Thursday, May 28, 2009

Identity Theft: Duty of Care to a Non-Customer

Identity theft is big business, but it also makes finding the perpetrator of a crime that more difficult. Financial and fraud investigators need to look at more then just the raw data they need to get the whole picture and story before jumping the gun. As an example, the following linked article demonstrates how being a little to quick to identify the frauster lead to the wrong person. >Identity Theft: Stutzman on a Bank's Duty of Care to a Non-Customer: It just goes to show that a what appears to be a smoking gun, isn't always the truth. Our Forensic Technology Team understands this and helps you work through these investigations methodically and with due care.

Read more!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Core Network Security: A Seldom Used Bag-O-Tricks

Walk into 9 out of 10 organizations, ask them what security controls they have built INTO the network and you'll get responses like:

"We have 800 VLANs."

"We turn off ports in conference rooms."

"Who are you, and how did you get in my office?"

It really doesn't matter what core network vendor you've chosen (Cisco, Brocade, Juniper). You can drink any Kool-Aid you want and still have an arsenal of great core network security features or techniques at your disposal. These include: Dynamic ARP Inspection, DHCP Snooping, Identity Based Network Services (or any other name you want to give an 802.1x + Certificate Authority + RADIUS solution), Infrastructure Protection Access-Lists (iACLs), Router Neighbor Authentication, etc. The list is very long, most have been around for years, and many times we see NONE of them in place at organizations big or small.

Why not? Are they that hard to implement? Not really. They require planning, a critiqued design, and a phased implementation.

We forget that the network CONTROLS TRAFFIC. If you can stop malicious traffic through the system that is controlling the transport of data, you've leveraged a powerful system that most organizations naively think should only provide speed and performance. We also forget that the network can be sliced and diced for a thousand different purposes; when was the last time you had a VLAN design discussion that was solely focused on grouping systems based off risk and criticality to the business? Probably never, unless you're currently working on PCI network segmentation.

Ask these questions the next time you're in a network design meeting:

- How are we going to prevent unauthorized access to the network? Better yet, who's authorized and who's NOT authorized?
- How are we going to protect our internal core network from attack; as in, taking over specific networking services or performing covert man-in-the-middle attacks? (Hint: go play with Yersinia)
- How do we stop someone from plugging in a rogue DHCP server?
- How will we protect one VLAN from another? (They don't form shields around themselves, promise!)
- How will we protect our network from reconnaisance? (Someone sitting on your network, passively mapping everything!)
- How will we SECURELY and STRATEGICALLY manage our network devices? (Think: Out-of-Band, management ACL's, secure protocols, SNMP restrictions)

Even though the following links are from Cisco, you can apply most of the techniques across any major core networking vendor (sorry Netgear). Have a'll find that most of the options found within aren't even discussed or mentioned by Sales Engineers or Professional Service firms that are looking to help you implement a network design. Demand it from them! Or better yet, design it yourself and learn a lot.

Cisco's SAFE Blueprint (Updated recently!)

Dynamic ARP Inspection (DAI)

DHCP Snooping

Identity Based Networking Services (IBNS)

Read more!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Defining Payment Card Industry (PCI) Attestation and Data Security Standard (DSS) Compliance

A PCI merchant is any businesses that accepts credit cards as a form of payment. A PCI service provider is any company that provides a service to merchants for any aspect for their PCI environment. For both Merchants and Service Providers it is important to understand the difference between attestation of compliance (attestation) and PCI DSS compliance (compliance).

The letter of attestation can be found at the following link: Attestation is different from compliance... Most banks currently make a distinction between attestation and compliance and request validating documents separately. Attestation is in reference to the following sensitive data whether stored electronically or on paper: Full Magnetic Stripe Data, CAV2/CVC2/CVV2/CID, and PIN/PIN Block. All of that data must not be stored in any format after a credit card transaction has been authorized aka post-authorization. To fill out the attestation form, a company must have adequately identified where any CVV information is located. Data discoveries are a typical project that is associated with this step.

To reach compliance a company needs perform all twelve requirements listed in the latest version of the PCI DSS which can be found here: The PCI DSS includes attestation requirements and many other information security practices. To validate compliance a company must submit a Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) or conduct an audit, which results in an Report on Compliance (ROC).

Review this blog if there is still confusion about a bank's letter asking for attestation and compliance with different dates and forms.

Read more!