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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Information on the Certified Information Systems Security Professional

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is an independent information security certification governed by theInternational Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (commonly known as (ISC)²).

As of April 11, 2007, (ISC)² has reported certifying 48,598 information security professionals in more than 120 countries. In June, 2004, the CISSP program earned the ANSI ISO/IEC Standard 17024:2003 accreditation, the first IT certification to have done so.

It is formally approved by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in both their Information Assurance Technical (IAT) and Managerial (IAM) categories.

The CISSP has been adopted as a baseline for the U.S. National Security Agency's ISSEP program, which further extends the CISSP significantly.

Security Clearances worth an Extra $19k per Year

Security-cleared employees earn an average of 22 percent ($19,138 per year) more than their non-cleared counterparts, according to a salary survey done by a recruiting website for professionals with U.S. security clearances.

I read this interesting article by By Katherine Walsh on the other day. Those of us in the Washington DC Metro Area are very familiar with the benefits and privaledge of having a government security clearance.

The full article can be access here



Tuesday, April 29, 2008

iPhone Security for the Enterprise

The iPhone is pushing into BlackBerry’s turf for enterprise customers. Just announced, Check Point Software Technologies has added support for the iPhone through its VPN-1 product, a Virtual Private Networking (VPN) software tool.

VPN-1 supports secure Internet communication with the iPhone using the iPhone's embedded Layer 2 Transport Protocol (L2TP) client. That enables iPhone users communicating with enterprises that use Check Point's VPN-1 software to do so without the need for any additional software to be installed.

VPN-1 administrators can create specific log-in credentials for each iPhone users using a shared secret password and certificates for all iPhones on the network.
Other features of the iPhone for enterprise are:
  • Push email
  • Push contacts
  • Push calendar
  • Global Address List
  • Certificates and identities
  • WPA2/802.1X
  • Enforced security policies
  • More VPN protocols
  • Device configuration
  • Remote wipe

From what I have been able to see of Apple the past few years, BlackBerry should be afraid.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Defining Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying uses the new forms of digital communication technologies to harass others. A cyberbully is someone who uses technology to harass, embarrass, intimidate, or stalk someone else.

The methods used can include emails, instant messaging, text messages sent via cell phones, digital photos and all other means of electronic communications.

The cyberbully can send:

· angry and vulgar argumentative messages
· cruel, offensive, and insulting messages
· threats and false promises

The cyberbully can:

· post secrets or embarrassing information, including pictures, for everyone to see
· post gossip or rumors for the explicit purpose of damaging the person’s reputation
· send out messages pretending to be the victim in an attempt to damage that person’s friendships
· alienate the victim from online groups

For more information on cyberbullying and how to prevent and report it review the links below:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Desktop Edition Announced

Canonical has announced the upcoming availability of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Desktop Edition that will be available for free download on Thursday, April 24, 2008. The company has also announced the upcoming release of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Server Edition.

More on this article from TechTree

Monday, April 21, 2008

The 11th Annual New York State Cyber Security Conference

June 4-5, 2008
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY

You are invited to the 11th Annual New York State Cyber Security Conference. As in previous years the Conference will feature an excellent array of presentations and workshops by internationally recognized experts in the field of cyber security.

Discover methods to inspire a culture of cyber security in your organization. Hear first hand from practiced professionals where the industry is headed and how to navigate securely.


Symposium on Information Assurance
Symposium Keynote Speakers:
BILLY RIOS, Security Engineer for Microsoft
JOHN CRAIN, Chief Technology Officer of ICANN
Conference Keynote Speaker:
PATRICK GRAY, Senior Security Strategist for Cisco, 20 Year FBI Veteran
Over 40 sessions
Live Hacking Demo
CLE and CPE Credits
Exhibitor Hall
Attendee Reception


Public sector - FREE
Private sector - $150 per person
Non-profit - $50 per person

Safari has company now: Paypal banning more unsafe browsers

Safari has company now: Paypal banning more unsafe browsers

I made a post about this matter in the past, just thought it was interested to see how they have expanded the effort to protect users from using unsafe browsers.

Here is an article from

Friday, April 18, 2008

Black Hat USA 2008 - August 2 - 7 in Las Vegas

Black Hat USA 2008 - August 2 - 7 in Las Vegas

Attend Black Hat USA, August 2-7 in Las Vegas, the world's premier technical event for ICT security experts. Featuring 40 hands-on training courses and 80 Briefings presentations with lots of new content and new tools. Network with 4,000 delegates from 50 nations. Visit product displays by 30 top sponsors in a relaxed setting including industry leaders Microsoft, Cisco, Google and new startups. Briefings tracks include many updated topics plus the always popular ones including Zero Day Attacks/Defenses, Bots, Application Security, Deep Knowledge and Turbo Talks. Register early for the best rates.

