The latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (Volume 11) has been released and contains some interesting information that Microsoft has collected from the execution of its Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) and Internet Explorer SmartScreen® data. Several of the results confirm what those of us in the network security monitoring community already know: Java is the most often exploited application (page xvii), Adobe Acrobat exploits account for most malicious documents (page xviii), and Adware is the most common type of malware identified (page xx). Microsoft also stated that over a third of malware detected could spread via the AutoRun feature on removable media or on network shares. Updates exist that help make the AutoRun feature in XP and Vista more like the one in Windows 7, which is to say more secure. Deploy those updates.Read more
Security is expensive. We all know that. I see the battles my clients continually face – particularly the small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) – as they try to spread their limited security dollars across dedicated salaries (for the fortunate ones), toolsets, appliances, training, and consulting (maybe we don’t need to include the last one…). The underlying belief that many SMBs seem to receive some relief from: “I’m the small guy. Surely I won’t be targeted when there are banks and multinational retailers to be hacked.” Mr. Angelastri says as much in this Wall Street Journal article.Read more
Adobe has released updates for the Acrobat suite of products. The update fixes over two dozen vulnerabilities[adobe.com], at least one of which is being actively exploited. The version number of the fixed Acrobat and Acrobat Reader products are 9.2, 8.1.7, and 7.1.4.
What is more damning than the 29 vulnerabilities fixed is that it appears that many of the vulnerabilities have existed since the Acrobat 7.x and are just now being discovered and/or addressed. I have a suggestion for Adobe: Get your developers some secure coding training. Stop all coding at your company until all your developers have taken one month of secure coding classes.
Another Adobe Acrobat vulnerability is being exploited in the wild. All versions up to and including 9.1.3 are vulnerable. The current exploit targets Acrobat and Acrobat Reader on Windows specifically, but all Acrobat variants (those for Linux and Mac OS X) are vulnerable. Apparently, using DEP (Data Execution Prevention) in Windows may thwart the attack (at the moment). DEP is an optional setting. Here is the Microsoft KB article about DEP, but their server is saying it’s “too busy” at the moment (4:11p). More information from the ISC is here.
Adobe is set to release an update on October 13. Until then, keep on your toes!
TRUE Network Security Monitoring customers: rest easier: if your resources are successfully attacked, we should see the results.
According to NIST, with the proliferation of VOIP, the demands for security are significantly compounded. Now, network administrators must protect two invaluable assets – our data and our conversations. Federal agencies are required by law to protect a great deal of information, even if it is unclassified. The current Internet architecture does not provide the same physical wire security as the phone lines. What’s the solution? Encryption! Encryption! Encryption!
Encrypting VOIP traffic and running it over a virtual private network provides excellent security when dealing with external communications. Architecture decision, like locating IP Telephones behind NATs and Firewalls, are also important.