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Policy Review: Botnets are eWMD, electronic Weapons of Mass Destruction

The latest issue of Policy Review from the Hoover Institution, a public policy research center -- focused on advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy -- has an essay titled eWMDs – electronic weapons of mass destruction. The Policiy Review readers are warned that botnets should be considered a serious security problem and that "cyber attacks present a grave new security vulnerability for all nations and must be urgently addressed." more

Good Internet Hygiene During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We are all aware of the steps for mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19): Wash your hands; Practice social distancing; Report exposure.But these are not the only activities to practice right now. Cyber-criminals are taking advantage of this health crisis and the emotional upheaval it creates to perpetrate their crimes. Therefore, we also need to exercise good internet hygiene. In a time of crisis or tragedy, bad actors don't slow down; their efforts amplify. more

Cyber Threats Accelerate: 94% of Web Browser Exploits Occur Within 24 Hours of Disclosure

Today X-Force, IBM's security research and development arm, released its 2008 Midyear Trend Statistics report that indicates cyber-criminals are adopting new automation techniques and strategies that allow them to exploit vulnerabilities much faster than ever before. The new tools are being implemented on the Internet by organized criminal elements, and at the same time public exploit code published by researchers are putting more systems, databases and ultimately, people at risk of compromise. more

ICANN67 Round-Up

This past meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), ICANN67, was intended to be held in person in Cancun, Mexico, but was actually the first meeting to be held entirely online and virtually. It was a well-managed affair with fewer sessions than the in-person meetings and less opportunity for the community to convene and meet as individuals. The last-minute change from an in-person to a virtual meeting impacted ICANN's ability to provide translation services for the full set of UN-supported languages, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. more

Cameras, DVRs Used for Massive Cyberattack on French Hosting Company and Others

"Hackers infect army of cameras, dvrs for massive internet attacks," reports Drew Fitzgerald in the Wall Street Journal. more

Recursive DNS and You

In the world of DNS, there are two types of DNS servers, 'recursion disabled' and 'recursion enabled'. Recursion disabled servers, when asked to resolve a name, will only answer for names that they are authoritative for. It will absolutely refuse to look up a name it does not have authority over and is ideal for when you don't want it to serve just any query. It isn't, however, very useful for domains you don't know about or have authority over... more

Dish Network Confirms Network Outage Was a Cybersecurity Breach Impacting Customers and Employees

The satellite television provider, Dish Network is currently dealing with a cybersecurity incident that has affected its internal networks, customer support systems, and websites such as boostinfinite.com and dish.com. It is currently investigating the incident and has confirmed certain data was extracted from its IT systems as a result. more

Study Finds Spain Most Bot-Infected Country, Sweden Among Least Infected

According to a recent security report, Spain and the United States are the leading countries when comes to bot-infected computers. Based on data compiled from October by PandaLabs, the research arm of Panda Security, an alarming 44.49% of computers in Spain are infected with bots and United States -- a long way behind -- at 14.41%, followed by Mexico 9.37% and Brazil 4.81%. Countries least infected include Peru, the Netherlands and Sweden, all with ratios under 1 percent. more

Microsoft Data Suggests 1 Out of Every 14 Downloads is Malware

Microsoft Program Manager, Jeb Haber, reports in a blog post that from browser data collected on user downloads, 1 out of every 14 programs downloaded is later confirmed as malware. Haber says: "Consumers need information to make better decisions. That said, IE9 adds another layer of defense against socially engineered attacks that now looks at the application being downloaded -- this is in addition to the URL-based protection described above. This new layer of protection is called SmartScreen Application Reputation." more

NIS 2.0 and Its Impact on the Domain Name Ecosystem

I recently appeared on the 419 Consulting podcast to discuss the European Union's NIS 2.0 Directive and its impact on the domain name ecosystem. I encourage all TLD registries, domain name registration service providers, and DNS operators to listen to the recording of that session which Andrew Campling has made available. more

U.S. Slammed as Major Host for Cybercrime

While Russia and Ukraine are generally regarded as today's main cybercrime hubs, "a lot of their infrastructure is housed in the west, in the United States to be precise," writes Vincent Hanna of Spamhaus Project. "Without exception, all of the major security organizations on the Internet we know of agree that the 'Home' of cybercrime in the western world is a place known as Atrivo/Intercage. We ourselves have not come to this conclusion lightly but from many years of dealing with criminal operations hosted by Atrivo/Intercage, gangs of cybercriminals -- mostly Russian and East European but with several US online crime gangs as well -- whose activities always lead back to servers run by Atrivo/Intercage..." more

Security Researchers Uncover Cyber Espionage Network Invloving 103 Countries

A report released over the weekend by Information Warfare Monitor along with an exclusive story by the New York Times, revealed a 10-month investigation of a suspected cyber espionage network (dubbed GhostNet) of over 1,295 infected computers in 103 countries. 30% of the infected computers are labeled as high-value targets, including ministries of foreign affairs, embassies, international organizations, news media, and NGOs. Greg Walton, editor of Information Warfare Monitor and a member of the Toronto academic research team that is reporting on the spying operation, writes... more

Schneier: “Someone Is Learning How to Take down the Internet”

"Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet," wrote renowned security expert, Bruce Schneier, in a piece published in Lawfare. more

Security Against Election Hacking - Part 2: Cyberoffense Is Not the Best Cyberdefense!

State and county election officials across the country employ thousands of computers in election administration, most of them are connected (from time to time) to the internet (or exchange data cartridges with machines that are connected). In my previous post I explained how we must audit elections independently of the computers, so we can trust the results even if the computers are hacked. more

EU and US Carry Out First Joint Cyber Security Exercise

The first joint cyber security exercise between the EU and US is being held today in Brussels, with the support of the EU's cyber security Agency ENISA and the US Department of Homeland Security. The day-long table-top exercise, named "Cyber Atlantic 2011", is using simulated cyber-crisis scenarios to explore how the EU and US would engage each other and cooperate in the event of cyber-attacks on their critical information infrastructures. more