December 10, 2008
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SANS SEC:709 – Developing Exploits for Penetration Testers – Day 2
I didn’t get a chance to post up my thoughts on the second day of the SEC:709 class before leaving London, so here’s a quick recap of the second day.
Today we began looking at the Windows side of exploit writing. Although in theory things are slightly harder with Windows exploitation than with Linux (at least at the level we were working at), things seemed to click on the second day. Whereas the first day was new concepts mixed with exercises to show how things work, the second day looked at the same points made in day 1 from a Windows standpoint. The examples were a chance to review some points from day 1 in a new light, and introduce some new points. The day was finished off with a Capture the Flag. Most people managed to get a couple of flags at least, but with the limited time, and a raging brain ache from “drinking from the fire-hose” so to speak, it was slow going. One person managed to get almost all the flags, which was impressive given the time spent learning these points. I guess with some more reviewing of the topics and some practice, I’ll be able to get the hang of this mystical side to penetration testing and security research.
Overall the course was very fun. As it’s a 700 level course (from my understanding SANS does 400, 500, 600 and now 700 level courses. 400 being the basics, through to 700, which is, more than a little advanced) so you get what you ask for. It’s high-tech from moment 1, and the pace is fast and furious. It’s not one of those courses where you can get into class 10 minutes late from lunch and still catchup. If you miss a concept, then everything that follows will be that much harder to grasp. Stephen Sims (the class author and the teacher for the London class) is looking to take the class to 4 days. I think this would make the concepts easier to grasp, as more time could be spent in labs to drill the concepts into your head. One of the other facilitators (class helpers, of which I was lucky enough to be one) said that the 4 day course should be the contents from days 1 and 2 repeated twice ;). Still Stephen said he wants to put more into the 4 day course. So keep your eyes peeled for that in the near future.
Overall my time in London was great. I managed to meet some really smart people, and the SANS Christmas dinner was really fun. Working as a facilitator for a SANS conference is fun, but a lot of work. If you’re thinking of try it out, expect a lot of >12 hour days, and bleeding fingers. Still, from my experiences it’s 100% worth it. Just getting a chance to work with the SANS instructors and staff is reward enough. If anybody will be attending the upcoming SANS Munich 2009 (June/July time) then looking for a stressed and tired looking facilitator, it’ll probably be me…
December 8, 2008
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SANS SEC:709 – Developing Exploits for Penetration Testers – Day 1
Day 1 of the SEC:709 course is finished. Before I give some points on the course, I want to say that I’m not a coder, and to be honest, scripting is enough of a challenge for me. So, when I said I’d facilitate for the course, I knew things would be above my head. Still, 50% through and I’m surprised at how much clearer things seem.
Day 1 covered the Linux side of exploit writing, as well as covering the basic points needed for tomorrows trip into the world of Windows. The pace is hectic and fast paced. Then again, with the amount to cover and the topics being highly technical (this is a SANS 700 level course), the exercises will need to be redone, and redone, and then once more to be sure. These are not the kind of labs you can GET in one try. Sure some of the basics fit together without too much brain ache, but the more advanced (well advanced for me) stuff will need some more work.
If you’re a penetration tester who wants to move beyond Metasploit and into the world of custom proof of concepts, then this is a great introduction. No 2 day course will take you from A to Z, but this one will give you the foundation to build on. I’ll let you know how day 2 does tomorrow… that is, if I survive ;)
December 6, 2008
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SANS Web App Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking Class – DAY 4
Today was a long day… my hint for a SANS conference in Europe, is never going drinking with Terry Neal. No, seriously, save yourself before it’s too late ;) Still, it’s amazing what you can accomplish on 4 hours of sleep.
Today was finally the Exploitation day… and as we know exploitation is always the fun part (insert evil laugh here). The coverage of a WordPress vulnerability from last year was interesting, but needed a little bit more in-depth explanation of how it functions. Due to the limitation of the class running time though, I think that wasn’t really a possibility. Still, consider it as homework ;) Although this was a lab designed to cover blind SQL injection, the use of a pre-written script for the lab was a little disappointing. I’d like to have seen something with SQLBF or SQLmap personally.
The section on advanced script injection covered a lot of what I came to the course for. If I had a choice the whole 4 days would have been at this level. At the very end of the day we looked at a couple of exploitation frameworks (Attack API, BeEF and XSS Proxy). I’ve not had a chance to play with these much before, so it was good to get some hands-on time with the tool. Although I would have liked to look more at the Atack API setup and configuration. BeEF looks good, but lacks some functions that would improve the functionality. Given the chance I’ll write up some modules to fill the gap.
Overall the course was enjoyable, although a little basic for people already doing web-app testing on a regular basis. I’m looking forward to seeing how the SEC:542 course changes when it goes 6 days (see next years conference lists). I’m expecting something special from the InGuardian guys.
December 5, 2008
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SANS Web App Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking Class – DAY 3
Well day 3 has begun, and we’ve passed the half way mark. I’m expecting some serious in-depth parts over the next 2 days. The presentations last night were really interesting. Raul covered Bluetooth attacks, which was interesting on a number of levels. Some people attending didn’t seem to get it from a business point of view. The opinion of one person was that the manufacturers won’t make a more secure version of these devices because it would cost more, and therefore not get enough market share to be effective. A typical argument against security. What he failed to understand was that this is a business problem. As nasty as it is to have your conversations listened to, the real return on investment for attackers lays with attacking businesses. Therefore businesses need to demand the extra level of security for their Bluetooth devices, even if it costs €5 more than a normal device. This will filter down to the cheaper handsets, headsets and other devices after a while, and secure even the lowest end of the market. The second presentation covered NIC and Graphics card firmware, and what can be done to attack and control the firmware in these devices. An eye opener indeed, especially when you learn that an infected firmware can use PCI to PCI communications to bypass your firewall entirely. It’s still a little beyond today’s attackers to use this avenue, but it’s something well within the boundaries of a large government or well financed crime syndicate. Something to look out for in the future…
The day kicked off with some basics on user enumeration. The Burp suite byte/word level page comparison is interesting, and something I’ve used before for cookies, but not for comparing 2 server responses. Coverage of the usual suspects, SQL Injection (including blind SQL injection), Cross-Site Scripting and Cross-Site Request Forgery. The coverage on Web Services was a little sparse for my liking. We’re going to start seeing more of these in the wild during tests, and a in-depth overview with examples would have been nice. Still, you can’t have it all. I think we could have done with some more hands on today, but hopefully we’ll cover some of that in tomorrows Exploitation day ;)