A Short History of Hacking

Found this on Online MBA.com. Thought it worth sharing.. and I never knew that the term hacking came from the guy who Russell Crowe plays in the film, A Beautiful Mind:

Data Loss Prevention – Content Awareness: Human vs Computer Classification

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a newer area of information security and assurance which has arrived in recent years. There are a host of software products, controls and solutions which have found there way onto the market to help facilitate DLP, whether those losses be malicious or inadvertent. This market seems fledgling but is maturing as time goes on. People are just starting to understand the effects of losing data, most of which is lost by mistake. Around 77% of data loss is “inadvertent” and unintended. Basically, people make mistakes. A much lower percentage of data loss is malicious. Compliance seems to be a major driver for the implementation of the solutions and many key security players are positioning DLP as a core element of ongoing strategy. The question I have is, at this stage is are we ready to effectively apply AI(Artificial Intelligence) based systems, where the intended objective is for those […]

Google Sniff-View Cars?

Probably one of the more interesting news stories this month is the revelation of Google admitting that it packet sniffed on unsecured public Wi-fi networks. Read news here.

It appears that Google Street View cars were driving around taking pictures of various locations, but were also kitted out with network sniffers that could connect to unsecured public wi-fi access points, monitor and record data transmissions across those networks. Naughty stuff Google. This went on for a total of 3 years and accordingly to Google the activity was a “simple mistake”. This continues to re-affirm beliefs that public Wi-fi networks are serious security risks for both individuals and companies. If one of the world’s largest IT monopolies can do this by accident, cough, what could a determined plan of attack achieve.

So how did they do it? The answer is, without rocket science. It’s easy enough to connect a laptop […]

How secure is my wireless network? Four Tips to bump up security.

Do you think your wireless network is secure?

If the answer is yes. The BackTrack (BackTrack 4 – www.backtrack-linux.org) pentration testing OS would beg to differ.

BackTrack 4 manifests itself in an entirely customised distribution of Linux. The underlying Linux distro is Ubuntu, but has been specifically enhanced, configured and packaged for the purposes of penetration testing. Within the package you receive a wide variety of wireless cracking, network scanning and password breaking tools.

There are several options you can select for running BackTrack to start your activities. You can install it as an OS on your harddrive, you can install it and run it from a USB stick and you can even run the entire OS from CD. The latter option requires no installation at all. You simply select a machine, boot from the CD and then remove the CD when finished. I chose the latter option for […]

Information Security Drivers

Is it possible to acheive total and complete information security? The answer today is no.

On occassion, it is easy to become complacent and make an assumption of security. Implementing effective counter measures to possible breaches of security can give an over confidence in our perception of the level of security in our systems. The reality is that our applications and systems become increasingly more complex. The primary challenge of any development of technology is making something that works, making something that works but also has perfect security is a pipe dream. Modern operations systems can contain upwards of 50 million lines of code. There are always holes in applications and operationg systems. If you doubt this, check the amount of security patches released by any OS vendor you know.

With this is mind effective security becomes about understanding that it’s not possible to fill every hole and block every gap […]

Internet Threat Monitors and Widgets

Have you ever wondered if there’s an early warning or monitoring tools on the internet to track security threats and virus outbreaks? Well, the answer is yes. There are quite a few, primarily from Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware Vendors. As yet there doesn’t appear to be a co-ordinated conslidated monitoring system for the whole internet, but it is possible to incorporate the tools mentioned above into web pages to get a consensus view.

Check out the widgets below to find the latest information on current virus, malware and other threats.

Cryptography – Before & After Public Key.

What better way to kick off an Information Security blog than with a video from the computer history museum on Cryptography? Whitefield Diffie is the speaker in this hour long presentation on cryptography history and is also one half of the Diffie Hellman duo who claim to have engineered this new approach. The same claim comes from GCHQ in the United Kingdom and the two research finding were published a matter of months apart.

Public Key cryptography is implemented by generating a pair of keys (numbers) which are mathematically linked. One is deemed the “Public Key” which is available to all and the other is the “Private Key” which is held by the intended recipient of the information which will be encrypted.

The Public key is used to Encrypt and the Private Key is used to Decrypt. The Private Key can also be used in digital signing operations where the recipient can use the corresponding […]