DeepSec 2014 Talk: Safer Six – IPv6 Security in a Nutshell

René Pfeiffer/ October 20, 2014/ Conference, Internet, Interview

The Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is the successor to the currently main IP Version 4 (IPv4). IPv6 was designed to address the need for more addresses and for a better routing of packets in a world filled with billions of networks and addresses alike. Once you decide to develop a new protocol, you have the chance to avoid all the mistakes of the past. You can even design security features from the start. That’s the theory. In practice IPv6 has had its fair share of security problems. There has been a lot of research, several vulnerabilities have been discussed at various security conferences. DeepSec 2014 features a presentation called Safer Six – IPv6 Security in a Nutshell held by Johanna Ullrich of SBA Research, a research centre for information security based in Vienna.

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DeepSec 2014 Workshop: Suricata Intrusion Detection/Prevention Training

René Pfeiffer/ September 25, 2014/ Conference, Internet, Training

Getting to know what’s going on is a primary goal of information security. There is even a name for it: intrusion detection. And there are tools to do this. That’s the easy part. Once you have decided you want intrusion detection or intrusion prevention, the implementation part becomes a lot more difficult. Well, if you need help with this issue, there is a two-day workshop for you at DeepSec 2014 – the Suricata Training Event. Suricata is a high performance Network Intrusion Detection System (IDS), Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) and Network Security Monitoring engine. It can serve pretty much all your needs. It’s Open Source (so it cannot be bought and removed from the market) and owned by a very active community. Suricata is managed by the non-profit foundation; the Open Information Security Foundation

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DeepSec 2014 Talk: MLD Considered Harmful – Breaking Another IPv6 Subprotocol

René Pfeiffer/ September 9, 2014/ Conference, Internet

In case you haven’t noticed, the Internet is getting crowded. Next to having billions of people online, their devices are starting to follow. Information security experts can’t wait to see this happen. The future relies on the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6). IPv6 features a lot of improvements over IPv4. Since you cannot get complex stuff right at the first time, IPv6 brings some security implications with it. Past and present conferences have talked about this. DeepSec 2014 is no exception. Enno Rey of ERNW will talk about Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) in his presentation. The presentation is the first time that the results of an ongoing research of MLD are published. MLD is a protocol belonging to the IPv6 family, and sadly it features insecurities. MLD (Multicast Listener Discovery), and its successor, MLDv2,

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IT Security without Borders

René Pfeiffer/ May 27, 2014/ Discussion, Internet

U.S. government officials are considering to prevent Chinese nationals from attending hacking and IT security conferences by denying visas. The ideas is „to curb Chinese cyber espionage“. While this initiative has been widely criticised and the measure is very easy to circumvent, it doesn’t come as a surprise. Recent years have shown that hacking has become more and more political. This aspect was already explored in the keynote of DeepSec 2012. So what is the real problem? Espionage, be it „cyber“ or not, revolves around information. This is exactly why we have a problem with the word „cyber“. Methods of transporting information have been around for a long time. Guglielmo Marconi and Heinrich Hertz raised problems for information security long before the Internet did. The only difference is the ease of setting up Internet

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DeepSec 2013 Video: Prism Break – The Value Of Online Identities

René Pfeiffer/ February 21, 2014/ Conference, Internet

Everything you do online creates a stream of data. Given the right infrastructure this data trails can be mined to get a profile of who you are, what you do, what your opinions are and what you like or do not like. Online profiles have become a highly desirable good which can be traded and used for business advantages (by advertising or other means). In turn these profiles have become a target for theft and fraud as well. In the digital world everything of value gets attacked eventually. Time for you to learn more about it. In his talk at DeepSec 2013 Frank Ackermann explained the value of online identities. We recommend his presentation, because it illustrates in an easily comprehensible way the value of online identities in our modern Internet relying society. It

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DeepSec 2013 Video: Trusted Friend Attack – (When) Guardian Angels Strike

René Pfeiffer/ February 6, 2014/ Conference, Internet, Security, Stories

We live in a culture where everybody can have thousands of friends. Social media can catapult your online presence into celebrity status. While your circle of true friends may be smaller than your browser might suggest, there is one thing that plays a crucial role when it comes to social interaction: trust. Did you ever forget the password to your second favourite social media site? If so, how did you recover or reset it? Did it work, and were you really the one who triggered the „lost password“ process? In a world where few online contacts can meet each other it is difficult for a social media site to verify that the person requesting a new password is really the individual who holds the account. Facebook has introduced Trusted Friends to facilitate the identity

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DeepSec 2013 Talk (U21): The Dark Side of the Internet

René Pfeiffer/ November 10, 2013/ Conference, Internet

You may have heard of background radiation. It’s the kind of ionizing radiation you are exposed when wandering around on this planet. The sources are radioactive isotopes in the air, the soil, our food, and the water. In addition there is cosmic radiation from outer space. So even without artificial radiation sources you will have a natural background radiation. The Internet has a similar phenomenon. The pendant of the fundamental particle in Nature is the packet. Internet traffic consists of data packets going from their source to a target address. Imagine a part of the Internet which isn’t used at all. Its address space isn’t advertised anywhere. It holds no services and no active hosts. This place is called Darknet. In theory there will be no packets. In practice there are. A student from

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DeepSec 2013 Talk: Prism Break – The Value Of Online Identities

