Archive | November, 2009

Home Secretary says McKinnon must face US trial

The New Acunetix V12 Engine


Since the last update almost a year ago when Gary won the right to appeal against extradition, the latest news in the Gary Mckinnon saga is that his extradition to the US for trial will be going ahead.

Even with his apparent medical condition of Ass Burgers Asperger’s it seems he will be extradited anyway according to the UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

Let’s hope the US government don’t throw the whole terrorism book at him and he gets charged under computer misuse laws.

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon looks set to face trial in the US after Home Secretary Alan Johnson said there were no grounds to prevent his extradition.

He appeared to have been thrown a lifeline last month when new medical evidence was submitted to Johnson regarded McKinnon’s Asperger’s Syndrome. However, after considering the evidence, Johnson said yesterday that sending McKinnon to the US would not breach his human rights.

“Due to legitimate concerns over Mr McKinnon’s health, we have sought and received assurances from the United States authorities that his needs will be met,” Johnson said.

In an interview with the BBC, McKinnon’s lawyer said his legal team would not give up the fight to prevent McKinnon’s extradition.

It’s fair enough really, I don’t see how the whole Asperger’s thing has anything to do with it. The guy did do something wrong, and he knew it was wrong so it’s not like you can claim insanity.

I just think the whole thing has been totally blown out of proportion, he got into some pretty heavy networks using easily guess passwords.

It’s not like he did some Einstein relative cryptography on US army weapon algorithms.

“We are certainly coming to the end of the road,” said Karen Todner. “We’re just hoping at some point someone sees sense and steps in. All the legal team do know is we cannot give up because in some ways it’s like dealing with a death row case, and we genuinely believe that Gary’s life is at stake here.”

McKinnon’s legal battle dates back to 2001, after he broke into US military computers, including those belonging to NASA, in a bid to prove the US government had knowledge of UFOs.

While he says his actions caused no damage, the US claims he stole 950 passwords, deleted files at a naval base in New Jersey and rendered the military computer networks used following September 11 useless. The US estimates the damage caused by McKinnon at $700,000 (£433,000).

His legal battle has been going for 8 years now, I wonder how much longer it has left to run. I’d say another 1-2 years at minimum.

We’ve been covering it for 3 years already and it’s still nowhere near conclusion.

Either way I wish my fellow brit Gary Mckinnon the best of luck in fighting the behemoth US legal system.

Source: Network World

Posted in: Hacking News, Legal Issues

Topic: Hacking News, Legal Issues


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Metasploit 3.3 Released! Exploitation Framework

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What is Metasploit?

The Metasploit Framework is a development platform for creating security tools and exploits. The framework is used by network security professionals to perform penetration tests, system administrators to verify patch installations, product vendors to perform regression testing, and security researchers world-wide. The framework is written in the Ruby programming language and includes components written in C and assembler.

What does it do?

The framework consists of tools, libraries, modules, and user interfaces. The basic function of the framework is a module launcher, allowing the user to configure an exploit module and launch it at a target system. If the exploit succeeds, the payload is executed on the target and the user is provided with a shell to interact with the payload.

If you don’t already know about Metasploit I would guess you aren’t even in the security industry.

It’s come a long way since it’s early versions and has picked up huge supports from the community.

  • Metasploit now has 445 exploit modules and 216 auxiliary modules (from 320 and 99 respectively in v3.2)
  • Metasploit is still about twice the size of the nearest Ruby application according to Ohloh.net (375k lines of Ruby)
  • Over 180 tickets were closed during the 3.3 development process

Full release notes for v3.3 are here.

You can download Metasploit v3.3 here:

Windows – framework-3.3.exe
Linux – framework-3.3.tar.bz2

Or read more here.

Posted in: Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Hacking Tools, Linux Hacking, Windows Hacking

Topic: Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Hacking Tools, Linux Hacking, Windows Hacking


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First Malicious iPhone Worm In The Wild

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It’s a little less than 2 weeks since the Jailbroken iPhone Users Got Rickrolled and as I thought a similar worm has been seen in the wild – but this time with malicious intent.

As the rickrolling incident showed, even the more savvy users that jailbreak their phones neglect to change the default SSH password meaning they can easily be rooted…and well this new worm is doing just that.

The user as usual is the weak link here, it’s not a true exploit – just an unchanged default password.

A Dutch internet service provider has identified a worm that installs a backdoor on jailbroken iPhones and makes them part of a botnet.

The worm, according to XS4ALL, targets jailbroken iPhones whose owners have carelessly failed to change the default password. In addition to connecting to a Lithuanian master command channel, it also changes the root password for the device, making it harder for owners trying to regain control. Infected iPhones are also tagged with a unique ID number.

