Monday, October 13, 2014

Change passwords regularly - a myth and a lie, don't be fooled, part 2

In the previous blog post, I have covered the different passwords you have to protect, the attackers and attack methods. Now let's look at how we want to solve the issue.

Password requirements

So far we have learned we have to use long, complex, true random passwords. In theory, this is easy.
Now, this is my password advice for 2014:

Password character classes
Use upper-lower-digit-special characters in general cases.
If you don't understand what I just write, choose from this:
qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmQWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM0123456789-=[];'\,./<>?:"|{}_+!@#$%^&* ()`~
If you are a CISO, and say: use 3 out of 4 character class, everyone will use Password12 or Welcome12 as their password (after the 12th enforced password change).

Password length
This is basically the only thing which changes whether the password is in the very high/high/medium/low level. Check the previous blog post for the details about very high/high/medium/low level.

Password length: Very high level class (including work-related/enterprise passwords)
15 character (or 20 if you are really paranoid). Making true random passwords longer than 20 characters usually does not make any sense, even in high security scenarios (e.g. military, spy agencies, etc.). 15 character in Windows environment is a right choice, as LM hash is incompatible with 15 character passwords, thus one (effective) attack won't work. Beware, there might be bugs with using 15 character passwords, with a low probability.

Password length: High-level class
12 character, upper-lower-special characters

Password length: Medium class
10 character, upper-lower-special characters, still TRUE random

Password length: Low-level class
9 character. Why less?

Pin codes
Always choose the longest provided, but a maximum of 8. Usually, more is pretty impractical.

Password randomness
True random, generated by a (local) computer. Avoid Debian. Avoid random generated by your brain. Do not use l33tsp33k. Do not append or prepend the current month, season or year to a word. Do not use Star Wars/Star Trek/(your favorite movie/series here) characters or terminology. In general, avoid any pattern like the above ones. The chances that a true random password generator generates SkyWalker12 is very-very low. And believe me, it is not that hard to crack those. Every algorithm that you would come up with; the bad guys have already thought of it. Use true random. Let the computer do it for you. See details later in this post.

Password history
Never-ever reuse passwords. NEVER!

Password change period
If it is not enforced otherwise, don't bother to change it twice in a year. But! Check if the password cracking speed made your current ones obsolete. If yes, change the obsolete passwords. Immediately change the password if you have been notified that the service you use has been compromised. Immediately change all of your recently used passwords if you suspect malware was running on your computer (do this on a known clean computer). Immediately change your password if you have used it on a computer you don't own, or there is a small chance malware is running on it. Change it if you really had to give your password to someone. Otherwise, goodbye regular password change. We will miss you...

If you are a CISO, and writing security policies, you should have to enforce the password change period based on: do you allow LM hashes? What is the password length requirement for users and administrators? What is the current hash cracking speed, and the forecast for the next 2 years? I think people would be happy to increase their passwords with 1-2 characters, if they are not forced to change it frequently (e.g. every month).
Now after I was sooo smart giving advises people still hate to implement, let's see the practical implementations. At least some people might like me, because I told them not to change the passwords regularly. Next time someone tells you to change all your important passwords regularly, put a lie detector on him, and check if he changes all of his passwords regularly. If he lies, feel free to use the wrench algorithm to crack his passwords. If he was not lying, call 911, to put a straitjacket on him. Only insane paranoid people do that in reality. Others are just too scared to say "what everyone recommended so far is bullshit". Comments are welcome ;) Other people might hate me for telling them using true random passwords. Don't panic, keep reading.
And don't forget to use 2 factor authentication. It might seem a bit of an overkill at the beginning, but after months, you won't notice using it.

(Bad and good) solutions

I will use the same password everywhere

This is a pretty bad idea. If one of the passwords are compromised, either the attackers can access your other sites, or you have to change all of your passwords. There are better ways to spend your life on earth than changing all of your passwords.

I will remember it

Good luck remembering 250 different, complex passwords. Don't forget to change them regularly! ;)

I will use the password recovery all the time

Not a very user-friendly solution. And because the security answer has to be as complicated as the password itself, the problem has not been solved.

I will write it down into my super-secret notebook and put it in my drawer

Although it might work in some cases, it won't work in others. I don't recommend it.

I will use an algorithm, like a base password, and add the websites first letters to the end of the password

Still better than using the same password everywhere, but believe me, if this is a targeted attack, it is not that hard to guess your password generation algorithm.

