Worm city: security is in the eye of the beholder

it’s difficult living in the world of security researchers. every other day you get depressed knowing there is always yet another vulnerability, and if someone wants to, they will get you.

it is also difficult living in the world of security management and corporate security, when they try controlling their risk and lower their over-all vulnerability.

i am somewhere in the middle. twice cursed.

large companies are interesting because all the assets are spread amongst different groups, systems, networks, and physical locations.

so.. combine large companies with large code bases.

what you get is: worm city (or botnet city if you like). swiss cheese.

as vizzini would say: “inconceivable!” [the princess bride (1987)]

this quick post was written quoting parts of a conversation i had with a security researcher friend, known only as “anonymous jaded security something or other”.

gadi evron,
ge@beyondsecurity.com.

Vulnerable test application: Simple Web Server (SWS)

every once in a while (last time a few months ago) someone emails one of the mailing lists about searching for an example binary, mostly for:

– reverse engineering for vulnerabilities, as a study tool.
– testing fuzzers

some of these exist, but i asked my employer, beyond security, to release our test application, specific for testing fuzzing (built for the bestorm fuzzer). they agreed to release the http version, following their agreement to release our ani xml specification.

the gui allows you to choose what port your want to run it on, as well as which vulnerabilities should be “active”.

it is called simple web server or sws, and has the following vulnerabilities:

1. off-by-one in content-length (integer overflow/malloc issue)
2. overflow in user-agent
3. overflow in method
4. overflow in uri
5. overflow in host
6. overflow in version
7. overflow in complete packet
8. off by one in receive function (linefeed/carriage return issue)
9. overflow in authorization type
10. overflow in base64 decoded
11. overflow in username of authorization
12. overflow in password of authorization
13. overflow in body
14. cross site scripting

it can be found on beyond security’s website, here:
http://www.beyondsecurity.com/sws_overview.html

gadi evron,
ge@beyondsecurity.com.

Fake blogs and search engines

urls in this post should be considered as unsafe.

fake sites and se poisoning are nothing new. the use of blogs for this is far from new, either. thousands of new fake blogs pop up every day on blogspot, livejournal, etc.

web spam is a subject i have written about in the past, and some of you may be familiar with it regardless of me (no kidding), especially if you run a blog yourself.

a new fake blog which looks like blogspot, but has its own “domain”, recently popped up in a google alert on my name.

i get hits on these fake pages all the time as my name is a key word used by some of these spammers to grab attention to their pages.
this time around they really over-did it.

the page has a blogspot layout, and continues with ads to pornographic sites or malware (is there any difference anymore?)

then the site shows the youtube video which can be found under my name.
following that is a post i made to a mailing list recently (poorly formatted).
then we have a few pictures of girls, linking once more either to pornographic sites or malware drive-by sites (if there is a difference, again).

they finish the page off by adding comments, which are actually some old securiteam posts by me.

heck, it looks fake, but it is obvious the bad guys are investing more in their fake web pages. their auto-creation tools seem to be getting more impressive, and i believe we will see much improved believable sites, soon.

google blog search displays this site as (nasty words replaced with beep):

gadi evron
2 sep 2007
gangbeep facial asian amateurs, bang bus jessica hardcore pictures bang your head, asian virgins.asts. teen cherry action – nice brunette teen beeped hard on the bed and getting a beepy beepshot. beep beeping boy beep teen legs, …
untitled – h ttp://n ewadult.celeberia.com/

url:
h ttp://n ewadult.celeberia.com/sun-shine

again, i am unsure if these urls are safe.

for those of you wondering if these web pages mean anything to the bad guys, the answer is absolutely yes. search engine ranking, indexing, etc. helps them advance their own sites (or their clients’). then of course, there is advertising and google ads.
it works. and the advertising space on unrelated key words is a plus.

the concept is very similar to comment spam. comment spam may not contribute to se ranking anymore due to the nofollow tag attached to links in comments, but these get indexed and that’s all the bad guys care about. nofollow is crap, and what shows up when you search is what matters.

as an example of how these things work, in a recent blog post of mine a buddy left a comment (see here http://sunshine.livejournal.com/8859.html for the example).

he left a url for his legitimate python/math/music/origami blog in his comment, and now when you search for his blog you find my post placed in the 4th place with the title ‘a jew in a german camp’ (about the ccc camp in germany). he is not pleased, but it is obvious how the bad guys abuse this, and infect millions of computers just because their owners surf the net.

gadi evron,
ge@beyondsecurity.com.

Windows screensaver lock and lecturing

i was giving a lecture at nps yesterday, and while i was unlocking my laptop (xp), suddently, before unlocked, a file open window pops up. i could browse, and more importantly, open files. the first choice of the system was .hlp.

can someone say pwnage? anyone up to doing some monkey fuzzing on that interface?

gadi evron,
ge@beyondsecurity.com.

ISOI 3 is on, and Washington DC is hot

following up on that strange title, isoi 3 (internet security operations and intelligence), a workshop for do-ers who work on the security of the internet and its users, is happening monday and tuesday in washington, dc.

this time around we have even more government participation (we’re in dc, duh), but a bit less from academia (who can try and look at long term solutions), rather than just us security researchers, and operators (who respond, contain and mitigate incidents).

i am very pleased with our progress on encouraging global cooperation, and getting more industry information sharing going. i am also happy we are moving from “just” good-will based relationships to the physical world with our efforts, being able to take things to the next level with world-wide operational task forces and, indeed, affecting change.

if you are interested in this realm of internet security operations, take a look at isoi 3’s schedule, and perhaps submit something for the next workshop.

some reporters are somewhat annoyed that entrance is barred to them, but i hope they’d understand that although we make things public whenever we can as full disclosure is a strong weapon in the fight against cyber crime, folks can not share as openly when they have to be on their toes all the time.

the third isoi is here because after dhs ended up unable to host it, sponsors emerged who were happy to assist:

afilias ltd.: http://www.afilias.info/
icann: http://www.icann.org/
the internet society: http://www.isoc.org/
shinkuro, inc.: http://www.shinkuro.com/

it’s going to be an interesting next week here at the swamp. atendees better show up with their two forms of id. :)

gadi evron,
ge@beyondsecurity.com.

eWeek: Estonian Cyber-War Highlights Civilian Vulnerabilities

i posted a column on eweek on what critical infrastructure means, looking back at the estonia incident.

they edited out some of what i had to say on home computers and their impact as a critical infrasrtcuture, but hey, word limitations.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2166125,00.asp

Gadi Evron,
ge@linuxbox.org