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Showing posts from 2013

Denial of Service (DoS) and Brute-Force Protection

Recently it has become clear to me that, although the terms Denial of Service (DoS), Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and Brute-Force are used by many, people don't really understand them. This has caused confusion and problems on more than one project, so I thought I would write my thoughts on their similarities, differences and protection mechanisms.

A Denial of Service is anything that happens (usually on purpose, but not necessarily) that takes a service off line or makes it unavailable to legitimate users. This could range from a hacker exploiting a vulnerability and taking the service off line, to someone digging up a cable in the road. However, a Denial of Service could also be triggered by legitimate use of a service without any 'vulnerabilities'. Consider a service that performs operations on large sets of data that take a few seconds to complete. If I put in multiple requests for this service then I could tie it up and make it unresponsive for several minutes…

The Disconnect between Security and Senior Management

There is often a fundamental disconnect between security professionals and senior management. As I have stated in a previous post about slips, mistakes and violations, if senior management don't 'buy in' to security then nor will the rest of the organisation and ultimately it will fail. Middle management want to be senior management and will model themselves on them, often seeing the breaking of rules as a mark of status. So, it is vital that senior management lead by example.

Unfortunately, it is often very hard to get senior management to 'buy in' to this concept and not have a 'them-and-us' attitude of there being those rules that apply to the rest of the organisation and those that apply to them. This is as much the fault of the security professionals as senior management though. Security professionals have spent so long saying "no" to everyone and stalwartly refusing to budge or see someone else's point of view that people have stopped li…