Category Archives: Security

Information Gathering Incident Response Script


Posted on October 24, 2012 by

So, you have a PC on your network that you think might be infected with some malware.  What do you do?  Well, you could always PSExec into the computer and run a series of commands.  But why not automate that process and store the results?

That was my motivation for writing this IR-Script.  It is like a first response tool for investigating a possibly infected PC.  You run the tool, gather a bunch of information, and store it for review.  The script gathers the following information from a PC: (more…)

EMET v3 is Awesome Sauce


Posted on September 19, 2012 by

If you read the computer security news feeds, you’ve probably heard about the recent Java 7 and IE 6-9 exploits.  The problem is that these exploits are discovered before there are any patches or reasonable workarounds for them.  Fortunately, there is something that can be done to provide some additional protection that doesn’t involve an anti-virus company.  Earlier this year, Microsoft released the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (or EMET) version 3.  The goal of EMET is to make exploitation of Windows applications difficult or impossible using the common attack techniques we see today.  It’s not a silver bullet and won’t protect against every type of attack.  But it does add additional layers of protection to your system by enforcing DEP, ASLR, Heap Spray Protection and more. (more…)

A security program is like a boat


Posted on September 12, 2012 by

Just ran across this great metaphor and thought I would share

A security program is like a boat. If it’s poor, it’s like a boat
with holes in it. You can spent so much time plugging the holes and
bailing water that you fail to progress towards your destination.
However, if you take the time make your boat seaworthy, you will have
a much easier time getting where you’re going.
-Jason Gillam

Securing WebDAV


Posted on September 9, 2012 by

Earlier this year, I discovered that some WebDAV folders at my job were not configured securely.  Long story short, it was bad.  Not Everyone has access to Everything bad, but close.  WebDAV is basically a file share served up by a web server (see the Wikipedia article on WebDAV for more details).  If WebDAV is not configured securely, you are open to data theft, server compromise, and probably a lot more.  I found some good information about securing WebDAV in various places and thought I would collect what I found in this post. (more…)

Standard methods of verification suck. How we can improve it.


Posted on August 8, 2012 by

As I was reading the article detailing Mat Honan’s multiple account compromise (read the Wired article about it), I was surprised at how easy it was to completely subvert standard security processes around user verification.  The entire hack was possible because the attackers were able to gather easily attainable information about Mr. Honan and then use that information against Amazon and Apple to gain access to Mr. Honan’s accounts.

So I asked myself, “What could have been done differently?  How could these processes have been changed to prevent this attack?”  The trick is to find something that is easy to use, hard to forge, and uses information that is hard to discover or intercept.  Here are a few of the ideas that I and others have offered. (more…)

Improving http-screenshot.nse


Posted on July 19, 2012 by

Latest version of the script is here:

About a month ago, the folks at SpiderLabs created an NMAP NSE script to grab a screenshot of any scanned hosts that were running web services.  (Read about it here).  The guys over at Pauldotcom were talking about the script and how it would be cool if it could output the results with links and full header information.  I decided this would be a good opportunity for me to learn some Lua and do some cool things with NMAP. (more…)

What War Games Teaches Us About Security (Part 3)


Posted on July 18, 2012 by

One of my favorite scenes from War Games is when David Lightman visits the two computer experts Jim and Malvin. They are discussing how David could break into the computer system he thinks belongs to a game company. Jim and Malvin tell David that this system looks like it belongs to the government and there is no way he’s getting in there. But David says, “I don’t believe that any system is totally secure.” Turns out, David was right. (more…)

What War Games teaches us about security (Part 2)


Posted on July 4, 2012 by

This is the second part of my posts on what the 1983 move War Games can teach us about security.  Here, I want to talk about the part of the movie where David Lightman (Matthew Broderick’s character) realizes that he almost started World War III and is in the process of throwing away any evidence that he hacked into NORAD.  At that moment, the NORAD supercomputer WOPR calls David.  Later in the movie, McKittrick (Dabney Coleman’s character) says it’s impossible for the WOPR to call someone.  Well, he was obviously wrong, because the WOPR did call out.  Fail!  Which brings us to our second lesson. (more…)