Talking Head Alert: Mike on Phishing Webcast

If you have nothing better to do tomorrow at 2 pm EDT, and want to learn a bit about what’s new in phishing (there is a lot of it, but that’s not new) and how to use email-based threat intelligence to deal with it, join me and the folks from Malcovery Security on a webcast tomorrow. I will be covering the content in the Email-based Threat Intelligence paper, and the folks from Malcovery will be sharing a bunch of their research into phishing trends. It should be an interesting event, so don’t miss it… You can register now. Share:

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Incite 6/12/2013: The Wall of Worry

Anxiety is something we all deal with on a daily basis. It is a feature of the human operating system. Maybe it’s that mounting pile of bills, or an upcoming doctor’s appointment, or a visit from your in-laws, or a big deadline at work. It could be anything but the anxiety triggers our fight or flight mechanisms, causes stress, and takes a severe toll over time on our health and well being. Culturally I come from a long line of worriers. Neuroses are just something we get used to, because everyone I know has them (including me) – some are just more vocal about it than others. I think every generation thinks they have it tougher than the previous. But this isn’t a new problem. It’s the same old story, although things do happen faster now and bad news travels instantaneously. I stumbled across a review of a 1934 book called You Can Master Life, which put everything into context. If you recall, 1934 was a pretty stressful time in the US. There was this little thing called the Great Depression, and it screwed some folks up. I recently learned my great-grandfather lost the bank he owned at the time, so I can only imagine the strain he was under. The book presents a worry table, which distinguishes between justified and unjustified worries and then systematically reasons why you don’t need to worry about most things. For instance it seems this fellow worried about 40% of the time about disasters that never happened, and another 30% about past actions that he couldn’t change. Right there, 70% of his worry had no basis in reality. When he was done he had figured out how to eliminate 92% of his unjustified fears. So what’s the secret to defeating anxiety? What, of this man, is the first step in the conquest of anxiety? It is to limit his worrying to the few perils in his fifth group. This simple act will eliminate 92% of his fears. Or, to figure the matter differently, it will leave him free from worry 92% of the time. Of course that assumes you have rational control over what you worry about. And who can really do that? I guess what works best for me is to look at it in terms of control. If I control it then I can and should worry. If I don’t I shouldn’t. Is NSA surveillance (which Adrian and I discuss below) concerning? Yes. Can I really do anything about it – beyond stamping my feet and blasting the echo chamber with all sorts of negativity? Nope. I only control my own efforts and integrity. Worrying about what other folks do, or don’t do, doesn’t help my situation. It just makes me cranky. They say Wall Street climbs a wall of worry, and that’s fine. If you spend your time climbing a similar wall of worry you may achieve things, but it will be at great cost. Not just to you but to those around you. Take it from me – I know all about it. To be clear, this is fine tuning stuff. I would not ever minimize the severity of a medical anxiety disorder. Unfortunately I have some experience with that as well, and folks who cannot control their anxiety need professional help. My point is that for those of us who just seem to find things to worry about, a slightly different attitude and focus on things you can control can do wonders to relieve some of that anxiety and make your day a bit better. –Mike Photo credit: “Stop worrying about pleasing others so much, and do more of what makes you happy.” originally uploaded by Live Life Happy Heavy Research We are back at work on a variety of blog series, so here is a list of the research currently underway. Remember you can get our Heavy Feed via RSS, where you can get all our content in its unabridged glory. And you can get all our research papers too. API Gateways Security Enabling Innovation Security Analytics with Big Data Integration New Events and New Approaches Use Cases Introduction Network-based Malware Detection 2.0 The Network’s Place in the Malware Lifecycle Scaling NBMD Evolving NBMD Advanced Attackers Take No Prisoners Quick Wins with Website Protection Services Deployment and Ongoing Management Protecting the Website Are Websites Still the Path of Least Resistance? Newly Published Papers Email-based Threat Intelligence: To Catch a Phish Network-based Threat Intelligence: Searching for the Smoking Gun Understanding and Selecting a Key Management Solution Building an Early Warning System Implementing and Managing Patch and Configuration Management Incite 4 U Snowing the NSA: Once again security (and/or monitoring) is front and center in the media this week. This time it’s the leak that the NSA has been monitoring social media and webmail traffic for years. Perhaps under the auspices of a secret court, and perhaps not. I believe Rob Graham’s assessment that the vast majority of intelligence personnel bend over backward to protect citizen’s rights. But it is still shocking to grasp the depth of our surveillance state. Still, as I mentioned above, I try not to worry about things I can’t control. So how did Edward Snowden pull off the leak? The NY Times has a great article about the gyrations required by reporters over a 6-month period to get the story. A Rubik’s Cube? Really? Snowden came clean, but they would have found him eventually – we always leave a trail. Another interesting link regarding the situation is how someone social engineered the hotel where Snowden was staying to get his room number and determine that he already checked out. If you want to be anonymous, probably beter not to use your real name, eh? – MR Present Tense: As someone who has been blogging on privacy for almost a decade, I am surprised by how vigorous public reaction has been to spying on US citizens via telecom carriers. When Congress and the senate granted immunity to telecoms for spying on users back in 2008, was it not obvious that Corporate entities are now the third party data harvester, and government

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