Skip to content

Category Archives: Cybersecurity: Crime and Espionage

The Logjam (and Another) Vulnerability against Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange

By
Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 10:34 AM

Logjam is a new attack against the Diffie-Hellman key-exchange protocol used in TLS. Basically: The Logjam attack allows a man-in-the-middle attacker to downgrade vulnerable TLS connections to 512-bit export-grade cryptography. This allows the attacker to read and modify any data passed over the connection. The attack is reminiscent of the FREAK attack, but is due . . .
Read more »

An Interview with FBI Director Jim Comey

By
Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 6:41 AM

I haven’t watched this yet, but it took place yesterday at Georgetown Law’s Cybersecurity Law Institute. Ben Powell, former general counsel to the DNI, interviews Jim Comey:  

The Continuing Democratization of QUANTUM Technology

By
Friday, April 24, 2015 at 2:15 PM

From my book Data and Goliath: …when I was working with the Guardian on the Snowden documents, the one top-secret program the NSA desperately did not want us to expose was QUANTUM. This is the NSA’s program for what is called packet injection­ — basically, a technology that allows the agency to hack into computers. . . .
Read more »

Homeland Security Committee’s Cyber Bill a Missed Opportunity

By
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 5:15 PM

Today, the House Homeland Security Committee marked up a cybersecurity information sharing bill that promised to be “the best of bunch” in terms of civil liberties protections among the cybersecurity information sharing bills that Congress is currently considering. Unfortunately, the bill misses the mark in a key respect. The problem starts with the fact that . . .
Read more »

Entertainment IS Critical Infrastructure — Who Knew?

By
Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 1:18 PM

I stand corrected.   Yesterday, in my post about the new cyber-sanctions EO I made the point that it wouldn’t apply to the Sony hack because Sony was not critical infrastructure.  I was wrong, as several people, including our own Herb Lin, graciously pointed out. I knew, of course, that Commercial Facilities, were a critical infrastructure . . .
Read more »

A Worry About the New Executive Order on Sanctions for Malicious Cyber Activity

By
Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 12:23 AM

As Paul Rosenzweig noted earlier today in Lawfare, the President just signed out an Executive Order that can result in the imposition of financial sanctions on a variety of bad actors that ply their trade through cyber means or against important cyber assets and/or restrictions or bans on travel to the United States on such . . .
Read more »

Executive Order on Cyber Sanctions

By
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 2:00 PM

President Obama has, today, issued an executive order entitled, “Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities.”  On first glance it looks like a strong step in the right direction. The EO is notable not just for what it does, but for how it characterizes the malicious cyber activity.  It is . . .
Read more »

What We Must Do about Cyber

By
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Last week Amy Zegart noted the rapid rise of cyber in the DNI Annual Threat Assessment. As she observed, Cyber is listed as threat number 1 but it’s only been number 1 since 2012, suggesting just how fast the cyber threat landscape is changing. As late as 2009, cyber appeared toward the very end of . . .
Read more »

On Cyber Arms Control (Apropos of the New York Times Editorial)

By
Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 1:57 PM

A bit late, but one more observation about the New York Times editorial calling for cyber arms control. In their words, “the best way forward [to reduce cyber threats] is to accelerate international efforts to negotiate limits on the cyberarms race,” in much the same way that we did with the nuclear arms control treaties . . .
Read more »

FREAK: Security Rollback Attack Against SSL

By
Friday, March 6, 2015 at 11:00 AM

This week we learned about an attack called “FREAK”—“Factoring Attack on RSA-EXPORT Keys”—that can break the encryption of many websites. Basically, some sites’ implementations of secure sockets layer technology, or “SSL,” contain both strong encryption algorithms and weak encryption algorithms. Connections are supposed to use the strong algorithms, but in many cases an attacker can . . .
Read more »

Live: Herb Lin Testifies Before House Energy and Commerce Committee

By
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 1:45 PM

Today at 2:00 pm, Lawfare’s Herb Lin, along with Richard Bejtlich and Gregory Shannon, will provide testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on “Understanding the Cyber Threat and Implications for the 21st Century Economy.” Herb’s remarks as prepared are available here.

The Equation Group’s Sophisticated Hacking and Exploitation Tools

By
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 12:31 PM

This week, Kaspersky Labs published detailed information on what it calls the Equation Group — almost certainly the NSA — and its abilities to embed spyware deep inside computers, gaining pretty much total control of those computers while maintaining persistence in the face of reboots, operating system reinstalls, and commercial anti-virus products. The details are . . .
Read more »

Two Reflections on the White House Cybersecurity Summit

By
Friday, February 13, 2015 at 10:27 PM

As many know, the White House held a summit on cybersecurity and consumer protection at Stanford University today.  In addition to President Obama, a number of CEOs also spoke on privacy and security issues in the context of consumer protection, and of course the backdrop for much of the summit was the Snowden revelations and . . .
Read more »

On the Anthem Hack

By
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 7:00 AM

On February 5, 2015, Anthem—a health insurance company—announced that hackers had been able to access records containing tens of millions of names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, addresses and employment data. Because such information can easily be used by identity thieves, concerns have arisen about a rash of identity thefts in the future. Such accounts are . . .
Read more »

Searching the Dark Web

By
Monday, February 9, 2015 at 11:15 AM

“By some estimates Google, Microsoft Bing, and Yahoo only give us access to around 5% of the content on the Web.” The Dark Web is vast and difficult to search — you have to know where you are going to get there.  Until now … Memex is a new, DARPA-funded search engine that allows law . . .
Read more »

Live: Bob Litt Speaks at Brookings on Intelligence and Surveillance Reform

By
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 11:58 AM

At the top of the hour, Robert S. Litt, General Counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will speak at the Brookings Institution. His address is expected to examine what has been done so far to implement the directives announced in President Obama’s January 2014 speech at the Department of Justice as . . .
Read more »

Learning from the Attack against Sony

By
Friday, January 23, 2015 at 10:38 AM

On June 26, 2014, the BBC reported that North Korea threatened war against the United States if a Sony-produced movie (“The Interview”) was released. On November 24, 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment was the victim of a cyberattack that compromised unreleased films, private correspondence, and other sensitive information. A group calling itself Guardians of Peace (GOP) . . .
Read more »

What David Cameron Doesn’t Get

By
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 10:30 AM

Last week British Prime Minister David Cameron gave an extraordinary speech in which he urged the the banning of private communications, that is communications to which the government could not listen into when legally authorized to do so. Cameron is not the first government official to do so; GCHQ Director Robert Hannigan urged the same . . .
Read more »

New NSA Documents on Offensive Cyberoperations

By
Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 2:10 PM

Jacob Appelbaum, Laura Poitras and others have another NSA aticle with an enormous Snowden document dump on Der Spiegel, giving details on a variety of offensive NSA cyberoperations to infiltrate and exploit networks around the world. There’s a lot here: 199 pages. (Here it is in one compressed archive.) Paired with the 666 pages released . . .
Read more »

FBI Director James Comey’s Remarks at International Conference on Cyber Security

By
Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 5:55 PM

Yesterday, FBI Director James Comey delivered a speech entitled “Addressing the Cyber Security Threat” at the International Conference on Cyber Security at Fordham University. During the speech, Director Comey doubled down on the FBI’s assertion that North Korea was behind the cyber attack on Sony Pictures, saying the hackers who attacked Sony had operated on . . .
Read more »