Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The postman always rings more than twice

10 AM, you are enjoying a well deserved holiday and having a pleasant sleep when suddenly the door bell rings. You wake up upset, worried about about who is calling that time. When you pick up the entryphone and a creaking voice says "trading postman, can you open me, please?". Obfuscated, you hang up the entryphone and go back to bed. When you are ready to to to sleep, the bell rings again and you say to yourself: "It can´t be him". But it is him, and probably he will not leave until you or one of your neighbours open the door. 
At least, he is just somebody doing his work (no matter how annoying it is). Nevertheless, one of the most annoying things in daily live is junk mail, physically or digital.        

Monday, August 28, 2017

The new forms of terror

Last week, we compiled a series of qualitative interviews that addressed the issue of cyberterrorism, its consequences and the problems it can cause actually. Day by day comes full every kind of psychological terror episodes using the online platforms, and about a society increasingly mobilized. FOr example, a direc menace in video format use to come accompanied by a stong response in social networks facing some statements, referring ironically to the issued communication. A way to make clear that Islamic State threats, or those from any other terror franchise, not always achieve their goal: intimidating the population.  

Responding to known threats or not responding is a debate too big for this Center, but we must be aware of this danger. At the risk of appearing repetitive with regard to last week, today it´s necessary to last Friday interview 'International Policy Digest' with Daniel Wagner, author of the book "Virtual Terror" and cofunder of  Country Risk Solutions. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Grinch of cybersecurity

The figure of the Grinch was created by Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) to represent the negative aspects of Christmas, it means, the business sense of this tradition and not the love and peace message that Christmas should instill in society. Hence, The figure of the Grinch has been pushed right into being a green and hairy character that hates Christmas and  wants to put an end to the happiness of those who enjoys this tradition, stealing the gifts handed the 25th of December.  

In the cybersecurity world, unfortunately, there are no one, but many Grinchs prepared to steal our data and put an end to our happiness, being Christmas or summer, spring or Autumn. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Critical condition

The report of the week

The TV fiction known as Urgency was a milestone in the 90´s. The fiction created  by Michael Criton not only was known for making George Clooney famous, but over the years it was the reference for a typology of TV Shows That still stands to this day: House, Grey´s Anatomy, Central Hospital... A recurrent scene in these medical histories is when the a wounded arrives through the emergencies corridor and the duty doctor undergoes a medical check of the victim elaborating an assessment and  predicting what the patient´s destiny would be. 

Just this week the government of UK made a "report about the health of cybersecurity". After checking the results, it seems that the executives should follow better the cybernetic doctors recommendations because we are in a critical condition.  

Monday, August 21, 2017

Two sides of the same bitter coin

The interview of the week

Last week, the low cost terror factory of the so called Islamic State (ISIS) hit the second most important city of Spain, the country that the CIGTR stands out from.  We have talked about cyberterrorism many times in this page and in fact we have two tags (this and this one) to collect the most important news about the topic. Cyberterrrism and cyber activities with terrorist purposes are two sides of the same bitter coin: a permanent menace with an increasingly path, mo matter how far it seems to be from the coward action a few days ago in Barcelona. 

Although there is no week without news on this subject, and occasionally its high value material.  And our center is doing its bit to spread the words of the the most authoritative voices in all cybersecurity matters, today we want to have a look to a research published in the Black Pool Gazzete the last days of June, with numerous experts such as Tim Owen, director at the Cybercrime Investigation Unit  of the Lancashire Central Univeristy, or Awais Rashid, co-director of the Lancaster Security Institute of the homonyms university.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Summer Diseases

The Best of the week in Cybersecurity

When we think about diseases, we think in virus, cold, constipations... Its one of the reasons why we like summer so much, we don´t have to be so  attentive to our health, or we should? Summer hot can play a dirty trick on us too: heat strokes, dehydration, sunburns, summer constipations... And in addition, bugs are like at home and get out of their hidings to take an ultraviolet rays bath. We are no longer only talking of the typical irritating flies, but about "bugs" like jellyfishes that can be  upsetting for us. 

Other bugs able to make our holidays bitter are our dear bugs which wander around the net 365 days a year. Today, in our review of the best of the week about cybersecurity, we will introduce you to some of these pleasant little bugs that have appeared, among other menaces and some good news.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Friend or foe?

