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Showing posts from 2009

Today's Security Variety

I've recently come across a few security related items of interest that I thought might be useful to everyone. 1. Shodan - a fairly robust internet search engine that can be used to identify specific products and interfaces. From the site: "SHODAN lets you find servers/ routers/ etc. by using the simple search bar up above. Most of the data in the index covers web servers at the moment, but there is some data on FTP, Telnet and SSH services as well. Let me know which services interest you the most and I'll prioritize them in my scanning." 2. Social Media Governance - a site with resources targeted at organization's use of social media. This includes a list of companies such as Walmart, BBC and U.S. Airforce and their social media policies. 3. Wired Story on 9/11 Pager Texts - Looks like Wired is following the wikileaks break of millions of pager messages supposedly captured during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This will be interesting t

TLS Renegotiation Vulnerability

As many of you have already heard, there was a very serious vulnerability discovered in the TLS protocol that is used across the general internet to secure many many forms of communication, from the browser used to access banking online, to the protocols used to secure messaging servers. The vulnerability itself is a design weakness found in the protocol's ability to renegotiate the encryption used in a session after a long-standing connection. Here is a good write-up and links to some other information regarding the issue. Stay tuned on this though - and expect many many patches and work-arounds to be issued by vendors.

RBS Worldpay Reading

Here are a few links from a few of the sites that are discussing the details of the RBS Worldpay hack. Veracode SOURCE Conference Cybercrime and Doing Time Helpnet Security News I'm going to try to find out more and maybe provide some additional analysis of how this hack seems to follow the same MO as the other credit/debit hacks.

Evil Maid and the Challenges of Full Disk Encryption

Joanna and the crew over at Invisible Things have posted a tool to demonstrate how trivial it is to circumvent full-disk encryption products. Evil maid requires that you have access to the machine and can boot it using a usb-stick with the software installed. It then is able to transparently record the user's passphrase for the disk. This is another example of how full-disk encryption products need to be architected carefully to ensure that problems like this can be considered and controls put in place to avoid them.

NIST SMB Security Guide - Steps in the Right Direction

NIST has published an excellent draft guide on the basics of information security without throwing the users over the deep end. It seems to address the "certainties" of security risks, and provide very basic methods of addressing them, without being too product focused. It is likely, although it will depend on the organization, that SMB's will need to work through this to understand how their current practices compare to this guidance, and figure out the most effective ways to address any short falls. I would encourage all security professionals to give the guide a read and provide Richard with comments on improvements to make this guide as helpful as possible. Just don't be like Gartner's Adam Hills and post a critique before the standard is published.

Mandating Protection, Society and Seatbelts

There are a number of discussions happening regarding the differences in risk based security vs compliance based security. These mostly have grown from discussions around PCI and other imposed standards of control. My opinion is that risk and compliance are two necessary actions. Agusto, over at securitybalance blog is the latest to discuss the merits of compliance based security. I share his opinion that creating prescriptive measurable requirements goes a long way to improve the security of a large number of organizations. This is a given - I compare this other compliance programs like laws regarding the use of seat belts in automobiles. They exist because it is better to protect everyone to the same level of protection than it is to measure the specific protections required based on the roads that are being driven on that day, or the specific use of the vehicle, etc. What this doesn't mean is that there isn't some degree of risk management being performed - its just th

Simple and Free File Examination

I know many people that despise running multiple version of desktop antivirus. One of these programs us usually enough to drop performance to a crawl. For those careful people who like to validate suspect files you get there is a great service VirusTotal . This service works by accepting uploaded files from users, then running them through a series of tests and virus scanning engines, currently 41 different ones to be exact. This makes it extremely useful for gauging how to treat that questionable email attachment. It manages to do this by making hashes of the files that get uploaded then instead of using additional CPU cycles by scanning duplicate files, just matches the hash then returns the information to the user. The other really cool part is that it provides detailed file information as well by analyzing the file's actual structure. Someone sends you a .jpg - but really it contains windows executable code ready to infect your machine. Find out what PE information, file

Gonzalez, Toey - Ringleaders?

