Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers across the U.S. spent the weekend snapping up deals on home electronics like smart TVs, game consoles and appliances. Total season-to date holiday spending, including Cyber Monday, is over the $100 billion threshold according to data from Adobe. 

Lots of factors drive consumer decisions to buy one product over another: price and features chief among them. But what about cyber security? Unlike, say, the automobile marketplace, concerns about safety and security are not top of mind when consumers step into a Best Buy or Wal Mart looking for a new flat screen TV. And ratings systems for cyber security, from organizations like UL and Consumer Reports, are in their infancy and not widely used.

Episode 170: Cyber Monday is for Hackers

found to have numerous, serious security flaws that could have left it open to remote access and data theft – all without need of a login or password. And TCL acknowledged to Security Ledger that access to on-board cameras and microphones is available to company support personnel, though only with the permission of the owner, according to a company statement.  

This isn’t a new occurrence. Consumer Reports warned in 2018 about vulnerabilities in smart TVs by Samsung, TCL and Roku that used Roku’s smart TV platform.

Expert: Patch Bluekeep Now or Face WannaCry Scenario

But concerns about the cyber security of smart home electronics go way beyond TVs. As our guest this week, Yossi Appleboum of the firm Sepio Systems tells us, software and hardware supply chains are rife with vulnerable – if not compromised components. And companies, like consumers, often have no idea whether a product they’ve deployed might be secretly spying on them, or channeling sensitive data to an unknown party or country. 

While many organizations think the notion of keyboards, monitors and other hardware “spying” on them as the stuff of “James Bond” movies, Appleboum says that the threat is real – and much more common that either companies or consumers are aware.

Podcast Episode 128: Do Security and Privacy have a Booth at CES?

Appleboum’s firm, Sepio Systems, provides visibility, policy enforcement and “rogue” device mitigation capabilities, to organizations concerned about the risks posed by hardware assets.

In this conversation, Yossi and talk about the supply chain security risk and how concerned consumers should be about the security of electronic devices being pushed on them this holiday season. 


As always,  you can check our full conversation in our latest Security Ledger podcast at Blubrry. You can also listen to it on iTunes and check us out on SoundCloudStitcherRadio Public and more. Also: if you enjoy this podcast, consider signing up to receive it in your email. Just point your web browser to securityledger.com/subscribe to get notified whenever a new podcast is posted. 

Today marks two weeks since Election Day 2020 in the U.S., when tens of millions went to the polls on top of the tens of millions who had voted early or by mail in the weeks leading up to November 3.

The whole affair was expected to be a hot mess of suffrage, what with a closely divided public and access to the world’s most powerful office hung on the outcome of voting in a few, key districts sprinkled across a handful of states. Election attacks seemed a foregone conclusion.

Election Attack, Anyone?

Memories of the 2016 Presidential contest are still fresh in the minds of U.S. voters. During that contest, stealthy disinformation operations linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency are believed to have swayed the vote in a few, key states, helping to hand the election to GOP upstart Donald Trump by a few thousands of votes spread across four states.

Listen: Russian Hacking and the Future of Cyber Conflict

Adam Meyers CrowdStrike
Adam Meyers is the Vice President of Threat intelligence at the firm Crowdstrike.

In 2020, with social media networks like Facebook more powerful than ever and the geopolitical fortunes of global powers like China and Russia hanging in the balance, it was a foregone conclusion that this year’s U.S. election would see one or more cyber incidents grab headlines and – just maybe- play a part in the final outcome.  

But two weeks and more than 140 million votes later, wild conspiracy theories about vote tampering are rampant in right wing media. But predictions of cyber attacks on the U.S. presidential election have fallen flat.

From Russia with…Indifference?

So what happened? Did Russia, China and Iran decide to sit this one our, or were planned attacks stopped in their tracks? And what about the expected plague of ransomware? Did budget and talent constrained local governments manage to do just enough right to keep cyber criminals and nation state actors at bay? 

Allan Liska is a Threat Intelligence Analyst at the firm Recorded Future,

To find out we invited two experts who have been following election security closely into the Security Ledger studios to talk.