I will use the advice from XKCD, and use the password correcthorsebatterystaple

Still a lot better than simple passwords, but unfortunately, people are still bad at choosing random words with random order, so it is not the best solution. And again, you can't memorize 250 different passwords ... Even 10 is impossible. Only use this method in special corner cases (see details later), and use a passphrase generator!

I will use a password manager

This is the very first good idea. It solves the problem of remembering 250 different complex and random passwords. Some people might complain about using a password manager, here are those complaints. And my answers:

If someone gets access to this one password store, all is lost.
Answer: If someone accessed your password store, and the master password, you can be pretty damn sure that most of your passwords are already stolen. For extra paranoids, you can use multiple password stores, one for daily use, one for rare cases. Beware not to forget the password for the second one ;)

What if I don't have access to the password store when I need it?
Answer: In the age of cheap notebooks, tablets, and smartphones, in 99% of the cases you should not use that important password on any other device than yours. In the rare cases when you must, you can use either your smartphone to get the password, or use a browser extension like Password hasher to generate different passwords to different websites, with one password. For extra paranoids, you can have different master passwords for the different security levels. And don't forget to change the password after you are back at your own computer.

What if I forgot the one password to the password store?
Answer: If you use your password manager daily, it has the same odds to forget that one password as it is to forget every one of your passwords.

Password managers make phishing attacks easier.
Answer: Who started this nonsense? Good password managers decrease the risk of phishing.

Password managers have the same vulnerabilities as other websites or software.
Answer: Well, this is partially true. There are at least 3 types of password managers, from most secure to least: offline, browser built-in, online. Online password managers give better user experience, with a sacrifice in security. But if you choose one of the leading password managers, and you are a simple home user, the risks are negligible. If you try to store your work password in an online password store, you might violate your internal security policy. For paranoids, use offline password managers, and back them up regularly. If you choose an online password manager, at least use 2-factor authentication. And don't forget, your Chrome password can be easily synchronized to the cloud, shifting it to the online category.

In some cases, like Full Disc Encryption, OS login, smartphone login, or password manager login, the auto-type of password from the password manager is not available, thus choosing a true random password is a pain in the a$$.
Answer: True. Generate pronounceable passwords or passphrases in these corner cases, e.g. with the Linux tool apg you can generate pronounceable passwords. For easy and fast type, don't use capital letters (only lower-alpha - digit - special) in the original password, but increase the length of the password. Add 1 extra character because you don't use upper case letters, add 3 other because it is a pronounceable password, and you are good to go. For extra paranoids change one or two of the letters to uppercase where it is convenient. 
apg -M SNL -m 15 is your friend.
If you want to check what I write here (always a good idea), test the entropy of a true random 10 character password with all character classes, and check it with 14 characters, without uppercase. I recommend KeePass for that. If you comment on this that "Keepass can not measure that it is a pronounceable password, thus the entropy is lower in reality", my answer is: "Check out the current passwords used by users, and current password advises, and tell me if this password is a lot better or not ..." . You have been warned.

For the high-level password class, I don't recommend anything your brain generated. There are also suitable offline passphrase generators. Use at least 5-6 words for passphrases.

Password managers are not user-friendly, it takes more time to log in.
Answer: If you set auto-type/auto-fill, and the password manager is opened once a day (and you lock your computer when you leave it), in this case, logging in takes less time than typing it! It is more convenient to use it, rather than typing the passwords every time.

I like to create new unique passwords every time I create a new account, and password managers take the fun away from it.
Answer: Said no one, ever! "38 percent of people think it sounds more appealing to tackle household chores – from folding the laundry to scrubbing toilets – than to try and come up with another new user name or password."

To summarize things. Use a password manager.

General advise

Never use your essential passwords on other computers. They might be infected with a password stealer. If you really have to use it, change the password as soon as possible on a trusted (your) computer.

Don't fool yourself by phishing sites. If you go to the local flea market, and there is a strange looking guy with "Superbank deposit here" logo above his head, will you put your money?

Protect yourself against malware. Use a recent operating system, and even if you use OSX or Linux, it is not a bad thing to have an AV as a "last line of defense". Or to check your pendrive for Windows USB worms.

Never-ever use online web sites to "generate your password", "measure the complexity of your password" or "check if it has been breached". Never! (Except if it is your password manager :) ... )

Update: Sign up on the for notification if your e-mail is found in a leak.

Changing passwords frequently is bad advice. It is not effective. Put more energy in other right password advise. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Change passwords regularly - a myth and a lie, don't be fooled, part 1

TL;DR: different passwords have different protection requirements, and different attackers using various attacks can only be prevented through different prevention methods. Password security is not simple. For real advise, checking the second post (in progress).