It appears that there are a number of sources that are questioning the indictment of Gonzalez as a ring-leader such as the NY Times . I agree that Gonzalez is wrongly accused as the “ring-leader” of the operation - but for different reasons. 1. Gonzalez is likely just a low level carder (one who gathers and sells credit and debit card information), and one that was once on the secret service payroll to infiltrate the carder network. No different than other junkies that break into cars to steal ID information for drug money, but he just happened to use a more efficient method. SQL injection and wifi-sniffing are not very sophisticated attacks - nor was Albert’s MO - including leading a very lavish and noisy personal life. He used ICQ to chat with other affiliates and didn’t try to hard to protect information related to his wrong-doings. 2. The eastern European individuals named in the indictment appear to be MUCH more sophisticated as they organize the processes of converting the stolen

Albert Gonzalez aka soup Nazi - 130M Records?

So it looks like the same suspect has been charged with both of the biggest credit card theft/fraud cases in history. Albert Gonzalez aka "segvec," "j4guar17" and "soup Nazi". Who is this man behind these crimes? What was the motivation behind the crime? What kind of training did this guy have? What kind of MO was used? 2 Russian accomplices? Who are these guys? Secret Service Informant? - There must have been a more detailed file on this guy? So many questions so little available information? If anyone has more credible information on this guy I would be very interested to hear more. This story appears to have legs... Wikipedia Page Update 1: Stephen Watt aka “Jim Jones” and “Unix Terrorist.” happened to be one of the unfortunate ones who associated himself with Albert - without any of the financial benefit however. Wired Story . Here is also a link to a page with his bio from Phrack magazine . Update 2: Here is link to the google docs version

Ineffective Laptop Recovery Software + Whitelisted Persistent BIOS Rootkit = Fail!

Following up their bleeding edge research on bios resident malware at CanSecWest the ultra-smart guys (Alfredo and Sacco) from CoreSecurity have disclosed a significant issue with the laptop recovery software LoJack. I have debated the effectiveness of laptop recovery software many times arguing that its cost does not justify the recovery of the hard asset (how much is laptop hardware worth vs the cost of recovery). But now this is even worse - by having this BIOS resident software installed (or pre-installed in an estimated 60% of new laptops - Lenovo, HD, Gateway, Dell, Toshiba) there is a significant exposure to having the LoJack software modified by someone malicious. Compounding this issue is the fact that the software is already white-listed by virus vendors meaning there would be no way to prevent or detect it from occurring. Its a bit ironic when security software exposes its paying users to much more risk that it addresses. "Get it. And get it back - twice as bad."

PCI Compliance - Brand Fines Changing?

Looks like there is some rumors related to the payment brands changing their policies on fines levied on non-compliant merchants. Branden's security convergence blog is reporting changes to MasterCard's fine schedules for varying levels of merchant.

Top 10 Botnets

An interesting article was posted describing the today's top ten botnets and summary information describing there characteristics. The interesting thing is where conficker showed up (10th) and the percentage of these botnets whose criminal purpose is to collect valuable and sensitive information (1/10). Looks like most of these are intended to provide control - and then be capable of what ever the controller wishes.

Twitter Hack - Techcrunch Ethics

There is a real storm of activity after documents which were gained through a hack of a Twitter employee's google apps account. Over at Techcrunch a heated debate over the ethics and newsworthiness over the public posting of the actual data that was ill-gotten is beating down the site's editors. While it might be entertaining to voice opinions on people ethics regarding the outing of the actual information, I think the real story is the lapse in security of the Twitter employee. A bad, guessable password was used to protect access to very sensitive internal data - but this raises an important point regarding the use of Google apps or any other easily accessible service. It really shouldn't take an incident like this for companies to get these types of simple protections over their information. If there is risk related to disclosure of the information - make sure you have it protected.

Anti-virus Statistics - Motivations

In a study completed and published by Avira ( ) The results of the survey showed that for 34 percent (3,207 respondents) a long-established, trustworthy brand was key. Almost as many users, 33 percent (3,077 respondents), based their decision on the virus detection rates achieved in independent tests. Detection rates - lets call this effectiveness of the control - as this is the key metric used to measure effectiveness. This is a skewed metric as for the large majority of evaluations (ICSALabs, VB100, etc) use the "in-the-wild" or ITW list of viruses to perform the evaluations. There is no evaluation of these product's ability to respond or even detect newly released virus and malware. In all honesty really what we are dealing with here is preventative vulnerability management not virus detection and correction, and in my opinion there are four types of preventative protections required f

White-hat Budgeting

In response to his recent black-hat budget post I commented on what Richard has also described he would spend the 1 mil$ on in defense. Ends up that it doesn't buy you much - Although I agree with his approach to spend the cash on people and their ability to use the tools they already have access to. I would take a slightly different perspective on the problem however. The 1$ million dollars is not just spent in one place but spent multiple times in defense of the black-hat team as they can target multiple organizations, i.e. the same team can move from target to target without spending any additional money, and force multi-millions of dollars in defense in multiple companies. The other reality is that the defense is not just defending against one black-hat team but the potential for multiple black-hat teams. My opinion is that like the black-hat teams, the defense should target the amount of money spent on the defense based on the potential loss of the information (or availabil

Mobile Device Protection - Is this not standard practice yet?

