News

15 November, 2018

Chip Cards Fail to Reduce Credit Card Fraud in the US

A new study finds that credit card fraud has not declined since the introduction of chip cards in the US. The majority of stolen card information comes from hacked point-of-sale terminals. The reasons seem to be twofold. One, the US uses chip-and-signature instead of chip-and-PIN, obviating the most critical security benefit of the chip. And two, US merchants still…

14 November, 2018

More Spectre/Meltdown-Like Attacks

Back in January, we learned about a class of vulnerabilities against microprocessors that leverages various performance and efficiency shortcuts for attack. I wrote that the first two attacks would be just the start: It shouldn't be surprising that microprocessor designers have been building insecure hardware for 20 years. What's surprising is that it took 20 years to discover it.…

14 November, 2018

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

This is a current list of where and when I am scheduled to speak: I'm speaking at Kiwicon in Wellington, New Zealand on November 16, 2018. I'm appearing on IBM Resilient's End of Year Review webinar on "The Top Cyber Security Trends in 2018 and Predictions for the Year Ahead," December 6, 2018 at 12:00 PM EST. I'm giving…

14 November, 2018

Oracle and "Responsible Disclosure"

I've been writing about "responsible disclosure" for over a decade; here's an essay from 2007. Basically, it's a tacit agreement between researchers and software vendors. Researchers agree to withhold their work until software companies fix the vulnerabilities, and software vendors agree not to harass researchers and fix the vulnerabilities quickly. When that agreement breaks down, things go bad quickly.…

13 November, 2018

New IoT Security Regulations

Due to ever-evolving technological advances, manufacturers are connecting consumer goods­ -- from toys to light bulbs to major appliances­ -- to the Internet at breakneck speeds. This is the Internet of Things, and it's a security nightmare. The Internet of Things fuses products with communications technology to make daily life more effortless. Think Amazon's Alexa, which not only answers…

12 November, 2018

Hiding Secret Messages in Fingerprints

This is a fun steganographic application: hiding a message in a fingerprint image. Can't see any real use for it, but that's…

9 November, 2018

Friday Squid Blogging: Australian Fisherman Gets Inked

Pretty good video. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered. Read my blog posting guidelines…

9 November, 2018

The Pentagon Is Publishing Foreign Nation-State Malware

This is a new thing: The Pentagon has suddenly started uploading malware samples from APTs and other nation-state sources to the website VirusTotal, which is essentially a malware zoo that's used by security pros and antivirus/malware detection engines to gain a better understanding of the threat landscape. This feels like an example of the US's new strategy of actively…

9 November, 2018

Privacy and Security of Data at Universities

Interesting paper: "Open Data, Grey Data, and Stewardship: Universities at the Privacy Frontier," by Christine Borgman: Abstract: As universities recognize the inherent value in the data they collect and hold, they encounter unforeseen challenges in stewarding those data in ways that balance accountability, transparency, and protection of privacy, academic freedom, and intellectual property. Two parallel developments in academic data…

8 November, 2018

iOS 12.1 Vulnerability

This is really just to point out that computer security is really hard: Almost as soon as Apple released iOS 12.1 on Tuesday, a Spanish security researcher discovered a bug that exploits group Facetime calls to give anyone access to an iPhone users' contact information with no need for a passcode. [...] A bad actor would need physical access…

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