What features do you want added to our website?

We already have a blog aggregation that we host at planet.securabit.com and our new exploit developer’s corner. There is also a guest form on our contact page, so if you’re interested in being on the show or doing an interview of any sort, please fill that out!

What else do you want us to have? Perhaps bringing back the forums or introducing a mailing list? Challenges? Pictures of cats with lockpicks?  Please leave comments!

Please note, if you want us to revive our forums, we’re going to conscript you into slave labor to admin them. Thanks 🙂

ThotCon and Hacking Tractors

This past weekend our newest SecuraBit co-host Dan Mitchell got a chance to attend Thotcon, a non-profit, non-commercial hacking conference held in the “Windy City”.  Here is what Dan had to say:

The conference benefits from strong support by a vibrant local hacking community and a nice mix of infosec professionals and underground hackers alike. I was impressed by the quality of the presentations and the amount of knowledge and information I was able to condense into my brain in just 10 short hours. On the topic of “time”, the conference kicked off with a most excellent presentation called “pwning time” by Mark Hardy. Mark, also known for his outstanding DEFCON presentation “A Hacker looks at 50” is a veteran in the industry and somebody who personifies the true “hacking” spirit. Mark’s presentation was ultimately a bevy of wisdom on how we can better manage our time and figure out “what we want to be when we grow up”. I recommend checking out what he has to say, it is truly inspirational. By far my favorite presentation was given by Chris Roberts and Jesse Diekman called “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”. It was during this presentation that I was introduced to “Tractor Jacking” i.e. Chris and Jesses’s successful attempt at remotely hacking into the OS of large industrial tracktors and taking them for a spin.  They also demonstrated how they where able to stand on a bridge and wirelessly hack into the OS (AUTOSAR) of passerby cars and do everything from disabling the ABS to grabbing and reading sensitive configuration files. The presentation was simultaneously frighting and hilarious and served as a reminder that a the vulnerability landscape extends far beyond mobile devices, cloud services, desktops and servers.

Dan had the opportunity to speak personally with Chris after his presentation and we will hopefully be arranging to get him on the show soon. All of the presentations will be available on the ThotCon website in the near future. If you are looking for a unique hacker con, one that is different from the run of mill cons we see every year, ThotCon is definitely worth checking out.

Gigantic Patch Tuesday!

Any of you that have a hand in the patching systems cookie jar are probably reaching for that 4th or 5th cup of coffee by now.  Microsoft put put 17 bulletins covering 64 security fixes today in what is the largest number of patches dropped on a single day.

SANS has excellent coverage as always.

Exploit Developer’s Corner: Mr_me and Aurora DEP bypass

Exploit code: aurora-ie7-dep-bypass (WARNING: AV may report as malware)

Myne-us: Hello, This is the first interview for exploit developers corner on securabit and we are honored to have mr_me from net-ninja.net with us today. Hello mr_me how are you today?

Mr_me: Hello, thank you for the warm welcome I am good thanks and yourself?

Myne-us: doing great 🙂

Myne-us: so how long have you been doing exploit development?

Mr_me: I started exploit development approximately a year and a half ago now

Myne-us: In that time you have provided a large number of proof of concepts for everyone. If you visit Mr_me EDB you will see over last year and a half mr_me has been very busy

Myne-us: what got you started in exploit development?

Mr_me: ahh yes, well I got started from taking Offensive Securities backtrack spin class “OSCP”. Once I learn’t the basics of what debugging a stack overflow was I became hooked and it became like an obsession for me.

Mr_me: I generally provide working exploit code or PoC’s so that maybe other researchers can share ideas and thus, we heighten our knowledge of software security.

Myne-us: sounds great, an excellent course. So today we are going to talk about your revision of the aurora exploit that has DEP bypass. This is the famous aurora attack that hit Google in 2010.

Myne-us: So lets start out with how did you discover where the vulnerability is in IE to build this POC (proof of concept).

Mr_me: The vulnerability was discovered in the wild by an unknown person, I began with a blank canvas of a simple crash where the virtual function table is copied over from the ESI register

Myne-us: did you have a POC at the time you wrote this or did you have to dig for it?

