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+ - Hijacking Drones With Malware

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A recent incident at the White House showed that small aerial vehicles (drones) present a specific security problem. Rahul Sasi, a security engineer at Citrix R&D, created MalDrone, the first backdoor malware for the AR drone ARM Linux system, to target Parrot AR Drones, but says it can be modified to target others as well. The malware can be silently installed on a drone, and be used to control the drone remotely and to conduct remote surveillance."

+ - Book review: Designing and Building a Security Operations Center

Submitted by benrothke
benrothke (2577567) writes "Title:Designing and Building a Security Operations Center

Author: David Nathans

Pages: 276

Publisher: Syngress

Rating: 8/10

Reviewer: Ben Rothke

ISBN: 978-0128008997

Summary: Good introduction to those looking to build their own security operations center





Many organizations are overwhelmed by the onslaught of security data from disparate systems, platforms and applications. They have numerous point solutions (anti-virus, firewalls, IDS/IPS, ERP, access control, IdM, single sign-on, etc.) that can create millions of daily log messages. In addition to directed attacks becoming more frequent and sophisticated, there are regulatory compliance issues that place increasing burden on security, systems and network administrators.



This creates a large amount of information and log data without a formal mechanism to deal with it. This has led to many organizations creating a security operations center (SOC). A SOC in its most basic form is the centralized team that deals with information security incidents and related issues.



In Designing and Building a Security Operations Center, author David Nathans provides the basics on how that can be done. An effective SOC provides the benefit of speed of response time to a security incident. Be it a DDoS attack or malware which can spread throughout a corporate network in minutes, and potentially knock out the network, every second counts in identifying these attacks and negating them before they can cause additional damage. Having a responsive SOC can make all the difference in how a firms deals with these security issues.



The book notes that the SOC is akin to an enterprise nervous systemthat can gather and normalize vast amounts of log and related data. This can provide continuous prevention, protection and detection by providing response capabilities against threats, remotely exploitable vulnerabilities and real-time incidents on the monitored network.



The books 11 chapters provide a start for anyone considering building out their own SOC. Topics include required infrastructure, organizational structure, staffing and daily operations, to training, metrics, outsourcing and more.



When building a SOC, the choices are for the most part doing it yourself (DIY) or using an outsourced managed security service provider (MSSP). The book focuses primarily on the DIY approach, while chapter 10 briefly details the issues and benefits of using a MSSP. The book provides the pros and cons of each approach. Some firms have a hybrid approach where they perform some SOC activities and outsource others. But the book doesn't details that approach.



The book provides a large amount of details on the many tasks needed to create an internal SOC. The truth is that many firms simply don't have the staff and budget needed to support an internal SOC. They also don't have the budget for an MSSP. With that, Mike Rothman of Securosis noted that these firms are "trapped on the hamster wheel of pain, reacting without sufficient visibility, but without time to invest in gaining that much-needed visibility into threats without diving deep into raw log files".



One important topic the book does not cover is around SIM/SIEM/SEM software. SIEM software can provide a firm with real-time analysis of security alerts generated by network and security hardware, software and other applications.



Many benefits come from an effective SIEM tool being the backbone of the SOC. A SIEM tool consolidates all data and analyzes it intelligently and provides visualization into the environment. But selecting the appropriate SIEM and correctly deploying it is not a trivial endeavor.



Those looking for a good reference on SIEM should read: Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Implementation, which I reviewed on Slashdot - http://books.slashdot.org/story/11/02/23/1328243/book-review-security-information-and-event-management-implementation. That book does provide an excellent overview of the topic and will be of value to those reading looking for answer around SIEM. Those looking for a solid introduction to the world of SIEM should definitely get a copy.



The book notes that the most important part of a SOC, and often the most overlooked, is that of the SOC analyst. And with that, the book writes how it's important to be cognizant of the fact of SOC analyst burnout. SOC analysts can burnout and it's important for an organization to have a plan to address this, including aspects of training, management opportunities and job rotation.



Building an in-house SOC takes significant planning an attention to detail and the book details a lot of the particulars that are required for an effective SOC design.



The implementation of a SOC will cost a significant amount of money and management will often want to have metrics to let them know what the SOC is doing. The book spends a brief amount of time on SOC metrics; which is a topic that warrants a book in its own right. There are many metrics that can be created to measure SOC efficacy. Effective SOC metrics will measure how quickly incidents are handled by the SOC, and how incident are identified, addressed and handled.



