HEAT Security Blog

Sysadmins who fail to change default configurations, leave petabytes of data at risk

Here’s a very important lesson for system administrators and developers who don’t want data to fall into the wrong hands: change the default settings, or risk leaving your organisation’s servers open to access by unauthorised, external parties.

A study by researchers at Swiss security firm BinaryEdge has scanned the internet on various ports,

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How to Own an Oil Well in 30 Minutes

Industrial Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are devices used to control key manufacturing and infrastructure systems around the world. A PLC is a fully customizable device which can take just about any data in, perform any combination of logical operations on it, and create an almost unlimited number of output scenarios. They’re common on manufacturing lines to control production machinery.

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Patch! Patch! Patch! What Security Pros Know that Your Barber Doesn’t

[Originally published in the Spiceworks IT Community.]

A Google security research paper was recently published on the best safety practices that hundreds of security experts recommend. This paper outlines the results of two surveys — one with 231 security experts, and another with 294 web-users who aren’t security experts — in which both groups were asked what they do to stay safe online.

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Five years after Stuxnet, your USB drive is still being patched

Yesterday was Patch Tuesday, and – as Optimal Security’s Russ Ernst described – Microsoft released fixes for a smorgasbord of vulnerabilities.

Obviously, it’s important that you roll out the patches as soon as possible, and ensure that your computers and networks are protected against threats which malicious hackers could use to target your systems,

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Patch Tuesday Still Alive and Well – And Offering Something for Everyone

Despite the launch of Windows 10 and all the talk about mandatory updates, today is still Patch Tuesday. And this month, everyone should pay attention. Microsoft shared avulnerability smorgasbord today – offering a little something for everyone. From office and browser applications to desktops and servers, Microsoft covered them all with 14 bulletins.

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The Pwnie Awards – 2015 Edition

On August 5th Black Hat participants gathered at the Mandalay Bay for the 2015 annual presentation of The Pwnie Awards. The Pwnie Awards began in 2007 and have honored the most magnificent achievements and failures of the information security industry ever since. The winners aren’t [yet] posted on the official pwnies website.

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Windows 10 – Cause for Confusion

As of August 1, ComputerWorld reported Windows 10 global usage had climbed to 2.5%. Not too shabby for the OS that was launched just three days earlier on July 29. Those numbers easily beat early adoption rates for Windows 8.1 but, I wonder how those users are faring? A quick read of headlines shows a lot of headaches ranging from overall privacy concerns to unwanted update files being delivered to networked machines still running Windows 7 or 8.1.

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Survey Shows Disconnects in Mindshare, Budget, Time

Black Hat USA 2015 is underway in Las Vegas. The Black Hat conferences are an opportunity for IT Security professionals to learn new techniques and vulnerabilities from each other. They also provide ethical hackers a platform from which they can demonstrate the seriousness of the security flaws they find most important.

This year no less than 32 new zero-day vulnerabilities are scheduled to be announced.

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Ransomware – Now for Websites

Over the last several weeks I’ve written about ransomware primarily as it relates to individual machines or mobile devices. There is another very sneaky variant of ransomware which you should be aware of. It’s specifically crafted to hold websites hostage. It’s called RansomWeb. It’s methodology is slow and diabolical, and I believe it’s out there silently working on websites today.

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Critical Out-of-Band Patch from Microsoft – Update Now!

No sooner have you digested the latest Patch Tuesday releases than you’re hit by a relatively rare out-of-band patch from Microsoft. As Russ said in his post, it’s definitely a crazy month!

This emergency patch corrects a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability found in all supported versions of Windows – including the soon-to-be released Windows 10.

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How Do You Protect Your Systems From Ransomware?

In my previous two posts How Does Ransomware Work? Part 1 and Part 2 I described the process ransomware goes through to get on your systems, encrypt your files, and collect your money. Like any malware, all of the steps in the process need to be successful in order for ransomware to work.

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