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Essential Documents


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'In business, having the right information at the right time can make the difference between profit and loss, success and failure.'

: protecting information from unauthorised disclosure;

protecting information from unauthorised modifications, and ensure that information is accurate and complete;

: ensuring information is available when needed;

The three pillars of Information Security.


Essential Documents


800-36, "Guide to Selecting Information Security Products, NIST, October 2003

800-35, Guide to Information Technology Security Services [3 MB]., NIST, October 2003

Federal Agency Security Practices (FASP) effort was initiated as a result of the success of the Federal CIO Council’s Federal Best Security Practices (BSP) pilot effort to identify, evaluate, and disseminate best practices for CIP and security. 2003 -2000

Computer Security Course (LV 142 A)
, (Courtesy of Mark Burgess)

GAO Executive Guide Information Security Management Learning From Leading Organizations, GAO/AIMD-98-68 Information Security Management, May 1998


Hearing on The Use Of Biometrics To Improve Aviation Security, Subcommittee on Aviation, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, May 2004

Information Security: Challenges in Using Biometrics, by Keith A. Rhodes, chief technologist, before the Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations, and the Census, House Committee on Government Reform. GAO-03-1137T, September 9, 2003.

"Biometric Identifiers and the Modern Face of Terror: New Technologies in the Global War on Terrorism"
, Hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Government Information, Wednesday, November 14th, 2001

Business Continuity Planning

Business Continuity Planning - A safety net for businesses, Infocon Magazine Issue One, October 2003

Business Continuity Planning Interview with David Spinks, EDS, Infocon Magazine Issue One, October 2003

Encryption & Passwords 
Advances and Remaining Challenges to Adoption of Public Key Infrastructure Technology [ 742K] is the title of US General Accounting Office Computer Security Reports published in February 2001. The report concludes that the US goverment will have to implement PKI structure in order to realise its e-goverment initiative.(Currently US e-government initiatives are hindered by the fact that many government agencies use different encryption systems. A PKI might be a solution, but it will be expensive and difficult to realise due to the sheer size of the US government.)

Selecting Good Passwords
The US Center for Information Technology, National Institutes of Health advice on how to choose passwords which are not easily to guess

National Cryptologic Strategy for the 21st Century
NSA: 'These pages outline the National Security Agency/Central Security Service's strategic plan for the 21st century, and how we intend to achieve our goal: information superiority for America.'

Denial of Service Attacks 

DDoS - 15 Preventive Measures
by by the 'Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik'

Overviews of Scans and DDoS Attacks - Executive Summary by the FBI NIPC May 2001

Defense Tactics for DDOS Attacks FedCIRC

CIAC: Distributed Denial of Service US Department of Energy Report published in February 2000.


NIST Special Publication 800-41, Guidelines on Firewalls and Firewall Policy [1.2 MB]. This document contains an overview of recent developments in firewall technology, and guidance on configuring firewall environments. It discusses firewall access control, active content filtering, DMZs, and co-location with VPNs, web and email servers, and intrusion detection. It contains guidance on developing firewall policy and recommendations for administering firewalls. Lastly, it contains several appendices with links to other firewall-related resources and recommendations for configuring and operating firewalls.

NIST SP 800-72 Guidelines on PDA Forensics [1.2 MB] November 2004

Home PC Security

Connecting to the Internet Securely; Protecting Home Networks   (CIAC-2324) This paper discusses problems and solutions related to protection of home computers from attacks on those computers via the network connection. (Released 1/08/03)

Defending Your Home Computer by the Information Warfare Division Chief (or Branch Chief) of the Joint Command, Control and Information Warfare School at the Joint Forces Staff College.  It includes best practices and personal recommendations. 

Human Capital
Human Capital: Attracting and Retaining a High-Quality Information Technology Workforce, testimony by David L. McClure, director, information technology management issues, before the Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy, House Committee on Government Reform. GAO-02-113T, October 4.