The downside to metrics is that they must be used judiciously. It's important not to measure base performance of a SOC analyst simply on the number of events analyzed or recommendations written. Metrics used in that manner are akin to help desk where analysts are only concerned about getting calls finished, in order to meet their calls completed metrics.



As important as a SOC is, this is surprisingly the first book written on the topic. At under 250 pages, the book provides an introduction to the topic, but is not a comprehensive work on the topic. There are areas in SOC management that the book doesn't cover, such as SOC documentation, creating and using SOC operation run books, and more.



But even with those missing areas, Designing and Building a Security Operations Centeris a good reference to start with. A SOC is a security component most organizations are in dire need of, and the book is a good way to get them started on that effort.





Reviewed by Ben Rothke"

+ - New Micro-Ring Resonator Creates Quantum Entanglement on a Silicon Chip ->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "The quantum entanglement of particles, such as photons, is a prerequisite for the new and future technologies of quantum computing, telecommunications, and cyber security. Real-world applications that take advantage of this technology, however, will not be fully realized until devices that produce such quantum states leave the realms of the laboratory and are made both small and energy efficient enough to be embedded in electronic equipment. In this vein, European scientists have created and installed a tiny "ring-resonator" on a microchip that is claimed to produce copious numbers of entangled photons while using very little power to do so."
Link to Original Source

+ - Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "Leslie Caldwell, an assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, said Tuesday that the department is “very concerned” by the Google’s and Apple’s decision to automatically encrypt all data on Android and iOS devices.
“We understand the value of encryption and the importance of security,” she said. “But we’re very concerned they not lead to the creation of what I would call a ‘zone of lawlessness,’ where there’s evidence that we could have lawful access through a court order that we’re prohibited from getting because of a company’s technological choices.”"

+ - The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week But You Still Don't Need One

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Will Oremus writes at Future Tense that five years ago Steve Jobs introduced the iPad and insisted that it would do several things better than either a laptop or a smartphone: browse the web, send email, watch videos, enjoy your music collection, play games, read ebooks. By most standards, the iPad has been a success, and the tablet has indeed emerged as a third category of computing device but there's another way of looking at the iPad. According to Oremus, Jobs was right to leave out the productivity features and go big on the simple tactile pleasure of holding the Internet in your hands. But for all its popularity and appeal, the iPad never has quite cleared the bar Jobs set for it, which was to be “far better” at some key tasks than a laptop or a smartphone. The iPad may have been "far better" when it was first released but smartphones have come a long way. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and their Android equivalents are now convenient enough for most mobile computing tasks that there’s no need to carry around a tablet as well. That helps explain why iPad sales have plateaued, rather than continuing to ascend to the stratospheric levels of the iPhone. "The iPad remains an impressive machine. But it also remains a luxury item rather than a necessity," concludes Oremus. "Again, by most standards, it is a major success. Just not by the high standards that Jobs himself set for it five years ago.""

+ - Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Immediately following the Charlie Hebdo attack, Mark Zuckerberg said, "... this is what we all need to reject — a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world. I won't let that happen on Facebook. I'm committed to building a service where you can speak freely without fear of violence." Now, Facebook has begun censoring images of the prophet Muhammad in Turkey. According to the Washington post, "It’s an illustration, perhaps, of how extremely complicated and nuanced issues of online speech really are. It’s also conclusive proof of what many tech critics said of Zuckerberg’s free-speech declaration at the time: Sweeping promises are all well and good, but Facebook’s record doesn't entirely back it up." To be fair to Zuckerberg and Facebook, the company must obey the law of any country in which it operates. But it stands in stark contrast to the principles espoused by its founder."
Link to Original Source

+ - Comcast Pays Overdue Fees, Free Stuff For Time-Warner Merger Approval

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "In seeking more support for its mega-merger with Time-Warner Cable, Comcast has been going across the country giving local governments a chance to ask for favors in exchange for approving a franchise transfer. In Minneapolis, this turned up an unpaid bill of $40,000 in overdue franchise fees, so Comcast will have to pay the city money it already owed in order to get the franchise transfer. Comcast will also throw in $50,000 worth of free service and equipment.

"Thirty Minneapolis city buildings will get free basic cable for the next seven years as part of a package of concessions the city wrung out of Comcast in exchange for blessing its proposed merger with fellow cable giant Time Warner," Minnesota Public Radio reported. "Comcast has also agreed to pay Minneapolis $40,000 in overdue franchise fees after an audit found it underpaid the city for its use of the public right of way over the last three years." The article notes that getting any kind of refund out of a cable company is not easy.

