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UnitedHealth subsidiary Optum hack linked to BlackCat ransomware
A cyberattack on UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Optum that led to an ongoing outage impacting the Change Healthcare payment exchange platform was linked to the BlackCat ransomware group by sources familiar with the investigation. [...]
UnitedHealth subsidiary Optum hack linked to BlackCat...
A cyberattack on UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Optum that led to an ongoing outage...
Exploring Cryptocurrency Taxation, Investment Opportunities, Rewards and Cashback Benefits
In this interview, we speak with Elitsa Taskova, the Chief Product Officer at Nexo. We'll discuss various aspects of cryptocurrency taxation, outlining individual investor's and institutions' challenges in this evolving landscape. n We'll also explore the psychology behind cashback incentives in fintech, comparing them to other financial rewards. n Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do. I'm Elitsa Taskova, Chief Product Officer at Nexo. My role is to steer the company's 360-degree product suite. I have over eight years of professional experience in software project management within some of Europe's leading internet-native and payment businesses, so I'm no stranger to trends in the ever-evolving fintech industry. As a Cognitive Science graduate, I am fascinated by technology's impact on our lives, and I take inspiration for my work from humanity's never-ending push to expand boundaries. I believe blockchain technology can transform every aspect of human life. Can you describe the current landscape of cryptocurrency taxation and the challenges it presents to individual investors and institutions? The cryptocurrency landscape presents unique challenges in taxation for both individual investors and institutions. While crypto has democratized financial participation, it hasn't necessarily equipped users with the skills to manage their financial responsibilities, particularly in tax reporting. In places like the U.S., where tax reporting is already complex, adding crypto assets adds another layer of difficulty. n This complexity is not just limited to the U.S.; in various jurisdictions such as smaller and emerging economies, people are unprepared to report earnings outside of more regular sources of income, and the average person has less access to an accountant than in the United States, making the starting point for crypto tax reporting even harder. n The result is a reluctance to liquidate crypto assets, hesitation to engage with the crypto market, frequent errors in tax reporting, and a pervasive distrust between crypto participants and tax authorities. Despite improvements over time, this gap in understanding and trust continues to be a significant source of anxiety, especially for smaller investors in the crypto space. What trends or changes in the crypto market have increased the demand for robust crypto tax reporting tools? The demand for robust crypto tax reporting tools has surged due to several key trends in the crypto market. Firstly, the policy shift by neobanks, which began collecting tax information, has closed avenues previously used to obscure crypto income. This change significantly impacted the way users handle their crypto finances. n Secondly, the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies has brought a larger group of people into the fold, many inexperienced in managing and reporting crypto-related taxes. n Thirdly, there's been a noticeable increase in regulatory scrutiny over the past year, highlighting the importance of legal and responsible crypto use, including proper taxation. This regulatory attention underscores that cryptocurrencies are no longer peripheral financial instruments but are becoming mainstream. n The central role of crypto taxation in discussions and policies reflects this move towards the mainstream, marking a significant shift in how cryptocurrencies are perceived and managed in the broader financial landscape. Can you walk us through how the Nexo-Koinly integration works from a user's perspective? n We've made the integration quick and easy to use. All a client has to do is click on the Koinly button at the top of their "Transactions" section. n Then, they receive a pop-up informing them that an account with Koinly will be created, and Nexo will share their name, email address, and transaction history. It is very important for us that our clients are aware of what information we share with our partners before proceeding. n If the user decides to proceed, an account is created in Koinly, and the system redirects them to the Koinly website. Koinly pulls the transaction history from Nexo and imports it into the account – it is seamless, so clients don't need to do anything. n The client can generate tax reports from there through the new Koinly account. All reports are jurisdiction-specific (and we've got clients in 200+ jurisdictions), so our users can always generate the exact report they need. n What impact do you foresee this collaboration's overall tax compliance among crypto investors? The collaboration between Nexo and Koinly aims to improve crypto investors' tax compliance significantly. Simplifying processes often increase usage; this integration does that for tax reporting. n Historically, a segment of crypto users preferred not to cash out their assets, opting for solutions like Nexo's Instant Crypto Credit Lines for liquidity and we expect users to continue to opt for it. But with tax reporting made easier, we're proud to be making the option to cash out on your crypto easier and less daunting. n Furthermore, accurate and timely submission of tax forms is desperately needed to streamline public sector processes for crypto, enhancing public trust in the industry. This integration serves as a tool for simplification and