10 years on

Aug. 13th, 2017 10:02 pm
[syndicated profile] lecta_feed

Posted by Mary

Andrew and I were married ten years ago on May 6 2007.

Mary Gardiner, Andrew Bennetts (by Jo Gardiner)

In ten years: two children, one PhD, two house moves, one house purchase, three surgeries, one cancer diagnosis, one life threatening illness, one business, four new jobs, many passport stamps.

We took none of those things with us for our anniversary weekend in the mountains:


More pictures from our anniversary trip.

[syndicated profile] valerie_fenwick_blog_feed

Posted by Valerie Fenwick

Speaker: Dino Dai Zovi

This was a challenging session to take notes on, given the speed of the slides and the mountain of information, but suffice it to say - Docker and Kubernetes need security help and consistency!

Kubernetes (K8) is a young project, but very active. Many companies have full time engineers working on the project

The security mechanisms in K8 are all very new - only in alpha or beta, or less than 1 month old - seems like an add on.  For example, RBAC is enabled by default in K8 1.6, but many people turn it off to work with older versions.

But, because most security features are new, there are many private distros forked earlier that may be missing the security features entirely! And some will "dumb down" to successfully connect to older versions - so you may have the security feature, but it's not configured. Plenty of potential attacks distributed.

[syndicated profile] valerie_fenwick_blog_feed

Posted by Valerie Fenwick

Only 37% of people backup their data, which leaves them open to ransomeware.

Victims are shown a URL to pay to get back their data. Posted in Tor, so the source is hard to take down. They will only accept BitCoin, so they can use the blockchain to see who paid and who didn't.

BitCoin is anonymous and irrefutable - cannot be reversed! If you find the ledger, you can go back and see who else was ransomed.  Gathering seeds from victim reports and synthetic victims means you have to pay a small amount to find out more about the network.

The researchers initial data was for 34 families with 154,000 ransomed files. by using clustering for dataset expansion to find other victims, they are now working with 300,000 files.  This one ransomware has made approximately $25,253,505 (low ball estimate) - so there's money to be made no doubt!

In 2017, ransomeware increased binary diversity in order to evade AVs.

Many victims don't have any BitCoin, so they buy it from "LocalBitCoins" site (think Craigslist for BitCoin).

BlackHat 2017
The researchers found that 90% of the transactions went through as a single transaction, 9% did not account for the transaction fees and a small percent are doing multiple transactions for unknown reasons.

Locky - a ransomeware family increased spread - started seeing it in infrastructure like hospitals. It was making about $1million/month!

Dridex, Locky and Cerber are all distributed via botnets. Cerber recruits low-tech criminals to help them make a consistent income of $200K/month.

Cerber includes real time chats to talk to customer "service" to help you simply recover certain files.

WannaCray seems more like wipeware, than ransomeware. Even if victims paid, the way it was done was hard to track that you did indeed pay and harder to get your files back.

The researchers have also seen a rise in NotPetya lately - another wipeware.

This is not going away. this is a multi-million dollar industry. Cerber has even introduced the concept of an affiliate model - so more people can "play".  yikes!
[syndicated profile] valerie_fenwick_blog_feed

Posted by Valerie Fenwick

Colin O'Flynn  |  CEO/CTO, NewAE Technology, Inc. – won’t be focusing on “evil maid” problems or commercial locks, just residential. Yes, sometimes it’s easier to just knock down the door – but that’s not this talk. Looked at high security locks (for safes and residential) – high security are $300-$1000, residential are $100-$300.  Inside a keypad, there really isn’t a lot of electronics. From the front side of the lock, it’s hard to do any attacks to the back side.

With residential locks he can sometimes send messages to the back. For vendor A, there’s an easy method to add a new access code. There’s a way to turn that off, but how many people do?  Vendor B did not have this special bypass, but attackers can easily find the existing codes. The lock contained a Zwave radio for IoT, there’s a siren for the alarm (and a transformer to make it loud) and a motor driver. The researcher did not look into the Z-Wave attack vectors, just physical attacks. There is an accelerometer that can detect various levels of tampering. It will also alarm if you enter too many wrong PINs.  So, brute force is not a good plan.

The Vendor B lock has a front panel, so you can use a key or a screwdriver to lift off the front panel. Vendor A’s lock was not susceptible to the same attack. The issue with this attack vector, it would be difficult to replace the panel w/out being detected. There is a cable to send messages to the backend – you can send guesses! No timeout on the backend.  The front end has timers for how often you can put in PINS, no suck protection on the backend.  There is power to the lock – if you short out the power, the alarm will reset the code and disable the alarm.

We were treated to a live demo of the attack.

He built an attack modules – which can do a little over 120 tries/min. Searches 4-digit key space in ~85 minutes. It’s a pretty simple countdown from 9999, does 3 tries then resets lock to continue to try (and thus avoid the alarm).   Think you can set a 6 digit code to prevent this? Think again – once you find the correct first 4 digits, instead of giving you an error or an “okay” it gives you a delay, as it waits for the last 2 digits. Then you only have to brute force the final two.

Fixes: a timeout after wrong guesses, power-on delay, add circuitry to fix in the field.

Future work: look at Z-Wave, power analysis and a variety of other attacks.

Vendors have been very useful on working on a fix, and even doing overall security improvements.  You can check your lock at home by testing if the 30 second bad PIN happens if you reset the power (w/battery disconnect).

BHUSA17: Keynote!

Aug. 8th, 2017 08:41 pm
[syndicated profile] valerie_fenwick_blog_feed

Posted by Valerie Fenwick

BlackHat 2017

BlackHat/DefCon founder, Jeff Moss! Lots of lasers! This is the twentieth year for BlackHat – incredible (and I’ve only been twice, though many more times to DefCon, starting with DefCon 2).  There are attendees from over 80 countries and over 200 scholarship recipients.

