Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions today announced a new version of its flagship product for at-home PC protection — Kaspersky PURE 2.0 Total Security. Using Kaspersky Lab’s award-winning anti-malware protection and an array of additional security tools, Kaspersky PURE 2.0 Total Security is the easiest way to keep multiple PCs secure, irreplaceable digital assets protected, and children safe and responsible online.
Central Home PC Management
Ideal for households with multiple computers, including families with children, Kaspersky PURE uses Home Network Management to easily protect, manage and monitor every PC in the household from a single machine.
— Run all scans, updates, and backup tasks on every PC in the house automatically or on-demand
— Fix security issues without getting up from your desk
— Manage parental controls from anywhere in the house, so your kids are protected even when they’re out of view
— Conveniently update the Kaspersky PURE licenses throughout your home
Total Package of Security Tools
Kaspersky PURE also includes everything you need to secure your online identity and protect your irreplaceable digital property. When you install Kaspersky PURE, our extra layers of security mean you can say good-bye to overpriced and inefficient niche products.
This is great work. I am demoing the product now and will post my review shortly. Very excited about how this will shape the home and small business central management landscape. Will vendors pile on?
More on this breaking news can be found here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/kaspersky-lab-announces-new-generation-of-ultimate-pc-protection-for-your-home-2012-03-26
Cisco Releases Security Advisory for Cisco Small Business SRP 500 Series
Cisco Small Business (SRP 500) Series Services Ready Platforms contain the following three vulnerabilities:
These vulnerabilities can be exploited using sessions to the Services Ready Platform Configuration Utility web interface. These vulnerabilities could be exploited from the local LAN side of the SRP
device by default configuration and the WAN side of the SRP device if remote management is enabled. Remote management is disabled by default.
Cisco has released free software updates that address these vulnerabilities.
Workarounds that mitigate these vulnerabilities are available.
This advisory is available at the following link:
The following Cisco SRP 520 Series models are affected if running firmware prior to version 1.1.26:
* Cisco SRP 521W
* Cisco SRP 526W
* Cisco SRP 527W
The following Cisco SRP 520W-U Series models are affected if running firmware prior to version 1.2.4:
* Cisco SRP 521W-U
* Cisco SRP 526W-U
* Cisco SRP 527W-U
The following Cisco SRP 540 Series models are affected if running firmware prior to version 1.2.4:
* Cisco SRP 541W
* Cisco SRP 546W
* Cisco SRP 547W
To view the firmware version on a device, log in to the Services Ready Platform Configuration Utility and navigate to the Status > Router page to view information about the Cisco SRP Series device and its firmware status. The Firmware Version field indicates the current running version of firmware on the Cisco SRP 500 Series device.
More information regarding these vulnerabilities:
The latest Cisco SRP 500 Series Services Ready Platforms firmware can
be downloaded at:
- Cisco Security Advisory: Cisco NX-OS (netsecurityit.wordpress.com)
It’s more than an academic question now that the age of the cloud is upon us. For one thing, it would seem to be a moot point for most data users, and data managers for that matter, considering resources, infrastructure and architectures will soon be available in multiple forms at the touch of a button (and the payment of fees). And secondly, the data center industry is quickly gravitating toward open platforms, open fabrics and dynamic data infrastructures that aim to suit all manner of requirements at any given time.
So the question remains: With unlimited scalability, flexibility and operability at our disposal, do we really need to worry about how data environments are designed and built anymore?
To some data experts, like Ofcom’s Adrian Grigoriu, the more appropriate question is, did any of this ever matter in the first place? Enterprise architecture (EA) has always been more of an art form than a science anyway. With no real EA framework in place, most data architectures remain a loose collection of components, so the architect is free to define his own goals at the start and then determine for himself if they have been achieved. Tools like TOGAF provided a process template, but there is and never has been a formalized EA framework in which discrete parts are integrated into a cohesive whole.