a bridge between the crypto community and regulatory bodies. n By automating this aspect of financial management, we foresee a notable boost in the institutional trust towards the cryptocurrency sector and its participants. What steps are Nexo and Koinly taking to educate users about the importance of crypto tax compliance? Mainly engaging in educational initiatives to emphasize the importance of crypto tax compliance. Firstly, we're collaborating on detailed "How to" articles with video materials and walkthroughs to guide users through our joint integration. These resources aim to make the integration process as clear and user-friendly as possible. n Both Nexo and Koinly representatives will address the most popular queries, ensuring we respond to both our perceptions of client needs and the actual issues they face. This direct engagement is key in educating our users and addressing their concerns regarding crypto tax compliance. n How do you see the demand for crypto tax solutions evolving? n I'm an optimist and a strong believer in blockchain and crypto solutions, so I can only say that I think demand will grow with adoption. If we want jurisdictions to trust crypto users and accept this industry as a full-fledged part of the financial sector, they have to. n From here, the next step in addressing the complexities of crypto taxation would be for governments to work with crypto companies and their tax partners. This would minimize end-user fees and greatly simplify the process for all parties involved (governments, consumers, crypto companies, crypto tax reporting intermediaries). n Could you explain the basic psychology behind cashback incentives and how they tend to influence consumer spending habits? How do they compare with other financial incentives, such as discounts or loyalty points, in influencing consumer behavior? Cashback acts as a reward mechanism, especially effective in fintech and crypto industries, where it doubles as a savings tool. When consumers use cashback incentives, they save money on purchases through cashback while spending, enhancing the appeal of transactions. n The impact here is twofold. Firstly, consumers feel they are getting more value for their money, as cashback effectively reduces the net cost of purchases. This perception of getting a deal increases the likelihood of further spending. n Secondly, unlike direct discounts, cashback is credited into the consumer's account, subtly encouraging reinvestment or reuse within the same ecosystem and fostering ongoing engagement. n However, cashback is a more short-term strategy. Our focus goes beyond this into more sustainable mechanisms like our loyalty program and Earn Crypto Interest product that provides longer-term wealth growth for our customers. This approach incentivizes immediate spending and aligns with long-term financial goals, resonating more deeply with consumers. How does the Nexo Card integrate cryptocurrency and traditional currency transactions? Can users seamlessly switch between the two? n Yes, absolutely! It all works with a simple toggle in the app between Credit Mode and Debit Mode and by adjusting what spending priority you would like to have for all the assets in your account. When using Credit Mode, the client effectively uses Nexo's Instant Crypto Credit Lines. n The required amount of crypto in their account is collateralized, and our systems automatically send the relevant amount of whichever traditional currency is requested to the client's desired bank account. n In Debit mode, the mechanism is slightly different. When a client spends EURx, USDx, GBPx, BTC, ETH, or any other cryptocurrency, we instantly sell the needed balance of the relevant currency. Now, this sum reaches the merchant in whichever traditional currency is being spent. n Swapping between these two modes can take a single tap and is instant. Clients can make one transaction using Credit mode and another in Debit mode a second apart if they wish. n The same goes for switching between spending crypto and spending fiat in Debit Mode. Clients can adjust their spending priority on the go to spend BTC with one transaction and then revert to spending their euro-based balance in their next transaction moments later. How does the Nexo Card promote financial inclusivity, for example, in regions with limited access to traditional banking? n While the Nexo Card is currently available only in the European Economic Area, we are working on showing its true potential through our planned product expansion soon. Here's why: n First, our card could help with currency stability and conversion. It allows users to hold their funds in cryptocurrencies, which can be more stable than local currencies in some emerging markets. n When making transactions, the crypto is converted to the local currency in real-time, providing a hedge against local currency volatility. This would be especially useful in countries like Argentina and Turkey, which we are looking into. n Secondly, the Nexo Card is also handy in places with economic and political instability. Cryptocurrencies and crypto cards are considered a safer alternative in countries facing economic challenges or political instability. This is especially relevant in regions where political decisions might affect traditional financial systems. For instance, in Nov. 2023, Argentina raised taxes on USD purchases destined for savings or made with bank cards. n The crypto card is a great alternative in such cases. In countries with strict capital controls, the card offers a way to circumvent these restrictions. For instance, Argentinians cannot buy more than 0 p.m. But with a tool like the Nexo Card, individuals can make international payments and access funds more freely and for the sums they want/need than through traditional banking systems. This is why we're looking to expand into regions beyond Europe regarding our card.