Anyone need any more reasons to avoid situations regarding the loss of sensitive information on mobile devices? Dell has released the results of a study looking into actual data regarding lost mobile devices.

Blackhat Economics - Are you feeling safe today?

Just want to point people over to a great blog post over at TaoSecurity - Black hat budgeting . This is an excellent article which starts to examine the economic factors related to attacking and protecting information. Thinking in this way really puts some perspective on the security budget that people spend on attempting to protect information. Long story short - if you don't think or don't know if bad guys are targeting you - find out (what information are you protecting and why?), and if the bad guys are targeting you - you should be thinking this way.

New HTTP Flooding Tool - Apache Default Configuration

As application layer vulnerability research keeps driving forward, the guys over at keep blasting out lots of good stuff. This time its slowloris which is essentially an HTTP denial of service attack on certain types of web servers (very popular ones too!). At a high-level the attack creates a large number of partial HTTP connections very similar to TCP flood attacks of old, but of course at the application layer not the network layer.

New Research on RFC1918 Describes Vulnerabilities

Some new research published by Robert Hansen (aka RSnake) released a new paper on June 8th describing vulnerabilities associated with the way that browsers use caching and this can be abused when a client accesses content on different networks with matching internal non-routable IP addressing schemes. The paper provides a description of the limitations of the attacks and the specific conditions which would make it possible. It would be prudent to review the paper and see if this applies to you.

US Cyber Security Report and Press Conference

As many of you have heard, President Obama has announced the release of the 60-day report and the appointment of a cyber-security czar to provide white-house oversight for the initiatives related to the recommendations. Here are quick links to the pdf report , and to a video , video part-2 of Obama's press conference with the highlights.

Java Vulnerability within Fully Patched OSX - POC

Here is an excellent POC of javascript which exploits an unpatched vulnerability within any browser (firefox on mine). Beware of testing this link though as it attempted to change firewall settings when I visited. Yet another reason to use a filter like noscript in the browser! Here is an excellent explaination of what is going on with this one. Thanks guys!

OpenSolaris, ZFS, iSCSI and OSX - Creative Storage - Part II

In part I of this post, I looked at the simple steps required to setup a relatively simple storage solution using OpenSolaris, ZFS, iSCSI and OSX. This was about a month ago, and I've made some significant changes on how this is used for me. At the end of the last post I left off on the part dealing with configuration of the iSCSI initiator side of the solution. I stopped here because there were some issues related to the installation and use of the software. The iSCSI initiator that I was using was Studio Network Solutions GlobalSAN initiator (version which is used to allow for connections to their products. This software will also allow for connections to ANY iSCSI target! After the configuration of the iSCSI target on the ZFS pool, and installation of the client it was trivial to get the connection established with the storage pool, and it showed up in OSX as a raw disk which had not been formatted. I proceeded to format the disk as HFS+ and it then mounted as a lo

PCI Compliance - IT or Legal Issue - New Paper

In a recent ISSA published article David Navetta has shared some excellent insight on the scope of PCI Compliance and some of the true risks to managing and delivering on its requirements. You can find the paper here .

New report released! - Office of the Auditor General of Alberta

The latest report from the Office of Auditor General of Alberta has been released this afternoon and contains several findings which point to specific deficiencies within the Government of Alberta's processes used to manage information risks and the effectiveness of their control environment. It appears that even though additions and changes to the OAG budget have affected their future plans for auditing security, they are still moving forward with their audits and recommendations related to information security in the GOA.

New Updates Conficker - April 9th

As expected, the conficker worm has continued it subtle updates and is using the newly acquired p2p functionality to do it. In addition it also appears to update the payload functionality and may also be actively defending itself by affecting the availability of the conficker working group site. Researchers are looking at the new code and initial analysis points to key-logger software and new protection mechanisms. I think most security professionals would serve their clients well by keeping up to date on this. UPDATE: It looks like the code is starting monetize, by installing a scamming anti-virus software package which costs you $49.99, and in some cases installing spamming relay software. There are also reports that it is set to delete itself on May 3rd (I'm skeptical about this one). Time for law enforcement to do their job and follow-the-money!

