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February 2018 Archives

Survey Says: So Long Grey Skies - Telecoms 2018 Outlook

Nominum, a part of Akamai, recently partnered with Telecoms.com to survey over 1,500 telecom professionals to get a sense of their concerns, initiatives and expectations for 2018. The findings are captured in the report Telecoms.com Annual Industry Survey 2017.

How do I know if I'm Secure?

JKK BLOG.pngRemember those commercials for excessive cell phone roaming coverage?  The ones with clever skits highlighting the end user having no idea that their phone had crossed an invisible border and switched from primary to roaming coverage?  Immediately incurring increased costs for calling, texting and data usage that only become visible when you receive your monthly bill? 

Memcached UDP Reflection Attacks

Akamai is aware of a new DDoS reflection attack vector: UDP-based memcached traffic.  Memcached is a tool meant to cache data and reduce strain on heavier data stores, like disk or databases. The protocol allows the server to be queried for information about key value stores and is only intended to be used on systems that are not exposed to the Internet. There is no authentication required with memcached.  When this is added to the ability to spoof IP addresses of UDP traffic, the protocol can be easily abused as a reflector when it is exposed to the Internet. Akamai has seen multiple attacks, some  in excess of 190 Gbps,  with the potential for much larger attacks.

Will Subscribers Pay for Security?

Carriers see security as a vital component of their five-year strategies and expect to increase spending on security in 2018 according to the Telecoms.com Annual Industry Survey 2017.  Is security a good business opportunity for Carriers?

The Pitfalls of Guest Wi-Fi

Do you remember the days before mobile broadband was commonplace and connection speeds on 2G wireless were barely usable? How often did you seek out a specific location such as a coffee shop or a hotel that offered a free or (more likely) purchasable Wi-Fi connection?

Lighting the flame marks the beginning of PyeongChang, commemorating the ancient Greek myth of Prometheus stealing fire from Zeus, and connecting the games to its predecessors. The lighting ceremony has provided some of the most iconic moments, such as Muhammad Ali lighting the flame in Atlanta in 1996 and Antonio Rebollo shooting a flaming arrow to ignite the cauldron in Barcelona in 1992.

DNS: Exfiltration vs. Tunneling

The Internet was designed to share data, but sometimes the paths that enable it are blocked. When it comes to bad actors - that's a good thing. Most companies today have a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy to accompany their web proxies and firewalls. Some of them think this is the best way to stop data exfiltration and monitor what is going in and out of their employee's internet devices. But is this enough?

Secure by Design

Carriers providing value-added services need to protect both their network infrastructure and their end-customers from internet threats. New threats are constantly emerging but remodeling your security architecture to address each new threat may leave gaps in your security coverage.  Bolting-on third party products to fill gaps isolates your core architecture from change but creates complexity and management challenges such as multiple operating consoles and data integration barriers.  Are carriers fighting a losing battle?

Wordpress DoS Attack: CVE-2018-6389


On February 5, an Israeli security researcher, Barak Tawily, discovered a Denial of Service (DoS) attack impacting all 3.x-4.x versions of the Wordpress content management platform.  The vulnerability is currently unpatched and relies on a performance boosting feature in Wordpress allowing Javascript and style sheets to be loaded in bulk via a single request. The attack does not affect the Akamai platform, but it does affect any customers using Wordpress unless proper protections are enabled.


Micheal McCollough Recognized as 2018 CRN® Channel Chief

This week, Micheal McCollough, Vice President, Global Channels, of Akamai was recognized and named as 2018 Channel Chief by CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company. The executives on this annual list represent top leaders in the IT channel who excel at driving growth and revenue in their organization through channel partners.

Humans, Machines and Data: Fighting Mirai, Together

By Yohai Einav, Hongliang Liu


It's been 18 months since Mirai entered our lives, and, unfortunately, we expect it to have a perennial presence in our cyber-world for years to come. If we look at the big picture, all indicators suggest that the Mirai problem (and its descendants) is just going to increase, with the growing number of IoT devices in the world and the improvement in IoT hardware (which makes them a more enticing opportunity for attackers - better computing power means a potential for more advanced attacks) being two primary reasons.

This makes Mirai research more urgent, and subsequently, makes DNS-based security more important. There are very few points in time when you can stop Mirai, and blocking its C&C communications in the DNS layer is one of the most effective ways (blocking C&C communications disrupts the bots' ability to receive commands and turn them into less-harmful zombies).


The days of VPNs are numbered

We have been talking about how it's time to re-evaluate giving full access to the corporate network for some time. In fact, Akamai's Sr. Director of Enterprise Security & Infrastructure Engineering talks about one of his core goals--No VPN--here.

Over the last few days, I am sure many teams who are taking the No VPN route are even more thankful. The recent news about yet another patching fire drill--this time due to a vulnerability in SSL VPN functionality of a popular security appliance--has left many security and IT teams dismayed.

There has to be an easier way, right?