Exploring Cryptocurrency Taxation, Investment Opportunities,...
In this interview, we speak with Elitsa Taskova, the Chief Product Officer at Nexo....
Source: Hacker Noon
These Biotech Execs Made Perfectly Timed Trades in Health Care Stocks
For the first and so far only time, the SEC filed a case that accuses an executive of using secret information from his own company to trade in the stock of a rival.
These Biotech Execs Made Perfectly Timed Trades in...
For the first and so far only time, the SEC filed a case that accuses an executive...
Source: Hacker Noon
Innovation and Growth in Turkey's Web3 Ecosystem
Today, I am speaking with Yves La Rose, and we'll discuss the evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency landscape in Turkey, focusing on innovation, regulatory changes, and the increasing adoption of digital assets among Turkish citizens. Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do. My name is Yves La Rose, and I am the founder and CEO of the EOS Network Foundation (ENF). The ENF was created to promote technological advancement and the sustainable growth of EOS. This includes key initiatives like educating developers, supporting the community, funding research, and enhancing EOS's technological base through the development of its core protocol. Our goal is to unlock the full capabilities of blockchain technology, forging a sustainable digital future that offers tangible benefits to developers, businesses, and consumers. n Can you provide an overview of the recent changes in Turkey's stance towards crypto regulation and what prompted this shift? Turkey has been preparing new legislation covering crypto-assets as a way to persuade an international crime watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), to remove it from a "grey list" that it has been on since 2021 of countries that have taken insufficient action to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. n The specifics of Turkey's new rules to regulate the crypto market are yet to be made public but will likely focus on licensing and taxation. n How significant is cryptocurrency adoption among Turkish citizens, and what factors have contributed to this high level of adoption? The main reason for the adoption of cryptocurrencies in Turkey is the general lack of trust in the stability of the Turkish Lira, prompting people to explore other financial options to protect their assets. n The lira has seen record inflation levels over the last few years, making wealth accumulation nearly impossible. Even before crypto began to take off in Turkey, it was pretty standard for most retail establishments to accept alternative paper currencies such as the Euro and US dollar. n The adoption of cryptocurrencies can be seen as the evolution of that trend. As a matter of fact, Tether is one of the most widely used currencies in the Turkish market, and it is commonly accepted as a form of currency there. Recent studies have indicated that up to 40% of Turkish citizens have a crypto wallet. n What specific regulations has the Turkish government introduced, and how do they compare to those in the EU, particularly the MiCA regulation? The new regulations have yet to be officially proposed, so it is difficult to make comparisons at this time, but it can be assumed that there will be some inspiration from MiCA. n Turkey will likely focus on licensing and taxation. Introducing specific licensing standards will be one of the top priorities for the upcoming regulation to prevent system abuse. The regulations could also include capital adequacy requirements, custody services, mandatory proof of reserves, and other measures to improve digital security. n How does President Erdoğan's approach to crypto regulation post-election reflect on Turkey's political landscape and its impact on digital asset policy? President Erdoğan has been very forward-looking in his approach to crypto policy. In December, he added blockchain technology and cryptocurrency specialist Fatma Özkul to the central bank's monetary board. She is expected to have a significant impact on the forthcoming crypto laws that were considered. n How do you assess the potential of projects like the EOS Network Foundation's Turkish Web3 Industry Lab's expansion into the Turkish market? The country's growing prominence in the cryptocurrency sector drove the decision to establish a lab in Turkey. Turkey's adoption rate for crypto is among the highest in the world, with recent surveys estimating that two-fifths of Turkish citizens currently hold crypto. n This widespread adoption is mainly attributed to the high inflation rates in Turkey, prompting residents to turn to cryptocurrencies as a hedge against the declining value of the Turkish lira. n The adoption rate makes the barrier to entry for new user acquisition in Turkey incredibly low, giving blockchain startups a greater chance for success than in other markets, requiring significantly more user education for onboarding the masses. n The Turkish market has also shown a keen interest in technological innovations, with a burgeoning community of