Archive | September, 2008

Modern Exploits – Do You Still Need To Learn Assembly Language (ASM)

Keep on Guard!


This is a fairly interesting subject I think as a lot of people still ask me if they are entering the security field if they still need to learn Assembly Language or not?

Assembly Language

For those that aren’t what it is, it’s pretty much the lowest level programming languages computers understand without resorting to simply 1’s and 0’s.

An assembly language is a low-level language for programming computers. It implements a symbolic representation of the numeric machine codes and other constants needed to program a particular CPU architecture. This representation is usually defined by the hardware manufacturer, and is based on abbreviations (called mnemonics) that help the programmer remember individual instructions, registers, etc. An assembly language is thus specific to a certain physical or virtual computer architecture (as opposed to most high-level languages, which are usually portable).

The mnemonics looks like MOV JMP and PSH.

In straight forward terms the answer is yes, especially if you want to operate on a more advanced level. If you wish to write exploits you need assembly knowledge, there is plenty of great shellcode around but to get your exploit to the point where you can execute the shellcode you need assembly knowledge. Metasploit is a great resource for the shellcode and to shovel in your exploit, but to understand the inner executions and workings of any binary you need to understand assembly.

You might be able to fuzz out an overflow in some software using a pre-written python fuzzer, but what are you going to do then – you need to at least understand the stack/heap and EIP/ESP etc.

Even if you don’t plan to be that hardcore learning Assembly really won’t hurt at all, a great place to start is the PC Assembly Language book by Paul Carter.


The tutorial has extensive coverage of interfacing assembly and C code and so might be of interest to C programmers who want to learn about how C works under the hood. All the examples use the free NASM (Netwide) assembler. The tutorial only covers programming under 32-bit protected mode and requires a 32-bit protected mode compiler.

If you are specialising though you’ll be looking more into the realm of debuggers, disassemblers and reverse engineering – SoftICE was king back in the day.

Another great resource is Iczelion’s Win32 Assembly Homepage which has a bunch of tutorials, source code examples and links.

As many say Assembly is easy to learn but hard to MASTER.

I started out with The Art of Assembly – and I suggest you do too.

Some other resources:

Posted in: Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Secure Coding

Topic: Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Secure Coding


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Surf Jack – Cookie Session Stealing Tool

Keep on Guard!


A tool which allows one to hijack HTTP connections to steal cookies – even ones on HTTPS sites! Works on both Wifi (monitor mode) and Ethernet.

Features:

  • Does Wireless injection when the NIC is in monitor mode
  • Supports Ethernet
  • Support for WEP (when the NIC is in monitor mode)

Known issues:

  • Sometimes the victim is not redirected correctly (particularly seen when targeting Gmail)
  • Cannot stop the tool via a simple Control^C. This is a problem with the proxy

Requires:

You can download Surf Jack here:

surfjack-0.2b.zip

Or read more here.

Posted in: Hacking Tools, Web Hacking

Topic: Hacking Tools, Web Hacking


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Web Application Security Statistics for 2008

Keep on Guard!


Purpose

The Web Application Security Consortium (WASC) is pleased to announce the WASC Web Application Security Statistics Project 2007. This initiative is a collaborative industry wide effort to pool together sanitized website vulnerability data and to gain a better understanding about the web application vulnerability landscape. We ascertain which classes of attacks are the most prevalent regardless of the methodology used to identify them. Industry statistics such as those compiled by Mitre CVE project provide valuable insight into the types of vulnerabilities discovered in open source and commercial applications, this project tries to be the equivalent for custom web applications

Goals

  1. Identify the prevalence and probability of different vulnerability classes
  2. Compare testing methodologies against what types of vulnerabilities they are likely to identify.

Methodology

The statistics was compiled from web application security assessment projects which were made by the following companies in 2007 (in alphabetic order):

Booz Allen Hamilton
BT
Cenzic with Hailstorm and ClickToSecure
dblogic.it
HP Application Security Center with WebInspect
Positive Technologies with MaxPatrol
Veracode with Veracode Security Review
WhiteHat Security with WhiteHat Sentinel

There’s some pretty interestesting statistics there.