Mozilla patches Firefox JavaScript bug

Mozilla patches Firefox JavaScript bug

Critical security vulnerability in the JavaScript engine of Firefox was patched for stability reasons

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mac Clone Maker Psystar Closes Online Store

Mac Clone Maker Psystar Closes Online Store
The Miami-based system integrator blames the closure on an apparent failure of Psystar's e-commerce system.
By Paul McDougall, InformationWeek -->April 16, 2008 URL:

A Miami-based system integrator that's selling an unauthorized Mac clone called Open Computer has closed its online store.
Psystar, on its Web site Wednesday, said its Internet store is closed because "we are currently unable to process any credit card transactions." Psystar did not provide an explanation for the problem, which it called temporary.

Despite the closure of its online store, Psystar is continuing to advertise its Mac clone.
One version of Psystar's Open Computer features Apple's Leopard OS X 10.5 operating system ported onto generic PC hardware that includes an Intel Core2Duo processor at 2.66 GHz, a 250 GB hard drive and an Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT graphics card.
The system is priced at $804.99. A similar, Apple-branded computer would cost more than $2,000.

But would-be buyers can't order an Open Computer due to the apparent failure of Psystar's e-commerce system.

Psystar said it's fulfilling orders placed before its credit card processing system went down. "For customers who have already placed orders: if you received a confirmation e-mail then your item is in queue to be built and shipped," says a note on the company's site.
Psystar changed the name of its Mac clone from OpenMac to Open Computer earlier this week -- perhaps in response to anticipated legal pressure from Apple. Apple's end user license agreement forbids the installation or use of Leopard on third party hardware.
Business records show that Psystar is a small company operated by Miami residents Rodolfo Pedraza and Roberto Pedraza.

On Monday, a Psystar representative who would identify himself only as "Robert" said the company is not concerned about legal action by Apple. "We're not breaking any laws," Robert insisted in a telephone interview.

Psystar may be willing to have its right to sell Mac clones tested in court, Robert implied. "What if Microsoft said you could only install Windows on Dell computers?" he said. "What if Honda said that, after you buy their car, you could only drive it on the roads they said you could?" he added.
Robert also accused Apple of marking up the hardware on which its operating systems run by as much as 80%.

Psystar's Web site was up and running as of Wednesday afternoon -- except for the online store portion. The site was offline earlier this week as news of the company's Mac clone spread across the Internet.

Defiant Psystar back selling Leopard computers

Defiant Psystar back selling Leopard computers

The Web has been abuzz this week with speculation about the company Psystar, which recently appeared out of nowhere offering (for just $399) a PC called the Open Computer that runs OS X Leopard.

According to Psystar, the base configuration for their machine includes a 2.2 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 2GB of memory, integrated Intel GMA 950 Graphics, 20x DVD +/-R SATA drive, four USB ports, and it comes preinstalled with Leopard. Sounds pretty sweet,right? ...Except for the fact that it's technically illegal to run Apple software on non-Apple equipment.

Something smelled fishy to tech reporters who had never heard of the manufacturer, so they began researching the identity and origins of the mysterious Psystar Corporation. The Guardian reported that they were unable to get answers to basic questions about the company from the contact listed online, that the headquarters had actually moved twice in a 24 hour period, and that there were no Google results for Psystar prior to this week. And earlier this week, the online store at suddenly shut down due to “problems with its ecommerce system.”

Apple has kept mum about the whole thing despite Psystar's defiant (and inaccurate) statement that Apple is acting as a "hardware monopoly." The Psystar Web site states: "Psystar has assembled a system that is completely operational with Leopard called the Open Computer. We call it the Open Computer to reflect the opening of what has previously been a hardware monopoly,"

While the controversy shakes out (Will customers get their Open Computers? Will they work? How long until Apple gives Psystar the smackdown?) we've got a suggestion for Leopard-loving scofflaws. Rather than buying an Open Computer, you could just make your own. A while back, Lifehacker posted some very thorough instructions for building a “Hackintosh” and while the parts will run you close to $800, you will at least be guaranteed an actual, physical computer. However, if you’re not up to the hack and that $399 is still burning a hole in your pocket, my uncle’s got some land in Florida you might be interested in...

Internet Botnets: The Storm Botnet is not the Big Kid on the Block Anymore, Hello Kraken

Internet Botnets: The Storm Botnet is not the Big Kid on the Block Anymore, Hello Kraken

Botnet is a term for a collection of software robots or bots on compromised computer systems called zombie computers. The majority of these computers are running Microsoft Windows operating systems, but other operating systems have been known to be affected as well. A botnet's originator is called "bot herder" and can control the group remotely using IRC to conduct malicious activities.

The Storm botnet once considered the biggest botnet network with capabilities to force entire countries off the Internet as been replace with the Kraken botnet.

Karken Botnet:

As of April 2008, the Kraken botnet is the world's largest botnet, according to researchers at the computer security company Damballa. They state that Kraken has infected machines in at least 50 of the Fortune 500 companies and has reached the size of over 400,000 bots. The Kraken botnet virus may have been designed to evade anti-virus software, and is apparently virtually undetectable to conventional anti-virus software.

