Archive | March, 2006

Jacking Wifi is ‘OK’ say Ethics Expert

Outsmart Malicious Hackers

Honestly, I always thought it’s ok..

Why not, if someone puts a seat in the middle of a public walkway I can sit on it right? I don’t need to ask permissions, nor fear I am doing something wrong.

Likewise if someone broadcasts an open wireless network into my house or office or a public space, I should be able to use it right.

It’s their responsibility to limit it’s signal or secure it if they don’t want people using it, for once..I agree with an expert!

I’m always on the lookout for open access points when I’m wondering around with my laptop, never know when I might need to draft a new article for Darknet, when I get that inspiration, I just have to note it down..or I’ll completely forget it.

The Ethics Expert also points out that if you find an open connection, you should try to figure out who owns it to let them know it’s open — in case they want to cut it off. Of course, he leaves out the strongest argument for why there’s nothing wrong with using free WiFi, assuming you’re either on public property or your own property: those radio waves are no longer under the control of the access point owner once they drift off of his or her property

I totally agree, and well so says the expert.

While I suppose that an argument could be made that you should never use what you donâ’t pay for, I don’t think this would apply here and I’m not even sure that I agree with the broad sentiment. Unless it is made clear to users tapping into wireless connections that they must agree to certain conditions before proceeding, they have not breached any ethical mandate by logging on in any way that they legally can.

The right thing would be for those who set up wireless connections and want to keep them private to take the time to do so. If you’re a piggybacking user and can identify the individual to whom the connection belongs, it would be courteous but not essential to let that person know that you and presumably others are able to enjoy their wireless largesse.


Posted in: Wireless Hacking

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US Investigates Snort Sale as a Security Risk

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Basically the Americans are saying a lot of their sensitive govermental organisations are using Snort and they don’t want the software to be controlled by an Israeli company, they see it as a threat.

The same Bush administration review panel that approved a ports deal involving the United Arab Emirates has notified a leading Israeli software company that it faces a rare, full-blown investigation over its plans to buy a smaller rival.

The objections by the FBI and Pentagon were partly over specialized intrusion detection software known as “Snort,” which guards some classified U.S. military and intelligence computers.

Snort’s author is a senior executive at Sourcefire Inc., which would be sold to publicly traded Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. in Ramat Gan, Israel. Sourcefire is based in Columbia, Md.

Check Point was told U.S. officials feared the transaction could endanger some of government’s most sensitive computer systems. The company announced it had agreed to acquire Sourcefire in October.

Is it really a threat?

I’m guessing from this though that the US government then doesn’t use ANY Checkpoint devices or software in any of its organisations.

The ongoing 45-day investigation into the Israeli deal is only the 26th of its type conducted among 1,600 business transactions reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States. The panel, facing criticism by Congress about its scrutiny of the ports deal, judges the security risks of foreign companies buying or investing in American industry.

I wonder what the outcome is going to be.

Let’s hope the whole thing is dealt with properly.

Source: Redmond Mag – (Slashdot)

Posted in: Legal Issues, Security Software

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My SQL2005 Diary – Part1

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At the place I pretend to work, the time has come that most developers equally fear and love, upgrade time. We’ve been using MSSQL2000 for 90% of our work for about 4 years now, and it’s served us well, but when a change as big as 2005 server comes along, you have to make the leap and upgrade. I suppose a little background is in order, but I’ll have to keep it fairly general as we have some strict rules on what we talk about with people outside the development team.

What we do now

The company I work for is a travel company, one of the big ones, and as with most big travel companies we do a huge variety of things. We own resorts, broker our own insurance, sell for third parties, sell our own holidays, own/rent cruise ships, provide resort management for small hotels, and many other things, all of which is managed through 3 internal sites. We handle the telephone auto-diallers in the call centre, stock-management at our red-sea resort, the links to the main UK flight database, the payment system, our SMS marketing servers, basically, everything.
We have 3 main centres, our corporate headquarters in America, the headquarters in the UK and 1 huge sales centre in the UK also. In addition to that we have either fixed line or internet linked terminals at all our resorts, most of the major airports, all of which connects to our headquarters in the UK(It’s an ex-cupboard upstairs). Because of the international nature of our business, and the resort links the sites must run with 100% uptime 24/7, even though they are all internal.

