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Apple, Security, and Trust

By Rich
Before I delve into this topic I’d like to remind readers that I’m a Mac user and Apple fan. We are a 2 person, 2 Mac, 3 iPod, 2 Airport Express household, with another Mac in the plans this spring. By the same token I don’t think Microsoft is evil and consider some of their products to be quite good. That said I prefer OS X and have no plans to switch to Vista, although I’ll probably run it in a virtual machine on my Mac. What I’m about to say is in the nature of protecting, not attacking,

Are Phishers Getting Lazy?

By Rich
I’ve noticed a marked decrease in the customer service from my phishers. Lately spam messages have been originating from “On-line Bank” and other generic addresses. Spelling mistakes are returning, and links no longer even pretend to go to a real bank’s site. Where’s the customer service guys? What’s wrong- is my business no longer important to you? Can’t you even make the effort to personalize your fraudulent messages and entice me with your ever-so-mangled, yet poetic, use of English? Phishing must be big business these days because, like other big businesses, they no longer seem

Data Protection- it’s More than A + B + C

By Rich
Stiennon covered the McAfee/Onigma deal over at Threat Chaos this weekend. Although I knew about the deal I try and avoid vendor/industry coverage here at Securosis, and, to be honest, it really isn’t worth covering. (Onigma is tiny and agent based, not really the direction the market is heading, and by the time McAfee integrates the tech they’ll be WAY behind the ball). But Richard does make an interesting statement; defining data protection as leak prevention + encryption + device management. It’s a reasonable start, but far too narrow. For the past 5 years I’ve covered data

The Real Definition of a Zero Day

By Rich
Shimel has a good post on the whole 0day vulnerability thing. He nails it. This has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time. A real 0day isn’t the time from when a vulnerability is announced until a patch is released. A real zero day is a vulnerability no one knows about except those who discovered it. A zero day exploit is an attack against a non-public, unknown vulnerability. A real zero day is bad juju. It slices through any signature based security defenses since there’s no known signature. If it’s on a common port,

Microsoft Partially Caves to Symantec and McAfee.

By Rich
Microsoft is making key changes to Vista to avoid antirust problems. They’re adding an API to PatchGuard, and loosening control on the Security Center. From the ZDNet article: In another change, Microsoft had planned to lock down its Vista kernel in 64-bit systems, but will now allow other security developers to have access to the kernel via an API extension, Smith said. Additionally, Microsoft will make it possible for security companies to disable certain parts of the Windows Security Center when a third-party security console is installed, the company said. … Microsoft will provide a way to ensure that Windows

Those Kooky Kids

By Rich
While I was out running around the country, turns out there was an interesting security article in my own backyard. Seems the local school system can’t keep up with those innovative students exploring their network. A students was caught after hacking a teacher’s computer to steal a copy of an upcoming test. “As a parent, I think it’s kind of scary all the technology, because the kids know more than we do,” she said. “They have different lines of communication compared to when we were growing up.” Haug added that it’s unfortunate that a student smart

Security and Risk Management Are Lovers; Don’t Mistake Them for Twins

By Rich
I’m on the plane heading back home from Symposium and have to admit I noticed a really weird trend this week. Maybe not a trend per se, but something I haven’t heard before, and I heard it more than once. In two separate one on one meetings clients told me they’d reorganized their security teams and were now calling them “risk management”. No security anymore, just risk management. I’m a big proponent of risk management. I even wrote a framework before it was cool (the Gartner Simple Enterprise Risk Management framework if you want to look

McKeay’s Right- There’s Always Someone Smarter

By Rich
Martin McKeay has a great addition to my post on experts. I’d like to add one point to this: There’s always going to be someone who knows more about the subject than you do. I don’t care how good you are, somewhere there’s someone who understands what you’re working on better than you do He’s right. Really right. I just want to know who the heck that guy at the end of the chain is. Probably some monk in the mountains with a metaphysical relationship to the OSI model.

Cybercrime- You Can’t Win Only With Defense

By Rich
I picked up the ever-ubiquitous USA Today sitting in front of my hotel room door this morning and noticed an interesting article by Jon Swartz and Byron Acohido on cybercrime markets. (Full disclosure, I’ve served as a source for Jon in the past in other security articles). Stiennon over at Threat Chaos is also writing on it, as are a few others. About 2-3 years ago I started talking about the transition from experimentation to true cybercrime. It’s just one of those unfortunate natural evolutions- bad guys follow the money, then it takes them a little bit of

Enterprise DRM- Not Dead, Just in Suspended Animation

By Rich
I just finished up my last of 4 presentations here in Orlando and am enjoying a nice PB&J and merlot here in my room. Too much travel really kills the taste buds for hotel food. Today’s presentation was on data security; the area I’ve been focusing on during my 5 years as an analyst. And when you talk about data security you have to talk about DRM. Enterprise DRM is quite different from consumer DRM, even if they both follow the same basic principles. One of the biggest differences being enterprise DRM is focused on reducing the risk
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