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Security through Intelligence

Cory Marchand

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Top Stories by Cory Marchand

As a Security Analyst, I witness very sophisticated Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks as well as low level cyber criminals attempting to steal bank information, credit card data and website login credentials. One commonality that the cyber criminals and the APT share is the method for gaining access to information, which typically occurs through an end users email. When it comes to the criminal element of cyber attacks, I am often amazed at the lack of sophistication and effort that is asserted against their victims. It leads me to ask the question, "How on earth are these ever successful?" There are, however, exceptions that can trip up anyone, even those within the information security profession. The right mixture of appropriate images, verbiage and the use of legitimate email addresses can open the way for a successful attack. The Attack Yesterday I rec... (more)

Malware Analysis - A Cost Effective and Quick "How To"

Malware analysis can be a time consuming process, especially when dealing with a sample from skilled attackers with time and money on their side . There is no doubt that fully reversing malware and finding out how it works is the most effective way to learn how to defend against it, but most businesses don't have the time or the professional resources to do it. There are ways in which you, a Computer Network Defender, can glean enough information from malware to be used in IDS and AV signature creation, DNS poisoning and blocking as well as sharing with the CND community. This can... (more)

Malware Delivery – Understanding Multiple Stage Malware

To some of us, seeing an email with malware embedded in a PDF, Word or Excel attachment is common. In fact, it has become the new norm for malware delivery to use file types that are not obviously malicious (versus something like a .exe). Gone are the days of wide-open acceptance of all file extensions for attachments within an email. In today's network defense-in-depth techniques, one of the layers is naturally email security. This includes the scrutinizing of emails for embedded links or attachments that could be potentially malicious, scanning attachments for possible detect... (more)

Addressing the Root Cause – A Proactive Approach to Securing Desktops

The computers on your network are protected from malware right? If you are operating an environment based largely on Windows based PCs you likely have some kind of anti-virus installed and centrally managed. If you have purchased a more complete desktop protection suite, you probably even have a Host Based IDS/IPS protecting your machine from incoming malicious TCP scans, or possible outbound connections to known malicious sites (like google.com occasionally). Operating system firewall activated? Yep! AV signatures current? Check! Global Threat Intelligence updated? Uh, yeah....s... (more)

Information Assurance Does Not Equal Information Security

When I was working on a network assessment team for one of my customers, I would routinely hear upset voices when we would present our findings. The most common thing that the executives would say was, “Wait a minute, aren’t we current on our updates? I saw the compliance report, and we were all green right?” “All green right?” What that Information Security Officer was referring to was a slide that was presented to him showing the level of compliance that the hosts on his network were currently reporting. To him, this meant secure.  It meant that all of his systems were patche... (more)