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Showing posts from February, 2008

Hands-on SQL Injection - Show me!

Security training for application developers is an under-funded activity in most of the organizations that build software. Fixing security defects in custom applications remains an underfunded activity, even after defects are identified. Why does this continue to be the case? It can be easier to find defects for a customer in a security penetration test than it is to convince the customer that the problem is serious enough to fix. Sometimes this is because the incentives are messed up. I'm not the only person who has observed that the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) seem to have given Federal agencies a much higher incentive to find problems and write lengthy, complicated reports on those problems, than to fix them. Other times, managers may not understand the technical details of various vulnerabilities, or may be interested in a certain category of defects, while wearing blinders to other types of defects, particularly outside their comfort zone. If …

Microsoft Fingerprint Reader - The Fine Print

If you haven't noticed, somehow lately computer keyboards and laptops in the Windows PC world are sporting a little pad for reading fingerprints.

Notice the fine print at the bottom of this page, which I'll quote here in case it goes away:

Microsoft Fingerprint Reader
"The Fingerprint Reader should not be used for protecting sensitive data such as financial information, or for accessing corporate networks. We continue to recommend that you use a strong password for these types of activities."

Why do you suppose Microsoft and all those hardware makers would go to all the trouble to add a fingerprint reader to laptops and keyboards, and then advise you not to use it?

Probably because they know something that the average consumer probably doesn't: these devices can be spoofed.

It's only a matter of time before there are clear, step by step instructions available on the internet for lifting a fingerprint and applying it to a model finger for spoofing purposes. Heck, …

Rogue DNS

I haven't seen the original paper, but this article claims that researchers at Google and Georgia Institute of Technology estimate that there are 68,000 rogue DNS servers on the net. Use of Rogue DNS Servers on Rise Rogue DNS is one of the services provided by the zillions of malware, virus, worm, and rootkit infested zombie PC systems on the internet at any given time. The interesting part of this trick is that zombie PC systems might get "cleaned up" after an infestation has been detected, but their DNS configuration might (OK, probably does in nearly every case) remain pointing to a rogue DNS server, which occasionally, but not always, provides fraudulent data back to requesting clients. This is yet another reason why infested PC systems must be re-installed from clean original media whenever possible, in case you didn't have enough reasons already. The paper: Corrupted DNS Resolution Paths: The Rise of a Malicious Resolution Authority David Dagon, Chris Le…

Swatting - 911 and telephony systems are defective

Several publications are running stories this week about Swatting, an extension of a prank phone call, which has the aim of eliciting response from emergency response teams, including SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams. The prank calls are made to 911 operators, who are tricked into dispatching SWAT, police, or other response units on the basis of false information. Obviously social engineering is peformed as well, operators are told of bomb threats, killings or hostages. According to some accounts, some type of caller id spoofing might be used in some of the Swatting calls, which have been directed at 911 operators in over 60 cities by the five people arrested thus far. Several stories make a point to state that 911 systems are not defective, such as this otherwise excellent story, Swatting - a dangerous new game by KSBW TV in California which reports that the masochistic pranksters are not "exploiting any real technical flaws in the 911 system" and that these sys…