IDS - Intrusion Detection Systems

NIST Inter-agency Report (NISTIR) 7007: An Overview of Issues in Testing Intrusion Detection Systems. While intrusion detection systems are becoming ubiquitous defenses in today's networks, currently we have no comprehensive and scientifically rigorous methodology to test the effectiveness of these systems. This paper explores the types of performance measurements that are desired and that have been used in the past. We review many past evaluations that have been designed to assess these metrics. We also discuss the hurdles that have blocked successful measurements in this area and present suggestions for research directed toward improving our measurement capabilities, June 2003

SP 800-31 Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), [850 KB] August 2001 (NIST Computer Security Special Publications)

Information Security Awareness

Information Assurance Awareness Posters, Keesler Air Force Base, 2004

NIST Special Publication 800-50, Building an Information Technology Security Awareness and Training Program, October, 2003 (previous drafts)

FASP Security, Awareness, Training and Education improves awareness of the need to protection system resources as well as develops skills and knowledge so computer users can perform their jobs more securely and build in-depth knowledge.Awareness. 2000 - 2003

Social Engineering Security Awareness Series, © Melissa Guenther 2001

Information Security Awareness Version 1.0 14 April, 2000 (© Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 2000) Prepared by: Bruce Hunter, BEng, MEng, Government of Canada PKI Secretariat, Chief Information Officer Branch, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

IT Standards

pdf Measuring the Effectiveness of Security using ISO 27001, Steve Wright, July, 2006

German IT Baseline Protection Manual Standard security safeguards
by the 'Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik' [2000]

BS7799/ISO 17799 How it Works (courtesy of Gamma Secure Systems Limited)

Technical Security Standard for Information Technology (TSSIT) A Canadian IT security guideline , which is similar to BS 7799 and available for free [August 1997, © Copyright 2000. Royal Canadian Mounted Police]

The Rainbow Series including the Orange Book (Trusted Computer System, Evaluation Criteria) DOD standard 5200.28-STD, December, 1985 which characterise secure computing architectures and defines levels A1 (most secure) through D (least).

ITSEC 'During the 1980s, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands produced versions of their own national criteria. These were harmonised and published as the Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria (ITSEC). The current issue, Version 1.2, was published by the European Commission in June 1991. In September 1993, it was followed by the IT Security Evaluation Manual (ITSEM) which specifies the methodology to be followed when carrying out ITSEC evaluations.'

Network Security Testing 

SP 800-42 Guideline on Network Security Testing [1.6 MB], NIST October 2003


Information Security: Continued Actions Needed to Improve Federal Software Patch Management. GAO-04-706, May 02, 2004

GAO Information Security: Effective Patch Management Is Critical to Mitigating Software Vulnerabilities, by Robert F. Dacey, director, information security, before the Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations, and the Census, House Committee on Government Reform. GAO-03-1138T, September 11, 2003

SP 800-40 Procedures for Handling Security Patches, [3.9 MB] NIST, September 2002

Risks and Threats 

NIPC White Paper "Risk Management: An Essential guide to Protecting Critical Assets - November 2002

Canadian Threat and Risk Assessment Working Guide
'provides guidance to an individual (or a departmental team) carrying out a Threat and Risk Assessment (TRA) for an existing or proposed IT system.' (© Communications Security Establishment 1999)


Rootkits: Hiding a Successful System Compromise by Geoff Galitz, Research Computing, College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley 2001


CAN-SPAM Act Hearing, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, May 2004

Spam Mitigation Techniques: 2004 NISCC Technical Notes No. 02/04, March 2004 (© Crown copyright)

About spam and Tracing Spam (Courtesy of Enrico Savazzi) The article provides a good insight into what spam is and on how to fight it.

Alt.spam FAQ (1/1) or "Figuring out fake E-Mail & Posts". Rev 20010410 'This FAQ will help in deciphering which machine a fake e-Mail or post came from, and who (generally or specifically) you should contact.'


Hearing: Spyware: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You, Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, April 29, 2004

Spyware - Communications Hearing, US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, March 23 2004

  Viruses & Worms 

Computer Viruses: The Disease, the Detection, and the Prescription for Protection, Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, November 6, 2003

Worm and Virus Defense: How Can We Protect Our Nation's Computers From These Serious Threats?" Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

" What Can be Done to Reduce the Threats Posed by Computer Viruses and Worms to the Workings of Government?"
before the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management, and Intergovernmental Relations, House Committee on Government Reform. August 29, 2001.

Information Security: Code Red, Code Red II, and SirCam Attacks Highlight Need for Proactive Measures, by Keith Rhodes, chief technologist, before the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management, and Intergovernmental Relations, House Committee on Government Reform. GAO-01-1073T, August 29, 2001.