OpenSolaris, ZFS, iSCSI and OSX - Creative Storage - Part I

After getting through the steps required to setup a local network storage solution - I thought I would publish my steps for others that are doing the same thing. Not exactly security related but once the Solaris developers implement encryption into ZFS it will be :) The needs for the solution were simple - a network (IP) based storage solution which is both reliable, meets performance needs and doesn't break the bank. There are many people who would argue that a hardware based RAID array with it exposed through some NAS protocol would be a much easier solution to this need, but I'm intentionally trying to be cheap. The steps: 1. Hardware installation Easiest part - install SATA disks on a supported platform for OpenSolaris. No details here unless someone wants them. 2. Software installation OpenSolaris 2008.11 - 1 CD image found here . Burn the ISO, boot into the liveCD, double click on the "Install Solaris" icon on the desktop, and follow the instructions. I u

Conficker Reporting

There has been so much misinformation being spread regarding what conficker will or will not do. And now that the mainstream media is picking up on the story they are repeating some of the speculation. I like to look at it in simple terms without muddling in all the technical details; All the research done suggests that the people behind conficker are intelligent, and well resourced which indicates that whatever motivation they have will be very well thought out and executed. The large amount resources used to develop and maintain conficker mean that the owners will spend large amounts of effort defending it and increasing its ability to spread efficiently. The whole circus around April 1st was the fact that the software would begin receiving new instructions, in no way did this mean that it would start acting in a more malicious way. The simple fact is that this virus could do anything it wants, and we should be prepared to handle this today or any of the other 365 days of the year

Older TOR Research Paper - Privacy and Security Study

I stumbled across an older research paper from the University of Colorado discussing the traffic patterns for data flowing into and out of the TOR network. Very interesting read, and I like the inventive methods for detecting "sniffing" exit nodes, although I must say that anyone with a bit of knowledge regarding how to quietly listen using TCPdump -n.

Securing OSX - Apple's Leopard Security Guide

Worried about the default configuration of Leopard OSX 10.5? Take a read through Apple's own security configuration guide . This guide covers the installation to advanced configuration options including turning off hardware support for USB, Bluetooth, Video, Wireless, etc for the most paranoid out there. Mac users can also look forward to getting more advanced security features as part of the 10.6 release of OSX-Snow Leopard you'll be glad to know that rumors point to modern security features like enhanced ASLR with 64bit memory space, and full NX support.

Charlie Miller - Toms Hardware Exclusive

Tom's Hardware has posted an excellent interview with Charlie Miller who was successful at hacking a fully patched OSX box at this year's CanSecWest. Here is the interview . Very insightful answers to the questions.

SmartPhone Pwn2Own Results Reflect Security of the Device?

Since the CanSecWest conference last week a few people on the net have been reporting ( Gizmodo , Slashdot , Engadget ) that because none of the smartphone platforms were compromised (I think there was only a single attempt if I heard right) and that these devices must be inherently secure or a lot harder to hack than Safari and the rest of the browser crew. After hanging out with a few of the researchers at the conference, and witnessing first-hand some of the technical prowess they possess, it seems a little strange to me that the security of these handsets pose a challenge to these people. Adding to my skeptisim is the fact that many of the researchers at the conference were supporting the stance of " no more free bugs ". Which I support - as there is a very real thriving underground economy for bugs and exploits - and researchers deserve to get compensated for the knowledge and expertice, not to mention that the pwn2own contest rules sign-over ownership of the bug to Tip

A few more details regarding the peristent BIOS infection

If you were lucky enough to attend this year's CanSecWest conference than you probably sat through Anibal Sacco and Alfredo Ortega's talk on the BIOS infection, and how this would persist even through a hard-drive wipe / operating system reinstall. These guys are extremely bright and are pushing hard at the edge of security research. The slideshow published by Core Security, provides the overview, which I'll summarize here with what I can remember of the technology and tools used to enable the hack shown at the conference. First is getting a copy of a BIOS to hack. There are two options, and one which made the researcher's lives easier, VMware supplies both a generic "virtual" BIOS and a debugger which makes testing and developing the patches easier. A generic tool also exists which they have created to retrive, modify and reflash the BIOS based on previous work by pinczakko. The second thing talked about is the structure of the BIOS which gets executed b

Update from CanSecWest

So most of the way through the second day of the conference there have been some really interesting topics. Here is a list of the top ones for me: Unicode vulnerabilities - Although it was cut short due to running over time, Chris Weber, from Casaba Security gave an excellent description of a large number of unicode issues which plague web applications. His favorite - BOM . Sniffing Keystrokes - What a nice change in pace - the two Italians put on quite a show regarding the use of two side channel attacks on keystrokes. One regarding the electrical noise that poorly shielded PS2 connectors, and the other by recording and analyzing vibrations from typing on laptops by using cheap lasers! Chinese Hacking Culture - Wow, what a great opportunity to hear from a security professional working inside the hacker community in China! Excellent talk, and cudos to ICBM for getting the message across and even answering questions with a significant language barrier. More later.

