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Content posted in March 2009
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Conficker's Real Threat
Commentary  |  3/31/2009  | 
Conficker is a real problem, but the world won't end on April Fool's Day. Here's why.
Final Hours Remain To Remove Conficker
Commentary  |  3/31/2009  | 
Whether this worm lives up to some of the hype as the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it, or proves to be a minor annoyance -- you're better off getting it off as many systems as possible. These recently updated tools help you to get that done.
Card Based SSD's
Commentary  |  3/31/2009  | 
With Texas Memory Systems' recent announcement of their RamSan-20 they have joined Fusion-io in the Flash SSD on a card market. What is interesting about these solutions is that they make SSD attractive to a whole new host of users.
Keep 'Deleted' Data From Coming Back To Haunt You
Commentary  |  3/31/2009  | 
On a typical PC, the "delete" button is a joke. Here's how to make sure you and your business don't end up as the punch line.
BorderWare: Dynamic Inspection Tackles Bad Site Explosion
Commentary  |  3/30/2009  | 
URL filters, however robust, wall off only a small per centage of malware sites and inappropriate content. How do you keep your employees -- and your business -- from being tagged by the larger universe of dangerous sites? Filtering on the fly is BorderWare's solution.
Conficker Detection: Let Me Count The Ways
Commentary  |  3/30/2009  | 
The Internet has been abuzz with information about Conficker. First, it was something along the lines of the sky is falling and will land on April 1st. Then, we were told that April 1st wasn't a big deal because nearly all of the doom and gloom prophecies from the media were about features already in Conficker. Today, we saw a mass release of updates and a couple of new tools for detecting systems alr
Conficker: Loathing the FUD and Misunderstanding
Commentary  |  3/28/2009  | 
Despite having the code to analyze, and Conficker being in its third-generation: it seems the experts really don't know what's going to happen when Conficker.C strikes on April 1.
Conficker April Fool's Attack: Hype From Hell Or Real Hellfire?
Commentary  |  3/27/2009  | 
The latest buzz about Conficker, the worm that's burrowed into millions of computers worldwide is that next Wednesday, April 1, may be it, the day the worm turns and wreaks havoc beyond belief. Emphasis on may be, as in: Maybe. Possibly. Perhaps.
Protecting Against The Politics Of Layer 8
Commentary  |  3/27/2009  | 
Discussions regarding security metrics appear nearly every other week on at least one of the mailing lists I follow. How do you measure your effectiveness as a security team, and what's the ROI of this security product? The list goes on. What I'd like to see is the number of breaches due to layer 8, specifically the political part of that "layer."
Social Networks Blurring The Line Into Citizen Journalism
Commentary  |  3/27/2009  | 
In 2006, Israel sent forces into Southern Lebanon during what is now known as the 2006 Lebanon War. Israel had security concerns about missiles harming its civilian population, but what it didn't bargain for was military citizen journalism.
Is Storage Commoditization Important?
Commentary  |  3/27/2009  | 
Is commodity storage good for the enterprise and if it is who should be delivering it? A recent post by Hitachi Data Systems, Hu Yoshida claims that I missed an important point in a recent blog that I wrote here about storage virtualization; the ability for virtualization to
Firms Taking Web App Security (More) Seriously
Commentary  |  3/26/2009  | 
Anyone in IT, who hasn't been living under a hard drive for the past decade, knows that poor application development processes have littered the Internet and corporate networks alike with trashy code that makes systems too susceptible to attack. Some companies, according to a new survey, are taking quality code more seriously.
Data Held Hostage! Ransomware Scam Wants Your Money
Commentary  |  3/26/2009  | 
A new approach to an old wrinkle in cybercrime is showing up: data held hostage. The new ransomware tactic appears to be an evolution, and an aggressive one, of the scareware fake anti-virus scam.
