Adrian Lane Joining Securosis

Earlier today I had a bit of a shock when our fearless editor Chris Pepper congratulated me on our 500th post. I started this blog just under two years ago to test the waters of this whole new media thing. Much to my surprise, almost exactly a year after that I took the plunge, quit a heck of a good job, and turned Securosis into a company, not just a place for my random rants. Over that time Chris joined me as editor, and David Mortman as an occasional contributor. Today we’re taking the next big step as Adrian Lane joins me on the business side of Securosis, L.L.C. as our Senior Security Strategist. That’s right, I just officially doubled the size of our full time staff. Adrian is the former CTO of IPLocks and has a long history in the security industry as both a CTO and VP of Engineering for various companies. We met about four years ago on one of my analyst gigs, and it didn’t take long to realize that despite our different backgrounds, we shared many elements of a common vision of information centric security. Adrian’s been a frequent commenter on this blog since the start, and lives only a few miles from me just outside of Phoenix. When I found out he was on the market and thinking of moving into consulting, there was no way in heck I was going to pass on the opportunity. He has deep technical skills and an intuitive understanding of markets, product development, and the big picture. For our existing clients, Adrian is available as a resource on current contracts and for new engagements. He’ll be a regular contributor to the blog and we’re working on some new, exciting content. He previously blogged over here if you’d like to check out his other content. Prepare yourselves for the flood of juicy information-centric goodness! And did I mention he’s friends with Hoff? Yeah, we should probably hold that against him. Share:

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There Are No Safe Web Sites

I spend a reasonable amount of time writing security articles for the consumer audience over at TidBITS, never mind this site. When I talk about browser security, one of my top tips is to avoid risky behavior and “those” sites. Although that’s pretty standard advice, it’s become a load of bollocks, and I can no longer give it in good conscience. I spend a lot of time these days focusing on web application security and talking with some of the leading web app researchers like Rnake and Jeremiah Grossman. It’s increasingly obvious that a combination of cross site scripting and some more nefarious web app attacks are destroying the concept of “safe” websites. We’ve seen everything from banks, to security vendors, to advertising servers, to major providers like Google and Yahoo, fall victim to attacks where malicious content is embedded or executed in the context of the trusted sites. PayPal may make a big deal about extended validation digital certificates and colorful anti-phishing banners, yet an EV cert doesn’t do squat if the bad guy sneaks in a little malicious JavaScript and you’ve now run the nasty code in a trusted context. Today, Dark Reading ran an article on some major security sites with cross site scripting vulnerabilities. Combined with a few beers with Rsnake last week, it pushed me over the edge. These days, it’s hard to call any site trusted. Thats one reason I’ve shifted to my multi-browser/multi-operating system strategy. Realistically, I can’t tell everyone in the world to adopt my level of paranoia. In part because as bad as things are, most people aren’t suffering real damage because of it. That said, it strongly emphasizes the need not only to keep your system up to date, but to at least split browsers for financial vs. regular sites. It also strongly points to the need to change the fundamental trust model of browsers, and to push us in the security industry towards solutions like ADMP and browser session virtualization (or better yet, a combination of both). This isn’t a “the world is ending” post. It’s merely a recognition that “safe” browsing is only a partial security control these days, and one that’s losing effectiveness. We need to think about adopting new strategies before we start seeing more mass exploitation leveraging commonly trusted sites. One that transcends current browser trust models, which do little but make life easier for the smart attackers who take advantage of them. Oh yeah, and stop wasting money on EV certs. Share:

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

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 what it will look like in the years to come. As our backgrounds are both diverse and complementary, my joining Securosis will facilitate taking on additional clients and slowly expand the types of services provided. I will contribute to strategy, evaluations, architecture, and end-user guidance, as well as projects that involve more “hands-on” assistance. I will also be making contributions to the Blog on a regular basis as well. Anyway, I am really looking forward to working with Rich on a daily basis. And yes, before Amrit Williams has a chance to ask, I am a card carrying NAHMLA (North American Hoff-Mogull Love Association) member. We may even sell Polo Shirts on the web site. Share:

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