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.
We recorded this special episode live and actually in person last week at the RSA Conference, and we have a special treat for the listeners. The ever-elusive Matt Watchinski, Talos’ fearless leader, joins the show. We mainly spend some time talking about Talos’ work defending Ukraine during the invasion of Russia. Tomorrow, be on the lookout for a more laid-back podcast in the Security Stories feed, because the BWT crew stuck around to record a special episode with them, too.
We wanted to prep for the RSA/Cisco Live stretch of June by looking back on security conferences past. Mitch, Matt and Liz got together to talk about their best and worst conference memories. Plus, Mitch has an overview of everything Talos is doing at RSA and Cisco Live, including a LIVE episode of Beers with Talos next week at RSA. There is a little security talk at least, as we also cover the latest goings on between the Conti ransomware group and Costa Rica’s government.
Our rotation of special guests continues on with Nate Pors from Talos Incident Response. Nate has been following several different attacks in which attackers bypassed multi-factor authentication with “prompt bombing” and other techniques. The crew discusses what the security community can do to make MFA safer and how to improve user education about using the technology. Plus, Matt gets an opportunity to eat some humble pie regarding the FBI and the removal of wireless router malware, so that’s always exciting.
We’re all still pretty exhausted from our work in Ukraine. But that hasn’t slowed down any of the threat actors, unfortunately. So we enlisted special guest Nick Biasini to dive into the BlackCat ransomware group to discuss how it potentially is or isn’t connected to BlackMatter/DarkSide. These ransomware-as-a-service groups surprisingly run like regular companies, and even have the same problems with employee retention! Plus, Matt and Liz provide updates on their work in helping to defend Ukrainian networks and organizations.
Other talking points: - How to pronounce the company “Nike” - Surprisingly safe-for-work videos on Omegle - Avoiding burnout when everything is on fire
This was admittedly a tough one to record. In the middle of us trying to respond to the situation in Ukraine, we felt it was important to let our listeners in a bit. Matt, JJ and Liz discuss the work they and their teams are doing in Ukraine to protect critical systems there and keep users online. We also talk about the human side of things, and why it’s important for folks in cybersecurity to think about self care during this time.
If you want to stay up to date on Talos’ work in Ukraine and our ongoing research about cybersecurity concerns in the region, continually check cs.co/TalosUA. Here are some additional links to Talos research and Cisco announcements:
We’re dropping two episodes today. This is undoubtedly the less serious of the two, as it was recorded prior to the invasion of Ukraine. Check out Ep. #118 for more on that situation. In this episode, though, we got to talk about Talos’ involvement at the Super Bowl. Mitch welcomes on Brett Ellis, who was at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles to help defend “The Big Game,” of Talos Incident Response to discuss his experience. He, JJ and Liz talk about what goes into securing these major global events and talk about what it’s like to have to come in and handle someone else’s networking equipment and then parachute out. If you want to learn more about Talos and Cisco Secure at the Super Bowl, you can read Cisco’s announcement.
Most people would expect us to approach the Winter Olympics from a security perspective. Why are athletes using burner phones? Are we worried about any state-sponsored attacks? Not this year, folks! Instead, we rank each country’s curling uniforms, discuss the origins of ski jumping and debate which events would be the most difficult to compete in.
On the actual cybersecurity front, we did carve out some time to discuss two state-sponsored threat actors Talos has written about recently: AridViper and MuddyWater. We look at the maldocs involved in these campaigns and their targets. Matt also expounds on his multiple Twitter threads around the current situation in Ukraine.
We wanted to start off the new year by reflecting on 2021 with Talos Incident Response. The one thing many cyber attacks had in common? People.
There are issues that arise any time humans are involved, whether it’s being tempted by a phish or someone making simple human errors. So, Matt, Mitch and Liz discuss how logs are crucial during the worst-case scenario and look at how to remove human error as much as possible from the equation.
Outside of initial infection vectors, there are plenty of other lessons learned from 2021 that we can take into incident response this year.
(Uploaded again, this time with the correct music!) The OG Beers with Talos folks are dropping like flies, because now we also have to say goodbye to Joel! We know this has been quite the roller coaster for listeners, but we appreciate you all sticking with us through all these changes. We take some time in Joel’s farewell to discuss “Rent,” as only BWT could, and burnout in cybersecurity.
Log4j was a big enough deal that we finally decided to host a live show. Mitch, Matt, Liz and special guest JJ Cummings from our Threat Intel team got together to update everyone on where things stand with this critical vulnerabilities. It’s not all doom and gloom though, Matt at least brought some memes!
This is our first episode sans-Craig, but we didn’t wait long to find his replacement! Tune in as we add a new host to the crew. Then, we talk about drama on the ransomware landscape among as-a-service groups. Please note, we recorded this episode before everything dropped on Log4J. We are recording an emergency episode as we speak on this and will be releasing it later this week.
[Re-uploaded to fix an audio gap.] Yes, we’ve been sitting on this one for a while. But it’s worth it, we promise! We wanted to wait until we had more news to share, so it’s finally time to announce that Craig has left us. We will absolutely miss Craig, but look forward to the next act of Beers with Talos now that 2/5ths of the original crew is gone. We take the time to reminisce with Craig about his time at Talos and talk about this new trend of “bandwidth-sharing” applications. Stay tuned to BWT Ep. #112 where we’ll debut with a new host!
We mainly spend this episode doing some catching up because it’s been a while since we recorded. But on the actual, helpful, front, we discuss a recently released list of the vulnerabilities that are most often exploited in the wild, according to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
It’s particularly interesting to compare the lists from 2020 and 2021 to see how threat actors have changed up their tactics and parse through all the information to tell you what you need to know. It’s also important to question these types of reports and how helpful they are to defenders.
This is also a great episode for any Snort fans out there who are interested in the old days of writing rules for some Y2K-era malware.
Most of the Beers with Talos folks are refreshed after a summer vacation. But don’t assume that means they actually prepared for this episode. This is more of a free-flowing episode, where we discuss cyber conflict between nations — one of the many things that keep Matt up at night. They go back and forth discussing what a “cyber war” could actually look like, and what crosses the line into conflict versus traditional “hacktivism.”
Summer hacking, happened so fast….
We’ve been trying to enjoy our summer, but supply chain attacks just had to go and ruin the fun. So Mitch got back from fishing and decided to pull the guys together to discuss the Kaseya supply chain attack. We cover this major event BWT-style, and talk phony patches, mitigation strategies, and unsolicited advice for Kaseya’s CISO. For more, you can also watch our recent live stream with Nick Biasini covering everything you need to know about this attack.
Also, if you want more Beers with Talos (and you’re listening to this the day it’s released) join us over on the Cisco Twitter account on Thursday, Aug. 5 for a #TalosTakeover. We can’t believe they’re letting us do this, either.