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Further Examination into External Attack Surface

Reducing Attack Surface Decreases Security Risk In my previous write-up I explained why tracking digital assets is important, and listed some methods to get started with it. I trust that once you read it, you immediately set off to gather a list of your IP and domain assets. Since then, Tuomas Haarala has further elaborated on discovery methods from a systems administrator perspective in a write-up of his own. Armed with these tools, we can now venture further into the realm of attack surface reduction. This write-up will concentrate on the process of moving from cataloguing assets to having an idea on the attack surface involved. As laid out in my previous post, the steps in this process are: Research the attack surface, i.e. open services, related to these assets. Determine whether there is something that needs fixing within these services. This write-up will focus on the first step, and the second will be covered in a follow-up.

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Management Interfaces - Attack Surface Hidden in Plain Sight

A management interface, who is it for? Modern web-based management interfaces help with the economy of scale. If you are a software vendor making a solution, supporting it is easier with clearly defined UI options rather than debugging obscure configuration file parameters. If you are an end-user, a management interface is there to make life easier for you as well. Having a management interface helps you: deploy the solution make complex changes to it generate management level reporting for the key KPI. These features often become tender items and a vendor will find itself in a position where developing a management interface web UI is a must have instead of a nice to have. Too often features are implemented in software through a tick box comparison, since the rationale is that we must have them since our competitor has them. It doesn’t really matter, whether the features actually serve the customer and their business function or not.

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A Discrete Affair

How much do you need to know about a person to fall in love with them? Do you need to see their face or touch their body to form a strong emotional bond? Or can you fall in love with someone over the telephone? A new reality show called “Love Is Blind” explores this question, having contestants exclusively talk to each other through an opaque wall and then decide whether to get married or not. Real emotions are at play as contestants fall in love with disembodied voices upon which they project all the qualities they cannot observe. Sometimes disappointments follow, such as when deep conversations are replaced with a mundane reality. The recently released Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler explores similar themes. It details the exploits of Simon Leviev, a man of unexceptional looks, flashy clothes, and an expensive taste that left his victims with a broken heart and neck-deep in debt.

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