Threat detection and response

The OpenSSF project is a new program sponsored by Google and other prominent tech corporations that aims to addresses  the challenge of identifying malicious packages in popular open source repositories. In just one month of analysis, the project identified more than 200 malicious packages uploaded to PyPI and npm.

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In an MSNBC interview posted to YouTube on February 24th, 2022, approximately 24 hours after the initial invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, Leon Panetta former US Secratary of Defence and former head of the CIA was asked whether now is a good time for the US to use offensive cyber-war against Russia.  Rather that address the question directly, Panetta addressed the greater context of the invasion for Ukrainian national security.  The question is worth addressing though. So, is now a good time for counter forces to launch a cyber offensive? Is now the time for offensive cyber-attack? It Depends. That is the short and true answer. Here comes the why. Probably the most effective use of cyber weapons in warfare is when they are purposed for for gathering information, aka spying. The most advanced forms of cyber weapons (known as advanced persistent threats or APT for short) are…

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We Have All Heard This Story Before It’s no doubt that ransomware is is the biggest threat in the modern cybersecurity landscape. The highest amount of ransom ever paid by a single company for a single incident is $40 million US dollars. Companies can incur millions more in remediation costs, service downtime, legal settlements, higher insurance premiums, and potentially suffer long-term deleterious effects to their brand reputation. Blockchain research group Chainalysis suggests that nearly $700 million USD in ransomware ransom was paid in 2020. Defenders have all been hearing this story for years, and know how to secure against ransomware right? The most common initial access vector is phishing so staff training sessions educating our staff on how to spot a deceptive url is required to keep the bad guys out. Installing endpoint security products and keeping them updated, and of course keep bulletproof backups right? Well, yes and no….

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What Is “Fake Ransomware”? The term “fake ransomware” might conjure up some feelings of relief. After all, if the ransomware is fake, then it must not have encrypted files, right? However, the term has been used to refer to a few different variants of a true ransomware attack. Firstly, it has been used to describe ransomware that does not encrypt files, but instead attempts to trick the victim into thinking their files are encrypted while demanding a payment to recover them. Secondly, the term has also been used to refer to ransomware that does in fact encrypt your files, but does not offer a decryption key if ransom is paid. This is much more nefarious and destructive than the first type; a real sucker punch. And most recently, the term has been used to refer to a case where ransomware was deployed by a company against itself to cover up…

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