Are you sick of password advices like "change your password regularly" or "if your password is password change it to pa$$w0rd"? This post is for you!

The news sites are full of password advises nowadays due to recent breaches. When I read/watch these advise (especially on CNN), I am usually pissed off for a lot of reasons. Some advises are terrible (a good collection is here), some are good but without solutions, and others are better, but they don't explain the reasons. Following is my analysis of the problem. It works for me. It might not work for you. Comments are welcome!

Password history

Passwords have been used since ancient times.

Because it is simple. When I started using the Internet, I believe I had three passwords. Windows login, webmail, and IRC. Now I have ~250 accounts/passwords to different things, like to my smartphone, to my cable company (this password can be used to change the channels on the TV), to my online secure cloud storage, to full disk encryption to start my computer, to my nude pictures, to my WiFi router, to my cloud server hosting provider, etc etc etc. My money is protected with passwords, my communication is protected with passwords/encryption, my work is protected with passwords. It is pretty damn important. But yet people tend to choose lame passwords. Pretty lame ones. Because they don't think it can be significant. But what is not essential today will be relevant tomorrow. The service you used to download music (iTunes) with the lame password will one day protect all your Apple devices, where attackers can download your backup files, erase all your devices, etc. The seven-character and one capital rule is not enough anymore. This advice is like PDF is safe to open, Java is secure. Old, outdated, untrue.

Now, after this lengthy prologue, we will deep dive into the analysis of the problem, by checking what we want to protect, against whom (who is the attacker), and only after that, we can analyze the solutions. Travel with me, I promise it will be fun! ;)

What to protect?

There are different services online, and various services need different ways to protect. You don't use the same lock on your Trabant as you do on your BMW.

Internet banking, online money

For me, this is the most vital service to protect. Luckily, most of the internet banking services use two-factor authentication (2FA), but unfortunately, not all of them offer transaction authorization/verification with complete transactions. 2FA is not effective against malware, it just complicates the attack. Transaction authorization/verification is better, but not perfect (see Zitmo). If the access is not protected with 2FA, better choose the best password you have (long, real random, sophisticated, but we will get to this later). If it is protected with 2FA, it is still no reason not to use the best password ;) This is what I call the "very high-level password" class.

Credit card data

This system is pretty fucked up bad. Something has to be secret (your credit card number), but in the meantime that is the only thing to identify your credit card. It is like your username is your password. Pretty bad idea, huh? The problem is even worse with a lot of different transaction types, especially when the hotel asks you to fax both sides of your CC to them. Unfortunately, you can't change the password on your credit card, as there is no such thing, but Verified by VISA or 3-D Secure with 2FA might increase the chances your credit card won't get hacked. And on a side note, I have removed the CVV numbers from my credit/debit cards. I only read it once from the card when I received it, I don't need it anymore to be printed there.
And sometimes, you are your own worst enemy. Don't do stupid things like this:

Work related passwords (e.g. Windows domain)

This is very important, but because the attack methods are a bit different, I created this as a different category. Details later.

Email, social sites (Gmail/Facebook/Twitter), cloud storage, online shopping

This is what I call the "high level password" class.
Still, pretty important passwords. Some people don't understand "why would attackers put any energy to get his Facebook account?" It is simple. For money. They can use your account to spread spam all over your Facebook wall. They can write messages to all of your connections and tell them you are in trouble and send money via Western Union or Bitcoin.

They can use your account in Facebook votes. Your e-mail, cloud storage is again very important. 20 years ago you also had letters you didn't want to print and put in front of the nearest store, neither want you to do that with your private photo album. On a side note, it is best to use a cloud storage where even the cloud provider admin can't access your data. But in this case, with no password recovery option, better think about "alternative" password recovery mechanisms.

Other important stuff with personal data (e.g. your name, home address)

The "medium level password" class. This is a personal preference to have this class or not, but in the long run, I believe it is not a waste of energy to protect these accounts. These sites include your favorite pizza delivery service, your local PC store, etc.

Not important stuff

This is the category other. I usually use one-time disposable e-mail to these services. Used for the registration, get what I want, drop the email account. Because I don't want to spread my e-mail address all over the internet, whenever one of these sites get hacked. But still, I prefer to use different, random passwords on these sites, although this is the "low level password" class.

