More than 75,000 unique visitors read papers in the Reading Room every month and it has become the starting point for exploration of topics ranging from SCADA to wireless security, from firewalls to intrusion detection. The SANS Reading Room features over 2,240 original computer security white papers in 83 different categories.
Latest 25 Papers Added to the Reading Room
Cyberspace: America's New Battleground
by Maxwell Chi - November 20, 2014 in Information Warfare
In 2010, Nick Percoco, head of the cyber security team at IT security service provider TrustWave Holdings Inc., was called out to the headquarters of a leading U.S. defense contractor to investigate some anomalies (Taylor, 2011). The anomalies seemed innocent at first. A few employees had reported peculiar behavior by their PCs when they clicked on an innocuous-looking email attachment they had received.
Agile defensive perimiters: forming the security test regression pack
by Michael Hendrik Matthee - November 20, 2014 in Securing Code
A common approach is that software delivery is realized through a set of sequential deliverables in a phased and systematic manner. The software process model of the IEEE attempts to bring order to the delivery process by identifying a set of universal artefacts and activities in software construction (Gustafson, Melton, Chen, Baker, & Bieman, 1988).
Implementing a Shibboleth SSO Infrastructure
by Rich Graves - November 17, 2014 in Authentication
Secure authentication and authorization across organizational boundaries is a hard problem. Consider an academic publisher that wishes to make scientific journals available to currently enrolled students, but not staff, faculty, or alumni, at universities that have paid a site license fee. Students could register with a site-specific username and password - though such credentials are likely to be shared or forgotten, diminishing security and increasing user frustration and support burden.
Rate my nuke: Bringing the nuclear power plant control room to iPad
by Mikko Niemel - November 14, 2014 in SCADA
Industrial Control Systems monitor and control industrial processes that exist in the physical world and by design, are isolated from public networks. However, the prevailing use case, connectivity, and integration of mobile devices in the workplace has impacted the industrial environment. These isolated control system networks are now under pressure due to market demand to become Internet-accessible. Therefore, a security architecture for mobile device usage in th industrial environment must be designed with security controls and proper certificate-based authentication.
Password Security-- Thirty-Five Years Later
by George Khalil - November 12, 2014 in Security Basics
Computer historians trace the first use of a computer password back to Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1960s (McMillan, 2012). MIT's time-sharing computer, called Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS), was designed to accommodate multiple users on many terminals.
Securing DNS to Thwart Advanced Targeted Attacks and Reduce Data Breaches
by John Pescatore - November 12, 2014
- Associated Webcasts: Protecting DNS: Securing Your Internet Address Book
Internet traffic is severely affected when critical DNS services are not reliable or are compromised by cyber attacks. However, DNS services can be secured with the right configuration and deployment of appropriate solutions.
Secure Design with Exploit Infusion
by Wen Chinn Yew - November 11, 2014 in Application and Database Security
In the age of a highly digitally connected world, the ever-increasing security threat has prompted many initiatives to address it. One important area is to build security into software development.
Be Ready for a Breach with Intelligent Response
by James Tarala - November 5, 2014
- Associated Webcasts: Be Ready for a Breach with Intelligent Response
- Sponsored By: McAfee, a division of Intel Security
By preparing a careful plan and resilient response infrastructure before an attack, organizations can limit both data loss and the reactive, post-incident expenses. The result: greatly reduced impact and costs associated with events.
That's where the Data is! Why Break into the Office of Personnel Management Systems - Because That Is Where the Sensitive Information for Important People Is Maintained!
by David Belangia - November 4, 2014 in Best Practices
To obtain the most complete information about American personnel who have security clearance, an adversary would clearly be interested in compromising the information being collected by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The aggregation of information about an individual and their life history is collected and maintained by this organization and available in one place.
Data Center Server Security Survey 2014
by Jacob Williams - October 29, 2014
- Associated Webcasts: Data Center Server Security: A SANS Survey
- Sponsored By: IBM McAfee, a division of Intel Security
Learn how organizations are tackling the difficult problem of data center security, explore their best practices and consider improvements needed for data centers to meet compliance demands while reducing overall risk and management complexity.
Application White-listing with Bit9 Parity
by Mike Weeks - October 29, 2014 in Case Studies, Commercial Software
Antivirus is a requirement for a host of compliance standards and is championed to be a critical component for any security baseline (PCI-DSS 3.0-5.1). A recent google search for "Cyber Security Breaches" in Google News shows 16,700 results in Google News.
The Best Defenses Against Zero-day Exploits for Various-sized Organizations
by David Hammarberg - October 27, 2014 in Best Practices
Zero-day exploits are vulnerabilities that have yet to be publicly disclosed. These exploits are usually the most difficult to defend against because data is generally only available for analysis after the attack has completed its course. These vulnerabilities are highly sought after by cyber criminals, governments, and software vendors who will pay high prices for access to the exploit (Bilge & Dumitras, 2012).
