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Cyber Security

The Changing Threat Model

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Having identified what happened, the next step we must take is to re-evaluate our threat model.
Internet security is much harder than other areas because the Internet is constantly changing and user tolerance of security controls is very low. Unlike the military, we cannot order people to follow security procedures. Acceptability must be a top priority in the design of a civilian security control or it will not be used.

The SSL security mechanism used in browsers was originally designed to enable use of credit cards to buy goods from online merchants. While other applications and use cases were discussed, these were not allowed to drive requirements. Over fifteen years later, the Internet is now seen as the driving force behind a wave of popular revolts across North Africa and the Gulf. The use cases have changed and so we must revise our threat model.

In academic research the tendency is to be skeptical and suggest the least surprising cause. What matters here is not determining the actual perpetrator or the actual motive for the attack but the plausible perpetrators and the plausible motives. We do not know with certainty who the perpetrator was, it is highly unlikely that we will ever know. What matters to prevent the next attack is to identify the range of plausible perpetrators and plausible motives.

Circumstantial evidence suggests that the attack originated in Iran. The original certificate requests were received from an Iranian IP address and one certificate was installed on a server with an Iranian IP address. While the circumstances strongly suggest an Iranian connection we do not know if this is because the attacker was from Iran or because this is the conclusion the attacker intended us to make.

Circumstances also suggest that the motive of the attack was not financial. While there are certainly ways in which the attack could have resulted in a financial gain, it is hard to see how the perpetrator could have expected the attack to provide an easier, safer or more profitable return for their effort. The hard part of bank fraud is extracting money from the account. Stolen credit card numbers and bank account details are a glut on the market.

To make use of the fraudulently issued certificates, the perpetrator would have to have the ability to direct Internet users to their fake sites rather than the legitimate ones. This in turn requires control of the DNS infrastructure which requires government level resources to achieve on a large scale or for an extended period.

Taken together with other recent attacks against other targets, both reported and unreported it appears likely that this incident forms part of a pattern of attacks on Internet authentication infrastructure and that it is at least highly likely that the perpetrator(s) are highly sophisticated and government directed.

It is quite possible to explain one or another of the incidents seen as being the work of independent ‘hactivists’. But taken as a whole the pattern suggests otherwise. If we are going to successfully address this threat we must assume that our adversaries are nationally funded information engagement teams and that the resources they bear will be significant.

In order to successfully defeat such a threat however, we need to adopt a defense in depth approach. We must reinforce the Internet trust infrastructure but we must also reinforce the means by which applications interact with it. The underlying weakness exposed here is the fact that gaining a fraudulent server credential allows an attacker to obtain end user access credentials. We need to make it more difficult for an attacker to obtain a fraudulent server credential, but we also need to address the underlying weaknesses in the applications and services that use them.

Efforts to reinforce the Internet trust infrastructure were already underway before this particular attack was discovered and these will be explained in the next post. In the post following that I will look at measures to address the underlying cause.

TEST YOUR EMAIL SECURITY GET YOUR INSTANT SECURITY SCORECARD FOR FREE Source: https://blog.comodo.com/other/the-changing-threat-model/

Cyber Security

Airgain unveils extended portfolio of 5G OMNIMAX Dipole series antennas for M2M and IoT apps

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Airgain announced the release of its OMNIMAX Next Dipole antennas, the latest addition to Airgain’s 5G product portfolio designed to deliver ultra-wideband connectivity for 5G NR sub-6GHz IoT and M2M applications.

The OMNIMAX Next Dipole series includes 5G NR sub-6GHz products for low profile and shock resistant outdoor applications, including “salt shaker” style antennas, indoor dipole “paddle” antennas, and outdoor “candlestick” dipole antennas.

Each product is designed to blend into the environment, with flexible mounting options while providing ultra-wideband connectivity for virtually any indoor or outdoor cellular module, modem, or gateway. The 5G ready OMNIMAX Next Dipole series provides future-proof performance, with backward compatibility from 5G to 4G and 3G global frequency bands.

