Blog - Author Posts

ATM PIN Thefts

By Adrian Lane
The theft of Citibank ATM PINs is in the news again as it appears that indictments have been handed down on the three suspects. This case will be interesting to watch, to see what the fallout will be. It is not still really clear if the PINs were leaked in transit, or if the clearing house servers were breached. There are a couple of things about this story that I still find amusing. The first is that Fiserv, the company that operates the majority of the network, is pointing fingers at Cardtronics Inc. The quote by the Fiserv representative “Fiserv

Database Connections and Trust

By Adrian Lane
Your Web application connects to a database. You supply the user name and password, establish the connection, and run your query. A very simple, easy to use, and essential component to web applications. The database itself has very little awareness of where the application that made the connection is located. It does not necessarily know the purpose of the application. It may or may not know the real user who is using that connection. It’s not that it cannot, it is just typically not programmed to do so. It is at the beck and call of the application and

Pink Slip Virus 2008

By Adrian Lane
This is a very scary thing. I wrote a blog post last year about this type of thing in response to Rich’s post on lax wireless security. I was trying to think up scenarios where this would be a problem, and the best example I thought of is what I am going to call the “Pink Slip Virus 2008”. Consider a virus that does the following: Once installed, the code would periodically download pornography onto the computer, encrypt it, and then store it on the disk. Not too much, and not too often, just a few pictures or small videos.

Code Development and Security

By Adrian Lane
How do we know our code is bug free? What makes us believe that our application is always going to work? Ultimately, we don’t. We test as best we can. Software vendors spend a significant percentage of their development budget on Quality Assurance. Over the years we have gotten better at it. We test more, we test earlier, and we test at module, component, and system levels. We write scripts, we buy tools, we help mentor our peers on better approaches. We do white box testing, we do black box testing. We have developers write some tests. We have

Separation of Duties/Functions & SQL Injection

By Adrian Lane
In a previous post  I have noted that ultimately SQL Injection is a database attack through a web application proxy, and that the Database and the associated Database Administrators need to play a larger part in the defense of data and applications. I recommended a couple steps to assist in combating attacks through the use of stored procedures to help in input parameter validation. I also want to make additional recommendations in the areas of separation of duties and compartmentalization of functions. Most of the relational database platforms now provide the ability to have more than one DBA role. This

The Rumor Is True ... I’m Joining Rich At Securosis.

By Adrian Lane
Believe it or not, I’m going to work with Rich Mogull at Securosis. Worse yet, I’m excited about it! On the outside looking in, Rich and I have dissimilar backgrounds. I have been working in product development and IT over the last ten years, and Rich has been an analyst and market strategist. But during the four years I have known Rich, we have shown an uncanny similarity in our views on data security across the board. We are both tech guys at the core, and have independently arrived at the same ideas and conclusions about security and
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