15 April 2015

Operation

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

15 April 2015

Security of Public Communications Network and Service Providers

The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has published guidance on what nations should take into account when evaluating the security compliance of public communications network and service providers.

Bars on a chart from the ENISA document 'Technical Guideline on Security Measures for Article 4 and Article 13a'

The requirements relate to Article 13a of the Framework Directive (2009/140/EC) and Article 4 of the e-Privacy Directive (2002/58/EC).

At first glance, many organisations might assume they do not fall within the remit of this "network and services" legislation, but Technical Guideline on Security Measures for Article 4 and Article 13a describes the "assets in scope" as "all assets of the provider which, when breached and/or failing, can have a negative impact on the security of networks, services and/or the processing of personal data".

The guidance provides a non-exhaustive list of networks and services, and related systems "which are often supporting, directly or indirectly, the provision of networks and services or the personal data processing". Whilst many in scope systems are communication and network related, including wires and fibre, network devices and DNS, other components mentioned are PCs, removable media, power supply systems, backup power supply and cooling systems. Many companies may be providers of services like these to organisations that are affected by the legislation.

The document goes on to describe "additional services" in scope that include "Provider web sites for customers, billing portals, et cetera, if they contain personal data which was collected and processed in connection with the provision of networks or services", "Customer premises equipment (CPE), if under the control of the operator (such as VOIP boxes)" and "Other systems used for storing or processing of personal data collected in connection with the provision of networks or services. This could involve procedures involving paperwork like paper-printed letters, contracts or bills". As the document states "Third party assets are in scope just as if they were assets of the provider".

The guidance defines a "security incident" as "a single or a series of unwanted or unexpected events which could have an impact on the security of networks, services and/or the processing of personal data". It goes on to provide examples of various scales of incident and whether they are reportable.

The technical guidance is divided into 26 security objectives, each with three levels of sophistication that demonstrates what level of controls are in place. The objectives and measures might be useful for other organisations to assess their own maturity, regardless of legislative applicability.

Posted on: 15 April 2015 at 18:18 hrs

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14 April 2015

Remote Banking Fraud Up, Card Fraud Up

The Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) has published its latest figures about financial fraud in the UK.

e-commerce card fraud losses increased from £190.1m in 2013 to £217.4m in 2014 — a 14 per cent rise

In a news release published at the end of March, the FFA UK states the increase is primarily due to a change in tactic by fraudsters who are deceiving customers rather than attacking the payments technology and systems directly. It warns about the increasing numbers of scams which aim to trick people into disclosing financial details or transferring their money directly to fraudsters.

As a result of these trends there is now a new Joint Declaration by UK Banks, Card Issuers and Building Societies is a combined effort to combat phone-initiated fraud.

Online banking fraud increased from £40.9m to£60.4m in 2014, a 48 per cent rise.

Card fraud losses were driven by criminals using UK cards fraudulently abroad, where the security features can be circumvented in some locations.

Posted on: 14 April 2015 at 07:37 hrs

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10 April 2015

Digital Advertising Fraud

Over the last couple of months I have been doing some background reading for a new project.

One of the charts from the ANA report 'The Bot Baseline: Fraud in Digital Advertising'

One area I was interested in discovering more about was advertising click fraud. In my research I came across a report The Bot Baseline: Fraud in Digital Advertising, published by the US Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and White Ops at the end of last year. It includes information gathered from 36 ANA member companies spanning 181 advertising campaigns with 5.5 billion digital advert impressions.

The report discusses:

  • Cost of bot fraud
  • The effect of reach
  • Differences with video campaigns
  • Sourcing traffic
  • Premium buys
  • Digital advertising supply chain
  • Adware attack severity
  • Bot source locations
  • Engagement and viewability metrics
  • Evasion
  • Tracking
  • Ad injection
  • Countermeasures.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has also published a document describing Anti-Fraud Principles and Proposed Taxonomy. There are also some related terminology definitions and discussion of fraud in the IAB Europe whitepaper Viewable Impressions, February 2015.

Posted on: 10 April 2015 at 08:00 hrs

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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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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 Automation Threats to Web Applications - Website Owner Experiences
    The OWASP Automation 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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27 March 2015

Financial Conduct Authority Update March 2015

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is becoming more proactive in the online application space.

Photograph of one of the dragon boundary marks at the boundary of the City of London on Embankment

Following last year's consultation on use of social media, the FCA has completed its review and has now confirmed its approach for financial promotions in social media.

The finalised guidance has been published as FG15/4 - Social Media and Customer Communications: The FCA's Supervisory Approach to Financial Promotions in Social Media.

This covers web sites and applications that enable users to create and share content or participate in social networking, including blogs, microblogs (e.g. Twitter), social and professional networks (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+), forums, and image and video-sharing platforms (e.g. YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest. Any form of communication (including through social media) is capable of being a financial promotion, depending on whether it includes an invitation or inducement to engage in financial activity. So, for example, it would include 'advergames', where promotional messages are placed in entertainment applications.

On another matter, in addition to the document published in July on Considerations for Firms Thinking of Using Third-Party Technology (off-the-shelf) Banking Solutions, legal news blog Out-law.com reports the FCA is examining platforms' technology systems later this year.

The FCA is also consulting on proposed changes to its consumer credit rules and guidance. Almost a year ago on 1st April 2014 the FCA took over the regulation of consumer credit from the former Office of Fair Trading (OFT). This brought around 50,000 consumer credit firms into its scope.

And finally, the UK's new Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), launching next week and part of the FCA, has announced its regulatory framework for payment systems (summary factsheet). Customers of payment services providers may not be aware of this change — Card payment systems is in the 2015/16 programme of work.

Keep up-to-date with FCA and PSR news.

Posted on: 27 March 2015 at 08:40 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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10 March 2015

Web Site Oops Roundup

Some news stories about web site security incidents caught my eye in the last week.

Photograph of a sign reading

These events outline some disappointing behaviour:

Not on your systems I hope!

Posted on: 10 March 2015 at 08:15 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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