Challenging Security Limitations: White vs. Black Box Testing & Real Risk

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I awoke in the middle of the night. It was the witching hour, 3am! Rapidly behind my lowered eyelids pie-graphs and charts explaining esoteric security concepts flashed in sequence, but I was too groggy to retain everything I learned. Why I am chosen for this sort of lucidity, I will never understand. This article is an attempt to best re-create the deeper concepts I received in that vision, but a week has elapsed since that night and therefore I have mostly forgotten everything. I’ll just have to wing it.

White Box Vs. Black Box

The article I have linked above describes the difference between the security, and/or software testing procedure in which internal elements are either known or unknown by the testers. The benefits of knowing the internal workings in a test allow for a more thorough and rigorous approach to each and every individual node or aspect of the subject, whereas a Redteam performing an unknown or Black Box test may not strike upon every single nuance built into the system, but may however come up with something heretofore unknown. The Black Box test is conducted exclusively by third-party security or testing professionals, which is requisite due to their specific insights into security penetration and access. For these reasons, it is considered a “low-level” test which is also known as an integration or unit test. It is conducted, in other words, from the outside working inward.

White Box tests are conducted usually by software developers or some part of the internal staff working on the project or overview. White Box tests are considered high-level tests also called system or acceptance testing. These tests are intended to fully air-tight the system after the beta-testing bugs have been detected and eliminated. The benefits of thorough White Box testing are thoroughness, insofar as the team knows the way the program or plan “should” work and can therefore test against this ideal. An internal team conducting this type of test knows the code (or building scheme; what have you), and therefore possesses an eagle-eye’s view of the entirety of the subject’s workings.

So Which Is Better For Your Company?

Before I answer this question for you, ask yourself:

  1. Do I have an internal team already providing White Box testing?
  2. Are they specifically hired for testing, or did we just divert Sheila and Burt from engineering over there to do another bug-sweep? (Remember what happened in the 1986 film Aliens.)
  3. If you have a specific internal team for testing, are they getting on well with engineering? Do they have a working rapport and are able to comprehend each other effectively leading up to the testing phase?
  4. Did you seek professional consulting from a specialized security Redteam?
  5. If you did not answer YES’ to each of the above questions, you and your company are not necessarily ready for what I am about to reveal to you in the next section.

Attrition Theory

I am not a mathematician however I think you can get behind me on this.

x/a – y/b = (+, – = successful, unsuccessful)

Attrition Theory basically asserts that given company with resources (personnel, training level, security architecture, security equipment, surveillance, etc.) when attacked by competitor (or OpFor) with resources y, a simple subtraction is necessary to determine who is successful in the attack. If the OpFor is willing to invest enough time and resources into their raid on company a, their success will be indicated by the result being a negative number, having taken the amount of invested resources from company into the red.

Is your company ready for your competitor or OpFor to outbid you on your willingness to invest in preventative security measures? Following a breach, it may be too late to save face so insurance, or the ability to clean up after the fact, is just not going to be enough.

Now to answer the question I asked before: Which sort of test is better?

Chew On This

So your internal team designated another internal team to do the testing. Ok. So the engineers got with the testers and did a Power Point powwow. Sure. So then after that you decided you still thought it would be wise to get an outside team to consult. Good. They do their scans and don’t really provide any insight beyond the scope of the White Box team, but good on you for checking. So you’re awesome, right? Invulnerable!

BRIQ | HAUS LTD. SECURITY & INTELLIGENCE has the guts to ask you these hard questions:

  1. How secure is your facility/program in case of a fire drill? Do you have protocols in place to handle securing end-user’s data BEFORE they flee the scene?
  2. What about in case of a REAL FIRE. And are you willing to test this in a non-drill scenario to absolutely ensure your security protocols work?
  3. Is your staff alerted to the higher danger of active shooters, like the scenario recently at YouTube? If so, do you again have a plan in place to protect end-user data from a potential shooter or *gasp* terrorist attack?
  4. What about acts of God like locusts, plague, or you know, floods? Are you guys going to not only get out of the building safe, but will you be able to stop Boris & Natasha from killing Moose’n’Squirrel during the disaster? For the OpFor, luck is when preparedness meets opportunity.
  5. If you didn’t answer ‘YES’ to each of the above questions, you need to contact us at BRIQ | HAUS LTD. SECURITY & INTELLIGENCE and immediately schedule consultation. Our information technology and intelligence community professionals know things that can protect your bottom line, so you can stop worrying about all the hard realisms I just threw at you.

