• What CSPs can learn from the latest DDoS attacks

    Around the world, communications service providers (CSPs) and subscribers were affected by the 21 October 2016 DDoS attack, making it virtually impossible to reach many popular Web sites for several hours. Although CSPs weren’t targeted directly, they were still affected since the outages drove additional caching DNS traffic caused by the errors from failed DNS requests. This spike in traffic slowed overall network performance, likely driving up customer support call volumes from unhappy subscribers. The attacks highlighted the easily overlooked — yet vital — role that DNS plays on the Internet. An expert offers a few key steps CSPs can take to prepare for similar attacks in the future.

  • Detecting malicious Web sites before they do harm

    Malicious Web sites promoting scams, distributing malware, and collecting phished credentials pervade the Web. As quickly as we block or blacklist them, criminals set up new domain names to support their activities. Now a research have developed a technique to make it more difficult to register new domains for nefarious purposes.

  • The “blind spot” in extremist Web content

    In order better to understand the process of on-line radicalization, researchers examined the average monthly number of global searches and regional search frequencies conducted in Google for 287 Arabic and English keywords relating to violent and non-violent extremism. Further analysis was then conducted within the search results for forty-seven of the relevant keywords to understand placement of extremist and counter-narrative content.

  • Can you be anonymous on the Internet? No, you cannot

    If you still think you can be anonymous on the Internet, a team of Stanford and Princeton researchers has news for you: You cannot. Researchers say most people do not realize how much information they are leaving behind as they browse the Web. Online privacy risks are not new, but the researchers say their research is “another nail in the coffin” to the idea that the average person with the average Web browser can be private online.

  • Internet of Things vulnerability: Analyzing the 21 October DDoS attack

    The Friday, 21 October 2016 Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) has been analyzed as a complex and sophisticated attack, using maliciously targeted, masked TCP, and UDP traffic over port 53. Dyn has confirmed that Mirai botnet was the primary source of the malicious attack traffic. The attack generated compounding recursive DNS retry traffic, further exacerbating the attack’s impact. Dyn says it will not speculate on the motivation or the identity of the attackers, but suggests that, but says that the attack has opened up an important conversation about Internet security and volatility. The attack has not only highlighted vulnerabilities in the security of Internet of Things (IOT) devices that need to be addressed, but it has also sparked further dialogue in the internet infrastructure community about the future of the Internet.

  • DHS S&T awards UCSD $1.4 million to measure Internet vulnerabilities

    DHS S&T has awarded $1,356,071 to UCSD to develop new capabilities better to enable cyber security researchers to measure the Internet’s vulnerabilities to cyberattacks. The award is part of S&T’s Cyber Security Division’s (CSD) larger Internet Measurement and Attack Modeling (IMAM) project.

  • Could your kettle bring down the Internet?

    How could a webcam help bring down some of the world’s most popular Web sites? It seems unlikely but that’s what happened recently when hackers attacked the Internet infrastructure run by U.S. firm Dyn, knocking out services including Paypal, Twitter, and Netflix. More accurately, the attacked involved potentially hundreds of thousands of surveillance cameras and digital video recorders connected to the Internet that had been weaponized by the hackers. Such a high-profile attack demonstrates just how serious the security flaws are in the tech industry’s current approach to the Internet of Things. Without a significant change in the way these devices are designed and used, we can expect to see many more instances of Internet-enabled cameras, TVs, and even kettles used for nefarious purposes. It is time for developers to grow up and take responsibility for their designs or risk interference from regulators.

  • Is someone really trying to find out if they can destroy the Internet?

    A prolonged Internet outage prevented access to major sites like Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, and the New York Times on Friday. Because of the increase in number and intensity of DDoS type attacks in recent years, security analysts have theorized that some of the attacks are masking the probing of vulnerabilities. The Internet remains incredibly vulnerable to attacks on its infrastructure and right now, there are few ways of avoiding them. It does bring into question the ability of governments to put even more of its interface with the public online since as soon as it does, it becomes a potential target for malicious actors. Governments in particular need to become more adept at dealing with this possibility.

  • Long game: Russian government hacking aims to undermine democracy in U.S., globally

    The evidence of cyberattacks by Russian government hackers against the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign is not only incontrovertible – this is the conclusion of both the U.S. intelligence community and leading cyber experts – but such attacks are nothing new. “This is not a new activity. It is new only in the United States. They routinely undertake cyber operations against democracies in Eastern Europe and other neighbors in the region, mostly to effect turnout, to spread propaganda, and to make the election seen less legitimate,” says Christopher Porter of FireEye’s iSIGHT team. “Ultimately they want to break democracy itself” in the United States and “around the world, wherein it is seen like a less legitimate system. That’s their ultimate goal to send message to the public that democracy cannot be trusted.”

  • Autos require cybersecurity, too

    Most people are familiar with the process of updating the software on their computer and mobile phone, but cyber components — and cybersecurity — are not limited to computers and smart phones. Today’s automobile is a smart device and is highly sophisticated. Late model automobiles also are connected devices. While there never has been a confirmed malicious attack of an automobile, white-hat hackers have proven that automobiles are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Most white-hat hackers believe it is not if, but when hackers will exploit cyber vulnerabilities to remotely access connected vehicles.

  • DoD' “Hack the Pentagon” follow-up initiative

    The Defense Department has awarded a contract to HackerOne and Synack to create a new contract vehicle for DoD components and the services to launch their own ”bug bounty” challenges, similar to the “Hack the Pentagon” pilot program, with the ultimate objective to normalize the crowd-sourced approach to digital defenses.

  • U.K. police charges man with terrorism over researching, using encryption

    Samata Ullah, a 33-year old Briton, earlier this month was charged in a London court with six counts of terrorism, one of which related to researching and using encryption. Privacy advocates say that a controversial statute under British law criminalizes, in the name of combatting terrorism, actions which, on their own, are perfectly legal.

  • New cyber threat: Hacking 3D manufacturing systems

    Researchers demonstrated the first complete sabotage attack on a 3D additive manufacturing (AM) system, illustrating how a cyberattack and malicious manipulation of blueprints can fatally damage production of a device or machine. More than 100 industries, including aerospace, automotive, and defense, employ additive printing processes. The AM industry accounted for $5.165 billion of revenue in 2015. Furthermore, 32.5 percent of all AM-generated objects are used as functional parts.

  • Widespread anti-Semitic harassment of journalists perceived as critical of Donald Trump: Report

    A new report released earlier today by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) details a troubling, year-long rise in anti-Semitic hate targeting journalists on Twitter, with data showing that the harassment has been driven by rhetoric in the 2016 presidential campaign. The anti-Semitic tweets have been directed at 800 journalists, both conservative and liberal, who wrote critically about Trump. The tweet writers are disproportionately likely to self-identify as Donald Trump supporters, conservatives, or part of the “alt-right,” a loosely connected group of extremists, some of whom are white supremacists. There were 19,253 anti-Semitic tweets in the first six months of 2016, and the words that appear most frequently in the bios of the 1,600 most prolific anti-Semitic Twitter attackers are “Trump,” “nationalist,” “conservative,” and “white.” “To be clear,” ADL stresses, “this does not imply that the Trump campaign supported or endorsed the anti-Semitic tweets, only that certain self-styled supporters sent these ugly messages.”

  • “Lurking malice” found in cloud hosting services

    A study of twenty major cloud hosting services has found that as many as 10 percent of the repositories hosted by them had been compromised — with several hundred of the “buckets” actively providing malware. Such bad content could be challenging to find, however, because it can be rapidly assembled from stored components that individually may not appear to be malicious.