Part of the deal with Minneapolis involves the spinoff of a new cable company called GreatLand Connections that will serve 2.5 million customers in the Midwest and Southeast, including Minnesota. After the deal, Comcast's franchises in those areas would be transferred to GreatLand. Such goodwill concessions may seem impressive as Comcast seeks to foster goodwill, but one wonders how Comcast/TimeWarner will behave after the merger."

+ - Interview with a pentester->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Penetration testers are often viewed as professional versions of hackers, galavanting from conference to datacentre around the world popping systems left, right and centre. The truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Raw Hex interviews John Carroll, a penetration tester in an internal bank. Interestingly, John was the first person to win a bugcrowd bug bounty and also talks about the incorrect perception of pentesters having access to some sort of black magic."
Link to Original Source

+ - Apple posts $18B quarterly profit, highest ever by any company

Submitted by jmcbain
jmcbain (1233044) writes "Today, Apple reported its financial results for the quarter ending December 31, 2014. It posted $18 billion in profit (on $74 billion in revenue), the largest quarterly profit by any company ever. The previous record was $16 billion by Russia’s Gazprom (the largest natural gas extractor in the world) in 2011. Imagine how much better Apple could be if they open-sourced their software."

+ - Embedded Linux Conference Hijacked by Drones->

Submitted by DeviceGuru
DeviceGuru (1136715) writes "The Linux Foundation has released the full agenda for its annual North American Embedded Linux Conference + Android Builders Summit, which takes place Mar. 23-25 in San Jose, Calif. The ELC, which this year is titled Drones, Things, and Automobiles, increasingly reflects new opportunities for Linux in areas such as drones, robots, automotive computers, IoT gizmos, 3D sensing, modular phones, and much more. For those worried that ELC is skimping on the basics as it explores the more colorful sides of Linux, worry not, as there are still plenty of sessions on booting, trace analysis, NAND support, PHY frameworks, power management, defragmenting, systemd, device tree, and toolchain."
Link to Original Source

+ - FCC calls blocking of personal Wi-Fi hotspots "disturbing trend"->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "The FCC on Tuesday warned http://transition.fcc.gov/Dail... that it will no longer tolerate hotels, convention centers or others intentionally interfering with personal Wi-Fi hotspots. This issue grabbed headlines last fall when Marriott International was fined $600K for blocking customer Wi-Fi hotspots, presumably to encourage the guests to pay for pricey Internet access from the hotel."
Link to Original Source

+ - Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Unexpectedly Large Number of Enhancements

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "Following its huge Windows 10 event last Wednesday, Microsoft released a brand-new preview build to the public, versioned 9926. We were told that it'd give us Cortana, Microsoft's AI assistant, as well as a revamped Start menu and updated notifications pane. But as it turns out, that's not even close to summing up all that's new with this build. In fact, 9926 is easily the most substantial update rolled out so far in the beta program, with some UI elements and integral Windows features seeing their first overhaul in multiple generations."

+ - Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope" For World's Highest Elevator 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Halfway up the Shard, London’s tallest skyscraper, you are asked to step out of the elevator at the transfer floor or “sky lobby,” a necessary inconvenience in order to reach the upper half of the building, and a symptom of the limits of elevators today. To ascend a mile-high (1.6km) tower using the same technology could necessitate changing elevators as many as 10 times because elevators traveling distances of more than 500m [1,640 ft] have not been feasible because the weight of the steel cables themselves becomes so great. Now BBC reports that after nine years of rigorous testing, Kone has released Ultrarope — a material composed of carbon-fiber covered in a friction-proof coating that weighs a seventh of the steel cables, making elevators of up to 1km (0.6 miles) in height feasible to build. Kone's creation was chosen to be installed in what's destined to become the world's tallest building, the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. When completed in 2020, the tower will stand a full kilometer in height, and will boast the world's tallest elevator at 660m (2,165ft). A 1km-tall tower may seem staggering, but is this the buildable limit? Most probably not, according to Dr Sang Dae Kim. “With Kingdom Tower we now have a design that reaches around 1 km in height. Later on, someone will push for 1 mile, and then 2 km,” says Kim adding that, technically speaking, a 2 km might be possible at the current time. “At this point in time we can build a tower that is 1 km, maybe 2 km. Any higher than that and we will have to do a lot of homework.”"

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