You Can't DeDupe IT Administration
Commentary  |  3/26/2009  | 
Primary Storage Optimization is about putting more data in the same amount of physical space. Server Virtualization is about putting more virtual servers in the same physical space. These are great advances for the data center, but they do little if anything to make the IT staff more efficient and all the cost savings may go right out the window when you have to hire more people.
DIY Forensics & Incident Response Lab
Commentary  |  3/25/2009  | 
Continuing with the do-it-yourself lab theme, let's turn to the areas of incident response (IR) and forensics, and how they can benefit from an in-house security training lab. The most detrimental attitude I've run into is, "Oh, I've been to training on product X, so I'm prepared." WRONG!
A Cloud Can Save You Money...But What If the Cloud Goes Broke?
Commentary  |  3/25/2009  | 
I've been talking quite a bit about whether or not (not) users of cloud services can prove compliance with security, privacy and e-discovery laws. (Blog piece here. Alert issue here.) Now a story at The Register has me thinking about yet another issue--the inescapable question of financial stability.
A Cloud Might Save You Money...But What If The Cloud Goes Broke?
Commentary  |  3/25/2009  | 
I've been talking quite a bit about whether or not (not) users of cloud services can prove compliance with security, privacy, and e-discovery laws. Now a story from The Register has me thinking about yet another issue -- the inescapable question of a service provider's financial stability.
DIY Pentesting Lab
Commentary  |  3/24/2009  | 
In Friday's Tech Insight, I provided arguments for creating your own internal security lab and some of the benefits to both the business and the IT security professionals. This week, I want to provide more direction on what you'll need depending on your goal and focus of the lab. Today, we'll be looking at suggestions for security teams looking to learn more about and get their hands dirty wit
Counterfeit Software Brings More Business Problems Than Just Being Illegit
Commentary  |  3/24/2009  | 
According to Microsoft, a third of businesses have bought counterfeit software, many without knowing it. And many of those businesses have found that in addition being illegal, counterfeit programs bring both technical problems and malware.
Serious, Stealthy, Deadly BIOS Attack
Commentary  |  3/23/2009  | 
After covering IT security for well more than a decade, few new attacks scare the freckles off of my back. This persistent BIOS attack, as demonstrated by Alfredo Ortega and Anibal Sacco from Core Security Technologies is one of these new attack techniques.
Phishing Gets Automated And We're All Getting Targeted
Commentary  |  3/23/2009  | 
Phishing expeditions business and personal data are rising to record levels, with fake anti-malware campaigns alone increasing by 225% in the last six months of 2008. Password-stealing Web sites jumped 827% IN 2008. The reason? The phishers are investing in automation.
Panda: If You're Not In The Security Business Should You Be Handling Your Own Security?
Commentary  |  3/20/2009  | 
Panda Security's Managed Office Protection Security-as-a-Service outreach to small and midsized businesses includes lower cost of ownership and increased functionality. In a recent conversation, a Panda threat researcher posed a provocative question: If security isn't your core business,why are you managing your own security?
Cenzic: Top 10 Security Threats. Web Apps And Browser Lead The List.
Commentary  |  3/19/2009  | 
80% of security vulnerabilities related to the Web are applications, according to a new report from Cenzic, Inc. Chief among the vulnerable? Browsers, with Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox leading the list b a long shot.
Lowering Your Security Expectations
Commentary  |  3/19/2009  | 
The security experts on a panel presented by the Secure Enterprise Network Consortium "painted a gloomy picture of the cybersecurity landscape," according to Federal Computer Week. The reason behind this is supposedly the ever-changing computing environment and threats that make it impossible for the best solutions to stay relevant. Instead, they are "likely to remain piecemeal and temporary." Haven'
BBC Responds To Legality Issues Of Recent Tech Show
Commentary  |  3/19/2009  | 
Yesterday Nick Reynolds of the BBC directed me, as well as many other writers, to the BBC's official response to allegations that its technology show, Click, violated the U.K.'s Computer Misuse Act when it purchased and used a botnet as part of an investigative report into cybercrime.