Allan Liska is a Threat Intelligence Analyst at the firm Recorded Future, which has been monitoring the cyber underground for threats to elections systems.

Joining Allan is a frequent Security Ledger podcast guest: Adam Meyers the Senior Vice President of Threat Intelligence at the firm Crowdstrike back into the studio as well. Crowdstrike investigated the 2016 attack on the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and closely monitors a wide range of cyber criminal and nation state groups that have been linked to attacks on campaigns and elections infrastructure. 

To start out I asked both guests – given the anticipation of hacks targeting the US election – what happened – or didn’t happen – in 2020. 


As always,  you can check our full conversation in our latest Security Ledger podcast at Blubrry. You can also listen to it on iTunes and check us out on SoundCloudStitcherRadio Public and more. Also: if you enjoy this podcast, consider signing up to receive it in your email. Just point your web browser to securityledger.com/subscribe to get notified whenever a new podcast is posted. 

Massachusetts lit the match that started the American Revolution at the battles of Lexington and Concord back in 1775: an eruption of violence in response to the policies of a repressive and distant monarch.

On Tuesday, the Bay State sent another loud shot across the bow of yet another aloof power broker: the automotive industry. Voters in the state approved Question 1, a ballot measure that expands Massachusetts’ automotive right to repair law, giving vehicle owners access to wireless repair and maintenance data transmitted via telematics systems on modern, connected vehicles.

Report: Hacking Risk for Connected Vehicles Shows Significant Decline

Assaf Harel is the Chief Scientist at Karamba Security.

The question, which passed with more than 70% of the vote, was vigorously opposed by automotive manufacturers and dealerships as well as other technology industry interests, which spent tens of millions of dollars trying to defeat the measure, in part by warning about the cyber security and privacy risks of sharing wireless data.

Voters didn’t buy that argument. But the commercials and industry scare tactics do raise important questions about the security risks of connected vehicles and whether modern cars with their always-on Internet connections are susceptible to being hacked.

Episode 186: Certifying Your Smart Home Security with GE Appliances and UL

To dig deep into that question, I invited Assaf Harel of the firm Karamba Security into the Security Ledger studio to talk. Assaf is the Chief Scientist and co-founder at Karamba Security, which provides security solutions for automotive and IoT controllers.

In this conversation, Assaf and I talk about the state of vehicle cyber security: what the biggest cyber risks are to connected cars. We also go deep on the right to repair -and how industries like automobiles can balance consumer rights with security and privacy concerns.

The 2020 election in the U.S. is less than a week away and warnings about cyber threats to the vote are coming out with about the regularity as polls of the presidential contest between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. 

Public Sector Mega-Vendor Tyler Technologies Says It Was Hacked

On October 9, for example, the FBI and DHS warned that so called “Advanced Threat” actors were chaining together multiple vulnerabilities in an attempt to compromise federal, state and local government networks and elections organizations.

Rob Bathurst is the Chief Technology Officer at Digitalware.

Also this month, an outbreak of the Dopplepaymer ransomware affected elections infrastructure in Hall County, Georgia, disabling a database used to verify voter signatures in the authentication of absentee ballots. 

Which leads us to ask: despite years of warnings, are state and local governments ready for what Russia, Iran or any number of ransomware gangs have in store for them? 

To help answer that question, we invited Rob Bathurst into the studio. Rob is the Chief Technology Officer at Digitalware, a Denver area company that specializes in risk analysis  and risk management with Federal, state and local government and F500 companies. 

Episode 96: State Elections Officials on Front Line against Russian Hackers

In this conversation, Rob and I talk about what the biggest cyber risks are to state and local governments and how worried we should be about warnings about cyber threats to elections systems are. 

Vulnerabilities are just a reality in government networks, Rob says. The key is to avoid being surprised by attacks and also to ensure that you can keep voting systems and other critical systems available even if they are the target of an attack. 

Episode 175: Campaign Security lags. Also: securing Digital Identities in the age of the DeepFake

In this conversation, Rob  and I talk about the bigger picture of cyber risk for federal state and local governments. We also talk about incidents like the recent hack of government ERP provider Tyler Technologies. 

