With your background with Information Operations and cyber security, what would you advise the new U.S. Cyber Command? What should their priorities be?
I've written a lot on cyber command over the years. I believe their first priority is to create a real career path for cyber operators. Tools, tactics, and procedures are secondary to attracting and retaining talent. You can accomplish amazing feats if you have the right butts in the seats. Without that, you are guaranteed to fail. Part of that will involve identifying all of the people with cyber duties in the military. Once they have that part working, I would advise Cyber Command to think in terms of a Cyber NORAD.
Five years from now the Verizon Data Breach Report 2014 is published. What trend will be the "big red dot" in 2014? What will be your biggest surprise?
To clarify, the "big red dot" of 2009 was the huge number of records stolen by external parties, far exceeding internal intruders.
This is a really good question. I never see a future where insiders are more dangerous than outsiders. By insiders I mean people formally associated with an organization, e.g., employees, contractors, etc. Outsiders are people who are not formally associated with an organization. Insiders will remain capable of individual large incidents, but outsiders will continue to conduct repeated large and small incidents.
I will be really surprised if IPv6 is changing the way businesses operate in 2014. I think we may see internal business operations (like carrier networks) using IPv6, but I don't think we'll see a substantial user base for IPv6 by 2014. If that is not true I will be surprised.
What do you know about public/private partnerships to leverage known command and control servers? Is there any way for a CIRT to avoid third party notification by performing proactive detection?
There's a few options here. One is to join the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST). FIRST maintains a private mailing list that shares information among members. Another option is to look for private associations among peer businesses. A third idea is to make contact with the many volunteer and commercial security intelligence services organizations, including The Shadowserver Foundation, Support Intelligence, Secure Science, iDefense, and many others.
With the questions answered, I'd like to say I thought Summit organizer Rob Lee did a great job (again) keeping the event moving smartly. Kris Harms, Harlan Carvey, Jamie Butler/Peter Silberman, and Brendan Dolan-Gavitt all delivered great talks. The two user panels I saw (I missed the third) were also excellent.
I wanted to record a few tricks that Kris offered so I don't forget them.
- Use the PsTools handle.exe app and grep for "pid\:" in the output to see a different sort of process list.
- Grep handle.exe output for "Mutant" to see mutexes.
- Pay attention to digital signature output in autorunsc.exe, particularly for results that are not signed and/or not verified; and signed but verification failed. Check hashes against fileadvisor.bit9.com.
- Remember to teach junior analysts a methodology, like:
- Determine if compromised.
- Develop investigative leads.
- Build a timeline.
- Determine how compromised.
- Suggest remediation measures.
- Assess impact of compromise.
While listening to the speakers, it was clear to me the differences between three communities:
- Intrusion detectors and responders
- Computer forensics investigators
- Litigation support and ediscovery investigators
I thought this slide by Jess Garcia from One eSecurity showing one practitioner's opinion on the variety of forensics tools was interesting.
I still need to try MANDIANT Audit Viewer. Jamie Butler and Pete Silberman noted that since MANDIANT Memoryze uses live analysis to access the Windows page file, they don't run into issues found when trying to combine a dead page file with a memory capture.
I'm looking forward to next year! If you do IR, you should try to be there.
Richard Bejtlich is teaching new classes in Las Vegas in 2009. Late Las Vegas registration ends 22 July.