Welcome to The Cyber Ranch Podcast, recorded under the big blue skies of Texas, where one CISO explores the cybersecurity landscape with the help of friends and experts! Today, host and CISO Allan Alford interviews Mike Manrod, CISO at Grand Canyon Education. Mike has done quite a bit of research on vishing, smishing and the upcoming STIR/SHAKEN legislation meant to combat those two.
To start the conversation, Allan asks Mike to share a little about himself, his background in information security and what he does at his day job. Mike started as an IT technologist who orginally resented the security team for slowing down technology projects. Then a friend took him to a security conference, and the rest is history.
Mike explains what vishing and smishing are, contrasting them to traditional phishing. Mike and Allan discuss personally targeted vishing and smishing vs. attacks targeted at organizations.
Allan and Mike cover the new STIR/SHAKEN legislation and related RFCs, along with the technical limitations inherent in the approach.
Finally, Allan asks Mike what keeps him going in cybersecurity, including technical challenges and a strong infosec community.
0:24 Allan introduces Mike
1:05 Mike explains how he got into cybersecurity and what his daily CISO life is like.
2:48 Mike explains what vishing and smishing are.
3:32 Mike explains the unethical vishing vs. truly illegal vishing and how they might target an organization vs. an individual.
7:18 Mike explains how most smishing is targeted at individuals. SIM swapping and other techniques are generally what is used against enterprises.
8:00 Mike says that smishing is most often used to introduce malware or harvesting user credentials.
9:31 Mike says that smishing, vishing and robocalling definitely mimic the ransomware world where lower-level, even non-technical criminals run the front line of attack.
11:34 Mike compares STIR/SHAKEN to the anti-phishing technologies DKIM, DMARC and SPF.
11:49 Allan explains that those email technologies are opt-in and only effective if all parties choose to opt in.
12:31 Mike explains what STIR/SHAKEN stand for and how they work - they are based on a series of RFCs.
13:43 Mike explains the FCC June 30, 2021 deadline for IP-based carriers to adhere to STIR/SHAKEN. TDM and Cellular networks are asked to implement in good faith.
15:48 Mike says that STIR/SHAKEN is a great step in the right direction. The nature of the problem is that the 'from' value is user-controlled in telco communications.
17:29 Mike sas that an enforced heirachy of tokens will solve the problem ultimately.
18:15 Mike recommend RFC 7340 as the best definition of the problem statement for the telephony challenged end-to-end.
18:45 Mike explains how STIR/SHAKEN also impacts smishing - noting that iMessage and other SMS-derived technologies already offer better security than voice technologies.
19:29 Mike states that a paradigm with certificates bound to number ranges or account ranges is the real solution to the problem.
21:01 Mike explains that fun technical challenges are why he stays in information security - a lack of bordeom.
21:58 Mike also names community as another reason he stays in infosec.
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