The sites run on a variety of different platforms, but the vast majority run on old style ASP and SQL server 2000, with a heavy focus on SQL server. To put the workload in perspective, our ASP apps use approximately 5% of our server’s total resources, with SQL server taking the other 95% and another magical 1% running Reporting Services (An excellent application if you’ve never used it). We have a multitude of databases, but we currently run on 4 SQL servers with the databases split as equally as we can get them to avoid having to deal with load balancing. The databases range greatly in size, from a few MB for the HR database, too over 50GB for the lead details database (Call centre data).

Why were upgrading

Due to the size and complexity of the database, performance is extremely important and we have our indexes and maintenance jobs tuned to absolute perfection or the entire thing would come crashing down around us, and we would have a lot of angry people looking to have our heads. But recently we have hit SQL server 2000’s “roof”, which is one of the reasons MSSQL has never challenged Oracle in the big enterprise market, and its proving a big problem for us. SQL server 7 was never meant to be an enterprise level database server, and in typical MS style a lot of SQL server 2000 has come from that original code, as have a lot of the problems, mainly its inability to handle truly massive database. 2005 fixes this.

SQL server 2000 was also limited in that it handled everything via transactions and locking, so if you want to retrieve data from the database in an editable format you have to basically lock that information so nobody else can access it. This can cause all kinds of problems, such as one user being told they can’t perform an action, because their locking themselves (Usually through bad coding) or a deadlock which is data being altered while they are waiting for a lock to end. 2005 borrows from Oracle in that is uses a combination of locking and versioning, which takes a copy of the data, performs the action on it and then puts it back into the database. This presents its own problems, but it does mean users can always get to their data.

There are also some significant coding changes, including some very cool stuff that is new to database servers as a whole. The ability to include code from other languages is one of the main talking points, which basically allows you to execute .net code within your stored procs. This may not sound so great, but you have to consider how it changes the way a DBA will work. At the moment database code needs to be specific, because speed is always an issue the server has to constantly optimize the way it works, and it can’t do this with vague and dynamic code. For example…

Select * from Invoice

Would bring back everything from the invoice table. But what if we just wanted a price field?

Select Invoice.Price From Invoice

That’s easy enough. But what if we wanted the gross price, for example, from insurance items, but the net price for everything else. We would do this(Pseudo-code);

Select (if Invoice.catagory = ‘INSURANCE’ then Invoice.Gross else end if) from Invoice

Again, it looks simple enough, but unfortunately the real code to do this is very complicated and grossly in-efficient at the moment, not to mention completely impossible in certain situations. In 2005 the method above would be perfectly legal, and using Microsoft’s CLR compiler to pre-compile the code, it’s considered adequate (It’s still not as good as plain SQL, but its good enough). This and the performance improvements in the new server would be enough to warrant an upgrade on their own.

What were doing next

We have setup 2 MSDN’d 2005 servers and mirrored our web server as a test bed for upgrading our code. Fortunately the vast majority of our code will still work, but to take advantage of the upgrades and new features we will have to re-write vast swathes of code. And all of our 500+ DTS’s and jobs will have to be completely re-written. And then comes the fun of learning an entirely new interpreter and compiler, and tuning it for maximum performance.

I’ll keep you updated

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Ophcrack 2.2 Password Cracker Released

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Ophcrack is a Windows password cracker based on a time-memory trade-off using rainbow tables. This is a new variant of Hellman’s original trade-off, with better performance. It recovers 99.9% of alphanumeric passwords in seconds.

We mentioned it in our RainbowCrack and Rainbow Tables article.


  • (feature) support of the new table set (alphanum + 33 special chars – WS-20k)
  • (feature) easier configuration for the table set (tables.cfg)
  • (feature) automatic definition of the number of tables to use at the same time (batch_tables) by queriying the system for the size of the memory
  • (feature) speed-up in tables reading
  • (feature) cleaning of the memory to make place for table readahead (linux version only)
  • (feature) improved installer for windows version
  • (fix) change of the default share for pwdump4 (ADMIN$)

Get it at

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Information about the Internet Explorer Exploit createTextRange Code Execution

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Internet Storm Center’s always informative Diary has some good information.

At the urging of Handler Extraordinaire Kyle Haugsness, I tested the sploit on a box with software-based DEP and DropMyRights… here are the results:

Software-based DEP protecting core Windows programs: sploit worked
Software-based DEP protecting all programs: sploit worked
DropMyRights, config’ed to allow IE to run (weakest form of DropMyRights protection): sploit worked
Active Scripting Disabled: sploit failed

So, go with the last one, if you are concerned. By the way, you should be concerned.

