Archive | May, 2009

Ensuring Data Security During Hardware Disposal

Your website & network are Hackable


After our recent story about the trading of BlackBerries for data theft the issue has emerged again this time more towards the secure disposal of data stored on PC hard disks.

If a company or organisation has a decent data/information security policy in place (Like ISO27001 for example) they should have a secure destruction/disposal policy as part of that.

The current fiasco reminds me of the digital camera sold on eBay containing terrorist information from the MI6!

The recent discovery of a computer on eBay with data on a U.S. missile system underscores the importance of securing data when it is time to retire and dispose of a machine. Enterprises need to have proper plans and oversight in place to protect their information.

When reports that data on a U.S. missile system was found on a computer auctioned on eBay, enterprises were provided another example of what happens when they fail to securely manage data at the end of its life.

In this case, the consequences were nil, as the computer in question was purchased as part of a research project and has been turned over to the FBI. Still, the situation underscores the importance of having policies in place to protect data that extend all the way to the “death” of an organization’s machines.

The kind of information floating around in computers really needs to be kept under a tighter control, how can missile systems data be left on a computer sold on eBay? It just seems ridiculous.

Companies dealing with confidential information generally have data disposal policies in place, why do government organisations dealing with World security not have tight policies regarding disposal of decommissioned hardware?

For sensitive data, it’s best to do it using a disk degausser or seven-way random write algorithm, which some operating systems support either through tools or the command line, noted Forrester analyst Andrew Jaquith. There are also third-party tools that do this as well, he said.

“There’s also the physical option,” he added. “A sledgehammer to the memory card or hard disk is quite effective. It’s also usually faster and arguably more satisfying.”

Another layer of protection can also be found in encryption. Deguassing or physically shredding a drive can be costly, said Seagate’s Gianna DaGiau said. Overwriting a drive also may be incomplete if it doesn’t cover reallocated sectors or is thwarted by drive errors.

“Some corporations have concluded the only way to securely retire drives is to keep them in their control, storing them indefinitely,” said DaGiau, Seagate’s senior manager of enterprise security. “This cannot be considered truly secure, as large numbers of drives in close proximity can easily tempt employees and lead to some drives being lost or stolen.”

A 7 pass overwrite will be good enough in most situations, tools are available to do this for free like DBAN and Eraser so there is really NO excuse not to do it.

Personally if it’s important I’d recommend 7-pass overwrite, then degauss then bang the shit out of it with a baseball bat then burn it up (a blowtorch would be good).

I’d say your data should be pretty secure then, downside is no-one would want it buy it on eBay after you did that.

Source: eWeek


Posted in: Cryptography, Hardware Hacking, Privacy

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Durzosploit v0.1 – JavaScript Exploit Generation Framework

Your website & network are Hackable


Durzosploit is a JavaScript exploit generation framework that works through the console. This goal of that project is to quickly and easily generate working exploits for cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in popular web applications or web sites.

Please note that Durzosploit does not find browser vulnerabilities, it only is an framework containing exploits you can use.

At present there aren’t many exploits:


  • twitter.com/update_status – Updates a target’s status
  • twitter.com/update_settings – Updates your target’s settings
  • facebook.com/what_is_on_your_mind – Write your message in your target’s mind
  • drupal/edit_user_profile – Drupal 6.x – edit the profile of the user
  • drupal/logout – Drupal 6.x – makes target logout

So far the author’s focus has been on the framework itself; allowing people to quickly write their exploits and adding some automated obfuscators.

Durzosploit provides some obfuscators to automatically pack/minify your generated exploit.

You can download the latest version from the Durzosploit SVN here:

Or read more here.


Posted in: Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Hacking Tools, Web Hacking

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Explosion Of BlackBerry Trading In Nigeria – Data Theft

Your website & network are Hackable


The number of Crackberry Blackberry users is increasing exponentially – especially since they released the much sexier Bold and the latest touch-screen Storm.

The latest revelation is that used BlackBerries are being traded, not by the value of the phone but by the value of the data contained on the phone!

It just shows most companies still don’t have responsible disposal policies when it comes to releasing old equipment and making sure it’s wiped of data or destroyed.

A TV investigation has revealed that secondhand BlackBerries on Nigerian markets are priced according to the data held on them, not the age or the model of a phone.

Jon Godfrey, director of Sims LifeCycle Services, who is advising on a TV investigation into the trade due to screen later this year, said that BlackBerries sell for between $25 to $65 on Lagos markets. Details of the trade come from an agent in Nigeria unaffiliated to Sims’ technology recycling business.

Godfrey explained that the smart phones offered for sale come from the US, continental Europe and the UK. “It’s unclear as yet whether the phones are either sold, thrown away, lost or stolen,” Godfrey explained.

Other type of smartphone are also of potential interest to data thieves, but it is the trade in BlackBerries that seems to be the most active. Data retrieved from smartphones is itraded by crooks in Nigeria.

I’d imagine the phones are older models sold off by lot from companies upgrading to the newer versions of the BlackBerry.

