Thursday, January 17, 2013

They are certainly shifting!

Loved that bog post from Jeremiah Grossman!

“the bad guys SHIFTED”

They’ve been doing that for a long time (here’s my post about it, from 2006), and it’s economics 101: they’ll always be looking for the path of least resistance and for higher pwn/effort ratio. I wrote about it again a few months ago.

Jeremiah insight about security tools is right on the spot. Does anyone remember some nice work from the Sensepost guys around XSS code created to be triggered on web interfaces of security tools, such as IDS and SIEM? That was a long time ago, but it confirms the feasibility of what Jeremiah is saying.

An indirect effect of it is how hard it becomes for us to run appropriate Risk Management programs. Some completely disregarded targets and threat vectors can become mainstream in just a few months, basically invalidating models and assumptions. As most risk assessment methodologies require you to map the threat vectors being considered, it’s hard to get reliable results when they are constantly changing. How to handle that?

A good option is to try to decompose the model as much as possible in smaller components, isolating the pieces that are always changing in a way that you can control how that uncertainty affects your model. FAIR is a good example about how to do that, as VERIS is a good way to make past data more usable even if it’s related to incidents occurred under a different reality. With those decomposing models it’s possible to identify the pieces of data we have with less uncertainty and leverage that to identify sources of risk and opportunities to reduce it. What does it mean? It means that vulnerabilities being exploited change all the time, initial compromise points too, but the actors are more or less the same (I mean, the change in the threat agent profile is slower than the other components) and they are usually trying to accomplish the same thing by reaching the same end targets. By knowing those pieces we can identify control opportunities that will affect less uncertain and less dynamic aspects of our risk, allowing us to get a more reliable and measurable result.  

No comments:

Post a Comment