developers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts actively engaging with blockchain technology. This provides a fertile ground for incubating new blockchain projects, as both the technical talent and the market are eager to adopt new digital solutions. n High crypto usage, a climate influenced by economic considerations that promote digital currencies, and a fast-expanding market excited about blockchain developments make Turkey a unique opportunity for crypto investors and users. These elements collectively make Turkey an up-and-coming location, aligning perfectly with our vision of fostering groundbreaking projects in the blockchain space. n Can you discuss the growth of Web3 activity at the grassroots level in Turkey and how international partnerships influence this landscape? At the grassroots level, we've seen an uptick in in-person events in Turkey. Each of these events presents opportunities for new connections at the local grassroots level. n International partnerships have played a significant role in facilitating these events and ensuring their success, as seen with last year's Binance Blockchain Week Istanbul and the ETHGlobal Istanbul hackathon, which brought together and showcased Turkey's growing web3 developer and startup communities. We also hosted our event in partnership with CoinTR to celebrate their 2nd year anniversary. n How can Turkey leverage its unique position to become a global blockchain innovation and adoption leader? Turkey just needs to continue on the path that it is currently on. We will see new regulations in 2024, which will ideally lead to Turkey being removed from the FATF grey list, which should be a significant step forward. n We also saw two of Turkey's largest banking groups announce their crypto initiatives in December, which could be the beginning of this trend that will continue into this year. The investment division of Akbank acquired, Stablex a crypto company that enables transactionvs via the Turkish Lira and Garanti BBVA launched their digital wallet as a mobile app.
Autoglyphs: The .6 mln NFT Phenomenon Explained
Autoglyphs are a unique collection of generative art NFTs created by Larva Labs, the same team behind the famous CryptoPunks project. They are notable for being the first "on-chain" generative art on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning that the artwork is not just represented by a token but is stored within the blockchain itself. The record-breaking sale of the Autoglyphs NFT set occurred on February 19, 2024. This sale involved a complete set of 10 Autoglyphs, which was acquired for 5,000 ETH, equivalent to approximately .6 million at the time of the transaction. This sale marked the highest NFT sale in the past two years and stands as the fifth-largest purchase on-chain. This sale set a record as the highest NFT sale in the past two years and stands as the fifth-largest purchase on-chain. This transaction alone significantly contributed to the total secondary sales volume of Autoglyphs, which has surpassed million. Fountain @Fountainxyz: Moments ago, a full set of ten Autoglyphs, minted originally by Larva Labs themselves, was sold to a Distinguished Private Collector for 5,000 ETH, making it one of the top NFT sales ever recorded onchain… Congratulations to the buyer and the seller! Let's see how the team made this possible and what marketing strategies stand behind this success. The success of Autoglyphs, both in terms of their artistic innovation and financial performance, underscores the growing interest and value in digital art and NFTs. The project's combination of generative art, blockchain technology, and charitable giving has set a precedent in the NFT space, demonstrating the potential for digital art to not only push the boundaries of creativity but also contribute to meaningful causes. And of course, marketing. As we work with many Web3 and AI projects, it's always interestingng to show some cases that can be useful for other players in the industry. There are many things that NFT projects can implement into their strategy. The marketing campaign behind the Autoglyphs NFT sale leveraged a combination of innovative features, scarcity, and the reputation of its creators, Larva Labs, to generate significant interest and demand. Oh, and by the way: if you're into the latest AI developments, innovative projects and complimentary AI tutorials, consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter 'AI Hunters'. All costs are on us! So, here are the key elements of the marketing strategy: ==Scarcity and Exclusivity== Autoglyphs were limited to only 512 pieces, creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity. The knowledge that no more Autoglyphs could be created after the last one was minted added to their desirability. ==On-Chain Innovation== Autoglyphs were one of the first projects to store generative art entirely on the Ethereum blockchain, distinguishing them from other NFTs that rely on off-chain storage. This on-chain approach was a novel use of blockchain technology at the time and attracted attention from both the art and tech communities. ==Charitable