It didn’t take long for the exploits to appear for that IE vulnerability. One has been making the rounds that pops the calculator up (no, I’m not going to point you to the PoC code, it is easy enough to find if you read any of the standard mailing lists), but it is a relatively trivial mod to turn that into something more destructive. For that reason, SANS is raising Infocon to yellow for the next 24 hours.

Microsoft recommends you turn Active Scripting OFF to protect against this vulnerability.

Source: ISC

Yah I know, yet another reason to dump Internet Explorer and grab Firefox, not that anyone reading this site would be using Internet Exploder..

The code is along the lines of:

You can find the Bleeding Snort rule for the IE Exploit here.

Microsoft has now confirmed this.

“We’re still investigating, but we have confirmed this vulnerability and I am writing a Microsoft Security Advisory on this,” writes Lennart Wistrand, security program manager with the Microsoft Security Response Center, in a blog posting. “We will address it in a security update.”

There is also a 3rd party fix for this from eEye.

Posted in: Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Windows Hacking

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Sealing Wafter – Defend Against OS Fingerprinting for OpenBSD

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One way to defend against OS fingerprinting from tools such as nmap, queso, p0f, xprobe etc is to change the metrics that they base their analysis on.

One way to do this with OpenBSD is to use Sealing Wafter.

Goals of Sealing Wafter:
1. To reduce OS detection based on well known fingerprints network stack behavior.
2. To have the ability to load custom rules into the stack.
3. To unload, modify, reload the kernel module with on the fly rules. (great feature at packet parties)
4. To learn how the magic of tcpip stacks work.

What Sealing Wafter currently provides:
1. Hide from Nmap Syn/Xmas/Null scans, as well as the specific fingerprinting packets.
2. Ability to see what your stack is receiving without the need to drop your network device into promisc mode.
3. Complete control over rules that you can load on the fly todeal with specific incoming packets.
4. Initial support for several OS passive detection has been added for SYNs.

Weaknesses in current Sealing Wafter:
1. Full connection scans. e.g. nmap -sT will still find open ports. this is because I have yet to find anything that seperates a real tcp connection vs an nmap full connection. (most likely isn’t one.)
2. Can be very verbose when under heavy load. I have run this on my heaviest web servers, and have not noticed any major overhead.

Download the c code for the LKM here: Sealing Wafter

Posted in: Countermeasures, Network Hacking, UNIX Hacking

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Download videos?

Keep on Guard!

Ever wanted to download those cool videos from (Its an online video storage site similar to for storing images) and can’t because those peeps made it difficult for you to just download them offline? Well now you can !!

Go to and follow the instructions on how to copy the video link and download the video. Once you’ve download the video you’ll have to rename to .flv if doesn’t already have the extension. Then you’ll need to download the encoder to covert the .flv file format into other formats. For that you’ll need Riva FLV Encoder. The installation includes the player for FLV and the encoder for converting it to mpeg or avi.

After all that you can do what ever you want with the videos. Put it into your iPod video, PSP or even convert it to .3GP for putting it into your mobile phone.

Many thanks to CYBERAXIS SG for this site.

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Spammer gets 8 years in Jail for Identity theft

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Good I say, nothing worse than a spammer.

A bulk e-mailer who looted more than a billion records with personal information from a data warehouse has been sentenced to eight years in prison, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Scott Levine, 46, was sentenced by a federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., after being found guilty of breaking into Acxiom’s servers and downloading gigabytes of data in what the U.S. Justice Department calls one of the largest data heists to date. Acxiom, based in Little Rock, says it operates the world’s largest repository of consumer data, and counts major banks, credit card companies and the U.S. government among its customers.

In August 2005, a jury convicted Levine, a native of Boca Raton, Fla., and former chief executive of a bulk e-mail company called, of 120 counts of unauthorized access to a computer connected to the Internet. The U.S. government says, however, there was no evidence that Levine used the data for identity fraud.

Looks like for some reason the FTP had access to the SAM file, or a copy of it, and this ‘hacker’ downloaded it then brute forced the hashes.

I wonder if he used RainbowCrack and Rainbow Tables?

If he read this site he might have done ;)

According to court documents, Levine and others broke into an Acxiom server used for file transfers and downloaded an encrypted password file called ftpsam.txt in early 2003. Then they ran a cracking utility on the ftpsam.txt file, prosecutors said, discovered 40 percent of the passwords, and used those accounts to download even more sensitive information.


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Is Open Source Really More Secure?

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Is Open Source more secure? That’s a question that can be answered with both yes and no. Not only that, but the reasons for the “yes” and the “no” are fairly much the same. Because you can see the source the task of hacking or exploiting it is made easier, but at the same time because its open, and more easily exploited the problems are more likely to be found.

