Many network security administrators are struggling to keep their network “up-to-date” with the constant release of new vulnerabilities and software fixes. At the same time, they’re under pressure to provide near 100% availability of key business services and systems. Every time a vendor discloses a security vulnerability, network security administrators must identify affected devices and (in numerous cases) upgrade such devices. These activities can take hours, days, or even weeks depending on the size of the organization. For instance large enterprises and organizations may have thousands of routers and switches that need to be assessed for the impact of any given vulnerability. Cisco is helping customers by adopting cutting-edge security automation standards such as the Open Vulnerability and Assessment Language (OVAL) and the Common Vulnerability Reporting Framework (CVRF).
In the following blog posts, I’ve provided details about how security automation is helping customers:
Webcast took place on Tuesday, April 23rd at 10:00 a.m. EST (14:00 GMT). Over 150 customers from 29 countries learned about security automation; Cisco’s machine readable content strategy; and vulnerability assessment using OVAL. We discussed how customers can use OVAL to quickly assess the effects of security vulnerabilities in Cisco IOS Software devices. The recording is now available:
At 10:30 UTC one of the botnet spam campaigns we discussed yesterday took a shift to focus on the recent explosion in Texas. The miscreants responded to the tragic events in Texas almost immediately. The volume of the attack is similar to what we witnessed yesterday with the maximum volume peaking above 50% of all spam sent. We’ve seen 23 unique sites hosting the malware. This is an attempt to grow the botnet.
The concept of crowd sourcing cyber intelligence may sound like an unstructured process, but there’s more to it than that. First, you need to remember that all crowds consist of collections of individuals contributing to the community knowledge base. Second, someone has to take responsibility for gathering data from the crowd, analyzing it, and refining it into actionable information that crowd members can apply to their unique situations.
One of the main reasons I’m excited about my job is that I work for an organization with unique qualifications to lead the movement to collective, crowd-sourced cyber security. Cisco has customers all over the globe that have agreed to share threat intelligence data with us for analysis and redistribution back to the community. This process evolved as a byproduct of our main line network products, solutions, and services business. It also hasn’t escaped our notice that these efforts not only deliver huge benefits to our current customers, but also carry with them a truly compelling business value proposition. I really shouldn’t say more, but do it any way in a video blog post you can access here.
On April 16th at 11:00pm GMT, the first of two botnets began a massive spam campaign to take advantage of the recent Boston tragedy. The spam messages claim to contain news concerning the Boston Marathon bombing. The spam messages contain a link to a site that claims to have videos of explosions from the attack. Simultaneously, links to these sites were posted as comments to various blogs.
The link directs users to a webpage that includes iframes that load content from several YouTube videos plus content from an attacker-controlled site. Reports indicate the attacker-controlled sites host malicious .jar files that can compromise vulnerable machines.
On April 17th, a second botnet began using a similar spam campaign. Instead of simply providing a link, the spam messages contained graphical HTML content claiming to be breaking news alerts from CNN.
Cisco Intrusion Prevention System devices, Cloud Web Security, Email Security Appliances, and Web Security Appliances have blocked this campaign from the start.
You choose a web security appliance based on user count and expected traffic profiles. Then marketing rolls out a successful video campaign that goes viral and your users complain about slow internet performance.
You’re under the gun to complete your global web security initiative on time and then you receive word that three servers are stuck in customs in a country you have never heard of.
You’re moving more and more workloads onto virtual servers to match your business agility objectives when someone from the c-suite asks, “Why do you still have these security appliances? Can’t you virtualize them, too?” Read More »