Attackers and attack methods

After categorizing the different passwords to be protected, let's look at the different attackers and attack methods. They can/will/or actively doing it now:

Attacking the clear text password 

This is the most effective way of getting the password. Bad news is that if there is no other factor of protection, the victim is definitely not on the winning side. The different attack methods are:

  • phishing sites/applications,

  • social engineering,
  • malware running on the computer (or in the browser), 
  • shoulder surfing (check out for smartphones, hidden cameras), 
  • sniffing clear-text passwords when the website is not protected with SSL,
  • SSL MiTM,
  • rogue website administrator/hacker logging clear text passwords,
  • password reuse - if the attacker can get your password in any way, and you reuse it somewhere else, that is a problem,
  • you told your password to someone and he/she will misuse it later,
  • hardware keyloggers,
  • etc.

The key thing here is that no matter how long your passwords are, no matter how complex it is, no matter how often do you change it (except when you do this every minute ... ), if it is stolen, you are screwed. 2FA might save you, or might not.

Attacking the encrypted password 

This is the usual "hack the webserver (via SQL injection), dump the passwords (with SQLMap), post hashes on pastebin, everybody starts the GPU farm to crack the hashes" scenario. This is basically the only scenario where the password policies makes sense. In this case the different level of passwords need different protection levels. In some cases, this attack turns out to be the same as the previous attack, when the passwords are not hashed, or are just encoded.

The current hash cracking speeds for hashes without any iterations (this is unfortunately very common) renders passwords like Q@tCB3nx (8 character, upper-lowercase, digit, special characters) useless, as those can be cracked in hours. Don't believe me? Let's do the math.

Let's say your password is truly random, and randomly choosen from the 26 upper, 26 lower, 10 digit, 33 special characters. (Once I tried special passwords with high ANSI characters inside. It is a terrible idea. Believe me.). There are 6 634 204 312 890 620 different, 8 character passwords from these characters. Assuming a 2 years-old password cracking rig, and MD5 hash cracking with 180 G/s speed, it takes a worst case 10 hours (average 5) to crack the password, including upgrading your bash to the latest, but still vulnerable bash version. Had the password been 10 characters long, it would take 10 years to crack with today hardware. But if the password is not truly random, it can be cracked a lot sooner.

A lot of common hashing algorithms don't use protections against offline brute-force attacks. This includes LM (old Windows hashes), NTLM (modern Windows hashes), MD-5, SHA1-2-512. These hashing algorithms were not developed for password hashing. They don't have salting, iterations, etc. out of the box. In the case of LM, the problem is even worse, as it converts the lowercase characters to uppercase ones, thus radically decreasing the key space. Out of the box, these hashes are made for fast calculation, thus support fast brute-force.

Another attack is when the protected thing is not an online service, but rather an encrypted file or crypto-currency wallet.

Attacking the authentication system online

This is what happened in the recent iCloud hack (besides phishing). Attackers were attacking the authentication system, by either brute-forcing the password, or bypassing the password security by answering the security question. Good passwords can not be brute-forced, as it takes ages. Good security answers have nothing to do with the question in first place. A good security answer is as hard to guess as the password itself. If password recovery requires manual phone calls, I know, it is a bit awkward to say that your first dog name was Xjg.2m`4cJw:V2= , but on the other hand, no one will guess that!

Attacking single sign on

This type of attack is a bit different, as I was not able to put the "pass the hash" attacks anywhere. Pass the hash attack is usually found in Windows domain environments, but others might be affected as well. The key thing is single sign on. If you can login to one system (e.g. your workstation), and access many different network resources (file share, printer, web proxy, e-mail, etc.) without providing any password, then something (a secret) has to be in the memory which can be used to to authenticate to the services. If an attacker can access this secret, he will be able to access all these services. The key thing is (again) it does not matter, how complex your passwords are, how long it is, how often do you change, as someone can easily misuse that secret.


Attacking 2FA

As already stated, 2 factor authentication raises the efforts from an attacker point of view, but does not provide 100% protection. 
  • one time tokens (SecurID, Yubikey) can be relayed in a man-in-the-middle attack
  • smartcard authentication can be relayed with the help of a malware to the attacker machine - or simply circumvented in the browser malware, 
  • text based (SMS) messages can be stolen by malware on the smartphone or rerouted via SS7, 
  • bio-metric protection is constantly bypassed,
  • SSH keys are constantly stolen,
  • but U2F keys are pretty good actually, even though BGP/DNS hijack or similar MiTM can still circumvent that protection,
  • etc. 


Beware that there are tons of other attack methods to access your online account (like XSS/CSRF), but all of these have to be handled on the webserver side. The best you can do is to choose a website where the Bug Bounty program is running 24/7. Otherwise, the website may be full of low hanging, easy-to-hack bugs.

