Cyberattack / Most Commented

Innovation and Cybersecurity Regulation

The market has failed to secure cyberspace. A ten-year experiment in faith-based cybersecurity has proven this beyond question. The market has failed and the failure of U.S. policies to recognize this explains why we are in crisis. The former chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission, Christopher Cox, a longtime proponent of deregulation, provided a useful summary of the issue when he said, "The last six months have made it abundantly clear that voluntary regulation does not work."... more

Revision3 and Media Defender

Lots of coverage in the last two days about a Memorial Day weekend attack that took down the servers of Revision3, an Internet video network. This story has a lot of ingredients -- P2P maneuvering, DDoS attack, copyright vs. piracy, talk of laws broken and the FBI investigating.  more

Should the Government Prepare a Preemptive Cyber-Attack?

The House Committee on Science recently held a hearing to "examine the extent of U.S. vulnerability to cyber attacks on critical infrastructure such as utility systems, and what the federal government and private sector are doing, and should be doing, to prevent and prepare for such attacks." Specific issues addressed at the hearing included whether: 1) the U.S. is able to detect, respond to, and recover from cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure; and 2) is there a clear line of responsibility within the federal government to deal with cybersecurity... more

Beware of Abandoned Domain Names in this Turbulent Time and as the Global Economy Changes

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused worldwide disruption -- for whole nations and their economies. Unfortunately, there will be some side effects for businesses. A number of brands will disappear from the streets and shelves, as businesses that fail to weather the storm will have to fold. Companies that do survive will likely focus more on their core markets, pulling brands out of higher risk, less profitable markets... more

Unexpected Behaviour Observed With DNS Root Servers After Cryptographic Change

The DNS root servers were reported by Verisign to be under unexpected attack from name servers across the Internet following ICANN's recent changes to their cryptographic master keys. more

The Economics of Hacking an Election

There have been many news stories of late about potential attacks on the American electoral system. Which attacks are actually serious? As always, the answer depends on economics. There are two assertions I'll make up front. First, the attacker -- any attacker -- is resource-limited. They may have vast resources, and in particular, they may have more resources than the defenders -- but they're still limited. Why? more

Hackers Hijack DNS Server for Cyrptocurrency Wallet BlackWallet, Over $400K Stolen From Users

Unknown hackers (or hacker) have hijacked the DNS server for, a web-based wallet application for the Stellar Lumen cryptocurrency (XLM). more

A European Perspective on the Equifax Hack: Encouraging Data Security Through Regulation

The Equifax hack is understood to have compromised the personal data of over 140 million individuals. Although recent hacks of other businesses have affected more individuals, the personal data held by Equifax is significantly more sensitive than the data compromised in other hacks and includes Social Security numbers, birth dates, current and previous addresses and driver licence details... (Co-authored by Peter Davis and Brendan Nixon.) more

Major Flaw Found in WannaCry Raises Questions on Whether it was Really a Ransomware

An extensive analysis of WannaCry seems to indicate attackers would be unable to determine which users have paid the ransom and they cannot decrypt on a per-user basis. more

Patching is Hard

There are many news reports of a ransomware worm. Much of the National Health Service in the UK has been hit; so has FedEx. The patch for the flaw exploited by this malware has been out for a while, but many companies haven't installed it. Naturally, this has prompted a lot of victim-blaming: they should have patched their systems. Yes, they should have, but many didn't. Why not? Because patching is very hard and very risk, and the more complex your systems are, the harder and riskier it is. more

IoT Devices Will Never Be Secure - Enter the Programmable Networks

Harvard Business Review just ran an interesting article on the information security aspects of Internet of Things (IoT). Based on the storyline, the smart city initiatives are doomed to fail unless the security of the IoT devices and the systems will be improved. While security of the digital society is obviously a key concern, I am not entirely convinced that relying on the security of individual devices and systems is the best course of action. more

Mitigating DDoS

Your first line of defense to any DDoS, at least on the network side, should be to disperse the traffic across as many resources as you can. Basic math implies that if you have fifteen entry points, and each entry point is capable of supporting 10g of traffic, then you should be able to simply absorb a 100g DDoS attack while still leaving 50g of overhead for real traffic... Dispersing a DDoS in this way may impact performance -- but taking bandwidth and resources down is almost always the wrong way to react to a DDoS attack. But what if you cannot, for some reason, disperse the attack? more

Trust Isn’t Easy: Drawing an Agenda from Friday’s DDoS Attack and the Internet of Things

Last week, millions of infected devices directed Internet traffic to DNS service provider Dyn, resulting in a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that took down major websites including Twitter, Amazon, Netflix, and more. In a recent blog post, security expert Bruce Schneier argued that "someone has been probing the defences of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet". This attack seems to be part of that trend. This disruption begs the question: Can we trust the Internet? more

DNS and Stolen Credit Card Numbers

FireEye announced a new piece of malware yesterday named MULTIGRAIN. This nasty piece of code steals data from Point of Sale (PoS) and transmits the stolen credit card numbers by embedding them into recursive DNS queries. While this was definitely a great catch by the FireEye team, the thing that bothers me here is how DNS is being used in these supposedly restrictive environments. more

Diving Into the DNS

If you are at all interested in how the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) works, then one of the most rewarding meetings that is dedicated to this topic is the DNS OARC workshops. I attended the spring workshop in Amsterdam in early May, and the following are my impressions from the presentations and discussion. What makes these meetings unique in the context of DNS is the way it combines operations and research, bringing together researchers, builders and maintainers of DNS software systems, and operators of DNS infrastructure services into a single room and a broad and insightful conversation. more