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Latest Oracle Java Patches and Security Best Practices

Java exploits account for 87% of total web exploits - Cisco 2013 Annual Security Report

This month’s release of the Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Update includes patches for 42 vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities in the Oracle Java SE Java Runtime Environment (JRE) component have received widespread attention as of late because of the potential for an attacker to bypass security restrictions, access sensitive information, execute arbitrary code, or cause a denial of service condition. To make matters worse, Java vulnerabilities are often harnessed by exploit packs with tremendous success.

Many in the industry, as well as Cisco analysts, advise against having Java installed unless absolutely necessary. And if you must have Java installed, they advise using only the Java plug-in and Java Web Start provided with the latest JDK or JRE 7 release. But is there more to it than that?  Read More »

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London Calling

The Infosec London Conference is coming up this week, running April 23-25 at the Earl’s Court Exhibition Center. Cisco will be there of course, in a booth showing the latest Cisco security innovations and presenting four papers on:

• “Securely Accelerate Access to Data Center Applications” (Tuesday, April 23, 10:30)
• “The Changing Landscape of Identity: Is 802.1X Enough?” (Tuesday, April 23, 16:00)
• “Outbound Content Security” (Wednesday, April 24, 10:30)
• “BYOD Demo—Onboarding the iPad With Cisco Identity Services Engine” (Thursday, April 25, 10:30)

While taking in Cisco content at the show is definitely a must do item, I have a little insider travel tip to impart. Show goers should also check out the small and emerging companies usually found next to the walls in the convention hall. Read More »

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Customized WordPress, Joomla Brute Force Login Attempts

In recent weeks, the occurrence of brute force login attempts targeting WordPress and Joomla installations have significantly increased in volume, with some entities reporting triple the attempts seen in the past. The attack volume has been so severe that it has led some hosting providers to block all attempts to access wp-login.php, even for site owners or administrators. While blocking all access outright might seem a bit draconian, about 25% of websites globally include WordPress installations – a tremendous attack surface if left undefended.

During the course of its investigation, Cisco TRAC discovered a repository of data believed to potentially be feeding the brute force login attempts. The trove included user lists, site lists, and password lists. Additionally, there is a list that appears to be a compilation of usernames and passwords used in previous brute force login attempts, scrapings from phishing and cracking forums, as well as the Nmap password list of common passwords. The compiled list has over 25,000 entries, half of which were duplicates. After cleaning up the duplicates, we were left with 783 unique usernames and 11,001 unique passwords -- resulting in over 8.6 million possible combinations. However, it doesn’t appear the attackers are going to that extent; the total list of username/password pairs (with dupes removed) contained just over 13,000 combinations.

Examples of some of the more complex passwords discovered include:

  • 1numb2000core
  • 89525560336sasa
  • e10adc3949ba59abbe
  • 56e057f20f883e
  • 3l3c7rocard1ograph$
  • p1206n057ic47i0n
  • kaeLAA$3

Read More »

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CVRF: A Penny For Your Thoughts

The Common Vulnerability Reporting Framework (CVRF) is a security automation standard intended to make your life easier by offering a common language to exchange traditional security and vulnerability bulletins, reports, and advisories. You can read more about it on the official ICASI CVRF 1.1 page, in my CVRF 1.1 Missing Manual blog series, or in the cvrfparse instructional blog. CVRF 1.1 has been available to the public for almost a year and we would like to know how its helped and how we can improve it. Please take a moment to take the poll and please feel free to share it with any interested parties. Comments are encouraged and welcomed. The more feedback we get, the more we can improve CVRF.

Read More »

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Accelerating Real World Cybersecurity Solutions Through Private-Public Partnerships

I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural signing of National Cybersecurity Excellence Partnership agreements yesterday. Key stakeholders in attendance included National Security Agency Director, General Keith Alexander, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Dr. Pat Gallagher of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and several members of the Cisco team.

Established in 2012 through a partnership between NIST, the State of Maryland, and Montgomery County, the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) was conceived to advance innovation through the rapid identification, integration, and adoption of practical cybersecurity solutions. NCCoE collaborates with industry leaders through its National Cybersecurity Excellence Partnership (NCEP) initiative to develop real-world cybersecurity capabilities.

As a NCEP member and key collaborator, Cisco is dedicated to furthering the mission of securing cyberspace for all. As part of this ongoing commitment, Cisco has launched the Threat Response, Intelligence and Development organization, focusing key resources around cyber security, threat mitigation and network defense for our customers. Read a blog from our CSO John Stewart about this new organization and its charter here. Read More »

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