We’re All Gonna Get Hacked

Kelly at Dark Reading posted an interesting article today, based on a survey done by BT around hacking and penetration testing. I tend to take most of the stats in there with a bit of skepticism (as I do any time a vendor publishes numbers that favor their products), but I totally agree with the first number: Call it realism, or call it pessimism, but most organizations today are resigned to getting hacked. In fact, a full 94 percent expect to suffer a successful breach in the next 12 months, according to a new study on ethical hacking to be released by British Telecom (BT) later this week. The other 6% are either banking on luck or deluding themselves. You see, there’s really no difference between cybercrime and normal crime anymore. If you’ve ever been involved with physical security in an organization, you know that everyone suffers some level of losses. The job of corporate security and risk management is to keep those losses to an acceptable level, not eliminate them. It’s called shrinkage, and it’s totally normal. I have no doubts I’ll get hacked at some point, just as I’ve suffered from various petty crime over the years. My job is to prepare, make it tough on the bad guys, and minimize the damage to the best of my ability when something finally happens. As Rothman says, “REACT FASTER”, and as I like to say, “REACT FASTER AND BETTER”. Once you’ve accepted your death, it’s a lot easier to enjoy life. Share:

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The Network Security Podcast, Episode 149

It’s been a bit of a strange week on the security front, with good guys hacking a botnet, a major security vendor called to the carpet for some vulnerabilities, and yet another set of Adobe 0days. But being Cinco de Mayo, we can just margarita our worries away. In this episode we review some of the bigger stories of the week, and spend a smidge of time pimping for a (relatively) new site started by some of our security friends, and a new project Rich is involved with. Network Security Podcast, Episode 149, May 5, 2009 Time: 34:08 Show Notes: The Social Security Awards video is up! Yet more Adobe zero day exploits. Now it’s just annoying. McAfee afflicted with XSS and CSRF vulnerabilities. Torpig botnet hijacked by researchers. New School of Information Security blog launched. Project Quant patch management project seeking feedback. Tonight’s Music: Wound up Tight by Hal Newman & the Mystics of Time Share:

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Spam Levels and Anti-Spam SaaS

I was reading the Network World coverage last night of the McAfee Spam Report stating spam rates were down 20%. While McAfee’s numbers are probably accurate, my initial reaction was “Bull$#(&”, because I personally am not seeing a drop in spam. If the McAfee report, as well as Brian Krebs’ posts, show the totals are down, why am I getting a lot more spam, increasing weekly to the point where I am becoming actively annoyed again? I was wondering how much was due to the launch of the new Securosis web site, which was the ‘cat and mouse’ cyclical changing of spam techniques, and how much was an anti-spam provider not keeping up. I spent a couple of hours last night combing through Postini alerts, my internal junk folder, and the deleted spam that had made it to my inbox. What I found was a linear progression from the time we started with Postini until now, with increasing rates getting caught by my internal spam filter, and a corresponding linear increase getting into the Inbox. Not sure why I allowed this to capture my efforts on Cinco de Mayo, especially considering I have developed a really good margarita recipe that deserved some focused appreciation, but hey, I have no life, and the article grabbed my interest enough to go exploring. Anyway, I think that Postini is just falling behind the curve. We switched over September of 2008. My email address was broadcast when I joined Rich last July and I was surprised that there was not more spam. When we added the Postini service, no spam was getting through for a while, and every evening I would get my Postini status digest of the one or two spam messages it had intercepted. I still get these, and the digest always shows 1-2 emails captured. However, I am getting several dozen in my internal spam folder and another 15-20 in my inbox. And it is the old school blatant “Bank of Nigeria” and “Lottery Winner ” stuff that is sneaking in. Even the halfway well-executed Citibank/Chase/BofA Security alert phishing attempts are getting caught my my personal filters, so how in the world is this stuff getting through Postini? This is not the 97-99% percent blockage that I talked about in the past, and customers have reported to me. I just did a survey 9 months ago and it may already be out of date. It’s time to make a change. The beauty of spam filtering as SaaS is that we can change without pain. I am on the lookout for a 10 seat SaaS anti-spam plan. Got recommendations? I would love to hear them. Share your advice and I will share my margarita recipe. Share:

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