A full write on malware and these specific botnets can be located on

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ForensicSoft Inc. - Windows Software Write Blocker Released

Windows Software Write Blocker Released

Now any attorney or computer forensic examiner can review any digital evidence in a forensically sound manner without the need for any specialized hardware.

Just attach it and review or acquire.

Are you tired of buying more and more hardware Write Blockers to allow you to safely handle your digital evidence?

ForensicSoft Inc. www.forensicsoft. com has just released SAFE Block 1.0, a software write blocker, for your forensic workstation.

The benefits of SAFE Block over hardware write blockers include:

- One inexpensive product that blocks all disk and flash media, as many as you can attach to your forensic machine at once.

- Easy to use and is application independent… works with all Windows forensic software.

- Faster than hardware write blockers... provides for forensically sound write blocking without the typical degradation in imaging I/O performance.

- Identifies and allows for safe temporary removal of HPA, DCO and/or HPA/DCO combination... SAFE Block replaces the HPA and DCO when you are done and no longer requires access to the hidden area of the disk.

- ForensicSoft will be adding Vista support to SAFE Block in the near future, as well as Software RAID blocking/unblocking capabilities. All updates will be free to licensed users.

Download your free 30-day trial from

HackerHalted USA 2008

Hacker Halted has been successfully held in Mexico City, Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, China and now in the USA.

The 10th Hacker Halted will be held at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA between May 28 - June 4 , 2008.

The internationally recognized information security conference, Hacker Halted, is organized in collaboration with the 10th Techno Security Conference, and AccessData’s First Annual Users’ Conference.

Hacker Halted USA 2008 is a truly international platform for IT Security professionals. Hosted by EC-Council, this conference will feature some of the top speakers in the world, and will raise international awareness towards increased education and ethics in Information Security.

Delegates who register for Hacker Halted USA will also be able to attend the Techno Security Conference at no additional cost. Hacker Halted USA will be one of the significant information security events in North America for 2008.

Let’s Stop the Hackers Menace!

For more information, please write to

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cyberattack on Estonian: A Year Later

Cyberattack on Estonian: A Year Later

In April of 2007, a widespread Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on Estonia’s government and banking Web sites took place. The attack seemed to have been motivated by the relocation of the "Bronze Soldier," a Soviet-era war memorial commemorating an unknown Russian who died fighting the Nazis. The move caused rioting by ethnic Russians and the blockading of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow.

A DDoS attack is one in which a massive amount of compromised systems attack a single target, thereby causing denial of service and access for authorized users of the targeted system.

Shortly after the attack the US government sent security professionals experience in cyberattack, incident response and forensics analysis from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's US-CERT and the U.S. Secret Service to assist in analyzing the large volume of data that was generated by the attacks and with training on incident response and computer crime investigations.

In April of 2008, there is a strong chance on the anniversary month of last year’s attack, that we may see another attempt to bring down Estonia’s government and banking network again. The Estonian government should be on high alert by increasing monitoring and logging capabilities. In fact, all security centers world wide should be on alert as well to help prevent this event from taking place if an attack were to occur again.

Past case of a cyberattack:

The 2002 Olympics a few years ago with the Apolo Ohno controversy. (In 2002 at the Salt Lake City Games, Ohno won the gold medal in the 1,500-meter speed-skating race after South Korean Kim Dong-Sung was disqualified; soon after, several United States-based servers were hit with a DDoS attack from machines that appeared to be based in South Korea.)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Windows XP End of Life is Coming...

Windows XP End of Life is Coming...

Microsoft has plans to stop selling Windows XP on Jan. 31, 2009 and to cut off support of the operating system will soon occur in an effort to push their Windows Vista operating system. This is not a good thing for since Windows XP is the most widely used operating system and Windows Vista has been plagued with issues.

I can see the market share for Linux becoming very favorable in the low end PC and laptop market.

Let's see how this will turn out.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Disaster Planning and Recovery

Disaster Planning and Recovery

  • Even if you have done everything possible to protect the organizational information processing assets, that fact is you may find yourself having to recover from a system compromised or system failure. Regardless of the cause, the goal is to have the system returned to operational status as soon as possible. The best way is to be prepared by having a disaster planning and recovery process in place.

    Disaster recovery is the process of rebuilding a system to a known working state after an event. An event can be anything from an external system compromise, to an internal user error or a system hardware/software failure. To properly prepare for all aspects, provisions for the following must be considered:
  • Hardware Failure
  • Software Failure
  • System Compromise
  • Infrastructure Failure
  • Catastrophic Events

The full version of this document is located at

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification for April 2008

Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification for April 2008

FYI, states that next Tuesday April 8, 2008 Microsoft is planning to release 8 security related patches/updates:

- 5 CRITICAL Security Bulletins affecting Windows, IE and Office which all have a possible impact of remote code execution

- 3 Important Security Bulletins affecting Windows and Office, impacts range from spoofing and elevation of privilege to remote code execution