In this blog post you will learn about entropy within the domain of information theory. You will learn what entropy is and how to compute it. You will be shown some simple C code snippets to bring theory into application. Also, you will be shown why it is an important measurement in the field of computer security. Finally, we will cover some practical applications of entropy calculation and analysis.
Hundreds of security professionals and system administrators attended Black Hat USA 2010 in Las Vegas. Black Hat conferences always attract thought leaders from all facets of the information security world, including corporate and government sectors, as well a large group of researchers. The following are a few highlights of the presentations delivered during the Black Hat USA 2010 briefings.
How do you build good, secure development practices into the DNA of a company with over 40 different business units, an incredibly diverse set of product lines, and employees distributed around the globe? One of the things you need is a virtual community of sharp, knowledgeable people who understand network security and secure product development (and testing), and who can share and evangelize that knowledge with their peers, their colleagues, and their management.
That virtual community is a reality at Cisco. Today, the Security Advocates program numbers over 100 members from 40 different business units, representing diverse product lines ranging from small SOHO devices to core routers and switches to SaaS applications. Testers, tech leads, developers, and architects learn together, share their knowledge and expertise with one another and with their business unit colleagues, and provide valuable feedback to centralized security teams. In a decentralized environment like Cisco, this is an incredible boost to the time-to-adoption of new secure development tools and processes.
Security doesn’t “just happen.” It takes dedicated voices to get and keep development teams focused on producing more secure products, especially when resources are focused on other, often more marketable customer requirements. Product teams inside Cisco show their commitment to security by designating a security advocate for their business unit. Bringing that message inside the development teams literally brings the information “inside,” with insider credibility from someone who understands the peculiarities, design features, history and market segment for a particular product — a major win when working with widely divergent products, markets and business realities.
SCADA networks have been targeted by the Stuxnet malware that exploits a 0-day Windows vulnerability, as well as a hard-coded database password. The details of this issue paint a picture of security controls new and old, and give some hints about how we might expect these controls to affect us over time and whether they can evolve to meet new challenges. For starters, signed code may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.
Today we released the Cisco 2010 Midyear Security Report, a report that provides a high level and thought provoking discussion of the technological, economic, and demographic shifts bearing down on IT security. As you’ll see in the report, the first half of 2010 has been a very interesting time. ScanSafe has always had an unparalleled view of the Web threat landscape, thanks to the ten of billions of Web requests processed in real-time. Now, thanks to Cisco’s acquisition of ScanSafe, we can extend our threat data analysis even further.
As part of our efforts to improve what we do at Cisco Security Intelligence Operations, next week — just in time for Black Hat — we are introducing a project to merge threat analysis across all Cisco security teams. The first product of this is the Cisco 2Q10 Global Threat Report, which merges threat analysis from Cisco IPS, Cisco IronPort, and Cisco ScanSafe data. Not only can we now report the who, what, when and where of Web threats, but we can share our bird’s eye view into what types of attacks are happening on enterprise networks — including how they can sometimes correlate to attack outbreaks on the Web. And we’re going to do this every quarter.