Updates from CanSecWest

I am attending CanSecWest this week in Vancouver, British Columbia, and will be updating my blog frequently to recap some of the high-lights of the event. Monday will be pretty slow as people make it into town and get settled.

Prioritizing PCI Compliance Activity

In new guidance offered by the PCI Security Standards Council, a checklist has been provided to assist organizations with focusing on the important issues first, and spending time where the greatest risks exist. This is very useful for organizations with limited funding and resources.

FISMA - Compliance Guidance Drafted by CSIS

A new draft publication has been made available by the Center for Strategic and International Studies ( CSIS ), whose goal is: “Establishing a prioritized baseline of information security measures and controls that can be continuously monitored through automated mechanisms.” Based on the inputs of the research including groups from public and private sectors, this vendor neutral document seems to high-light the real need for effective and auditable security controls, that aren't somehow linked the next best product offering.

Zero day targeted threats - don't panic if they are targeted?

According to a IT Knowledge Exchange article , we shouldn't panic because a zero day threat in software that almost every enterprise has installed are not spreading rapidly and are in most cases targeted. Arent' these exactly the threats that we should be worried about? In fact I would argue that for every 0-day threat reported there are five more unreported. And in cases where the attacks are motivated (targeted) there is likely a greater probability of loss. In my opinion the criteria we use to gauge the risk related to vulnerabilities shouldn't include how noisy and fast the infection rate is, but instead look at the impacts and probabilities of being targeted.

Alberta's Audit of IT Security Halted

The Edmonton Journal is reporting that due to budget constraints four key investigations are being stopped. This includes investigation's into the Government's IT Security practices. Although it appears that this would appear to be another disappointing effect of the economic situation, I would argue that it makes sense to direct the limited amount of funding into programs which improve the Government's security posture.

ISACA Publication - RISK IT governance processes for managing IT Risks

ISACA recently released an exposure draft of their new governance framework " Risk IT ". This framework describes in detail recommended processes for organizations to adopt to manage IT risks effectively. I'll try to follow this post up with a review of this draft and provide some commentary on related values and shortcomings of this new framework.

New Google Maps for Mobile - Latitude

As we continue to get more connected, google continues to allow us to search, track and map things, which now includes people as they release an update to the mobile version of their maps program. And look what I see in there in one of the images used to show it off - putting Edmonton literally on the map!

Application Security Procurement Language

After publishing the SANS Top 25 Application security issues list, a small group of people in New York state have provided a set of contract language and requirements which organizations can use to ensure software development contracts have appropriate requirements for ensuring security. Although the vendor communities might not be thrilled by the prospect of having to train and maintain the security skills of their development staff, I would agree that this type of control goes a long way to ensuring issues get resolved at the source.

ISC2 Releases Online Resource Guide

ISC2 today has released an online resource guide accessible online or in download form. The guide provides up-to-date pointers to things like events, online resources and related organizations that provide information regarding information security. Another place to bookmark and use for researching security topics.

Aligning Online Security Interests

There was an interesting discussion regarding the larger societal problems associated with the use of insecure online services over at Wade Woolwine's blog . This is a follow-on to the discussion by Jeremiah Grossman - regarding the alignment of interests in web security . This discussion centered around the topic of how to align interests related to protecting online information. I have separated this problem into what I think are three important parts, Definition of common goals, Evaluation of online services against these definitions, and Education of consumers/clients/users of the product standards and evaluations. As a security professional, I often use the metaphor of information security controls as they mirror the emergency brakes used car, in the fact that they are used as risk mitigation. The faster you want to get from A to B, the more robust brakes you need. In addition for the purposes of this discussion, for vehicles in Canada there is also a minimum standard o

Completely Automated Brief History - Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart

Computer World has published an interesting and informative article regarding the Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart, or CAPTCHA as they are affectionately known. While they discuss the value of bot-busting techniques, they also note one of my favorite stories about the spammers using human-based cracking , and my personal favorite of all of these for its effectiveness - getting people to do the heavy lifting for free!

