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review 2020-03-12 05:52
Review: Day Zero by Kelly deVos
Day Zero - Kelly deVos

To sum it up in one sentence, this book wasn’t very good but wasn’t completely without redeeming qualities. The writing was solid. A bit too much tell versus show at times but the narrative was engaging enough that it didn’t bother me. I liked the introductions to all the characters and felt that those early chapters gave me a really good handle on who everyone was. Except Toby, for the first few chapters I kept forgetting who he was and I am still not sure why I couldn’t remember him.

 

Jinx was a terrible main character. I could tell that she’s supposed to be smart but she really enjoyed acting like she wasn’t. Her father prepared her for the apocalypse for years, she knows what she should do in the situations presented in the book. She just decides not to do it. And then regrets it once everything goes horribly wrong. Just once I wanted her to follow the lessons of her father and go along with the disaster plan. But, alas, she did not. I tried really hard to like her as a character but I just couldn’t do it.

 

Charles was an absolutely delight as a character, which was completely unexpected for me. I did not expect to like him but he stole my heart. I wanted to protect him in his anxiety and fear. And to quite frank, he was a lot smarter than his older sister too.

 

My biggest problem with this book however was the political overtones. I don’t mind books that are commentaries on the current political climate. But, is it really so hard to disguise that a tiny bit? Somehow the current political parties have been replaced by The Spark and The Opposition. I have no idea how that happened because the author didn’t bother to tell me. The Spark is basically the Democrat party. Socialist, popular with “educated” folks who majored in political science, and the goal is take rich people’s money and spread it around so that everyone has a mediocre existence. They have been in power for about 10 years according to the book. Their leader is Rosenthal. Everyone in the book repeats the party catch phrase ad nauseum “Everyone’s for Rosenthal.” And if anyone in the book even hints that they might not be for Rosenthal they are immediately attacked with “so you just hate people? you just want to hoard your stuff instead of take care of people?!” Yawn. Boring. The Opposition is the Republicans, allegedly. Led by Ammon Carver, an enigmatic billionaire who owns the largest bank in the country and since “Everyone’s for Rosenthal” he obviously cheated in order to win. Is this sounding familiar at all? Oh yes, everyone in The Opposition wears red hats, carries shotguns, has a poor command of the English language, has a pickup truck, and obviously wants the world to descend into anarchy so they can keep all their stuff. Oh and every other character immediately labels them a Neo-Nazi seemingly without any evidence of that at all. Is this sounding familiar now?

 

I didn’t mind the political themes at first because after the first 20 pages or so they seemed to largely move on to other things. But then it comes back at the end in such a heavy handed way that I wanted to scream. It felt like the author was beating me over the head with a MAGA hat screaming “I’m talking about Trump and 2016!!!” I get it. Okay? Honestly. I get it. I am not so stupid that I didn’t see your glaringly obvious theme. I was so tired of it by the time we got to the big twist at the end that I mostly just wanted the book to end. I don’t mind politics in my books, but please refrain from beating me over the head with your own opinions. I don’t need the brain damage.

 

And then we come to the twist. It wasn’t that good either. I started figuring it out about halfway through the book. I was completely sure that I knew what was going on shortly after. It was so blatantly obvious that even another character basically says to Jinx, “Hey isn’t all this stuff weird and suspicious? Do you think there might be something odd going on here?” And Jinx just laughs and says “Of course not!”. Then she is oh so shocked when the traitor is revealed. Um, that other character literally told you all that stuff about 40 pages ago. Are you really that dense?

 

Overall, not a good book. I won’t be reading the next book but it gets some credit for the exciting middle portion and for Charles.

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video 2019-10-19 09:55

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Source: thecomputerrepairguru.com
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text 2019-08-21 13:24
Android malware returns and this time it will record what is on your screen, too

No more attached links, password guessing, malvertisements, or else, this time, an Android banking trojan has returned with something more exciting yet destructive to target their potential leads. 

 

You will be shocked to know that the improved trojan is recording the screen of infected devices to see what the user is doing, without disturbing the user. This technique has been incorporated to help malware remain hidden from victims. 

 

You'll never know what your device has been through!

 

This was first covered in detail by cybersecurity researchers at ThreatFabric in October 2018. Bian Lian started life as a dropper for other forms of malware, most notably the  Anubis banking malware, because of which thousands and millions of funds are stolen from android users around the world. But then, cybercriminals revamped and changed their skills, by changing and altering some codes, they repurpose the malware into a banking trojan in its own right. 

