My Threat Intelligence Can Beat Up Your Threat Intelligence

Have you ever been in a vendor meeting and heard the vendor extol the greatness of their threat intelligence?  You may have even seen a slide that looks similar to this:

The vendor probably proceeded to highlight the key differentiators that make their threat intelligence network stand second to none.  Bullets containing statistics like this surely followed:

  • Global coverage, in well over 100 countries
  • 50 million network devices
  • 50 billion web queries each month
  • 30 billion emails a month
  • 100 million users
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Kim Kardashian And APTs

On Wednesday, American footwear company Skechers agreed to pay the US Federal Trade Commission $40 million. This settlement resulted from a series of commercials that deceived consumers claiming that the Shape-Ups shoe line would “help people lose weight, and strengthen and tone their buttocks, legs and abdominal muscles.”  Professional celebrity Kim Kardashian appeared in a 2011 Super Bowl commercial personally endorsing the health benefits of these shoes.  

This settlement was part of an ongoing FTC campaign to “stop overhyped advertising claims.”  A similar effort would serve the information security community well.  For example, one particular claim that causes me frequent grief is: “solution X detects and prevents advanced persistent threats.”  It is hard, dare I say impossible, to work in information security and not have heard similar assertions. I have heard it twice this week already, and these claims make my brain hurt.

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Hackers Vs. Executives Is Back

Our next installment of "Hackers vs. Executives" is just weeks away.  Join us at the Forrester Security Forum and sit in on one of the most popular sessions of the event each year. We have a great panel lined up for you.  In the Hackers corner, we have Chase Cunningham of Neustar and Brian Gorenc of HP Tippingpoint DVLabs.  In his hacking demo, Chase will use social engineering, packaged exploit delivery, and credential harvesting to show you how open source data can create avenues for hackers to attack users and ultimately compromise your network.  In his hacking demo, Brian will provide an in-depth look at what it takes to analyze a vulnerability and the steps required to weaponize it.  Centering on a vulnerability in a Microsoft application, the demo will show you how an attacker can quickly move from proof-of-concept to remote code execution.

In the Executive corner, we have Richard Bejtlich of Mandiant and Steve Martino of Cisco Systems. Richard and Steve will discuss what these types of attacks mean to Security & Risk professionals, including how your organization can prepare and respond to them.  John Kindervag and I will moderate the panel. There will be great discussion and you will have the opportunity to ask questions of all of our panelists. It will be a fantastic session; one you won't want to miss.  Please join us in Las Vegas on May 25th from 11:05 to 12:40. Take a look at the Security Forum website for more details. John and I hope to see you there.