The Sochi Olympics open Friday. Islamist groups in the Caucasus continue to circulate threats of large-scale cyber attacks, but none have yet been reported.
Israeli authorities remain mum over Seculert's report that some IDF machines had been hacked. In Turkey, RedHack protests the government with attacks on telecom providers.
GameOver Zeus is now being encrypted to bypass perimeter defense systems.
Researchers repeat warnings of a "brewing" cross-platform Java denial-of-service exploit.
Windows XP, as everyone knows, is to be retired this spring, with security support ending in April. Unfortunately its usage increased last month, and it remains in widespread use as an ATM and point-of-sale operating system. Users (and especially their customers) are advised to look to their security.
Last week's attack on Yahoo highlights risks of reusing credentials, prompting fresh consideration of identity management.
As Target's CFO prepares to testify before a US Congressional committee on the retailer's recent data breach, security deficiencies are reported in the company's Red Card.
Hotel management company White Lodging is investigating a possible data breach.
Microsoft and the Bank of England independently call for more cyber security collaboration. (Legal, regulatory, and commercial pressures will combine to put a premium on anonymous information sharing.)
IBM may be mulling selling its software-defined networking unit. Dell is said to be considering layoffs. The fate of Kodak's patent portfolio offers lessons on IP valuation. Microsoft has its new CEO.
"Zero-knowledge" proof techniques may have crypto implications.
The East West Institute calls for an international nuclear cyber security regime.
Today's issue includes events affecting Canada, China, European Union, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyz Republic, Netherlands, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Nations, United Kingdom, United States, and Uzbekistan..
Cyber Break-in @ IDF(Huffington Post) According to a report by the private security firm Seculert, 15 Israeli defense computers were hacked and taken over by an aggressor. The cyber attack went on for several days
GameOver Zeus now uses Encryption to bypass Perimeter Security(CyberCrime and Doing Time) The criminals behind the malware delivery system for GameOver Zeus have a new trick. Encrypting their EXE file so that as it passes through your firewall, webfilters, network intrusion detection systems and any other defenses you may have in place, it is doing so as a non-executable ".ENC" file. If you are in charge of network security for your Enterprise, you may want to check your logs to see how many .ENC files have been downloaded recently
Java Bot Attacks Any OS(Industrial Safety and Security Source) There is a malicious Java application brewing designed to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks from infected computers across any platform. Whether it is running Windows, Linux or a Mac, it has the capability to do burrow in and continue causing problems
Target CFO to face Congress today over data breach(Virginia Gazette) The vast scope of the hacking into the networks of Minneapolis-based Target during the holiday shopping season has raised the stakes for data security discussion in Congress, with numerous lawmakers now weighing in
Breached Target trails in card security, report says(NBC News) It's just something we take for granted—the company that gives us a credit card will do everything possible to prevent and detect the fraudulent use of that card. But, it seems, that's not always the case
Hewlett-Packard Depresses Us Some More on the State of Cybersecurity(Bloomberg BusinessWeek) At least one organization can take heart at reading this year's HP Security Research Cyber Risk Report, and that's the National Security Agency. The vast, and growing, vulnerability in the software that companies deploy in their businesses, highlighted by today's study, makes the spy agency's job a lot easier. For the rest of us, it's depressing
Why collaboration is the only way to combat cyber threats(ComputerWeekly) Cyber threats are now the most effective way to attack an organisation and the fact is that those with malicious intent are finding ever more sophisticated ways of carrying out their activities. According to the Bank of England's Financial Stability Report, 25% of banks perceive cyber attack as a major risk
Defense contractors say Snowden has changed their security practices (CSO Salted Hash) According to a new study from ThreatTrack Security, based on responses from 100 IT/InfoSec managers working for defense contractors here in the U.S., security posture and general practices have changed in the defense community thanks to the actions of Edward Snowden
Security breaches, data loss and outages cost U.S. hospitals $1.6B(Help Net Security) A new MeriTalk report, based on a survey of healthcare IT executives and underwritten by EMC, quantifies the organizational cost associated with security breaches, data loss, and unplanned outages for healthcare providers, at more than $1.6B a year
Research and Markets: Critical Infrastructure Protection Market to Grow 10% Over 5 Years(Executive Mosaic) A new survey by Research and Markets forecasts the critical infrastructure protection market to grow double digits over the next five years. The "Critical Infrastructure Protection: Global Advancements, Market Forecasts & Analysis 2013-2018" report seeks to highlights countries' efforts to build up defenses against disruption of assets in event of a terrorist attack
Security, Gangnam style(SC Magazine) Welcome to the Gangnam area of Seoul, South Korea — one of trendiest and most expensive neighborhoods in all of Asia. Here you'll find opulent homes, high-end shops and posters of Gangnam's most famous son: Korean pop singer Psy (yes, the guy that dances like he's riding a horse). In Gangnam, it's not hard to track down a good restaurant or a $2,000 suit. But look closer and you'll find an agency called Korean Information Technology Research Institute (KITRI) that is training some of Asia's most elite cyber security warriors
