Darknet - The Darkside

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14 March 2014 | 1,525 views

NSA Large Scale TURBINE Malware Also Target Sysadmins

Prevent Network Security Leaks with Acunetix

So more revelations coming out about the NSA from the latest batch of documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

This time they detail a huge malware infection system created for widespread infections, it seems fairly advanced with the ability to spit out different types of malware depending on the target. Other than the TURBINE malware engine, there’s also some other interesting stuff like HAMMERSTEIN and HAMMERCHANT designed to intercept and snoop on VoIP and VPN connections.

NSA Turbine Malware

The latest batch of top-secret intelligence documents from the hoard collected by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden detail the massive increase in the agency’s use of its Tailored Access Operations (TAO) hacking unit – including a system dubbed TURBINE that can spam out millions of pieces of sophisticated malware at a time.

The presentation slides, published by The Intercept, show that 10 years ago the NSA had infiltrated and tapped a modest number of computers, but has since hugely bolstered its toolkit and increased its target list. Within eight years, the number of active pieces of implanted spyware was in the tens of thousands, and slides show an extensive arms catalog of malware for the TAO team to choose from.

“One of the greatest challenges for active SIGINT/attack is scale,” explained one presentation from 2009, marked top secret. “Human ‘drivers’ limit ability for large-scale exploitation (humans tend to operate within their own environment, not taking into account the bigger picture).”

The solution was to build TURBINE, which can carry out “automated implants by groups instead of individually,” and scale to operate millions of implants at a time. This command-and-control server includes an “expert system” that automatically picks the right malware for a victim and installs it on their computer, thus “relieve the [TURBINE] user from needing to know/care about the details.”

It’s some interesting stuff with discussions about scaling SIGINT attacks, there’s some pretty detailed analysis over here:

How the NSA Plans to Infect ‘Millions’ of Computers with Malware

Which includes decryption technology and plug-ins to grab web browsing logs, key strokes and record from the microphone.

TURBINE was active from at least July 2010, the documents state, and has infected up to 100,000 devices and machines, with more planned. According to the agency’s 2013 budget files, some of the $67.6m of taxpayer dollars allocated to the NSA’s TAO team went to maintaining and developing the system.

TURBINE also links into a NSA sensor system dubbed TURMOIL, which taps into computer networks around the world to monitor data traffic and identify potential targets. It can track down a mark from their email address or IP address, which device he or she is using, or by web cookies from Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo! and others.

While terrorist targets are mentioned, it’s clear from the documents that system administrators are also high on the todo list for the TAO team. One comment on an internal NSA message board system was titled simply: “I hunt sys admins.”

“Sys admins are a means to an end,” it states. “Once you have control of the IT manager’s computer then it’s easy to monitor any “government official that happens to be using the network some admin takes care of.”

Pwning the sysadmin is useful for malware attacks against large commercial routers and to defeat VPNs. The documents detail two pieces of NSA-developed malware, HAMMERCHANT and HAMMERSTEIN, which are designed to sit on routers and eavesdrop on VoIP traffic, and grab encryption keys to decrypt supposedly secure VPN connections, all in real time.

Targeting sysadmins is a means to an end, as if you can compromise them – you pretty much have access to everything, including core routers/switches/firewalls/vpn concentrators etc.

Plus servers and more if you can get hold of their SSH private key or passwords from keylogging/file grabbing etc.

Pretty hardcore stuff.

Source: The Register



11 March 2014 | 1,820 views

ODA – Online Web Based Disassembler

ODA stands for Online DisAssembler. ODA is a general purpose machine code disassembler that supports a myriad of machine architectures. Built on the shoulders of libbfd and libopcodes (part of binutils), ODA allows you to explore an executable by dissecting its sections, strings, symbols, raw hex, and machine level instructions.

ODA is an online Web Based Disassembler for when you don’t have time or space for a thick client.

ODA - On-line Web Based Disassembler

You can use it for a variety of purposes such as:

  • Malware analysis
  • Vulnerability research
  • Visualizing the control flow of a group of instructions
  • Disassembling a few bytes of an exception handler that is going off into the weeds
  • Reversing the first few bytes of a Master Boot Record (MBR) that may be corrupt
  • Debugging an embedded systems device driver

You can check out the online disassembler here:

http://onlinedisassembler.com/odaweb/


06 March 2014 | 794 views

Target CIO Beth Jacob Resigns After Huge Breach

So the latest news this week is that the Target CIO Beth Jacob has resigned, it seems to be somewhat linked to the massive heist of credit card details from Target that took place in December last year.