René Pfeiffer/ November 1, 2013/ Conference, Internet

We all have identities. We use them on a daily basis in our off-line world. Colleagues greet us at work, because they know who we are. Of course our family members know who we are. When it comes to the digital life-style our identity becomes a lot more complex and diverse. Web shops know what we like and suggest products we do not yet have. Social media sites suggest contacts that might match our interest (as do dating web sites). Frequently used search terms are processed to refine the results our favourite search engine presents us. Customisation and targeting is the key. Everything you do and communicate is processed like ore and the Big Data server farms refine your daily trails through the Internet and produce your online identity – which is a good

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DeepSec 2013 Talk: Pivoting In Amazon Clouds

René Pfeiffer/ October 17, 2013/ Conference, Internet

The „cloud“ infrastructure is a crucial part of information technology. Many companies take advantage of outsourced computing and storage resources. Due to many vendors offering a multitude of services, the term „cloud“ is often ill-defined and misunderstood. This is a problem if your IT security staff needs to inspect and configure your „cloud“ deployment with regards to security. Of course, virtualisation technology can be hardened, too. However the „cloud“ infrastructure brings its own features into the game. This is where things get interesting and where you have to broaden your horizon. Andres Riancho will show you in his talk Pivoting In Amazon Clouds what pitfalls you can expect when deploying code and data in the Amazon Cloud. Classical security tests won’t be enough. The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is more than just virtual

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DeepSec 2013 Keynote: Geopolitics and the Internet – the Meaning of “Hegemony”

René Pfeiffer/ October 3, 2013/ Conference, Discussion, Internet

Most of us think of the Internet as a place where the world virtually gathers and communicates without boundaries. It is regarded as a „virtual“ space where the confinement by borders of nation states is blurred by digital connectivity. People from all over the globe communicate with each other and form a truly cosmopolitan community. The trouble in paradise starts when countries switch off access to the Internet or prosecute whistle-blowers. Given the ever present notion of „cyber“ war we need to discuss geopolitics. It seems that the USA heavily dominates the Internet and regards it as its territory. Marcus Ranum will address the idea of hegemony and the USA with regards to the Internet in his keynote for the DeepSec 2013 conference: So, the topic is “the meaning of hegemony” – what does

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The Internet: Agora or Boudoir?

Mika/ June 10, 2012/ Discussion, Internet

Some people believe the Internet is like the Agora of ancient Greek cities where everybody meets and everything happens in public and open sight while others regard it is as their boudoir where they can pursue their private business without anyone peeping through the keyhole. The challenge is that the Internet is both and this calls for rules, which will satisfy both expectations. If you didn’t guess it already: I’m talking about telecommunications data retention and the recent act in the European Union which requires service providers to log details about communications on the Internet and retain the data for a minimum of six months. But why do I bring up this topic? Because I believe this discussion affects the security and privacy (also known as confidentiality) of organizations and private persons. The European

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What is a Hacker Tool and how do you ban it?

René Pfeiffer/ April 25, 2012/ Discussion, Internet, Stories

What exactly is a hacker tool? The answer to this question depends on who you ask. To McGyver it would probably everything, to a hacker it would be any suitable tool and to a politician it would be anything that cannot be easily understood. The English Wikipedia has no entry on hacker tool. So what is it and why should we care? Care comes first. We have to care because the European Union is working on banning hacking tools. This is no news for some parts of Europe. Germany has tried to address the nebulous hacking tools issue in 2007. The law has drawn a lot of critic from security researchers. Some even moved their research abroad to avoid operating in a grey area of the law. There’s an open letter to the German

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About the fineprint in Software patents (Motorola vs. Apple)

Mika/ February 24, 2012/ High Entropy, Internet

Recently Motorola sued Apple because of Patent EP0847654 and Apple deactivated the push function for e-mails. Only on mobile platforms. Only for iCloud and MobileMe. Only within the borders of Germany. See What happened? While everyone in the blogosphere is ranting about e-mail pushing being patented etc. I dared to search for the original patent text and was a little bit surprised: The Patent goes back to 1996 The title is “Multiple Pager Status Synchronisation System and Method” In my opinion it describes something unrelated to modern e-mail systems. The patent describes a trivial three-message exchange over radio communication to ensure that multiple pagers in a group reflect the same status whether a message has already been read. Nothing about e-mail in general can be found. This is the reason for affecting only

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DeepINTEL: Security Intelligence Event in Late Summer 2012

Mika/ January 20, 2012/ Conference, Internet, Security Intelligence

We are currently finalizing our new event in Summer 2012, focusing on Security Intelligence. Security Intelligence is one the newest disciplines in the IT security zoo and not yet fully defined (e.g. there is no Wikipedia article or rich bibliography of works dealing with the topic). We have been monitoring the Security Intelligence scene now for more than 3 years and found many different approaches, ranging from standard security advisories and alerts to deep insight into the current threat landscape. While some organizations (mostly network equipment vendors) seem to view Security Intelligence just as a new buzz-word for marketing others do a more thorough job: Especially software and anti-virus vendors like Microsoft, McAfee, IBM, Symantec and some ISPs like Verizon and AT&T provide valuable intelligence to the community. Also voluntary groups, free-of-charge spin-offs from

Read More is on Strike!

René Pfeiffer/ January 18, 2012/ Administrivia, Internet

You have probably heard of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its chilling effects on the Internet and all its users. „The originally proposed bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as copyright holders,to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. “ (quote taken from the Wikipedia article)  SOPA is a major security risk for it advocates to change the DNS zones for specific domains. Blocking would be done by DNS, so the bill compromises the Internet’s infrastructure. Speaking from the view of security researchers we would like to quote the white paper written by Steve Crocker and Dan Kaminsky: From an operational standpoint, a resolution failure from a nameserver subject to a court order and from a hacked nameserver would be indistinguishable. Users running

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