Archive | November, 2011

Twitter Purchases WhisperCore – Full Disk Encryption For Android Phones

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This is certainly an interesting acquisition and not one I would have expected, I’m not even exactly sure what Twitter is planning and why they would want a company focused on mobile encryption (and specifically on the Android platform).

I can’t see any real corporate use for Twitter, so they won’t be pushing the security aspects of it in terms of the application. Perhaps it’s just an equity play and has nothing to do with Twitter, or perhaps they have another offering up their sleeves which isn’t public yet.

Twitter may be planning to boost its mobile security options with the acquisition of Whisper Systems, a company that offers security products for Android phones.

Whisper Systems’ offerings include WhisperCore, software that enables full disk encryption as well as management tools for Android phones. It’s free for individual users while enterprise customers pay for the software. Other Whisper Systems products include text encryption, voice encryption, firewall software and encrypted backup.

In a blog post about the acquisition, Whisper Systems didn’t say much about what Twitter might be planning to do with the technology. “Now that we’re joining Twitter, we’re looking forward to bringing our technology and our expertise into Twitter’s products and services,” the company wrote on the blog.

It said that Whisper Systems software will continue to be available but that during a transition period the company will take the products and services offline. In a forum on Whisper Systems’ website, people who are apparently unaware of the acquisition are already wondering why they can’t download products. Twitter did not reply to a request for comment about its plans for the technologies.

The only path I can see, obvious path that is, would be for Twitter to integrate the encryption technology offered by WhisperCore into the official Twitter apps – making them more secure in both storing data locally and in transmitting data over insecure networks.

I don’t see how it really offers any value though, it’s not like anyone is actually sending anything important out over Twitter – apart from the odd DM (Direct Message) I would imagine.

It’ll be interesting to see what direction they take though and if we can actually find out why this acquisition took place.


WhisperCore has a number of features designed to make up for security shortcomings in Android. For instance, WhisperCore users can selectively revoke permissions that an app requests while allowing the user to still use the app.

The software also includes a feature aimed at thwarting someone who has stolen a phone from determining the phone’s unlock code based on finger smudges on the screen. Some Android phones display rows of dots and a user unlocks the phone by dragging a finger over certain dots in a set pattern. An attacker might be able to recreate the pattern by examining finger smudges on the screen. WhisperCore displays unlock numbers in a column, so an attacker doesn’t know in which order the user hits the numbers to unlock the phone.

Earlier this year Whisper Systems released a software development kit so that developers could start building some WhisperCore features into their applications.

Few other companies are doing full disk encryption for Android, although there are many other companies taking other approaches to securing Android phones. Companies like 3LM and Good Technology offer mobile security services for enterprises. In addition, mobile device management products from companies including Sybase, BoxTone, Zenprise, Mobile Iron and Fiberlink let IT managers set basic policies like password requirement and remote wipe, and offer additional security capabilities.

The other whacky idea could be to make Twitter into a dual-functioning security product – I don’t really see how that would work though. Social Networking + Device security = confused users.

If anyone has any bright ideas as to why you think this deal took place, do drop them in the comments section below.

Source: Network World

Posted in: Countermeasures, Cryptography, Privacy, Security Software, Web Hacking

Topic: Countermeasures, Cryptography, Privacy, Security Software, Web Hacking


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VoIP Hopper 2.01 Released – IP Phone VLAN Hopping Tool

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VoIP Hopper is a GPLv3 licensed security tool, written in C, that rapidly runs a VLAN Hop into the Voice VLAN on specific ethernet switches. VoIP Hopper does this by mimicking the behavior of an IP Phone, in Cisco, Avaya, and Nortel environments.

This requires two important steps in order for the tool to traverse VLANs for unauthorized access. First, discovery of the correct 12 bit Voice VLAN ID (VVID) used by the IP Phones is required. VoIP Hopper supports multiple protocol discovery methods (CDP, DHCP, LLDP-MED, 802.1q ARP) for this important first step. Second, the tool creates a virtual VoIP ethernet interface on the OS. It then inserts a spoofed 4-byte 802.1q vlan header containing the 12 bit VVID into a spoofed DHCP request.

Once it receives an IP address in the VoIP VLAN subnet, all subsequent ethernet frames are “tagged” with the spoofed 802.1q header.

VoIP Hopper is a VLAN Hop test tool but also a tool to test VoIP infrastructure security.

New Features

  • New “Assessment” mode: Interactive, menu driven command interface, improves ability to VLAN Hop in Pentesting when the security tester is working against an unknown network infrastructure
  • New VLAN Discovery methods (802.1q ARP, LLDP-MED)
  • LLDP-MED spoofing and sniffing support
  • Can bypass VoIP VLAN subnets that have DHCP disabled, and spoof the IP address and MAC address of a phone by setting a static IP

You can download VoIP Hopper 2.01 here:

voiphopper-2.01.tar.gz

Or read more here.