To be fair it was a fairly complex, high-level attack and I’m pretty sure most companies would have been infiltrated with a similarly pervasive attack vector.

Beth Jacob - Target CIO

Target CIO Beth Jacob has apparently fallen on her sword in the wake of the massive security breach in mid-December that compromised 40 million debit and credit cards and swept national headlines. Her resignation was rendered this week effective immediately.

“If you look at the history of other large data breaches, turnover at the top of the IT shop is not unusual,” says retail IT consultant Cathy Hotka.

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel says the retailer is now looking outside the company for a CIO to succeed Jacob and help overhaul its network security, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Ironically, Jacob, who has a sterling reputation among retail CIOs, was thought of as a great hire by Target in 2008, Hotka says.

Target’s security incident — from the sophisticated breach to Steinhafel penning a mea culpa open letter to Target customers to running apologetic ads in the Wall Street Journal and other major publications to Jacob’s resignation — is a watershed moment for retail CIOs. They are now faced with rethinking their data security strategy.

The kind of breach that occurred at Target was highly sophisticated. Hackers slipped their software into Target’s computer systems via credentials stolen from one of Target’s vendors, reported the Wall Street Journal. The software eventually made its way to checkout stations and began amassing credit card data.

Having worked in this industry for many years, it really comes as no surprise how lackadaisical corporate information security can be at times.

And this was a pretty slick multi-level attack coming in at first through a vendor’s access, and eventually landing on the POS terminals – as was the plan from the beginning I would imagine.

“The people who are responsible for these kinds of breaches are well-organized, criminal enterprises,” Hotka says. “If you went to go up to a bunch of retail CIOs and asked them, ‘Could this have happened to you?’ the answer would be, yes.”

CIOs are put in a tough position because they’re not given adequate security funding, Hotka says. She recalls five years ago when the CIO of apparel and home fashions retailer TJX Companies had asked for additional data security resources and didn’t get them. A massive security breach followed, compromising millions of credit card numbers. TJX Companies agreed to pay $40.9 million to resolve potential claims by banks.

Given the growing sophistication of attacks, retail CIOs must now reconsider whether or not managing the risk in-house is wise. As Jacob’s resignation shows, a retail CIO is culpable yet might not have the know-how or resources to protect the company.

So should retail CIOs outsource data security to the experts?

“I think at this stage it’s not unreasonable,” Hotka says.

There’s a LOT of articles going around about this at the moment, many concerning who’s to blame, was it the CIO? who’s fault is it that engineers brought up that they felt there’s a problem? and so on.

Could the CIO have prevented this? Perhaps if she was very technical and on the ground concerning security practice, but honestly there should be a CSO for that and it falls more under the remit of the CTO than the CIO in my eyes.

Source: Network World


04 March 2014 | 2,340 views

EyeWitness – A Rapid Web Application Triage Tool

EyeWitness is a rapid web application triage tool designed to take screenshots of websites, provide some server header info, and identify default credentials if possible.

EyeWitness

The author would love for EyeWitness to identify more default credentials of various web applications. So as you find devices which utilizes default credentials, please e-mail him the source code of the index page and the default credentials so he can add it in to EyeWitness. You can e-mail to EyeWitness [@] christophertruncer [dot] com.

Inspiration came from Tim Tomes’s PeepingTom Script. The author just wanted to change some things, and then it became a thought exercise to write it again himself.

EyeWitness is designed to run on Kali Linux. It will auto detect the file you give it with the -f flag as either being a text file with URLs on each new line, nmap xml output, or nessus xml output. The -t (timeout) flag is completely optional, and lets you provice the max time to wait when trying to render and screenshot a web page. The –open flag, which is optional, will open the URL in a new tab within iceweasel.

Setup

Navigate into the setup directory and run the setup.sh script.

Usage

Examples

You can download EyeWitness here (Or clone the Github repo):

master.zip

Or read more here.


