15 June 2015

Detective

Posts relating to the category tag "detective" are listed below.

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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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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20 February 2015

Software Assurance Maturity Model Practitioner Workshop

The OWASP Open Software Assurance Maturity Model (Open SAMM) team are holding a summit in Dublin at the end of March.

Extract from the Open Software Assurance Maturity Model (Open SAMM) document that describes the four business functions - governance, construction, verification, and deployment

As part of the two-day Open SAMM Summit 2015 a full day is being allocated to software assurance practitioners and those who want to learn about using the vendor-neutral and free Open SAMM to help measure, build and maintain security throughout the software development lifecycle.

Open SAMM helps organisations formulate and implement a strategy for software security that is tailored to the specific risks facing the organisation. The resources provided by SAMM assist:

  • Evaluating an organisation's existing software security practices
  • Building a balanced software security programme in well-defined iterations
  • Demonstrating concrete improvements to a security assurance program
  • Defining and measuring security-related activities within an organisation.

There seems to be plenty activity in the project. Keep up-to-date by following or joining the mailing list.

The users day, on Friday 27th March, is a combination of presentations, workshops and round-table discussions to help explain the approach, to make best use of a maturity model, to show how SAMM is being used by other companies, and to describe some upcoming project initiatives. The user day runs from 08:00 for 09:00 hrs through to 17:00 hrs, and is followed in the evening by an optional social event. Attendance is limited to the first 40 people who register and costs 150 EUR + VAT (21%). Travel, accommodation, subsistence at your own cost.

The following day, the SAMM project team, and any other volunteers who want to participate, will be working on creating outputs for the project.

The event is being held at The Gibson Hotel at Point Village Dublin 1, Ireland.

Posted on: 20 February 2015 at 09:59 hrs

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17 February 2015

AppSensor Now A Flagship OWASP Project

I was extremely pleased at the release of the v2 AppSensor reference implementation inJanuary. Now I am excited that the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has elevated the project's status.

Photograph of a green pendant flag flying against a blue sky

The completely voluntary OWASP project task force, led by Johanna Curiel, has been working through a backlog of project reviews. Over the last couple of years OWASP AppSensor Project has delivered significant steps in the coverage, quality, and depth of outputs. In fact it is also the only OWASP project that is both a documentation type of project, and a code one.

OWASP has promoted the project to the highest level - Flagship status. As co-leader with John Melton and Dennis Groves, and project founder Michael Coates, I am thrilled with this recognition.

OWASP's project inventory includes nine other Flagship projects and defines flagship status as:

The goal of OWASP Flagship projects is to identify, highlight, and support mainstream OWASP projects that make up a complete application security product of high quality and value to the software security industry. These projects are selected for their strategic value to OWASP and application security as a whole.

OWASP Flagship projects represent projects that are not only mature, but are also projects that OWASP as an organization provides direct support to maintaining. The core mission of OWASP is to make application security visible and so as an organization, OWASP has a vested interest in the success of its Flagship projects. Since Flagship projects have such high visibility, these projects are expected to uphold the most stringent requirements of all OWASP Projects.

It is important to remember all the people who have volunteered their time and effort to reach this stage. So many good and generous people.

Mark Miller has just interviewed John Melton about the OWASP AppSensor Project as part of the OWASP 24/7 podcast series. He provides an overview of application-specific attack detection and response, discusses what is new in version 2.0.0, explains the architectural options, describes the process flow, and mentions what else is on the roadmap.

AppSensor will be participating in this year's AppSec EU application security conference in Amsterdam, from 19th to 22nd May 2015. I hope you can make it.

Posted on: 17 February 2015 at 07:55 hrs

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13 February 2015

Security Information Sharing Standards and Tools

European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has published a summary of security information sharing formats, at the same time of the release of its good practice guide on Actionable Information for Security Incident Response.

Diagram from the ENISA report 'Standards and Tools for Exchange and Processing of Actionable Information' illustrating the relationships between standards for sharing of security information

Actionable security information is accurate and timely information that may help incident handlers reduce the number of infections, or address vulnerabilities before they are exploited.

