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Showing posts from April, 2011

When to burn a Zero-Day?

So I've often heard people say "Why would you waste a Zero-day on &ltinsert something&gt?". And on the opposite end of using your Zero-day, you have the hoarders who simply collect them to keep in their back pocket. So the question remains, when is the appropriate time to actually use a Zero-day for legitimate purposes?

The primary impetus for this discussion was someone smugly claiming they would never use a zero-day in a hacking competition or CTF event. So I can understand that stance, however if your trying to win something like P0wn20wn or some other serious hacking competition why wouldn't you? Is that truly a waste of a good Zero-day if it brings you respect in the industry and potentially more consulting work? I don't believe so, however financially given the cost of exploit development it may be wasteful. I think it really depends on the exploit. I've heard that security research companies often task teams of individuals for months to years ju…

What scares you more: APT vs Anonymous vs Wikileaks?

So the past few years have been very interesting in IT security as the amount of public disclosures have increased exponentially. Victims like Google, RSA, HBGary, Bank of America, etc and consultants like Mandiant, McAfee, and Verizon Business have provided more details then ever about the serious threats facing the public and private sector. Its almost coming to the point of information overload, and that's even after weeding out the FUD and sales talk.

So as a security leader in your company what keeps you up at night? First lets define the three "threats" I'm detailing. Yes there are still plenty of other big time threats like organized crime, however I'm keeping the list intentionally small and current.

First you have our beloved APT. I hate this term, its been polluted by the originators of the term, by the people who should know better calling it FUD, and by the sales/marketing folks. But its what we have to work with. APT, has various goals, but the noisies…