The first year’s speakers were basically all of Jeff’s friends – he just wanted to know what they were working on. People say that if hackers and security researchers are talking about a problem now, it will be a problem for the rest of us in 6 months or a year. It’s a “crystal ball” of computer security.  He learned in the first year to never hold a BlackHat in the same hotel as DefCon – otherwise the DefCon attendees come early and eat all of your food and drink all of you booze! DefCon is more of a hacking conference – a creative way to explore.

Moss found the Internet to be quite liberating as a 13 year old boy – he could go online and discuss things like rock and roll and nobody knew he was just a kid. It took him awhile to fully understand, but he’s learned the importance of being social. Your future success will be based on how social you are.  How much money can you spend on defense and protecting the systems? Sounds technical, but to get budget needed, it’s really a social and political conversation to do defense greater than offence.

Security is no longer a local problem – it is a global problem, though the problems vary by geo. Issues faced in Palo Alto are different than those being faced in Bangalore or on a remote island.

We have to get engaged in the problems of lack of diversity and lack of generalists – mentor, help people write CFPs, advise upcoming students, get out there and help.

Alex Stamos, CSO, Facebook. Twenty years ago he couldn’t afford BlackHat, but he was at DefCon and he found a place where he belonged. Coming to the desert every year and hanging out with DarkTangent (Jeff Moss) is like a reunion. Coming together as a group now for weddings, birthdays and baby showers. In 2002, he brought his then girlfriend to BlackHat for their first vacation – she’s been with him every years since.

Attending and speaking at DefCon and BlackHat is not always safe for people for their career or livelihood. For example, one man quit his job on stage so he could discuss router vulnerabilities, another engineer was arrested in the airport, others have had federal injunctions against them to prevent them speaking.  But this work is important and impactful, and we need to share.

Nowadays people finally understand why they need to build secure systems – no longer a fringe idea. We are no longer the ‘hacker kids’ – we are CSOs, working for the federal government, and industry experts.

Many people in this room got into security well before they were paid for it – on bbs’es, in hacker meetings and saving up summer job money to come to Vegas for DefCon. The things we are talking about now will become startups over the next 2 years – yet, we are not living up to our potential.  We are finding problems, but we need to think about what we do after we discover bugs. We have to realize how many people depend on the technology.

We have a tendency to focus on the complexity, not harm caused. Adversaries will do the simpliest thing they can to exploit a technology. It is fun to see really complicated attacks that someone worked really hard to figure out – but that’s unlikely where the actual abuse will be. Abuse is the technically correct use of technology to cause harm. This can include exploitation of adults and children – can be done very easily, not through complicated attacks.

We are suffering from lack of empathy. Think about the expression of the problem being behind the keyboard – that attitude helps you shift responsibility away from actually securing a system to an uninformed user.  “Just use your knowledge of X.503 to decide if this certificate is safe to use” “don’t click on that link” “don’t use that site w/out HTTPS".  We have to understand there are more and more people coming online that don’t have experience on the Internet and they need to be safe.

We have a problem with security nihilism – that we are all under attack by the most sophisticated adversaries possible, any security that doesn’t use encryption is “security through obscurity”.

About 10 years ago, there was a bunch of research on technologies that are deployed in the cloud. The research on GPUS and hypervisors was great – and made the public cloud more safe. This gave the impression, though, that the public cloud was not safe, that the existing protections were not good enough – those weren’t the real problems. The real problems were excessive privileges, poorly defined network policies – things that are much easier to address and to exploit.

We don’t want to discourage people to deploy any security features just because they are not perfect – they are better than nothing and need to help the bulk of users.

There is another fallacy where attackers believe they are just as smart or smarter than people who design the systems, which is not necessarily the case. Systems are designed under all kinds of constraints and nobody is perfect.

Stamos feels strongly that people have a right to secure and private communications, even though some people (law enforcement) don’t always agree.

Think about people who have to try to put pedophiles and people that exploit children behind bars. How can we help them, without creating backdoors? How can we relate to and understand their needs?

At Facebook, they have a dedicated red team that all they do is try to break into their systems – unannounced the blue teams.  Stamos and Facebook are big proponents of bug bounties – particularly for open source that everyone uses, but don’t necessarily have big owners.

Millions of people are getting inexpensive smart phones that are shipping with out of date operating systems – it’s still Facebook’s responsibility to make sure their app is still secure on these devices. They are worth protecting.

We also have to worry about protecting users during elections – there are many issues (slide font too small to read), but we need to think about what we can help with and what we can do.

The Belfer Center is working on a project to help protect future elections from outside influence. Facebook is sponsoring this effort. In November of next year, there will be many house seats, senate seats, gubernatorial campaigns and local offices participating in elections. All of these campaigns are built up from scratch from a technology point of view, often with volunteers. How we can we help them build secure systems, easily? If things go wrong, can we help them with mitigation and analysis? It needs to be a practical solution – to do this, we must work as a team and we need to have diverse teams. You wouldn’t want a toolbox with only the best screwdrivers in the world, would you?

Facebook is sponsoring legitimate CTF competitions in middle and high schools. The winner are treated like athletes – this is important to increase interest in this field. Make sure your team is open and respectful of discussing diversity. Be open to criticism, do not assume how a minority wants to be treated.  But remember, don’t make snide comments, don’t ask women if they are here with their boyfriend – that has impact.  Be respectful. Things are getting worse, not better. Let’s make this a special week here in Vagas this week to be respectful of other people – if you see something that isn’t right, call people out.  This is a critical moment – we’ve been asking for people to pay attention to us – now they are, and let’s show them something great.
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