It has been 20 years since Chris Wysopal (AKA Weld Pond) and his colleagues at the Boston-based L0pht* hacker collective famously testified before the US Senate that the internet was hopelessly insecure.
Some of the most pressing threats to our national security are found not in the physical world, but in cyberspace. It's past time for our nation to adapt to the changing landscape and bring our security infrastructure up to speed.
"Developers are concerned about creating quality code, and that means creating secure code," says Pete Chestna, director of relationship with developers, Veracode. "To be successful, developers must have a clear understanding of security policies and must have the tools to measure them. When the objective is clear and we give them access to these tools, they are able to integrate the scan in the early stages of the life cycle of software development and can make informed decisions that take safety into account, and as a result, we are seeing a significant improvement in the development of secure software and the resulting products."
"We see that IT security must fundamentally change," explains Julian Totzek-Hallhuber, Solution Architect at Veracode. "Organizations today use a wide variety of applications across multiple business units, but these self-developed or purchased applications continue to have vulnerabilities that allow cybercriminals to attack and cause great damage."
I caught up with Maria Loughlin, vice president of engineering at Veracode; Chris Eng, vice president of research at Veracode; and Alan Shimel, CEO of DevOps.com, to talk more about their recent panel webinar on bringing in security to make DevOps a reality. It was enlightening to hear their perspectives on how companies can build security into its culture so that it permeates the development process. Many enterprises have realized that with the continuing popularity of DevOps comes the possibility of creating an environment that allows software vulnerabilities. In truth, more teams are integrating security testing into their development processes.
We now live in a world where software applications are omnipresent. The world’s largest enterprises are increasingly finding themselves in the software business. It doesn’t matter what their end products are, they are building Web applications, mobile apps and other software for their products and this software is becoming a key interaction point between brands and their customers and partners. According to a recent McKinsey study, it is now widely accepted that innovation isn’t optional, and that utilizing new software technologies is a prerequisite to success in virtually all industries.
The latest addition to the CA Security portfolio, Veracode SourceClear is a SaaS-based software composition analysis tool which relies on a unique vulnerability database that goes beyond the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) and vulnerable methods technology to increase the actionability of static composition analysis (SCA) results. Unique to CA, the combination of Veracode and Veracode SourceClear offerings enable organisations to use open source libraries to accelerate software development without adding unmanaged risk to support the DevSecOps movement.
Everybody wants to do DevOps right, and part of that equation is making sure applications and services remain secure even as development and integration transition to a continuous workflow model.
The United State's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) oversees the implementation of the president’s objectives in the areas of policy, budget, management and regulation. To that end, the recent government-wide cybersecurity risk assessment, carried out by the OMB, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), highlights several serious issues that continue to imperil federal cybersecurity and ultimately put the nation at risk.
TEISS caught up with Chris Wysopal, CTO at Veracode at RSA 2018 for his thoughts on elections, hacking and whether we should still trust the system…
What has been done since 2016 to secure our voting systems for the next major election? What needs to be done? What is our reality check when it comes to the risks global vulnerabilities pose? TEISS caught up with Chris Wysopal, CTO at Veracode at RSA 2018 for his thoughts on elections, hacking and whether we can still trust the system…
"One thing they seem to have kind of punted on is the whole legacy tech modernization issue," Veracode's Wysopal notes. "And to me that’s probably the biggest and most important issue. Agencies are using five different versions of Windows going back 10 years, running multiple versions of things like Java and Flash, and their email is a huge mess. You’re never going to be able to hire enough personnel to manage all that risk without simplifying and standardizing."
“These are tricky vulnerabilities that will require the Git hosting services to patch, but also individual developers who are using the tool,” said Tim Jarrett, senior director of security, Veracode.
In a recent Veracode study, 93 percent of respondents said they used external code components. More and more commercial and open source components are used in software development. If a vulnerability becomes known, but only about half of the developers update these code components, according to a Veracode study.