Mr_me: There was a public PoC crash and exploit, however I re-engineered it to perform a dep bypass

Myne-us: So the DEP bypass causes this exploit to work in more modern systems where the execution of malicous code is denied, DEP wikipedia. So because you were able to re-engineer this exploit to work in this way, pentesters are now able to use this in a pentest with a reliable protection bypass.

Mr_me: exactly

Myne-us: So can you give us the mile high overview of the exploit then we will dig deeper.

Mr_me: So basically the concept is to inject your shellcode into the heap through a heap spray, load an object with a pointer to the shellcode, delete that object, call the object through a virtual function which directs us to our shellcode.

Mr_me: So during a pentest I had a hardened environment and had to demonstrate that vulnerabilities were still a critical security issue.

Myne-us: Ok so lets break this down into smaller chunks so first heap spray, can you give an explanation of why you used Heap Spray Wikipedia

Mr_me: ok so the reason why the heap spray was used was to spray enough heap blocks to be able to find a reliable location for the call to the shellcode later on.

Mr_me: By doing this, I can force the windows heap manager to allocate multiple chunks of heap data containing our shellcode at a predictable address

Mr_me: With a decent spray and a consistent allocation size, an address that points to our shellcode is going to be highly accurate.

Myne-us: and in exploit world that is very important. Reliability means testers do not crash your systems by accessing incorrect parts of memory.

Mr_me: exactly

Myne-us: What are some of the biggest challenges you came by when writing this ?

Mr_me: well reliability, and hitting the correct location in the heap for my ROP code. Because the DEP bypass relies on pointers in memory, accuracy is a must.

Mr_me: If the return address was one byte off, the exploit will fail (no room for a sled)

Mr_me: Additionally, finding the correct gadgets and ensuring they are reliable is the second biggest hurdle. I had to ensure that the windows library that I choose, was not patched too often by Microsoft

Myne-us: ROP return-oriented programming Zynamics introduction to ROP is a popular technique used to bypass DEP and jump to alternate memory locations by using code that already exists in memory. This basically allows you to use what the developer gave you to build out system calls to bypass DEP. Some challenges in ROP can be finding reliable addresses to use for your ROP gadgets and finding libraries that do not use ASLR ASLR wikipedia.

Myne-us: So how did you get a reliable address loaded to jump to in memory for your shellcode and what ROP techniques did you use?

Mr_me: The technologies are what I call complimentary in operation. ASLR will prevent you from using return oriented techniques which is often needed to bypass DEP.

Mr_me: In my case I was presenting the attack under an environment where ASLR was not a problem, Windows XP SP3 does not have ASLR enable default.

Mr_me: However, if I had the restrictions of ASLR, I would be forced to possibly use a third party DLL or the common mscorie.dll from the .NET Framework version 2 which is installed by default on Windows 7

Mr_me: Then I would have fixed address locations that I could use to develop a ROP payload and bypass ASLR & DEP in a single shot

Myne-us: This is a very nice proof of concept for the aurora attack that shows how using multiple development concepts can make a reliable exploit. This version mr_me wrote is going to be released here on the securabit site for readers to learn from and take notes.

Myne-us: What are your goals in exploit development?

Mr_me: Primarily it is to learn, I like to learn how software will behave a certain way, or how memory will work based on my input.

Mr_me: In terms of outcomes, i like to ensure that I have a reliable exploit and that will attack many technology layers if required.

Myne-us: What do we have to look forward to from you in the future?

Mr_me: Well I will continue my own learning curve, (its steep i promise) and continue to share knowledge where I can.

Mr_me: Quite possibly I will share some of my own ideas for bypassing certain mitigation in the near future

Mr_me: but I have to make it to immunities master class first!

Myne-us: Sounds great and if you want to find out more information on mr_me you can always visit net-ninja.net and to see his work in action you can view his edb page at Mr_me EDB page

Myne-us: Any closing remarks or anything you would like to promote?

Mr_me: Thanks for having me aboard

Mr_me: Just like to say thanks to everyone at securabit and everyone that has contributed to helping me learn these techniques.

Myne-us: thank you for being on 🙂

Let the phishing begin!

If you stay in hotels, have a bank account or credit card, or shop (online, from your TV or good old fashioned brick and mortar), there’s a good chance you will be the proud new owner of some data breach notification emails. Yay.