Now that we have covered what we want to protect against what, in the next blog post, you will see how to do that. Stay tuned. I will also explain the title of this blog post.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Attacking financial malware botnet panels - SpyEye

This is the second blog post in the "Attacking financial malware botnet panels" series. After playing with Zeus, my attention turned to another old (and dead) botnet, SpyEye. From an ITSEC perspective, SpyEye shares a lot of vulnerabilities with Zeus. 

The following report is based on SpyEye 1.3.45, which is old, and if we are lucky, the whole SpyEye branch will be dead soon. 

Google dorks to find SpyEye C&C server panel related stuff:

  • if the img directory gets indexed, it is rather easy, search for e.g. inurl:b-ftpbackconnect.png
  • if the install directory gets indexed, again, easy, search for e.g. inurl:spylogo.png
  • also, if you find a login screen, check the css file (style.css), and you see #frm_viewlogs, #frm_stat, #frm_botsmon_country, #frm_botstat, #frm_gtaskloader and stuff like that, you can be sure you found it
  • otherwise, it is the best not to Google for it, but get a SpyEye sample and analyze it
And this is how the control panel login looks like, nothing sophisticated:

The best part is that you don't have to guess the admin's username ;)

This is how an average control panel looks like:

Hack the Planet! :)

Boring vulns found (warning, an almost exact copy from the Zeus blog post)

  • Clear text HTTP login - you can sniff the login password via MiTM, or steal the session cookies
  • No password policy - admins can set up really weak passwords
  • No anti brute-force - you can try to guess the admin's password. There is no default username, as there is no username handling!
  • Password autocomplete enabled - boring
  • Missing HttpOnly flag on session cookie - interesting when combining with XSS
  • No CSRF protection - e.g. you can upload new exe, bin files, turn plugins on/off :-( boring. Also the file extension check can be bypassed, but the files are stored in the database, so no PHP shell this time. If you check the following code, you can see that even the file extension and type is checked, and an error is shown, but the upload process continues. And even if the error would stop the upload process, the check can be fooled by setting an invalid $uptype. Well done ...
        if ($_FILES['file']['tmp_name'] && ($_FILES['file']['size'] > 0))
                $outstr = "<br>";
                $filename = str_replace(" ","_",$_FILES['file']['name']);
                $ext = substr($filename, strrpos($filename, '.')+1);
                if( $ext==='bin' && $uptype!=='config' ) $outstr .= "<font class='error'>Bad CONFIG extension!</font><br>";
                if( $ext==='exe' && $uptype!=='body' && $uptype!=='exe' ) $outstr .= "<font class='error'>Bad extension!</font><br>";

                switch( $uptype )
                case 'body': $ext = 'b'; break;
                case 'config': $ext = 'c'; break;
                case 'exe': $ext = 'e'; break;
                default: $ext = 'e';
                $_SESSION['file_ext'] = $ext;
                if( isset($_POST['bots']) && trim($_POST['bots']) !== '')
                        $bots = explode(' ', trim($_POST['bots']));
                        //writelog("debug.log", trim($_POST['bots']));
                        $filename .= "_".(LastFileId()+1);
                if( FileExist($filename) ) $filename .= LastFileId();
                $tmpName  = $_FILES['file']['tmp_name'];
                $fileSize = $_FILES['file']['size'];
                $fileType = $_FILES['file']['type'];
                ## reading all file for calculating hash
                $fp = fopen($tmpName, 'r');
  • Clear text password storage - the MySQL passwords are stored in php files, in clear text. Also, the login password to the form panel is stored in clear text.
  • MD5 password - the passwords stored in MySQL are MD5 passwords. No PBKDF2, bcrypt, scrypt, salt, whatever. MD5. Just look at the pure simplicity of the login check, great work!
$query = "SELECT * FROM users_t WHERE uPswd='".md5($pswd)."'";
  • ClickJacking - really boring stuff

SQL injection

SpyEye has a fancy history of SQL injections. See details here, here, here, video here and video here.

It is important to highlight the fact that most of the vulnerable functions are reachable without any authentication, because these PHP files lack user authentication at the beginning of the files.

But if a C&C server owner gets pwned through this vuln, it is not a good idea to complain to the developer, because after careful reading of the install guide, one can see:

"For searching info in the collector database there is a PHP interface as formgrabber admin panel. The admin panel is not intended to be found on the server. This is a client application."