Rob Bathurst is the Chief Technology Officer at the firm Digitalware. he was here talking to us about cyber risks in local governments and the risk to elections systems. 

Data Center and Code

This podcast is the latest in a series of interviews we’re doing on “left-shifted security” that explores how information security is transforming to embrace agile development methodologies and DEVOPS. If you like this, check out some of the other podcasts in this series!


Information security is “shifting left”: moving closer to the development process and becoming part and parcel of agile “DEVOPS” organizations. But while building security into development may be a familiar idea, what does it mean to build compliance into development? 

Galen Emery is the Lead Compliance & Security Architect at Chef Software. 

To find out, we invited Galen Emery the Lead Compliance & Security Architect at Chef Software, in to the Security Ledger studios to talk about the job of blending both security and compliance into agile development processes. We also talk about Chef’s increasing investments in security testing and compliance and how the “shift left” is impacting other security investments including access control, auditing and more. 

Spotlight Podcast: RSA CTO Zulfikar Ramzan on confronting Digital Transformation’s Dark Side

To start out, I asked Galen to tell us a bit about Chef and how the company’s technology has evolved from configuration management to security testing and compliance as well as areas like endpoint protection. 


As always,  you can check our full conversation in our latest Security Ledger podcast at Blubrry. You can also listen to it on iTunes and check us out on SoundCloudStitcherRadio Public and more. Also: if you enjoy this podcast, consider signing up to receive it in your email. Just point your web browser to securityledger.com/subscribe to get notified whenever a new podcast is posted. 

Binary Check Ad Blocker Security News

In this episode of the podcast (#190), sponsored by LastPass, Larry Cashdollar of Akamai joins us to talk about how finding his first CVE vulnerability, more than 20 years ago, nearly got him fired. Also: Katie Petrillo of LastPass joins us to talk about how some of the security adjustments we’ve made for COVID might not go away any time soon.


When the so-called Zerologon vulnerability in Microsoft Netlogon surfaced in late September word went out far and wide to patch the 10 out of 10 critical software hole. That job was made considerably easier by a number: 2020-1472, the unique Id assigned to the hole under the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures – or CVE- system. 

Larry Cashdollar is a Senior Security Response Engineer at Akamai

Created by MITRE more than 20 years ago, CVE acts as a kind of registry for software holes, providing a unique identifier, a criticality rating as well as other critical information about all manner of software vulnerabilities. Today, it is a pillar of the information security world. But it wasn’t always that way.

20 Years and 300 CVEs Later…

With another Cybersecurity Awareness month upon us, we decided to roll back the clock and talk about what life was like before the creation of the CVE system. To guide us, we reached out to Larry Cashdollar, a Senior Security Response Engineer at Akamai into the studio to talk. Larry is a veteran bug hunter with more than 300 CVEs to his name. In celebration of cybersecurity awareness month, Larry talked to me about the first CVE he received way back in 1998 for a hole in a Silicon Graphics Onyx/2 – and how discovering it almost got him fired. He also talks about what life was like before the creation of the CVE system and some of the adventures he’s had on the road to recording some of the 300 CVEs. 

10 Ways to make Your Remote Work Easy and Secure

The New New Normal

Six months into a pandemic that most of us thought might last six weeks, its time to stop asking when things will return to normal and time to start asking what the new normal will look like when the COVID virus is finally beaten. 

The Essential Role of IAM in Remote Work

LogMeIn, which makes remote access and security tools for remote workers. But is the shift to remote work temporary or permanent? What aspects of our Pandemic normal are likely to survive the eventual retreat of the COVID 19 virus? 

In our second segment, we sat down with Katie Petrillo of LastPass and LogMeIn to answer some of those questions and talk about how the shift to remote work is also changing the security- and privacy equation for companies.


(*) Disclosure: This podcast was sponsored by LastPass, a LogMeIn brand. For more information on how Security Ledger works with its sponsors and sponsored content on Security Ledger, check out our About Security Ledger page on sponsorships and sponsor relations.