Too often, says MIT’s Jeanne Ross, what usually passes for architecture is simply a few key systems or managers who maintain responsibility for the most essential business processes. As data centers become tasked with meeting an increasingly diverse set of requirements, however, this approach starts to break down. The end result is that without a proper grasp of architecture, organizations will find their data environments to be less responsive and more expansive than their properly designed peers.
A key concept in future architectures will be agility, according to Todd Drake, VP of technology at digital marketing firm Organic. As enterprises are hit with everything from virtualization to mobile applications, the ability to adapt and respond to changing environments will be crucial. The problem is there is no set way to measure architectural agility with different organizations factoring in various mixtures of speed flexibility, adaptability and other hard-to-quantify parameters. His own approach is built largely on costs where agility becomes a ratio of the complexity of a given change over the effort required to implement it.
The term “holistic” is also getting more buzz around the architectural water cooler. As the University of North Texas’ Dr. Leon Kappelman describes it, the tendency to compartmentalize data center resources results in ever diminishing results — like trying to understand a living being by analyzing its component chemicals. Much better to embrace a “counter-reductionist approach” by viewing the interactions and interconnections of various components, rather than the raw capabilities of the components themselves. In that way, you get a fully optimized data center, as opposed to optimized networks, storage systems or operating platforms.
So in the end, what are we left with? Should we concern ourselves with architecture or not? It would seem that in the old days of static data silos and one-to-one user-desktop-server relationships, the answer would have been no, at least not to any significant degree.
Going forward, however, as the dynamic infrastructure of the cloud starts to take hold and former rules governing data, systems, resources and infrastructure break down, enterprise architecture will start to matter a great deal.
- Marketing Cloud Computing to Non-Believer CIOs (marketinginteractions.typepad.com)
- VMware Rapidly Expands Cloud Partner Network (informationweek.com)
- Cloud Computing Is Still A Leap Of Faith (informationweek.com)
- Burstorm Names Erikas Napjus as Strategic Advisor and Active Consultant (prweb.com)
- Enable the Avaya Collaborative Cloud for your Enterprise (avaya.com)
- Logicalis Experts Identify How to Cut Data Center Costs Today (prweb.com)
One afternoon recently, a hacker took a tour of a dozen conference rooms around the globe via equipment that most every company has in those rooms: videoconferencing equipment.
With the move of a mouse, he steered a camera around each room, occasionally zooming in with such precision that he could discern grooves in the wood and paint flecks on the wall. In one room, he zoomed out through a window, across a parking lot and into shrubbery some 50 yards away where a small animal could be seen burrowing underneath a bush. With such equipment, the hacker could have easily eavesdropped on privileged attorney-client conversations or read trade secrets on a report lying on the conference room table.
In this case, the hacker was HD Moore, a chief security officer at Rapid 7, a Boston-based company that looks for security holes in computer systems that are used in devices like toaster ovens and Mars landing equipment. His latest find: Videoconferencing equipment is often left vulnerable to hackers.
Businesses collectively spend billions of dollars each year beefing up security on their computer systems and employee laptops. They agonize over the confidential information that employees send to their Gmail and Dropbox accounts and store on their iPads and smartphones. But rarely do they give much thought to the ease with which anyone can penetrate a videoconference room where their most guarded trade secrets are openly discussed.
Moore has found it easy to get into several top venture capital and law firms, pharmaceutical and oil companies and courtrooms across the country. He even found a path into the Goldman Sachs boardroom.
“The entry bar has fallen to the floor,” said Mike Tuchen, chief executive of Rapid 7. “These are literally some of the world’s most important boardrooms — this is where their most critical meetings take place — and there could be silent attendees in all of them.”
Ten years ago, videoconferencing systems were complicated and erratic, and ran on expensive, closed high-speed phone lines. Over the past decade, videoconferencing — like everything else — migrated to the Internet. Now, most businesses use Internet protocol videoconferencing — a souped-up version of Skype — to connect with colleagues and customers. Most of these new systems were designed with visual and audio clarity — not security — in mind.