Aspect== The minting fees for creating Autoglyphs were donated to 350.org, a charity focused on combating climate change. This charitable component likely appealed to buyers interested in supporting environmental causes while acquiring unique digital art. ==Rapid Sell-Out== The entire collection of Autoglyphs sold out within four hours of their launch, demonstrating the high demand and hype surrounding the project. This rapid sell-out further increased the allure of Autoglyphs in the NFT space. ==Secondary Market Presence== After the initial sell-out, Autoglyphs became available on secondary markets like OpenSea. The varying prices based on rarity and the high-profile sales on the secondary market helped maintain interest and visibility for the project. ==Reputation of Creators== Larva Labs, the creators of Autoglyphs, were already known for their successful CryptoPunks project. The reputation of the creators helped to instill trust and generate interest among potential buyers and collectors. ==Public Code and Physical Renderings== The code for generating Autoglyphs was made public, and owners were provided with the ability to render their Autoglyphs in physical form using CNC plotters. This transparency and the bridge between digital and physical art were unique aspects that could attract a broader audience. ==Media Coverage and Community Engagement== The record-breaking sales and the innovative nature of Autoglyphs attracted media attention, which further amplified the project's visibility. Engaging with the community through forums and social media also helped in maintaining interest and creating a vibrant collector base. ==Twitter Marketing== Larva Labs has an active presence on Twitter, where they share updates and engage with the community. Their Twitter account serves as a platform to announce new developments, sales, and to interact with fans and collectors of their NFTs. ==Autoglyphs Bot== There is an Autoglyphs Bot on Twitter, which could be used for promotion by automatically sharing information about Autoglyphs, potentially engaging followers with automated content related to the NFTs. The Autoglyphs Twitter bot, found at @autoglyphs on X.com, serves as a market tracking tool for the Autoglyphs NFT project. Although it is not maintained directly by Larva Labs, the creators of Autoglyphs, it plays a significant role in engaging the audience and promoting the project on social media. This bot automatically shares information about Autoglyphs, likely including sales, listings, and possibly other relevant market data. This functionality allows owners and interested parties to stay updated on the latest movements and news related to Autoglyphs in the NFT market. https://twitter.com/autoglyphs?embedable=true The use of such a bot is a strategic approach to maintaining engagement with the community by providing consistent and automated updates. It ensures that followers receive timely information without requiring constant manual updates from the project's creators. This approach is particularly useful in the fast-moving NFT market, where prices and availability can change rapidly. ==LinkedIn Activity== Larva Labs has a LinkedIn page where they share information about their company and projects. While LinkedIn is more professional and less focused on direct consumer marketing, it can still serve as a platform to build the company's brand and attract potential collaborators or investors. ==Media Coverage and Interviews== The sale of Autoglyphs has been covered by various media outlets, and interviews with the creators have been shared on platforms like NFT CULTURE. This type of content is often disseminated through social media channels, increasing visibility and interest in the project. ==Showcasing Collaborations and Exhibitions== Larva Labs' NFTs, including Autoglyphs, have been exhibited at prestigious venues like Centre Pompidou and Sotheby's. These events are often promoted on social media to highlight the significance of the NFTs in the art world. In summary, the marketing strategy behind Autoglyphs NFTs capitalized on the project's innovative on-chain art concept, its scarcity, the reputation of its creators, its charitable contributions, and the rapid sell-out, all of which were amplified by media coverage and community engagement. P.S. Check out my previous articles at HackerNoon: Sora's AI Innovation Set to Disrupt Video Content Creation Breaking Down the Next Big Thing in NFTs: ERC-404 Spotlight Gemini 1.5 Unleashes Unprecedented Context for AI Applications The AI Revolution in Journalism: A New Era of Enhanced Reporting DeFi Community Building: A Step-by-Step Guide for Crypto Startups The Best Of The AI World: Spotlighting 5 Projects and Researches Pushing The Paradigm This Week Crypto's Next Chapter: 2024's Game-Changing Predictions Top 10 AI Trends of 2024: How AI Transforms Everything How to Build Your Personal GPTs: From Zero to AI Hero GPT-4 Turbo: The Most Monumental Update Since ChatGPT's Debut! Essential Insights from 'State of AI 2023' GPT-4V Unveiled: From Detecting Emotions to Ordering Food - You Won't Believe What Else It Can Do!
