You can't secure what you don't acknowledge.SM

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Be careful not to expose your information when sharing your desktop with WebEx, etc.

You've likely used - in some form or fashion - WebEx, GotoMeeting, or similar remote meeting/sharing application, right? Well, if you're ever the presenter of a meeting and end up sharing your desktop out to everyone, be VERY careful. I had stepped away from my desk after a recent online meeting I was participating in had ended. When I returned, I saw that the guy who had shared his desktop had apparently forgotten to "end" the meeting for everyone. He started checking his email, etc. and at that point I realized it was time for me end my connection.

Think of all the possibilities - all the ways this person's sensitive information could've been exposed and misused by someone with malicious intent...

Let this be a lesson to be very, very careful when sharing out your desktop using one of these otherwise awesome tools. You might just end up sharing stuff to your attendees that violates all sorts of security best practices, NDAs, regulations...You name it. Sure, if someone's an attendee of yours, it may not be a BIG deal. But you still risk the chance of coming across as sloppy and careless.

Or, at least someone who's distracted by the greater need of checking email and surfing the Web. Don't laugh...I've done this very thing. :-)

Monday, March 3, 2008

A way to bypass whole disk encryption

Researchers at Princeton University have found a way around whole disk encryption. Dubbed the "cold-boot attack", apparently there's a way to "freeze" the whole disk encryption passphrase while it's stored in dynamic memory and then extract it using some software they've written. Having learned and applied what can be done with/to a PC at the chip level in my assembly language programming days, this comes as no shocker. Wish it would've come out when I was helping to write Laptop Encryption For Dummies. ;-)

With all the problems associated with laptop insecurities, this type of attack opens up a whole new can of worms. Will this lead to encryption override attacks down the road? It wouldn't surprise me. A greater focus on hardware hacks? You bet.

Don't you know the marketing wheels at the encryption solution companies are going full blast right about now!

Man, I love innovation. Good job security for us too...