 

Now researchers have uncovered the new version of Bian Lian, which gives a clear view that those who are behind this are working on its regular updates to make it more efficient malware and to attract more leads. 

 

If a particular user downloads any of the malicious app use to deliver Bian Lian, the first-ever thing that application is needed is your permission to use accessibility services and the additional functions this provides. This is very common of all tactics in Android malware that exploits a functionality intended to make the device more comfortable to use. Once a user granted the permission to that application, the malware modules allow it to read, send, and receive text messages and can monitor and also they can make a call. As allowing the BianLian to run overly attacks on banking applications and provide the attacker with the ability to freeze the screen, making the device unstable for the user. The user could not be able to detect malicious activities happening in their machine. 

 

The new update of BianLian adds the screen recording module allowing the malware to record the screen of the device. This thing will enable cybercriminals to register what the user is viewing. It is a right way of stealing personal information like usernames, passwords, and other confidential information that would enable hackers to gain access to the payment data they want to take. 

 

The new version of BianLian is equipped with a means of obfuscation that involves what researchers describe as randomly generated garbage in the codebase. The thinking behind this is that the actual functions of this malware are lost among all the codes. Researchers warn that BianLian is still active and is always updating. 

 

It seems that BianLian is still under active development, even it is not entirely original; it is a beneficial type of malware which is making the family of malware very dangerous. Its codes are based on strategies put it on a par with the other prominent players in the banking malware space said by one of the Android malware analyses. The researcher provides full information and also give the name of targeted apps which are affected by the Bian Lian. 

 

So you have to be careful that which application are you downloading is it safe to download and is a trustable application or not. And only give permission to that application which is famous. If any use continuously needs your device access, this means there's something wrong with that application.

 

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text 2018-09-21 06:38
Know About SOC (Security Operations Center) and the Rise of SIS (Security Insight Services)

What is SOC?

SOC i.e., Security Operations Center is that army which protects you from the terrorists named as cyber-attacks and online threats. Having said that, it resembles the 24/7 hardworking forces dedicated to preventing, detecting, assessing, and responding to the cyber threats and vulnerabilities. The team is highly skilled and organized with the mission of continuously monitoring and improving the security posture of an organization.

 

The Strategy of SOC

 

The SOC strategy has to be business-specific and clearly outlined. It strictly depends upon the support and sponsorship of executive levels otherwise it’s not possible for SOC to work properly. The SOC must be an asset to the rest of the organization. The aim of SOC should be catering to the company’s needs and a strong sponsorship from the executives is mandatory to make it successful.

 

The Infrastructure

 

Careful planning is the key to make any model successful. Same is the case with the SOC environment design. The aspects like physical security, layout, and electrical arrangements for the equipment, lighting, and acoustics must be considered properly. The SOC needs to have specific areas like a war room, an operational room, and the offices for supervisors. There must be proper visibility, comfort, control, and efficiency in every single area and therefore the design should be in consideration with these aspects.

 

The Technological Environment

 

After the mission and scope of the SOC, designing the underlying infrastructure is important. As several components are mandatory to build a comprehensive technological environment like firewalls, breach detection solutions, IPSs/IDSs, probes, and SIEM of course, to name a few. Efficient and effective data collection is primarily essential for a perfect SOC. Packet captures, telemetry, data flows, Syslog, and many such events are vital to collect, correlate, and analyze from the perspective of security. It is also essential to monitor the information and data about the vulnerabilities which can affect the complete ecosystem.

The Team and Processes

 

Although, technical aspects are highly important, still the huge and high-tech control room would be worthless if it doesn’t have people and proper functions/processes.

 

Just like a fully equipped car is useless without a driver, an organization is empty without human resources and policies. Technology, processes, and people are the pillars of SOC.

As we know, SOC is a Team and every winning team shall follow some rules. Apart from engineers, analysts, and dev-ops people, there will be leaders and the leadership skills are necessary for everyone. There will be several tiers assigned to different team members. The analysis based on the real event monitoring, security incident/data breach detection,

response to the incidents, and finally the remediation of those happenings. The paramount of the organization is coordination, collaboration, efficiency, and timing. Every member has to be aware of the strategy and mission of the SOC and hence, leadership plays a key role in this scenario. The SOC manager must be the one who inspires and motivates other team members so that they can contribute to the organization’s vision and mission. After all, providing 24/7 service while handling the stress isn’t easy at all.