108 Stories To Learn About Website Design
Kaisen Linux | The distribution for professional IT
Kaisen Linux is a distribution dedicated for IT professional based on Debian GNU/Linux. Large tools are integrated for diagnostics, rescue system and networks, lab creation and many more!
Kaisen Linux | The distribution for professional IT...
Kaisen Linux is a distribution dedicated for IT professional based on Debian GNU/Linux....
Cyber Mindfulness Corner Company Spotlight: Jamf
At the IT Security Guru we're showcasing organisations that are passionate about making cybersecurity a healthier, more mindful industry. This week, Aaron Webb, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Jamf, spoke to the Gurus about how leaders can approach the burnout crisis in cybersecurity, what the future of the industry looks like if nothing changes, and why […] The post Cyber Mindfulness Corner Company Spotlight: Jamf first appeared on IT Security Guru. The post Cyber Mindfulness Corner Company Spotlight: Jamf appeared first on IT Security Guru.
UnitedHealth confirms Optum hack behind US healthcare billing outage
US healthcare giant UnitedHealth Group announced that its subsidiary Optum suffered a cyberattack by "nation-state" hackers on the Change Healthcare platform, forcing the company to shut down IT systems and various services. [...]
UnitedHealth confirms Optum hack behind US healthcare...
US healthcare giant UnitedHealth Group announced that its subsidiary Optum suffered...
Key Concepts in Secure Software Development: A Pentester’s Perspective
Web, mobile, and desktop applications are crucial in today's tech world. Most software developers overlook the concept of ‘security' while developing these applications. In this article, I will address some challenges I have encountered both in software development and penetration testing.Purpose of SoftwareRegardless of size, every software begins with an idea before coming into existence. Each software has a idea it serves in the background, and there are features it must have to fulfill that purpose. For instance, in a banking system, the purpose is to organize money transfers, provide information about budget, etc. The situation is no different for small-scale applications. For example, the purpose of a simple note-taking app is to create a product where users can store and organize their notes. This is precisely where software developers focus their efforts. Before starting coding, a software developer gets an idea about the purpose of the product and writes code that aligns with that purpose. Although this topic may seem unrelated to security, I believe it is the first aspect a pentester should consider when attempting to pentest an application. We can liken this topic to encryption algorithms. In encryption algorithms, the technique of the algorithm is not kept secret; the main goal is to ensure security even when the technique is known. The situation in software is somewhat similar. The primary goal is not the security of what the software does but how securely the software performs its intended function.Common Mistakes When Starting Software Development.Most software starts to be developed by defining data before anything else. The data the application will hold, process, and present to the user is identified, and a suitable database architecture is employed. At this stage, software developers should ask themselves the following question: Which data will we show to the user, and which data will we not show? For example, data indicating the user's role, known as ‘role,' should never be displayed to the user in any form (except for certain scenarios). Neither in cookies nor in any part of the application (including HTTP requests and responses). This role value is a crucial piece of information for the smooth operation of the software in the background and should never be shown to the user in any way.In today's software world, developers should beware from sending their own database queries directly to databases. nstead of writing separate database queries for each task, Data Transfer Objects (DTOs) can be used. Using DTOs helps prevent injection vulnerabilities like SQL injection and clearly defines which data will be retrieved for each operation. However, using a single User DTO for the User update process can endanger the software in certain situations. When updating a user, not every field associated with the user is typically updated. The CreatedDate field is an example of a value that should not be accessible by the User update function. In a system using email as a unique identifier, where email is supposed to be immutable, the User update DTO should not include the email value. While you might assume that the email parameter won't come from the user and therefore the email value in the DTO won't change, security researchers like us can add undesired values to HTTP requests. Therefore, when making updates in the database, it should be the software, not the user, that is restricted.Another important process during the software development is authentication/authorization. After setting up the database in the software architecture, this becomes the second most essential task. If the users and their permissions in the system are known, establishing the architecture in alignment with the data from the beginning will be both more efficient and secure.When setting up the authorization mechanism, a critical consideration is ensuring session control for each endpoint/function. For