Create an EC2 that runs Chrome for sandboxed websurfing

Ever want to visit a website but don’t trust it enough to use your personal/work computer? What you need is a temporary system that is totally isolated from anything sensitive. Why not use a cloud-based virtual machine, such as offered by Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud? Here is how… Continue reading

Check Multiple AWS S3 Buckets for Missing Default Encryption

Amazon Web Services has made it easy to implement encryption-at-rest for S3 buckets, but older S3 buckets may have predated this feature enhancement.  If you have a large number of buckets, this could be a tedious thing to check via the console.  Here is a simple one-liner to check all… Continue reading

The Equifax Data Breach and the Apache Struts Vulnerability

Last week (9/7/2017), Equifax announced that on July 29 they discovered that an exploited web application vulnerability was being used to access a trove of consumer information for the previous 2 ½ months, until discovery.  Various news outlets, such as the New York Post are starting to report that the… Continue reading

Linux Hardening

From a compliance perspective, organizations need to have a hardening standard derived from an authoritative source with solid engineering-based reasons of why we depart from any of the recommendations.  Most organizations use the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Hardening Benchmarks because that choice is easy to defend.  The CIS benchmarks… Continue reading

Information Security at Startup Companies

The following excerpt is a thread from a discussion on Linkedin in the Information Security Community group. Question: How can a young professional convince startups that InfoSec is needed? And then get them to hire him?  I am currently studying InfoSec Management and I am looking to get a job… Continue reading

Has SHA-1 been hacked?

No, not exactly.  The SHA-1 hashing algorithm still does what it is supposed to do.  SHA-1 creates an unpredictable 20 byte “fingerprint” of the data input into the function, in this case a web server certificate.  It is the unpredictability of the output that makes cryptographic hash functions so useful. … Continue reading

FIPS 140-2 in a Nutshell

The US Federal Government requires that its agencies protect sensitive, but unclassified information using cryptographic modules that have been validated to Federal Information Processing (FIPS) Standard 140-2 “Security Requirements for Cryptographic Modules.”  This standard replaced its predecessor, FIPS 140-1.  In this context, the term “validated” means tested by accredited testing… Continue reading