September, 2014

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Silicon Valley’s checks haven’t been buying them many bills.

Silicon Valley’s checks haven’t been buying them many bills.

Lawmakers made multiple trips to the tech industry capital this summer to stage meet-and-greets with company executives and get them to open their wallets.
But for all the work some members of Congress do to take industry’s money and run, many of the sector’s highest priorities have been left on the table.
That’s leading to growing frustration around the San Francisco Bay Area and causing some industry advocates to eye a more aggressive posture for dealing with Washington.

“I think there’s definitely frustration,” said Julie Samuels, executive director of the San Francisco-based startup advocacy group Engine. “I’m lying if I said otherwise.”

“However, there’s also an understanding that nothing is passing in this Congress,” she added. “It’s not so simple as just being mad about the things that haven’t happened. I think people here — like they are all over the country — are mad at the overall inability of this Congress to get anything done.”

Read the rest of this article here……

New Social Media Websites are up

Well, we are trying to get this business off the ground!

We have created our Google+ page, and a Facebook page; to make sure we can stay connected with everything out there!

556 Forensics, LLC on Google+


556 Forensics, LLC on Facebook

Recommendation for securing Apache, nginx, and Lighttpd

Recently, I was working with the web administrators at a company, who had stated that they failed a security audit, due to lax ciphers on their web servers.

When they asked for my recommendations, I immediately pointed them over to for a list of very useful recommendations for securing their Apache web servers. I highly recommend the advice they give on ciphers.

The Weak Link — The End-User

Source: ZDNet
Author: By Charlie Osborne for Zero Day | September 4, 2014 — 08:19 GMT (01:19 PDT)

The weak link in the enterprise security chain: Falling for phishing

Summary: According to new research, employees remain a link in the chain ripe for exploiting, and phishing campaigns are an effective tactic to gain access to corporate networks.

New research suggests that human error and a lack of knowledge concerning online scams remain a risk to enterprise security.

The report, McAfee Labs Threats Report: August 2014 (.PDF), claims that phishing campaigns remain a prime way to access enterprise networks.

Phishing campaigns come in many forms and guises. These days, phishing goes far beyond crude emails telling you you’ve won the Spanish Lottery or have a rich uncle in Nigeria who wants to transfer millions of dollars to your account. Instead, cyberattacks hijack news events — such as high-profile security breaches — in order to steal your information. A phishing email may claim your account has been compromised in a breach and you must change your password, PayPal has suspended your account until you verify particular details, a student loan has been delayed until you log in, or your bank has a transaction in question.

Many of these campaigns will lead their victims to genuine-looking but malicious websites that mirror legitimate firms, and once you input your data, the information wings its way to cybercriminals. What makes many phishing emails seem genuine is not only short-term campaigns that exploit news events, but tapping in to the irrational human emotion of panic — what’s going on at the bank, or how will I get my student loan? — preventing users from taking a step back and thinking before clicking on a link.

As so many businesses now rely on technology to run successfully, and cybercrime continues to evolve and become more sophisticated, it is unsurprising that social engineering is now such an important facet of cyberattacks.

Both mass and spear phishing are rampant in today’s cyber space. When McAfee presented 10 email messages which were a mixture of genuine messages and phishing campaigns in a quiz designed to test business users’ ability to detect online scams, 80 percent of its participants failed to detect at least one of seven phishing emails.

Furthermore, employees in finance and human resource departments proved to be the worst at detecting phishing campaigns.

The most successful tactic was the use of spoofed email addresses, and test takers missed them 63 percent and 47 percent of the time, respectively. The sample phishing email most likely to fool users appears to be sent from UPS, complete with a sender address spoofed to appear from the domain. The email itself contained a link to the genuine UPS shipment tracking page, but a second, malicious link prompted an “invoice” download. This link delivered a payload of malware disguised in a .zip archive.

Since last quarter’s Threat report, McAfee has collected more than 250,000 new phishing URLs, leading to a total of nearly one million new malicious sites in the past year. The security firm says not only is there an increase in total volume, but also the overall sophistication of phishing campaigns targeting the enterprise. The United States continues to host the most phishing URLs globally.

In addition to McAfee’s finding concerning phishing campaigns, the company says in the black market, lists of Heartbleed-vulnerable websites and tools to mine them are becoming hot property. Denial of service attacks rose by four percent over the quarter, and new malware samples rose by one percent in Q2 2014.

Vincent Weafer, senior vice president for McAfee Labs commented:

“One of the great challenges we face today is upgrading the Internet’s core technologies to better suit the volume and sensitivity of traffic it now bears. Every aspect of the trust chain has been broken in the last few years — from passwords to OpenSSL public key encryption and most recently USB security. The infrastructure that we so heavily rely on depends on technology that hasn’t kept pace with change and no longer meets today’s demands.”

Say It’s Not So Home Depot!


Home Depot is investigating a hack that possibly exposed its customer payment information.

The company on Tuesday confirmed it has partnered with banks and law enforcement to look into “some unusual activity” relating to customers.

Independent cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs was the first to report this, saying “a massive new batch of stolen credit and debit cards” went for sale Tuesday in the black market online.

Krebs said hackers were possibly in Home Depot’s computer systems from May until now. If that’s true, this might be even larger than the three-week long Target breach that affected 40 million debit and credit cards late last year, he noted.

Related: Albertson’s stores hacked for credit card data

In a statement, Home Depot spokeswoman Paula Drake said: “Protecting our customers’ information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers.”

The company promised to alert customers as soon as it can ascertain a data breach has occurred.

This could turn out to be another giant hack like the ones that hit several brand name U.S. stores. Since late 2013, the list has gotten extensive: Albertson’s, Target, Michaels, Neiman Marcus, P.F. Chang’s and SuperValu.

So many companies have been hit, CNNMoney developed its own tool: What hackers know about you. Check it out.

For perspective, consider that Target (TGT) is still reeling from its brush with hackers. The company’s latest figures estimate the damage so far at $148 million — and that number continues to rise. The value of its stock has fallen nearly 5% this year, and the company’s CEO resigned.

Meanwhile, Target customers haven’t felt any direct impact — that they can attribute to the hack, anyway. But that’s partly because banks won’t let customers know what big hack forced them to temporarily freeze accounts, nix fraudulent expenses and reissue debit and credit cards.

Related: How safe are you? CNNMoney’s custom cybersecurity Flipboard magazine

CNN’s Devon Sayers contributed to this report.