Warhol Worms: The Potential for Very Fast Internet Plagues by Nicholas C Weaver, August 2001

VIRUS-L/comp.virus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) v2.00
' This posting contains a list of Frequently Asked Questions, and their answers, about computer viruses.'

Wireless Security

SP 800-48 Wireless Network Security: 802.11, Bluetooth, and Handheld Devices [1 MB] NIST November 2002

NIPC Best Practices for Wireless Fidelity (802.11b)


Cybersecurity & Consumer Data: What's at Risk for the Consumer? Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection November 19, 2003

Justify the Return on Security Investments to Company Stakeholders - Crafting a quantifiable business case, L Chris N Shepherd, ICCT Corp Jan, 2003

The Fundamentals The Fundamentals of Utility IT Security of Utility IT Security Protecting Networks, Protecting Networks, Applications and Data Applications and Data Center for Business Intelligence conference Center for Business Intelligence conference - Electronic Security for the Power Industry Electronic Security for the Power Industry Omni Ambassador East Hotel Omni Ambassador East Hotel - Chicago, IL Chicago, IL - October 28 October 28-29, 2002 29, 2002

Information Security: Additional Actions Needed to Implement Reform Provisions, by Robert Dacey, director, information management -- security, before the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management, and Intergovernmental Relations, House Committee on Government Reform. GAO-02-470T, March 6, 2002.

Testimony and Statement for the Record of Bruce Schneier, Chief Technical Officer, Counterpane Internet Security, Inc.; Hearing on Internet Security before the Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, United States Senate, July 16, 2001

Information Security: Weak Controls Place Interior's Financial and Other Data at Risk. GAO-01-615, July 3, 2001.

CERT: The Next Generation The Demise of the Internet's Last Objective and "Trusted" Organization by Richard Forno, Article 2001-03 (c) 2001. All rights reserved. (article courtesy of Richard Forno), 21 April 2001

Honeynet Project Whitepapers The honeynet project is a group of 30 security professionals dedicated to learning the tools, tactics, and motives of the blackhat community and sharing those lessons learned. The team collects this information on their own time with their own resources using honey pods.

New hash algorithms (SHA-256, SHA-384, and SHA-512) have been developed and will be proposed in a draft Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) in 2001.

The Secretary of Commerce announced NIST's section of the Rijndael encryption algorithm, developed by Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen of Belgium, to propose as the Advanced Encryption Standard [October 2, 2000] .

Subcommittee Issues First Report Card on Computer Security The details of the shocking report of the computer security at Federal departments and agencies published by the Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology on September 11, 2000. Some critics have again asked for the creation of a new position: a government Information Chief, responsible for the overall management of Federal Computer Security.

2000 Information Security Industry Survey [542K] by the Information Security Magazine (ICSA.net). 'Security budgets are way up. So are security breaches. As the challenges multiply, the 2000 Information Security Industry Survey explores how to maintain your focus.' [offsite, published September 2000]

Ethics in Military and Civilian Software Development (Long Form) by Sam Nitzberg was awarded 2nd place in the Ft. Monmouth chapter of the Armed Forced Communications Electronics Association (AFCEA) technical call for papers competition, June, 1999, Gibbs Hall, Ft. Monmouth. A short form of this paper was presentated and published in Ethicomp '99, LUISS, University of Rome, Italy.

GAO Computer Attacks at the Department of Defense Pose increasing Risks, GAO -AIMD-96-84. 1998

Computer Viruses in Unix Networks by Peter Radatti

The Plausibility of UNIX Virus Attacks by Peter Radatti


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Information Security Group at the Department of Mathematics, Royal Holloway, University of London. 'This Group offers an active research environment with ten established academic posts and a large number of research students, making it one of the largest academic security groups in the world.'


The following 14 research centres have been designated by the NSA as Centers of Excellence in Information Assurance under the Centers of Excellence Program:

Companies & Organisations

7Pillars Partners is a professional military and intelligence advisory firm. It focuses on Intelligence services: outsourcing, briefings, training Information security and assurance: defensive strategies and tactics, design methods, implementation services Information operations and IWAR: defensive and offensive information and infrastructural operations.

CERT® Coordination Center 'The CERT® Coordination Center (CERT/CC) is a center of Internet security expertise. It is located at the Software Engineering Institute, a federally funded research and development center operated by Carnegie Mellon University.'

