Archive for the ‘Security Tech’ Category

DNS Cache Poisoning: Definition and Prevention

Thursday, March 16th, 2006

The Internet would grind to a halt – would not be possible – without a Domain Name System (DNS).  As you’ll see in this paper, the proper operation of DNS is fundamental to the maintenance and distribution of the addresses for the vast number of nodes around the globe.  So it would be too much to hope for crackers (malicious hackers) to ignore DNS as they continuously look for new ways to circumvent your security.  There are several facets to DNS security. 

In this paper we focus on one of the most dangerous types of attack – DNS cache poisoning.  To provide a complete picture of this threat, we’ll explore how DNS works, two ways crackers facilitate cache poisoning, what impact this type of attack can have on your organization, and steps you can take to protect your information assets.

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Author:  Tom Olzak 

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Technical Security Alert: Rootkits can be hidden in virtual machines

Monday, March 13th, 2006

“Security researchers have uncovered new techniques to hide the presence of malware on infected systems. By hiding rootkit software in virtual machine environments, hackers have the potential to avoid detection by security software, boffins at Microsoft Research and the University of Michigan warn” (John Leyden, published 13 March 2006 in The Register).

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Email Authentication with Sender ID

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

In a February 14, 2006 article, I described the new Goodmail CertifiedEmail solution.  Goodmail provides a service to senders of marketing email that allows messages to bypass the normal spam filtering processes of email service providers like AOL.  The sender is charged a fee.  The objective of this for-fee service is to authenticate senders.       

Sender ID is an free standard that also meets the objective of sender authentication.  Developed by Microsoft, Sender ID is enjoying increasing acceptance by email and email filtering vendors.  It also provides significant flexibility to receivers when making automated decisions about what to do with unauthenticated messages.    In this article I examine the two primary contenders for email authentication standard, how Sender ID works, what senders must do to be considered “safe”, and what the emergence of this standard means to businesses and individuals.


Hacker’s Beware

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

“Quantum cryptography is trying to make all transmissions secure, so this could be very useful for online banking, for example,” says Professor Hoi-Kwong Lo, an expert in physics and electrical and computer engineering at U of T’s Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control and the senior author of a new study about the technique. “The idea can be implemented now, because we actually did the experiment with a commercial device.”

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IP Surveillance

Monday, February 27th, 2006

When managers discuss physical security, it’s usually restricted to what types of locks to place on what doors.  This is a good start, but locks are only one component of effective physical security.  In fact, a lock is intended as one of many safeguards to delay an intruder until he is identified and intercepted by security guards or police officers.  Good physical security requires the combination of locks, barriers, and sensors.  But these safeguards must be supported by the capability for human assessment of alerts or alarms.  The quickest method for gaining visibility into sensitive areas is the use of cameras.

Until recently, CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) technology was the principle means of viewing physical assets.  Today, IP Surveillance systems are taking over and providing significant improvements.  

In this article, I define IP Surveillance, explore how it works, and list the potential value it brings to your security efforts.   


Dissecting Nyxem: New dog, same old tricks.

Saturday, February 4th, 2006

There has been some real buzz concerning a new virus in the wild, Nyxem. While it employs the same old tricks virus coders have been using for years, it has a new nasty ending. Let’s discuss Nyxem (aka Mywife, Blueworm, BlackMal) and see what kind of risk we are really looking at.