As always,  you can check our full conversation in our latest Security Ledger podcast at Blubrry. You can also listen to it on iTunes and check us out on SoundCloudStitcherRadio Public and more. Also: if you enjoy this podcast, consider signing up to receive it in your email. Just point your web browser to securityledger.com/subscribe to get notified whenever a new podcast is posted. 

Binary Check Ad Blocker Security News

The pandemic isn’t the only thing shaking up development organizations. Application security is a top concern and security work is “shifting left” and becoming more intertwined with development. In this podcast, Security Ledger Editor in Chief Paul Roberts talks about it with Jonathan Hunt, Vice President of Security at the firm GitLab.


Even before the COVID pandemic set upon us, the information security industry was being transformed. Security was long a matter of hardening organizations to threats and attacks. The goal was “layered defenses” starting with firewalls and gateway security servers and access control lists to provide hardened network perimeter and intrusion detection and endpoint protection software to protect IT assets within the perimeter. 

Spotlight: Synopsys on democratizing Secure Software Development

Security Shifting Left

Jonathan Hunt is the Vice President of Security at GitLab

These days, however,  security is “shifting left” – becoming part and parcel of the development process. “DEVSECOPS”  marries security processes like code analysis and vulnerability scanning to agile application development in a way that results in more secure products. 

That shift is giving rise to a whole new type of security firm, including the likes of GitLab, a web-based DevOps lifecycle tool and Git-repository manager that is steadily building its roster of security capabilities. What does it mean to be a security provider in the age of DEVSECOPS and left-shifted security?

Application Development and COVID

To answer these questions, we invited Jonathan Hunt, the Vice President of Security at GitLab into the Security Ledger studio to talk about it. In this conversation, Jonathan and I talk about what it means to shift security left and marry security processes like vulnerability scanning and fuzzing with development in a seamless way. 

Spotlight Podcast: Intel’s Matt Areno – Supply Chain is the New Security Battlefield

We also discuss how the COVID pandemic has shaken up development organizations – including GitLab itself – and how the changes wrought by COVID may remain long after the virus itself has been beaten back. 


As always,  you can check our full conversation in our latest Security Ledger podcast at Blubrry. You can also listen to it on iTunes and check us out on SoundCloudStitcherRadio Public and more. Also: if you enjoy this podcast, consider signing up to receive it in your email. Just point your web browser to securityledger.com/subscribe to get notified whenever a new podcast is posted. 

Keyboard to the internet

In this Spotlight Podcast, sponsored by The Trusted Computing Group, we speak with Matthew Areno, a Principal Engineer in the Intel Product Assurance and Security (IPAS) group about the fast-changing landscape of cyber threats including attacks on hardware and software supply chains.


It’s funny that one of the most controversial stories about supply chain security, Bloomberg Businessweek’s scoop on “spy chips” on motherboards by the firm Super Micro that infiltrated “more than 30 companies” is remembered less for what it said than the staunch denials it provoked.

Matthew Areno is a Principal Engineer in the Intel Product Assurance and Security (IPAS) group at Intel.

Whether or not that story was accurate, however, security experts have long agreed that the threat it describes is real – and growing. The deep reliance of the high tech industry on software and hardware supply chains that originate in nations like China has created the conditions for compromised technology to infiltrate U.S. homes, businesses and governments at all level.

Unfortunately, the information security industry has been slow to respond. Companies spend billions of dollars on information security tools and technology every year. But much of that spending is for fighting “the last war:” viruses, spam, application- and denial of service attacks and so on.

Cyber: Fighting the Last War

Our guest this week is here to tell you that those aren’t even close to being the only kinds of threats organizations need to worry about. Matthew Areno spent years conducting both offensive and defensive research at some of the most sophisticated and targeted firms in the world: Sandia National Labs in New Mexico and defense contractor Raytheon among them.

Episode 161: 3 Years after Mirai, IoT DDoS Problem may get Worse

Areno, who now works at Intel, where he is a Principal Engineer in the Intel Product Assurance and Security (IPAS) group, says his work at companies that were in the crosshairs of nation-state actors opened his eyes to “what was possible” in cyber offense. It also taught him how organizations – even sophisticated ones – often fail to discern the full spectrum of possible attacks on their security, with dire consequences. 