FIS to Serve as Cybersecurity Research Partner with Department of Homeland Security(Wall Street Journal) FIS™ (NYSE: FIS), the world's largest provider of banking and payments technology, has reached an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a cybersecurity research partner. Under the partnership, which is intended to improve the security of financial transactions worldwide, FIS will collaborate with DHS and the U.S. federal government to address and respond to cyber threats to the global financial industry and critical infrastructure
Northrop Grumman Awarded United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team Contract(Wall Street Journal) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has been awarded a contract by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide operational services to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). This single award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract is for five years and is valued at up to $350 million
Jacobs Technology Provides Information Assurance(SIGNAL) Jacobs Technology, Inc., Lincoln, Mass., has been awarded a $10,657,764 modification (P00019) on an existing cost-plus-fixed -fee and cost-reimbursable contract (FA8721-13-C-0006) to continue providing engineering technical assistance support services, which consists of disciplined systems/specialty engineering and technical/information assurance services, support, and products using established government, contractor, and industry processes
Rumor Has It Dell Is Planning To Lay Off 15,000 Employees(TechCrunch) Layoff rumors are rarely happy news and this is particularly unhappy: the Register is reporting that sources have told them that Dell is laying off 15,000 employees this week, almost 15% of its 108,000-employee workforce. This move comes after an already substantial round of layoffs in January. Dell would not comment on the story
Skills in demand: Information assurance professionals(SC Magazine) As has been the trend, 2014 will usher in new U.S. government regulations, particularly surrounding compliance. Changes to existing acts, along with several new ones, will require certain types of data to be properly obtained, managed, and, most importantly, secured. With this influx of amended and new rules to follow, paired with the ever-present challenges organizations across all industries face to stay in front of threats to sensitive information, there is also an expected increase in the need for information assurance and security program management professionals
Android security app test results(ZDNet) Independent test lab AV-TEST has released their latest results for Android security products. We bring you the results for detection, features, and system impact
Verdasys Introduces Digital Guardian Endpoint Enforcer at FireEye Momentum Partner Conference(Digital Journal) Today, Verdasys introduced the Digital Guardian Endpoint Enforcer, a lightweight, easy to deploy and cost effective data protection solution for endpoints. Announced at the FireEye Momentum partner conference, the Digital Guardian Endpoint Enforcer makes malware alerts from the FireEye Threat Protection Platform immediately actionable on endpoint devices. The new solution is now available for deployment as a managed service or on premise solution
Accuvant Partners with Qualys to Launch Continuous Vulnerability Management Service(Wall Street Journal) Accuvant, the Authoritative Source for information security, today announced the immediate availability of its new Vulnerability Management Service (VMS), the latest innovative offering in its managed services portfolio. VMS combines elements of Qualys' industry-leading QualysGuard Cloud Platform with Accuvant's advanced security expertise and methodologies, providing enterprise-level organizations with a continuous vulnerability scanning and validation service. It enables enterprise organizations to outsource a critical function while ensuring protection so they can focus on other important aspects of their business
Anonymisation Standard for Publishing Health and Social Care Data(NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care) The law pulls in two opposite directions. Human Rights and Data Protection legislation, along with our domestic common law duty to respect confidentiality, require us to protect information that could identify an individual. The Freedom of Information Act requires public authorities to release information about their activities, and this message is reinforced by the government's transparency agenda (although that policy cannot override a public authority's legal duty to protect personal and confidential data)
Attack Attribution and the Internet of Things(Cisco Blogs) On January 16, 2014, Proofpoint discussed a spam attack conducted via "smart devices which have been compromised." Among the devices cited by Proofpoint as participating in the "Thingbot" were routers, set-top boxes, game consoles, and purportedly, even one refrigerator. Of course, news about a refrigerator sending spam generates considerable media attention, as it should, since an attack by the Internet of Things (IoT) would represent a high-water mark in the evolution of (in)security on the Internet. However, soon after Proofpoint's post, Symantec published a response indicating that IoT devices were not responsible for the spam attack in question, and the machines behind the spam attack were all really just infected Windows boxes. So why is determining the identify of the devices used in this spam attack so difficult
A solution for fixing hijacked Chrome settings(Help Net Security) Many users — if not all — have experienced downloading a free screensaver or game without looking at the small print and consequently getting their browser unwittingly saddled with an unwanted toolbar, add-on or homepage
