Category Archives: cyber forensics and information security

RMU Ranked in 2018 Top Schools for Cyber Security by CyberDegrees.org

Robert Morris University was named one of the nation’s top schools in multiple categories by CyberDegrees.org. CyberDegrees.org was launched in 2013 and has become a trusted online resource for students interested in cyber security education and careers. CyberDegrees.org is recognized as a resource by various colleges including Harvard University, University of California – Los Angeles, and Georgia Tech, and organizations like the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Internet Security Alliance.

RMU was ranked #25 in Top Schools with Online Master’s in Cyber Security Programs. RMU was also ranked as one of the Best Schools with Online Computer Forensics Programs (undergraduate).

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Top Schools with Online Master’s in Cyber Security Programs

https://www.cyberdegrees.org/listings/top-online-masters-in-cyber-security-programs/

 

 

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Best Schools with Online Computer Forensics Programs

https://www.cyberdegrees.org/listings/best-online-computer-forensics-programs/

IT Intern Automated Health Systems

Job Description:

Automated Health Systems currently has an Information Sciences internship opportunity (i.e., 10-12 weeks) for Summer 2018. In this position, individuals will be involved in all steps in a software development lifecycle, including requirements analysis, design, development, testing, and deployment.

Individuals will be implementing business solutions using the latest Microsoft technology, including SQL Server, Visual Studio, C#, and ASP.NET, JAVA and JavaScript.

Qualifications:

Individuals must possess the ability to contribute to software solutions in a team environment.

Excellent oral and written communication skills are required, plus the ability to apply a structured approach to software development.

Individuals must have the ability to work in a demanding environment and be capable of quickly learning and applying new skills.

Interested candidates must be studying Information Sciences or related major. This position is located in Pittsburgh, PA. Compensation provided.

Application Instructions:

If interested in this opportunity, please submit resume and transcript with the position title in the subject line to mcable@automated-health.com or fax to (412) 367-1131.

For information see the link below: https://www.myinterfase.com/rmu/Job/Detail/clRYNys2d1EzQnFoTUd3Z3BZQ2ZNLzlaUjZGc2lHYWY3NVB4Y21OQWdQST01

Cybersecurity Internship – Summer 2018 Citizens Bank

Employment Start Date:
6/5/2018
Job Description:

The Cybersecurity Intern located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will be responsible for assisting on a number of initiatives to improve processes and implement efficiencies within Cybersecurity, Security Engineering and Architecture and/or Identity and Access Management teams.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
– Creating and/or maintaining databases and management reports; May also include reporting, data management, and other ad hoc requirements in an accurate and timely manner.
– Collect, review and analyze data and/or documentation to ensure compliance with department SLAs, policies, procedures and/or regulatory and risk requirements; and/or support of departmental programs and projects.
– Manage competing priorities in an accurate and timely manner.
– Utilize department specific systems applications.

Qualifications:
– Solid organizational skills
– Strong ability to multi-task
– Solid time management skills
– Basic knowledge of Information Security, Fraud, and/or business controls
– Strong written and verbal communication
– Detail oriented
– Intermediate to advanced in Excel, and PowerPoint

Education:
– Currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity, Information Security, IT, MIS, CIS or other related degrees
– Expected graduation date of May 2019 is preferred
– Minimum GPA 3.0

Application Instructions:

For more information check out the link below: 
https://www.myinterfase.com/rmu/Job/Detail/MkZGL3lzOW02SFdEWCt1VHE3dXFjZjlaUjZGc2lHYWY3NVB4Y21OQWdQST01

Positions Available at MITRE

The MITRE Corporation has announced several unique and exciting job opportunities.

Why choose between doing meaningful work and having a fulfilling life? At MITRE, you can have both. That’s because MITRE people are committed to tackling our nation’s toughest challenges—and we’re committed to the long-term well-being of our employees. MITRE is different from most technology companies. We are a not-for-profit corporation chartered to work for the public interest, with no commercial conflicts to influence what we do. The R&D centers we operate for the government create lasting impact in fields as diverse as cybersecurity, healthcare, aviation, defense, and enterprise transformation. We’re making a difference every day—working for a safer, healthier, and more secure nation and world. Our workplace reflects our values. We offer competitive benefits, exceptional professional development opportunities, and a culture of innovation that embraces diversity, inclusion, flexibility, collaboration, and career growth. If this sounds like the choice you want to make, then choose MITRE—and make a difference with us.