26 February 2014 | 824 views

Apple Retires Support Leaving 20% Of Macs Vulnerable

There’s been a lot of news and scrambling lately related to the Apple SSL vulnerability, and this week Apple announced it would no longer be supporting OS X 10.6 AKA Snow Leopard.

It looks like Lion and Mountain Lion will be supported for a while, and an upgrade to Mavericks is free, so there’s no real reason not to.

The free upgrade path seems to be working fairly well for them, with 42% of all versions of OS X used in January being attributed to Mavericks.

Apple on Tuesday made it clear that it will no longer patch OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard, when it again declined to offer a security update for the four-and-a-half-year-old operating system.

As Apple issued an update for Mavericks, or OS X 10.9, as well as for its two predecessors, Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7), Apple had nothing for Snow Leopard or its owners yesterday.

Snow Leopard was also ignored in December, when Apple patched Safari 6 and 7 for newer editions of OS X, but did not update Safari 5.1.10, the most-current Apple browser for the OS.

Apple delivered the final security update for Snow Leopard in September 2013.

Traditionally, Apple has patched only the OS X editions designated as “n” and “n-1″ — where “n” is the newest — and discarded support for “n-2″ either before the launch of “n” or immediately after. Under that plan, Snow Leopard was “n-2″ when Mountain Lion shipped in mid-2012, and by rights should have been retired around then.

But it wasn’t. Instead, Apple continued to ship security updates for Snow Leopard, and with Tuesday’s patches of Mountain Lion and Lion Tuesday, it now seems plain that Apple has shifted to supporting “n-2″ as well as “n” and “n-1.”

(In that scenario, Mavericks is now “n,” Mountain Lion is “n-1″ and Lion is “n-2.”)

The change was probably due to Apple’s accelerated development and release schedule for OS X, which now promises annual upgrades. The shorter span between editions meant that unless Apple extended its support lifecycle, Lion would have fallen off the list about two years after its July 2011 launch.

Apple only used to support the current product and the release before that, but Snow Leopard has been supported far longer than that – which indicates they are now probably supporting the current release and the two before that.

Though they haven’t really released any formal statements about support, end of life procedures or timelines. They do have an accelerated release timeline now so it does make sense for them to support more previous releases.

None of this would be noteworthy if Apple, like Microsoft and a host of other major software vendors, clearly spelled out its support policies. But Apple doesn’t, leaving users to guess about when their operating systems will fall off support.

“Let’s face it, Apple doesn’t go out of their way to ensure users are aware when products are going end of life,” said Andrew Storms, director of DevOps at security company CloudPassage, in a December interview.

To Apple, Snow Leopard increasingly looks like Windows XP does to Microsoft: an operating system that refuses to roll over and die. At the end of January, 19% of all Macs were running Snow Leopard, slightly more, in fact, than ran its successor, Lion, which accounted for 16%, and almost as much as Mountain Lion, whose user share plummeted once Mavericks arrived, according to Web analytics firm Net Applications.

With Snow Leopard’s retirement, 1 in 5 Macs are running an operating system that could be compromised because of unpatched vulnerabilities.

Snow Leopard users have given many reasons for hanging on, including some identical to those expressed by Windows XP customers: The OS still works fine for them; their Macs, while old, show no sign of quitting; and they dislike the path that Apple’s taken with OS X’s user interface (UI).

If Apple really wants more corporate/enterprise support – they really need to come out with some formal policies for support and end of life. Also they could really use some enterprise level tools for delivering patches/OS upgrades.

On top of that we also have a whole lot of people who choose not to upgrade for whatever reason (the same folks still using Windows XP) – who will become vulnerable at some point.

Source: Network World


24 February 2014 | 1,546 views

wig – WebApp Information Gatherer – Identify CMS

wig is a Python tool that identifies a websites CMS by searching for fingerprints of static files and extracting version numbers from known files.

OS identification is done by using the value of the ‘server’ and ‘X-Powered-By’ in the response header. These values are compared to a database of which package versions are include with different operating systems.

The version detection is based on md5 checksums of statics files, regex and string matching. OS detection is based on headers and packages listed in the ‘server’ header. There’s a quite large database of package versions included in common linux distros.

The author uses scripts to automatically update the md5 checksums for new versions of open source CMS the the tool is capable to detecting. This one of the main advantages over BlindElephant and WhatWeb.

