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.


  • IT Security Horror Story: Digging your own grave with Default Credentials

    October 29, 2014, Mark Manousogianis, Information Security Consultant, Coalfire Labs

    I recently performed a penetration test that really required no “hacking skills” whatsoever. I was able to obtain domain administrator rights simply by logging into web applications and network hardware using default credentials.

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  • IT Security Horror Story: Slow Network, Big Phish

    October 29, 2014, Mark Manousogianis, Information Security Consultant, Coalfire Labs

    It was a typical morning, just like any other for Annie. She arrived at the office just in time to fill her coffee mug and get to her desk to read her email that had been piling up since Friday. After reading through the standard office wide emails she came across one from the help desk.

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  • POODLE vulnerability assessment

    October 15, 2014, Mike Weber, Vice President, Coalfire Labs

    Vulnerability Summary: The POODLE vulnerability is due to a bug in SSL protocol, whereas Heartbleed and Shellshock were vulnerability due to a bug in software.  Heartbleed and Shellshock were confined to systems that ran vulnerable versions of software, whereas POODLE affects any system running any software that implements SSL 3.0, which is a widely implemented protocol used to provide encrypted network transmissions.  This is an “industry-wide” vulnerability.  Of Heartbleed and Shellshock, POODLE is most similar to Heartbleed as both Heartbleed and POODLE exploit vulnerabilities having to do with SSL. 

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  • Chertoff Group Security Series Educates Financial Services Institutions about Cybercrime

    September 15, 2014, Justin Orcutt, Regional Sales Manager

    Last week I attended The Chertoff Group’s Security Series on Building Resiliency for Financial Services Sector. They provided insight into what they’re doing to protect their organizations, how they see the industry evolving, and firsthand knowledge about emerging threats.

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  • Two final thoughts from the PCI Community Meeting

    September 11, 2014, Matt Getzelman, PCI Practice Director

    The 2014 North American PCI Community Meeting has drawn to a close, but the messages and lessons learned will continue to resonate with me long after I've returned home to Denver. There were two messages from the SSC this week that really struck a chord with me and I wanted to expand on why I think they are important moving forward.

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