BBC Responds To Allegations About The Legality Of Their Report
Commentary  |  3/19/2009  | 
Yesterday Nick Reynolds of the BBC directed me, and many other writers covering this story, to the BBC's official response to allegations that BBC's technology show, Click, violated the U.K.'s Computer Misuse Act when it purchased and used a botnet as part of an investigative report into cybercrime.
How Private Is Google's Cloud? And Is It Any Of The FTC's Business?
Commentary  |  3/18/2009  | 
Privacy advocacy group The Electronic Privacy Information Center has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google's security procedures and practices. Should you be more concerned about Google's lapses than you are (or should be) about any other cloud-based service?
Your Storage Has To Do More With Less, Too
Commentary  |  3/18/2009  | 
Sick of the phrase "Do more with less"? How about putting the pressure on your storage system? If you have to do more with less, it should at least carry some of the responsibility.
Authoritatively, Who Was Behind The Estonian Attacks?
Commentary  |  3/17/2009  | 
In the past couple of weeks the press has been humoring a couple of rumors about who was behind the 2007 cyberattacks against Estonia [PDF]. During these attacks, Estonia's infrastructure, which relies heavily on the Internet, nearly collapsed.
BBC Botnet Experiment IS Illegal, No Matter What They Say
Commentary  |  3/17/2009  | 
Saturday, "Click"--"the BBC's flagship technology programme"--broadcast an investigative report on cybercrime. The exciting thing about this particular program is that they purchased and used a botnet as part of their investigation. The creators of the program are under the impression that their experiment was perfectly legal, because they had
Got 15 Minutes? Get Secure: McAfee
Commentary  |  3/17/2009  | 
An hour a week is what the typical small and midsized business is able to devote to security, according to McAfee. The company's latest outreach aims to show you how 15 minutes can heighten your 24/7 security profile.
BBC Botnet Experiment IS Illegal, No Matter What They Say
Commentary  |  3/17/2009  | 
Saturday, "Click"--"the BBC's flagship technology programme"--broadcast an investigative report on cybercrime. The exciting thing about this particular program is that they purchased and used a botnet as part of their investigation. The creators of the program are under the impression that their experiment was perfectly legal, beca
Reality Check: Apple's OS X, Safari Security
Commentary  |  3/16/2009  | 
More security researchers are realizing that when it comes to Apple software security: there is no there "there."
Netbooks A Source Of Data Leaks If Not Properly Supported
Commentary  |  3/16/2009  | 
The eWeek article "Netbooks Offer Hackers Easy Access to Data" caught my eye. It's a couple of weeks old, but the message is no less clear.
Continuity Software Releases Latest Version of RecoverGuard: High Availability As Vital As Data Recovery
Commentary  |  3/16/2009  | 
In terms of business continuity, high availability of resources is as important as the ability to recover resources in the event of a disaster. Availability monitoring -- searching for gaps and inconsistencies in networks -- is at the heart of Continuity Software's latest release of RecoverGuard.
Cost-Reducing The Backup Infrastructure
Commentary  |  3/16/2009  | 
You are spending too much money on your backup infrastructure. You've built this massive infrastructure specifically to handle one task...The Full Backup. Most enterprises do their entire full backup job over the weekend so they have enough backup-window time to get the job done. We've been doing backups this way for the last 20 years, is it time for change? Could changing it rein in the costs of the backup process?
No Fooling: Conficker Set To Strike April 1
Commentary  |  3/13/2009  | 
Almost two months ago, we noted how antivirus firm F-Secure estimated that the Conficker/Downadup worm had infected nearly 9 million PCs. Today, IT management vendor CA warns that the worm has big plans for April Fools' Day.
