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Splunk acquires Phantom Cyber

I hope it doesn't come across as too cynical, the observation that most acquisitions in the tech domain fail to produce anything useful and often as not wind up killing a promising upstart technology, even if only by accident.

I have hope for this one, though. Splunk strikes me as a likely exception. This acquisition of fresh ideas and talent might breathe new life into a solid, if somewhat staid, security company.

Splunk’s data analytics gets a security boost with $350 million acquisition of Phantom Cyber
Recent posts

Jailbreaking iOS is a Dead Man Walking

Rumor has it that Apple will include a new security feature (possibly known to the developers in Apple as "Rootless") in the upcoming releases iOS 9 and OS X 10.11. Although details are sparse, it looks like Apple may have implemented what other UNIX systems call "namespaces" (See this nice discussion of namespaces on Linux).
Most of the public speculation about the rumor concerns a possible end to jailbreaking, a sport which has fallen on hard times with successful jailbreaks coming fewer and farther between. Since the defects which enable jailbreaking are inherently open to malware, Apple's ongoing efforts to find and fix these bugs with the LLVM/Clang compiler's ever-more-diligent static analyzer make it harder for the jailbreak community to find a toehold.
However, a namespaces-like security architecture might fix one of the biggest issues that leads people to desire a jailbroken iPhone. When iOS was created, the system extension features were locked…

RSA, Security Division of EMC, Hacked

This was not RSA's lucky day. This will be one to keep an eye on.

RSA Hacked by automated attack [Posted with iBlogger from my iPhone]

SQL Injection - So Easy, Your Server is Already Cracked

In a simple demonstration, a hapless team discovers the truth. "Your server is vulnerable. It's already been cracked. Oh, and by the way, it's already distributing malware for a botnet."
A Big Case of Oops!Attitude of management in many organizations is one of the biggest barriers to improved security on the internet. People simply don't want to believe that their systems are vulnerable. Denial is pervasive, and affects organizations from the biggest of the Fortune 500 or Federal government agencies, down to modestly sized companies, local governments, and non-profit corporations.The attitude of the unnamed client described at the "Following the White Rabbit" blog (link above) is all too common. I suspect that an underlying cause is that people want to believe several things that worked pretty well from an evolutionary perspective, but don't work very well on the internet. When everybody around is a bunch of cave dwellers, consumed entirely with find…

Quantum Phishing: email is dead

Phishing has matured. The bad guys are now so adept at mimicking the actual emails sent by PayPal, that PayPal support apparently cannot tell the actual PayPal email apart from the Phishing emails.PayPal mistakes own email for phishing attack [The Register]PayPal admits to Phishing Users [eset.com]I've wondered for years why the phishing emails were often so terribly lame. The ideal strategy would seem to be to read some actual emails from the intended target, and mimmic those as closely as possible. The traditional excuse offered by the security community is that the emails appear often to be generated by people who speak English as a second language, but that doesn't seem like it would be such a limiting factor, given the ease with which the translations could be corrected, even anonymously, using clever internet tricks, even fairly simple ones.The real answer seemed to be that the text content of the email didn't much matter, as people don't read them very carefully…

Bourne Incrimination - bio identity theft, the next big problem

It was only a matter of time before it became possible to create fake DNA evidence. That time is now.DNA Evidence Can be Fabricated [New York Times]Think it's bad when somebody steals your identity, drains your bank account, and spends thousands of dollars on credit cards they opened with your name on it? This run of the mill identity theft can cost you thousands of dollars, and many years to clean up. It pales in comparison to what will happen if biometric data becomes commonly used as proof of identity. Sometimes also called bio-print (like fingerprint) or bio-identity mechanisms, such things as retina scans and fingerprint scans are already in use, or even common use. DNA scans are likely to become possible several years from now, as the technology to read DNA is evolving rapidly. An entire genome can be sequenced by three people and equipment costing a few hundred thousand dollars, in a very short period of time, several days. When it become possible to read DNA in more or les…

Master Lock Pickers and the Security Mirage

If you ever doubted that the lock on your door was in place to keep out the kids, doubt no more. This fascinating article details one of the world's top lock pickers.The Ultimate Lock Picker Hacks Pentagon, Beats Corporate Security for Fun and ProfitA good friend of mine has been picking locks as a hobby most of his life. This is a skill that can be learned by any bright, patient person.It's a safe bet there are more people around who know how to pick locks than there are people getting paid to rethink the lock and key.