27 February 2015

Preventative

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

02 December 2014

SANS SWAT Checklist and Poster

The SANS Institute has published a poster called Securing Web Application Technologies (SWAT).

Partial view of one section of the SANS Securing Web Application Technologies (SWAT) 2014 poster

SWAT 2014 (PDF) is a two-page large-format colourful poster combining a SWAT checklist with a What Works in Application Security chart.

The SWAP checklist groups its suggested best practices into the following areas: authentication, session management, access control, input and output handling, data protection, error handling and logging, configuration and operations. These are hopefully familiar; here are some similar categories elsewhere:

SANS Institute David Rook Open Web Application Security Project
SWAT Checklist Category AppSec Principle Cornucopia Suit Proactive Control
Authentication Authentication Authentication Establish identity and authentication controls
Session management Session management Session management
Access control Authorisation,
Secure resource access
Authorization Implement appropriate access controls
Input and output handling Input validation,
Output validation
Data validation and encoding Validate all inputs,
Parameterize queries,
Encode data
Data protection Secure communications,
Secure storage
Cryptography,
Cornucopia
Protect data and privacy
Error handling and logging Error handling Cornucopia Implement logging, error handling and intrusion detection
Configuration and operations - Cornucopia -
- - (all requirements) Leverage security features of frameworks and security libraries,
Include security-specific requirements,
Design and architect security in

So, a good overlap, albeit each of these has somewhat different intent. The SWAT best practices are cross-referenced to Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) list of software weaknesses where applicable.

The What Works in Application Security part provides suggestions for application security programmes in four areas — govern, design, test and fix — showing how security needs to be built into multiple aspects of the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

The file can be downloaded without registration.

Posted on: 02 December 2014 at 06:16 hrs

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25 November 2014

Two ENISA Reports on Cryptography

At the end of last week, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) published two reports on the use of cryptography.

One of the tables from ENISA's report 'Algorithms, Key Size and Parameters 2014'

Algorithms, Key Size and Parameters 2014 (PDF) provides guidance on appropriate cryptographic protective measures for the protection of personal data in online systems. The report defines primitives/schemes that can be considered for use today, as well as those for new/future systems. The document is intended for technical specialists designing and implementing cryptographic solutions..

The second report, Study on Cryptographic Protocols (PDF) extends the previous report to look at how the primitives/schemes are used in cryptographic protocols.

Both reports are free to access without registration.

Posted on: 25 November 2014 at 18:27 hrs

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06 November 2014

OWASP Snakes and Ladders

In a month's time we will probably be in full office party season. I have been preparing something fun to share and use, that is an awareness document for application security risks and controls.

OWASP Snakes and Ladders Mobile Apps

Snakes and Ladders is a popular board game, with ancient provenance imported into Great Britain from Asia by the 19th century. The original game showed the effects of good and evil, or virtues and vices. In this OWASP version, the virtuous behaviours (ladders) are secure coding practices and the vices (snakes) are application security risks. I have created two versions so far:

I created the game to use as an ice-breaker in application security training, but it potentially has wider appeal simply as a promotional hand-out, and maybe also more usefully as learning materials for younger coders. To cover all of that, I use the phrase "OWASP Snakes and Ladders is meant to be used by software programmers, big and small".

OWASP Snakes and Ladders Web Applications

The game might be a useful transition from learning about the OWASP Top Ten Risks and before moving into the Top Ten Proactive Controls in a PCI DSS developer training session for example.

Snakes and Ladders Web Applications is available in German and Spanish, as well as in (British) English. Translations to Chinese, Dutch and Japanese are also in progress. The OWASP volunteers who are generously translating the text and performing proof reading are:

  • Manuel Lopez Arredondo
  • Tobias Gondrom
  • Martin Haslinger
  • Riotaro Okada
  • Ferdinand Vroom
  • Ivy Zhang

Print-ready PDFs have been published - these are poster sized A2 (international world-wide paper sizes). But the original files are Adobe Illustrator, so these are also available for anyone to use and improve upon. OWASP Snakes and Ladders is free to use. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license, so you can copy, distribute and transmit the work, and you can adapt it, and use it commercially, but all provided that you attribute the work and if you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar licence.

