As you probably know, I fell a little behind on my blog posts in the past three weeks. In order to help me catch up, I’m going to do a (or a few) blog posts that contain shorter accounts of events that I have found interesting during my time off.
Word has come in from Russia in the past month that the government agency in charge of regulating the mass media and communications is going to start requiring that citizens register every single Wi-Fi enabled device. Not only does the citizenry have to register the devices, but they also have to receive special permission in order to operate the hardware that they bought. Processing such a registration could take up to 10 days for laptops and handheld devices and even longer for access points.
Paypal has issued a press release saying that they are implementing yet another security feature to prevent phishing, spamming and identity fraud. They plan on requiring users of the e-commerce site to only use current and up-to-date web browsers in order to reduce the risk from outdated, breached software. Their plan goes like this: if you use “first tier browsers” like Firefox 2 (and soon to be 3), Internet Explorer 7, and Opera 9 and up, you will be able to use Paypal the same way you have done in the past. Next, if you are a user of a so called “second tier browser” such as any first tier browser that is a version behind, you will be warned at the point of login that you are at risk. And last (as you probably guessed) are the “third tier browsers” which probably reflect browser versions that are ancient by software update standards.
In another interesting story, AFCYBER plans to create a military botnet in order to combat future enemies. The Air Force’s cyber defense command admits that attacks via a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) are a huge problem that we, as a country, have done nothing to protect ourselves against. Concern over where the computing resources to create such a botnet is great as there is talk about using civilian infrastructure to supplement Air Force resources. I plan to write more on this topic as more news starts trickling in.
The World Congress of IT will attempt to start a co-op of companies and countries to make a International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber-Terrorism (IMPACT). The board is said to be made up of security all-stars from companies like Google and Symantec. It is the hope of the World Congress of IT that IMPACT becomes a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) type of organization for cyber security. Its main function will be to provide a place for communication when cyber attacks occur. This coordination system will help organize international response to these attacks, particularly on civilian targets.