Well, Richard Smith has “resigned” from Equifax. The CEO being fired is a rare outcome of a breach, and so I want to discuss what’s going on and put it into context, which includes the failures at DHS, and Deloitte breach. Also, I aim to follow the advice to praise specifically and criticize in general,…Read More It’s Not The Crime, It’s The Coverup or the Chaos
A Wednesday letter from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity gives secretaries of state about two weeks to provide about a dozen points of voter data. That also would include dates of birth, the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers… (NYTimes story) Of this writing, 44 states have refused. I want to…Read More Voter Records, SSN and Commercial Authentication
There is a frequent claim that stock markets are somehow irrational and unable to properly value the impact of cyber incidents in pricing. (That’s not usually precisely how people phrase it. I like this chart of one of the largest credit card breaches in history: It provides useful context as we consider this quote: On…Read More You say noise, I say data
Steve Bellovin and I provided some “Input to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.” It opens: We are writing after 25 years of calls for a “NTSB for Security” have failed to result in action. As early as 1991, a National Research Council report called for “build[ing] a repository of incident data” and said “one…Read More Why Don't We Have an Incident Repository?
There’s two major parts to the DNC/FBI/Russia story. The first part is the really fascinating evolution of public disclosures over the DNC hack. We know the DNC was hacked, that someone gave a set of emails to Wikileaks. There are accusations that it was Russia, and then someone leaked an NSA toolkit and threatened to…Read More FBI says their warnings were ignored
The Washington Post reports that there will be a “New agency to sniff out threats in cyberspace.” This is my first analysis of what’s been made public. Details are not fully released, but there are some obvious problems, which include: “The quality of the threat analysis will depend on a steady stream of data from…Read More The New Cyber Agency Will Likely Cyber Fail
Lately I’ve noted a lot of people quoted in the media after breaches saying “X was Security 101. I can’t believe they didn’t do X!” For example, “I can’t believe that LinkedIn wasn’t salting passwords! That’s security 101!” Now, I’m unsure if that’s “security 101” or not. I think security 101 for passwords is “don’t…Read More Security 101: Show Your List!
There’s a recurring theme in data breach stories: The risks were clear to computer experts inside $organization: The organization, they warned for years, might be easy prey for hackers. But despite alarms as far back as 2008, $organization was slow to raise its defenses, according to former employees. The particular quote is from “Ex-Employees Say…Read More Employees Say Company Left Data Vulnerable
All through the week of BSides/BlackHat/Defcon, people came up to me to tell me that they enjoyed my BSides Las Vegas talk. (Slides, video). It got some press coverage, including an article by Jon Evans of TechCrunch, “Notes From Crazytown, Day One: The Business Of Fear.” Mr. Evans raises an interesting point: “the computer security…Read More BSides LV: Change Industry Or Change Professionals?
Stefan Larson talks about “What doctors can learn from each other:” Different hospitals produce different results on different procedures. Only, patients don’t know that data, making choosing a surgeon a high-stakes guessing game. Stefan Larsson looks at what happens when doctors measure and share their outcomes on hip replacement surgery, for example, to see which…Read More What Security Folks Can Learn from Doctors