There are some other tools similar to this such as:

Web-Sorrow v1.48 – Version Detection, CMS Identification, Enumeration & Server Scanning Tool
WhatWeb – Next Gen Web Scanner – Identify CMS (Content Management System)

And web services like http://builtwith.com/

There are currently three profiles for wig:

  1. Only send one request: wig only sends a request for ‘/’. All fingerprints matching this url are tested.
  2. Only send one request per plugin: The url used in most fingerprints is used
  3. All fingerprints: All fingerprints are tested

You can download wig here (or just clone it from the Github repo):

master.zip

Or read more here.


19 February 2014 | 1,255 views

2 Different Hacker Groups Exploit The Same IE 0-Day

It hasn’t been too long since the last serious Internet Explorer 0-day, back in November it was used in drive-by attacks – Another IE 0-Day Hole Found & Used By In-Memory Drive By Attacks.

And earlier last year there was an emergency patch issued – Microsoft Rushes Out ‘Fix It’ For Internet Explorer 0-day Exploit.

This time though it seems two different groups have figured this one out and have developed attack code independently, that ended up pretty similar (which is not surprising considering it’s attacking the same exploit).

Two different hacker groups are exploiting the same still-unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE) with almost-identical attack code, a security researcher said Tuesday.

The attacks, the first campaign unearthed last week by FireEye and a second campaign found by Websense, exploit a flaw in IE9 and IE10, two editions of Microsoft’s browser. Attacks have been spotted targeting only IE10, however.

According to FireEye, the attacks it found targeted current and former U.S. military personnel who visited the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) website. Meanwhile, Websense reported that the exploit it discovered had been planted on the website of a French aerospace association, GIFAS (Groupement des Industries Francaises Aeronautiques et Spatiales), whose members include defense and space contractors.

GIFAS is best known to the public as the sponsor of the Paris Air Show, where commercial and military aircraft makers strut their newest fixed-wing planes and helicopters.

Aviv Raff, chief technology officer at security firm Seculert, contended that the attacks uncovered by FireEye and Websense were the work of two gangs.

The attack will work on both IE9 and IE10, but it seems the groups are only targeting IE10 for some reason. Also it seems to be targeting defense/military related targets via related websites. It is possible both groups are using the same attack code though purchased through the black market and customised to their particular purpose.

IF people are already using IE11 though (which is heavily pushed in Windows 7/8 updates) they will be safe against this particular attack.

Raff confirmed that Seculert believed two different groups of cyber criminals were at work, both leveraging the same IE zero-day vulnerability, in an interview conducted via instant message Tuesday.

“We do see similar variations of zero-day exploits, but zero-day [vulnerabilities] that were never publicly disclosed before, that is not that common [for two groups to use simultaneously],” Raff said in that interview.

He speculated that the two hacker gangs probably obtained the attack code from the same third-party by purchasing it on the black market. “The elements of the exploits are almost identical,” Raff added, explaining his reasoning.

Although Microsoft has acknowledged that both 2011’s IE9 and 2012’s IE10 contain the vulnerability, it has yet to issue an official security, the usual first step towards publishing a patch. Nor has the Redmond, Wash. company’s security team named any temporary defensive measures, which are frequently offered in the “Fixit” format.

Instead, Microsoft has encouraged users to upgrade to IE11, which is immune to the attacks. However, Windows Vista owners running IE9 cannot migrate to IE11 as the latter does not support the little-used Vista.

Raff also said Seculert’s research had found that the malware used in the GIFAS campaign had changed the hosts files of the infected machines to redirect any remote access software traffic through the hackers’ servers so that they could steal log-on credentials.

“The domains that were added to the hosts file by the malware provide remote access to the employees, partners, and third-party vendors of a specific multinational aircraft and rocket engine manufacturer,” said Raff on the blog.

This case appears to be quite a focused attack though and the zero day isn’t being used to do drive by malware installation, or to build a botnet. Although now the exploit code is out there, I don’t see that kind of activity being too far behind.

It’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft consider this serious enough to push an out of band patch out before the next patch Tuesday rolls around.

Source: Network World


14 February 2014 | 1,953 views

Azazel – Userland Anti-debugging & Anti-detection Rootkit

Azazel is a userland rootkit written in C based off of the original LD_PRELOAD technique from Jynx rootkit. It is more robust and has additional features, and focuses heavily around anti-debugging and anti-detection. Features include log cleaning, pcap subversion, and more.

