The attacks against South Korean media and banking organizations last week severely disrupted a handful of organizations with a coordinated distribution of “wiper” malware designed to destroy data on hard drives and render them unbootable. At 14:00 KST on March 20, 2013, the wiper was triggered across three media organizations and four banks, setting off a firestorm of speculation and finger-pointing and that which continues as of this writing. In this post, I’ll share a perspective no one else seems to be talking about, but may be the real motivation behind these attacks.
The What and the Possible Why
Let’s start with what we know:
- The attack was highly targeted
- The malware was specifically designed to distribute the wiper payload throughout the impacted organizations
- The malware was timed to deploy its destructive payload simultaneously across all affected organizations
- The resulting loss of data and downtime has been severe
While the “what” of the attack is well established, the “why” and “how” are still a matter of debate. Theories postulated include an outright act of warfare from North Korea designed to economically disrupt South Korea, or an act of sabotage to cover the tracks of data exfiltration allegedly wrought by China. But what if there were an explanation that was less about countries and politics and more about that all-time motivator of crime: money? Consider, if you will, the following timeline. Read More »
Tags: banking trojan, Cisco Security, cisco sio, darkseoul, DDoS, malware, south korean ddos attack, TRAC
Today, Cisco is celebrating a milestone in its commitment to helping you act on security intelligence—our 10th bundle of Cisco IOS Software Security Advisories. We’re proud of our commitment to these predictable disclosures (on the fourth Wednesday of March and September annually) because they originated as a direct response to your feedback. Bundled publications allow you to plan ahead and ensure resources are available to analyze, test, and remediate vulnerabilities in your environments. In an upcoming post, my colleague John Stuppi will share how the Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) drove the evolution from a traditional disclosure model to the current semiannual bundled publication. John’s post will also provide another vehicle to share feedback with PSIRT, the organization that manages the receipt, investigation, and public reporting of security vulnerability information that is related to Cisco products and networks.
Make sure you take a look at the Cisco Event Response—our “go to” document that correlates the full array of Cisco Security Intelligence Operations (SIO) resources for this bundle (including links to the advisories, mitigations, Cisco IntelliShield Alerts, CVSS scores, and OVAL content). Remember, this collateral is not unique to Cisco IOS Software Security Advisories but is part of Cisco SIO’s response to current security events.
Today’s edition of the Cisco IOS Software Security Advisory Bundled Publication includes seven advisories that affect the following technologies:
- Network Address Translation
- Resource Reservation Protocol
- Internet Key Exchange
- Zone-Based Firewall Session Initiation Protocol Inspection
- Smart Install
- Protocol Translation
- IP Service Level Agreement Read More »
Tags: Cisco, cisco ios, Cisco PSIRT, Cisco Security, cisco sio, IOS, vulnerability
We were excited to read the Infonetics Data Center Security Strategies and Vendor Leadership: North American Enterprise Survey, which was released yesterday. It revealed Cisco’s continued leadership in a market that spans a multitude of vendors – application/database, client, data center integration and network. The report indicates that leaders need to offer the right mix of products across the data center security and cloud arenas as well as demonstrate security efficacy and integration into adjacent markets. Cisco has continued to execute on a unified security portfolio spanning firewalls, Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), gateways, and integrated threat intelligence further complemented by strategic partnerships. Seamless integration and shared security intelligence with routing and switching (Nexus and Catalyst) and converged infrastructure (Cisco UCS) enables our customers to benefit from optimized traffic links, the highest levels of security resilience, increased availability and scalability as well as lower costs of ownership. Per the report, “to say you’re the leader in the data center/cloud security is to say you are an innovator who can tackle the biggest problems in IT security for the biggest and most demanding customers.”
We’d like to highlight two areas that Cisco has continued to demonstrate an outright lead over other vendors. In the area of perception as the top data center security supplier, Cisco leads with 47 percent of votes compared to IBM with 38 percent and McAfee with 28 percent, who ranked second and third. Cisco scored between 40 to 60 percent of respondents’ votes (covering 10 criteria) for being the leading data center security supplier with McAfee scoring 15 points below Cisco, HP received around 20 percent of votes, and Juniper and Trend with 15 percent. Read More »
Tags: catalyst, Cisco UCS, data center security, firewalls, gateways, IPS, nexus, unified security portfolio
As part of Cisco’s Compliance team, I’ve monitored organizational breaches and attacks. If you’re like me and follow media reports and industry news, then you know that data breaches have increased in severity and frequency. Unfortunately, many organizations do not have the tools, personnel, and funding to prevent, quickly detect, and contain data breaches. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council offers robust and comprehensive standards to enhance payment card data security. According to Ponemon Institute, organizations that are PCI compliant have fewer data breaches than non-compliant firms do. However, we know that PCI compliance is not enough. Even if you’ve met the stringent requirements of PCI DSS 2.0, your cardholder data may not be totally secure.
So, how can organizations maintain compliance and end-to-end security? The Compliance Solution team has gathered thought leaders in the payment card industry to offer research, guidance and best practices to help organizations overcome these challenges.
Join our webcast on April 16, 2013, with PCI experts from the Ponemon Institute, Verizon Business, and the PCI Security Standards Council to learn how Cisco can help bridge the gap between PCI compliance and security to minimize the impact of an attack. Read More »
Tags: compliance solutions, payment card industry, pci, PCI DSS 2.0, PCI security standards council
Innovation never stops in the mobile world, and that rule applies to security threats as well. Network attacks are becoming more sophisticated and even high-tech businesses with the most advanced security may find themselves in the crosshairs as we shift to more devices and anywhere access.
Just a few weeks ago, multiple leading social networking and large enterprises were hit with an attack when their employees visited a known and trusted website focused on mobile application development. Attackers used a method commonly referred to as “water-holing,” where they compromise a legitimate site commonly visited by employees of their target organizations. Using zero-day vulnerabilities and malicious code that change at a rapid rate, these attacks highlight the need to consistently enhance traditional defenses based on signatures or reputation with global and local context analysis.
This episode underscores how important security is in a more mobile, more connected world—attackers are paying attention, using these industry trends to create targeted and sophisticated attacks that can bypass traditional defenses. The Cisco 2013 Annual Security Report found that Android Malware grew 2,577 percent in 2012 alone. The Internet of Everything is taking shape and the number of online connections is soaring. According to Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013, 30 billion things will be connected by 2020.
Read More »
Tags: 2013 annual security report, attackers, byod, Cisco Security, Cisco Security Intelligence Operations, Internet of Everything, IoE, malware, Mike Fuhrman, mobile, mobile malware, security, sio, zero-day vulnerability