Listen to Talos security experts as they bring their hot takes on current security topics and Talos research to the table. Along the way Mitch, Liz, Matt 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.
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.
Our second of two episodes recorded live at the RSA Conference, Mitch and Lurene are joined by Nick Biasini from Talos Outreach and AJ Shipley, a vice president of product management for Cisco Secure. The four of them recap Nick and AJ's talk they gave at RSA and discuss the centralization of cybersecurity. AJ shares some important insights about the product side of cybersecurity, and how everyone in the space needs to be better focused on stopping the bad guys versus competing against one another.
They also cover the announcement of Cisco's newest flagship cybersecurity product: Cisco XDR.
This is the first of two episodes we have coming out that we recorded live at the RSA Conference. In this edition of Beers with Talos, we welcome Mick Baccio, a security strategist for Splunk, to talk about all things RSA. At this point in the week, we had hit the halfway point of RSA and were pretty tired already, so bear with us — don't expect any hardcore security takes here. That being said, we do gather 'round to share stories, and reflect on RSA and the security community as a whole. There's no link for it yet, but buy Mick's book when it comes out!
This episode discusses network resilience, hardware hygiene, and the recently disclosed Jaguar Tooth campaign. J.J. joins the show and the usual cast to discuss the recent attacks against out-of-date and unpatched wireless routers from sophisticated, state-sponsored actors. J.J., Matt and Lurene detail the research around these campaigns and advice for anyone to improve their network hygiene. If you'd like to talk to the BWT crew more about this topic, they'll be at RSA this week with two live episodes and generally hanging around the Cisco booth.
Important links for this episode:
Everyone fears the dreaded 10-out-of-10 CVSS severity score on a vulnerability with "critical" written somewhere on the advisory. But does that number even matter to an attacker or hypothetical defender? Matt, Mitch and Lurene discuss the various ways the security community classifies vulnerabilities and how potential targets can use that information to their advantage. They discuss patching strategies, potential security holes that attackers look for and real-world cases of vulnerabilities that have led to breaches or cyber attacks.
Other suggested talking points:
(Recorded Jan. 27, 2023)
No Matt this episode, so we have two guests in the rotating chair(s): Nick Biasini and David Liebenberg. Lurene, Mitch and our two esteemed companions talk about the human problem of ransomware. Lurene says getting rid of email altogether is the best option — but since that doesn't seem likely anytime soon, what are some other options for enterprises and companies to avoid being hit with the latest phishing scam?
Other suggested talking points: