Cyber Miasmatic Threat Level 2013


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Recently, the the view of Cyberspace as an Ecosystem has become a subject of increasing interest to professionals in multiple ICT disciplines. Much of the interest has been stimulated by the growing problems within the environment, and the emergence and/or reemergence of viruses, malware and growth in Advanced Persistent Threats worldwide. The Miasmatic Theory originated in the 19th century and based on the belief that "diseases" were caused by the presence of a poisoned fog/mist in the ecosystem, which contained infected matter (miasmata). The Miasmatic position was that the spread of diseases were the product of environmental factors including contaminated water, air, soil and overall poor hygienic conditions. Key to the theory is that infections were not passed between individuals but rather affect individuals who resided within the particular location. Second, infected & contaminated space was identifiable. The creation of Top Level Domains such as .RU for Russian and .CN for Chinese domains as well as geolocated IP addressing for countries has created a similar environment for locales. These locales require direction and coordination to provide leadership on establishing norms, policy institution, technical support and monitoring and assessing health trends. Protecting the cyberspace ecosystem is a shared responsibility and required to provide a collective defense against the miasmatic threat. Joey Hernandez CISM, CISSP

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Cyber Miasmatic Threat Level 2013

  1. 1. Miasmatic Threat Level Joey Hernandez CISM, CISSP
  2. 2. Miasmatic Theory• Miasm – Greek meaning “Pollution” or “Taint”• Early Miasmatic Theory belief – Diseases: • Transmitted through Air, Water, Soil, & other sources in THE ECOSYSTEM that surround us – The understanding that particular MIASM pollutes the encompassed LOCAL ECOSYSTEM producing a diseased state
  3. 3. Miasmatic Theory Continued• Required Actions – For Long Term Resolution• Classify Diseases – To determine those caused by outside influence• Discovered: – External conditions required removal (Malaria.. Remove the Mosquitos) – Underlying Root MIASM must be removed (Malaria.. What about the stagnant water, and Cleanliness?)• All MIASMATIC Layers must be addressed
  4. 4. Grasping The Miasma Concept Understanding Cholera To MalwareUrbanization had initially led to overcrowding in poor housing conditions and resulted inoutbreaks of Cholera, tuberculosis, and typhoid fever, to name a few. Implementation ofpreventive measures was based on the “Miasma theory” according to which poisonous vapor ormist filled with particles from decomposed matter and emissions of organic decomposition fromthe earth, identifiable by its foul smell, then thought to be the source of most illnesses. This wasthe basis of the “Sanitary Movement” which addressed sewage disposal, water treatment, foodsafety programs and public education about hygienic practices, resulting in the decline of theaforementioned diseases. During the cholera epidemic in London in the 1850s, John Snow tracedthe origin of and stopped the epidemic by removing the handle of the Broad Streetpump, identifying the source of the epidemic to be a contaminated water supply. Local healthboards began to develop and implement water treatment and other sanitary requirements inmajor cities such as New York in 1866, which subsequently led to implementation of watertreatment systems and mandatory pasteurization of milk. Similarly, in 1892, Max vonPettenkofer, one of the pioneers of public health and advocate of the Miasma theory, preventedan outbreak in Munich by starting treatment of the wastewater system. “We Have To Treat The Cyber Miasmatic Root” Citation: Schlipköter U, Flahault A. Communicable diseases: achievements and challenges for public health. Public Health Reviews 2010;32:90-119.
  5. 5. Cyber Miasma• Diseased Locales – “The ECOSYSTEM” – Top Level Domains – Countries• Infection – Prioritize LOCALES • Develop Methods For – External Condition Mitigation – Removal of Root Causes
  6. 6. Selection CriteriaFor Miasmatic Rating Domains Hosting Malware Countries Hosting Malware Most Detected Malware Miasma Rating Countries Trended With Malware Greatest Risk Spam Production
  7. 7. Miasmatic RatingNation Ranking • Higher ranking = Higher RiskUnited States of America 1 • USA/China/RussiaChina 2 – The Known - KnownsRussia 3France 4 • Although RelevantGermany 5 – The Skew For Consideration IsBrazil 6 The IP DistributionItaly 7 – Population Utilizing/Access To The InternetGreat Britain 8 – AttributionKorea 9India 10 • France  India – The Unknowns?
  8. 8. Thought Provoking Solutions• Create Global Policies With Local Implications• ITU, ENISA, ICANN, UN etc – Disable Capabilities• Economic Sanctions – Just as travel is limited during outbreaks…. • So Should Bank & Credit Card Companies Limit Spending In “Infected” Countries – Economic Impact Will Open Eyes!• Change The View From Infectious To Miasmatic With A Focus On Efforts To Sanitize The Environment – Hold The Country Accountable Not The User!
  9. 9. References• Sophos Security Threat 2013• Microsoft Intelligence Report 2012• McAfee Malware Report• SRI Whitepapers – Exploit Reports• Kaspersky Lab – Risk Reports• WHO.INT