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Changing the Rules of the Game

A common defensive rule of information security is that once you detect an attack against your organization's Web applications, you must mitigate the attack by stopping it. In other words: "stop it once you can."

But what if the rules of the defenders vs. attackers "game" have changed and the teams are not playing in the same league anymore? For example, here are some of the "game" changers from recent years:

OpenSSL Security Updates

On Jan. 28, 2016, OpenSSL released a new version of OpenSSL software. This release contains (among others) two potentially important security fixes to which we would like to draw your attention:

  • SSLv2 does not block disabled ciphers (CVE-2015-3197) and
  • DH small subgroups (CVE-2016-0701)

Akamai would like to inform you that our customers are not vulnerable to these issues on our delivery platform, however, customers should confirm that their origin servers are not exposed to these two issues. Here are some additional details about these two fixes.

The discussions among the insurance industry participants at Akamai's Edge conference this past October were fascinating. It was abundantly clear, that there are major shifts ahead that will set the course for where the industry is headed in the long-term. Although the insurance industry as a whole has been less agile, heavily burdened by legacy systems and is really one of the last data-driven businesses to realize a full digital disruption, the tides are definitely changing.

Applications for the Request Control Cloudlet

Your web application by default is accessible to the entire planet. This exposure can open your site up to unnecessary risk. Akamai's Request Control Cloudlet can quickly allow or deny access to website content based on the IP or Geography associated with an inbound request. For example, you may deny access to users in embargoed countries or allow it only to a specific region where your users live.  Manage the cloudlet via easy-to-manage whitelist and blacklists based on the IP address or geographic location associated with the inbound request. Activate the cloudlet policies in seconds by using the dedicated user interface.

Health IT Security recently published the results of Akamai's latest State of the Internet report, emphasizing that "Distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks are up during the third quarter of 2015, reinforcing the healthcare industry's growing concern for healthcare data security."  They have hit on a very salient point here, because while many may think that healthcare providers are not likely targets of DDoS attacks, there are definite reasons why DDoS attacks should be of particular focus in the healthcare industry:

Akamai Customers are not vulnerable to SLOTH

By Rich Salz

Akamai was informed of a new TLS vulnerability -- SLOTH -- by researcher Karthik Bharghaven. Akamai then worked with the researcher to confirm and fix the vulnerability in an expedient manner prior to public disclosure. Consequently, we minimized the chances of an exploit and have determined that Akamai customers are now not vulnerable to SLOTH.

How Web Applications Become SEO Pawns

Akamai's Threat Research Division has identified a sophisticated search engine optimization (SEO) campaign that uses SQL injections to attack targeted websites.

An advisory on the subject, written by Ryan Barnett of the company's cloud security intelligence team, is available here.

Delegate v9.9.13 setuid Binary Vulnerability

By Larry W. Cashdollar, Akamai SIRT

A few weeks ago I noticed a tweet from someone I have been following off and on for a few weeks. The tweet highlighted an exposed administration panel in a software product called Delegate. The Delegate software is described as, "a multi-purpose application-level gateway, or a proxy server which runs on multiple platforms (Unix, Windows and MacOS X)". What this software does is allow network connections to be relayed or proxied through it.

The recent vulnerability I discovered in Delegate 9.9.13 abuses a binary that is normally setuid root during installation when built from source. The action of setting a binary on a UNIX system setuid root allows any local user on the system to execute that binary as the root or administrative user.

The move to an Encrypted Web

It wasn't too long ago that the only reason a site would leverage HTTPS was to encrypt sensitive data so it couldn't be read in transit. Times are changing and the Internet as we know it is moving more and more towards encrypting all website traffic. Below are 7 good reasons to move your website to only use HTTPS.

WAF: Ease of management

In my last articles I introduced the idea of how simple is the concept of a WAF (although implementing a reliable WAF system is not that simple), what are false positives and false negatives and the best approach to trade-off between them, what is the impact of wide visibility when it comes to build a WAF, the importance of having a solid team of experts backing up a WAF solution, and how does scale affect to WAF performance (and ultimately to WAF deployment).