Risk
1/26/2010
11:57 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Global CIO: After Google Cyber Attack, CIOs Must Find The Body

The Aurora attacks from China are incredibly advanced and malicious, says McAfee's CTO: "Where's the body?"

Saying that "the world has changed" since the Chinese began their cyberattacks under the name Operation Aurora, McAfee CTO George Kurtz said CIOs need to adapt their threat models "to the new reality of these persistent threats." But these latest attacks are making it hard for CIOs to make their case to the CEO because the post-Aurora threats are almost undetectable. They leave no evidence. They leave no body.

Writing on McAfee's "Security Insights Blog," Kurtz described this latest challenge for CIOs in chilling terms in a post called "Where's The Body?":

Global CIO
Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

I know many of the technical teams are working around the clock to figure out what happened. While one might believe that it should be a relatively straightforward exercise of forensically examining the infected systems and correlating any activity with the associated firewall log files, it isn't that easy.

You may ask, "Why is that?" Well, there are three key questions that upper management, namely the CEO and CIO, ask before they rate this incident above "media hype."

1. Did we have a breach?

2. Was data stolen?

3. If so, what data was taken and by whom?

The problem, Kurtz says, is that today's cyberattacks are so sophisticated that they do great damage without leaving a trace, which leads to "one major problem that seems to be a common theme. There is no body to be found."

And without that body—the data—the CEO and CIO won't necessarily believe there's an urgent issue because in the past, all serious security threats came with a very obvious body included at no extra charge, Kurtz says.

The new challenge: "While a sophisticated attacker will leverage insidious malware, don't expect them to drive a truck through your network and leave a calling card on the way out," Kurtz writes. "Instead, expect low and slow movements of data that 'blend' into the massive amount of traffic flow that happens on a daily basis on your network."

In another recent blog post, Kurtz had described the threats and, again, painted a scary picture. And while I realize he's a high-level executive at a company that would love to sell you some security products and services to stave off such attacks, Kurtz's writing has always impressed me as straightforward and honest. So here's more of his description of the Aurora threat from a recent post called "Google Attack Is Tip Of Iceberg":

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-3304
Published: 2014-10-30
Directory traversal vulnerability in Dell EqualLogic PS4000 with firmware 6.0 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via a .. (dot dot) in the default URI.

CVE-2013-7409
Published: 2014-10-30
Buffer overflow in ALLPlayer 5.6.2 through 5.8.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) and possibly execute arbitrary code via a long string in a .m3u (playlist) file.

CVE-2014-3446
Published: 2014-10-30
SQL injection vulnerability in wcm/system/pages/admin/getnode.aspx in BSS Continuity CMS 4.2.22640.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the nodeid parameter.

CVE-2014-3584
Published: 2014-10-30
The SamlHeaderInHandler in Apache CXF before 2.6.11, 2.7.x before 2.7.8, and 3.0.x before 3.0.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a crafted SAML token in the authorization header of a request to a JAX-RS service.

CVE-2014-3623
Published: 2014-10-30
Apache WSS4J before 1.6.17 and 2.x before 2.0.2, as used in Apache CXF 2.7.x before 2.7.13 and 3.0.x before 3.0.2, when using TransportBinding, does properly enforce the SAML SubjectConfirmation method security semantics, which allows remote attackers to conduct spoofing attacks via unspecified vect...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.