[ISN] Security UPDATE -- In Focus: Keeping Private Information Private -- April 6, 2005

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Thu Apr 7 02:15:13 EDT 2005


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1. In Focus: Keeping Private Information Private 

2. Security News and Features
   - Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   - New Alliance Automates Attack Mitigation
   - Bug Hunting for Mozilla Pays
   - Attack Shield Worm Suppression

3. Security Toolkit
   - Security Matters Blog
   - FAQ
   - Security Forum Featured Thread

4. New and Improved
   - Isolating Internet Activity


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==== 1. In Focus: Keeping Private Information Private ====
   by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

You might have read the somewhat recent news stories about people's 
private information being either stolen or leaked from four different 
entities. One incident involved consumer data collector ChoicePoint, 
which somehow managed to divulge the personal information of more than 
140,000 people. It took the company quite some time to determine how 
many people's data was actually leaked. 

Another incident involved LexisNexis. Intruders managed to break in to 
the company's computer systems, where they gained access to roughly 
32,000 people's private information. Intruders also broke in to the 
computer systems of Chico State University (California) and gained 
access to the private information of nearly 60,000 people. And a laptop 
went missing from the University of California, Berkeley. As you might 
suspect, the laptop contained private information--of more than 96,000 

These stories boggle the mind. In the first three incidents, the 
computers were accessed through the Internet. Crucial systems that, if 
breached, would affect thousands or even millions of people should 
under no circumstances be accessible via the Internet. There are other 
ways to provide necessary access to the information without adding the 
gigantic risk of a global open network. The Internet serves a fantastic 
and incredibly useful purpose. However, I don't think part of that 
purpose should include connecting every computing device on the planet. 
Intrusion incidents seem to make that notion very clear. 

The incident at Berkeley points out a different problem that has a 
simple solution. Don't keep sensitive information, such as the private 
information of more than 96,000 people, on a system that can be stolen 
by anybody capable of lifting a few pounds of weight. Even though the 
stolen laptop was supposedly in a "secure" area, it went missing. This 
incident points out the need for people to consider exactly what they 
keep on mobile computers, why they think they need to keep the data on 
such devices, and the worst-case scenarios of the computer and data 
being lost. 

People could argue that even a regular large server could be stolen. 
That's true. But someone is much more conspicuous walking out of a 
secure area with a big heavy computer box. On the contrary, anybody can 
hide a laptop in a briefcase or backpack or under a jacket. In 
addition, regular computers and rack-mounted systems can be bolted into 
place such that they can't easily be taken or their covers removed to 
gain access to their internal devices, such as hard drives. 


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==== 2. Security News and Features ====

Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security 
Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security 
vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these 
discoveries at

New Alliance Automates Attack Mitigation
   A new alliance of network service providers, hosting companies, and 
educational institutions have joined together to automate attack 
mitigation. The Fingerprint Sharing Alliance, developed by Arbor 
Networks, is based on the company's Peakflow SP solution and lets 
alliance members share attack-fingerprint information to more quickly 
thwart attacks. 

Bug Hunting for Mozilla Pays
   Mozilla Foundation's Bug Bounty Program pays researchers to find 
security problems in Mozilla software. This week, the company awarded 
$2500 to German bug hunter Michael Krax. 

Attack Shield Worm Suppression
   Sana Security's Attack Shield Worm Suppression (WS) is a software-
only solution to protect workstations from worms that spread via 
buffer-overflow attacks. The software operates only when an exploit 
makes a system call. So although it prevents exploits from using a 
buffer overflow for actions such as privilege escalation and file-
system access, it won't protect against buffer overflows that cause a 
crash by corrupting memory. Read the rest of Adam Carheden's mini-
review on our Web site.


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==== 3. Security Toolkit ==== 

Security Matters Blog 
   by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=6DEB:4FB69

RookitRevealer Is Now a Moving Target
   RookitRevealer is a new tool from Sysinternals that can help sniff 
out rootkits. Rootkit designers quickly started creating ways to hide 
their rootkits from RootkitRevealer, so last week, Sysinternals 
released a new version that uses random executable names to make the 
tool a moving target. 

   by John Savill, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=6DE9:4FB69 

Q: How can I move users between forests?

Find the answer at

Security Forum Featured Thread: File Permissions on an Archive Server
   A forum participant has a Windows NT archive server on which files 
and folders are created, moved, and deleted regularly. He would like 
all the root folders on the server to automatically be created with 
read only permission for regular users, but he'd like the files and 
folders below the root folders to have full permission for regular 
users. Join the discussion at 


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==== 4. New and Improved ====
   by Renee Munshi, products at windowsitpro.com

Isolating Internet Activity
   GreenBorder Technologies announced the availability of GreenBorder, 
software that transparently isolates Internet activity performed 
through Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Outlook from the desktop 
OS, user files, and the enterprise network. GreenBorder protects 
against damage, theft, and hijacking by Internet-delivered malicious 
code that uses HTTP or SMTP to break into the desktop. When users log 
off, GreenBorder automatically flushes the remnants of any Internet 
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