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In the cybersecurity world today, with cybercriminals operating like a penetration tester in the way they scope out the network looking for vulnerabilities and weak entry points, those responsible for IT security will once again need to adjust their strategy and defenses. The Sophos 2019 Threat Report detailed how criminals are now “staking out” victims, moving laterally throughout the network, manipulating internal controls to reach their objectives with stealth. As endpoint protection has improved, so criminals are on the lookout for the next weak entry point. The focus can no longer be on protection and detection, but also intelligent and automated response that provides lateral movement protection to isolate an attack moving through the network. Sophos CISO Ross McKercher outlines the Top 5 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2019.
With cyber criminals constantly on the lookout for weak entry points, the cybersecurity focus needs to shift from protection and detection to intelligent and automated responses that isolate a cyberattack.
  1. Security teams will need more development and engineering skills

Security teams used to focus on firewalls and endpoints and many security professionals cut their teeth as system and network administrators. Nowadays infrastructure is defined by code, breaches are increasingly caused by weak applications and automation is essential for under-staffed teams. This is changing the skillset required by security pros. We now also need to have a deep understanding of applications and an ability to build automation into our tools and processes.

  1. Organisations will up their focus on software supply chains

Everyone relies a huge amount nowadays on Open-source libraries that are often maintained very informally by loose-knit communities that are easy to infiltrate. This used to be the domain of nation states but the criminals are getting in on the action.

  1. AppSec will continue to grow

We are getting better at protecting Endpoints and attackers are shifting their focus. Legacy applications will continue to be a fertile hunting ground!

  1. Threat Hunting really will be driven by ML

Bit of a cliché but ML will no longer be something that you just buy. Tools & techniques that were previously the domain of data science experts are getting easier to use. Won’t be long before larger SOC teams are using the tools directly rather than via models that are embedded in products.

  1. Zero-trust starts to become achievable

The tools, knowledge and technologies for achieving a true Zero-trust architecture are rapidly maturing. Maybe like nuclear fusion – 15 years away and always will be but 14 years after the Jericho forum declared the end of the network perimeter we are getting close the point where many enterprises have a realistic chance of keeping their clients off “trusted” networks, particularly non-technical employees.

Source: DataQuest

Let me guess. From a young age, you were attracted to spy movies. You are someone who wasn’t necessarily interested in school subjects, but probably did okay regardless. You learn concepts easily and quickly compared to others. You had a natural affinity for computers at a young age. Something about you is excited by the subversive blackhat hacking community, but actually, you’re a good person who doesn’t like the idea of ruining people’s lives or spending your life doing chin-ups with your morally questionable mate “Steve” in a high security prison.

So what’s the solution? Become an ethical hacker, so that you can do these illegal things without risk of jailtime, and get paid for it!

I should start with a disclaimer — I’m not an expert. I’ve only ever landed one hacking job, which is my current one — and I haven’t even been here long! But I did spend a lot of time in other sectors of IT wishing I was in security. As a result, I’ve read a lot of stuff and spoken to a lot of people. Basically, it all boils down to this:

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting your first infosec role. There was a recent Twitter hashtag that did the rounds, #MyWeirdPathToInfosec, where a whole bunch of infosec professionals revealed the paths they took to an eventual infosec role. They varied widely, some spent time in federal prison (not recommended), some were musicians, some scored an infosec role straight out of college, some were offered jobs after illegally hacking a company and then telling the company how they did it (also not recommended). This technique may have worked for some people in the 90s, now it will probably land you in jail.

The point is, don’t have tunnel-vision. Career opportunities often arise where you least expect.

A Little About My Path to Infosec

I remember my first experience with “hacking.” I was about 10 years old, and I discovered the ability to save webpages locally. I headed straight to Google, downloaded the home page, and edited my local copy in notepad.exe to contain the words “Luke was ‘ere!”. When I opened up the edited page, my stomach dropped. I thought I had defaced Google. How long until the FBI kick in my door? Should I tell my parents before they find out?

Back in myyy daaaay, there were no hacking challenge sites. In fact, there was barely any information out there, at least that I could find. My first resource was a website by Carolyn Meinel, titled “The Guides to (mostly) Harmless Hacking.” The guides were written in Comic Sans, the token font of that bad design genre that can only be found in the 90s and early 00s. These guides included such classics as “Telnet: the Number One Hacking Tool” and “How to Hack with Windows XP part I: The Magic of DOS.” They can still be found here.