Available Positions:
Systems Engineer
Multi-Discipline Systems Engineer
Model-Based Systems Engineer

Required Qualifications:
B.S. or M.S. in Systems Engineering or related engineering degrees e.g., physics, mathematics, electrical engineering, computer science/engineering, mechanical engineering, cybersecurity engineering, industrial engineering, biomedical engineering, engineering management, aerospace engineering.

If you have completed or are currently working on any engineering academic projects such as design of a mobile or web app, development of a data analytics algorithm or application, or breaking or hardening of an IT system, please indicate this on your resume.

If interested in a position at MITRE, please forward your resume to Kimberly Harrington at knharrington@mitre.org for immediate consideration.

bit-x-bit Presentation – A TSC Sponsored Event

The Top Secret Colonials will be sponsoring a presentation by bit-x-bit which will be held on Thursday, January 25th from 4:30 – 5:30 pm in the Wheatley Atrium. bit-x-bit will be discussing how to handle a digital forensic investigation from start to finish, including the intake of evidence and preparing forensic images.

bit-x-bit is a Digital Forensics and e-Discovery consulting company, finding evidence in internal investigations and in cases of data theft and security breaches. The legal and technical teams at bit-x-bit have successfully completed hundreds of forensic investigations and e-discovery projects, ranging in scope from investigating the metadata in one file to the collection, culling and analysis of millions of electronic documents. bit-x-bit has provided e-discovery and computer forensics training to the United States District Court, government agencies and major law firms.

There will be two presenters from bit-x-bit at this event:

Brett Creasy – President and Director of Digital Forensics. Brett has over ten years of IT and Digital Forensic experience with degrees from Pittsburgh Technical Institute, Villanova University and Capella University.

Caitlin Counihan – Digital Forensic Analyst. Caitlin has been with bit-x-bit for over a year and graduated from RMU in 2016.

Students will receive SET credit for attending this event, and pizza will be provided. For more information about this event, contact Dr. Paullet at paullet@rmu.edu. For more information about bit-x-bit, click here.

Highlights: Bitcoin w/ Dr. Werner Kristjanpoller

In case you missed the presentation Bitcoin: A New Paradigm or a Financial Bubble?, here is what was discussed by Dr. Werner Kristjanpoller, our RMU Fall 2017 Rooney International Scholar.

Dr. Werner Kristjanpoller:

  • professor in the Industrial Engineering Department at Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM), in Chile
  • Career Director of Industrial Engineering for UTFSM’s main Campus
  • Director of 3ie – the Business Incubator of UTFSM
  • Ph.D in Business Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, in Spain
  • MBA from UTFSM
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Vast research and teaching span includes:
    • finance and economics
    • econometrics
    • application of artificial intelligence to forecast financial assets
  • Published in several journals such as:
    • Expert Systems with Applications
    • Applied Energy
    • Computational Economics
    • Sex Roles
    • Journal of Pension Economics and Finance
    • Emerging Markets Finance and Trade
  • His plans at RMU are to research crypto currency, and develop a hypothesis for returns and volatility of Bitcoin.

The Presentation:

Bitcoin: hot topic – the fundamentals of currency.

Need for currency

  • Barter(good for small civilizations) -> (increased commerce)currency
  • EX: salt, seafood shells, cow, vegetables, stones, etc.
  • Gold: most popular, and silver appeared – prevented currency from expiring. Creation of coins
    • Gold stores – transferred your gold to a paper equivalent; beginning of bills
    • Needed coins/gold to support the money being printed
  • Gold system – all the money of a country needed to be able to be turned into gold that each central bank protected. Since 1930. Money could be changed to gold, and vice versa.
    • Every country has responsibility – but then it was left up to the US dollar to be the standard for all coins.
    • EX: pesos to US dollar
    • 1973: Nixon decided to end the condition of the uS dollar as the standard because we did not have enough gold to support the bills.
      • US was running out of gold needed to support all the circulating dollars.
      • TODAY: no metal support. Money only has value because we trust that it has value. -> essential to the financial value of Bitcoin.

Crypto Currency – 2009; virtual money; seeks decentralization – no central state controlling this; no one has control over the internet.

