From a security perspective, Unicode domains can be problematic because many Unicode characters are difficult to distinguish from common ASCII characters. It is possible to register domains such as “xn--pple-43d.com”, which is equivalent to “аpple.com”. It may not be obvious at first glance, but “аpple.com” uses the Cyrillic “а” (U+0430) rather than the ASCII “a” (U+0041). This is known as a homograph attack.
Chrome 59 will protect you from these phishing attempts by converting the maliciously-similar name to the Punycode version, thus making you aware of something amiss.
Firefox users can limit their exposure by going to about:config and settingnetwork.IDN_show_punycode to true. This will force Firefox to always display IDN domains in its Punycode form, making it possible to identify malicious domains. Thanks to /u/MARKZILLA on reddit for this solution.
Thus, the attack form of apple.com will show as https://www.xn--80ak6aa92e.com
On Twitter @Xudong_Zheng says a simple way to limit the risk from bugs such as this is to always use a password manager, which can identify that the similar letters are not the same.
October 2014 brought with it a new cyber-attack method to the Internet: POODLE, the ‘Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption’ attack. The attack is against the SSLv3 protocol, which powers the HTTPS secure browsing system we’re all used to.
has released a stunning data visualization map of internet attacks. It shows a fraction of the scope of constant threats affecting countries today. You can see penetration attempts in real time over services like http (web servers) and smtp (email servers), and more.
On April 8 I was notified by WiredTree, our hosting company, that their servers had been patched against a newly discovered (and serious) flaw in the SSL encryption technology which underpins secure browsing over https.
It is called the Heartbleed bug.
Our servers were not affected, as they ran CentOS5 and did not use Litespeed. Other sites which did use LiteSpeed were affected.
Heartbleed, a “catastrophic” security flaw in the OpenSSL cryptographic protocol that has affected two-thirds of the entire Internet’s communications, was committed at 10:59 pm on New Year’s Eve by Seggelmann, a 31-year-old Münster, Germany-based programmer.
That night, he made an error that has been compared to the misspelling of Mississippi, a careless but almost inevitable mistake that went undetected for over two years.
Target’s had a big red target leveled at its data systems recently; the intrusion and theft of over 100 million consumer credit & debit card information is almost the largest in history.
It’s website features a notice to consumers; but strangely, 2 seconds after the home page loads, an ad overlay obscures the warning text and link.
Purposeful or by accident, it’s a big oops on top of the disaster.
See the site 1 second after load:
And 2 seconds later:
Intentional or by accident?
Does the law require companies to disclose breaches? As an aside, most States do not require the companies disclose successful network breaches to their customers. A law firm has published a useful chart to track State-by-State requirements.
Perkins Coie’s Privacy & Security practice maintains a comprehensive chart that summarizes state laws regarding security breach notification. The chart is for informational purposes only and is intended as an aid in understanding each state’s sometimes unique security breach notification requirements. Lawyers, compliance professionals, and business owners have told us that the chart has been helpful when preparing for and responding to data breaches.
Google acknowledged (and fixed) a major vulnerability in its google.com and gmail.com domains.
Redirection, cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, and SQL-injection vulnerabilities are to websites what dandelions are to suburban lawns. Even sites maintained by experienced and highly vigilant Web developers are likely to suffer from these Web-application bugs.
Apple makes it easy to compress files using the right-click contextual compression command, but it provides no easy way to add a password to the resulting zip file. You can use the Terminal program to add a password, but it’s prone to mistakes and more time consuming.