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Geopolitical Trends in Cybersecurity for 2015

New year predictions generally take one of several forms: broad generalizations about multi-year trends, guesses about what might happen, or overviews of recent events disguised as predictions. The first is too easy, the second—going out on a limb—risks missing the mark so badly as to be useless. So I will go with the third choice in the hope that, by calling out some of the common threads running through major stories of 2014, we can take some cues for the future.

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Microsoft Update Tuesday January 2015: Another Light Month, No IE Bulletins, More Changes to Reporting

This post was written by Yves Younan.

Microsoft’s first Update Tuesday of 2015 is pretty light, there’s a total of eight bulletins, all covering a single vulnerability. Seven of these bulletins are rated as important and just one is rated critical. No bulletin for IE is being released this month. Two of the vulnerabilities were publicly disclosed prior to today, while another one was being actively exploited by attackers.

Microsoft made a number of changes to Update Tuesday last month, such as dropping deployment priority in favor of their exploitability index (XI). This month more changes were made to the program: Microsoft is no longer providing their Advance Notification Service (ANS) to the general public, but is instead only providing it to premier customers.

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New IT Harvest White Paper: How Policy-Based Software Defined Segmentation and Cisco TrustSec Improve Security

IT-Harvest, founded by renowned security expert and industry analyst Richard Stiennon, provides reports, analysis, and advisory services on trends in emerging threats and the technology to counter them. Richard Stiennon is one of the most followed and well-respected IT security analysts and authors in the world. His recent white paper discusses why network segmentation is becoming increasingly critical to protecting networks. Further, it argues that Cisco TrustSec provides the right technology for leveraging the network to provide better security. Read More »

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CVSS Version 3 Available For Public Comments

The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) Special Interest Group (SIG), in which Cisco is an active participant, acting on behalf of FIRST.org, has published a preview of the upcoming CVSS v3.0 scoring standard.  The CVSS v3.0 preview represents a near final version and includes metric and vector strings, formulas, scoring examples and a v3.0 calculator – all available at the CVSS v3.0 development site. The official public comment period is scheduled to end February 28, 2015 and anyone who produces or consumes CVSS scores are encouraged to review and provide feedback to cvss-v3-comments@first.org by the close of the comment period.

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Ransomware on Steroids: Cryptowall 2.0

This post was authored by Andrea Allievi and Earl Carter.

Ransomware holds a user’s data hostage. The latest ransomware variants encrypt the user’s data, thus making it unusable until a ransom is paid to retrieve the decryption key. The latest Cryptowall 2.0, utilizes TOR to obfuscate the command and control channel. The dropper utilizes multiple exploits to gain initial access and incorporates anti-vm and anti-emulation checks to hamper identification via sandboxes. The dropper and downloaded Cryptowall binary actually incorporate multiple levels of encryption. One of the most interesting aspects of this malware sample, however, is its capability to run 64 bit code directly from its 32 bit dropper. Under the Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit (WOW64) environment, it is indeed able to switch the processor execution context from 32 bit to 64 bit.

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