  • Only generates a number of previously sdefined units, at a rate that is limited by a previously established and publicly known value
  • We have a fixed amount
  • More than 800 currencies have been created – bad
  • Allows you to make purchases internationally and be exchanged for another currency without intermediaries
  • Some think that there will be no tellers, cash registers, queues, or waits;
    • Amazon Go*: no lines – just walkout and receive payment to your amazon account; Dec 2016. Use of virtual currency and algorithms to keep track of what you pick up, and you can just leave.
    • Bank behind transactions.

Bitcoin – virtual currency, which is generated in a consensual network that allows a new payment system.

  • First specificiation of the bitcoin protocol and proof: Satoshi Nakamoto (referred to this as his pseudonym) in 2009 in an email list launched this proof of concept.
  • Numerous developers working on the bitcoin protocol; more people began to grow exponentially into the community of bitcoin: the more people who trust in bitcoin, the more industries will begin accepting bitcoin as a currency.
  • Bitcoin has no owners
  • Bitcoin network shares public accounting called “block chain” – system behind bitcoin

How does bitcoin work:

  • Exchange money electronically like an email or a text
  • Makes sure no one can send money from someone else’s account
  • Signature required based on cryptography – used to create signatures through decryption proving that it is them; signatures cannot be copied because they are different for each transaction
  • Provides a decentralized system
  • Maintainers – keeps personal copy of ledger and updates it
  • Fraud can cause changes in ledgers – vote on which one is the correct ledger using a mathematical formula by having users solve the problem, hand in the answer, each vote has a cost in electricity and computing power.
    • Keeping it fair: each puzzle is based on previous answer before starting
    • Only thing that makes people finish it faster is through having more electricity and computing power.
    • Solving puzzles -> small money; these people are called “miners”; randomly generating new money for the solving of puzzles.
  • Reliability: accurate ledger is found through mathematical probability

Advantages:

  • Ease of payment – send and receive instantaneously
  • Security and control – bitcoin users have complete control over their transactions
  • Very low rates – payment swith bitcoin are currently processed at low rates or at no charge. Can send money from US to Japan with no additional cost instantaneously.
  • Less risk of fraud
  • Neutral and transparent – all people know the quantity of bitcoin in the world – it is open to all; all information is available

Disadvantages:

  • Degree of acceptance – many people still do not know Bitcoin; “big barrier to jump”
  • Volatility – the total value of bitcoins in circulation and the number of businesses using bitcoin are very small compared to what it may become.
    • volatitlity can be used to as an advantage in some cases
    • Bitcoin: keeps increasing in price, lowering in price, coming up to $6,000 per Bitcoin soon.
    • Financial battle: because it continues to change
  • Developing System – still in the beta phase with many incomplete features in development.
    • “Déjà vu” – “what is internet” (1994) “why would you buy a computer” “bitcoin”(made in 2009) – designed to be self-stabilizing.
    • Bitcoin is no longer a scam? Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfeind said his bank was considering bitcoin.
    • Howard Marks – billionaire investor; referred to it as a fad but has now accepted it as having the most valuable characteristic – people believe in and trust bitcoin as a currency.

Is bitcoin a threat?

  • Fear about crypto currency because it implies to lost power – loss of state power – loss of centralization.
  • Several industries can be negatively affected with the break-in of Bitcoin
  • Several governments have been forced to regulate their use or ban it.
  • Several governments have been pushing cashless
    • If all transactions are done by card or transfers with banks, the govt could lose power
  • Some banks in Japan want to launch their own crypto currency – J coin.
    • Japanese government could be accepting
    • Against economy’s basis in Japan to reject Bitcoin.
    • If japan launches J-coin; and you have to choose one – you are more likely to choose J coin over Bitcoin due to the fact that J coin is centrally supported by an entire country.

Bitcoin behavior:

  • Research in progress “Forecasting the Bitcoin Volatility
  • Kristjanpoller & Minutolo 2017.
  • Mixing econometrics model with networking
  • Generate bitcoin volatility for a week, weeks, and a month.

Q&A:

A question was asked about the legal implications of the court trying to define Bitcoin (property/currency/both?)

  • Report gains in bitcoin as gains in property
  • Federal government’s legal system is trying to see how to view it as well as how the IRS should view it.
  • IRS – asset not taxed; official policy that it is property and should be taxed as such and not currency creates an inefficiency in the market.  Smart companies will trade capitol in Ireland to bitcoin and then bring it back to the US because it will get taxed differently.  If not seen as a currency, then it cannot be taxed as currency.
  • J coin is an attempt to change the tax on that earnings.

