Some outright rants from a bunch of infosec practitioners.



Being at VB2015…

I am currently at the 25th Virus Bulletin International Conference in Prague. The VB2015 is hosted by the Virus Bulletin portal and provides three full days of learning opportunities and networking.

VB2015 focuses on the key themes:

  • Malware & botnets

  • Anti-malware tools & techniques

  • Mobile devices

  • Hacking & vulnerabilities

  • Spam & social networks

  • Network security


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Yesterday 7Elements released the description of a Remote Code Execution vulnerability in VMware vCenter. The information came in at a good point as I’m at the moment drafting a follow-up blogpost for this one which will summarize some of our approaches to virtualization security. The vCenter vulnerability is both quite critical and particularly interesting in several ways:


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BlackHoodie: Reversing Workshop for Women

In the beginning of September, I had an opportunity to take part in BlackHoodie – a reversing workshop for women organized by Marion Marschalek, senior malware researcher at Cyphort, Inc. It took place on 5th and 6th of September at University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten, Austria. (more…)

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Python For Hackers

Python has reached a defacto standard in exploit development lifecycles and most of the proof of concept tools you’ll find out there are written in Python (besides the metasploit framework, which is written in Ruby). Python allows to write scripts handling with remote services, fiddling with binary data and interacting with C libraries (or Java in case of Jython/.Net in IronPython) in a fast and easy way. The huge standard library with it’s “battery included” principle removes some of the dependency hell known from other frameworks/languages. I want to share some of my python coding experiences with you, and maybe this could give some helpful tips for your future work, to make the world a bit safer :) (PS: most of the examples are written in Python 3.x or compatible to both Python branches).


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New iOS Version – New Lockscreen Bypass

At the 16th of September Apple released its new version of the mobile operating system iOS 9. As several versions before, this new iteration suffers from a weakness that makes it possible to bypass the lockscreen without entering the respective PIN code. Exploiting this flaw requires Siri to be enabled and phyiscal access to the phone. A successful exploitation results in a major loss of confidentiality as all photos and contacts in the phonebook can be accessed by the attacker. The following steps lead to the lockscreen bypass:

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Reminiscing About Black Hat USA 2015

The Strip

While searching for some photos for my last blog post on Thinkst Canary I found a couple more from our recent trip to Black Hat USA and DEF CON, which I consider worth sharing. Nothing too technical, just some visual impressions and comments from my side. Let’s get it on!


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Miner’s Canary Revival in IT Security


What is a Miner’s Canary?

Well, it’s a canary (these cute yellow songbirds some people have as a pet), and its main feature is that it dies before you will.

What the hack [pun intended]? And by the way… what has this to do with IT Security? Well… let me first quote Wikipedia on the birds:


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Greetings everyone,

On Saturday last week I had the pleasure of delivering a workshop on IPv6 networking at the MRMCD2015 conference in Darmstadt, Germany. It goes without saying that the atmosphere was quite amicable; as usual at CCC-related events. What definitely impressed me the most was the diversity of the audience. There were around thirty attendees representing several age groups and all with seemingly differing backgrounds.


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Given there’s quite some speculation and, as we think, misinformation going around we think it’s helpful to add/clarify the following information:

  • we fully comply with the injunction and we have no intentions to violate it. we do not plan to publish any technical information besides the report (agreed upon with FireEye themselves) and the slides (based on the former) anyway. No 3rd parties except for the ones involved (FireEye, lawyers) have received any additional technical information from our side, let alone an earlier version of the report.
  • the injunction covers accompanying details mostly within the architecture space, but not the core vulnerabilities themselves. Those are not part of the injunction.
  • we stand by the timeline as provided below. In particular, the following two points:
    – FireEye received a draft version of the report which had the objectionable material (as identified by the cease and desist letter) fully removed on August 11th.
    – according to the cease and desist letter FireEye’s lawyer sent us, they were informed – from our side – about the planned talk at 44CON on Jul 23rd.
  • there’s an injunction, but not a lawsuit. I used the term “sue” after consulting Merriam-Webster which states: “sue: to seek justice or right from (a person) by legal process”, but this might have been misinterpreted by some readers. As stated, there’s a pending injunction, but not a lawsuit.

Please note that we won’t share legal documents with 3rd parties or publish them as we consider this inappropriate.
Please note further that, during the whole process, our goal was to perform a responsible disclosure procedure with its inherent objectives (namely vulnerability remediation by vendor and education of various stakeholders involved, see also here or here). We consider this disclosure process as concluded. We don’t see a need to add technical details from our side as we feel that the objectives of responsible disclosure are met (not least as patches are released since quite some time and both vendor & finder have released reports).


We’ve just released an ERNW Newsletter titled “Playing With Fire: Attacking the FireEye MPS” which describes several (meanwhile patched) vulnerabilities in FireEye‘s “Malware Protection System” (webMPS) version 7.5.1. Right now Felix gives a talk at 44CON in London on the topic, including some demos. He will release the slides after the talk => to catch the respective announcement you might follow him on Twitter (which is probably a good idea anyway if you’re interested in vulnerability research).


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24th USENIX Security Symposium & WOOT Workshop

Recently I had the pleasure to attend the 24th USENIX Security Symposium and its co-located Workshop on Offensive Technologies (WOOT) in Washington, D.C. The workshop has received quite some attention this year, 57 submissions of which 19 have been accepted, so that the organizers decided to double its length from one to two days. (more…)

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