More than a Balance: Privacy and Security as Partners in Trust

I was in Dublin recently to speak once again at the Secure Computing Forum. The theme this year was “Security and Privacy: Getting the Balance Right”, so I talked briefly about the KPMG report that I discussed in my 2013 blog on “Balancing Security and Privacy”, in particular the KPMG conclusion that “A balance can…


Dissecting a Cybercriminal Heist – Podcast #248

In May 2013, the U.S. Dept. of Justice indicted several members of a cyber criminal gang  allegedly responsible for the largest coordinated cash heist from thousands of ATMs across 26 countries. The scheme netted more than $45 million in less than a week and has the banking industry reeling at the manner in which this…


Battling Business Logic Abuse

What makes business logic abuse popular is that generally it is not something that would be detected by a security process or application vulnerability scanning because the website is functioning as designed and without any security vulnerabilities and the traffic is not exhibiting any unusual or malformed requests (such as with SQL injection or XSS attacks). Instead, it occurs when criminals use the normal functionality of a web site in a way that is unintended causing negative consequences from loss of data, revenue and customers, to the tarnishing of an organization’s brand.


The Changing Landscape of DDoS ….

Traditional DDoS attacks such as UDP Flood, Syn Flood and ICMP Flood work by exhausting network resources. Today some DDoS attacks (like the one described by Litan or those launched by hacktivists Op Ababil against US financial institutions) target the HTTP layer and above. These attacks bypass standard DDoS defenses such as firewalls, Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) since they make use of requests that are well behaved at the network protocol level.

With Liberty Reserve Down, What’s In Store for Cybercriminals Now?

With Liberty Reserve being taken down and its owner arrested, many fraudsters now find themselves having to recuperate from substantial financial losses. As the e-currency service was to the equivalent of US dollars in the underground economy, the impact of this sudden shutdown is severe, and the dust it raised may take a while to settle. That being said, savvy fraudsters would have known not to put all their electronic eggs in one basket, as history has a nasty tendency to repeat itself – and this case is no different. The Liberty Reserve era may have ended, but its fate was no different than what befell the eras that came before it.

To Cybercriminals, The Size of a Company No Longer Matters

Gone are the days when it was thought that size of the company matters to the cybercriminals. The latest PwC Information Security Breaches Survey 2013 shows that there has been a significant rise in the number of small businesses that were attacked by an unauthorized outsider in the last year – up by 22%. Interestingly large organizations only went up by 5%. The cybercriminal has moved on to stealing intellectual property or corporate secrets as that’s where the real money is and small companies become easy targets as many do not have the resources or budgets to fully protect their information.

It’s time to understand the differences between corporate secrets and custodial data.

The ATM: Convenience for Consumers….and Fraudsters?

ATMs enable us to get our cash on demand, for those of us who still use cash, and have come a long way since the first machines in the 1960s which dispersed a set amount of funds and sent back the bank card at a later date.

Convenient to consumers, yes – but to fraudsters, ATMs are seen as a way to get their hands on currency that isn’t theirs and unlike an online transaction can be harder to trace. As a cash-out point for many scams, fraudulent crimes and cyber-attacks the ATM has seen its fair share of unfriendly withdrawals.