“A number of customers with jailbroken phones have been found running unknown software on their phones which is trying to compromise other iPhone users at other telecommunications providers,” the XS4ALL advisory stated. “XS4ALL strongly advises caution against jailbreaking if you are not fully aware of the potential risks to your privacy and security.”

It’s quite smart, after installing itself it’ll change the root password (from my point of view to stop it getting reinfected and b0rked) and also to make it harder for the phone user to take back control.

I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a mobile device be infected and hooked up to a botnet, I thought it might happen with consoles before..but now with mobile 3G/3.5G Internet and powerful CPUs in mobile phones the next big thing might be botnets running on iPhones, Android and Symbian devices.

The worm has the ability to pillage SMS databases, and an analysis by Security.nl (English translation here) has identified a script that looks for mobile transaction authentication numbers used by some banks to perform two-factor authentication with SMS-based systems. (Sophos also has analysis here.)

The worm tries to propagate by scanning a variety of IP ranges, including those used by carriers T-Mobile, UPC in the Netherlands, and Optus in Australia. The worm is especially active when it has access to wi-fi networks. One tip-off that a device has been infected is that battery life is extremely short when connected to 802.11 networks because the worm generates so many connections. The worm is not widespread, F-Secure said Sunday.

The attacks come two weeks after a separate piece of self-replicating code caused iPhones mostly located in Australia to display images of Rick Astley, the schmaltzy 1980s pop singer. The most recent outbreak appears to be the first instance of malicious iPhone malware spreading in the wild.

So do your friends a favour and tell anyone with a jailbroken iPhone to change the default SSH password to something else! Just doing that will save them from the current crop of threats.

I wonder what else will come of this, will it become a widespread infection of jailbroken iPhone users? Will it reach every continent?

Over here in asia iPhones are fairly popular, but not hugely so like in the US. I’d say if there’s anywhere ripe for some iPhone mayhem it would be America.

Source: The Register

Posted in: Apple, Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Malware

Topic: Apple, Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Malware


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Microsoft Confirms First Windows 7 0-Day Vulnerability

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So a pretty serious remote vulnerability has been discovered in Windows 7, as usual Microsoft is downplaying the problem asking you to block the ports on your firewall rather than fixing the issue.

I’d imagine the problem would only really be a big issue inside networks as who exposes SMB ports to the outside world anyway (TCP ports 139 and 445).

But as we all know, the biggest threat to corporate network security ALWAYS comes from the inside.

Microsoft late on Friday confirmed that an unpatched vulnerability exists in Windows 7, but downplayed the problem, saying most users would be protected from attack by blocking two ports at the firewall.

In a security advisory , Microsoft acknowledged that a bug in SMB (Server Message Block), a Microsoft-made network file- and print-sharing protocol, could be used by attackers to cripple Windows 7 and Windows

The zero-day vulnerability was first reported by Canadian researcher Laurent Gaffie last Wednesday, when he revealed the bug and posted proof-of-concept attack code to the Full Disclosure security mailing list and his blog. According to Gaffie, exploiting the flaw crashes Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 systems so thoroughly that the only recourse is to manually power off the computers.

At the time, Microsoft only said it was investigating Gaffie’s reports.

And well let’s face is, this is not the first time that a serious flaw that can be remotely exploited has been discovered in SMB.

It doesn’t seem like the most secure of protocols, I really doubt Microsoft developed it using SDL (Security Development Lifecycle).

It seems in this case though it’s limited to a DoS attack, perhaps due to all the fancy security controls Microsoft has implemented in the Windows 7 kernel.

Then on Friday, it took the next step and issued the advisory. “Microsoft is aware of public, detailed exploit code that would cause a system to stop functioning or become unreliable,” Dave Forstrom, a spokesman for Microsoft security group, said in an e-mail. “The company is not aware of attacks to exploit the reported vulnerability at this time.”

Forstrom echoed Gaffie’s comments earlier in the week that while an exploit could incapacitate a PC, the vulnerability could not be used by hackers to install malicious code on a Windows 7 system.

Both SMBv1 and its successor, SMBv2, contain the bug. “Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 are not affected,” assured Forstrom.

Attacks could be aimed at any browser, not just Internet Explorer (IE), Microsoft warned. After tricking users into visiting a malicious site or a previously-compromised domain, hackers could feed them specially-crafted URIs (uniform resource identifier), and then crash their PCs with malformed SMB packets.

Even so, I’m sure a skilled attacker could probably work out a way to drop some malicious code into the OS using this PoC and well if I know the underground they probably already are.

