Trouble in transit

We've probably all done it. I have. You know you have too. Go on, admit it!
Done what you ask? Scrounged around for some free WiFi when travelling. With data roaming costs being so high, free wifi can be a blessing - except when it's a curse!

Here's a fun article from tripwire highlighting how easy it can be to capture credentials from unwitting travellers at an airport and how poor the information security practices in some hotels can be.

What Nabil describes in his article about default passwords and poorly segmented networks pretty much matches some of the stuff I've seen when travelling. What makes it worse is when the place is charging a small fortune for daily internet access - where is that money going? Not on security apparently!

Long story short - don't let down your guard even when connected to 'safe' networks and VPN is your friend!

Oh and Nabil's page is pretty cool too. Go check it out!

EMET Uncovered

This is a nice rundown on Microsoft EMET's functionality and its strengths and weaknesses.  I've been running EMET for about 6 months, its very unobtrusive and I'm yet to see it cause an issue with the applications that I run. I believe the more recent versions are also able to be managed with MS System Center for larger environments.

Microsoft Expands Mitigation Bypass Bounty

Microsoft have expanded their mitigation bypass bounty to include not just bypass techniques researched and developed specifically for the program, but also bypass techniques observed in the wild, thereby vastly increasing the number of researchers looking and the chance of finding something novel.

Today’s news means we are going from accepting entries from only a handful of individuals capable of inventing new mitigation bypass techniques on their own, to potentially thousands of individuals or organizations who find attacks in the wild. Now, both finders and discoverers can turn in new techniques for $100,000.
Increasing the chance of finding a novel technique is only the first benefit that Microsoft hope to gain from this expansion, as they point out in the quote below they are also hoping to have an influence on the underground vulnerability markets, increasing the costs to those looking to buy exploits.  This is a nice use of market forces to drive security benefit, artificially increasing the cost to the bad guys, I wonder who has more money... (and no, I'm not going down the rabbit hole of nation state actors)
This evolution of our bounty programs is designed to further disrupt the vulnerability and exploit markets. Currently, black markets pay high prices for vulnerabilities and exploits based on factors that include exclusivity and longevity of usefulness before a vendor discovers and mitigates it.
The use of market forces to drive up the cost of exploits ties in quite nicely with some discussions I've been having recently about raising the entry criteria for attackers, be it at a micro level such as what you might be doing in your organisation or a macro level such as what Microsoft are doing here. Attempting to 'raise the bar' for adversaries, either by technical or financial means is nothing new, this is the point of every security control or bug bounty program.  What is different from other bounty programs with this effort and its predecessor is that Microsoft is incentivising researchers to find new defensive strategies rather than individual vulnerabilities with point solutions, effectively eliminating whole classes of vulnerabilities.

NBN and Huawei

Interesting article on Huawei's exclusion from the NBN here in Australia

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