Akamai Diversity

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August 2013 Archives

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 29, 2013 6:32 AM

SEA Attacks Illustrate Need for Better DNS Security

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) -- a pro-Assad hacking group -- is making misery for some of the biggest entities on the Internet. The SEA's activities have attracted plenty of media attention this week. Users couldn't access many high-profile websites Tuesday after SEA launched a targeted phishing attack against a reseller for Melbourne IT, an Australian domain registrar and IT services company. According to the IDG News Service, the attack allowed hackers to change the DNS records for

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 28, 2013 9:16 AM

Security Ethics and The Hacker Academy

If you work outside the security community, the word "hacker" is often misunderstood. A hacker is seen as someone who operates outside the law, troublemakers who are only in the business of engineering attacks and causing chaos. Because of that misconception, I often feel the need to educate the masses.To that end, I'd like to direct you to the blog of security company Tripwire, which has a talented team we

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 27, 2013 5:28 AM

Akamai FedRAMP Compliance is Huge for Security

Yesterday was a big day around here. We achieved Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) compliance as a cloud services provider. Big deal, you say? Why, yes. It is. FedRAMP is a U.S. government-wide program that standardizes the approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Specifically, Akamai's globally distributed, publicly shared cloud services platform has received "Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO)" from the FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board (JAB). As Akamai Public Sector VP Tom

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 26, 2013 6:41 AM

DDoS Attacks: China's Weekend of Irony

I can't help but see irony in all the news reports this morning about China suffering one of the worst DDoS attacks it has ever seen. China is usually seen as the place where attacks begin, a perception bolstered by findings in Akamai's most recent "State of The Internet" report. Of all the reports on the weekend DDoS against China, this passage from The Wall Street Journal's article explains things best,

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 23, 2013 6:31 AM

Mapping Networks and Data: Safety in Numbers

Last week I wrote about how redundancy of systems is an important part of Akamai's security at Planetary Scale. This post focuses on another way we keep Internet traffic flowing smoothly in the face of attempted attacks: network and data mapping. Also see: "2003 Blackout: An Early Lesson in Planetary Scale?" Mapping isn't a security technique in itself. Every big network can be mapped out. But there is certainly a

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 22, 2013 9:10 AM

DDoS Attacks Used As Cover For Other Crimes

Protecting customers from DDoS attacks is an Akamai InfoSec specialty. When we see DDoS attempts against our customers, the typical thinking is that someone is doing it to force sites into downtime, which can cost a business millions in lost online sales. But sometimes, these attacks are simply a cover operation to distract the victim while something else is going on. A story that caught our attention in SC Magazine and elsewhere

Akamai Edge

Akamai Edge

August 20, 2013 10:25 AM

See You at Edge 2013!

Since our founding, Akamai has been at the vanguard of the Internet revolution. And as we prepare to celebrate our 15th anniversary this month, our spirit of innovation and our desire to solve the most difficult Internet challenges are just as strong today as they were 15 years ago. From day one, we have worked hard to gain an understanding of how our customers want to use the Internet to

Akamai

Akamai

August 19, 2013 6:23 AM

Ten Years After the Blaster Worm

This month marks the 10th anniversary of Blaster -- a worm that tore a path of disruption across the Internet. It struck a few months before I started writing about information security. But even then I was well aware that something big had happened. I was editing for a daily newspaper at the time and had no idea what patch management, software vulnerabilities and malware were. But Blaster was a

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 16, 2013 8:32 AM

Microsoft's August Patch Matrix

Microsoft released it's monthly patch load this week. To help identify and deploy the security fixes, here's a table showing the different bulletins, the severity of the flaws, and the products impacted. Bulletin IDBulletin Title and Executive SummaryMaximum Severity Rating and Vulnerability ImpactRestart RequirementAffected SoftwareMS13-059Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (2862772) This security update resolves eleven privately reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 14, 2013 5:05 AM

2003 Blackout: An Early Lesson in Planetary Scale?

On the drive to work this morning, I listened to a report about this being the 10th anniversary of the massive blackout that plunged an area from New York City to Toronto into darkness. I immediately thought of a post Akamai CSO Andy Ellis wrote recently called "Environmental Controls at Planetary Scale."It might be overreaching to say the 2003 blackout was an early case study in the success and failures

Akamai

Akamai

August 13, 2013 2:27 PM

How Akamai eDNS Protects Against DNS Attacks

Andy Ellis's recent post "DNS Reflection Defense" describes how DNS works and lists general guidelines for defending against DNS attacks. This post continues the discussion of DNS protection by describing how Akamai's "eDNS" offering protects customers from both volumetric and reflective attacks on DNS infrastructure. What is a Volumetric Attack?In a volumetric attack, a attacker uses a BotNet to generate a large volume of DNS requests. The attacker's goal is to take down

Andy Ellis

Andy Ellis

August 12, 2013 9:52 AM

Assessment of the BREACH vulnerability

The recently disclosed BREACH vulnerability in HTTPS enables an attack against SSL-enabled websites. A BREACH attack leverages the use of HTTP-level compression to gain knowledge about some secret inside the SSL stream, by analyzing whether an attacker-injected "guess" is efficiently compressed by the dynamic compression dictionary that also contains the secret. This is a type of an attack known as an oracle, where an adversary can extract information from an