Upon finishing school I scored my first job in IT and started a computer science degree, almost finished, dropped out, got made redundant, moved out of home, acquired Bachelor of Music, became a full-time musician, spent a couple of years performing on cruise ships, met my wife, lived in the UK, got married, moved back to Australia, and started working as a full-time web developer.

Throughout all this, my passion for hacking never really subsided, and development was never something I loved. I had a wonderful job with great people, but the actual tasks of my job weren’t sparking me. As it turns out, I was on a project which involved e-commerce and sensitive data, so my boss offered for me to take a security related course. I emailed the CEO of a local penetration testing firm and asked what the best security course was, and he recommended OSCP. So I did it!

Completing my OSCP was a turning point for me. I spent every spare moment of those 60 days learning as much as possible about the art of hacking. Even when I was exhausted, I had trouble sleeping because my brain wouldn’t stop thinking about the challenge boxes in the labs. That’s how I knew it should probably be my job, instead of development, which I had grown tired of. (I wrote a three-part blog series about the OSCP too, if you’re into that.)

Only a month or two after completing OSCP, I landed my first penetration testing job through a great infosec recruiter after solving a hacking challenge they posted online. You can read more about that story here.

Enough about me! Finally, we are at the bit you all came here to read. Some actionable tips on how to get your first job as a hacker:

Get Active in the White Hat Community

Contribute to open source tools, write your own, blog, start a podcast, go to hacker cons, connect with people on Twitter. You will learn a lot and it will introduce you to a whole network of lovely people who can help you. The infosec community on the whole are a friendly, tight-knit pack of smart, passionate people. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you will feel at home.

Email People You Respect

Are there people out there in your dream role? Email them and ask about your career path. The worst that will happen is that they don’t reply, the best that can happen is that you gain a mentor and some life-changing advice.

Be Trustworthy

You can have every hacking certification under the sun, but if you walk into the interview gloating about some illegal stunt you pulled, nobody will risk hiring you. The white hat community often deal with highly sensitive data — your employer and your clients need to be able to trust you.

On that note, when you’re in an interview and you don’t know the answer to a technical question, it’s better to say “sorry, I don’t know, but I will be sure to research that later!” than to try to bluff your way through an answer. The person interviewing you will be able to tell, and they are probably more interested in you being honest and genuine than correct. At this point in time, experienced security professionals are rare, so many companies are hiring less experienced staff with the right mindset and attitude, then putting them through training to learn the technical skills.

Get Certifications

Frankly, many certifications in this field aren’t a good indicator of someone’s technical ability. Having said that — you’re more likely to get a job if you have them. It shows that you’re invested in the craft, you have spent time/money skilling up, and you are interested. There are a few great certifications out there, and some that aren’t so good. If you’re not sure which ones are good, ask someone who knows!

Bug Bounties, CTFs and Challenge Sites

Have you been in a HackerOne/BugCrowd hall of fame? Found a RCE in a bug bounty? Did you do well in a CTF at a hacking conference? Are you highly ranked on hackthebox.eu? Put it on your CV! These things might seem like games, but they’re also proof that you’re passionate about the craft, and have some skills.

Don’t Be Afraid of Recruiters

Recruiters get a bad name for relentlessly calling you and using dodgy tactics to get the right contacts, but they’re not all like that. Finding a quality recruiter with good connections can make all the difference. When you are looking for a recruiter for a hacking gig, find one that specialises in infosec. A standard IT recruiter probably won’t know the right people.

Make Your Current Role a Security Role

Are you a developer? Find a bug in the application you develop, show it to your boss, ask permission to conduct more in depth security testing. Are you a sysadmin? Find a security hole in your network (you probably already know where to look), communicate the risk to your boss and ask for permission to conduct further testing. Whatever role you’re in — there’s a good chance you can make a name for yourself as the in-house security expert.

Now in your infosec interview/CV, you can say you were the in-house security expert, even though your official title was just “developer.” You can also fill out the “responsibilities” section of your role with some security related tasks.

