18 May 2015

Integrity

Posts relating to the information security principle "Integrity" are listed below.

07 April 2015

Penetration Testing Guidance for PCI DSS

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has published another information supplement for PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), this time on penetration testing. It would appear there has been a large variability in penetration tests being undertaken for PCI DSS.

The cover from the PCI Security Standard's Council  'Information Supplement: Penetration Testing Guidance'

Information Supplement: Penetration Testing Guidance, v1 March 2015, replaces the PCI SSC's original penetration testing information supplement titled "Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Requirement 11.3 Penetration Testing" published in 2008.

The scope of a penetration test is defined in PCI DSS Requirement 11.3. It must include the entire cardholder data environment (CDE) perimeter and any critical systems that may impact the security of the CDE, as well as the environment in scope for PCI DSS. This includes both the external perimeter (public-facing attack surfaces) and the internal perimeter of the CDE (LAN-LAN attack surfaces).

The information supplement is comprised of the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Penetration testing components: Understanding of the different components that make up a penetration test and how this differs from a vulnerability scan including scope, application and network- layer testing, segmentation checks, and social engineering
  • Qualifications of a penetration tester: Determining the qualifications of a penetration tester, whether internal or external, through their past experience and certifications.
  • Methodology: Detailed information related to the three primary parts of a penetration test: pre-engagement, engagement, and post-engagement
  • Reporting and documentation: Guidance for developing a comprehensive penetration test report that includes the necessary information to document the test as well as a checklist that can be used by the organization or the assessor to verify whether the necessary content is included
  • Case studies / scoping examples.

Hopefully this will help organisations define more consistent objectives and requirements for penetration tests, improving the quality, and thus benefits of doing such testing.

Posted on: 07 April 2015 at 06:39 hrs

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04 April 2015

International Personal Data Transfers within AWS

The European Commission's Article 29 Working Party (Art. 29 WP) and lead authority the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (Commission Nationale pour la Protection des Données - CNPD) have announced their decision of a review of Amazon Web Services in relation to the international transfer of personal data.

The Dear Mr Dubois letter

The letter states that the lead authority has analysed Amazon Web Services (AWS) "Data Processing Addendum" and its Annex 2 "Standard Contractual Clauses" which incorporates Commission Decision 2010/87/EU.

The conclusion is that "...by using the 'Data Processing Addendum' together with its annexes, AWS will make sufficient contractual commitments to provide a legal framework to its international data flows, in accordance with Article 26 of Directive 95/46/EC".

This would imply that AWS customers will be able to assume that any transfers of personal data to non European Economic Area (EEA) AWS regions will have the same level of protection as it receives within the EEA.

Posted on: 04 April 2015 at 09:50 hrs

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31 March 2015

Participate in the OWASP Project Summit in Amsterdam

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is supporting a project summit during the two days prior to the main AppSec EU conference.

Photograph of a sign mounted on a door in Amsterdam which reads in Dutch and English 'Denk aan de buren a.u.b. - Please mind the neighbours'

A project summit on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th May has been announced and information published on the AppSec EU 2015 web site. The concept of the summit is to work on improving and extending project outputs with other volunteers, and as such requires active participation and contribution.

Across all the sessions there are a wide range of inputs needed including requirements specification, architecture review, coding, testing, documentation/wiki writing and review, user interface design, planning, graphical design, video creation and translation. Full details, timings and objectives of each session are provided on the summit's wiki pages.

