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Iftach Ian Amit

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Top Stories by Iftach Ian Amit

I have looked for a good example for a real-world security practice that is misconceived and that also applies to information security. Recently I have had a chance to read an opinion article that talks about physical security measures that are put in to protect small populations (read army bases, gated communities, etc…) and how many of the “traditional” security thinking is actually hurting them. The example that was cited, talked specifically about building fences around such facilities, and their actual and perceived effect. The real effect of such a “security” fence is very low. These fences can be easily bypassed with very basic skills and tools. However, the perceived effect of such fences is incredible. On one hand, the protected population sees that there is a fence that goes around the entire perimeter, and immediately think “cool! we are well protected”. They... (more)

Advanced Data Exfilration

This paper has been published in several security conferences during 2011, and is now being made fully available (as well as a PDF version for downloading) Abstract Penetration testing and red-team exercises have been running for years using the same methodology and techniques. Nevertheless, modern attacks do not conform to what the industry has been preparing for, and do not utilize the same tools and techniques employed by such tests. This paper discusses the different ways that attacks should be emulated, and focuses mainly on data exfiltration. The ability to “break into” a... (more)

Identity Crisis

Here’s a common question I get asked a lot: “What technology should I use to secure my server/network/[some technology]?” The question is usually presented by someone who’s in charge of “Security” in an organization. Now, I wouldn’t have had a problem with this if this was a technician, or a pen-tester of sorts, but I get really nervous when the CISO/CIO/Security manager is the one asking. I think that this question is highly inappropriate for two reasons: You should not be looking for “technology”. Buying a product is not going to make you more secure or less secure. You should n... (more)

The China/Google thing, accountants and other miscreants

Aha! Can’t believe I managed to avoid the unbelievable hype flood that swept across the interwebs in the last month. And to think that the last post (long overdue, I know… had REALLY good reasons for not being able to post anything) was somewhat oracleish in predicting that this would be the focus of this year. Just to set the stage right – we are at a point where I just saw a USA Today “Money” section front page article on how Google’s engagement with the NSA post the breach will affect the security vendor market, and a few VCs were also quoted to the fact that we will be seein... (more)

Being in the middle (or: things we didn’t manage to learn in a decade)

&l This is going to be painful, so hold on. Instead of mumbling short tweets about things I think that suck, I decided to keep everything in and just formulate a post on it. This post is a rant. It’s a complicated rant by an “old” guy (my excuse for cynicism) in the industry who’s had a chance to see a lot going. Disclaimer: I’m going to give some examples here, real life examples from my own experience in the security industry. Some are from my consulting days, some from the vendor days, some from freelance and other gig days. If you think you are someone who I’m describing here ... (more)