Skip to main content

InfoSecurity Europe 2010

Once again InfoSecurity Europe was an interesting place to visit. Lots of good sessions and interesting people to talk to. Most of the usual protagonists were there and the organisers have increased the educational part of the exhibition as well, which is good.

I thought I would put down a few things that I thought were noteworthy from the exhibition. I've already blogged about the GrIDsure anti-phishing sender verification and the new 3M mobile phone privacy filters, but there were a few other things I want to mention.

The first one is Panda Security's new Panda Cloud Internet Protection. This is a cloud-based service that provides consistent security and access policies to all machines within an organisation. The key thing is that it will protect mobile machines that are outside the corporate network with the same policies as those within the network. Protecting corporate machines when mobile is a big concern and a good way to reduce malware or hacking problems on the main network.

The usual problem is that mobile devices connect to public, unsecured (or badly secured) networks and either pick up some malware that they bring back with them, or they connect back remotely and open a soft doorway into the corporate network. By securing machines with this cloud service, it should stop them from being a soft target and weak link in your security chain. If you already do something similar by allowing VPN access into the corporate network and allowing them to create connections out, you are using additional bandwidth for this traffic and having to open a VPN connection, which isn't always wise.

Another topic talked about (mainly by Sophos) was the security, or lack thereof, when using social media. Graham Cluley gave a really good talk on the subject on the Sophos stand including the use of SPAM avatars on sites such as Twitter. The attack is centred around the fact that anti-SPAM filtering finds it hard to scan the content of images, e.g. by doing Optical Character Recognition (OCR). So, people have been putting written messages in their ID picture to get past any filtering. You can find out more from his blog.

The final mention has to go to Ian Mann from ECSC. He, once again, talked about several Social Engineering techniques to get past security. He stated that he always likes to see security guards when trying to gain unauthorised access, as it usually makes the system much less secure. He gave a talk in one of the main theatres as well as several talks on the ECSC stand, all of which were interesting. He has written a book called Hacking the Human, which is worth a read if you want to find out more.

Beyond that, most of the usual suspects were there and many things were as before with incremental changes and updates. There didn't seem to be a central theme or message from all the vendors or industry in general. Everyone seemed to be concentrating on their own topics and products. One new addition to the exhibition was the University Pavilion. I think this could be put to good use to show people what's coming over the horizon or how these technologies that the vendors are pushing actually work.

Comments

Popular Posts

Trusteer or no trust 'ere...

...that is the question. Well, I've had more of a look into Trusteer's Rapport, and it seems that my fears were justified. There are many security professionals out there who are claiming that this is 'snake oil' - marketing hype for something that isn't possible. Trusteer's Rapport gives security 'guaranteed' even if your machine is infected with malware according to their marketing department. Now any security professional worth his salt will tell you that this is rubbish and you should run a mile from claims like this. Anyway, I will try to address a few questions I raised in my last post about this. Firstly, I was correct in my assumption that Rapport requires a list of the servers that you wish to communicate with; it contacts a secure DNS server, which has a list already in it. This is how it switches from a phishing site to the legitimate site silently in the background. I have yet to fully investigate the security of this DNS, however, as most

Web Hosting Security Policy & Guidelines

I have seen so many websites hosted and developed insecurely that I have often thought I should write a guide of sorts for those wanting to commission a new website. Now I have have actually been asked to develop a web hosting security policy and a set of guidelines to give to project managers for dissemination to developers and hosting providers. So, I thought I would share some of my advice here. Before I do, though, I have to answer why we need this policy in the first place? There are many types of attack on websites, but these can be broadly categorised as follows: Denial of Service (DoS), Defacement and Data Breaches/Information Stealing. Data breaches and defacements hurt businesses' reputations and customer confidence as well as having direct financial impacts. But surely any hosting provider or solution developer will have these standards in place, yes? Well, in my experience the answer is no. It is true that they are mostly common sense and most providers will conform

Trusteer's Response to Issues with Rapport

I have been getting a lot of hits on this blog relating to Trusteer's Rapport, so I thought I would take a better look at the product. During my investigations, I was able to log keystrokes on a Windows 7 machine whilst accessing NatWest. However, the cause is as yet unknown as Rapport should be secure against this keylogger, so I'm not going to share the details here yet (there will be a video once Trusteer are happy there is no further threat). I have had quite a dialogue with Trusteer over this potential problem and can report that their guys are pretty switched on, they picked up on this very quickly and are taking it extremely seriously. They are also realistic about all security products and have many layers of security in place within their own product. No security product is 100% secure - it can't be. The best measure of a product, in my opinion, is the company's response to potential problems. I have to admit that Trusteer have been exemplary here. Why do I