Computer Crime Consultants 'Computer Crime Consultants Ltd. (CCC), as the name suggests, is a firm of specialists who offer services in IT security and in combating computer crime.
CCC is an independent company and has no commercial agreements with suppliers of either software or hardware products. It derives its income from the supply of confidential consultancy services in the areas of IT Security, Investigations and Information Services.'

CyberSoft, Inc. a computer security software manufacturer which products are sold to governments and large international corporations...

Computer Security Institute '(CSI) is the world's leading membership organization specifically dedicated to serving and training the information, computer and network security professional. Since 1974, CSI has been providing education and aggressively advocating the critical importance of protecting information assets.'

Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST)

Fred Cohen & Associates 'Innovation, insight, and objectivity have been the hallmarks of Fred Cohen & Associates over the last 20 years. From education, to research, to consulting, they bring their clients the highest quality, the most advanced thinking, and the best strategic analysis available today.'

Gamma Secure Systems Limited 'is a leading Information Security consultancy, famous for its innovative information security solutions. We helped to write the ITSEC and ISO/IEC 17799 (formerly BS7799), and have helped our clients to develop a greater understanding of security policy, risk analysis and trust. We are now engaged in helping our clients to project the trustworthiness of their own services to their respective markets.'

Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation 'Professional Engineering Services firm, has assisted clients over the past 20 years in meeting the challenges of an ever changing national/international environment.'



Argus Revolution 'Open Security Discussion, Free B1 Trusted Operating System for non-commercial use. The Revolution is about providing a forum for open discussion of security issues.'

=CALEB15= 'Security for Windows and Linux'

cgisecurity.com 'A site that looks into the risks that port 80 can bring. We will be dealing with such aspects as Web Server security, cgi, asp, and various other scripting languages.'

Cyberdefenders 'provides free internet security tips and techniques aimed at the small office and home office.'

Dutch Security Information Network

Hacker Emergency Response Team  'is an international non-profit organization based in France. Exactly like CERT, the US counterpart, the first goal is to provide accurate information about computer security vulnerabilities, provide incident response services to sites that have been the victims of attacks, publish security alerts and find new vulnerabilities.'

Help Net Security 'has been online since 1998. The content of the site is the following: security news, vulnerabilities, press releases, a large download section, articles, a well-stocked bookstore, an extensive viruses section, a weekly newsletter, and much more. The site is also WAP enabled.'

Info.sec.radio broadcast 'This week's Info.sec.radio broadcast features the latest news from the world of computer and information security and the latest vulnerabilities'

IT Security Cookbook 'This book is intended as a 'self help' guide to computer & network security, primarily for security managers, programmers and system administrators.'

Infowarrior.org The web site of the authors of the Art of Information Warfare

The Information Technology Professional's Resource Center 'ITPRC was created in March of 1999 to provide a one-stop-shop for IT professionals to find technical information relating to data networking. In addition to providing links to a vast collection of networking related information available on the Internet, the ITPRC provides links to career management information and forums for IT professionals to interact.'

Lucid Empires an Australian website 'designed to inform and educate people in Australia that have a particular interest in privacy, security and freedom of speech.'.

Nightbird a French InfoSecurity Site: 'Base de donnees d'exploits traduits en francais. News, outils et documentations sur la securite. Mise a jour quotidienne. '

Packet Storm 'Packet Storm Security is the worlds largest collection of open source security tools, advisories, exploits, scanners, and new security information.'

Radiusnet 'Radiusnet is a site that deals mainly with Cryptology, we have the largest known archive. We also carry all the infamous RFC ducuments along with the infamous Rainbow Books in 4 different formats.'

The Rijndael Page The homepage of Vincent Rijmen, the designer of the rijndael block cipher:

Sam Nitzberg's Security and Home Page 'This is the web page of Sam Nitzberg, an American computer security expert who has published and chaired panels internationally on the subjects of various aspects of computer security, as well as computer ethics and information warfare. The conferences he has presented in have included venues focusing on Technology and Society, Computers and Ethics, Hacker Interests, and Military Informatics. Present on this web site are Sam Nitzberg's published works, andother items of both general and security interest.'