When it comes to open source the hackers and crackers are doing us a favour, they find the problems and bring them to the attention of the world, where some bright spark will make a fix and let us all have that to. All well and good.

However I think this could also be a problem, because lets face it. Any monkey can download “free” software to use for this or that, with little or no idea how it actually works. They don’t check for fixes and updates, often believing “it will never happen to me”. In part this is because they just don’t see any reason for some one to hack them. But in the modern world where any script kiddie little git can download a virus construction kit, or a bot to run exploits on lists of servers its no longer a case of being targeted. They don’t care who you are, it’s the box they are after.

Recently a friend of mine suffered from this very problem, he didn’t believe he was worth the effort to hack. But simply by using an Open source web app he unwittingly made him self a target. Though a fix was available, he wasn’t aware of it. It was only when the host contacted him about problems that he even realised he’d been exploited.

With the growing popularity of the internet and open source solutions more and more unskilled users are installing software they don’t even understand. Even worse as any one application grows in popularity it grows as a worth while target for the low life script kiddies out there.

The problem has been exacerbated but the simple truth that with modern scripting languages such as PHP it is getting easier and easier to make some thing, being able to hack code together until it works might be fun, and you might make some thing that does the job, but its not a way to make safe secure software.

Most often exploits are based on stupid mistakes, errors that should have been found early on but weren’t because the code evolved, expanded and changed. No design, no planning, just code it until it works. This is the original meaning of “hacking”.

Now, with out mentioning names, I have pulled apart the code used in the CMS the friend I mention earlier used, and with out doubt I can say its poorly written. But it was free, so no one can complain.

I am sure there is some very good open source applications, linux, apache to name a few, but there is even more “open source” that’s just garbage. Just because its free doesn’t mean its good. Just because it popular doesn’t make it better. In fact as far as I can tell, if you want to use open source applications your probably better of choosing one no one else has really bothered with, that why your less likely to become a victim.

Closed source always has the advantage of being a little harder to find the problems, how ever, and this is important. It doesn’t mean its any better. As a friend of mine pointed out, Open source might be easier to hack in some ways, but because of that the problems come to light and generally are fixed quickly. Where as with a closed source application its actually in the interests of the authors to keep any problems hidden, if its not a common problem it may even go unfixed, because the author sees is as being unlikely any one else will ever find it. Or a fix will be bundled up with a later version and thus many people will never even know they could be at risk.

In the end I do believe open source is good for us all, but its important to check regularly for updates, patches and fixes. If you don’t, on your own head be it.

Posted in: General Hacking, Web Hacking

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kArp – Linux Kernel Level ARP Hijacking/Spoofing Utility

Outsmart Malicious Hackers


kArp is a linux patch that allows one to implement ARP hijacking in the kernel, but control it easily via userland. You may configure, enable and disable kArp via ProcFS or the sysctl mechanism.

kArp is implemented almost on the device driver level. Any ethernet driver (including 802.11 drivers) is supported. The kArp code is lower than the actual ARP code in the network stack, and thus will respond to ARP requests faster than a normal machine running a normal network stack, even if the machine we’re spoofing has a CPU twice as fast as ours!


  • ARP Hijacking – Enabling ARP spoofing allows a user to spoof an ARP response to a specific victim host. Due to the low level at which the code exists, our spoofed packet is guaranteed to arrive at the victim’s network stack prior to the response of the machine we’ve impersonated.
  • ARP Hijacking the Impersonated – Enabling this function via arp_send_to_spoofed allows us to spoof the victim’s information to the impersonated machine as well, helping to solidify the MiM attack. However, this functionality may kill the speed of our spoofed frame to the victim, so it isn’t enabled by default.
  • ARP Flooding – Enabling this function via arp_flood causes the kernel to send a flood of random source and destination MAC addresses via a broken ARP frame. On some switches this will fill its internal MAC table, or overflow it. Often, the result of this attack is forcing the switch to fall back to dumb hub mode, allowing us to sniff the wire without a MiM attack.


kArp was written to beat the race in responding to an ARP Request from a target (victim) machine. It is *not* meant as an tool to flood a victim with ARP information. This means that some operating systems (MacOSX) that ingest unsolicited ARP responses may still obtain the actual MAC address of the machine we’re impersonating. Linux, however, only accepts the fastest response. If you want to flood a machine with fake ARP responses, use a userland tool.

For now, the URL is:

Posted in: Hacking Tools, Linux Hacking

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