The BlackBerry is a wise choice for data thieves as it’s more likely to be used for business purposes and contain important e-mail information.

Other smart phones would be used more for media and leisure purposes.

BlackBerries include technology to remotely wipe devices and come with built-in encryption. But this encryption is often left switched off because it is considered an inconvenience.

“Business critical data is left on unprotected devices,” Godfrey explained. “Anyone who gets these devices will obtain a snapshot of someone’s life.”

“People need to take residual data issues more seriously and have a policy on how to use and dispose of devices,” he added.

According to a survey by endpoint security firm Credant Technologies, four in five mobile phone users store information on their phones that might easily be used to steal their identities. A survey of 600 commuters at London railway stations revealed that 16 per cent kept their bank account details saved on their mobiles, while 24 per cent also saved their PIN numbers and passwords in the same insecure manner. One in 10 (11 per cent) keep social security and inland revenue details on their phone. Two in five fail to take even basic security precautions, such as password protecting their devices.

It’s scary the amount of people that keep really important stuff in their phones like their bank PIN numbers, banking passwords, passport numbers, social security info and much more.

And only 3 out of 5 take some basic security precautions like passwording their device, that means the number who actually encrypt their data and secure it properly would be less than 5%.

Source: The Register


Posted in: Cryptography, Hardware Hacking, Privacy

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Torpig Botnet Hijacking Reveals 70GB Of Stolen Data

Your website & network are Hackable


We did mention Torpig in passing back in January 2008 when talking about the Mebroot rootkit which digs down deep into the Master Boot Record.

It seems like Torpig has been pretty active since then and the latest break is that some security researchers have managed to infiltrate the botnet and collect some data on what it’s doing.

I always enjoy reading about these ‘insider’ stories though as it’s hard to know unless someone gets access what these botnet fellas are really achieving.

Security researchers have managed to infiltrate the Torpig botnet, a feat that allowed them to gain important new insights into one of the world’s most notorious zombie networks by collecting an astounding 70 GB worth of data stolen in just 10 days.

During that time, Torpig bots stole more than 8,300 credentials used to login to 410 different financial institutions, according to the research team from the University of California at Santa Barbara. More than 21 percent of the accounts belonged to PayPal users. Overall, a total of almost 298,000 unique credentials were intercepted from more than 52,000 infected machines.

One of the secrets behind the unusually large haul is Torpig’s ability to siphon credentials from a large number of computer programs. After wrapping its tentacles around Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook, Skype, ICQ, and 26 other applications, Torpig constantly monitors every keystroke entered into them. Every 20 minutes, the malware automatically uploads new data to servers controlled by the authors.

It seems like once Torpig is dug into the machine it can get hold of everything, being based on a low level rootkit it can intercept anything including important credentials from financial institutions and money services like Paypal.

The numbers are quite huge with the malware having the ability to steal all kinds of accounts and access details from both software and web based applications.

In all, the researchers counted more than 180,000 infected PCs that connected from 1.2 million IP addresses. The data underscores the importance of choosing the right methodology for determining the actual size of a botnet and, specifically, not equating the number of unique IP addresses with the number of zombies. “Taking this value as the botnet size would overestimate the actual size by an order of magnitude,” they caution.

Torpig, which also goes by the names Sinowal and Anserin, is distributed through Mebroot, a rootkit that takes hold of a computer by rewriting the hard drive’s master boot record. As a result, Mebroot is executed during the early stages of a PC’s boot process, allowing it to bypass anti-virus and other security software.
By infiltrating Torpig, the researchers were able to become flies on the wall that could watch infected users as they unwittingly handed over sensitive login credentials. One victim, an agent for an at-home, distributed call center, transmitted no fewer than 30 credit card numbers, presumably belonging to customers, the researchers guessed.

The number of unique IP addresses per infection is quite interesting too and it shows if you estimate the size of a botnet by unique IP addresses you could easily be out by a factor of 5.

And wow, infecting a call center PC dealing with credit cards? That must be a botnet masters wet-dream – that really is a gold mine.

Imagine if they could spread the infection through the whole call-center, they would be rolling in credit card details.

Source: The Register


Posted in: Malware, Privacy, Spammers & Scammers

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Fiddler – Web Debugging Proxy For HTTP(S)

Your website & network are Hackable


Recently I posted about Charles Web Debugging Proxy and quite a few people mentioned they had been using Fiddler.

Fiddler is a Web Debugging Proxy which logs all HTTP(S) traffic between your computer and the Internet. Fiddler allows you to inspect all HTTP(S) traffic, set breakpoints, and “fiddle” with incoming or outgoing data. Fiddler includes a powerful event-based scripting subsystem, and can be extended using any .NET language.

Fiddler Web Debugging Proxy

Fiddler is freeware and can debug traffic from virtually any application, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and thousands more.

If you want some info on how to use Fiddler for debugging you can check here:

Fiddler Can Make Debugging Easy

You can download Fiddler here:

Fiddler2Setup.exe

Or read more here.


Posted in: Network Hacking, Programming, Web Hacking

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