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Showing posts from November, 2011

National Public Radio Talks Chinese Digital Espionage

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When an organization like National Public Radio devotes an eleven minute segment to Chinese digital espionage, even the doubters have to realize something is happening. Rachel Martin's story China's Cyber Threat A High-Stakes Spy Game is excellent and well worth your listening ( .mp3 ) or reading time. Rachel interviews three sources: Ken Lieberthal of the Brookings Institution, Congressman Mike Rogers (chairman of the House Intelligence Committee), and James Lewis from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. If you listen to the report you'll hear James Lewis mention "a famous letter from three Chinese scientists to Deng Xiaoping in March of 1986 that says we're falling behind the Americans. We're never going to catch up unless we make a huge investment in science and technology." James is referring to the so-called 863 Program (Wikipedia). You can also read directly from the Chinese government itself here , e.g.: In 1986, to meet t

Dustin Webber Creates Network Security Monitoring with Siri

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Dustin Webber just posted a really cool video called Network Security Monitoring with Siri . He shows how he uses his iPhone 4S and SiriProxy to interact with his Snorby Network Security Monitoring platform. The following screenshot shows Dustin asking "Can you show me what the last severity medium event was?" and Siri answering. Later he asks Siri to tell him about "incident 15": Near the end Dustin asks Siri if she likes Network Security Monitoring: This is just about the coolest thing I've seen all year. Ten years ago I thought it was cool to listen to Festival read Sguil events out loud -- now Dustin shows how to interact with a NSM platform by voice command. Amazing! Tweet

Trying NetworkMiner Professional 1.2

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Erik Hjelmvik was kind enough to send an evaluation copy of the latest version of his NetworkMiner traffic analysis software. You can download the free edition from SourceForge as well. I first mentioned NetworkMiner on this blog in September 2008 . NetworkMiner is not a protocol analyzer like Wireshark. It does not take a packet-by-packet approach to representing traffic. Instead, NetworkMiner displays traffic in any one of the following ways: as hosts, frames, files, images, messages, credentials, sessions, DNS records, parameters, keywords, or cleartext. To demonstrate a few of these renderings, I asked NetworkMiner to parse the sample pcap from a sample lab from TCP/IP Weapons School 2.0 . I did not need to install it; the software starts from a single executable and loads several DLLs in the associated directory. The following screen capture shows information from the Hosts tab, showing what NetworkMiner knows about 192.168.230.4. Notice that in addition to summarizin

Thoughts on 2011 ONCIX Report

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Many of you have probably seen coverage of the 2011 ONCIX Reports to Congress: Foreign Economic and Industrial Espionage . I recommend every security professional read the latest edition (.pdf). I'd like to highlight the key findings of the 2011 version: Pervasive Threat from Adversaries and Partners Sensitive US economic information and technology are targeted by the intelligence services, private sector companies, academic and research institutions, and citizens of dozens of countries. • Chinese actors are the world’s most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage. US private sector firms and cybersecurity specialists have reported an onslaught of computer network intrusions that have originated in China, but the IC cannot confirm who was responsible. • Russia’s intelligence services are conducting a range of activities to collect economic information and technology from US targets. • Some US allies and partners use their broad access to US institutions to

Tao of Network Security Monitoring, Kindle Edition

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I just noticed there is now a Kindle edition of my first book, The Tao of Network Security Monitoring: Beyond Intrusion Detection , published in July 2004. Check out what I wrote in the first paragraphs now available online. Welcome to The Tao of Network Security Monitoring: Beyond Intrusion Detection. The goal of this book is to help you better prepare your enterprise for the intrusions it will suffer. Notice the term "will." Once you accept that your organization will be compromised, you begin to look at your situation differently. If you've actually worked through an intrusion -- a real compromise, not a simple Web page defacement -- you'll realize the security principles and systems outlined here are both necessary and relevant. This book is about preparation for compromise, but it's not a book about preventing compromise. Three words sum up my attitude toward stopping intruders: prevention eventually fails . Every single network can be compromised, eith

Why DIARMF, "Continuous Monitoring," and other FISMA-isms Fail

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I've posted about twenty FISMA stories over the years on this blog, but I haven't said anything for the last year and a half. After reading Goodbye DIACAP, Hello DIARMF by Len Marzigliano, however, I thought it time to reiterate why the newly "improved" FISMA is still a colossal failure. First, a disclaimer: it's easy to be a cynic and a curmudgeon when the government and security are involved. However, I think it is important for me to discuss this subject because it represents an incredible divergence between security people. On one side of the divide we have "input-centric," " control-compliant ," "we-can-prevent-the-threat" folks, and on the other side we have "output-centric," "field-assessed," "prevention eventually fails" folks. FISMA fans are the former and I am the latter. So what's the problem with FISMA? In his article Len expertly discusses the new DoD Information Assurance Risk

SEC Guidance Emphasizes Materiality for Cyber Incidents

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Senator Jay Rockefeller and Secretary Michael Chertoff wrote the best article I've seen yet on the CF Disclosure Guidance: Topic No. 2, Cybersecurity issued by the SEC last month in their article A new line of defense in cybersecurity, with help from the SEC : Managing cybersecurity risk has always been, and always will be, in large part a private sector responsibility... Until recently, this responsibility may have been unclear — or unknown — to the directors and officers of publicly traded companies. But on Oct. 13, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued groundbreaking guidance to clarify companies’ disclosure obligations about material cybersecurity risks and events. Federal securities law has long required publicly traded companies to report “material” risks and events — that is, information that the average investor would want to know before making an investment decision. But before the SEC’s action, many companies were not aware how — or perhaps even if — this dut