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The Threat Landscape Roundtable

I was invited along to SC Media's roundtable on The Threat Landscape last week and they have written an article on it. I was also interviewed and appear in their video summary. The article and video can be found here: https://www.scmagazineuk.com/roundtable-the-threat-landscape/article/635652/

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You say it's 'Security Best Practice' - prove it!

Over the last few weeks I have had many conversations and even attended presentations where people talk about 'Security Best Practices' and how we should all follow them. However, 'Best Practice' is just another way of saying 'What everyone else does!' OK, so if everyone else does it and it's the right thing to do, you should be able to prove it. The trouble is that nobody ever measures best practice - why would you? If everyone's doing it, it must be right.

Well, I don't agree with this sentiment. Don't get me wrong, many of the so-called best practices are good for most organisations, but blindly following them without thought for your specific business could cause as many problems as you solve. I see best practice like buying an off-the-peg suit - it will fit most people acceptably well if they are a fairly 'normal' size and shape. However, it will never fit as well as a tailored suit and isn't an option for those of us who are ou…

McAfee Secure Short-URL Service Easy to Foil

McAfee have launched a Beta URL shortening service with added security features. As Brett Hardin pointed out they are a little late to the game. However, there are so many abuses of URL shortening services that I commend them for trying.

Basically, what their service does is allow you to create short easy URLs (like any other service). However, unlike other services, when you click on the link, it opens a frames page with the content in the bottom frame and the McAfee information in the top frame. This information includes details about the domain you are connecting to, the type of company it's registered to and a big green tick or red cross to tell you whether the site is safe or not. This is decided by their 'Global Threat Intelligence', which will block known bad URLs and phishing sites. That's good, if it works.

I said above that I commend them for trying to provide this service. There are some obvious failings in their solution though, that render their protection…

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 o…