And there are plenty of reasons not to install the formgrabber admin panel on any internet reachable server. But this fact leads to another possible vulnerability. The user for this control panel is allowed to remotely login to the MySQL database, and the install guide has pretty good passwords to be reused. I mean it looks pretty secure, there is no reason not to use that.


Next time you find a SpyEye panel, and you can connect to the MySQL database, it is worth a shot to try this password.

Unfortunately the default permissions for this user is not enough to write files (select into outfile):

Access denied for user 'frmcpviewer' (using password: YES)

I also made a little experiment with this SQL injection vulnerability. I did set up a live SpyEye botnet panel, created the malware install binaries (droppers), and sent the droppers to the AV companies. And after more and more sandboxes connected to my box, someone started to exploit the SQL injection vulnerability on my server! - - [16/Jun/2014:04:43:00 -0500] "GET /form/frm_boa-grabber_sub.php?bot_guid=&lm=3&dt=%20where%201=2%20union%20select%20@a:=1%20from%20rep1%20where%20@a%20is%20null%20union%20select%20@a:=%20@a%20%2b1%20union%20select%20concat(id,char(1,3,3,7),bot_guid,char(1,3,3,7),process_name,char(1,3,3,7),hooked_func,char(1,3,3,7),url,char(1,3,3,7),func_data)%20from%20rep2_20140610%20where%20@a=3%23 HTTP/1.1" 200 508 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET4.0C; .NET4.0E)"

Although the query did not return any meaningful data to the attacker (only data collected from sandboxes), it raises some legal questions.

Which company/organization has the right to attack my server? 
  • police (having a warrant)
  • military (if we are at war)
  • spy agencies (always/never, choose your favorite answer)
  • CERT organisations?

But, does an AV company or security research company has the legal right to attack my server? I don't think so... The most problematic part is when they hack a server (without authorization), and sell the stolen information in the name of "intelligence service". What is it, the wild wild west?

The SQLi clearly targets the content of the stolen login credentials. If this is not an AV company, but an attacker, how did they got the SpyEye dropper? If this is an AV company, why are they stealing the stolen credentials? Will they notify the internet banking owners about the stolen credentials for free? Or will they do this for money?

And don't get me wrong, I don't want to protect the criminals, but this is clearly a grey area in the law. From an ethical point of view, I agree with hacking the criminal's servers. As you can see, the whole post is about disclosing vulns in these botnet panels. But from a legal point of view, this is something tricky ... I'm really interested in the opinion of others, so comments are warmly welcome.

On a side note, I was interested how did the "attackers" found the SpyEye form directory? Easy, they brute-forced it, with a wordlist having ~43.000 entries.

(Useless) Cross site scripting

Although parts of the SpyEye panel are vulnerable to XSS, it is unlikely that you will to find these components on the server, as these codes are part of the install process, and the installer fails to run if a valid install is found. And in this case, you also need the DB password to trigger the vuln...

Session handling

This is a fun part. The logout button invalidates the session only on the server side, but not on the client side. But if you take into consideration that the login process never regenerates the session cookies (a.k.a session fixation), you can see that no matter how many times the admin logs into the application, the session cookie remains the same (until the admin does not close the browser). So if you find a session cookie which was valid in the past, but is not working at the moment, it is possible that this cookie will be valid in the future ...

Binary server

Some parts of the SpyEye server involve running a binary server component on the server, to collect the form data. It would be interesting to fuzz this component (called sec) for vulns.

Log files revealed

If the form panel mentioned in the SQLi part is installed on the server, it is worth visiting the <form_dir>/logs/error.log file, you might see the path of the webroot folder, IP addresses of the admins, etc.

Reading the code

Sometimes reading the code you can find code snippets, which is hard to understand with a clear mind:

$content = fread($fp, filesize($tmpName));
if ( $uptype === 'config' )
    $md5 = GetCRC32($content);
else $md5 = md5($content);
if (navigator.userAgent.indexOf("Mozilla/4.0") != -1) {
        alert("Your browser is not support yet. Please, use another (FireFox, Opera, Safari)");
        document.getElementById("div_main").innerHTML = "<font class=\'error\'>ChAnGE YOuR BRoWsEr! Dont use BUGGED Microsoft products!</font>";

Decrypting SpyEye communication

It turned out that the communication between the malware and C&C server is not very sophisticated (Zeus does a better job at it, because the RC4 key stream is generated from the botnet password).

