What a wild, wacky, crazy week. I have a funny suspicion a lot of stock brokers and investors are scraping together their spare change for some major liquid escapes this weekend. As a small business we haven’t felt the impact yet, but we are keeping a close eye on things and preparing to adjust our strategy as needed. Security deals are definitely slowing- we sense an impending rush of acquisitions, and a general feeling of nervousness. The need for security never goes away, but if you aren’t making plans to protect yourself through this crisis, you might go away. Someone responded to a Twitter post of mine that this will be over before the next president takes office; I can’t possibly imagine that happening.
Meanwhile, we watched the usual spectacle of the Presidential debate. Since I already know who I’m voting for, I’m not sure why I watch them at all. Like NASCAR, I suppose I don’t want to miss out when someone smashes into the wall and bursts into flames. On the security front, this week we saw more clickjacking details emerge, Apple release a security update, the World Bank get totally pwned, and Symantec make a major acquisition at a good multiple. But don’t get too excited; we also know a lot of investors pushing early exits at low multiples to save what they can. I don’t mean to focus so much on the finance side of the security world, but I think we’re going to see it bleed into our daily operations as the vendor landscape shifts around.
Over here at Securosis central I continued to geek out and work on our infrastructure. We may be small, but we’re trying to set up some cool collaboration tools to support us as we grow. For you other small business types, the wiki/blog/calendar/mail group integration of OS X Server works surprisingly well, although I don’t think it would be my first choice for an external web server. I just wish it would index documents attached to the wiki. I also ordered a Drobo for our backups and I’ll let you all know how it works.
Oh- and on my run yesterday I saw two coyotes in the park near our house watching me. Very cool.
Webcasts, Podcasts, and Conferences:
- Martin and I have started broadcasting the Network Security Podcast live as we record it. In episode 123 (my luggage combination!) we talk about electronic voting, China spying, and clickjacking.
- If you didn’t catch it in the October print edition of Macworld, here’s the online version of the firewall article I coauthored with Chris Pepper.
- I wrote an article on mobile phone networks for TidBITS that made the front page of Slashdot. I think it’s about the 6th time I’ve hit the front page this year, which is pretty wacky. The TidBITS server had a massive failure unrelated to the Slashdot load right after the article was linked (oops).
- I was quoted over at Dark Reading on the license changes to Metasploit 3.2. I know I wrote that quote, but reading it now it comes off strangely ambiguous. For the record, I think it’s a great change that will really drive some interesting things in the pen testing software world.
- Adrian and I were invited by Jeremiah Grossman to a lunch event here in Phoenix with his company (WhiteHat Security) and F5. It was nice to finally get a demo of the F5/WhiteHat integration (WhiteHat generates dynamic WAF rules on the F5 box to block validated vulnerabilities; it’s pretty cool). Jeremiah also showed us his clickjacking code/demo. I almost wondered if I downplayed it too much after seeing it at work. On the bad side, some slimeballs from a local ISP decided to show up, enjoy a free lunch, and proceed to hit up every single one of us there as their personal sales prospects. I pretended I was out of business cards, but they snagged one of Adrian’s so he’ll get the call. Talk about low.
Favorite Securosis Posts:
- Rich: Clickjacking Details, Analysis, and Advice. I tried to put some context around it, and talk about the overall impact. Direct from Rsnake is some advice on limiting the exploit.
- Adrian: Symantec Buys MessageLabs. Symantec pays a hefty price, but they land a leader in SaaS email security and fill out their messaging security portfolio.
Favorite Outside Posts:
- Adrian: I had trouble naming any single post my favorite for the week. There was a most shocking, a scariest, a most depressing and a most sadly illuminating. I am going with the illuminating look into the minds of Sequoia Capital and their reactions to the current financial crisis. This should look a lot like the tech crash of 2001, and frankly, I hope this information was conveyed to their portfolio companies 9-12 months ago as the window to react has passed.
- Rich: Gunnar Peterson’s Innovators, Imitators, and Idiots. Just a great post that I need to blog about more fully later.
- The World Bank is seriously compromised. We need a new word for pwn.
- Apple releases a big OS X security update.
- Asus ships EEE PCs infected with a virus. Good job guys.
- ATM skimmers now include a wireless modem for SMS messages. The bad guys increase their embedded devices skills.
Blog Comment of the Week:
Christophe’s comment on My “Policies, Plans, and Procedures” post:
Alas, I work in a former communist country where people were used to signing awful things, and hide whatever they did from upper eyes. I sure have an agreement, signed by all users, stating their responsibility, but that means almost nothing to them.
Time for happy hour with some of out local financial analyst friends. Smart guys who are doing well through this mess, so we plan on getting them loaded and sucking up the advice.