instance, if session management is only checked for the /dashboard endpoint and not for the /product endpoint, a user can view products by simply entering /product in the URL, even if they haven't logged into the system.Authentication is yet another important aspect. Like authorization, authentication should be considered during the design of the system. The values that users can view and access should be controlled not only on the front end but also on the back end. The software should have its own hierarchy.The concepts of Authentication/Authorization are much more in-depth topics that require thorough discussion. This article only contains headlines and general explanations.Never Trust the End User.In software security, the most crucial aspect is how much trust is placed in the end user. Every parameter, that is, every parameter in HTTP request, should be verified. Validating values in the HTTP body or query string may not be sufficient in some cases. Headers such as Host, Cookie, X-Forwarded-For, if used in the software, must be checked.All parameters sent by the user must pass the necessary security measures before being processed. For these security measures, cybersecurity researchers generally recommend the use of a whitelist rule.White List — Black ListThe most important question that arises in parameter validation is: Should we determine the characters we allow or the characters we disallow? The answer to this question may vary depending on the situation, but the general approach should be a whitelist.A whitelist is an approach where the values that should be present in the incoming parameters are defined. For example, if we want to validate the phone number field, we can use a regex that only accepts numbers and use a whitelist.On the other hand, a blacklist is an approach where the values that should not be present in the incoming parameters are defined. For example, in the case of a phone number, this approach would restrict alphabetical characters and special characters.Is it healthier to have an approach that only checks for numbers in the incoming data, or to include all characters except numbers in the rule and check those values?Input ValidationAnother security measure that needs to be taken, aside from the scenarios mentioned above, is the modification of characters. For instance, characters like ‘<', and ‘>' can be received from the user, revealing to a potential XSS vulnerability. To avoid this, these characters should be HTML-encoded.To prevent SQL injection vulnerabilities, it is necessary to validate characters that could exploit the vulnerability, such as the quoute character(‘) .Common Mistakes When Ending Software DevelopmentSoftware developers may accept certain special conditions during the software development process. One of these is enabling the application's debug mode. A developer intentionally allows the debug mode open while developing to analyze the cause of errors. Similarly, they may leave the default SQL string used on the server open to the public. While this can be an advantage during software development, it can create significant issues when the software is released to the public. Therefore, certain features used during software development should be disabled when the software is made available to the public.Key Concepts in Secure Software Development: A Pentester's Perspective was originally published in InfoSec Write-ups on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
Key Concepts in Secure Software Development: A Pentester’s...
Web, mobile, and desktop applications are crucial in today's tech world. Most...
Source: InfoSec Write-ups
Amazon’s Network Offers Potential For Disaster Response and Military Communications
Through its subsidiary Kuiper Systems, Amazon AMZN -1.2% will start providing broadband internet service from orbit later this year, most likely around the holidays. The first satellites of the project were launched in October of last year, and it has been under development since 2019.The project, which aims to provide low-latency connections to billions of people without dependable internet access worldwide, is conceptually similar to the SpaceX Starlink constellation. But Kuiper is doing more than just providing low-Earth orbit with high-speed internet access. It is adding capabilities to its constellation of more than 3,200 satellites to fortify the project against cyberattacks, electronic jamming, and other dangers to U.S. space assets.The most notable aspect of this constellation is the use of laser crosslinks between the satellites, which will form an almost impenetrable space mesh network. In the event of an attack on one of the network's satellites, connections can be quickly redirected to alternative nodes, preventing service degradation.The Pentagon, which has long worried that attacks against U.S. space systems might render the combined force completely blind at the start of a conflict, places a high value on this kind of resilience.That is far less likely with the Kuiper architecture in place, and the government is already looking into ways to leverage the new system to strengthen U.S. defences. Last autumn, Amazon, a supporter of my think tank, successfully tested the operation of the laser crosslinks on its first two satellites, transporting 100 gigabits of data per second.Every satellite in the system will be connected at that degree of functionality — that is, one hundred billion bits. Since Kuiper satellites are expected to operate on almost