Listen to Talos security experts as they bring their hot takes on current security topics and Talos research to the table. Along the way Lurene, Matt, and Mitch and a rotating chair of special guests will talk about anything (and we mean anything) that's on their minds, from the latest YouTube trends to Olympic curling etiquette. New episodes every other Thursday.
You will no doubt have seen the advisories published over the last few weeks concerning Volt Typhoon's malicious activities. In this episode, JJ Cummings joins the crew to discuss the background to this threat actor, their impact on the threat landscape, and the covertly strategic (and specific) nature of their operations. The team also discusses their recommendations for defenders, particularly for critical infrastructure organizations.
The CISA statement on Volt Typhoon can be found here https://www.cisa.gov/news-events/cybersecurity-advisories/aa24-038a
Matt, Mitch and Lurene sit down to discuss “random stuff from Reddit” (don’t be put off – they’re all genuinely interesting security questions!). Topics range from password managers and how password security guidance has become outdated, how to ‘self-learn’ in cybersecurity, and thoughtful approaches towards security incidents.
Before that, the team comes up with a prank to pull on their co-workers and bring some joy and chaos to Webex meetings. And Lurene reflects on what advice she would give high schoolers today.
As Matt says at the end of the episode, we want to hear from you! Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's the video 'Hi Ren' that Matt mentions at the outset https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_nc1IVoMxc
Mitch, Matt and Lurene were almost about to be in the same physical space at the same time to record an episode, and then Lurene couldn't make it...so we made this instead! Mitch is joined by Azim Khodjibaev from the Talos Threat Intelligence and Interdiction team to rapid-fire interview a bunch of Talos employees who happened to be around the Maryland office. Hear from teammates from all walks of life and areas of expertise about what they've loved working on in 2023 and how they feel their work has changed the broader security landscape.
We recorded this episode AFTER Thanksgiving, so you'll need to forgive us for the amount of Thanksgiving talk that doesn't actually apply until Thanksgiving 2024. It all evens out in the end because the annual "Ranksgiving" from special guest David Liebenberg results in the creation of TurkeyLurkey Man. Then, TurkeyLurkey Man helps the rest of the gang recap the top malware and attacker trends from 2023. If you'd like to read more, download the full Talos Year in Review report here. We also discussed the recent CNN article and Talos blog post on our work to protect Ukraine's power grid.
It's that time of the quarter again when we sit down to look at what we learned over the past three months. Caitlin Huey from the Talos Threat Interdiction Team joins the show for this special look at the latest Talos Incident Response Quarterly Trends report. Caitlin's team helps compile these reports and digs through mountains of data to find out what defenders can learn from what Talos IR is seeing live in the field. If you want to learn more about this report, you can read it on our blog, or watch the Talos IR On Air video here.
This episode of Beers with Talos has a very special guest: Our old friend Nigel Houghton. He's one of the OG BWTers and is back with two-plus years' worth of hot takes to get off his chest. Nigel starts out by delivering his long-awaited update on his beloved Mighty Red. But he, Mitch, Matt and Lurene do eventually get to cybersecurity talk, including things like:
We know we're like two weeks late to the Barbie party, but the whole Beers with Talos crew has seen it now so we had to talk about it. Expect a lot of "Barbie" talk up at the top. After that, though, we dive into how to set up deception systems and establish your environment to make it harder for an intruder to get in. The goal here is to make it so that attackers have to waste time and resources trying to get in but ultimately come away empty-handed. We talk about why this is important for the systems we build and why the security community doesn't talk enough about this approach.
In this special episode, Matt is flying solo while he interviews Rachel Tobac, the CEO of SocialProof Security. Rachel's company helps individuals and companies keep their data safe by offering various training and penetration testing opportunities, all related to social engineering attacks and risks. Ahead of BlackHat and DEFCON, Matt wanted to talk to Rachel because they first met at DEFCON a few years ago, where she was a second-place finisher in the Social Engineering Capture the Flag contest for three years in a row.
Matt and Rachel discuss the current types of social engineering tactics that adversaries use and the importance of increasing the volume and types of opportunities that exist for women in cybersecurity and privacy. Rachel is the chair of the board for the non-profit Women in Security and Privacy (WISP) where she works to advance women to lead in the fields. She's currently working on sending a delegation of women to BlackHat later this month.
The Beers with Talos Crew is back to a team of four this week, with special guest Nick Biasini joining the show to talk about Mercenary Groups and the spyware they're creating. This episode, we talk about the current spyware landscape, and how it encompasses "mercenary" groups like the NSO Group and Intellexa, and state-sponsored actors looking to track high-profile targets. Nick's team recently published multiple pieces about this topic and they are actively researching spyware. If listeners suspect their system(s) may have been compromised by commercial spyware, please consider notifying Talos’ research team at email@example.com to assist in furthering the community’s knowledge of these threats.
Mitch was out for this recording, so Hazel Burton, the newest addition to Team Talos, stepped in to host this episode! She, Lurene and Matt got together for Mental Health Awareness Month and share stories and advice with one another. Cybersecurity is a notoriously rough field for burnout and an imbalance between work and life, so they share some tips they use to decompress after a long day and how they ignore their inner critics.