Friday, 21 December 2012

So did the OSSEC File Integrity Monitor detect the Java Remote Exploit? For this and much more...Security BSides Delaware

I am sure many that read this blog like to attend security conferences. I am sure you are familiar with Black Hat, Defcon, and H.O.P.E. These are great conferences with a lot of high quality content, they are also expensive and very crowded. Last month I had the opportunity to attend Security BSides in Delaware. It was my first BSides and will not be my last. It was held at Wilmington University on November 9th and 10th. The conference was a smaller one but in my opinion that made it great. The best part the entire conference was free. Free attendance, parking, breakfast, and lunch. The content was high quality and attracted a number of well-known speakers.

I was only able to attend on Saturday. My first talk of the day was “Social Engineering Basics and Beyond” given by Valerie Thomas @hacktress09. Valerie is a penetration tester. She audits company’s security policies and is paid to hack them. The focus of the talk was on what could be the weakest link in your organization, people. You can have the best firewalls, anti-virus, and advanced persistent threat detection but all of that could be overcome by an unaware staff member or inattentive help desk team member. Since everyone transmits their entire lives and routines on Twitter, Facebook, and 4Square, it is not hard to figure out who works for a company and their co-workers. Once you have that information it is a quick hop to Google to figure out the organization email format, username format and other key information. The information in hand the hacker makes a carefully crafted call to the helpdesk and requests a password reset or gathers the other information they need to launch their attack. The bottom line is train your people, make sure they verify security information and know who you are on the phone with.  The person on the other end of the phone may be trying to steal your information.

After a quick lunch I decided to visit the lock pick village. The challenges were to pick some simple locks as well as learning how to impression a lock and cut a key. I have previous experience with lock picking so picking was easy. As a side note, the Kwikset lock on your front door can be picked by an experienced picker in less than 2 minutes. The process to impression a key however is very difficult. After about 20 minutes I was able to impression and open a one pin lock. Most locks have 5 pins so you can see why it is so hard. The good part is that a lock impression can be done in stages, so if you have to abort your attempt you can always come back and finish later. Also, once you have the key you always have it and can get in and out quickly.

The afternoon was punctuated by shorter talks. I attended three others. The first was a talk given by a group of students regarding the CVE 2012-4681 Java Remote Exploit. The presentation was interesting in the fact that the standard security that most people would have on their machines was easily bypassed. The various freeware programs such as OSSEC also did not detect the exploit. It looks like the file integrity monitoring or FIM portion of OSSEC wasn’t used but in this case would have picked  up the changes. They also caught a special privileges escalation to a user account in the system logs which a properly configured log management tool would have alerted to the problem and warranted further investigation.  The write up is available here:

The second talk I attended was on exploiting android operating systems. In this case the attack victim would be on a “rooted” android phone in which ADB was left on (the default). In this case the attacker could attach his phone or Nexus 7 table to a device and within a few minutes steal critical data from the victim phone or table. Included in this critical data was the Google Authentication token. The token, which can be pasted directly into a web browser allows access the victims entire user account bypassing any Google supplied security enhancements including two factor. The speaker even gave everyone in the class a cable to perform the attack with. Bottom line, if you root your phone, turn ADB off!

The last talk I attended I was on Pentoo the Gentoo based penetration testing live cd. It is an alternative to BackTrack. The developer of the tool was very passionate about it  and presented several advantages. The first being an hardened kernel, pointing out how laughably easy it is to hack BackTrack when its running, a real problem at cons like Defcon. He also pointed out the advantage of having a good stable of WIFI drivers as well as built in update system and the ability to save changes to a USB stick. I have not had an opportunity to test Pentoo myself but I hope to over the holiday break and I will report back in another blog post.

Finally after a long day at the con I stopped off at Capriotti’s and picked up a Bobbie. Those from Delaware will know what I am talking about, for the rest of the world, think Thanksgiving on a sub roll.

Bart Lewis, NNT

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