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April 2005

On The Radar

A simple Web page defacement shows the value of a thorough incident response plan. Getting hacked is a visceral experience akin to taking a two-by-four to the head. At least, that's how I felt recently after learning via defacement mirror Zone-H that one of my Web pages had been tagged with digital graffiti. Sure enough, our investigation found that the defaced server was running an unpatched PHP bulletin board. The hacker used a PHP exploit to leave a short, tame note marking his territory. While this was a relatively minor incident, it underscored the importance of having a prepared, intelligent incident response plan. The adage is true: No one appreciates a policy until crunch time. The IR plan dictated our immediate response, investigation and restoration process. With three-ring binder in hand, we went to work. This was a fairly important server, so we had to secure and isolate it from the rest of the network. We put a rule on the perimeter firewall to drop all traffic between the server and the outside world, and then we ...

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Features in this issue

  • Warning Lights

    Evolving risk dashboards will tell how secure you are and when something's wrong.

  • Ready For Takeoff

    Cutting costs was the only way to keep United Airlines flying high. Rich Perez's answer was to rebuild the network.

  • Rights of Passage

    Our tests found that most endpoint security products will enforce policy and network access. Their differences are in the details.

  • Damage Control

    ChoicePoint's Rich Baich faced the perfect storm: a huge security breach, intense media attention and a shareholder revolt. What he needed was an incident response plan to get him out of the hot seat.

Columns in this issue