BSides 2012

BSides was the first secuity conferance I have attended. It was a stimulating  (club mate!) day packed full of all kinds of diffrent inforsec talks.

My day started at 2:40am making breakfast and inadvertently waking up a flatmate who  was not amused. I then caught the coach to Victoria  coach station and had a wet trek through London to the Barbican .

I attended the “breaking into security” talk from RandomStorm’s Robin which answered lots of questions about the best route into infosec. The talk was based on statisics Robin had collected online to try and get an un-biased view on what programming languages to learn and courses to go on to become a good penetration tester. The answer that supised me was that a big % of people did not think you need to know how to program to be a good penetration tester, which is wrong. SLIDES

You can take the survey here

The next talk I was going to attend was cancelled so I stayed and listened to the back-up talk from james davis which was on incident response incidents at Janet. The talk was amusing with tales about malicious students phishing there own university pretending to be student finance. Another story was about china ISP’s sending weird DNS requests apparently to cache websites because the request was timing out from some parts of china.

The digital forensics talk was cancelled and a back-up talk on true random number generation was the topic of the next talk. Maths can be  quite boring but the speaker Paco Hope made it entertaining. He talked about the common mistakes made when making random numbers such as using a modulo operation so that random numbers not in wanted range can be used, introduces bias. Paco also talked about how important having a random seed is as an example he talked about PartyPoker which made an error with it’s random shuffling seeding as it used the server time stamp as the basis of the seed. ParyPoker made available it’s shuffling algo so in theory Pokerhands could be reverse engineered. The talk also mentioned to keep things simple as overcomplicating number generation  makes it easier to introduce bias.  More on random numbers

Throughout the day I went around the stands and was lucky to get a fun t-shirt from MWR Infosec Labs, shown below.

In the afternoon I went to the MWR SAP slapping talk which is totally new to me. SAP systems talk was interesting as Dave Hartley was trying to help make SAP systems more secure as he found numerous vulnerability in the demo SAP system yet SAP refused to allow him access to full retail versions unless he paid. He did eventually get access to a SAP system for further research.

The next talk was on Satellite hacking which I will not write about as it was not allowed to be recorded.

The talk I went to next was my favorite of the day as it was on HTML 5 which brings new functionality to the web but also opens up a whole new array of security issues. The talk first went through the good parts of HTML 5, then the not so good parts and innovative ways to exploit HTML 5 new functions such as a “Botnet in the browser” that allows anyone to become a temporarily part of a botnet just by loading a webpage. Robert also talked about readily available tools from  and Beef. He also demoed a PoC botnet that had DOS and HTML 5 geolocation tracking. He also mentioned as  a good HTML 5 resource.

The next talk I went to was from Arron “finux” Finnon on the design flaws of UPnP which allows you to open ports on your home router as part of UPnP functionality. UPnP can be used for malicious  purposes  as no authentication is required when requesting and receiving information using the protocol as it’s seamless. It was also humerus as in the audience were some BT engineers that Finux’s talks have been giving a headache over BT’s homehub UPnP (lack of) security. Some links : UMAP ,,UPnP Router Controller

The final talk I attended was on privilege escalation on webapps but the talk had lots of emphasis on showing clients a working exploit to demonstrate to them how serious the issue really is. He demoed that an XSS can really be serious when used as CSRF to add an admin account to wordpress (Why does wordpress not use a captcha?). SLIDES

I  attended the conservatory shorty to listen to glyn wintle talk on writing  javascript with only 8 chars to bypass XSS filters.  Here is a snapshot of coventry uni students in a group talk.


Before I left I handed in my feedback form and received a yubico key which I am yet to configure but will do shortly.

The afterparty was fun 🙂 Talked to some very interesting people.


Linux kernel CVE-2012-0056 Walk through

This is a walk through to using the recent Linux Local Root for >=2.6.39, 32-bit and 64-bit by zx2c4

First you need to check what kernel the box is running.

# uname -r

In my case under backtrack 5 which is based on Ubuntu that users the kernel which in vulnerable.

I then added a normal user that I would use for the demo

 #useradd test

I then logged back in with test account

Then I checked what privileges the account had

#groups test

Which showed test was not a root enabled account

I then moved from to the Desktop

#cd /Desktop

I then made a folder to store the exploit source in.

#mkdir mempodipper

Then I moved to mempodipper directory

# cd /mempodipper

Then I downloaded the exploit source from github


Then compiled it

#gcc mempodipper.c -w -o mempodipper

Then ran it


It then gave all its output from the exploit, it was successful as it gave me a root shell


returned root confirming that it worked.

I then added myself to the usergroup root

#sudo adduser test admin

Adding user `test’ to group `admin’ …

Adding user test to group admin


So from a test account you have got a full root account 😀

Then I verified that the user had really been added to the group root

#groups test

Source used to make this post and an in depth technical explanation of the exploit :



Reporting Phishing Emails

It is fairly easy to spot a fake email, others are written to play on peoples fear of authority or cancellation threats.

Quite allot of new spam emails are sent with and HTML page so that when the victim opens the page there is no suspicious URL as the file is local. The page then posts the page data to the attackers URL.

This also makes detecting and reporting the emails slightly harder as post URL is usually obfuscated.

The post URL can be easily found with FireFox addon TamperData

First open the spam message or webpage you wish to find the post page for .

The email I received is a Hotmail  account phishing  email.

Second make sure all other tabs are closed. Then start TamperData (Tools –> Tamper Data –> Start Tamper).Input some fake data and submit.


You can now see the exact place where the data is being posted.

Sometimes spammers have many different spam sites and one central place to collect the accounts so to make sure you should report the right URL so the phisher can be stopped.

Next step is to report the URL to Google. HERE

Next report to Microsoft. This has to be done from within IE 8/7. Visit the URL.

Then Settings –> Safety –>  Report Unsafe Website

Then do a lookup to see who is hosting the domain so that they can be informed of the abuse.

In the example the domain is  This is hosted by an Australian company. I then reported the phishing url page & where all the stolen data is to prove it is being used for phishing

If more people report phishing emails it will help make the web a safer place.

Update : Site is now blocked  in Firefox / Chrome after I reported it.


CIA Security Triangle

CIA Triangle

The CIA triangle stands for confidentiality, integrity and availability.  They represents the aims of Information Security.

Confidentiality is preventing unauthorized access to data.

Integrity is preventing the unauthorized modification of data.

Availability is preventing the unauthorized  nonavailability of data.