Just print out the sheet as large as you can make them. It is better to play using a real die and counters (markers), but you can cut out and make these from the paper sheet itself if you have scissor and glue skills.

You can also follow two mock games on Twitter which upload a position image every hour:

Please enjoy and share.

Further information, and all the PDFs and source files, are available on the Snakes and Ladders project website. Please keep in touch by joining the project mailing list.

Posted on: 06 November 2014 at 08:31 hrs

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22 October 2014

Denial of Service Attack Prevalence and Recurrence

I do not often refer readers of the blog to the Akamai State of the Internet report, but the latest edition contains some useful data on denial of service (DoS) attacks.

One of the distributed denial of service (DDoS) data charts from the Akamai State of the Internet report Q2 2014

The 2014 Q2 State of the Internet Report can be downloaded after registration and providing some sales lead information.

The observations on denial of service attacks describes how almost 30% of the ports attacked relate to web applications, and provides a break down of attacks by industry sector for its clients. But of particular interest in the latest report is data on the frequency of repeated attacks against a single organisation.

The report includes much more information on Internet adoption and usage.

The 2014 Q2 Global DDoS Attack Report is also available from Prolexic, now owned by Akamai. There is also a well-designed chart on this page from June showing the nation source and destination of DoS attacks.

Posted on: 22 October 2014 at 18:07 hrs

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17 October 2014

Cost of Cyber Crime for UK Companies 2014

The third annual study of the cost of cyber crime in UK companies has been published.

Partial view of the cover from the Ponemon report ''

This 2014 report from Ponemon Institute is the third annual study of U.K companies, and is based on a representative sample of 38 organisations across industries. Findings for other regions/nations, relating to 257 companies in 7 countries in total, have also been published.

The report describes:

  • Mean annual cost
  • How the cost varies across sectors
  • Types of cyber crime
  • Mitigations
  • Effect of response time on incident cost.

2014 Cost of Cyber Crime Study: United Kingdom can be downloaded for free from HP after registration.

Also of use in this area, an analysis of the value of data and tools/services to criminals was published this month by the Infosec Institute.

Posted on: 17 October 2014 at 07:30 hrs

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07 October 2014

Request to Participate in the OWASP CISO Survey 2014

The OWASP CISO Survey Report was published in January 2014.

OWASP is again conducting the survey among senior information security leaders and managers and needs your help. The results will be published in the OWASP CISO Report 2014 which will be free to access and use. The project team has asked if we can share this invitation with security contacts in companies and other organisations.

Dear colleague,

The new OWASP CISO Survey 2014 will be closing soon. Hundreds of CISOs already shared their thoughts, but we need to broaden the data pool further to later be able to derive good regional analysis of the results.

So please help by forwarding to your chapters, sharing with your colleagues, and forwarding to the security managers within your organisations and peers!

As respected information security leaders in the industry, OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project, www.owasp.org) would like to hear your opinion and invite you to share this survey invitation with your security managers and/or peers.

OWASP is preparing the Global CISO report 2014 and conducting a survey among CISOs and senior information security managers in relation to application security with the aim of providing you with new insights about the state of application security across various industry sectors and about new security trends and aligning our efforts to better help solving the problems of the future that you face.

The survey shall take only a few minutes of your precious time and by completing it you are helping shape the future of Internet and software security. At the conclusion of the survey, the aggregated results will be publicly available in the form of a free report on the owasp.org website, keeping your information completely anonymous. (If you are interested, the published results of the last CISO Survey Report 2013 can be found https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_CISO_Survey).

As you may know, OWASP is a volunteer open-source organization dedicated to fighting the causes of software insecurity. We are also a registered charity & non-profit in the USA and the EU. See more at https://www.owasp.org/index.php/About_OWASP.

The survey can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CISOSurvey2014

Or if you prefer a different language, this survey is also available in:

Early participants, before October-8 (23:59 GMT) [tomorrow!], can take part in a raffle. If you provide your contact details at the end of the survey, you will be entered into a drawing for one of the generously donated prizes. The Survey will finally close on October 31st.

