Archive for the ‘Information Assurance’ Category

Congress Blames the Wrong Guy

A couple of days ago, I posted an article about some some possibly non-public military locations being discovered after fitness tracker company Strava put up a heat map of their users activity.  In the 48 hours or so that has passed 9 Democratic members of congress wrote a letter to Strava asking for information.  The letter makes a number of statements and asks questions that I think look to shift the blame of all of this on Strava instead of the military and the individuals who were wearing fitness trackers and publicly broadcasting their location information.  I will go through a number of points and include my own response.

Net Neutrality

Earlier this week, the FCC, “lead” by Ajit Pai voted to repeal its policy of Net Neutrality.  The policy was put into place in Feb 2015 after the FCC (at the time under the Obama administration) made the decision to classify ISPs as a public utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.  For a lot of people (myself included for a while), this doesn’t make a lot of sense what any of this means so let me try to take a few minutes to explain (at least my understanding of it).

Capture the Flags

Many of us remember playing capture the flag (CTF) back when we were kids. The idea was to divide into teams, try to sneak to the other teams side and capture their flag. Years later, this idea was expanded on when Playstation and XBox started putting together multiplayer games that had the same general idea. More recently, the idea has morphed once again with hacking and computer security related CTF competitions. Perhaps the most famous CTF is the annual Defcon CTF where participants from around the world work to qualify to take part in the event at the conference itself, but this is just one of countless CTF competitions that take place on nearly a daily basis.

Splunk .conf2017 Day 1

So today was day one of Splunk .conf2017.  This being my first time at .conf, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.  The morning started off with the keynote address by the CEO of Splunk, Doug Merritt.  A couple of interesting numbers to start with.  7,187 people were regestered to attend .conf this year from 65 countries who traveled a combined 65 million miles to get to Washington DC (enough miles to go to and from the moon over 100 times).

Splunk .conf

Today was the first (well sort of) day of the 8th annual Splunk .conf convention here in DC. .conf covers a range of topics, is three days (well really 2.5) long, has over 200 technical sessions, and includes over 6,000 participants.  In short, its a bit of a data science nerd orgie.

Keeping Time Without a Source

A while back I wrote about the importance of using a standardized time source.  Keeping accurate time across devices is essential so that you can easily correlate events within logs across the network. But what do you do when you’re operating on a closed network and there is no time source that you can pull from?

Building a Centos Server Image

This is the first of what will be a number of posts on building out parts of a basic mission network.  This network will be based on Centos 7 (Linux), with an IPA server (Linux version of Active Directory), have a local patching server, and a number of there features.  Today’s article will focus entirely on the basic build of a Centos 7.0 system and will serve as the base system for all of the other lessons in the future

Signal-Chief is Now “Secure”

You likely haven’t noticed yet, but if you look at the top corner of your browser, you should be seeing a little lock symbol up there for the first time (at least when you came to this site). For years now, Signal-Chief has been served up on straight HTTP. I was never really worried about it because there is no personal information on the site, and the only person who actually logged into it was me (and I use unique passwords on everything)

Screwing Around with IPTables When It Doesn’t Play Nice

So you may not have noticed (hopefully) but I recently moved signal-chief from a shared hosting instance on GoDaddy to a dedicated VPS system. As a cyber guy, one of the first things I wanted to do was to start with some basic security so of course step one is to run yum update to update all of my packages, and step two was to setup some firewall rules. To allow me to initial a connection (DNS, http, whatever) from the server and get the return traffic back. Unfortunately when I tried to run this command I got “iptables: No chain/target/match by that name” sent back to me. Well that’s frustrating.