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- Can Security Teams and DBAs Play Nicely? - Some great points in this article highlight that it is a two fold problem. On the one hand, database administrators are very focused on performance, tuning, and reliability (as they should be) and are neither trained up on, nor focused on, security. On the other hand, you have many security people who are neither trained nor skilled in databases. This makes for a difficult situation in which to implement security. However, I do want to point out that security folks can encourage database administrators to patch the database and improve on the patch cycle. I'd also argue that if you know databases well, and can tune them and keep them running, you likely already know how to secure them, you just don't want to.
- Study: Chrome the Most Secure Browser - Wow, a study commissioned by Google finds that Chrome is the most secure browser. Funny how that works, eh? The study is a good resource to learn about modern browser protections, and also notes that URL filtering for malware is not that great amongst all browsers.
Dumbest Camera Ban Ever - Get this: "the station has decided to only ban DSLRs due to "their combination of high quality sensor and high resolution". Other cameras are allowed in, as long as they don't look "big" enough to shoot amazing photos." Its this kind of security that really bothers me, and I see it so often. Just the other day I heard the person working at the home improvement store talking about how one company's locks are so much better and more secure than another's. So much so that when she bought her house, she changed them to the company's she likes. Now, if her house is like mine, or like most houses, there is a big window right next to the door.
- BonkersWorld: Backwards Compatibility - While I thought this cartoon was morbidly funny, it reminds me of the lengths people will go to in order to maintain backwards compatibility. This typically has an adverse affect on security, and at some point you just need to move forward, which has consequences as well, some of them, well, morbid.
- Shamir’s Predictions of the Future - Adi Shamir, one of the winners of the Turing award for his work in public-key cryptography, makes some predictions for the future. I find them to be pretty epic, such as he states "Crypto will be invisibly everywhere. Vulnerabilities will be visibly everywhere." Whew, let's let that one roll around in the old noggin for a bit… Okay, so he also states that "Non-crypto security will remain a mess." Now, Shamir is a crypto guy, but let's not lose site of that fact that crypto only solves part of the problem, the privacy and integrity part mostly. However, crypto is only as good as the implementation, and I predict that people will still manage to mess up the crypto so it's not secure.
- Two Bets on 2012 - I love predictions, they are just too much fun! Here are some to consider: "The safe bet: first, bad guys will continue to develop new ways to break into systems and steal information. It’s just too profitable for them to stop. The adventurous bet: second, 2012 may be the year for mobile device hacks that really hit some big name organizations hard. " Okay, so we know that bad guys are going to keep at it and make money. Ever since there was a law, there were people breaking the law to make money. This will always be a constant (not really a prediction). Also, every year someone says, "This will be the year that attackers really go after mobile devices." I think the piece that's missing is, it's still far too profitable and easy to go after desktops. So, why bother wasting time with mobile devices when you can make a thousands or much more per week renting out a bonnet on random hosts you've trojaned on the Internet?
- 8 Out of 10 Software Apps Fail Security Test - If you want to know what the problem is with web application security, it's right here. The software is not resilient, in many aspects. Also, we keep buying and using the software, so there is no incentive to change it. Then attackers mass exploit SQLi and make a profit. There is no question this will continue, until we make better software or stop using the poorly written code.
- MS11-080 - A Voyage into Ring Zero - Just nice to know it's still possible to do stuff like this, however, I didn't see it published that this attack works on Windows 7 or 64-bit XP even, proving even more that Microsoft has raised the bar of operating system security.
- The Security Threat Stephen King Warned Us About? - Funny how there is a lot of information being published about how embedded systems are everywhere and "bad things could happen". That was my talk almost two years ago now. However, fast forward to today, and take a peek into the future, you will truly see computers in everything. Some will say it's a movie plot come to life, that computers will take over the world and we will all be living in cocoons, living out our daily lives in a digitally created world where nothing seems real. Oh wait, maybe that's just me! If it were, I'd encourage everyone to read the book "Daemon" by Daniel Suarez, perhaps the best and most realistic usage of technology in a work of fiction that I've ever read.
Let's have a look at some of last year's predictions:
- Security Predictions for 2011 and 2012 - The Emerging Security Threat (SANS Institute)
- Top 10 Security Predictions For 2011 (Information Week)
- My 2011 Security Predictions (Rich Mogul, Securosis)