Read the full report here:

http://www.webappsec.org/projects/statistics/

Posted in: Web Hacking

Topic: Web Hacking


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psad – Intrusion Detection and Log Analysis with iptables

Outsmart Malicious Hackers


psad is a collection of three lightweight system daemons (two main daemons and one helper daemon) that run on Linux machines and analyze iptables log messages to detect port scans and other suspicious traffic. A typical deployment is to run psad on the iptables firewall where it has the fastest access to log data.

psad incorporates many signatures from the Snort intrusion detection system to detect probes for various backdoor programs (e.g. EvilFTP, GirlFriend, SubSeven), DDoS tools (mstream, shaft), and advanced port scans (FIN, NULL, XMAS) which are easily leveraged against a machine via nmap.

When combined with fwsnort and the Netfilter string match extension, psad is capable of detecting many attacks described in the Snort rule set that involve application layer data. In addition, psad makes use of various packet header fields associated with TCP SYN packets to passively fingerprint remote operating systems (in a manner similar to p0f) from which scans originate.

For more information, see the complete list of features offered by psad.

psad is developed around three main principles:

  • Good network security starts with a properly configured firewall.
  • A significant amount of intrusion detection data can be gleaned from firewalls logs, especially if the logs provide information on nearly every field of the network and transport headers (and even application layer signature matches as in Netfilter’s case).
  • Suspicious traffic should not be detected at the expense of trying to also block such traffic.

You can download psad v2.1.4 here:

psad-2.1.4.tar.gz (Source tar)
psad-2.1.4-1.i386.rpm (i386 binary RPM).

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Posted in: Countermeasures, Networking Hacking, Security Software

Topic: Countermeasures, Networking Hacking, Security Software


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International Space Station Infected by Virus!

Keep on Guard!


Now you think they’d know better than having Autorun enabled in the International Space Station? But no, they obviously didn’t and they got owned by some fairly innocuous thumb drive auto-spreader.

It wouldn’t really be news if anyone else got infected, but come on this is supposed to the pinnacle of security or something?

NASA confirmed this week that a computer on the International Space Station is infected with a virus. (See “Houston, we have a virus” at The Register.)

The malicious software is called W32.TGammima.AG, and technically it’s a worm. The interesting point, other than how NASA could let this happen, is the way the worm spreads–on USB flash drives.

Malicious software spread by USB flash drives and other removable media takes advantage of a questionable design decision by Microsoft. Windows is very happy to run a program automatically when a USB flash drive is inserted into a PC. How convenient, both for end users and for bad guys.

It once again comes down to convenience, security is the opposite of convenience – the more secure something is, the less usable it is and vice versa.

But that’s why there are experts in this field that can come to a decent balance between the two, both usability and security. Obviously these experts weren’t employed in this case..

Abrams blogged about this back in December, and I wrote about it in March. In that posting, I described how to disable autorun for Windows XP and Windows 2000 and I just revised it to include Vista.

In his December blog, Abrams writes, “Fundamentally, there are two types of readers here. The first type will disable autorun and be more secure. The second type will eventually be victims.”

Don’t be a victim, disable autorun (also known as autoplay) for all devices. It may be a bit inconvenient going forward, but to me, the added safety is well worthwhile.

I agree, don’t be a victim, run Linux! Ooops my bad, I mean disable autorun/autoplay and choose yourself what you want to run.

Source: Cnet (Thanks Morgan)

Posted in: Malware

Topic: Malware


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PorkBind v1.3 – Nameserver (DNS) Security Scanner

Keep on Guard!


This program retrieves version information for the nameservers of a domain and produces a report that describes possible vulnerabilities of each.

Vulnerability information is configurable through a configuration file; the default is porkbind.conf. Each nameserver is tested for recursive queries and zone transfers. The code is parallelized with libpthread.

Changes for v1.3

  • Wrote in-a-bind shell script that scans random domain names from DMOZ
  • Implemented recursive query testing
  • Changed porkbind.conf to use CVE numbers in addition to CERT alerts
  • Modified text displayed on stdout to make it more parsable
  • Licensed with GNU Lesser General Public License
  • Fixed timeout/concurrency/memory corruption bugs
  • Fixed improper comparison of alpha/beta version numbering bug
  • Added typecasts to silence compiler warnings

The tool now scans for 14 flaws and reports CVE numbers & CERT.

You can download PorkBind v1.3 here:

porkbind-1.3.tar.gz

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

Topic: Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Hacking Tools, Networking Hacking


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