Marcus Ranum isn't just a well-regarded information security expert. He's also a customer of the RSA SecurID product, and he's got some strong feelings about the RSA breach and how the industry has responded to it.
It's serious news that RSA's SecurID solution has been the target of an advanced persistent threat. But "It's not a game-changer," says Stephen Northcutt, CEO of SANS Institute. "Anybody who says it is [a game-changer] is an alarmist."
When it comes to e-marketing and the reliance on third parties such as Epsilon, Nicolas Christin of Carnegie Mellon University says banks and merchants should "come clean" about the information they share with outside entities.
Communicating with customers about the incident and warning them not to click links in phishing e-mails are all these impacted institutions and companies really can do, says Jeremiah Grossman, chief technology officer of WhiteHat Security.
Privacy Attorney Lisa Sotto says the Epsilon e-mail breach is a warning about the state of data security employed by some third-party service providers. Strong contracts related to security practices must be the norm, not the exception.
"Persistent" is the operative word about the advanced persistent threat that has struck RSA and its SecurID products. "If the bad guys out there want to get to someone ... they can," says David Navetta of the Information Law Group.
"It is the biggest breach we have ever seen; and to say no financial information has been stolen is, well, understating the massive breach and concern," says Neil Schwartzman, founder and chief security specialist at CASL Consulting.
The Department of Homeland Security works with RSA to investigate the sophisticated attack aimed at RSA SecurID two-factor authentication products, and card fraud linked to pay-at-the-pump gas terminals in Arizona tourist spots is on the rise.
After the revelation of Operation Aurora, the term began to take on a different meaning. "In essence," IBM's X-Force report says, "APT became associated with any targeted, sophisticated or complex attack regardless of the attacker, motive, origin or method of operation."
This kind of problem happens to everybody, says Marcus Ranum, CSO of Tenable Network Security, in response to the widely publicized breach at RSA. And maybe hes right. Perhaps this kind of problem does happen to everyone. But should it?