Security Conferences and Press Passes

We recently received a couple of press passes to some security conferences in Europe from the event organizers and this got me to thinking.

Firstly thank you to the organizers that sent the passes through, it really is appreciated and it shows just how far Securiteam’s reach is.

So if there are any other security event organizers reading this, and you want the in’s and out’s of your conference published here, then please get in touch with us, a press pass for a security conference doesn’t cost you anything, and we can make sure that we can do all we can to let others know how good or bad it really was.

As I’m sure that you’re aware of by now, here at Securiteam we right honestly and give thanks where thanks is due.

DEFCON Social-Engineer CTF Contest Findings Report

If you’re at all interested in Social Engineering as I’m sure that most of our readers are, then you will probably be very interested in the report over at the site.

At DEFCON 18 this year, held in Las Vegas there was a Social Engineering Capture The Flag event held. This proved to be quite a success, well more so for the participants, than the actual companies targeted, but hey. All’s fair in love and war.

Some of the rules for this event were the following:

– Contestants may not ask for or obtain financial data, passwords, or personal identifying information such as social security numbers or bank account numbers;
– Contestants may not attempt to falsify or falsify employment records;
– The list of target organizations will not include any financial, government, educational, or health care organizations;
– Contestants must keep it clean, for example, use of any pornography is banned.

Even the FBI were extremely weary of this contest and contacted the organizers beforehand, so this was getting a lot of press coverage. I am also aware that quite a few companies sent out internal communications about this event to their employees, warning them not to give out any sensitive information.

I’d personally just like to thank the team over at for doing so much to bring social engineering into the public’s eye, and also for all the hard work they’ve put into SET and the Social Engineering Framework. Keep up the amazing work guys!
So without further ado, you can read the full report here.

HDCP Master Key Leaked

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a form of copyright protection developed by Intel. It is designed to prevent the copying of digital audio and video as it travels accross media interfaces such as HDMI, DisplayPort or Unified Display Interface (UDI).

The system is meant to stop HDCP-encrypted content from being played on devices that do not support HDCP or which have been modified to copy HDCP content. Before sending data, a transmitting device checks that the receiver is authorized to receive it. If so, the transmitter encrypts the data to prevent eavesdropping as it flows to the receiver.

Manufacturers who want to make a device that supports HDCP must obtain a license from Intel subsidiary Digital Content Protection, pay an annual fee, and submit to various conditions.

On 14th September 2010 the HDCP Master Key was somehow leaked, and published online in various sources. At present it is unknown how this Master Key was obtained, or whether Intel is doing any investigations as to how this happened. Intel has however threatened to sue anyone.

The leaked master key is used to create all the lower level keys that are stored within devices, so you can see what a nightmare this must be for Intel.

Intel have threatened to sue anyone that makes use of this key under intellectual property laws. However it will now only be a matter of time before we start seeing black market devices appearing.

If anyone’s at all interested though, you can find the key here.

DDoS Attacks and Torrent Sites

If anyone has been following the recent news about anti-piracy companies trying to take torrent sites offline by DDoSing them, then you’ll know that this was a bad idea from the start, if not here’s a brief recap.

Aiplex Software is a company that has been trying to take down torrent sites for a while now. As they weren’t getting anywhere, they decided to take on a new approach, and DDoS the torrent sites instead. It was suspected that this was the case for a while, but then to save everyone the effort, the nice guys over at Aiplex Software openly admitted that they were doing it, big mistake!

As the Internet is a wonderful medium for communication, there was a scheduled DDoS attack against Aiplex Software which took their site offline for a fair amount of time, until all the attackers then decided that moving onto the MPAA website was a better idea. The MPAA was forced to move it’s site to a new IP address after being down for 18 hours.

Yesterday an attack was launched against the RIAA in the same manner, and knocked the web site of the Internet for a good few hours.

All this was done via various means of communication, using the tool LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannons) and a bunch of anonymous supporters that weren’t afraid to stand up for what they believed in. Whether these attacks were right or wrong is purely a matter of opinion, but more to the point is the amount of damage that can be done.

In the past, if people wanted to protest, they would all gather in groups with placards and march around yelling various slogans, this usually happened outside the offending parties premises. If it got out of hand, the police would be called in to disperse the crowd, and everything was back to normal. However now in the age of the Internet, people are free to participate from the comfort of their own homes, just by downloading a program, typing in an IP address or hostname and clicking “Attack”. These people won’t be traced if the attack is coordinated properly, as it’s next to impossible to trace where all the packets are coming from if you have a large amount of people doing this at the same time. Even if people were traced, there is always the “Botnet defense” (My PC must have been infected by something and become part of a botnet, I ran my anti-virus program and removed some things, and now it all seems fine).
As security professionals we need to look at this as the shape of things to come, what if an online retailer annoyed a few of it’s customers, or if an online gambling or finance site was just “asking for it”. All it takes is the right form of communication and a few thousand people, and poof, the site is off the Internet if it doesn’t have the correct protection mechanisms in place.

As security professionals, do you do your best to protect your companies online assets from DDoS attacks? Or are you mainly concentrating on making sure the web sites are coded securely, that the web servers have been hardened and patched up to date…

I’m really interested to hear everyone’s comments on this one, so please leave them below.