Posted in: Hacking Tools, Networking Hacking

Topic: Hacking Tools, Networking Hacking


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X-Scan by XFocus – Basic Free Network Vulnerability Scanner

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X-Scan is a general scanner for scanning network vulnerabilities for specific IP address range or stand-alone computer by multi-threading method, plug-ins are supported. This is an old tool (last update in 2005), but some people still find it useful and there are certain situations where it can be useful (especially in those jurassic companies using old kit).

It supports Nessus NASL plugins for vulnerability scanning – which makes it pretty useful. It also has both a GUI and command line version for scripting.

The following items can be scanned:

  • Remote OS type and version detection,
  • Standard port status and banner information,
  • SNMP information,
  • CGI vulnerability detection,
  • IIS vulnerability detection,
  • RPC vulnerability detection,
  • SSL vulnerability detection,
  • SQL-server,
  • FTP-server,
  • SMTP-server,
  • POP3-server,
  • NT-server weak user/password pairs authentication module,
  • NT server NETBIOS information,
  • Remote Register information, etc.

The results of the scan are saved in /log directory, and are title index_ip_address.htm (if you used the GUI) or ip_address if you used the command line option. These can be directly browsed by any normal Web Browser.

Basic user and password lists are supplied to carry out a basic attack on certain services, (above), if found enabled on the host.

You can download XScan v3.3 here:

X-Scan-v3.3-en.rar

Or read more here.

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OpenPGP JavaScript Implementation Enables Encrypted Webmail

The New Acunetix V12 Engine


This is a pretty interesting progression in the encryption field, I’m pretty sure most of us here will use some kind of key based e-mail encryption (PGP/GPG etc) and various different software based implementations.

Or perhaps some of you already use something totally web-based like Hushmail, the story is that researchers in Germany have managed to develop a JavaScript implementation of OpenPGP that allows you to both encrypt and decrypt messages purely in the webmail interface with Google Chrome and Gmail.

Pretty neat eh?

Researchers from German security firm Recurity Labs have released a JavaScript implementation of the OpenPGP specification that allows users to encrypt and decrypt webmail messages.

Called GPG4Browsers, the tool functions as an extension for Google Chrome and now is capable of working with Gmail.

According to its developers, GPG4Browsers is a prototype, but it supports almost all asymmetric and symmetric ciphers and hash functions specified in the OpenPGP standard.

The OpenPGP specification uses public key cryptography to encrypt and digitally sign messages and other data. It is based on the original PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) program and is most commonly used for securing email communications.

Setting up a PGP variant to work with a particular email client on a local computer can prove troublesome for less technical users, not to mention that it’s not portable. A PGP user who wants to send and receive encrypted emails from a different computer, would have to install it on that system first, import his private and public keys into the local database, known as the keyring, and then configure his email client.

The benefits of a JavaScript-based implementation that runs inside the browser is that it doesn’t require a dedicated email client or other software installed on the computer.

I have to admit, setting up key based e-mail cryptography to work seamlessly…is not for the faint of heart. Even for the more technical user, it can be quite a pain in the arse.

That’s a pretty high entry barrier for the average Joe and stops pretty much everyone else from encrypting their emails. Something more seamless (and totally portable) like this JavaScript implementation could open up key-based e-mail encryption for the masses.


At the moment, GPG4Browsers only works in Google Chrome and is not available for download from the Chrome Web Store. However, if the name is any indication, the extension will be ported to other browsers in the future.

Users interested in giving it a try must download it manually and install it as an unpacked extension. This can be done from the Tools > Extension page by checking the “Developer mode” box and clicking on “Load unpacked extension.”

The current release is limited by the fact that it cannot generate private keys, although the menu for doing this is present, so the feature will most likely be implemented in the future.

Importing public and private keys works fine and when browsing on Gmail a black lock icon is displayed in the address bar. Clicking on it will open a dialog for composing an encrypted or a digitally signed message.

Similarly, when an encrypted message arrives in the Gmail inbox, the browser asks users if they want to open it with GPG4Browsers. The extension can decrypt messages signed with GnuPG (GNU Privacy Guard), a popular open source PGP implementation, but only if data compression isn’t used.

The GPG4Browsers source code is available under a GNU Lesser Public License so the tool can be easily improved to support additional webmail providers. The developers also provide documentation which explains the available APIs.

An OpenPGP JavaScript implementation offers convenience and portability, but also has some downfalls. “Since memory-wipe of private data and validation of a secure execution environment cannot be achieved in JavaScript this implementation should not be used in environments where the confidentiality and integrity of the transmitted data is important,” the developers warned.

Which means, in basic terms, don’t use this kind of implementation on any machines that might be infected with malware etc. Which in a way to me renders it useless, the only reason I’d be using a web-based OpenPGP implementation is because I’m using a public or unfamiliar machine and I STILL want to encrypt my e-mail.

If I’m using my own e-mail, I’ll be using a proper software based encryption tool anyway. So I guess it may offer slightly more protection that sending completely plain text e-mail, but it’s certainly not a totally secure e-mail encryption solution.

As JavaScript progresses and gets more powerful however, things may change and this may well become a viable alternative to software based e-mail encryption.

