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Microsoft Security Patches for February 2015

Microsoft has released its February 2015 security bulletin. Windows, Internet Explorer, Group Policy and Office are among the affected items. The full patch matrix is below.

More Akamai perspective on patching and vulnerability management:

Security Awareness Programs: Better Than Nothing

Awhile back, after we ran a post about SEA's phishing activities and DNS attacks, my old friend Dave Marcus -- director and chief architect of McAfee's Federal Advanced Program Group -- took issue with our advice that companies continue to push for better security awareness among employees and customers.

A Bad Talk Ain't The End of the World

Having been asked to speak at a security event in Boston next month, I find myself thinking about the art of public speaking. Whether you're in sales, marketing, InfoSec or finance, it's increasingly important to have the ability to get in front of a crowd and articulate your message. The Akamai InfoSec team must do so at orientations for new employees, along with HR and other departments. And some of us are required to give talks at various trade shows. 

I've given several talks a year at various security events for some time now, and I've had my hits and misses. This post is for those who have given a bad talk and need to put it in the past.

One thing I've learned: You CAN give a lousy talk and live to fight another day.

InfoSec Challenge: When To Be Quiet, When To Go Public

I've seen way too many security advisories over the years to count. The more critical the issue, the more publishable it was. But that was my perspective as a journalist working for news organizations. In the current role, I'm seeing things from the beginning of the internal vetting process. There's a lot we want to make public, but there's a lot we have to keep to ourselves.

The 12 Steps of Recovery: Web Security Style

During my time as CSOonline's Salted Hash blogger, I wrote something I'd forgotten about until rediscovering it the other day. Three years after writing it, I think this post is still relevant. 

Good Security Reading

Five security articles worth your time...

US top developer of risky mobile applications (CSOonline)

A new report identifies the U.S. as the top developer of malicious and privacy-intruding applications, a finding that contrasts with conventional wisdom that often places the problem squarely in Asia.

2014 cyberattack to cost Sony $35M in IT repairs (Computerworld)
Sony has put an estimate to the damage caused by the massive cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment last year -- $35 million.

BMW's software security patch a sign of things to come (Dark Reading)
BMW's "over-the-air" update transmitted to its ConnectedDrive software running on 2.2 million of its vehicles worldwide this past week to fix security flaws offered a rare glimpse of how the generation of smarter and more network-connected vehicles could get patched when bugs are discovered.

Adobe Flash patch promised this week for new zero-day bug (SearchSecurity)
Trend Micro discovered a new zero-day bug in Adobe Flash that is being actively exploited in the wild. Adobe promises a patch for the vulnerability this week.

New-style ransomware locks out your customers - demands money to let them log back in (Naked Security)
A boutique Swiss security outfit recently wrote about a sneaky new sort of ransomware. It's an intriguing story. The crooks, it seems, decided to take it out on company X by means of extortion: encrypt customer data, and then offer the decryption key for a price.

My friend Jennifer Minella is doing a series where she asks folks from the security community about three books that changed their lives. She kicks it off with me.

Here's what she has to say about the series:

My goals for the year mean some drastic changes to the type of content you're used to seeing from me. One of these goals is to highlight the human aspect of professionals in information security -- to demonstrate the depth of personality, the breadth of interest and accomplishment, and to explore the forces which make us who we are.

In this first series, I asked my infosec colleagues to share 3 books that changed their lives. The results were astounding and the responses very heart-felt. This topic evoked passion and an openness that led me to change the format from a single article to a multi-post piece, highlighting each security professional's pick3 books changed my lifes in his/her own feature.

The idea is to share what makes us who we are, not for the purposes of emulation, but to open our eyes and minds to the bigger picture by thinking outside the infosec box in which we're so often enclosed. For this piece, I tried to select a cross-section of the industry and people I thought would be comfortable stepping outside of the normal boundaries of technology content.

The only guidance I offered was that they were to pick three books which changed their life, and explain why/how they were impacted. It was made clear the book content could be on any topic. I wasn't disappointed, and I hope you'll feel the same.

Update on CVE-2015-0235

On Tuesday, Akamai learned about and published a blog post highlighting a public vulnerability in the GNU C Library that could be exploited and used to take remote control of vulnerable Linux systems. Today, following our internal investigation, we have some additional information to share.

How Is Akamai protected?

Akamai's engineers have examined the primary software components that power the Akamai platform and to date have found they are not exposed to this flaw. Regardless, we are exercising caution and are patching older deployments of glibc. We recommend that other members of the Akamai community follow suit.

How can Akamai help protect my business?

Akamai Cloud Security products can provide partial protection against the glibc GHOST vulnerability, for example, by inspecting and filtering parameters sent in URL, header fields, or POST body to your application.

Today, we have defined and deployed protections for some customers to check and limit the length of HTTP headers like X-Forwarded-For, Referer, and Via in order to deliver this protection.

Finally, providing this protection requires deep knowledge of your application and its input space, including which portions of the HTTP request might eventually make their way into a gethostbyname call.

Please work directly with your Akamai Professional Services representative to define an appropriate Kona custom rule or other mitigation.

The Q4 2014 State of the Internet - Security report is out today. We've previewed sections this past week (see sidebar below), but now we can share some numbers.


DNS Hijacking: Dangers and Defenses

By Patrick Laverty, Clark Shishido, Dave Lewis, Mike Kun, Larry Cashdollar and Bill Brenner

We're always concerned about where the next attack is coming from. We worry about DDoS, SQL injection, defacements and a host of other attack techniques. One attack in particular can bypass even the best security protections and give attackers the keys to the kingdom.

That attack is called DNS Hijacking. This happens when attackers gain access to a domain registrar account and change the DNS resource recordsto point to server(s) under the attacker's control.