Recommended readings/videos:

  • The Aisles have Eyes
  • The rise and mine of Bitcoin
  • Money: the Unofficial Biography

Highlights: Splunk Presentation with U.S. Steel’s James Wolfe

This event was held October 26th, and in case you missed it, here are some of the highlights to be taken away from the presentation.  So, if you were in class and regretted now skipping class for this, we have got you covered!

Main Points:

  • Searches – he discussed how when you use the search bar, it is important to understand its format:
    • [general code] | [less general] | [continually more specific search]
    • as you can tell, the idea is that there are commands that you use that are processed from left to write, and each command is separate by the |(pipe).
  • Save searches! – with there being so many different ways to slice all of the network traffic that Splunk is managing, having different frequented searches saved is very convenient to insure more time searching network traffic, and not google for Splunk commands.
  • Statistics – in order for anomaly detection to work, there needs to be an idea of what is normal.  One person’s smile could be another person’s bad-day face.  It is important to judge off of what is normal for the network traffic, much like judging someone’s behavior off of what is normal for that person.  The statistics generated are what determines what falls within normal behavior for their network.
  •  Real-time Graphs & Charts – generating graphs and charts that will actually change and adjust in real time are super important.  It allows an easy way to understand what is going on in the network – instantaneously.  Wolfe stressed that bosses will love something so clean, visually appealing, and content-specific.

Splunk application:

This presentation was about Splunk, the security event manager/log aggregation software.  If you have had Paullet’s class and suffered through the wonderfully challenging Enron emails assignment, then you have had a small taste of this software’s capabilities.  Splunk can be used for a wide variety of applications because of its ability to organize/index large sums of information with ease into databases, or indexes.  James Wolfe focused on Splunk’s network security applications.  James Wolfe is a security administrator for U.S. Steel, so his job requires him to focus on network traffic such as IPs, users, or anything that could potentially indicate a point of failure for their network.  Wolfe explained that the beauty of Splunk is that you can start looking without needing to know exactly what it is that you are looking for – exactly how I described my use of Splunk when trying to find incriminating Enron emails.  Because security is the importance of the job, he discussed the commands that would be useful for security.  These things included:

  • dedup – removes duplicates in your search.
    • EX: dedup user, src_ip
  • wineventlog
    • 4625 – this code indicates a failure to log in

A very basic example shown to us to show how the data was being used to detect anomalies was through the ratio or successful to unsuccessful log ins for users.  By creating a baseline formula for the rate of successful logins for each user, the computer can flag any time there is a change in this rate that goes within 1-2 standard deviations.  The data is all producing algorithms and equations based on what you – the user of the Splunk software – deems important.

  • table_raw – views the raw informaiton that splunk pulled the information from for the databases/indexes

This raw information was very education in seeing how convenient the software is, because the raw version was pretty jumbled, messy, and difficult to understand.

Career Advice:

  • Deskside/IT support is a good career start – you learn to troubleshoot
  • Ask as many questions as you can – be willing to do projects; this will make you valuable.
  • CERTIFICATIONS: N+* – basic fundamentals of networking.
  • Government – certifications are legally required
  • CCNA – CISCO; mid-level
  • Maintain a strong work ethic
  • Log into a firewall – download free for home*
  • 2 year schools like ITT tech allows hands on experience
  • 4 year degree preferable, but less hands on – it proves that you are hardworking and willing to put in the time necessary; this ties in greatly with having a strong work ethic.
  • Microsoft imagine account; dream spark; 2016 data center OS worth $3,000 [we get it for free at RMU, so utilize it!]
    • Spin up a DHCE from home
  • All acronyms – know.
  • Splunk: just saying that you have worked with Splunk automatically gives you an edge against the competition for any job in security.
  • Google: useful; know that it really is alright to google what you do not understand when doing anything on the computer.  There is so much to know, and as long as you accept that you will be learning throughout your entire career, you will be able to stay in demand with employers.

Fun Facts:

  • Companies have filters on their employee’s computers preventing them from going on certain sites.  Because you cannot access these through google, users will use Bing as their loophole to sites that they are not supposed to access.
  • U.S. Steel, much like other companies, uses firewall redundancy to prevent any debilitating security errors.
  • Splunk is free to download; free for developers license. All software is free all you need is to buy your own server with 16 gigs – plenty for an at home – of ram.  Buy second NIC. Spin up VMs. Download licenses.