A Range of Supply Chain Threats

Supply chain attacks could run the gamut from degrading the performance of a sensor to exfiltrating sensitive data to denial of service attacks. “And these attacks can happen at any point in the lifecycle of these products,” Areno told me. That includes attacks on the design network that manufacturers use, attacks on shared or open source software components and – as with SuperMicro- the introduction of malicious components during manufacturing, which is an issue that Areno said is still probably more hype than reality – even if component piracy and counterfeiting is not.

“When we’re sendings our designs over the seas, how much confidence and how much trust do we have that what we sent to them is what we got back,” Areno wonders.

Spotlight Podcast: Two Decades On, Trusted Computing Group tackles IoT Insecurity

In this podcast, Matt and I talk about where the new front lines in cyber security fall and how companies need to re-think their approach to security in order to address the changing threat.

We also talk about Matt’s work with the Trusted Computing Group where he helps develop technologies that make it easier to protect against threats like attacks on device firmware and hardware supply chains by building a hardware based root of trust that can be a foundation for the security of entire products and product ecosystems. 


(*) Disclosure: This podcast and blog post were sponsored by Trusted Computing Group. For more information on how Security Ledger works with its sponsors and sponsored content on Security Ledger, check out our About Security Ledger page on sponsorships and sponsor relations. 

As always,  you can check our full conversation in our latest Security Ledger podcast at Blubrry. You can also listen to it on iTunes and check us out on SoundCloudStitcherRadio Public and more. Also: if you enjoy this podcast, consider signing up to receive it in your email. Just point your web browser to securityledger.com/subscribe to get notified whenever a new podcast is posted. 

Binary Check Ad Blocker Security News

Thirty eight years after it was founded, RSA Security is embarking on what may be its most challenging journey yet: cybersecurity startup. In this Spotlight Podcast, sponsored by RSA, we’re joined by Chief Digital Officer Dr. Zulfikar Ramzan about the company’s path forward as an independent company.


The company which was acquired by storage giant EMC back in 2006 and then became a part of Dell when that company acquired EMC in 2015 re-emerges as an independent company this week, more than six months after it was acquired by a group of investors led by Symphony Technology Group. 

Zulfikar Ramzan RSA
Zulfikar Ramzan is the Chief Technology Officer at RSA.

What does independence looks like? What will RSA do with its newfound freedoms? And how does the challenging business environment created the ongoing COVID pandemic figure into the company’s plans? 

To find out, we invited Dr. Zulfikar Ramzan, RSA’s CTO into the Security Ledger studio. In this conversation, Zulli talks about how RSA’s path forward is informed by the company’s pioneering past, starting all the way in 1977,  when three MIT researchers Ron Rivest Adi Shamir and Len Adleman published research on a novel public key cryptosystem that took their name. 

Three Decades On: RSA Labs Sets Course for Future

The Past Informing the Future

As Ramzan sees it: the daring and persistence of the founders – whose work helped create the modern Internet, but who initially had to contend with the limitations of contemporary hardware and software, not to mention Cold War era restrictions on the sale of cryptography technology outside the US. That perseverance will serve as an inspiration to RSA as it looks to re-establish its leadership in vastly altered technology and security landscape.

Spotlight Podcast: Managing the Digital Risk in your Digital Transformation

To start off I asked Zulli to talk about RSA’s earliest days and what messages he and other company executives take from the company’s origins almost 4 decades ago.


(*) Disclosure: This podcast and blog post were sponsored by RSA Security for more information on how Security Ledger works with its sponsors and sponsored content on Security Ledger, check out our About Security Ledger page on sponsorships and sponsor relations.

As always,  you can check our full conversation in our latest Security Ledger podcast at Blubrry. You can also listen to it on iTunes and check us out on SoundCloudStitcherRadio Public and more. Also: if you enjoy this podcast, consider signing up to receive it in your email. Just point your web browser to securityledger.com/subscribe to get notified whenever a new podcast is posted. 

Binary Check Ad Blocker Security News

In this Spotlight Podcast, sponsored by RSA, we take on the question of securing the 2020 Presidential election. Given the magnitude of the problem, could taking a more risk-based approach to security pay off? We’re joined by two information security professionals: Rob Carey is the Vice President and General Manager of Global Public Sector Solutions at RSA. Also joining us: Sam Curry, the CSO of Cybereason.


