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Blog | INSIGHTS | September 1, 2016

Five Attributes of an Effective Corporate Red Team

After talking recently with colleagues at IOActive as well as some heads of industry-leading red teams, we wanted to share a list of attributes that we believe are key to any effective Red Team. [ NOTE: For debate about the relevant terminology, we suggest Daniel’s post titled The Difference Between Red, Blue, and Purple Teams. ] To be clear, we think there can be significant variance in how Red Teams are built and managed, and we believe there are likely multiple routes to success. But we believe there are a few key…

Daniel Miessler & Ryan O'Horo
Blog | RESEARCH | April 17, 2014

A Wake-up Call for SATCOM Security

During the last few months we have witnessed a series of events that will probably be seen as a tipping point in the public’s opinion about the importance of, and need for, security. The revelations of Edward Snowden have served to confirm some theories and shed light on surveillance technologies that were long restricted.   We live in a world where an ever-increasing stream of digital data is flowing between continents. It is clear that those who control communications traffic have an upper-hand.   Satellite Communications (SATCOM) plays a vital…

Ruben Santamarta
Blog | INSIGHTS | February 17, 2014


At IOActive Labs, I have the privilege of being part of a great team with some of the world’s best hackers. I also have access to really cool research on different technologies that uncovers security problems affecting widely used hardware and software. This gives me a solid understanding of the state of security for many different software and hardware devices, not just opinions based on theories and real life experience.   Currently, the term Internet-of-Things (IoT) is becoming a buzzword used in the media, announcements from hardware device manufacturers, etc….

Cesar Cerrudo
Blog | INSIGHTS | November 11, 2013

Practical and cheap cyberwar (cyber-warfare): Part I

Every day we hear about a new vulnerability or a new attack technique, but most of the time it’s difficult to imagine the real impact. The current emphasis on cyberwar (cyber-warfare if you prefer) leads to myths and nonsense being discussed. I wanted to show real life examples of large scale attacks with big impacts on critical infrastructure, people, companies, etc.   The idea of this post is to raise awareness. I want to show how vulnerable some industrial, oil, and gas installations currently are and how easy it is…

Cesar Cerrudo
Blog | INSIGHTS | October 17, 2013

Strike Two for the Emergency Alerting System and Vendor Openness

Back in July I posted a rant about my experiences reporting the DASDEC issues and the problems I had getting things fixed. Some months have passed and I thought it would be a good time to take a look at how the vulnerable systems have progressed since then. Well, back then my biggest complaint was the lack of forthrightness in Monroe Electronics’ public reporting of the issues; they were treated as a marketing problem rather than a security one. The end result (at the time) was that there were more…

Mike Davis
Blog | INSIGHTS | June 14, 2013

Red Team Testing: Debunking Myths and Setting Expectations

The term “cyber” seems to be overused in every corner of the information security industry. Now there is a new buzz phrase in computer security, “red team engagements.” Supposedly (to get “cyber” on you), you can have a red team test, and it will help move your organization in the correct “cyber direction.” But what is red team testing really? And what is it not? In this post I’ll try to make some sense of this potent term. The red team concept has been around for ages. It started as…

Ian Amit
Blog | INSIGHTS | April 2, 2013

Spotting Fake Chips in the Supply Chain

In the information security world we tend to focus upon vulnerabilities that affect the application and network architecture layers of the enterprise and, every so often, some notable physical devices. Through various interrogatory methods we can typically uncover any vulnerabilities that may be present and, through discussion with the affected business units, derive a relative statement of risk to the business as a whole.   An area of business rarely dissected from an information security perspective however is the supply chain. For manufacturing companies and industrial suppliers, nothing is more…

Christopher Tarnovsky
Blog | INSIGHTS | January 30, 2013

Energy Security 2013: Less Say, More Do

Due to recent attacks on many forms of energy management technology ranging from supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks and automation hardware devices to smart meters and grid network management systems, companies in the energy industry are increasing significantly the amount they spend on security. However, I believe these organizations are still spending money in the wrong areas of security.  Why? The illusion of security, driven by over-engineered and over-funded policy and control frameworks and the mindset that security must be regulated before making a start is preventing, not…

Trevor Niblock
Blog | INSIGHTS | October 30, 2012

3S Software’s CoDeSys: Insecure by Design

My last project before joining IOActive was “breaking” 3S Software’s CoDeSys PLC runtime for Digital Bond. Before the assignment, I had a fellow security nut give me some tips on this project to get me off the ground, but unfortunately this person cannot be named. You know who you are, so thank you, mystery person. The PLC runtime is pretty cool, from a hacker perspective. CoDeSys is an unusual ladder logic runtime for a number of reasons.   Different vendors have different strategies for executing ladder logic. Some run ladder logic…

Reid Wightman
Blog | INSIGHTS | October 24, 2012

The WECC / NERC Wash-up

Last week in San Diego, IOActive spoke at both the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) and NERC GridSec (GridSecCon) conferences. WECC is primarily an auditor audience and NERC-CIP is compliance-focused, while GridSecCon is the community and technical security authority for the electricity industry in the U.S. There was a great turnout for both conferences, with more than 200 attendees across three days per conference. IOActive security researcher Eireann Leverett presented “The Last Gasp of the Industrial Air-Gap…”at WECC and participated in a discussion panel on Industry Best Practice for Grid…

Trevor Niblock