There are many projects participating, including sessions for projects I am actively involved in. My own parts of the summit are

Tuesday 19th May

  • 10:30-12:00 hrs OWASP Codes of Conduct - Document Review
    The current Codes of Conduct were developed primarily during the last major OWASP Summit in Portugal. They cover: Government Bodies Educational Institutions Standards Groups Trade Organizations Certifying Bodies Development Organizations This 1.5 hour session will review, edit, update and release v1.2 of each document. Participants should be interested in how external entities can be encouraged to support OWASP's mission, read the existing Codes of Conduct in advance, and come with suggestions for changes. The session agenda is 1. Introduction; 2. Joint review and edit (15 mins each document); 3. Publish updated documents to wiki (PDF and Word).
  • 13:00-15:00 hrs OWASP AppSensor (Documentation) - Guide Review
    The AppSensor Guide v2 was published in May last year, and has had two minor updates, the last one mainly due to the important release of the v2 code implementation. This session is to edit and improve the guide, since many of the chapters have not been fully reviewed. Participants should read a chapter or two in advance of the summit (chapter 5 onwards, but choose randomly/what is of interest) and bring their edits/comments to the session, where the guide will be updated. All participants will be acknowledged in the guide and on the project wiki page. The session agenda is 1. Briefing; 2. Live editing; 3. Publication updated PDF.
  • 15:30-16:30 hrs OWASP Snakes and Ladders - Dutch Translation
    OWASP Snakes and Ladders (web applications) has been translated into 5 other languages already, and Portuguese is in progress. But so far not Dutch. This rapid session will ask participants to translate the 900 words or so into Dutch, so that a PDF and Adobe Illustrator version can be created. It will also be possible to help remotely, as it will be set up on Crowdin. The session agenda is 1. Meet; 2.Translate; 3. Create Illustrator and PDF output; 4. Publish.

Wednesday 20th May

  • 09:00-12:00 hrs OWASP Cornucopia - Ecommerce Website Edition - Video
    The objective is to create a short "how to play the Cornucopia card game" video during this half-day session. Cornucopia is a card game that helps identify security requirements, but people may not be familiar with how easy it is to get started. Participants for this session are needed to be players, to create a narrative, to video the game being played, and if there is time and anyone has the skill, to edit the video and sound into a release version. It is preferable if participants are already a little familiar with the game and/or threat modelling. If there is time, we will also discuss alternative game strategies like a Jeopardy format. The session agenda is 1. Storyboarding; 2. Game play recording; 3. Editing; 4. Soundtrack; 5. Publish video.
  • 13:30-17:00 hrs OWASP AppSensor (Code) - Dashboard
    The AppSensor v2.0.0 code implementation final release was undertaken in January. One of the tasks to continue with is the development of a reporting dashboard. This session is to brainstorm ideas and layouts for the dashboard, and identify what tools/libraries can assist in the creation of the dashboard. Bring ideas, energy, URLs, paper and pens! The outputs will be dashboard mockups. The session agenda is 1. Introductions and objectives; 2. Information requirements; 3. User stories; 4. Information design; 5. Code libraries and frameworks.
  • 17:00-18:00 hrs OWASP Automated Threats to Web Applications - Website Owner Experiences
    The OWASP Automated Threats to Web Applications Project is undertaking research and will publish its outputs immediately prior to AppSec EU 2015. This meeting seeks input from training and conference attendees on their own organisations' experiences of automated attacks: What types of automated attacks occur and with what frequency? What were the symptoms? How are they detected? What incident response measures were taken? What steps were undertaken to prevent or mitigate such attacks? Participation/contribution can be anonymous or otherwise. The intention is to update the published documents during the session and if possible create additional sector-specific guidance.

Registration

Attendance at the project summit is free, but everyone is a participant to help achieve the objectives. Please register to let the team know who will be attending. Join as many or as few of the sessions as you like.

The summit is co-loacted at the Amsterdam RAI as the chargeable training courses running on the same days. Why not sign up for those and the conference at the same time?

I look forward to seeing some of you there.

Posted on: 31 March 2015 at 13:52 hrs

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24 March 2015

Web Application Attacks from a WAF Perspective

I had lost track of Imperva's useful Hacker Intelligence Initiative (HII), threat advisories and Web Application Attack Reports (WAARs). The latest WAAR was published in October 2014.

