Dr. Chase Cunningham - Defend & Conquer Weekly Review February 7, 2024

  • News
  • By Daniel Michan
  • Published on February 7

As a cybersecurity professional, staying informed and continually expanding your knowledge is crucial to staying ahead of the ever-evolving cyber threats landscape. One effective way to enhance your expertise is through books. In this article, I will introduce you to ten must-read cybersecurity books for 2024, covering diverse topics and perspectives that will deepen your understanding of this field.

Cyber for Builders: The Essential Guide to Building a Cybersecurity Startup by Chase Cunningham

This book provides valuable insights into building a cybersecurity startup, covering everything from establishing the foundation to navigating the challenges and opportunities in this competitive industry.

Cybersecurity: Your Master Plan by Dr. Gerald Auger

Dr. Gerald Auger presents proven techniques and effective tips to advance your cybersecurity career. From developing essential skills to positioning yourself for growth, this book offers a comprehensive roadmap for professional success.

Evading EDR: The Definitive Guide to Defeating Endpoint Detection Systems

This book is a must-read for individuals looking to understand and overcome endpoint detection systems. It provides practical strategies and insights for evading and bypassing these systems, ensuring that cyber attackers can't easily detect and mitigate their activities.

If It's Smart, It's Vulnerable by Miko Hyppönen

In this book, Miko Hyppönen explores the vulnerabilities associated with smart technology. He sheds light on how connected devices, despite their convenience, pose significant security risks and offers essential guidance on protecting oneself and organizations from these threats.

Operationalizing Threat Intelligence: A Guide to Developing and Operationalizing Cyber Threat Intelligence

Understanding and effectively utilizing threat intelligence is vital in today's cybersecurity landscape. This book provides actionable insights and best practices to help organizations develop and operationalize their cyber threat intelligence capabilities.

Practical Cybersecurity Architecture: A Guide to Creating and Implementing Robust Designs for Cybersecurity Architects

Developing effective cybersecurity architecture is essential for building secure systems. This book offers practical advice and guidance on creating robust designs that can withstand cyber threats, covering essential concepts, strategies, and implementation considerations.

Project Zero Trust: A Story About a Strategy for Aligning Security in the Business by George Finney

George Finney's book explores the concept of Zero Trust, a security model that requires continuous verification and authentication of every access request. It provides a comprehensive understanding of Zero Trust principles and how organizations can align their security practices with this approach.

The Art of Social Engineering: Uncover the Secrets Behind the Human Dynamics of Cybersecurity

Social engineering is a prevalent technique used by cybercriminals to manipulate individuals and gain unauthorized access. This book delves into the psychology behind social engineering attacks, equipping readers with the knowledge to identify and mitigate these threats.

The DevSecOps Playbook: Deliver Continuous Security at Speed

This book focuses on integrating security practices into DevOps processes, ensuring that security measures are seamlessly incorporated throughout the software development lifecycle. It provides practical guidance on implementing DevSecOps to deliver secure and rapidly deployed software.

The Language of Deception: Weaponizing Next-Generation AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize cybersecurity, but it can also pose significant risks if manipulated by malicious actors. This book explores the intersection of AI and cybersecurity, highlighting the potential dangers and techniques for protecting against AI-driven attacks.

These books cover a wide range of cybersecurity topics, including building a startup, advancing your career, evading detection systems, understanding emerging threats, developing robust architectures, and securing technologies. They provide valuable insights, best practices, and practical guidance necessary for cybersecurity professionals in 2024 and beyond.

Investing your time in reading these books will enhance your understanding of cybersecurity, equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to address emerging threats, and position you as an invaluable asset in the field. So, take the initiative, grab these books, and embark on a journey of continuous learning and professional growth.

China's Stance on Attacks: Empty Promises?

China's stance on cyber attacks has come under scrutiny once again, as it claims to oppose and crack down on all forms of attacks. However, the recent attempt by Chinese hackers to breach government websites in the Philippines raises doubts about their sincerity.

The Philippines reported that hackers from China attempted to break into government websites, including the personal website of President Ferdinand Marco Jr. Although Manila did not explicitly link the hackers to the Chinese state, they were found to be using the services of Chinese state-owned company Unicom. This leads to suspicions that the Chinese government may be involved or aware of these activities.

