So this morning I was listening to the radio on the drive into work when the DJ made an interesting statement. Turns out….he was right. Today marks the 40th anniversary of the very first spam message.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Mandiant is large cyber security company that was bought by Fireeye. They grabbed a lot of attention by the cyber security community when in 2013, they publicly released a report that linked the Chinese military to attacks dating back to at least 2006 on over 141 organizations. Each year they release a report on cyber security trends that they observed during the previous year. Granted, the results are screwed because they are based only on incidents that they responded to, but they at least give a good overall picture of what is going on around the world.
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.
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).
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.
So when I last left you guys I was attending Splunk .conf. My plan was to write each day but I quickly realized how long the day was when you included 9 hours of conference, plus commuting to and from DC each day so screw that.
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).
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.
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?
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