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6.5 million password hashes suggest a possible breach at LinkedIn

LinkedIn is believed to have suffered a password hash breach (updated: LinkedIn has confirmed the breach), thanks to a forum post that quickly caught the attention of security researchers on Twitter and other social outlets. The posted archive contained a 270+ MB text file of SHA-1 hashes, and forum discussions suggested that it was related to the popular business-centric social site.

At the moment, little is known and speculation is running wild. LinkedIn has not finished investigating whether they have been breached, however many security pros are confirming for the media that the SHA-1 hashes of their passwords are found in the file. The file is constructed in a hash-per-line fashion, with no evident plaintext that suggests it is anything other than passwords (such as usernames, etc.). However, it’s possible that anyone gaining the original access to hashes had or has access to additional details.

I obtained a copy of the hash list, produced a SHA-1 hash of my old LinkedIn password, and did indeed find it in the list. I have also spot-checked several other hashes posted by security pros on Twitter, and have found them as well. Given the nature of my own password (16 random characters comprised of A-Z, a-z, and 0-9) the likelihood that my SHA-1 hash of my password (that was unique to LinkedIn) would be present in a file that did NOT come (at least in part) from a source that had access to hashes of LinkedIn passwords is statistically impossible.

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IPv6 Security Lab @ Cisco Live 2012 in San Diego

With the proliferation of IPv6, its adoption and deployment, there are new security concerns that apply only to IPv6. Some of these security concerns rely on protocol differences between IPv4 and IPv6 and others exploit the diversification that the two technologies offer. The result could allow malicious users the ability to deploy attacks or evade network threat defense, countermeasures, and controls.

Join us, this Monday (June 11, 2012) afternoon, at Cisco Live, San Diego 4-hour lab session LTRSEC-3033 -- Cyber Aikidō (合気道) Academy: IPv6 Network Threat Defense, Countermeasures, and Controls, to become more knowledgeable about basic inherent IPv6 security features and techniques on Cisco IOS Software and the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA). The students will acquire hands-on experience by configuring and testing these security features and techniques in simulated real world scenarios. The threats and protections that are presented apply to Local Area, Enterprise, and Service Provider networks. Students must correctly identify, classify, and deter or prevent the nefarious IPv6-specific behaviors by configuring network threat defense, countermeasures, and controls that will be implemented and deployed on infrastructure devices and validate their effectiveness.

At the conclusion of these labs, students will be more prepared to effectively implement and deploy basic inherent security features and techniques for identifying, classifying, deterring, and detecting attacks, threats, and nefarious behaviors specific to IPv6.

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Government At Your Service, Anytime, Anywhere – Securely

June 5, 2012 at 10:15 am PST

President Obama is taking the US government mobile.

Recently, the President issued an executive order memorandum to his department and agency heads calling on them to embrace mobile technology to deliver more data, more efficiently. The order requests agencies to follow a new technology strategy called the “Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People,” which includes the request for a road-map for responding to the technology transformations of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and mobile device proliferation.

Many organizations are already embracing mobile devices with over 95% of them allowing employee-owned mobile devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace according to recent research sponsored by Cisco. Not only do we expect our employers to allow us to use our personal devices, we want to gain access to new products and services—from the private and public sector organizations. So, yes Mr. President, “Americans deserve a government that works for them anytime, anywhere, and on any device,” And --nice timing on this order, welcome to Silicon Valley-high tech land—I saw you fly in two week ago from the Saratoga hills!

Cisco shares this same sentiment of allowing people to use any device their way without compromising the organization. Cisco announced their answer to the BYOD (bring your own device)—with BYOD Smart Solution which starts with Cisco validated designs and professional services that can guide you from planning and design through day-to-day operations. It combines array of products starting with the core tenants of access points, security, controllers and network management. To address a key concern of the mobile experience, security, Cisco uniquely offers unified policy for secure access -- Identity Services Engine (ISE) and next generation remote access, AnyConnect—for always on secure remote access. And most recently, Cisco also spoke to a “Your Way” mobile experience which includes the core components and then some –which allows for more efficiencies and collaboration resulting in more productivity. Mr. President and US citizens this is very achievable!

Citizens of US –I would like to hear your thoughts on gaining Federal services from your mobile device –which services would be a priority for you? Why? Do you have any concerns? What is your number one concern?

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IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) concerns

There are a growing number of large-scale IPv6 deployments occurring within enterprise, university, and government networks. For these networks to succeed, it is important that the IPv6 deployments are secure and the quality of service (QoS) must rival the existing IPv4 infrastructure. An important security aspect to consider is the local links (Layer 2). Traditional Layer 2 security differs between IPv4 and IPv6 because instead of using ARP—like IPv4—IPv6 moves the traditional Layer 2 operations to Layer 3 using various ICMP messages

IPv6 introduces a new set of technology link operations paradigms that differ significantly from IPv4. The changes include more end nodes that are permitted on the link (up to 2^64) and increased neighbor cache size on end nodes and the default router, which creates more opportunities for denial of service (DoS) attacks. There are also additional threats to consider in IPv6 including threats with the protocols in use, a couple of which are listed below:

  • Neighbor Discovery Protocol (NDP) integrates all link operations that determine address assignment, router discovery, and associated tasks.
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) can have a lesser role in address assignment compared to IPv4.

Finally, non-centralized address assignment in IPv6 can create challenges for controlling address misuse by malicious hosts.

For more information on FHS concerns. read the new IPv6 FHS whitepaper.

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The Cost of Security During the Olympics

May 24, 2012 at 10:31 am PST

This summer the world will be watching London. At the same time, the city will have to deal with millions of extra people and the logistical challenges that go with it. Obviously, one of the most important of these challenges is security. We’ve all seen the furore in the papers about the government spending more on security than they initially planned – up from £282 million to over £550 million. . I don’t know about you, but I’d rather we spend the money than be underprepared during the Olympics and Paralympics…when all eyes are on London.

So, what does £550 million buy you these days? 23,700 security personnel to cover 100 venues, for a start. However, there are also virtual threats to consider. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China suffered 14 million online attacks. It’s no surprise; the information infrastructure is critical to the Games running smoothly. That’s why, as the networking infrastructure supporter  of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we’ve been working closely with BT and Atos as the Communications Services Partner and the Global IT Partner respectively to provide robust and secure network infrastructure. But it’s not just those involved in the Games that need to think about security. Businesses are vulnerable while the Games are on too. And it’s a time when they should be capitalising on increased demand and opportunity. Unfortunately 42% of businesses have not reviewed their security arrangements for the Games and will be vulnerable to serious threats throughout the Games period. A key part of this is ensuring their networks are set up to cope with increased demand and potential threats.

That’s why Cisco is holding a security webinar with Deloitte, Atos and G4S on June 1st at 12:30 pm (PST). Read More »

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