Part of Imperva's 'Web Application Attack Report Edition #5 - October 2014' illustrating two of the charts included

Web Application Attack Report Edition #5 - October 2014 describes the most popular web application targets, attack vectors, duration and magnitude. The analysis is based on data from 99 web applications that had a web application firewall (WAF) from the vendor deployed in the period 1st August 2013 to 30th April 2014.

Attack data are included for:

  • SQL injection
  • Remote file inclusion
  • Local file inclusion
  • Directory traversal
  • Cross-site scripting
  • Comment spamming.

Other types of attack vector and threats are not covered. The report's introduction suggests that a further 201 web applications did not see any of these types of attack during the period.

Posted on: 24 March 2015 at 08:32 hrs

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20 March 2015

The Hard Problem of Securing Enterprise Applications

This paper about securing enterprise applications has been sitting in my email since November. I eventually got round to reading it and apologise for not highlighting it sooner.

Vendor recommended security controls and compliance requirements leave huge gaps in application security. ... Most have no understanding of how the application platforms work, where security events should be collected, nor how to analyze application specific information.

Securing Enterprise Applications describes the problems modern enterprises have with application security: security use cases, security gaps and recommendations. These are my favourite selective snippets. This:

The biggest gap and most pressing need is that most monitoring systems do not understand enterprise applications. To continuously monitor enterprise applications you need to collect the appropriate data and then make sense of it.

And:

Traditional application security vendors who claim "deep packet inspection" for enterprise application security skirt understanding how the application actually works.

And:

Continuous monitoring of enterprise application activity, with full understanding of how that application works, is the most common gap in enterprise security strategies.

And:

This means that you can block activity, not just monitor. Properly configured with white/black listing, they help prevent exploitation of 0-day attacks and filter out other unwanted behavior. They work at the application layer so they are typically deployed one of three ways: as an agent on the application platform, as a reverse proxy for the application, or embedded into the application itself.

Read and implement AppSensor. It's free.

Posted on: 20 March 2015 at 08:16 hrs

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17 March 2015

Payment Security and PCI DSS Compliance 2015

Verizon has published its annual PCI Compliance Report 2015 covering data up to the end of 2014, describing compliance, the sustainability of controls and ongoing risk management.

Partial screen capture from the Verizon report 'PCI Compliance Report 2015' showing one of the many charts

PCI Compliance Report 2015 analyses information from PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) assessments undertaken by Verizon between 2012 and 2014, together with additional data from forensic investigation reports.

It describes the challenges of maintaining compliance and mentions the scale and complexity of requirements, uncertainty about scope and impact, the ongoing compliance cycle, lack of resources, lack of insight into business processes and misplaced confidence in existing information security maturity.

Each main requirement has a dedicated section summarising the changes in v3.0, describing the compliance challenges found, and providing recommendations for maintaining security and compliance. The authors describe methods they consider should be used to make compliance easier, more effective and sustainable.

There is a useful "compliance calendar" in Appendix C of the report which shows the periodic and other triggers for certain activities across the 12 requirements. A "must read" if you are a payment merchant or service provider.

Posted on: 17 March 2015 at 08:46 hrs

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06 March 2015

Introduction to AppSensor for Developers

Following the recent v2.0 code release and promotion to flagship status there has been increased interest in the OWASP AppSensor Project concerning application-specific real-time attack detection and response.

Front page of the new 'AppSensor Introduction for Developers'

During the OWASP podcast interview with project co-leader John Melton, the idea of creating briefings for target groups was discussed by podcast host Mark Miller. I am pleased to say that thought rolled onto the project's mailing list, and John Melton rapidly wrote and published the text copy.

I took that copy and additional suggestions by Louis Nadeau to design a two-page briefing document. This is available to download from the OWASP web site:

Please circulate this to software developers. The text is also available on CrowdIn if anyone would like to volunteer to translate the briefing, or the guide for that matter, into other languages..

We also plan to create a short guide for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), with content drawn primarily from the first few chapters of the existing AppSensor Guide v2.0.