Source: Network World

Posted in: Countermeasures, Cryptography, Security Software

Topic: Countermeasures, Cryptography, Security Software


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sqlsus 0.7.1 Released – MySQL Injection & Takeover Tool

The New Acunetix V12 Engine


sqlsus is an open source MySQL injection and takeover tool, written in perl. Via a command line interface, you can retrieve the database(s) structure, inject your own SQL queries (even complex ones), download files from the web server, crawl the website for writable directories, upload and control a backdoor, clone the database(s), and much more…Whenever relevant, sqlsus will mimic a MySQL console output.

sqlsus focuses on speed and efficiency, optimising the available injection space, making the best use (I can think of) of MySQL functions. It uses stacked subqueries and an powerful blind injection algorithm to maximise the data gathered per web server hit. Using multithreading on top of that, sqlsus is an extremely fast database dumper, be it for inband or blind injection.If the privileges are high enough, sqlsus will be a great help for uploading a backdoor through the injection point, and takeover the web server.

It uses SQLite as a backend, for an easier use of what has been dumped, and integrates a lot of usual features (see below) such as cookie support, socks/http proxying, https..

What’s New

Starting with version 0.7, sqlsus now supports time-based blind injection and automatically detects web server / suhosin / etc.. length restrictions.


  • Added time-based blind injection support (added option “blind_sleep”, and renamed “string_to_match” to “blind_string”).
  • It is now possible to force sqlsus to exit when it’s hanging (i.e.: retrieving data), by hitting Ctrl-C more than twice.
  • Rewrite of “autoconf max_sendable”, so that sqlsus will properly detect which length restriction applies (WEB server / layer above). (removed option “max_sendable”, added options “max_url_length” and “max_inj_length”)
  • Uploading a file now sends it into chunks under the length restriction.
  • sqlsus now saves variables after each command, so that forcing it to quit (or killing it) will not discard the changes that were made.
  • Added a progress bar to inband mode, sqlsus now determines the number of rows to be returned prior to fetching them.
  • get db (tables/columns) in inband mode now uses multithreading (like everything else).
  • clone now uses count(*) if available (set by “get count” / “get db”), instead of using fetch-ahead.
  • In blind mode, “start” will now test if things work the way they should, by injecting 2 queries : one true and one false.
  • sqlsus now prints what configuration options are overridden (when a saved value differs from the configuration file).

You can download sqlsus 0.7.1 here:

sqlsus-0.7.1.tgz

Or read more here.

Posted in: Database Hacking, Hacking Tools, Web Hacking

Topic: Database Hacking, Hacking Tools, Web Hacking


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Julian Assange Hires Pirate Bay Lawyer

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We do write about Julian Assange from time to time – the last time was about WikiLeaks Attacks Causing Rival DDoS Retaliation. Sadly however, the legal issues Mr Assange is facing are nothing to do with his rather famous site, but rather to do with rape.

Keep your dick in your pants son, especially if you want to expose the governments of the World with your rather comprehensive collection of cables.

Julian Assange has ditched his Swedish legal counsel and lined up a new defence team in readiness for a likely return to the country to face allegations of sexual molestation and rape against two women.

His new lawyers include Per Samuelson, who in 2009 represented Carl Lundström – one of the co-founders of notorious BitTorrent tracker website The Pirate Bay.

At the start of November, WikiLeaks founder Assange was ordered by a High Court judge in London to return to Sweden.

He was arrested by Scotland Yard police 11 months ago and was granted bail earlier this year, after his lawyers secured funds of around £200,000 from a number of celebrity friends.

Swedish prosecutors have repeatedly requested that Assange make himself available for questioning. They issued a warrant for the WikiLeaker’s arrest, however they are yet to file charges in the case.

The latest twist in the case is that he’s dropped his own Swedish defence lawyer and hired the chaps famous for defending TPB (The Pirate Bay).

Assange is actually supposed to be extradited to Sweden already but he’s fighting the extradition order tooth and nail, honestly I think he’s gonna be out of the UK soon and in hot water.


Assange is still fighting that extradition order. Lawyers acting for him in the UK filed appeal papers with the Supreme Court earlier this week.

But that really is his final chance to appeal against being banished from Blighty to Sweden.

Assange reportedly confirmed in a petition lodged with the Stockholm District Court yesterday that he wanted to work with attorneys Per E Samuelson and Thomas Olsson, according to the Local.

He ditched his previous lawyer, Björn Hurtig, who had represented the WikiLeaker-in-chief in Sweden since September last year.

Olsson told TT news agency that he has had only limited contact with Assange so far. “He’ll have to explain his motivation behind changing defenders,” the lawyer said, who is now reviewing Assange’s case.

Hurtig said there was no conflict between him and Assange over the legal team switch.

“You’ll have to ask him why he’s decided to change. But it’s not unusual that someone change lawyers and he’s chosen two superb new representatives. I wish him the best of luck,” he said.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens next, I’d imagine he changed lawyers because the previous chap couldn’t halt the extradition and he’s pinning his hopes on these two new chaps being able to keep him on British soil.

To be honest I haven’t really followed the whole affair very closely, but I found this piece of news interesting enough to comment on.

Source: The Register

Posted in: Legal Issues

Topic: Legal Issues


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