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 12, 2013 6:09 AM

Microsoft Security Patches Coming Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the second Tuesday of the month, which those of us in security know as Patch Tuesday -- the day Microsoft unloads its security updates. It's an important calendar item for Akamai customers, given how dominant Windows machines are in many companies.Late last week, Microsoft offered a preview of what to expect. What follows is a chart showing the number of bulletins planned, along with the severity and products

Meg Grady-Troia

Meg Grady-Troia

August 9, 2013 8:14 AM

DefCON Observations from a First-Timer

In April of this year, InfoSec launched a new team called Customer Compliance. Several senior InfoSec employees joined its ranks, and I was hired into the team. My name is Meg Grady-Troia, and I'm a member of Akamai's Customer Compliance team because I am an anthropologist, an educator, and a writer. My job is finding creative and effective ways to begin sharing Akamai's security posture and platform with our customers,

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 9, 2013 6:17 AM

#FFSec: Security Pros on Twitter Who Will Show You T ...

Those who know me are aware of my fondness for Follow Friday -- a tradition on Twitter where people recognize the folks whose tweets keep them inspired and informed. In my case, the focus is on people in the InfoSec community. I have a list on Twitter that will show you 275 security pros I currently follow. You can see their bios and press the follow button on those you

Akamai

Akamai

August 8, 2013 9:25 AM

Federation Explained

I will start this blog entry with a disclaimer: there are many definitions out there for CDN Federation, most are feasible but many are just not as practical and/or easy to implement as advertised.  All you Trekkies that came here because of a Google alert about federation, sorry... we are talking about content delivery done seamlessly between two or more differing entities, not the United Federation of Planets. To cut through all

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 8, 2013 5:59 AM

Quick Wins with Website Protection Services

Securosis analyst Mike Rothman recently wrote a paper on the benefits of website protection services (WPS). I recommend you give it a read, as it's some of the most descriptive research I've seen on the subject. Content in the report was developed independently of any sponsors and is based on material originally posted on the Securosis blog. It concludes that website protection services can add measurable security to your web presence in

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 7, 2013 5:05 AM

Carder Gangs Continue Account Takeover Attempts

Akamai InfoSec continues to monitor repeated attempts to hijack the accounts of those doing business with our customers. In this attack, the bad guys reuse credentials they've stolen from other sites to fraudulently acquire merchandise. Attackers use automated tools commonly referred to as account checkers to quickly determine valid user ID and password combinations across a large number of ecommerce sites. The tools help the attackers identify valid accounts quickly

Jason Lane

Jason Lane

August 6, 2013 1:15 PM

The Render Chain and You

0 0 1 190 1089 Akamai Technologies Inc. 9 2 1277 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Many of us have used tools like Web Page Test or Y!Slow to test our sites.  These tools give us a slew of suggestions,

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 6, 2013 7:59 AM

Four News Reports On Recent DDoS Activity

Since one of Akamai InfoSec's biggest tasks is to blunt the impact of DDoS attacks against customers, I'm always scanning the various tech news outlets to see what's new and who among us is being quoted. Here are four that have caught my attention in recent days -- two of which include insight from Akamai CSIRT Director Michael Smith.DDoS Attackers Change Their Game PlansSmith is quoted in this article about how

Lorenz Jakober

Lorenz Jakober

August 5, 2013 1:25 PM

Improve Holiday Sales by Gaining Insight into User E ...

Note: This is the second blog post to our "Crush the Rush" holiday readiness webinar series. We all know eCommerce is evolving. It used to be pretty simple. A shopper would visit your eCommerce Web application from her laptop or PC. You probably had to support one, maybe two browsers. But the world has changed - quickly. The fact is the proliferation of connected devices has changed the way

Dave Lewis

Dave Lewis

August 5, 2013 11:26 AM

Bypassing Content Delivery Security

As is true of every year at Black Hat there are some talks that catch our attention. Talks range from the well thought out research papers to those of the narcissistic vulnerability pimps. This year was no exception. A talk entitled "Denying Service to DDoS Protection Services" by Allison Nixon is a presentation which fell into the well thought out column. This talk caught our attention for the obvious reason

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 5, 2013 6:00 AM

Security Reminders Inspired By Van Halen's Brown M&M ...

It's a popular bit of Rock & Roll lore: The band Van Halen conducted a test to make sure its tour contracts were being read, placing in a line saying there were to be no brown M&Ms backstage. Not surprisingly, they found a couple browns and trashed their dressing room in response. The real story is a lot less dramatic. It wasn't about the band playing games with people. It

Andy Ellis

Andy Ellis

August 1, 2013 9:02 AM

Environmental Controls at Planetary Scale

A common set of security control objectives found in standard frameworks (ISO 27002, FedRAMP, et al) focus on environmental controls. These controls, which might focus on humidity sensors and fire suppression, are designed to maximize the mean time between critical failure (MTBCF) of the systems inside a data center. They are often about reliability, not safety[1]; fixating on over-engineering a small set of systems, rather than building in fault tolerance.

Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

August 1, 2013 2:00 AM

Black Hat 2013: A Point-Counterpoint

An old friend and seasoned veteran of the security industry, Alan Shimel, was quick to pounce on my statement yesterday that there is nothing new happening in security; that we're simply trying to find more effective ways to deal with the same old problems.Alan does make some valid points, especially the argument that there has been advancement on the technology side of things. I was speaking more to the messaging