Posted on: 06 March 2015 at 10:21 hrs

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03 March 2015

User Interface Modifications to Combat Buyer Fraud

A paper published for the 2015 Network and Distributed System Security (NDSS) Symposium in February describes user interface modification techniques to address liar buyer fraud, and the results of experiments assessing the potential for these to reduce ecommerce fraud losses.

Title from the paper 'Liar Buyer Fraud, and How to Curb It' by Markus Jakobsson, Hossein Siadati and Mayank Dhiman

Liar Buyer Fraud, and How to Curb It authors Markus Jakobsson, Hossein Siadati and Mayank Dhiman describe "liar buyer" fraud, how traditional anti-fraud technology fails to curb this problem, and details the results of experiments of proposed alternative techniques to reduce the problem.

The authors explain that liar buyer fraudsters are generally not repeat fraudsters, but are otherwise honest people who are first-time offenders that act fraudulently as the result of temporary poor judgement. This manifests itself in claims that deliveries were not made. It is believed that at least a quarter, and as much as half, of direct fraud affecting some organisations is the result of liar buyer fraud.

The ideas considered by the authors for their research involve changes to the user interface that promote user honesty:

  1. Disclosure that the customer's computer/device has been recognised
  2. Disclosure of the customer's location (e.g. IP address, post code or location map)
  3. Production of statements by the delivery person
  4. Simplifying methods of goods return
  5. Forcing the customer to make a promise
  6. Attending to angry and upset customers carefully.

The research focused on the first two of these and found they have a significant reduction in customer's willingness to file false claims. The other options look promising and, perhaps with the exception of the third approach, could be undertaken by real-world retailers in A/B/N testing.

Posted on: 03 March 2015 at 07:48 hrs

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27 February 2015

Register Today for OWASP AppSec EU 2015 in Amsterdam

The leading application security training and conference event is being held in Amsterdam from 19th to 22nd May 2015. Register today.

Photograph of houses overlooking boats on a canal in Amsterdam - the location for OWASP AppSec EU 2015

OWASP AppSec EU 2015 is being held in the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre just a single train stop from both Schiphol Airport in one direction, and central station in the other.

AppSec EU 2015 comprises:

It looks like it will be a superb event. Thanks to the event team for their work to date.

And of course, there is everything else Amsterdam has to offer.

Registration is open, but the price increases on 1st March (this Sunday), and there is another higher charge for tickets bought at the door. Amsterdam RAI Hotel and Travel Service is the official accommodation partner of OWASP AppSec EU 2015. Lastly, there are still a few sponsorship packages available.

Posted on: 27 February 2015 at 09:32 hrs

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24 February 2015

Report on an Evaluation of Application Security Assessment Vendors

Forrester Research published an evaluation of a dozen application security vendors in December.

Figure 1 Evaluated Vendors: Product Information from the The Forrester Wave Application Security, Q4 2014, listing Beyond Security, Checkmarx, Contrast Security, Coverity, HP Fortify, IBM, Qualys, Quotium, Trend Micro, Veracode, Virtual Forge and WhiteHat Security

The researchers reviewed the market to identify application security assessment vendors that offer multiple capabilities, provide easy deployment and integration, are used by other Forrester clients and have competitive offerings.

Their selection was Beyond Security, Checkmarx, Contrast Security, Coverity, HP Fortify, IBM, Qualys, Quotium, Trend Micro, Veracode, Virtual Forge and WhiteHat Security.

The vendors offer mixed approaches in static analysis (SAST), dynamic analysis (DAST), and instrumented/ interactive technologies (IAST) techniques in order to detect weaknesses and vulnerabilities in general code, web applications, mobile applications, and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products. Their current product offerings, strategy and size of market presence were compared.

The brief report is available for an eye-watering $2,495 if you are not an existing client of Forrester. Alternatively, you can request a free copy from either IBM or WhiteHat Security (business details required).

Posted on: 24 February 2015 at 08:05 hrs

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