It was not the usual Congressional scene in room 2237 of the Rayburn House Office Building on Tuesday afternoon. More people in the audience than usual had hair dyed pink or green, and opted for T-shirts instead of button-down attire. And the name tags on the table in front of the room sported an unusual set of monikers: Kingpin, Mudge, Weld Pond, and Space Rogue. The occasion was a reunion of four members of the hacking collective L0pht Heavy Industries, organized by the Congressional Internet Caucus Academy and the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, almost 20 years after L0pht members warned of rampant insecurity online in the Senate’s first cybersecurity hearing.
Twenty years ago this week, a collective of young hackers came to Washington with a warning for Congress: Software and computer networks everywhere were woefully insecure. During that now-infamous hearing in May 1998, one told senators that “any of the seven individuals seated before you” could take down the Internet in just half an hour.
Chris “Weld Pond” Wysopal said the major shift is that ethical hackers once were viewed as a nuisance or worse, but are now embraced for bug bounty programs or take roles at companies. “In 10 years they went from ‘Please go away’ to ‘Thank you very much, here's some money,’” said Wysopal, now chief technology officer at cybersecurity company Veracode. Wysopal also said he remembers senators asking at that first hearing if a nation-state might ever employ a group of hackers like themselves. “It all seemed so theoretical,” he said. “We all know 20 years later this is happening constantly.”
Hackers from the Boston collective The L0pht testified on Capitol Hill 20 years ago this weekend, in what became a landmark moment for the legitimization of white hat hackers and an altogether surreal event in the annals of the U.S. Senate. Today, four of them return to discuss how things have changed. What they're saying: L0pht alumni Chris "Weld Pond" Wysopal and Cris "Space Rogue" Thomas emailed Codebook to explain what actually did change.
"As businesses continue on their digital transformation journey, their dependency on software increases, which in turn creates a greater surface for hackers to attack. Recent research has revealed that 77% of all software applications have at least one vulnerability when first scanned. The top cybersecurity concern for businesses will therefore be the risk posed by vulnerabilities in software, which cybercriminals will look to exploit in order to exfiltrate data, inject ransomware or mine cryptocurrency. To mitigate these attacks, organisations will need to ensure that their software is secure, and an effective way of doing this is to test for vulnerabilities in web and software applications early and often. In this way vulnerabilities can be discovered and fixed before they can be exploited by hackers." - Paul Farrington, director, EMEA Solutions Architects, Veracode.
Another widespread worm attack is "inevitable," but spreading a different more lucrative or destructive payload, experts say.
In honor of “blockchain week,” which is kicking off in New York City, I’ve been thinking about the security of smart contracts, self-executing computer programs designed to encode business relationships. A smart contract might codify, for example, an agreement like this: If Justify, a racehorse, wins the Kentucky Derby, pay $10 in Bitcoin to some lucky fellow’s digital wallet. The code eliminates the need for a bookie.
A year after the global WannaCry attacks, the EternalBlue exploit that was a key enabler for the malware is still a threat to many organisations, and many UK firms have not taken action, security researchers warn
Using these risky snippets of code has become standard for developers, but what do they actually think about them?
Cryptocurrency exchanges and apps aren’t just among the most valuable targets for hackers, they also remain among the most vulnerable. That’s the warning Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer at the security-tools firm Veracode, offered during a talk at the Collision conference here on May 1. It’s something that should be at the top of concerns for people looking to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, which are generated through increasingly complex mathematical “mining” and allow pseudonymous transactions online and across international borders — and have increased in value wildly, even after recent plunges.
An investigation carried out by Veracode, a leading company in the security market and acquired by CA Technologies, clarifies the differences between the security and hygiene of open source components. According to the survey, almost half of programmers (48%) do not update developed solutions that use open source or commercial components, even when the market discloses a new security vulnerability. This and other data highlight the lack of awareness of security organizations, placing them at risk.