function DeCode($content)
        $res = '';
        for($i = 0; $i < strlen($content); $i++)
                $num = ord($content[$i]);
                if( $num != 219) $res .= chr($num^219);
        return $res;
Fixed XOR key, again, well done ...
This means that it is easy to create a script, which can communicate with the SpyEye server. For example this can be used to fill in the SpyEye database with crap data.

import binascii
import requests
import httplib, urllib

def xor_str(a, b):
    i = 0
    xorred = ''
    for i in range(len(a)):
        xorred += chr(ord(a[i])^b)
    return xorred
b64_data= "vK6yv+bt9er17O3r6vqPnoiPjZb2i5j6muvo6+rjmJ/9rb6p5urr6O/j/bK+5uP16/Xs7evq9ers7urv/bSo5u316vXs7evq/a6v5pq/trK1/bi4qbjm453j6uPv7Or9tr/u5um+uuvpve3p7eq/4+vsveLi7Lnqvrjr6ujs7rjt7rns/au3vOa5sre3srW8s7q2tr6p4Lm3tLiw4LmuvKm+q7Spr+C4uPu8qbq5ub6p4Li4vKm6ubm+qeC4qb6/sq+8qbq54LiuqK+0tri0tbW+uK+0qeC/v7So4L+1qLqrsuC+trqyt7ypurm5vqngvb24vqmvvKm6ubm+qeC9/aivuq/mtLW3srW+"
payload =xor_str (binascii.a2b_base64(b64_data), 219) 
print ("the decrypted payload is: " + payload)
params = (binascii.b2a_base64(xor_str(payload,219)))
payload = {'data': params}
r ="http://spyeye.localhost/spyeye/_cg/gate.php", data=payload)

Morale of the story?

Criminals produce the same shitty code as the rest of the world, and thanks to this, some of the malware operators get caught and are behind bars now. And the law is behind the reality, as always.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hacking Windows 95, part 2

In the Hacking Windows 95, part 1 blog post, we covered that through a nasty bug affecting Windows 95/98/ME, the share password can be guessed in no time. In this article, I'm going to try to use this vulnerability to achieve remote code execution (with the help of publicly available tools only).

The first thing we can do when we have read access to the Windows directory through the share, is to locate all the *.pwl files on the c:\windows directory, copy them to your machine where Cain is installed, switch to Cracker tab, pwl files, load the pwl file, add username based on the filename, and try to crack it. If you can't crack it you might still try to add a .pwl file where you already know the password in the remote windows directory. Although this is a fun post-exploitation task, but still, no remote code execution. These passwords are useless without physical access.

One might think that after having a share password and user password, it is easy to achieve remote code execution. The problem is:
  • there is no "at" command (available since Windows 95 plus!)
  • there is no admin share
  • there is no RPC
  • there is no named pipes
  • there is no remote registry
  • there is no remote service management
If you think about security best practices, disabling unnecessary services is always the first task you should do. Because Windows 95 lacks all of these services, it is pretty much secure!

During my quest for a tool to hack Windows 95, I came across some pretty cool stuff:

But the best of the best is Fluxay, which has been written by chinese hackers. It is the metasploit from the year 2000. A screenshot is worth more than a 1000 words. 4 screenshot > 4 thousand words :)

It is pretty hard to find the installer, but it is still out there!

But at the end, no remote code execution for me.

My idea here was that if I can find a file which executes regularly (on a scheduled basis), I can change that executable to my backdoor and I'm done. Although there is no scheduler in the default Windows 95, I gave it a try. 

Let's fire up taskman.exe to get an idea what processes are running:

Looks like we need a more powerful tool here, namely Process Explorer. Let's try to download this from

LOL, IE3 hangs, can't render the page. Copying files to the Win95 VM is not that simple, because there are no shared folders in Win95 VM. And you can't use pendrives either, Win95 can't handle USB (at least the retail version). After downloading the application with a newer browser from oldapps, let's start Process Explorer on the test Windows 95.

Don't try to download the Winsocks 2 patch from the official MS site, it is not there anymore, but you can download it from other sites

Now let's look at the processes running:

After staring it for minutes, turned out it is constant, no new processes appeared.
Looking at the next screenshot, one can notice this OS was not running a lot of background processes ...