Last week Epsilon Data Management notified its customers of a data breach. In turn it’s Epsilon’s customers, including hotel chains, banks, retail stores, etc. (see the Krebs on Security link below for a more complete list) are now notifying their customers.

Here is some great coverage, as well as possible implications and recommendations if your organization may be sharing data with third parties:

Krebs on Security: Epsilon Breach Raises Specter of Spear Phishing

CAUCE: Epsilon Interactive breach the Fukushima of the Email Industry

SANS Internet Storm Center: When your service provider has a breach

Email below from Best Buy Reward Zone:

__________________________________________________Dear Valued Best Buy Customer,

On March 31, we were informed by Epsilon, a company we use to send emails to our customers, that files containing the email addresses of some Best Buy customers were accessed without authorization.

We have been assured by Epsilon that the only information that may have been obtained was your email address and that the accessed files did not include any other information. A rigorous assessment by Epsilon determined that no other information is at risk. We are actively investigating to confirm this.

For your security, however, we wanted to call this matter to your attention. We ask that you remain alert to any unusual or suspicious emails. As our experts at Geek Squad would tell you, be very cautious when opening links or attachments from unknown senders.

In keeping with best industry security practices, Best Buy will never ask you to provide or confirm any information, including credit card numbers, unless you are on our secure e-commerce site, www.bestbuy.com. If you receive an email asking for personal information, delete it. It did not come from Best Buy.

Our service provider has reported this incident to the appropriate authorities.

We regret this has taken place and for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We take your privacy very seriously, and we will continue to work diligently to protect your personal information. For more information on keeping your data safe, please visit:



Barry Judge

Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

Best Buy


We feel better now knowing “the only information that may have been obtained was your email address and that the accessed files did not include any other information.”  We’re doomed if we need to rely on Geek Squad to help prevent us from future attacks.



NetWitness acquired by EMC

As you may have already heard, our sponsor NetWitness has been acquired by EMC.  You can read the full press release here.

Nothing will change from a SecuraBit standpoint.  We will continue to deliver our content and this will all be transparent to that.

Thanks again for visiting and listening!

Ashton Kutcher the poster boy for SSL?

Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) was attending the TED Conference and it looks like someone may have run Firesheep against him to hijack his Twitter account. Two tweets were made by the hijacker:

Ashton, you’ve been Punk’d. This account is not secure. Dude, where’s my SSL?

Followed about 20 minutes later with:

P.S. This is for those young protesters around the world who deserve not to have their Facebook & Twitter accounts hacked like this. #SSL

It looks like the tweets are still in his feed, including a “kudos” to the people responsible. The cool thing is that a lot of mainstream media/entertainment/news outlets are covering this, so perhaps this is an opportunity to bring the issue of HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to wider attention. Or maybe more people will download HTTPS Everywhere. OK, maybe those are long shots, but maybe we could get a Public Service Announcement with Ashton and Demi Moore?

More importantly, maybe a high profile attack like this will get the attention of Twitter and Facebook.

Coverage from The Huffington post

Coverage from the LA Times

ZDI Makes good on release of vuln information

Back in August the Zero Day Initiative, a program founded by HP’s TippingPoint, announced that they would be making changes to their process due to vulnerabilities which  seemed to hang around forever. Because the timeline for disclosure of vulnerabilities had been controlled by the vendors, some appear to drag their feet on patching them. Anyone who has seen the Stack of Shame over on HNN knows what they mean. To avoid this, the ZDI implemented a six month deadline, after which details of the vulnerability would be publicly disclosed.

Well, the six month birthday has hit for some vulnerabilities, and the ZDI has started releasing the information on vulnerabilities for some big name vendors such as Microsoft, CA, Novell, SCO and even TippingPoint’s parent, HP.

The details are available over at TippingPoint’s DVLabs blog.

We Dont Suck! (As Much Anymore)

Allow me to direct your attention over to Geordy Rostad’s blog for just a minute. His recent post over at notanon.com gives in my opinion, a very fair & accurate review of Episode 67 and SecuraBit as a whole. Geordy notes how we’ve evolved from our earlier “SecuraBeer”-type shows to deliver topics & guests that add value to the listening experience.

