Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: John Basso, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Mihai Corbuleac

Blog Feed Post

December Cyber Conflict and Cyber War Link Roundup

By

Happy New Year everyone. Obviously the biggest news in December, 2012, was the CFR hack over the Christmas break. It utilized an IE7 0day. The second biggest newsmaker was the announcement by the DOJ to indict foreign entities for state sponsored attacks. Iran is making claims of another cyber attack akin to Gauss, Flame and Stuxnet.

Hoping everyone has a healthy 2013.

News

Chinese Hackers Suspected in Cyber Attack on Council on Foreign Relations

Computer hackers traced to China carried out an advanced cyberespionage attack against one of America’s most elite foreign policy web groups – the website of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
According to private computer-security forensic specialists, the hacking incident involved a relatively new type of ploy called a ‘drive-by’ website cyber attack that was detected around 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

[Ed: The IE 0day has been reportedly seen affecting multiple organizations globally and was quickly incorporated into the attack toolkit Metasploit. A temporary fix is available from Microsoft. The bug affects IE6, IE7 and IE8.]

Russian space research org targeted by mystery malware attack

Security researchers have discovered a targeted attack against Russian hi-tech firm that appears to originate in Korea.
The “Sanny” attack* is malware-based and geared towards stealing login information from Russian telecommunications, information technology and space research organisations. The first stage of the assault features a malicious Russian language MS Word document designed to drop malware onto compromised PCs. This establishes a backdoor on infected machines, establishing a botnet in the process.

DOJ Plans to Indict State-Sponsored Cyber Attackers

In an intriguing push against the ever-increasing number of foreign-governments sponsored cyber attacks against U.S. companies, the U.S. Department of Justice intends to turn to its roots with an old-fashioned tactic that has worked against the mafia, drug traffickers and white collar crime: criminal prosecutions.

Shamoon was an external attack on Saudi oil production

In its first comment on the apparent purpose behind the August Shamoon attack on Aramco, Saudi Arabia said Sunday that it was an external attack not just against Aramco, but against the Saudi economy.

Iran Computers Face Threat from New Targeted Data Wiping Malware

Iranian computers are facing a fresh threat from a newly unleashed “targeted data wiping malware” dubbed as Batchwiper.
Although the virus appears not to be as devastating as the previous ones, it threatens to wipe out the data from the infected computers.
An alert has been issued by Maher, Iran’s Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre (CERTCC), saying the malware is thought to be present in the country’s computers for at least two months.

[India] DRDO to develop OS to strengthen cyber security

Speaking to newsmen on sidelines of NAVCOM-2012′, two-day international conference on Navigation and Communication that began here, Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister, said, “We have already started a major programme and are one-and-half-years into that programme. It (Indian OS) is a major effort requiring large number of software engineers working together.”

Blog & Opinion Piece

The Fog of Cyberwar
Brandon Valeriano and Ryan Maness

Our research shows that although warnings about cyberwarfare have become more severe, the actual magnitude and pace of attacks do not match popular perception. Only 20 of 124 active rivals — defined as the most conflict-prone pairs of states in the system — engaged in cyberconflict between 2001 and 2011. And there were only 95 total cyberattacks among these 20 rivals. The number of observed attacks pales in comparison to other ongoing threats: a state is 600 times more likely to be the target of a terrorist attack than a cyberattack. We used a severity score ranging from five, which is minimal damage, to one, where death occurs as a direct result from cyberwarfare. Of all 95 cyberattacks in our analysis, the highest score — that of Stuxnet and Flame — was only a three.

What to Read on Cybersecurity
By Adam Segal

In August 2012, hackers attacked the networks of Saudi Aramco, destroying data on some 30,000 of the company’s computers. Then in November, Chevron revealed that it had been infected by Stuxnet, the malware the United States and Israel had allegedly designed to slow Iran’s nuclear program. Some U.S. policymakers and analysts have suggested that the attacks originated in Iran as retribution for the sabotage campaign. Those who claimed responsibility said that they are a hacking collective, with no ties to Iran, angry about an anti-Islam film posted on YouTube. The United States’ options for dealing with the breach differ depending on whether the attack on Saudi Aramco was the work of political hackers or state-directed and part of an escalating cyberconflict. Crafting such policy will not be possible without conceptual clarity, and the works below strive to define actors and interests, means and methods in cybersecurity.

Five Trends to Watch for in Chinese Cybersecurity in 2013

With 2012 coming to an end, here are some of the larger trends to watch in Chinese cybersecurity in the upcoming year.

The Pentagon’s Cyberstrategy, One Year Later
William J. Lynn III

More destructive cyberweapons are being created every day, and an increasingly sophisticated technology black market virtually guarantees that they will eventually land in the hands of the United States’ enemies. Robust defenses are no longer a luxury, they are a necessity.

Cyber War and Jus in Bello
by Bhaskar Sharma

This article will focus on the applicability of international humanitarian law (IHL) on cyber network attacks (CNA). It will try to construct the parameters into which CNA can be confined and regulated by laws of armed conflict. In IHL, there is no specific mentioning of CNA per se, but it is increasingly becoming important to look at it from the IHL point of view because of its growing importance in military activities and its potential to gain military advantage in a more cost effective way.

On the Spectrum of Cyberspace Operations
by Gary D. Brown and Owen W. Tullos

When evaluating potential cyber activities, US policymakers have tended to view cyber operations as strictly delineated: offense or defense; espionage or military operations. Reality defies such stark categorization; determining when one type of cyber operation ends and another begins is challenging. Rather than establishing strict categories into which cyber activities are sorted, it may be best to view cyber operations along a spectrum; a proposal for a spectrum of cyber activities is set out later in the paper.

Political Neutrality and National Responsibility in Cyber Conflict
Jason Healey

This Issue Brief discusses neutrality in cyber space, giving an extended example of how different nations become more responsible for attacks on another nation, which illustrates how four criteria (Severity, Obviousness, Stoppability, and Duration) seem to be critical. Last, the brief explores how ‘commercial neutrality’ on the rights and obligations of companies which have built and own most of cyberspace, may be more important than the neutrality of nations.

The Trends in Targeted Attacks of 2012

Throughout 2012, we investigated a variety of targeted attacks including several APT campaigns such as LuckyCat and Ixeshe, as well as updates on some long running campaigns such as Lurid/Enfal and Taidoor. There was a lot of great research within the community related to targeted attacks published this year, and I’ve clustered the research I found to be the most interesting into six themes that I think also encapsulate the trends in targeted attacks of 2012.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The IoT has the potential to create a renaissance of manufacturing in the US and elsewhere. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Florent Solt, CTO and chief architect of Netvibes, discussed how the expected exponential increase in the amount of data that will be processed, transported, stored, and accessed means there will be a huge demand for smart technologies to deliver it. Florent Solt is the CTO and chief architect of Netvibes. Prior to joining Netvibes in 2007, he co-founded Rift Technologi...
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
What are the successful IoT innovations from emerging markets? What are the unique challenges and opportunities from these markets? How did the constraints in connectivity among others lead to groundbreaking insights? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Carmen Feliciano, a Principal at AMDG, will answer all these questions and share how you can apply IoT best practices and frameworks from the emerging markets to your own business.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...