Friday, January 23, 2015

Identity is key in our society

Identity is key in our society. In such a globalized world, identity gives meaning to individuals defining and differentiating them from the rest of the people. This resource takes on a new level in the digital world, where anyone can handle different identities, whether they are real or not.

B2B International and Kaspersky Labs recently carried out a survey on the risk and security implications of leaving shared devices unprotected, which is a common practice even in the corporate world (32%). This situation could lead to an exponential increase in terms of risks, not only for the device itself, but for the different identities associated with it.

So you have a good identity management system on your devices, right? There are several methods of implementing digital identification systems. In fact, INCIBE explains some of them, ranging from basic ones (challenge-response) to more complex (and secure) as Secure Remote Password (SRP), in which the server never have direct access to the password.

If there is a service strongly associated with identity that is email service. But today email authentication is managed by each service provider, which arises privacy issues. DMARC is a specification developed by the IETF to standardize theses services. So far, it has the approval of most companies.

Identity is cornerstone of communications. In fact, most security crises are associated with human or technical failures that allow false identities to bypass security controls and make their misdeeds. The best example of it is the vectors for spreading ransomware. A deceptive email can trick a victim to open the file attached which usually contains malware. For instance, a international malware campaign is hitting users worldwide encouraging them to open a supposed fax that in reality hides CTB-Locker ransomware.

While some people look for an identification to enjoy an enriched world in the third environment, others hide their identity under layers of software. Conducting a routine investigation on the evolution of Njw0rm Trojan, Michael Marcos discovered what could be the first strokes of a new RAT on a forum written in Arabic. It used as a basis the previous Trojan version, adding it new features, aimed to make its control access less identifiable.

But everything is traceable in the digital world. Some analysts say it is possible to identify the TOR network nodes making calls by SSH and check them with Shodan (a well known search engine of Internet-connected devices). If the server operating as a node has a public IP (which is something usual), we could theoretically identify it (and therefore compromise it and the data packages sent through it).

Identities come into play again and again. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. In any case, implementing appropriate measures to protect them and stay well informed their digital progress will allow you to use Internet enjoying more control and greater security.


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