Thanks to my former publisher, Addison-Wesley nee-Pearson Education, I can post several chapters of my favorite writing project: Authentication: From Passwords to Public Keys. I’m including these chapters as material for the Cloud Cybersecurity course I’m doing at the University of Minnesota for Coursera.
The book was published in 2001, and it’s based on solid, well-documented technical concepts. Everything is sourced through the “Notes” and “Bibliography” sections. Authentication captures the 2001 technologies very thoroughly. For many people, that’s as much authentication technology as they ever see.
Continue reading Authentication Chapters Online
Maciej Cegłowski has published a long, practical, insightful, and witty article on his experiences with political campaign security. He wisely focuses on a handful of steps to narrow the attack surface with the fewest tools and techniques.
This should be a Coursera course, or a series of short videos.
Every cybersecurity professional knows – and almost certainly owns – this book. Ross Anderson published the first edition back around 2001. He’s starting a third edition and is using an on-line collaborative model for developing revisions. He has already posted drafts of a few revised chapters.
Ross recently pointed out a disappointing result from Edward Snowden’s releases of NSA classified documents: most published analysis has been reportage. No one has done a “deep dive” into the technical aspets of what was released. This would probably still be of technical interest. It astonishes me every day how, despite perceived ongoing radical improvements in technology, things don’t really change that much.
To the left we see part of a malicious email. The author brags about how the From address is the same as the To address. This is supposed to mean that the author has broken into my email account.
I have been waiting patiently for someone to mail one of these to me. Now I can use it as an example. I’ll show you how to uncover it as a fraud.
Continue reading A Forged “From” Address
Golly. This one was really hard to spot.
Just kidding. This is obviously a fake email. I don’t think that American Express is likely to be sending email from “Steakhousetopia.com” regardless of how challenging Internet operations might get.
Here’s a clever two-step attack on a Macintosh. First, the victim downloads a file – it may be enough to email it to the victim as an attachment. Second, the victim opens a file or clicks a link. This executes the downloaded file. Yipes!
Here is a phishing email I received today. These almost always land in my junk mail (hooray!).
This particular one encourages me to click on a Microsoft Word file claiming to contain an invoice I should pay. I also received a couple with “.xps” attachments. These apparently make use of printer paper specification files in MS Windows.
According to an article in Threatpost, these may be part of a phishing campaign that uses an unpatched flaw in MS Windows.
Continue reading Invoice Phishing Campaign
While researching my next edition of Elementary Information Security I came a this posting from last January. It comes from the “netmux” web site and describes a $5,000 design for a password hash cracker. It also links to other state of the art cracking gear.
In June, 1999, Senator John McCain had started his presidential bid and was visiting companies in Silicon Valley, including Secure Computing Corporation, where I worked. He was there to discuss government policies on several tech topics, including the export of cryptographic technologies and products. I had been writing policy statements about crypto exports as part of my job. I’d also published my first book, Internet Cryptography, so they flew me out from Minnesota to meet the Senator.
Continue reading Sen. John McCain, 1936-2018