Category: Security

Security content from Leo Nelson

Under the Hood of Password Managers

Password managers allow the storage and retrieval of sensitive information from an encrypted database. Users rely on them to provide better security guarantees against trivial exfiltration than alternative ways of storing passwords, such as an unsecured flat text file. In this paper we propose security guarantees password managers should offer and examine the underlying workings of five popular password managers targeting the Windows 10 platform: 1Password 7 [1], 1Password 4 [1], Dashlane [2], KeePass [3], and LastPass [4]. We anticipated that password managers would employ basic security best practices, such as scrubbing secrets from memory when they are not in use and sanitization of memory once a password manager was logged out and placed into a locked state. However, we found that in all password managers we examined, trivial secrets extraction was possible from a locked password manager, including the master password in some cases, exposing up to 60 million users that use the password managers in this study to secrets retrieval from an assumed secure locked state.

Source: Password Managers: Under the Hood of Secrets Management

CIS Controls Self Assessment Tool

The Center for Internet Security has launched the CIS Controls Self-Assessment Tool, or CIS CSAT, to enable organizations to track and prioritize their implementation of the CIS Controls. The tool includes features such as the ability to:

  • Delegate questions to other team members
  • Set deadlines for each CIS Control and sub-control
  • Collect documentation related to your findings
  • Capture team discussion about each assessment question

To start with the Self Assessment Tool, visit https://csat.cisecurity.org/

Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices

Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices (HICP): Managing Threats and Protecting Patients publication that aims to provide voluntary cybersecurity practices to healthcare organizations of all types and sizes, ranging from local clinics to large hospital systems. The guide is available at Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices: Managing Threats and Protecting Patients.

The guide includes:

Users and Security

Research from Dartmouth College Computer Science regarding users and security:

In real world domains, from healthcare to power to finance, we deploy computer systems intended to streamline and improve the activities of human agents in the corresponding non-cyber worlds. However, talking to actual users (instead of just computer security experts) reveals endemic circumvention of the computer-embedded rules. Good-intentioned users, trying to get their jobs done, systematically work around security and other controls embedded in their IT systems.

Source: Mismorphism: a Semiotic Model of Computer Security Circumvention by Sean W. Smith, Ross Koppel, Jim Blythe, Vijay Kothari