DefCon CTF Organizers Chosen
Commentary  |  3/13/2009  | 
DefCon creator and organizer Jeff Moss (aka Dark Tangent) put out a call for proposals in late January looking for a group to design, organize and run this year's Capture the Flag (CTF) event at DefCon in Las Vegas. Late last night, Jeff announced that proposal #1, from a currently unnamed team, was chosen for DefCon 17.
7 Security Tips For Friday The 13th
Commentary  |  3/13/2009  | 
Not that you're superstitious or anything, but why not take Friday the 13th (the second in two months) as an opportunity to tighten up security procedures and remind employees that security is a matter of more than luck?
A Recession Demands Retention
Commentary  |  3/13/2009  | 
As we work our way through the current economic situation, IT staffs are faced with a variety of challenges that are in conflict: maintain or increase services levels, drive out costs and increase efficiency. One of the items that can't be neglected is retention of data. In fact, it may be more critical in tough times than in prosperous times.
Acrobat Antics Here To Stay
Commentary  |  3/12/2009  | 
Adobe has a bit of a problem on its hands, and it is sitting in a spotlight usually reserved for a company like Microsoft. Adobe is currently responsible for a vulnerability that could allow mass pwnage of the Internet. Even though the company finally released a patch for version 9 of Acrobat and Acrobat Reader, two more versions are due to be patched. In other words, this is a bug that's going
See How I Suffer For My Science?
Commentary  |  3/12/2009  | 
Today I saw two fraudulent charges on my bank account, and a few weeks ago I accidentally wiped off all of the data from my BlackBerry. Why? Because I love too much.
The Many Shades Of Green...Storage
Commentary  |  3/11/2009  | 
Green storage, or making storage more power efficient, continues to be a hot topic of discussion from storage vendors and for storage consumers. What is interesting and sometimes comical is watching vendors explain how their storage is suddenly green. Let's examine the common claims.
Crazy Patch Tuesday (And Not Because Of Microsoft, Either)
Commentary  |  3/11/2009  | 
As Microsoft's Patch Tuesdays go, this one struck me as a fairly straightforward day. Yet, what was up with Symantec and Adobe? Patch Tuesdays aren't a good day to make the jobs of IT security and operation teams any more difficult than they already are.
German Intelligence Caught Red-Handed In Computer Spying, Analysis
Commentary  |  3/11/2009  | 
According to German Web site Der Spiegel, the German foreign intelligence agency BND has supposedly been spying on computer systems around the world in the past couple of years. Everyone does it. Why not governments?
Phone-Based Authentication Helps Hunt Cybercriminals
Commentary  |  3/11/2009  | 
Two-factor authentication is the centerpiece of one of the more interesting technologies at FOSE this week, one of those "why-haven't-I-thought-of-that-before" technologies.
One (Weak) Password Is All Many Users Have, No Matter Many Strong Ones They Need: Sophos
Commentary  |  3/11/2009  | 
A new Sophos password survey shows some improvement in the the number of computer users depending on one, generally weak, password for multiple sites and purposes. Only a third or so of respondents admitted to using the same password for multiple sites. Only a third!
TRUSTe: Majority Of Small Businesses Have NO Privacy Policy
Commentary  |  3/10/2009  | 
A new survey of small businesses found that close to 60% of the 1,700 businesses polled had no privacy policy whatsoever and, according to privacy verification company TRUSTe, many of the other businesses simply grabbed their privacy policy from online sources.
Do Breach Notification Laws Work? Yes
Commentary  |  3/9/2009  | 
Apparently a good number of consumers who receive letters notifying them that their financial or credit card information has been breached are tossing the notifications without taking action. Does this mean these notices are worthless?
Hazy Forecast For Cloud Computing Forensics
Commentary  |  3/9/2009  | 
The security of cloud computing is an area I've been following at a distance because I don't currently have any clients who have seriously considered moving any of their data and services into the "cloud." Something caught my eye on Friday, however, that piqued my interest in how security and forensic investigators may handle incidents that involve data and systems in the cloud.
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