With just over two months until the 2020 presidential election in the United States, campaigns are entering the final stretch as states and local governments prepare for the novel challenge of holding a national election amidst a global pandemic. 

As Election Threats Mount, Voting Machine Hacks are a Distraction

Lurking in the background: the specter of interference and manipulation of the election by targeted, disinformation campaigns like those Russia used during the 2016 campaign – or by outright attacks on election infrastructure. A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee warns that the Russian government is preparing to try to influence the 2020 vote, as well.

A Risk Eye on the Election Guy

Securing an election that takes place over weeks or even months across tens of thousands cities and towns – each using a different mix of technology and process – may be an impossible task. But that’s not necessarily what’s called for either.

Robert Carey RSA Security
Robert J. Carey is the  Vice President and GM of Global Public Sector Solutions at RSA.

Like large organizations who must contend with a myriad of threats, security experts say that elections officials would do well to adopt a risk-based approach to election security: focusing staff and resources in the communities and on the systems that are most critical to the outcome of the election. 

What does such an approach look like? To find out, we invited two, seasoned security professionals with deep experience in cyber threats targeting the public sector. 

Robert J. Carey is the  Vice President and GM of Global Public Sector Solutions at RSA.

Feds, Facebook Join Forces to Prevent Mid-Term Election Fraud

Rob retired from the Department of Defense in 2014 after over 31 years of distinguished public service after serving a 3½ years as DoD Principal Deputy Chief Information Officer.

Sam Curry, CISO Cybereason
Sam Curry is the CISO at Cybereason

Also with us is this week is Sam Curry, Chief Security Officer of the firm Cybereason. Sam has a long career in information security including work as CTO and CISO for Arbor Networks (NetScout)  CSO and SVP R&D at Microstrategy in addition to senior security roles at McAfee and CA. He spent seven years at RSA variously as CSO, CTO and SVP of Product and as Head of RSA Labs. 

Voting Machine Maker Defends Refusal of White-Hat Hacker Testing at DEF-CON

To start off our conversation: with a November election staring us in the face,  I asked Rob and Sam what they imagined the next few weeks would bring us in terms of election security. 

Like Last Time – But Worse

Both Rob and Sam said that the window has closed for major new voting security initiatives ahead of the 2020 vote. “This election…we’re rounding third base. Whatever we’ve done, we have to put the final touches on,” said Carey.

Like any other security program, election security needs baselines, said Curry. Elections officials need to “game out” various threat, hacking scenarios and contingencies. Election officials need to figure out how they would respond and how communications with the public will be handled in the event of a disruption, Curry said.

“The result we need is an election with integrity and the notion that the people have been heard. So let’s make that happen,” Curry said.

Spotlight Podcast: As Attacks Mount, ERP Security Still Lags

Carey said that – despite concerns – little progress had been made on election security. “The elections process has not really moved forward much. We had hanging chads and then we went to digital voting and then cyber came out and now we’re back to paper,” he said.

Going forward into the future, both agree that there is ample room for improvement in election security – whether that is through digital voting or more secure processes and technologies for in person voting. Carey said that the government does a good job securing classified networks and a similar level of seriousness needs to be brought to securing voting sessions.

“Is there something that enables a secure digital vote?” Carey said. “I’m pretty sure our classified networks are tight. I know we’re not in that space here, but I know we need that kind of confidence in that result to make this evidence of democracy stick,” he said.  


(*) Disclosure: This podcast and blog post were sponsored by RSA Security for more information on how Security Ledger works with its sponsors and sponsored content on Security Ledger, check out our About Security Ledger page on sponsorships and sponsor relations.

As always,  you can check our full conversation in our latest Security Ledger podcast at Blubrry. You can also listen to it on iTunes and check us out on SoundCloudStitcherRadio Public and more. Also: if you enjoy this podcast, consider signing up to receive it in your email. Just point your web browser to securityledger.com/subscribe to get notified whenever a new podcast is posted.