The Coalfire Blog

Welcome to the Coalfire Blog, a resource covering the most important issues in IT security and compliance. You'll also find information on Coalfire's insights into the unique cybersecurity issues that impact the industries we serve, including Cloud Service Providers, RetailFinancial Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, Payments, Government, Restaurants, and Utilities.

The Coalfire blog is written by the company's leadership team and our highly-credentialed security assessment experts. We look forward to your comments, so please join the conversation.


  • CoalfireOne Special Notes

    January 08, 2019, Erica Woods, Associate, Commercial Services, Vulnerability Assessments and Scanning, Coalfire

    PCI-DSS can be challenging  to navigate – particularly when it comes to the ASV scanning requirements.  While fulfilling the scanning requirement is easy, obtaining a passing  attestation report may involve more than simply remediating failed findings.  One requirement that we receive many questions about is Special Notes.

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  • RISE in the Community

    January 08, 2019, Chalice Beam, Consultant, Health & Life Sciences, Coalfire

    Hope House of Colorado is metro-Denver’s only resource for providing free self-sufficiency programs to teen moms, including residential, General Educational Development (GED), and college and career programs. Additional supportive services include parenting and healthy relationship classes, life skills workshops, and certified counseling, all designed to prepare young mothers for long-term independence. On December 3, 2018, Coalfire RISE members teamed with Hope House of Colorado to announce a scholarship program to add to Hope House’s programs and advance our mission of giving back to our communities while supporting the development of cybersecurity talent.

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  • Epic Holiday Cookie Baking

    December 21, 2018, Jim Allee, Senior Consultant, Coalfire

    One aspect of being a penetration tester that is always rewarding is the process of rabbit-holing into an area of interest and letting the data guide me to my destination. Recently, while updating and testing new code on a custom cookie fuzzing tool (Anomalous Cookie – https://github.com/Coalfire-Research/AnomalousCookie.git/), I discovered a XSS (cross-site scripting) vulnerability on EpicGames.com. While it appeared possible to write a good payload (stealing cookies and injecting malicious JavaScript/BeEF hooking), I had no good way to deliver it. Traditional cookie-stuffing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cookie_stuffing) might work to drop the rogue cookie onto a target’s machine; but could there be other ways? If not, this would most certainly be classified as 'Self-XSS.'

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  • PCI Announces Coming Qualified PIN Assessor (QPA) Program

    December 19, 2018, Sam Pfanstiel, Senior Consultant, P2PE, Coalfire

    Second only to protecting sensitive credit card account information, safeguarding the cardholder’s personal identification number (PIN) is one of the most important tasks for prevention of card-present fraud in retail and banking. With the continued movement toward chip-and-PIN EMV (the technology standard named for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa), it is even more crucial that entities handling PINs protect this information properly in the face of continually evolving threats.

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  • What You Should Know About the Changing Nature of Telephone-Based Payments

    December 10, 2018, Karl Steinkamp, Director, PCI Product and Quality Assurance

    In March 2011, the PCI SSC released the initial version of the “Protecting Telephone-Based Payments Card Data” Information Supplement as a guide to help assessors assess environments where cardholder data was stored, processed, and/or transmitted over the telephone. It was a pivotal guidance document at the time that set the stage for a broader focus on telephony technologies. As of November 2018, that time has finally arrived. The revised document provides a comprehensive dive into various telephony architectures (specifically VoIP, ISDN, and PSTN) and related people and processes that are required to be considered within scope for PCI DSS compliance.

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