Source: Medium

A possible compromise of servers where NASA stored data on current and former employees may have given hackers access to social security numbers (SSN) and personally identifiable information (PII).

The incident occurred on or before October 23, when NASA cybersecurity team started to look into a possible server breach. Immediate action secured the machines and the data they stored.

Marriott

Last Friday, Marriott sent out millions of emails warning of a massive data breach — some 500 million guest reservations
had been stolen from its Starwood database.

One problem: the email sender’s domain didn’t look like it came from Marriott at all.

Marriott sent its notification email from “email-marriott.com,” which is registered to a third party firm, CSC, on behalf of the hotel chain giant. But there was little else to suggest the email was at all legitimate — the domain doesn’t load or have an identifying HTTPS certificate. In fact, there’s no easy way to check that the domain is real, except a buried note on Marriott’s data breach notification site that confirms the domain as legitimate.

But what makes matters worse is that the email is easily spoofable.

Often what happens after a data breach, scammers will capitalize on the news cycle by tricking users into turning over their private information with their own stream of fake messages and websites. It’s more common than you think. People who think they’re at risk after a breach are more susceptible to being duped.

Companies should host any information on their own websites and verified social media pages to stop bad actors from hijacking victims for their own gain. But once you start setting up your own dedicated, off-site page with its unique domain, you have to consider the cybersquatters — those who register similar-looking domains that look almost the same.

Take “email-marriot.com.” To the untrained eye, it looks like the legitimate domain — but many wouldn’t notice the misspelling. Actually, it belongs to Jake Williams, founder of Rendition Infosec, to warn users not to trust the domain.

“I registered the domains to make sure that scammers didn’t register the domains themselves,” Williams told TechCrunch. “After the Equifax  breach, it was obvious this would be an issue, so registering the domains was just a responsible move to keep them out of the hands of criminals.”

Equifax, the biggest breach of last year, made headlines not only for its eye-watering hack, but its shockingly bad response. It, too, set up a dedicated site for victims — “equifaxsecurity2017.com” — but even the company’s own Twitter staff were confused, and inadvertently sent concerned victims to “securityequifax2017.com” — a fake site set up by developer Nick Sweeting to expose the company’s vulnerable incident response.

With the Equifax breach not even a distant memory, Marriott has clearly learned nothing from the response.

Many others have sounded the alarm on Marriott’s lackluster data breach response. Security expert Troy Hunt,  who founded data breach notification site Have I Been Pwned, posted a long tweet thread on the hotel chain giant’s use of the problematic domain. As it happens, the domain dates back at least to the start of this year when Marriott used the domain to ask its users to update their passwords.

Williams isn’t the only one who’s resorted to defending Marriott customers from cybercriminals. Nick Carr, who works at security giant FireEye, registered the similarly named “email-mariott.com” on the day of the Marriott breach.

“Please watch where you click,” he wrote on the site. “Hopefully this is one less site used to confuse victims.” Had Marriott just sent the email from its own domain, it wouldn’t be an issue.

A spokesperson for Marriott did not respond to a request for comment.

Source: Tech Crunch

Question-and-answer website Quora has been hacked, with the names and email addresses of 100 million users compromised. The breach also included encrypted passwords, and questions people had asked.
In a statement, Quora said the situation had been “contained”.

Last week, hotel chain Marriott admitted that personal information on up to 500 million guests had been stolen.
Quora released a security update in a question-and-answer format.

“We recently became aware that some user data was compromised due to unauthorized access to our systems by a malicious third party,” it began.
“We have engaged leading digital forensic and security experts and launched an investigation, which is ongoing. We have notified law enforcement officials.”

It said it was also in the process of notifying all affected customers and reassured them that it was “highly unlikely” that the incident would lead to identity theft “as we do not collect sensitive information like credit card or social security numbers”.
Security expert Troy Hunt was one of those affected. He tweeted: “Short of not using online services at all, there’s simply nothing you can do to ‘not’ be in a breach, there’s only things you can do to minimize the impact when it inevitably happens.

Users were asked to reset their password and will be prompted to do so when they next try to log in. Those wishing to delete their account can do so in the settings section and the deactivation will happen immediately.
Some users commented on Twitter that they had forgotten they used the service.
One tweeted: “Nothing like a data breach to remind me that I have a Quora account.”

Source: BBC

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