 

Selecting such team members who can add value, is really a challenging task as the required skill-set is quite big and the enthusiasm should also be there. Again the exact amount of the workers must be hired, neither less nor more.

 

Considering this scenario, adopting a hybrid vision model could prove viable as it envisions the cooperation between the internal teams and managed service providers which are outsourced.

 

The Types of SOC models

 

Are you aware that there are several kinds of SOC models? Yes, check out below-

 

Virtual SOC

 

• It has no dedicated solution/facility

• Members are part-time

• The team is active only when critical incidents occur

 

Dedicated SOC

 

• Facility is dedicated

• The team is also dedicated

• Totally in-house team

 

Co-managed / Distributed SOC

 

• Both semi-dedicated and dedicated teams

• Usually, 5 X 8 operations are handled

• It becomes co-managed when paired with MSSP (Managed Security Service Provider)

 

Command SOC

 

• Coordination with other SOCs

• Offers situational awareness, threat intelligence, and additional expertise

• Not always directly involved in day-to-day operations but rarely

 

NOC (Network Operations Center) / Multifunction SOC

 

• Dedicated facility and team

• Performs all critical IT and security operations 24/7 with common facilities

• Helps in reducing the costs of the organization

Fusion SOC

 

One SOC facility consists of new and traditional SOC functions like CIRT (Computer Incident Response Team), threat intelligence, and OT (Operational Technology) functions which are combined.

 

Fully Outsourced SOC

 

Apart from the above six models, the service provider of ‘fully outsourced model’ operates and builds the SOC with minimum but supervisory involvement from the customer’s enterprise.

 

The Intelligence and Approach

 

To enhance the organization’s security posture, the SOC has to be both –active and proactive as it needs to carry out the process of Vulnerability Management. The priority for SOC is a robust approach to handling vulnerability and risk assessment skill. Other than that the OWASP model approach can be taken into the consideration too. Also, a threat intelligence approach (context aware) shall be implemented to become more effective in diagnosing/preventing the threats and adding more value.

 

The Essentials

 

Creating and Operating a SOC demands high quality, infrastructure, enthusiasm, teamwork, and skills. It should have best practices, compliances, and frameworks like COBIT, ITIL, and other are vital to abide by the PCI DSS and ISO/IEC 27001: 2013 standards.

ITIL is a potentially unmatched source of guidance in case of service design and strategy, service level management, and coordinating between the SOC related purposes and incident management processes.

 

Also, COBIT and especially its Maturity Model, COBIT- MM shall be considered as a premium guideline for checking how mature is SOC?

 

The performance of the SOC has to be measured correctly and appropriately in all aspects. Therefore, the KPIs must be well-defined to check the application of ITIL, i.e., continual improvement of service. These steps will help in generating the best results from the SOC and add value to the organization.

 

So, these were the things you need to know about SOC.

 

Now, let’s understand what are Managed Security Services or Security Insight Services.

SIS (Security Insight Services)

 

We all know the hell number of online threats and cyber-attacks going on in the world. These things happen due to lack of essential security tools, equipment, and services. Many of the businesses are so concerned about the security of their data and loss of business but they don’t get proper solutions. They are often worried about how prepared their organization is to handle the online crisis situations.

 

To these problems, ‘Security Insight Services’ is the solution. It is a one-stop-shop solution for all the current and possible online threats/attacks.

 

The offerings by SIS

 

• Project driven approach

• Security Incident & Threat Analysis

• Project Driven Approach

• Security posturing assessment

• Security Incident & Threat Analysis

• Gap Analysis

• Network Security Assessment

• Malware Threat Modeling

• Database Activity monitoring & Vulnerability Scanning

• SIEM effectiveness modeling Configuration Auditing

• Process Auditing

• Application Vulnerability Assessment Email System Assessment

• Wireless System Assessment

• DDOS Attack Preparedness Testing DLP Analysis

 

The Need for SOC and SIS

 

If you aren’t aware already then let me tell you that if an attack happens, it takes 99 days on an average for that to get identified. Now that’s a big amount of time! So, you get the need for data protection and privacy for providing security. Hence, it clearly indicates the dire need for newness in the technology of cyber-security. Many people forget that just having the correct tools and processes isn’t enough. You can be still vulnerable to threats and attacks if you don’t monitor systems, detect upcoming threats, and don’t make any changes in the systems/operations whenever an attack or threat is identified.