This progression is evident when listening to past shows in contrast to our latest releases. The podcast has grown & changed as we the hosts have grown and changed ourselves. When we released our first episode on May 3, 2008, we were fresh out of the Navy serving together at the same location. We thought we could do anything and say anything. This was evident in our content. Fast-forward about 2 and a half years and now you have a podcast hosted by still edgy, yet tempered hosts.

Going out on our own to Corporate America, civilian government, and government/military contracting has rounded us out. Nine-to-five life in a professional setting expanded our horizons as to what an audience expects and wants to hear. Who would have thought that anyone would want to listen to this podcast in an office environment?

All that being said, thank you, Geordy for the review.

Geordy Rostad’s site is http://www.notanon.com/ and his Twitter account is http://twitter.com/grostad

The ColdFusion Directory Traversal vulnerability

There has been a lot of noise over the past week about the ColdFusion Directory Traversal Vulnerability.  If you haven’t heard, the basic issue is that ColdFusion allows the inclusion of just about any file on the server (usually Windows servers) to be included by using either a URL parameter or form parameter.  Without special encoding the vulnerability will let you grab any file ending in “.xml”, but by adding a “%00” to the parameter, just about any file gets included in the normal display of the ColdFusion Administrator login page.  This means that no authentication is required to pull this off.  The flaw is in the internationalization tags being used by the Administrator pages which include XML files to render the text for different languages in the CFAdmin section.  In turn the XML files aren’t really XML files, but instead are files containing large switch/case statements which, according to the arguments, spit out the value for the piece of text the XML file is called with.  The flaw is that the code calling the file uses user input to decide which file to grab, but doesn’t properly sanitize the request, allowing the inclusion of other files from the same disk the CFAdmin section is living on.  As Adrian Pastor points out, CF runs under the SYSTEM account by default, which means access to any file on the drive.  Including the CF configuration files which may include things like database connection settings (with passwords saved which can be decrypted easily).  Adrian also points out that once an attacker gains access to the CF Admin, it’s game over.

The patches provided by Adobe for the problem are quite simple, and in most cases shouldn’t even require a restart of the ColdFusion services.  The impact of the vulnerability is huge.  As Rafal Los, who rightfully calls this a “Disaster”, points out, there are a lot of ColdFusion servers with the Administrator pages available to the world.

Even worse, the vulnerability can be exploited on versions 6-9 (CFMX6, CFMX7, CF8, CF9), but Adobe is only releasing patches for versions 8 and 9.

Now for my confession.  I’ve been working with (and frustrated by) ColdFusion since version 4.5.  I understand how CF developers work, and how poorly the servers are administered in most installations.  In his post, Rafal Los offers some Google dorks for finding CF servers, and states that “There is really no legitimate reason to have a ColdFusion Admin interface on the public internet … really, I can’t think of one… yet there are many results!”.  So why are there so many results?

It is a combination of factors, laziness I’m sure being close to the top of the  list, but there are others.  The primary reason that comes to my mind is the location of the ColdFusion Administrator directory, inside of the “/CFIDE/” directory.  This directory has other directories inside of it which are used by CF for things like form validation, rendering of graphs, etc. and as such some applications stop working if the entire directory is locked down.  This means having the administrator (who may know nothing about ColdFusion) has to try to lock down the directories individually (in Adobe’s defense, the most recent version has a Lockdown Guide written by Pete Freitag which is well done).  I think the security of ColdFusion has suffered as a result of this mixture of programming functionality and server administration.

Another problem is those older versions for which no patch is forthcoming.  CF developers are very wary of changing the version of CF their application currently works on.  Much of this comes from a botched move by Macromedia a long time ago, when their first version of ColdFusion MX 6 (6.0.0) became notorious for breaking apps and eating resources.  This means that there are now a lot of old applications which are on old versions of CF.

Unfortunately, ColdFusion is starting (well, continuing) to look a lot like PHP for its reputation in security circles.  Like PHP, CFML is easy to pick up, and makes it very easy to write applications.  It also makes it very easy to write insecure applications.  Most CF sites are vulnerable to SQLi, XSS, and LFI, much like PHP.  Now with a vulnerability like this in the core of ColdFusion, I can’t say the reputation it is gaining isn’t deserved.