OS X Forensics Resources

With the recent and growing rise of Apple's market share and Microsoft's graceful decline forensic investigations will increasingly encounter Macs as part of the case. But does your existing toolset and methodologies take HFS+ unique characteristics into consideration? What about filevault and timemachine related structures. Check out the Mac OSX Forensics site as a good place to start with the learning.

ISACA Publication - Defining Information Security Manager Position Requirements

For those Security Manager's that have subscriptions to the ISACA publications, their are a couple of interesting articles/publications that have been released. The first one - Defining Information Security Manager Position Requirements - provides a good description of the information security management role within organizations and what it takes and will take to succeed. the JOnline publication also has included an article written by Kim Fath and John Ott that provides a basic description of the risks associated with application vulnerabilities. Although not a very original article it provides a good basic description of the issues.

Responsibility for Public Information Security Training

There have been a number of articles posted recently which point out statistics related to corporate responsibility for security practices, data breach disclosure laws which make it a requirement for customers to be notified of such breaches, etc. Are Canadian Breach Disclosure laws adequate? Canadian legislation not coming? In my observation, there may be a greater risk to our online society from general data abuses and breaches to ordinary citizens, many of these risks appear to stem from our behavior and online habits as a whole. Although many of us educated in the methods used to exploit sensitive information can protect ourselves through; checking website SSL certs, or knowing (spam) what a phishing email looks like, or running a few Google queries to check into the past of a person we're going to transact with I would argue that the large (and growing) majority of Internet users are not even this savy. Do we really think that this population of users will learn these skills

3rd Largest Data Breach Reported

Another wonderful example of how "massive" data breaches can occur. It will be interesting to see how the fallout from this incident differ from the TJX event. From Washington Post: Heartland called U.S. Secret Service and hired two breach forensics teams to investigate. But Baldwin said it wasn’t until last week that investigators uncovered the source of the breach: A piece of malicious software planted on the company’s payment processing network that recorded payment card data as it was being sent for processing to Heartland by thousands of the company’s retail clients. Baldwin said Heartland does not know how long the malicious software was in place, or how many accounts may have been compromised. The stolen data includes names, credit and debit card numbers and expiration dates. “The transactional data crossing our platform, in terms of magnitude… is about 100 million transactions a month,” Baldwin said. “At this point, though, we don’t know the magnitude of what was

Security Strengths of Cloud Services

As the debate rages on the direction of 'cloud' computing - which is really just 2.0 word for "software-as-a-service' or SaaS - there are in my opinion a few security benefits which make cloud based services a more secure option for some. 1.  Common platfo rm .  Using a single service platform has the advantage that if a vulnerability exists in the service, it only takes one remedial fix.  This is unlike unique implementations of similar products in each customer, where vulnerabilities can go unnoticed, unpatched, and exploited for long periods of time.   This glass can also be half-empty though and a single problem or weakness can affect of the service customers.  But if my own experiences with using common platform products (like my macbook) are any indication, I would rather have a problem that all of the product's customers have and that will attract the required attention from the vendor at risk of losing them. 2.  Service agreements .  Mature formal service a

SANS Top 25 Programming Errors

Looks like appsec product vendors now have another angle to sell their gear as SANS has announced the release of their top 25 programming errors . This is a fantastic list of issues that don't get enough airplay, and instead of focusing on the symptoms of the mistakes (aka OWASP top 10 web-app vulns) this list provides a sample of the root cause issues, although it could be argued that all of these common problems stem from a lack of security policy definition and enforcement regarding development. At least for those organizations that like to use these types of lists as a form of policy tool, it will significantly reduce the number of issues that arise from development.

Forensics Links

Sorry about the gap in posts - its been an excellent holiday season and therefor not much time to read or write. Here is a couple of links to some excellent forensics papers which are almost required reading for security professionals these days. Information Assurance Advisory Council has published a 2nd edition of their guide for collecting and presenting digital evidence. An excellent reference for forensics work related to virtual machines has also been published by Brett Shavers here. A must-read for anyone doing forensic work related to VMs. Finally, here is a link to a list of papers related to digital forensics along with a great forum for investigators to discuss related topics. - Forensic Focus I know that it is easy for security professionals not working daily with forensics to miss out on some of the excellent material out there - I hope this helps catch people up. Mark