 

Many organizations are now getting aware and want to build their SOC as they want more control over the safety of their data, monitoring, and the response. A SOC built project creates a strategic business impact and hence it’s a critical and vital initiative for those organizations.

 

Conclusion

 

Looking at all the above key pointers, we get to know about the ideal SOC, the necessities for it in all aspects, the rise of SIS (Security Insight Services), and the vitality of SOC and SIS. To run ta SOC, the comprehensive range of cyber security aspects, high skills, and important competencies have to be considered. Building SOC is a combination of business strategies and high level of security armors as a service.

 

Teamwork, great leadership skill, and motivation are vital for every member of the team, especially for the manager. A fully functional SOC is a complex project because it has to deal with wide and endless range or problems related to the data security. As the time gets ahead, there are going to be more challenges, and therefore a SOC has to be prepared for the same.

 

There is going to be the constant need for high-end online security services, and everyone has to brace for it! SOC team has a lot of work to do and that too tirelessly.

Many businesses will have to choose one of the best online security services or the SOCs, and we are certainly going to get a number of them in the near future.



So, the whole point is that every single business should find a great SOC to cater to their needs of business security and improve the complete security structure of the organization.

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text 2018-06-15 08:47
Audit Your Web Security with MTvScan Vulnerability Scanner

Your website is your brand and a virtual store for your business, but due to lack of awareness of the risks and consequences, one might face serious issues if the website is not protected. Business relations can suffer if your first point of contact – the website -- is not safe and secure. Cyber-attacks being reported every day because of the increasing amounts of vulnerable websites. However, the number of efforts being taken by the owners to stay ahead of the curve are not many. Hackers mainly use automated tools to find vulnerable sites no matter the size of the business. Small business owners don’t usually think about security for their website as they don’t see the importance of it. So they don’t set aside the funds and resources needed to safeguard their web presence.

 

You have spent countless hours of hard work on writing, designing and promoting your website and its content. You have a thriving business because your website is generating leads and eventually revenue. But what if suddenly, one day you lose your control on this website and all the hard work along with it? This scenario is very realistic and it could happen to you one day. You should know the importance of auditing your website for various types of threats like – malware in the website which will also affect site visitors, theft of customer’s data, retrieving client’s name and email addresses and even hijacking or crashing the site.

Protecting your website at all costs should be your agenda and with MTvScan, you can scan for each and every vulnerability in your website. Regularly scanning your website will ensure that there are zero issues in your site and you can smoothly run your business. MTvScan is a complete and advanced vulnerability scanner which examines different types of vulnerabilities in the purview of lurking danger.

 


The features of MTvScan are as follows:

 

  • Mail server IP Check in 58 RBL repositories
  • Scan SQL Injections for MySQL, MSSQL, PGSQL, Oracle databases
  • Domain reputation in Google, SURBL, Malware Patrol, Clean-Mx, Phishtank
  • Scan Local file injections (LFI)
  • Scan Remote file inclusion (RFI)
  • Scan XSS - Cross Site Scripting
  • Scan Malware
  • Detect and Scan CMS
  • Open Port Application Vulnerability detection
  • Directory Scanning
  • Detect open sensitive / admin area of the site
  • Scan for Directory Indexing
  • Scan Full Path disclosure in the pages
  • Scan Password auto complete enabled fields
  • Information disclosure
  • ViewState decoder
  • Scan password submission method
  • Authenticated area scanning
  • Reports
  • Robust Link Crawler
  • Backdoor WebShell Locater
  • WebShell Finder
  • Reverse IP domain check
  • Deep Application Testing
  • Botnet Monitoring
  • Defaced Keyword Monitoring
  • Content Change Monitoring
  • Schedule based Scan
  • SSL Check
  • Manual Scan
  • WAF Detection
  • CSRF Detection
  • ClickJack Protection Check
  • Page Source Scan
  • OS Detection
  • DNS Misconfiguration
  • Phishing Scan

 

MTvScan also scans for the Top 10 vulnerabilities detected and listed by Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).

 

Organizations spend a fortune on securing their website because a lot of business comes from online presence. If there are any kind of security loopholes in your website then it can directly lead to loss of data, breach in privacy and decreased brand value. Threats which are present online will always remain a problem for website owners but keeping an eye on these threats will push the owners to take action on them. A healthy website will perform exceptionally if you take good care of it and scan it regularly.

 

About Us:

 

ESDS’ MTvScan is a website security scanner which endows a user with uninterrupted services while examining different types of vulnerabilities and threats.

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