Abney and Associates

PC Speak: An Abney and Associates Internet and Technology Research Lab

The upcoming cyber-security threat cycle
jamesassoc
The first PC viruses appeared more than 25 years ago. Little did we realize that this was just the beginning of what would become a series of threat waves.
For nearly 10 years viruses endured as the primary method of attack, but over time were largely matched by defenders’ talents to block and protect against them. Motivated by the notoriety and knowledge gained by discovering and publicizing a new vulnerability, attackers continued to innovate. What ensued were distinct threat cycles. From macro viruses to worms to spyware and rootkits, approximately every five years attackers would launch new types of threats and defenders would protect against them.
It’s no surprise that we can map these cycles to major technology shift
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http://abneyassociates.org/2013/04/23/the-upcoming-cyber-security-threat-cycle/

-|-|0\/\/ 70 |3 1337 (How to be leet)
jamesassoc
Learn how to write the 1337 language from posts by our team composed of self-proclaimed computer geeks who practically breathes virtual air 24/ […]

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http://abneyassociates.org/1337-5p34/0-70-3-1337-how-to-be-leet/

Origins
jamesassoc
Leet speak has its origins from the IRC chat culture and was believed to be born from the need of geeks and hackers to develop a way to avoid censorship and detection in their communications online. The language is characterized by intended grammatical errors, mix usage of numbers […]

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http://abneyassociates.org/1337-5p34/origins/
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1337 5p34|
jamesassoc
PC Speak: An Abney and Associates Internet and Technology Research Lab.
Abney and Associates and Technology Research Lab cracks leet speak. It was first used by hackers as a way to prevent their websites/newsgroups from being found by simple keyword searches.
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Understanding Bitcoin
jamesassoc
Bitcoin is a form of Internet money that is immensely trendy and greatly appreciated means of buying and selling on line. And this is a currency that barely anybody understands. Various companies exclusively accept Bitcoins. The truth because of the recent banking instability in Cyprus it became so enormous that the worth of “all outstanding Bitcoins” just hit $1 billion.
So what is this bitcoin? Bitcoin (sign: BTC) is a decentralized digital currency based on an open source, peer-to-peer internet protocol. It was introduced by a pseudonymous developer named Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin)
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http://abneyassociates.org/2013/04/09/understanding-bitcoin/

SSL
jamesassoc
Secure Sockets Layer, created by Netscape, is the predecessor of TLS that was discovered to contain security flaws, making it ineffective in terms of its cryptographic capacity.

SSL starts a session between the server and client by generating session keys to protect the integrity of data being exchanged.
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http://abneyassociates.org/protocols_/encryption/ssl/

Ransomware boosts credibility by reading victims’ browsers
jamesassoc
In order to make scams more believable, ransomware have started using the browsing histories from infected computers.

Abney and Associates IT research, ransomware is a specific type of malicious software that holds a computer and its contents virtually hostage. This malware acts as a means to perpetuate extortion. Attackers who use malware do so with the goal of forcing victims to pay money to regain access to their own files. After the money has been received, the attacker provides the victim with a code that can restore the system back to normal.

Viruses that can encrypt files and withhold them from their rightful owners have also been called cryptoviruses, cryptoworms and cryptotrojans. They have become increasingly popular. Ways that ransomware can infiltrate a computer system are similar to those of the average computer worm. Ransomware can enter through an infected email or network vulnerability. They can also make their way onto the computers of unsuspecting victims by way of search engine activities, infected web advertisements and automatic Internet downloads.

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http://abneyassociates.org/2013/04/04/ransomware-boosts-credibility-by-reading-victims-browsers/

ENCRYPTION
jamesassoc
Encryption–the process of encoding data so that it requires a special key to be read–can protect your data from prying eyes. Once the domain of spies, encryption is fast becoming an advisable precaution for businesses and homeusers: It’s your best tool for protecting your trade secrets and privacy.
Whether your encryption program is stand-alone or built into your e-mail app, the encryption process is the same […]
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http://abneyassociates.org/protocols_/encryption/

SMTP
jamesassoc
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is the web standard for email transmission using port 25 or 587 (MSA). It conducts secured connections via SSL (SMTPS).

This is a text-based protocol wherein a mail sender communicates with its receiver through giving its instructions over TCP connection. However, it only defines the message transfer and not its content (i.e. like the physical mail envelope and not the body of the letter).
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IMAP/POP3
jamesassoc
Internet Message Access Protocol is a message retrieval system common in most mail servers and email clients. It supports both offline and online operation modes and functions by transferring messages from a server to a client. IMAP does not automatically deletes messages from the server even after downloading them, unless manually done by the user.
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http://abneyassociates.org/protocols_/imappop3/

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