore helpdesk.

A typical situation, middle aged gent in a sports jacket and slacks, reasonable shoes though needing cleaning, expensive watch etc. Blackberry glued to the side of his face, Glass of airport Merlot on the table. Read more…