Posts bydmitryc

Random stuff

I’m hyped! The much-anticipated Maltego version 2.0 is out. I had previously alluded to maltego here. To the 1% of you who haven’t heard of Maltego, it’s a tool for determining relationships between domains, users, email addresses, etc. I can’t think of an Infosec or traditional corporate security group which wouldn’t benefit from this tool. Check out new features here and here.

OK, everyone is probably familiar with the riddle put forth by Samson. e.g. “From the eater came forth food; and from the strong came forth sweet.”. The answer to that riddle was hidden. Who could have guessed the meaning? The strength of the riddle was in the fact that it was based on subjective knowledge that only Samson possessed. Of course, the story ends badly due to philistine subterfuge…but, I digress. I know that the security industry puts forth much effort in solving the riddle of “spam”. Question one, would a person, solving the spam riddle, be best served in keeping the answer to himself? It would seem that any sort of public solution would give the spammer equal opportunity to adjust their attack vector.

I don’t know much about spam. Google (and their gmail app) seem to know a lot about spam :-) . Joe Stewart over at Secureworks knows a lot about spam. He claims that the top botnets can send over 100 billion spams per day. I have a few more ignorant questions:

2) Spam is a nuisance. Can the power of spam be harnessed and used against ones enemies? If spam is the “eater”, how can it be used to ones advantage?

3) The sending of spam seems highly automated. Can the power of spam be turned inward? Like a child scooping cuploads of black ants on a red ant mount, is there a way of causing a “war” between spambots? Would such a war benefit anyone?


Marketer on Marketer crime

I have a strong distrust of most marketing and sales individuals. I hate evaluating software and getting a dozen calls or emails from some overzealous, inside-sales weenie. For this reason, I usually use bogus information when I fill out the obligatory form requesting the software that I want to play with. Lately, a lot more companies have been ignoring my queries for eval software. While I’m pleased to not be receiving calls or emails, I would appreciate the actual software. Today, while waiting (not too patiently) for my link to come through, I went through the email looking for some clue as to why I wasn’t selected to play with their software. In the HTML, I note a line like this (obfuscated somewhat and using ‘(‘ and ‘)’ instead of angle brackets).

(IMG xsrc=”

&_esniff=true” HEIGHT=”1″ WIDTH=”1″)

What’s that? Why is HEIGHT and WIDTH equal to 1? How will I ever see that?

So, the natural next question is: What happens when the web browser (or email client) requests that image. Well, it turns out it’s not a real image. It’s size is 0 bytes and the error code is “204 NoContent”.

I add a single quote to the abcdefghijklmnopqrstuv string. Now, I’m getting an error message like:

“MarketFirst encountered an error while processing your request.”

So, what’s the deal with that little, bitty image? Well, it turns out that I’m not supposed to see that little, bitty image. That little snippet is part of a marketing software (MarketFirst) which tracks when and where the email is opened (ooooh, I am *so* hating marketing guys right now).

To see other companies using the marketfirst software, google:
MarketFirst error inurl:”/mk/”

Even more fun, google:
MarketFirst inurl:”/mk/” ODBC error

Wanna try it yourself. Check out:

You’ll even get your own email which tracks back to their database…call it marketer on marketer crime.

Now, if I could just get a MarketFirst demo evaluation 😉


P.S. and here’s how to bypass marketer profiling and get your software downloads. Open the email in plain text (it’s MIME encoded). Convert it to HTML text. Post the HTML on some web site. Now, call your buddy at a Fortune50 company and have him/her click the link. I bet you get the download now.

P.S.S Even more fun….embed the HTML in an email to some user at the same company where you are requesting the download :)

Open source pollenation

I’m rushing this post out so that this post can be the 1,000th post :)

I’ve got a project that I’d love to run, but I just don’t have the time. Here’s what I’m thinking of. I want to crawl Fortune 1000 sites and generate fingerprints on their code (ASP, JavaScript, whatever I can read in plain text). I then want to pull out variable names and other unique identifiers from the culled code. With this, I can:

1) see if there has been any cross-pollenation across the sites

2) See if any of these Fortune 1000 web developers have embedded open source code within their app.

3) If (2), I’d like to run the open source code through a static source code analyzer and see if there are any ‘gotchas’.

A few months ago, I did this exercise for a single Fortune 1000 company. I wasn’t really surprised to find a bunch of open source libs in use. In this particular case, I didn’t even need to use google codesearch to find the package that they were using. The company had left all the GNU comment info within the source. It also wasn’t surprising to find that the developers had installed the entire open source project under an ‘include’ directory, even though my spider only found a link to several of the ‘.js’ files. And, lastly, searching bugtraq for this particular product revealed that they were running an older, vulnerable version of their open source software. Mildly interesting. I’d love to automate this. A cool product would:

1) spider a site and download all their code (even HTML can have comment fields or variable names which can be used to track the HTML back to an open source app)

2) Use some algorithm to find uniq identifiers within the code. Store these identifiers.

3) Use some algorithm to compare these identifiers to other sites which have already been spidered and stored.

4) Feed these identifiers to ‘google codesearch’ to see if the code is part of a larger, open source project.

5) If (4) use some algorithm to determine the version level. Query bugtraq for flaws within the observed version.

6) Run the code through some static analyzers looking for coding flaws.

That’s it. Happy 1,000-post birthday Securiteam blogs!


Tools, tools, tools.

Maltego GUI is off-the-freaking-chain. Check it out at

Also, the folks at Security Compass have released some new firefox plugins which should aid in detecting SQL injection and XSS. I’m between gigs, but will give these a good test drive the next time I’m tasked with a web application.

If one doesn’t already exist, I’d like an open source “Reporting Framework”. A metasploit for power reporters. I spend at least 10% of my consulting hours on reporting. I hate reporting. Feed this tool your reports and get back a standard report in the template of your choosing. All cross-referencing with CVE, CVSS, BID, NIST, etc. should be automagic. Relevant references should be automatically inserted (links to patches, standards, etc.). There should even be an option for uploading screen shots which are tagged to an IP/FQDN and service…

Enjoy the Holiday of your choosing,