China's embassy in the Philippines assured the international community that it does not tolerate any form of attacks and will not allow any country or individual to engage in such illegal activities using Chinese infrastructure. However, their track record and the evidence of cyber attacks originating from China raises skepticism about the effectiveness of their crackdown.

Cybersecurity experts emphasize the importance of holding nations accountable for cyber attacks originating within their borders. The lack of consequences for these actions undermines global cybersecurity efforts and encourages further attacks. Only through international cooperation, robust cybersecurity measures, and consistent consequences can we hope to deter malicious actors and protect our digital infrastructure.

The Cost of Cybersecurity Incidents

The financial impact of cybersecurity incidents was highlighted recently when Clorox and Johnson Controls reported that attacks cost their companies a combined total of $76 million in 2023. This substantial loss highlights the real-world consequences of cyber attacks and the need for organizations to invest in strong security measures.

The transparency in public companies' filings has increased due to regulatory pressures, SEC shareholders' demands, and the efforts of C-suite executives to protect their organizations. The new SEC rule on cybersecurity risk governance, in effect since December 18, focuses on standardized disclosures related to reporting cyber incidents and their financial implications.

While it is unclear if these specific filings were in response to the new rule, it is evident that organizations are becoming more accountable for cybersecurity incidents. This increased transparency allows stakeholders and regulators to assess the financial risks associated with cyber attacks and encourages organizations to invest in robust security measures to prevent and mitigate future incidents.

AnyDesk Cyber Attack: Source Code and Keys Compromised

Popular remote desktop software provider AnyDesk recently confirmed that its production systems were compromised following a cyber attack. Adversaries breached the company's systems, gained access to source code, and obtained private code signing keys.

In response to the attack, AnyDesk activated a remediation response plan in collaboration with cybersecurity experts from CrowdStrike. The successful conclusion of the remediation plan is a positive step towards mitigating the impact of the breach.

However, it is concerning that adversaries were able to access source code and private keys. While AnyDesk stated that their systems are designed not to store private keys, security tokens, or passwords related to end-user devices, the full extent of the breach and its potential consequences remain to be seen.

This incident highlights the ongoing threat posed by cyber attacks and the need for robust security measures to protect critical systems and sensitive information. Organizations must prioritize cybersecurity practices, such as regular security audits, secure coding practices, and employee awareness training, to prevent and mitigate the impact of such attacks.

Massive Data Theft through Cross-Site Scripting

In a reminder of older attack techniques, a large-scale cyberattack targeted employment agencies and retail firms in the Asia-Pacific region, stealing confidential user information. The hackers, operating under the name "Resume Looters," exploited vulnerabilities in the job-seeking process, primarily through SQL injection and cross-site scripting attacks.

The group compromised 65 websites, with the majority of their victims located in India, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The stolen data included personal information from over 2 million users.

The successful execution of these attacks raises concerns about the prevalence of vulnerabilities and the need for consistent security measures. Organizations must prioritize regular security assessments, vulnerability management, and educating their employees to prevent such attacks and safeguard their users' sensitive information.

The Menace of BlackHunt Ransomware

The rise of BlackHunt ransomware presents a significant threat to cybersecurity worldwide. This malicious software has already targeted around 300 companies in Paraguay, causing substantial damage and disruption.

BlackHunt ransomware is specifically designed to compromise various operating systems and employs advanced file encryption techniques to render files inaccessible. The ransomware leaves the affected files with a distinct extension to indicate their compromise.

Analysis has revealed similarities between BlackHunt and the lockbit ransomware, suggesting that BlackHunt may have drawn inspiration or utilized leaked code from the infamous ransomware strain. Organizations, therefore, need to be vigilant in implementing robust security measures and proactive incident response protocols to protect against this emerging threat.


Staying up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity trends, threats, and solutions is essential for professionals in this field. Investing time in reading informative books and staying informed about recent cyber incidents equips you with the knowledge to protect yourself, your organization, and the broader digital community. By combining these resources with proactive security measures and continuous learning, you can navigate the complex cybersecurity landscape in 2024 and beyond with confidence.