Free Advice for the DHS

2012-01-17 10:46:51 by chort

You may be aware that the DHS are now sending (opt-in) "Daily Cyber Reports" to IT and security practitioners. The stated purpose of the reports is "to facilitate a greater understanding of the nature and scope of threats to the homeland." I wonder if they're aware of the threat they're creating by teaching people to open PDF documents from unauthenticated email? Well they have no excuse now, because I told them. Here's a copy of the email I sent them on the topic.

1.) Create a DKIM record for and use it to sign the headers of the email, so recipients can verify it was really sent by, rather than a phishing site.

2.) Publish a public key for OSINTBranchMailbox [at] on a website that has a DNSSEC-signed record.

3.) Use the private key (GPG or S/MIME) to sign messages sent from OSINTBranchMailbox [at]

4.) DO NOT INCLUDE ATTACHMENTS, unless they are plain text. Training users to open Adobe and Microsoft documents is the worst thing you can do, when most compromises are initiated with poisoned Adobe or Microsoft documents.

5.) Host the Cyber Report on a website that has a DNSSEC-signed DNS record and an SSL certificate that matches the hostname of the website and chains up to a trusted root.

If you're going to advise organizations on security, you should secure your infrastructure and comms too. Lead through action.

PS you haven't configured your authoritative DNS server properly. The template default value for email address is showing in the SOA.

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