The Spy with a License to Kill
by Matthew Hosburgh - October 24, 2014 in SCADA
The opening scene of GoldenEye underscores the skills and precision of James Bond, 007. Years of experience and training make impossible missions look routine. These skills alone would not allow 007 to succeed; rather, a calculated plan that targeted the vulnerabilities in the Archangel Chemical Weapons Facility coupled with 007's skills provided for a successful mission.
Detect, Investigate, Scrutinize and Contain with Rapid7 UserInsight
by Jerry Shenk - October 23, 2014 in Security Awareness
- Associated Webcasts: Detecting Risky Activity "Wherever" Before It Becomes A Problem
- Sponsored By: Rapid7 Inc.
A review of Rapid7 UserInsight by SANS senior analyst Jerry Shenk. It discusses a tool that highlights user credential misuse while tracking endpoint system details that would be valuable to an incident response team.
Intelligence-Driven Incident Response with YARA
by Ricardo Dias - October 20, 2014 in Forensics
The concept of threat intelligence is gaining momentum in the cyber-security arena. As targeted attacks increase in number and sophistication, organizations are beginning to develop and integrate the concept of threat intelligence into their cyber-defensive strategies. By doing so, organizations are taking the next step forward to respond to cyber-attacks. Recent threat reports reveal promising results.
Reducing the Catch: Fighting Spear-Phishing in a Large Organization
by Joel Anderson - October 20, 2014 in Forensics
The phishing problem isn't new. Over 150 years ago, Charles Dickens wrote a passionate and witty letter about fraudsters of his day who, like Nigerian 419 scammers today, preyed upon the generosity and gullibility of well-meaning folk. The differences in our time are that of scale and scope, as the perpetrators have taken on seven league boots and covered continents with their shameless appeals.
Breaches Happen: Be Prepared
by Stephen Northcutt - October 14, 2014 in Risk Management
A whitepaper by SANS Analyst and Senior Instructor Stephen Northcutt. It describes how improved malware reporting and gateway monitoring, combined with security intelligence from both internal and external resources, helps organizations meet the requirements of frameworks such as the Critical Security Controls.
An Analysis of Meterpreter during Post-Exploitation
by Kiel Wadner - October 14, 2014 in Forensics
Much has been written about using the Metasploit Framework to gain access to systems, utilizing exploits, and the post-exploitation modules. What has received less attention is how they work, what they actually do on the system and how it can be detected. That is the focus of this research paper.
Forensicator FATE - From Artisan To Engineer
by Barry Anderson - October 13, 2014 in Forensics
The SANS Investigative Forensic Toolkit (SIFT) is an awesome set of (free!) tools for the forensics professional. Using these tools effectively however can be overwhelming, especially in the case of a large complex case such as an APT intrusion.
Finding the Advanced Persistent Adversary
by Fayyaz Rajpari - October 10, 2014 in Hackers
The Advanced Persistent Threat was born long before the days of computers. However, the security industry has brought more emphasis to this scare-word. Its first real use as the term APT came from the US Air force in 2006 due to the sole fact that nation state and government backed espionage turned to significantly more advanced attacks.
Hardening Retail Security
by John Pescatore - October 10, 2014
- Associated Webcasts: Hardening Retail Security: Why and How to Prevent Breaches and Attacks
- Sponsored By: LogRhythm
Read this article and learn what IT security staff in the retail industry say about their security budgets, behavioral baselining, and endpoint forensics practices.
Analytics and Intelligence Survey 2014
by Dave Shackleford - October 8, 2014
- Associated Webcasts: 2nd Annual Analytics and Intelligence Survey 2nd Annual Analytics and Intelligence Survey - Pt 2. Future State: Improving Intelligence and Threat Protection
- Sponsored By: McAfee, a division of Intel Security HP LogRhythm Rapid7 Inc. AlienVault ThreatStream
This paper explores the use of analytics and intelligence today and exposes the impediments to successful implementation.
Security Operations Centre (SOC) in a Utility Organization
by Babu Veerappa Srinivas - October 7, 2014 in SCADA
Cyber security threats are an increasing manifold, irrespective of the size of an organization. This is evident after reviewing many industry reports such as Verizon 2014 Data Breach Investigation Report (Verizon, 2014), Trustwave 2014 Global Security Report ((Trustwave, 2014) and Symantec Internet Security Threat Report 2014 (Symantec, 2014).
Ninth Log Management Survey Report
by Jerry Shenk - October 3, 2014
Using the results of the 2014 Log Management Survey, this paper identifies strengths and weaknesses in log management systems and practices, and provides advice for improving visibility across systems with proper log collection, normalization and analysis.
Data Charging Bypass: How your IDS can help.
by Hassan Mourad - October 2, 2014 in Mobile Security
The recent increase in the number of smart devices, the introduction of high speed mobile connections (4G/LTE), as well as the hype in social networking has all led to the dramatic increase in mobile Internet traffic.
All papers are copyrighted. No re-posting or distribution of papers is permitted.