CSEC Surveillance Analysis of IP and User Data(Schneier on Security) The most recent story from the Snowden documents is from Canada: it claims the CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada) used airport Wi-Fi information to track travelers. That's not really true. What the top-secret presentation shows is a proof-of-concept project to identify different IP networks, using a database of user IDs found on those networks over time, and then potentially using that data to identify individual users. This is actually far more interesting than simply eavesdropping on airport Wi-Fi sessions. Between Boingo and the cell phone carriers, that's pretty easy
Cryptography Apps: How To Keep Your Personal Info Private(Notebook Review) If anyone had insisted a year ago that there was a giant government warehouse in Utah that was poring through every electronic communication sent from around the world, from text messages to emails to web traffic, they would be accused of having paranoid delusions. Now in 2014, though, it's yesterday's news
Cryptography Breakthrough Could Make Software Unhackable(Wired) As a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, Amit Sahai was fascinated by the strange notion of a "zero-knowledge" proof, a type of mathematical protocol for convincing someone that something is true without revealing any details of why it is true. As Sahai mulled over this counterintuitive concept, it led him to consider an even more daring notion: What if it were possible to mask the inner workings not just of a proof, but of a computer program, so that people could use the program without being able to figure out how it worked
A Field Study of Run-Time Location Access Disclosures on Android Smartphones(Rutgers University) Smartphone users are increasingly using apps that can access their location. Often these accesses can be without users knowledge and consent. For example, recent research has shown that installation-time capability disclosures are ineffective in informing people about their apps' location access. In this paper, we present a four-week ﬁeld study (N=22) on run-time location access disclosures. Towards this end, we implemented a novel method to disclose location accesses by location-enabled apps on participants' smartphones. In particular, the method did not need any changes to participants' phones beyond installing our study app
Legislation, Policy, and Regulation
Russia Wants to Have Special Cyber Defense Units by 2017(Softpedia) A Russian senior military commander has revealed that the government wants to create special cyber warfare units by the year 2017. The role of these special units will be to defend the country's cyberspace, particularly critical infrastructure of the armed forces
A Measure of Restraint in Cyberspace: Reducing Risk to Civilian Nuclear Assets(East West Institute) Today, the Internet's unprecedented economic and societal benefits and the vibrancy of global commerce are endangered by three influences: political and economic pressures (including trade protectionism, concerns about domestic stability and anger about surveillance), security concerns (threats to critical infrastructure, cyber-enabled crime and a growing cyber arms race), and the absence of effective national and international cyberspace governance institutions
NSA Leaks May Slow Cybersecurity Detente(Gnomes National News Service) Mistrust about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs will likely slow progress between the U.S. and other nations on agreements to cooperate on cybersecurity
Lawfare Podcast Episode #60: Wherein We Talk to DNI General Counsel Robert Litt(Lawfare (h/t IC on the Record)) Robert Litt, the general counsel to the director of national intelligence, has emerged as one of the administration's point men on response to the Snowden revelations, the defense of the intelligence community, and reform of intelligence authorities. In the wake of the President's NSA speech, he stopped by the Brookings Institution on Monday to discuss implementation of the President's proposed reforms—and a variety of other matters arising from the Snowden disclosures
The Man Who Would Be King of Cyber(Intercepts) Vice Adm. Michael Rogers is slated to be the most powerful man in the world, at least as far as the cyber domain is concerned, in March when he talks the reins from Gen. Keith Alexander and becomes the man in charge at the National Security Agency (NSA) and US Cyber Command
Top tech firms release new data on NSA spy requests(NBC News) Freed by a recent legal deal with government lawyers, major technology firms released new data Monday on how often they are ordered to turn over customer information for secret national security investigations — figures that show that the government collected data on thousands of Americans
NSA Targets Yahoo Users Most(Wall Street Journal) New data released Monday by tech industry leaders shine new light on how many consumers get caught up in the National Security Agency's surveillance programs
Tech Firms Criticize Policies on Security Requests(Wall Street Journal) Technology companies including Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. released new figures on the amount of data requests they received from U.S. intelligence agencies, while taking a more combative stance about the federal government's overhauled snooping policies. The shift in tone by some Silicon Valley companies showed that President Barack Obama's administration still hasn't addressed many of the industry's major concerns as it attempts
Spying Fears Abroad Hurt U.S. Tech Firms(Wall Street Journal) Revelations about the National Security Agency's eavesdropping on electronic communications have given governments overseas an opening to restrict U.S. technology companies, which some foreign politicians have depicted as too compliant with or complicit in the spying. Germany's new governing coalition has issued a policy document that includes a call for using more technology developed in Europe, as well as open-source software
