Security

A 370-post collection

The 773 Million Record "Collection #1" Data Breach

Many people will land on this page after learning that their email address has appeared in a data breach I've called "Collection #1". Most of them won't have a tech background or be familiar with the concept of credential stuffing so I'm going to write this post for the masses and link out to more detailed material for those who want to go deeper.Let's start with the raw numbers because that's the headline, then I'll drill down into where it's from and what it's composed of. Collection #1 is a set of email addresses and passwords totalling 2,692,818,238 rows. It's made up of many different individual data breaches from literally thousands of different sources. (And yes,...

No, Spotify Wasn't Hacked

Time and time again, I get emails and DMs from people that effectively boil down to this:Hey, that paste that just appeared in Have I Been Pwned is from Spotify, looks like they've had a data breachMany years ago, I introduced the concept of pastes to HIBP and what they essentially boil down to is monitoring Pastebin and a bunch of other services for when a trove of email addresses is dumped online. Very often, those addresses are accompanied by other personal information such as passwords. When an HIBP subscriber's address appears in one of these incidents, they get an automated notification and often, it seems, they then reach out to me.Here's a perfect example of what I'm...

Beyond Passwords: 2FA, U2F and Google Advanced Protection

Last week I wrote a couple of different pieces on passwords, firstly about why we're going to be stuck with them for a long time yet and then secondly, about how we all bear some responsibility for making good password choices. A few people took some of the points I made in those posts as being contentious, although on reflection I suspect it was more a case of lamenting that we shouldn't be in a position where we're still dependent on passwords and people needing to understand good password management practices in order for them to work properly.This week, I wanted to focus on going beyond passwords and talk about 2FA. Per the title, not just any old 2FA...

When Accounts are "Hacked" Due to Poor Passwords, Victims Must Share the Blame

It's just another day on the internet when the news is full of headlines about accounts being hacked. Yesterday was a perfect example of that with 2 separate noteworthy stories adorning my early morning Twitter feed. The first one was about HSBC disclosing a "security incident" which, upon closer inspection, boiled down to this:The security incident that HSBC described in its letter seems to fit the characteristics of brute-force password-guessing attempts, also known as a credentials stuffing attack. This is when hackers try usernames and password combos leaked in data breaches at other companies, hoping that some users might have reused usernames and passwords across services.The second story was about a number of verified Twitter accounts having been...

Here's Why [Insert Thing Here] Is Not a Password Killer

These days, I get a lot of messages from people on security related things. Often it's related to data breaches or sloppy behaviour on behalf of some online service playing fast and loose with HTTPS or passwords or some other easily observable security posture. But on a fairly regular basis, I get an email from someone which effectively boils down to this:Hey, have you seen [insert thing here]? It's totally going to kill passwords!No, it's not and to save myself from repeating the same message over and over again, I want to articulate precisely why passwords have a lot of life left in them yet. But firstly, let me provide a high-level overview of the sort of product...

New Pluralsight Course: Adapting to the New Normal: Embracing a Security Culture of Continual Change

I take more pleasure than I probably should in watching the bewilderment within organisations as the technology landscape rapidly changes and rushes ahead of them. Perhaps "pleasure" isn't the right word, is it more "amusement"? Or even "curiosity"? Whichever it is, I find myself rhetorically asking "so you just expected everything to stay the same forever, did you?"A case in point: you should look for the green padlock on a website so that you know it's safe. Except that you can't say that anymore because so many phishing sites are using HTTPS (remember, encryption is morally neutral) which is why Barclays Bank had their ad pulled earlier this year. You also can't say "green padlock" anymore because after Chrome...

Extended Validation Certificates are Dead

That's it - I'm calling it - extended validation certificates are dead. Sure, you can still buy them (and there are companies out there that would just love to sell them to you!), but their usefulness has now descended from "barely there" to "as good as non-existent". This change has come via a combination of factors including increasing use of mobile devices, removal of the EV visual indicator by browser vendors and as of today, removal from Safari on iOS (it'll also be gone in Mac OS Mojave when it lands next week): I chose Comodo's website to illustrate this change as I was reminded of the desperation involved in selling EV just last month when...

The 42M Record kayo.moe Credential Stuffing Data

This is going to be a brief blog post but it's a necessary one because I can't load the data I'm about to publish into Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) without providing more context than what I can in a single short breach description. Here's the story: Kayo.moe is a free, public, anonymous hosting service. The operator of the service (Kayo) reached out to me earlier this week and advised they'd noticed a collection of files uploaded to the site which appeared to contain personal data from a breach. Let me be crystal clear about one thing early on: This is not about a data breach of kayo.moe - there's absolutely no indication of any sort of security...

The Effectiveness of Publicly Shaming Bad Security

Here's how it normally plays out: It all begins when a company pops up online and makes some sort of ludicrous statement related to their security posture, often as part of a discussion on a public social media platform such as Twitter. Shortly thereafter, the masses descend on said organisation and express their outrage at the stated position. Where it gets interesting (and this is the whole point of the post), is when another group of folks pop up and accuse the outraged group of doing a bit of this: Shaming. Or chastising, putting them in their place or taking them down a peg or two. Whatever synonym you choose, the underlying criticism is that the outraged group is wrong...

New Pluralsight Course: Modern Browser Security Reports

Rounding out a recent spate of new Pluralsight courses is one final one: Modern Browser Security Reports. This time, it's with Scott Helme who for most of my followers, needs no introduction. You may remember Scott from such previous projects as securityheaders.io, Report URI and, as it relates to this course, our collective cleaning up at a couple of recent UK awards nights: With @Scott_Helme (at a different awards night) learning we both just scored at the European Cyber Security Blogger Awards! pic.twitter.com/RbCoLsKTja— Troy Hunt (@troyhunt) June 5, 2018 That particular awards night relates to this course because at that particular event, our little Report URI project won the SC Award for Best Emerging...