“Supporting sub-6GHz 5G, particularly the lower bands approaching 600MHz, is challenging for the form factors of these products,” said Kevin Thill, Airgain’s Senior Vice President of Engineering.

“These antennas achieve excellent broadband performance without compromising the form factor, while outperforming competing solutions that we have seen in the market today. These antennas feature a unique and patent pending Coplanar Waveguide feed, which is key to enabling the ultra-wideband performance in the given form factors.

“We are excited to offer the expansion of our product portfolio of 5G ready antennas designed to accommodate wider bandwidth requirements demanded by 5G. The OMNIMAX Next Dipole series provides a cost-effective solution while delivering dependable quality.”

Building on Airgain’s antenna design expertise of CENTURION Next, the industry’s first 9-in-1 5G and Wi-Fi 6 fleet antenna, the OMNIMAX Next Dipole series includes 617 MHz to 6 GHz wideband cellular 5G support. OMNIMAX Indoor Dipole Next, OMNIMAX Outdoor Dipole Next, and M2M SN Next are available through our trusted channel partners or direct at 1-855-AIRGAIN.

Source: https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2020/07/09/airgain-omnimax-next-dipole-antennas/

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Cyber Security

You Are The Weakest Link

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Tom Finan on human imperfection and cyber security culture




A craftsman never blames their tools. It is not the systems  that ultimately fail cyber security professionals- it’s the people. Insider threats do abound but more often than malfeasance, misfeasance is the key to a breach. It wasn’t the firewall that failed Capitol One, it was a misconfiguration. Tom Finan dives in on culure vs. strategy quoting both Peter Drucker and…Barbara Streisand.  

Episode Overview

Covid 19 has changed 2020 in unprecedented ways in how we work, live our lives, and measure Cyber Risk. Listen to Episode #141 of Task Force 7 Radio as the Cyber Growth Leader from Willis Towers Watson, Tom Finan and Co-Host Andy Bonillo dive into how the “Cyber Security Superheroes” are working together to manage the human element during the pandemic. As claims data shows, effective Cyber Risk prevention and mitigation is largely a people problem. In response, companies need to assess and analyze the elements of their cultures that shape both positive and negative cyber attitudes and behaviors that makes the human element one of the largest risks to a company.

Listen Now

Source: https://www.cshub.com/executive-decisions/articles/you-are-the-weakest-link

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Cyber Security

Axio360 platform to provide holistic view and identify financial impact of risk for Archer’s clients

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Axio announced a strategic partnership with cybersecurity consulting firm Archer. This partnership will merge Archer’s expertise in critical infrastructure protection with the Axio360 platform and allow clients to measure cyber risk exposure in financial terms and manage their cybersecurity program from a holistic point of view.

The Axio360 platform will assist Archer’s clients in identifying cyber risks across business units and threat vectors that may not have previously been considered. The platform estimates all-in costs of exposure and evaluates how specific controls and mitigations will reduce risk.

“The Axio platform was built to fundamentally redefine how organizations solve cybersecurity problems. Our intention is to enable business-centric decision-making by putting the risk in financial terms,” said Brendan T. Fitzpatrick, Senior Vice President of Channels & Partnerships for Axio.

“Our operating system aligns all key constituents and delivers clarity in real-time. This partnership with Archer allows our software to make critical infrastructure safer and more secure.”

“This partnership allows our asset owners to receive tailored recommendations from Axio and our dedicated team. For the first time, our clients will be able to measure their cybersecurity program and benchmark it across their industry peers,” stated Patrick C. Miller, Managing Partner for Archer.

“This collaboration will help the overall assessment and understanding of cybersecurity risk for critical infrastructure.”

Axio360’s methodology and software empowers organizations to continuously answer the four most critical questions for cyber risk:

  • What’s my exposure in financial terms?
  • How should I manage my cyber program?
  • Do I have the financial ability to recover?
  • Where should I invest?

Source: https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2020/07/09/axio-archer/

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