Azazel Rootkit

Features

  • Anti-debugging
  • Avoids unhide, lsof, ps, ldd detection
  • Hides files and directories
  • Hides remote connections
  • Hides processes
  • Hides logins
  • PCAP hooks avoid local sniffing
  • Two accept backdoors with full PTY shells.
    • Crypthook encrypted accept() backdoor
    • Plaintext accept() backdoor
  • PAM backdoor for local privesc and remote entry
  • Log cleanup for utmp/wtmp entries based on pty
  • Uses xor to obfuscate static strings

As with anything of this nature, it’s recommended you check the source-code/run it in a safe environment etc. But if I have to emphasise stuff like that, this is probably the wrong site for you.

You can grab Azazel from Github here:

Or read more here.


12 February 2014 | 928 views

The Mask AKA Careto Espionage Malware

So the latest buzz going around is caused by a hacking group that appears to be Spanish and is called The Mask or Careto.

The reason there is a fair amount of buzz is their next level espionage malware that has been targeting government institutions, diplomatic offices and embassies, energy, oil and gas companies, research organizations and activists.

And the crazy part? It’s been in operation over SEVEN YEARS, without detection.

A recently discovered hacking group called “The Mask” has set a new standard for malware used in sophisticated attacks against government agencies, industry and research organizations, experts say.

On Monday, Kaspersky Lab reported discovering the advanced Spanish-speaking group that has been involved in cyberespionage since at least 2007.

The Mask, aka Careto, has targeted government institutions, diplomatic offices and embassies, energy, oil and gas companies, research organizations and activists in 31 countries from the Middle East and Europe to Africa and the Americas.

The hackers’ mission is to steal sensitive data, but the capabilities of their malware go far beyond pilfering documents. It can also take from networks various encryption keys and authentication keys used in machine-to-machine communications.

“Basically, everything secured and confidential easily becomes available and in a plain text,” Dmitry Bestuzhen, head of the research center for Kaspersky Lab in Latin America, said Tuesday.

Versions of the malware were found for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Other versions are believed to be capable of infecting Android and iOS mobile devices.

The Mask has built malware that has set a new standard for other hackers to emulate, security experts say.

The implication that’s its likely a Spanish sourced attack is the targets are predominantly Spanish speaking nations and infections in places like Morocco and Gibraltar are on the list.

It’s a fairly cross platform attack as well with Windows, Mac, Linux and even possibly mobile versions for iOS and Android.

The discovery of The Mask, which experts say is likely working for a nation-state, is expected to spark a cyber-arms race, Bestuzhev said.

“They certainly will invest more money in new exploit development, trying to align their cyber-arms to the same level as their potential adversaries,” he said.

To infect systems, the group started with emails designed to get the recipient to click on a link to a malicious website. The site contained a number of exploits that were downloaded based on the configuration of the visitor’s computer.

Following the infection, the visitor was redirected to the benign website referenced in the email, which could be a YouTube movie or news portal.

Because the malware was designed to evade anti-virus software, the best defense would be to catch the malicious app after it is installed.

“This malware highlights how critical it is to audit SSH (machine-to-machine authentication) keys, minimize their number, and regularly change them,” Ylonen said.

Kevin Coleman, strategic management consultant for SilverRhino, which specializes in IT security for U.S. government agencies, favored technology that monitors software behavior in the network and warns of unusual activity.

Organizations should also monitor outbound traffic and make sure it is going to known IP addresses, Coleman said.

It also grabs all kinds of goodies like encryption keys making ‘secure’ communications not so secure any more.

I’ll be interested to see if any more technical details about it come out, or even possibly if the binaries get posted.

Soource: Network World


11 February 2014 | 675 views

Yes – We Now Have A Facebook Page – So Please Like It!

Yes finally, like 6 years later than everyone else we have a Facebook page – it has a huge 3 likes..

I’ll share the posts there (if you don’t use RSS any more since Google Reader closed down – it might be a decent way to keep up) plus some other funny/interesting stuff of relevance I find online.

Right now it has 3 likes, me, a friend and some random who must have discovered it.

So if you use Facebook and want to keep up with us there, do a drop a like on the page.

https://www.facebook.com/darknetorguk