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Zero Trust and the Slowly Boiled Frog

Disclaimer: No actual frogs were harmed in the writing of the blog post. We wouldn't do that. We like frogs.

What is Zero Trust Networking?

The Zero Trust security model was proposed by John Kindervag of Forrester Research back in 2010. The concept is that the traditional trust model of "trust, but verify" is no longer valid; instead we should "never trust, always verify".

By Arlen Frew 

Top-level Domain (TLD) operators are focused on making the Internet a better and safer place, enabling name registrations, and maintaining the DNS namespace in support of their stakeholders.  The entire Internet ecosystem, including TLDs, is always looking for ways to improve security. This is especially important as everyone and everything gets connected and awareness of the adverse impact of malicious online activity increases.  Some TLD operators are also looking for ways to supplement their revenue streams to better serve the breadth of economic, cultural, and linguistic needs of their constituents, and to meet policy requirements unique to their region or vertical emphasis.

Days of clear-text HTTP, the original but insecure foundation for data communication over the web, are numbered. Over the past few years, Google (and others such as the Internet Architecture Board, Mozilla, and Apple) have nudged developers to encrypt and authenticate their websites using HTTPS which layers HTTP over TLS (Transport Layer Security). This includes measures such as ranking HTTP sites lower in Google search results, not supporting powerful features such as geolocation and service workers, and marking a large subset of HTTP sites as "not secure". As a result, there has been a significant increase in the adoption of HTTPS, resulting in a more secure World Wide Web.

memcached, now with extortion!

Over the past week, memcached reflection attacks have taken the DDoS scene by storm.  With several attacks hitting organizations across many industries, including a record breaking 1.3Tbps attack against an Akamai customer.  Akamai has observed a new trend in extortion attempts using memcached payloads to deliver the message.

 

Memcached-fueled 1.3 Tbps attacks

At 17:28 GMT, February 28th, Akamai experienced a 1.3 Tbps DDoS attack against one of our customers, a software development company, driven by memcached reflection. This attack was the largest attack seen to date by Akamai, more than twice the size of the September, 2016 attacks that announced the Mirai botnet and possibly the largest DDoS attack publicly disclosed. Because of memcached reflection capabilities, it is highly likely that this record attack will not be the biggest for long.

 

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?