The companion to the good practice guide is Standards and Tools for Exchange and Processing of Actionable Information which describes 53 different information sharing standards that are a mix of formats, protocols, technical approaches and frameworks in common use. These span:

  • Information sharing formats
    • Formats for low level data
    • Actionable observables
    • Enumerations
    • Scoring and measurement frameworks
    • Reporting formats
    • High-level frameworks
  • Transport and serialization
    • Transport methods
    • Serialization methods.

In addition, the report highlights 16, primarily open source, information sharing tools and platforms for the exchange and processing of actionable information, spanning automated distribution of data, supporting analytics, general purpose log management and handling high-level information.

Very useful - thank you ENISA.

Posted on: 13 February 2015 at 11:10 hrs

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10 February 2015

NIST SP 800-163 Vetting the Security of Mobile Applications

In the last of my run of three mobile app related posts, US standards body National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released Special Publication (SP) 800-163 Vetting the Security of Mobile Applications.

One of the tables from NIST SP 800-163 'Vetting the Security of Mobile Applications' showing top level general categories of iOS app vulnerabilities

SP 800-163 is for organisations that plan to implement a mobile app vetting process or consume app vetting results from other parties. It is also intended for developers that are interested in understanding the types of software vulnerabilities that may arise in their apps during the software development life cycle (SDLC). The report is grouped into planning, testing and app approval/rejection sections:

  • Planning
    • Security requirements
    • Understanding vetting limitations
    • Budget and staffing
  • Testing
    • General app security requirements
    • Testing approaches
    • Sharing results
  • App approval/rejection
    • Report and risk auditing
    • Organisation-specific vetting criteria
    • Final approval/rejection.

The guidance is practical and highlights risks that are mobile app specific as well as general application security risks. Appendices B & C provide helpful categorised lists of Android and iOS mobile app vulnerability types respectively.

Posted on: 10 February 2015 at 07:48 hrs

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30 January 2015

OWASP AppSensor Code v2.0.0 Final Release

I was extremely pleased to read yesterday that the final version of the new AppSensor reference implementation has been published following three previous release candidates.

Screen capture from the AppSensor microsite developed by John Melton for the OWASP AppSensor Project

The OWASP AppSensor project defines a conceptual framework and methodology that offers prescriptive guidance to implement application intrusion detection and automated response.

John Melton with the help of other code contributors and feedback from the project's code development mailing list have finished a complete overhaul of the previous code. In the words of the version 2.0.0 announcement, the most significant changes are:

  • Client-server architecture supporting multiple communication modes including: REST, SOAP, Thrift, local (shared JVM, java-only)
  • Any language can be used on the client application. The only requirement is that the language selected must support the communication protocol of the execution mode that is configured (i.e. if using REST as the execution mode, the language must be capable of making HTTP requests.) The server-side components are Java, but this places no restriction on the client applications themselves
  • There is no longer a hard dependency on [OWASP] ESAPI. AppSensor is a standalone project, though it can be integrated with projects that also use ESAPI if desired
  • The core components of the system have been renamed and now follow the AppSensor v2 book naming conventions, which is based on standard IDS terminology for clarity
  • Basic user correlation is supported so that client applications that share a user base (SSO) can share attack detection/response information.

John also created a special AppSensor microsite.

This is all free to use (see code licence). Begin using the new code with the getting started information.

Posted on: 30 January 2015 at 08:26 hrs

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29 January 2015

Anti-Automation Monitoring and Prevention

It seems London's Heathrow Airport has very little in the way of anti-automation monitoring or prevention in place.

Headline from the London Evening Standard which reads 'Heathrow noise complaints sent by automated software'

According to the London Evening Standard newspaper on Tuesday, a five-fold increase in complaints was in large part due to automated email submission.

Luck would seem to have been what led to the discovery that the emails were computer-generated when complaints were received an hour ahead of the flight schedule after the clocks changed from summer time.

Oops, let's hope that's not a metric used by the airport itself or a regulator.

Not that the airport would reasonably believe it to be the target of any activists! Surely not.

Posted on: 29 January 2015 at 16:04 hrs

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