This vulnerability is the first official zero-day reported and confirmed by Microsoft in Windows 7 since the new operating system went on sale October 22nd.

I’m sure there will be many more.

Source: Network World

Posted in: Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Windows Hacking

Topic: Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Windows Hacking


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Katana v1 (Kyuzo) – Portable Multi-Boot Security Suite

The New Acunetix V12 Engine


The Katana: Portable Multi-Boot Security Suite is designed to fulfill many of your computer security needs. The idea behind this tool is to bring together many of the best security distributions and applications to run from one USB Flash Drive. Instead of keeping track of dozens of CDs and DVDs loaded with your favorite security tools, you can keep them all conveniently in your pocket.

Katana includes distributions which focus on Penetration Testing, Auditing, Password Cracking, Forensics and Honey Pots. Katana comes with over 100 portable Windows applications, such as Wireshark, HiJackThis, Unstoppable Copier, Firefox, and OllyDBG. It also includes the following distributions:

  • Backtrack 4 pre
  • the Ultimate Boot CD
  • Ophcrack Live
  • Damn Small Linux
  • the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows
  • Got Root? Slax
  • Organizational Systems Wireless Auditor (OSWA) Assistant
  • Damn Vulnerable Linux

Katana is also highly customizable. You can modify Katana by adding or removing distributions and portable apps with ease. You can add functionality to distributions like the Ultimate Boot CD, Got Root? Slax and UBCD4Win. You can also load your personal scripts and documents to keep them conveniently with
you on your flash drive to use in concert with the provided tools.

You can download Katana v1 here:

katana-v1.rar
katana-v1.torrent

Or read more here.

Posted in: Hacking Tools, Password Cracking

Topic: Hacking Tools, Password Cracking


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SSL Renegotiation Bug Succesfully Used To Attack Twitter

The New Acunetix V12 Engine


When this SSL Renegotiation bug hit the news, most people said it was a theoretical attack and was of no practical use in the real world.

But then people tend to say that about most things don’t they until they get pwned up the face.

It turns out the rather obscure SSL flaw can be used to take over user accounts from websites that use API’s and especially those utilizing 3rd party clients (Twitter being the biggest but a lot of people are accessing Facebook now using clients too).

A Turkish grad student has devised a serious, real-world attack on Twitter that targeted a recently discovered vulnerability in the secure sockets layer protocol.

The exploit by Anil Kurmus is significant because it successfully targeted the so-called SSL renegotiation bug to steal Twitter login credentials that passed through encrypted data streams. When the flaw surfaced last week, many researchers dismissed it as an esoteric curiosity with little practical effect.

For one thing, the critics said, the protocol bug was hard to exploit. And for another, they said, even when it could be targeted, it achieved extremely limited results. The skepticism was understandable: While attackers could inject a small amount of text at the beginning of an authenticated SSL session, they were unable to read encrypted data that flowed between the two parties

So even though the fella couldn’t decrypt or read the data in the session, he could manipulate it in such a way that it spat out the goodies using the Twitter API.

It’s a very neat attack if you ask me, especially if you executed it via DM (Direct Message) it’s pretty unlikely anyone would notice their account had been ‘hacked’.

Perhaps this is how the bad guys have been doing it for a while because I do see an awful lot of hijacked accounts on Twitter and the owners have no idea why (they hadn’t logged in to any dodgy sites with OAuth or their Twitter credentials).

Despite those limitations, Kurmus was able to exploit the bug to steal Twitter usernames and passwords as they passed between client applications and Twitter’s servers, even though they were encrypted. He did it by injecting text that instructed Twitter’s application protocol interface to dump the contents of the web request into a Twitter message after they had been decrypted.

“My point is I think that it’s not so hard to make it work,” said Kurmus, who lives in Zurich and recently completed his masters thesis at the Eurecom Institute. “Maybe some other people did the same thing and did not make it public, so this is why I think it’s important that people would take this bug more seriously.”

Twitter proved an ideal platform to carry out the attack for several reasons. First, every request sent over the microblogging site includes the account holder’s username and password. Second, the site’s API made it easy to post the contents of the intercepted data stream into a message that an attacker could then retrieve.

Twitter has apparently plugged the hole from their side, but as the flaw in SSL itself it seems only one vendor is near to issuing a patch (OpenSSL).

If you extrapolate a little though, this attack could work on anything with a POST/GET interface on the web running on SSL – like Gmail for example.

I hope companies get to patching and plug this hole as it can be carried out all too quietly and wreak a whole lot of havoc!

Source: The Register

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

Topic: Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Networking Hacking, Web Hacking


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