Thank you very much in advance for your time and input.

Best regards,

Your OWASP Global CISO Survey & Report Project team

If you are a CISO, please complete the survey; otherwise please forward details to relevant contacts.

Posted on: 07 October 2014 at 18:35 hrs

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03 October 2014

Free Software Security Training Course

Coursera provides a platform for universities to publish and deliver free online courses.

Partial screen capture from the Cousera page about the free training course 'Software Security'

I noticed the platform now has a software security course run by Professor Michael Hicks (blog) from the University of Maryland. The syllabus covers:

  • Secure software design principles and process
  • Secure coding
  • Security testing, and auditing, including the following topics.

The course requires 3-5 hours work per week for six weeks. Two sessions are coming up:

  • 20th October to 6th December 2014
  • 23rd March to 4th April 2015.

I do not have experience of the course or Coursera but it looks like it might be a good introduction for software developers, if you can commit the time.

Posted on: 03 October 2014 at 08:25 hrs

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01 October 2014

Online Organised Crime 2014

Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) has published a new report about online organised crime.

Partial screen capture of the cover from European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) report '2014 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (iOCTA)'

EC3 is the focal point in the EU's fight against cybercrime which supports Member States and the European Union's institutions operational and analytical capacity for investigations, and cooperation with international partners.

The 2014 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (iOCTA) (summary findings and recommendations) identifies global trends, a service-based culture, and abuse of anonymisation as the main issues. the recommendations presented relate to activities in awareness, capacity building, training, partnerships, protection and investigation.

Although the data is rather generic for application threats, there is good information for broader risk assessments.

Posted on: 01 October 2014 at 09:10 hrs

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16 September 2014

AppSensor 2x2x2

OWASP AppSensor co-project leader John Melton has published two further AppSensor v2 assets.

Screen capture of the AppSensor 2 web site showing the headings on the user guide section - instrument your application, test and deploy the system, monitor, and tweak as necessary

AppSensor defines how to implement application intrusion detection and automated response.

Website 2.0.0

John has designed, coded and written a new standalone website for AppSensor. It was published on Friday and includes a brief description of the concept, an overview, getting started information and a user guide for the reference implementation. In John's words, the objectives were to:

  • Explain the high level concept in a simple way and point people back to the project site and the book for more detail
  • Give developers a nice entry point to the project - modelled after other framework/library sites
  • Give us more flexibility in how we present the project (not just wiki format)
  • In the future, hoping to have live demos.

I think it succeeds on the first three of these, and I will help if I can with the final statement.

To provide feedback or to contribute, please use the project's general mailing list.

Code 2.0.0 beta

If the new website wasn't enough, John has also been putting in many hours of coding to finish developing the new standalone version AppSensor reference implementation. On Sunday he announced the beta release of version 2.0.0.

The reference implementation currently supports three execution modes:

  • REST web service
  • SOAP web service
  • Local (embedded Java).

John is hoping a final release can be arranged for October/November.

To provide feedback or to contribute, please use the project's code development mailing list.

2x2x2

So the AppSensor project now has a new guide, a new website, and will imminently have a final release of the version 2 code. I am thrilled. I will be highlighting this new code when I speak at the London API event tomorrow evening. If you are attending that, I will have some free printed copies of the AppSensor Guide with me — if you would like one, please ask me a question about AppSensor.

Posted on: 16 September 2014 at 07:58 hrs

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09 September 2014

Out and About During September

I have mentioned before about the many useful security, design and development meet-ups and events that I try to get along to.

Photograph of Google's Addy Osmani speaking about memory management at the London Web Performance Group on 26th August

A couple of weeks ago, I went along to a very useful London Web Performance Group meeting with the title of Google Web Perf Special. It was a bit outside my normal day-to-day work, so I found it particularly useful. Well the talks were recorded are are now available on line:

My upcoming plans for event attendance are:

If you are attending any of those, please find me and say hello.

Posted on: 09 September 2014 at 08:49 hrs

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Preventative : Application Security and Privacy
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