Rapid 7 discovered that hundreds of thousands of businesses were investing in top-quality videoconferencing units, but were setting them up on the cheap. At last count, companies spent an estimated $693 million on group videoconferencing from July to September of last year, according to Wainhouse Research.
The most popular units, sold by Polycomand Cisco, can cost as much as $25,000 and feature encryption, high-definition video capture, and audio that can pick up the sound of a door opening 300 feet away. But administrators are setting them up outside the firewall and are configuring them with a false sense of security that hackers can use against them.
Whether real hackers are exploiting this vulnerability is unknown; no company has announced that it has been hacked. (Nor would one, and most would never know in any case.) But with videoconference systems so ubiquitous, they make for an easy target.
With videoconferencing, companies have seemingly gone out of their way to make themselves vulnerable. In many cases, they are not only putting their systems on the Internet, but setting them up in a way that allows anyone to listen in unnoticed.
New systems are outfitted with a feature that automatically accepts inbound calls so users do not have to press an “accept” button every time someone dials into their videoconference. The effect is that anyone can dial in and look around a room, and the only sign of their presence is a tiny light on a console unit, or the silent swing of a video camera.
Two months ago, Moore wrote a computer program that scanned the Internet for videoconference systems that were outside the firewall and configured to automatically answer calls. In less than two hours, he had scanned 3 percent of the Internet.
In that sliver, he discovered 5,000 wide-open conference rooms at law firms, pharmaceutical companies, oil refineries, universities and medical centers. He stumbled into an attorney-inmate meeting room at a prison, an operating room at a university medical center and a venture capital pitch meeting where a company’s financials were being projected on a screen.
Among the vendors that popped up in Moore’s scan were Polycom, Cisco, LifeSize, Sony and others. Of those, Polycom — which leads the videoconferencing market in units sold — was the only manufacturer that ships its equipment — from its low-end ViewStation models to its high-end HDX products — with the auto-answer feature enabled by default.
In an email, Shawn Dainas, a Polycom spokesman, said the auto-answer feature had several safety elements built in that could be activated by a customer, including password protections, auto-mute and camera control lockup, adding that Polycom also offered a camera lens cover. He said the “security levels have been designed to make it easy for our customers to enable security that is appropriate to their business.”
Of the Polycom videoconference systems that popped up in Moore’s scan, none blocked control of the camera, asked for a password or muted sound.
“Many Polycom systems are sold, installed and maintained without any level of access security, with auto-answer enabled by default,” Moore said. “It boils down to whether organizations are aware of the risk, and our research indicates that many, even well-heeled venture capital firms, were not aware and do not implement even the most basic of security measures.”
Tuchen of Rapid7 said that as a shortcut, businesses put their videoconference systems outside the firewall, allowing them to receive calls from other companies without having to do any complex network configuration. The safer way to receive calls from other companies, Tuchen said, is to install a “gatekeeper” that securely connects calls from outside the firewall. But this process “is complex to configure properly,” he said, and “is often skipped.”
In some cases, Moore discovered he could leap from one open system into its address book and dial into the conference rooms of other companies, even those companies that put their system behind the firewall.
That was the case with Goldman Sachs. The bank’s boardroom did not show up in Moore’s initial scan but an entry labeled “Goldman Sachs Board Room” popped up in the directory of a law firm that Goldman Sachs videoconferenceswith. Moore did not disclose the name of the law firm and said that because he was afraid of “crossing a line,” he did not dial into Goldman Sachs.
Said Tuchen, “Any reasonably computer literate 6-year-old can try this at home.”
Here is a short video on video conference. By watching this video you can see how vulnerable these systems really are when left on and unattended
Video Conferencing Systems
- Videoconferencing Systems Vulnerable To Hackers (informationweek.com)
- Rapid7′s Mike Tuchen on Cyber Espionage and Startup Lessons (xconomy.com)
- Cameras May Open Up the Board Room to Hackers (far2fresh.com)
- Hackers intercept FBI, Scotland Yard call (sfgate.com)