FTC Testifies on Data Security Before Senate Banking Subcommittee(TMC) The Federal Trade Commission issued the following news release: In testimony before a U.S. Senate Banking subcommittee, the Federal Trade Commission updated Congress on the agency's ongoing efforts to promote data security through civil law enforcement, education, and policy initiatives
Reforming the legal definition of "covert action"(Washington Post: The Volokh Conspiracy) The Hoover Institution's Task Force on National Security and Law has been running an essay series on its blog, The Briefing, "Secrecy and Accountability in the Digital Age." (Introductory post by Peter Berkowitz, Hoover senior fellow and Task Force chair.) Most of the essays (written by Task Force members, of which I'm one) are about surveillance, big data, NSA, the FISA court, etc. My contribution, by contrast, returns the debate over secrecy, accountability, and oversight issues to where it was before Edward Snowden sent it into an argument over data collection
Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement
Klayman asks Supreme Court to hear NSA case(Politico) The conservative legal activist who won the first court ruling questioning the legality of the National Security Agency's massive phone-call tracking database is asking the Supreme Court to short circuit the normal appeals process and take up the case directly
The Wyden-Clapper affair — a parable(Washington Post: The Volokh Conspiracy ) The press is still after James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, for his statements in response to a question from Sen. Wyden (D OR) in March of last year. Wyden asked whether NSA was collecting data on millions of Americans, clearly talking about the then-undisclosed telephone metadata program. "Not wittingly," Clapper responded, sliding into a discussion of the rules for inadvertent overseas collection of data about Americans
A Son of Liberty(Harvard Crimson) Edward Snowden deserves his country's thanks—and the president's clemency
As Cyber Crime Matures, More Hacked Accounts Expected(Forbes) Last week's arrest of Russian bank hacker extraordinaire Aleksander "SpyEye" Panin doesn't mean online bank accounts are suddenly safer. Not that anyone thought they were. Bank fraud is here to stay and the guys behind it — many of them Russsian — are multiplying and becoming more savvy
For a complete running list of events, please visit the Event Tracker on the CyberWire website.
Cyber Training Forum at NGA(Springfield, Virginia, USA, February 4, 2014) The 2014 Cyber Security Training Forum (CSTF) will take place at the NGA East Campus in Springfield, VA. This event is designed to provide education and training to the NGA Workforce, the Intelligence...
U.S. Department of Commerce Technology Expo(, January 1, 1970) Department of Commerce is interested in hearing from you! The OCIO Office is specifically looking for speakers on Vulnerability Management and Implementation of Continuous Monitoring. Please contact...
Cyber Security 2014(, January 1, 1970) The threats and the opportunities conference brings together over 150 business leaders, senior decision makers, business development managers and IT professionals from across the whole defence and security...
Security Analyst Summit 2014(Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, February 9 - 13, 2014) The Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit (SAS) is an annual event connecting anti-malware researchers and developers, global law enforcement agencies and CERTs and members of the security research community.
FBI HQ Cloud Computing Vendor Day(, January 1, 1970) As part of its FAR mandated market research efforts and in order to keep FBI employees informed of new products, technologies and services available in the industry, ITED has been tasked with organizing...
Free OWASP Training and Meet Up(San Francisco, California, USA, February 24, 2014) OWASP is hosting a special security boot camp for all conference-goers: RSA Conference, Bsides SF, and TrustyCon as well as local developers. The training is recommended for developers who want to learn...
RSA Conference USA(San Francisco, California, USA, February 24 - 28, 2014) Hundreds of game-changing interactions will give you an unparalleled diversity of industry insight and information based on best practices, real implementation stories, and detailed case studies. Each...
Nellis AFB Technology & Cyber Security Expo(, January 1, 1970) For over 12 years, the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA) - Las Vegas Chapter and FBC have been co-hosting the Annual Information Technology Expo at Nellis AFB. As was the case...
Cloud Expo Europe(, January 1, 1970) Cloud Expo Europe covers everything from hybrid cloud to software defined networks and data centres, from open source cloud to IaaS, from security and governance to cloud applications and from complex...
Suits and Spooks Security Town Hall(, January 1, 1970) Privacy versus Security: An Informed Debate and Discussion to Raise Industry Awareness. Taia Global and our sponsoring companies are hosting our first Suits and Spooks Security Town Hall at the Ritz Carlton...
Trustworthy Technology Conference(, January 1, 1970) Join us for the first Trustworthy Technology Conference, to be held on 27 February 2014 at the AMC Metreon Theatre in San Francisco, California. We welcome all security researchers, practitioners and citizens...
Creech AFB Technology & Cyber Security Expo(, January 1, 1970) The Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA) - Las Vegas Chapter, with support from the 432d Wing, will host a Cyber Security Awareness Day & Technology Expo at Creech AFB. This is...
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