We all have listened the phrase "Keep your friends close to you, but keep your foes even closer" at least once. While it is true that nobody know who we must give the credit for this quote (some say Sun Tzu, others Maquiavelo...), but what we really know is who made this quote famous in the popular culture. We are talking about Mr Michael Corleone, the main character on the mythic "The Godfather 2" movie. 
But what can we do when we can´t distinguish among friends or foes when we are talking about the Internet of Things (IoT)? Nobody can doubt that it has made us to improve many aspects of our live, but we can´t deny either that it is one of the main access doors for cybercriminals. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

It´s not a kid in the basement

Weekly interview

"We have to start seeing criminals as organizations that work as a business" The quote is taken from Michael Daniel, Barak Obama´s former cyber advisor in an interview published in the technological blog of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dated the 31th of July, this Monday we liked to echoing his words instead of looking one year back as we use to do at the start of the week. After all, Daniel presides an organization with very ambitious goals: The Cyber Threats Alliance (CTA).

The interview took place during the Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas and the speech is about in the role played by governments collaborating with private companies and how to face the menaces, regardless of whether they come from private agents or are sponsored by a state. "It´s not a kid in a basement" doing blunders, Daniel advices. "They are organizations that act like business, and we have to start thinking about them in terms or how to interrupt their business models". An approach that is valid even for political and "diplomatic" operations.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The virus link

Rod of Asclepius2.svg
If we were to ask about the Rod of Asclepius and Cybersecurity, more than one would shrug and, in turn, would ask: "Rod of what, who, what about security?" But the so-called universal symbol of Medicine, also known as the Rod of Aesculapius, is increasingly related to this sector. Who knows. Maybe someday we will end up going to the doctor to get antimalware pills and eye drops for the ransomware that makes us see everything with little bars. Science fiction? Techie humor? Neither one nor the other.

In our review of the weekly most important stories, today we have to put in a prominent place the first successful exploit whose mission is to infect a device from a DNA sequence. Researchers say that is similar to connect a USB with "surprise" to a computer: the target computer tries to decipher the information contained in the genetic code and, while doing so, zas!, it is hijacked by malware hidden in DNA. Today is a simple experiment, tomorrow can serve to any purpose, even any ethical purpose, that we may think of. Who would say that the link between health and bits would end up making so much sense through the word "virus".

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

We have a date with equality and diversity

Study of the week

"Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and creating good governance." The appointment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, is related to one of the demands that are most often heard in the technology sector and related: the introduction of the gender perspective, not as a concession of the masculine role to feminine, but as a true equalization of functions.

In our review of the most important study of the week, we can not ignore today the survey conducted and published by the veteran of cybersecurity Caroline Wong, vice president of security strategy at Cobalt and whose curriculum accumulates laurels: Cigital, Symantec, eBay And Zynga. With the title Women in cybersecurity: a progressive movement, Wong has tried to cover two challenges: to make society aware that the presence of women in the sector is much more real than most of the people think, and also to draw attention to the contribution of women in the field of security.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The remake culture

The last trailer of IT movie was released last week. This remake is again an adaptation of the homonymous history created by Stephen King in the 80s. As with this remake, we find old videogames reeditions, old movies that become TV series... It´s hard to find an original idea related to audiovisual culture nowadays. The reason (or problem for some) is not that   there is no people with original ideas, but that taking something that worked in the past is gives us more security than something completely new. 

 Probably you are thinking that in a rapidly changing world as the the cybersecurity world is this logic has no sense, don´t you? We regret to say that you are wrong and we can prove it (paradoxically) by going back to the past. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Rise of Machines

Since 19th century and  through the emergence of advanced machines human being lifes started to become easier. With the arrival of this equipment able to complete autonomous asks, the life turned easier than ever. Nevertheless, fear of the unknown led to the so called luddite. This was the begging of what Asimov called later "The Frankenstein legacy", referring to the fear that human deeds could turn against their creators. Something that seems to be deeply rooted in the collective unconscious. 

With the arrival of the information age this fear has grown for years, leading to the consideration of the creation of any kind of artificial intelligence as a menace. But, is this fear rational or irrational? Today we will check it in our weekly review...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mud and Wood houses

The report of the week

We call tales those stories about humanized animals that have a moral and didactic background. One of the most populars is ‘The three little pigs’ tale, in which the three main charaters move to the forest and build their own homes: the first one builds a thatch home, the second one a wood home, and the last one a bricks home. Once the pigs are stablished, the Wolf goes on seek of eating them, bringing down  easily the thatch and the Wood houses. However, the tale’s villain can’t bring down the bricks’ house, ending up chafed while trying to break  through the roof and falling in a boiling cauldron.

That tale aims to show the kids that obeying and security are much more important than playing with their friends. But tales also have lots to teach to those ones who are not that Young, as the last Thycotic’s research shows.