In October 2018, NIST, collaborating with public and private stakeholders, started drafting its privacy framework. The framework is intended to serve as a guide for chief information security officers (CISOs), chief privacy officers (CPOs) and other internal privacy stakeholders and is geared toward helping them improve their organizational privacy posture. Like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework introduced in 2014, organizations that choose to comply with the privacy framework can do so voluntarily.
It is expected that the framework will be presented in language that can be understood by both privacy and security professionals, as well as executives and other business stakeholders who may have no expertise in privacy, and that’s a very good thing. The roles of the CISO and CPO are evolving to have complementary concerns, which means they must work more closely together, especially when it comes to privacy and personal data protection. Technical professionals and legal professionals speak in very different language in their day-to-day lives, so when it comes to implementing an effective privacy program, everyone had better be speaking the same language to establish a common understanding of what needs to get done.
NIST has been working quickly. A request for information (RFI) to gather input and guide the development of the framework wrapped up in January, and the outline of the NIST Privacy Framework was drafted and shared in March.
This is a welcome move from NIST. I hope that information security and privacy officers embrace the framework. I also hope that the federal government issues strong privacy legislation, similar to the GDPR, that is congruent with the United State constitution. We, the people, need some relief form the wonton collection and leverage of personal information.
Members of 3ve (pronounced "eve") used their large reservoir of trusted IP addresses to conceal a fraud that otherwise would have been easy for advertisers to detect. The scheme employed a thousand servers hosted inside data centers to impersonate real human beings who purportedly "viewed" ads that were hosted on bogus pages run by the scammers themselves -- who then received a check from ad networks for these billions of fake ad impressions. Normally, a scam of this magnitude coming from such a small pool of server-hosted bots would have stuck out to defrauded advertisers. To camouflage the scam, 3ve operators funneled the servers' fraudulent page requests through millions of compromised IP addresses.
About one million of those IP addresses belonged to computers, primarily based in the US and the UK, that attackers had infected with botnet software strains known as Boaxxe and Kovter. But at the scale employed by 3ve, not even that number of IP addresses was enough. And that's where the BGP hijacking came in. The hijacking gave 3ve a nearly limitless supply of high-value IP addresses. Combined with the botnets, the ruse made it seem like millions of real people from some of the most affluent parts of the world were viewing the ads.
This is an interesting story of an ad fraud scheme that relied on hijacking the Border Gateway Protocol.
We must stop trying to fix the user to achieve security. We'll never get there, and research toward those goals just obscures the real problems. Usable security does not mean "getting people to do what we want." It means creating security that works, given (or despite) what people do. It means security solutions that deliver on users' security goals without -- as the 19th-century Dutch cryptographer Auguste Kerckhoffs aptly put it -- "stress of mind, or knowledge of a long series of rules."
Old (by Internet standards) but still relevant.