a hundred orbital planes, the link architecture is all the more impressive.With data travelling through space at a speed of roughly 30% faster than through terrestrial fibre, Kuiper's mesh network will be able to transfer enormous volumes of data at speeds that are not possible on Earth. However, that is only the start of how Kuiper might offer a special resource to users in the commercial, civil, and military spheres. In comparison to previous systems of this kind, the project has created a family of customer terminals with throughputs ranging from 100 megabits per second to a gigabit per second that are lighter and smaller.Corporate and military users would probably prefer the latter, upscale terminal. The 100 Mbps terminal can be readily modified for use at the tactical edge, where warfighters frequently struggle to obtain sufficient connectivity, but it is more than sufficient for any residential use.A global network of ground stations will be built as part of the Kuiper system. Using the electric propulsion that Amazon developed specifically for each satellite, the ground stations ensure that the satellites remain in their proper positions and also provide links to the terrestrial internet network.Because of the laser crosslinks in space, signals between satellites and surface users would be extremely difficult for an adversary to jam or intercept. Kuiper has used lessons learned from Amazon's cloud computing business to protect the network from cyberattacks.The signals between satellites and surface users would be extremely difficult for an adversary to jam or intercept, much like the crosslinks in space. To ensure that the network is safe from cyberattacks, Kuiper has taken advantage of the knowledge that Amazon's cloud computing division has to offer.Despite being primarily a commercial endeavour funded by billion from Amazon, Kuiper is already in discussions with the U.S. Space Force regarding how its system can complement military satellites to ensure the joint force's connectivity during times of war. It will, at the very least, give the Starlink system, which has been so helpful in thwarting Russia's invasion of Ukraine, some competition. Competition is often the most effective force behind price and performance in space, as it is everywhere else.Diving Deeper to Kuiper's PotentialDisaster Response in ActionImagine a scenario where a hurricane devastates a coastal town, severing traditional communication lines. First responders equipped with Kuiper-enabled devices could.Coordinate search and rescue efforts in real-time, sharing vital information like aerial imagery and survivor location, which is incredible.Establish emergency communication hubs, allowing residents to connect with loved ones and access critical updates.Utilise telemedicine services by providing remote healthcare to injured individuals in isolated areas.Military Applications on the GroundBeyond communication, Kuiper could provide secure data links for remote troop deployments, enabling real-time intelligence sharing and battlefield coordination. Imagine soldiers utilising encrypted laser communication from the frontlines, transmitting critical data without fear of interception.Although there are concerns that are coming to light, including cybersecurity risks, with satellite networks, vulnerabilities exist and malicious actors could target the system to disrupt communication, manipulate data, or gain access to sensitive information. Robust cyber defence measures are crucial to mitigating these risks, requiring collaboration between Amazon, the government and cyber security experts.Economic and Political ConsiderationsWhile technological advancements are exciting, the private ownership of such critical infrastructure raises questions about accountability and control. Governments relying on Kuiper for sensitive communications might face dependence on a private company, potentially impacting strategic decision-making.Export credit insurance, typically used to support exports of national goods and services, could become a tool to incentivize responsible development and mitigate dependence on specific providers. Furthermore, international dialogue and collaboration are crucial to establishing clear regulations and ethical guidelines for utilising such networks, ensuring responsible development and preventing weaponization.Alternative Solutions and Ongoing EffortsWhile Kuiper is a major player, it's not the only game in town. Existing and emerging satellite constellations like Starlink and OneWeb also offer the potential for disaster response and military applications. Governments and international organisations are also actively developing their own communication infrastructure to reduce reliance on private companies. Evaluating and comparing different solutions within a broader context is vital to ensuring the optimal development and utilisation of space-based communication technologies.Final ThoughtsIn conclusion, Amazon's Kuiper project offers promising solutions for disaster response and military communication, but careful consideration of cybersecurity risks, data privacy concerns, and the potential for weaponization is necessary. Balancing innovation with ethical and responsible development will be key to ensuring this technology serves the greater good.Amazon's Network Offers Potential For Disaster Response and Military Communications was originally published in InfoSec Write-ups on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.