My name is Robert Brooks Authement, owner and operator of Briq Haus Ltd. I think like the bad guys so you and your team don’t have to. If you think these insights can be of assistance to you and your company, please consider me and my team at your service.

kinopoisk.ru

 

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Sandbox To Fieldcraft: Ditching The Simulation

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Playing In The Sandbox Is For Kids

[excerpt definition from Wikipedia]

In computer security, a sandbox is a security mechanism for separating running programs, usually in an effort to mitigate system failures or software vulnerabilities from spreading. It is often used to execute untested or untrusted programs or code, possibly from unverified or untrusted third parties, suppliers, users or websites, without risking harm to the host machine or operating system.[1] A sandbox typically provides a tightly controlled set of resources for guest programs to run in, such as scratch space on disk and memory. Network access, the ability to inspect the host system or read from input devices are usually disallowed or heavily restricted.

In the sense of providing a highly controlled environment, sandboxes may be seen as a specific example of virtualization. Sandboxing is frequently used to test unverified programs that may contain a virus or other malicious code, without allowing the software to harm the host device.[2]

All hackery aside, let’s take a step back and look at this in legitimate focus. The sandbox is a place designated for childplay. There is a spot on the playground, usually where the swings and other hardware are located where a pit is dug out and filled with sand on which the children play. The sand not only provides a medium with which the children can build the castles they envision, but a soft ground from which the blunt trauma of falling from a height may affect. I know this, because as a youngster I was a daredevil and jumping from a swing set led to a slight fracture of my radius. Thankfully, for the sand, I did not have to experience any worse of a consequence from my intrepid and frankly stupid maneuvers.

The same children playing in the sandbox are the ones whom grow up to perchance die on the beaches of theatre. I agree that this is an extremely stark comparison, with some grim consequencese for casual ignorance. Perhaps, conceptually, the idea of swords to ploughshares may be a goal to keep in mind, however the fallacy of importing only butter and no steel may spell the doom of an enterprise, or generation. There is not better time to take the kids out of the sandbox and drop them onto the beaches of conflict than right now. That’s because learning in a simulated environment is akin to handicapping the process by which we operate during mission critical scenarios.

Translated For Security Measures

Briq Haus Ltd. Security & Intelligence operatives are fully versed and trained in both aspects of security operations; sandbox and fieldcraft. While the benefit of practice in a secluded environment separate from the harsh realities of consequence and effect may be evident in reports and documents, it is a rare thing that during real-time security exercises and operations that enough streaming data is retained for the intention of creating some slide-show or powerpoint presentation. In the real world, there are ongoing causal relationships between the interplay of hostile foreign intelligences and mission-specific imperatives. The continuing dynamic and morphic environment of the field require out-of-the-box thinking, not delusional but rather unconventional.

Between the combined expertise of our information technology and intelligence community professionals, Briq Haus Ltd. not only boasts the boardroom banter to deliver effective presentation and slideshows as per sandbox experimentation dictates, but we have tried-and-true tested in the trenches fieldcraft experience in being exposed to the evolving risk dynamic and threat platform wielded by hostile foreign intelligences co-operating within the framework of real-world, non-simulated ongoing security operations. Being increasingly tested above and beyond the imagined or preset boundaries of a security experiment within a sandbox environment forces the experts on my team to constantly and consistently demonstrate proof-of-work mastery of security implementation and product deployment in the professional corporate theatre. We are not corporate goons, nor are we classroom geeks, we are ex-military and intelligence professionals with backgrounds ranging from digital to physical warfare, and with experience in advanced security environments actualizing each domain of the security spectrum; physical, logistical, analytical, and digital.

Professional Security Assurance

By consigning your security requirements to the oversight and analysis of the Briq Haus Ltd. team, you are ensuring that the utmost precision and dedication is applied to discovering, identifying, and patching any and all vulnerabilities in your business or other operation. The Briq Haus Ltd. “Perfect Security Suite” is your one step solution to have all your concerns handled and put to ease by our experts in these and all related regards. We are not discouraged or daunted by any of the present dangers lurking among the faceless corporate mass. We know that any single entity may wear the mask of friend, and turn out to be a formidable adversary or inside threat.

Briq Haus Ltd. Security & Intelligence is not limited by our challenges; but rather, we challenge all limits. Contract with us today, and rest at ease that your security concerns are in the hands of serious and capable operators. Thank you for considering us.