Secured: the trojan removal help site 'dedicated to helping those that have been infected and hacked by trojan hackers . We have detailed information on over 150 remote access trojans , plus a huge files archives full of protection programs . This is New Zealands largest net security site.'

'SecurityFocus.com is designed to facilitate discussion on security related topics, create security awareness, and to provide the Internet's largest and most comprehensive database of security knowledge and resources to the public. It also hosts the BUGTRAQ mailing list.'

SecurityPortal ' currently serves as the voice of security with its widely distributed e-newsletter and website with thousands of pages of security information.'

Talisker's Intrusion Detection Systems 'This independent site lists every known commercial Intrusion Detection System, plus a few other seasoned campaigners, it is aimed at those within the fascinating IDS field, allowing them to scope the extensive product range available to them.'

TECS: The Encyclopedia of Computer Security 'comprising full News coverage, a comprehensive Product database, a detailed Glossary, a wide-ranging Links library, an extensive Whitepapers archive and much more - all updated daily."

Vmyths.com 'formerly the Computer Virus Myths home page Learn about computer virus myths, hoaxes, urban legends, and the implications if you believe in them. You can also search a list of computer virus hoaxes from A to Z.'

X Corps Security a site devoted to Computer Security

Italian Resources

Securityinfos 'la prima risorsa italiana di Computer Security'

GardaWeb - Security Advisor


Canada | Japan | United Kingdom | United States


Communications Security Establishment '(CSE) is a federal government lead agency that delivers Information Technology Security (ITS) solutions to the government of Canada.'


Information-Technology Security Center (ISEC) 'is the center for promoting information security in Japan. It was established on January 1, 1997 as a department of the IPA. The IPA is an affiliated organization of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). '

United Kingdom

Communications-Electronics Security Group 'CESG is the Communications-Electronics Security Group, part of the United Kingdom Civil Service, tasked with looking after the technical aspects of keeping official IT and communications systems safe from compromise.'

ITSEC Scheme 'Under the UK ITSEC scheme, the security features of IT systems and products are tested independently of suppliers to identify logical vulnerabilities. This type of testing is known as security evaluation and it is carried out against standardised criteria to a formalised methodology.'

United States

Computer Incident Advisory Capability 'provides on-call technical assistance and information to Department of Energy (DOE) sites faced with computer security incidents. This central incident handling capability is one component of all encompassing service provided to the DOE community. The other services CIAC provides are: awareness, training, and education; trend, threat, vulnerability data collection and analysis; and technology watch.'

Computer Security Resource Center 
This site contains information about a variety of computer security issues, products, and research of concern to Federal agencies, industry, and users. This site is operated and maintained by NIST's Computer Security Division as a service to the computer security and IT community

The Federal Computer Incident Response Center (FedCIRC) 'is the central coordination and analysis facility dealing with computer security related issues affecting the civilian agencies and departments of the Federal Government.'

33 Information Operations Squadron 'Established in 1992, the mission of the AFCERT is to provide information protect (IP) assistance to Air Force units. The AFCERT conducts operations involving intrusion detection, incident response, computer security information assistance, and vulnerability assessment of Air Force automated information systems. The AFCERT also provides decision support to the Air Staff, Defense Information Systems Agency, and Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and guidance on policies and procedures to other government agencies.'

Information Systems Security Organization (NSA)l 'NSA/CSS provides the Solutions, Products and Services, and conducts Defensive Information Operations, to achieve Information Assurance for information infrastructures critical to U.S. National Security interests.'

National Computer Security Center '(NCSC) of the National Security Agency is the world leader in information systems security standards and solutions. Working in partnership with industry, academic institutions, and other U.S. government agencies, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the NCSC initiates needed research and develops and publishes standards and criteria for trusted information systems.'

NIST's Computer Security Resource Center
'This site contains information about a variety of computer security issues, products, and research of concern to Federal agencies, industry, and users.'

Mailing Lists

The IWS INFOCON Centre mailing list is devoted to the discussion of cyberthreats and all aspects of information operations, including offensive and defensive information warfare, information assurance, psychological operations, electronic warfare, ....

InfoSec News 'InfoSec News is a privately run, medium traffic list that caters to distribution of information security news articles. These articles will come from newspapers, magazines, online resources, and more. '

The Internet Security Conference Newsletter (TISC Insight) has been designed to be a resource for security professionals.

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