The past week in security saw the HDCP master key get exposed, HP's deal to purchase ArcSight and revelations about the Stuxnet worm targeting industrial systems.
Intel has spent
the past several days
dealing with fallout from the discovery of a master
key for the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) protocol, ending a
busy week in IT security news.
The HDCP protocol was developed by Intel to protect digital video and audio
content as it is transmitted between devices and to verify the device receiving
the content is licensed to do so. On Sept. 14, a report surfaced that a master
key for HDCP had been revealed on the Internet. The master key can be used to
generate keys for devices.
The exposure of the master key means "HDCP encryption is no longer
effective because an eavesdropper who sees the initial handshake can use keygen
to determine the parties' private keys, thereby allowing the eavesdropper to
determine the encryption key that protects the communication," blogged Ed
Felten, director of the Center for Information Technology
In addition, "HDCP no longer guarantees that participating devices are
licensed, because a maker of unlicensed devices can use keygen to create
mathematically correct public/private key pairs," he added.
Intel said it is investigating the incident, and may sue anyone who tries to
use the master key.
Other security news from the week centered on Microsoft closing a security
hole associated with the notorious Stuxnet
worm targeting industrial systems
. In announcing the patch, Microsoft and
members of the security community revealed that Stuxnet had been seen
exploiting four Microsoft zero-day vulnerabilities-not just the one initially
tied to the malware.
Two of the four flaws remain unpatched and can be used to escalate
privileges on Windows machines. Microsoft said the company is working on
updates to address those issues. Due to its sophistication, some have
speculated that Stuxnet could be an example of state-sponsored malware.
The reputed maker of the "Here You Have" worm stepped
forward Sept. 12
, stating that the malware attack was political. Known as "Iraq
Resistance," the malware author tied the attack to the actions of Florida
pastor Terry Jones, who had planned to burn the Quran to mark the anniversary
of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The worm flooded e-mail in-boxes at
companies around the world when it hit Sept. 9, at one point accounting for a
high of 14.18 percent of the e-mail being sent globally, according to Cisco
On the vendor side of things, rumors about the fate of security information
and event management vendor ArcSight were finally put to rest Sept.
13 when Hewlett-Packard stepped up and offered $1.5 billion for the company
The deal, which has not yet closed, continues HP's buying spree, which
has also touched Fortify Software, 3PAR and Stratavia in recent weeks.
According to HP, ArcSight's technology will help it bring greater visibility
and context to IT events in the enterprise. In the days before the planned
acquisition was announced, news circulated that ArcSight was shopping itself
around to a number of vendors, including Oracle and EMC.
"The acquisition signals not only the largest ESIM
[enterprise security and information management] purchase in history but
also the potential of a new gold rush era in ESIM
and adjacent sector technology acquisitions," said Andrew Hay, an
analyst with The 451 Group.