My current Win7 has 1181 threads and 84 processes running, no wonder it is slow as hell :)

We have at least the following options:
  1. You are lucky and not the plain Windows 95 is installed, but Windows 95 Plus! The main difference here is that Windows 95 Plus! has built-in scheduler, especially the "at" command. Just overwrite a file which is scheduled to execution, and wait. Mission accomplished!
  2. Ping of death - you can crash the machine (no BSOD, just crash) with long (over 65535 bytes) ICMP ping commands, and wait for someone to reboot it. Just don't forget to put your backdoor on the share and add it to autoexec.bat before crashing it. 
  3. If your target is a plain Windows 95, I believe you are out of luck. No at command, no named pipes, no admin share, nothing. Meybe you can try to fuzz port 137 138 139, and write an exploit for those. Might be even Ping of Death is exploitable?
Let's do the first option, and hack Windows 95 plus!
Look at the cool features we have by installing Win95 Plus!

Cool new boot splash screen!

But our main interest is the new, scheduled tasks!

Now we can replace diskalm.exe with our backdoor executable, and wait maximum one hour to be scheduled.

Instead of a boring text based tutorial, I created a YouTube video for you. Based on the feedbacks on my previous tutorialz, it turned out I'm way too old, and can't do interesting tutorials. That's why I analyzed the cool skiddie videoz, and found that I have to do the followings so my vidz won't suck anymore:
  • use cool black windows theme
  • put meaningless performance monitor gadgets on the sidebar
  • use a cool background, something related with hacking and skullz
  • do as many opsec fails as possible
  • instead of captions, use notepad with spelling errorz
  • there is only one rule of metal: Play it fuckin' loud!!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014



After playing with the applications installed on the Pwn Pad, I found that the most important application (at least for me) was missing from the pre-installed apps. Namely, DSploit. Although DSploit has tons of features, I really liked the multiprotocol password sniffing (same as dsniff) and the session hijacking functionality.

The DSploit APK in the Play Store was not working for me, but the latest nightly on worked like a charm.

Most features require that you and your target uses the same WiFi network, and that's it. It can be Open, WEP, WPA/WPA2 Personal. On all of these networks, DSploit will sniff the passwords - because of the active attacks. E.g. a lot of email clients still use IMAP with clear text passwords, or some webmails, etc. 

First, DSploit lists the AP and the known devices on the network. In this case, I chose one victim client.

In the following submenu, there are tons of options, but the best features are in the MITM section. 

Stealthiness warning: in some cases, I received the following popup on the victim Windows:

This is what we have under the MITM submenu:

Password sniffing

For example, let's start with the Password Sniffer. It is the same as EvilAP and DSniff in my previous post. With the same results for the popular Hungarian webmail with the default secure login checkbox turned off. Don't forget, this is not an Open WiFi network, but one with WPA2 protection!

Session hijack

Now let's assume that the victim is very security-aware and he checks the secure login checkbox. Another cause can be that the victim already logged in, long before we started to attack. The session hijacking function is similar to the Firesheep tool, but it works with every website where the session cookies are sent in clear text, and there is no need for any additional support.

In a session hijacking attack (also called "sidejacking"), after the victim browser sends the authentication cookies in clear text, DSploit copies these cookies into its own browser, and opens the website with the same cookies, which results in successful login most of the time. Let's see session hijacking in action!

Here, we can see that the session cookies have been sniffed from the air:

Let's select that session, and be amazed that we logged into the user's webmail session.

Redirect traffic

This feature can be used both for fun or profit. For fun, you can redirect all the victim traffic to For-profit, you can redirect your victim to phishing pages.

Replace images, videos

I think this is just for fun here. Endless Rick Rolling possibilities.

Script injection

This is mostly for profit. client-side injection, drive-by-exploits, endless possibilities.

Custom filter

If you are familiar with ettercap, this has similar functionalities (but dumber), with string or regex replacements. E.g. you can replace the news, stock prices, which pizza the victim ordered, etc. If you know more fun stuff here, please leave a comment (only HTTP scenario - e.g. attacking Facebook won't work).

Additional fun (not in DSploit) - SSLStrip 

From the MITM section of DSploit, I really miss the SSLStrip functionality. Luckily, it is built into the Pwn Pad. With the help of SSLStrip, we can remove the references to HTTPS links in the clear text HTTP traffic, and replace those with HTTP. So even if the user checks the secure login checkbox at, the password will be sent in clear text - thus it can be sniffed with DSniff.

HTML source on the client-side without SSLstrip:

HTML source on the client-side with SSL strip:

With EvilAP, SSLStrip, and DSniff, the password can be stolen. No hacking skillz needed.

Lessons learned here

If you are a website operator where you allow your users to login, always:
  1. Use HTTPS with a trusted certificate, and redirect all unencrypted traffic to HTTPS ASAP
  2. Mark the session cookies with the secure flag
  3. Use HSTS to prevent SSLStrip attacks
If you are a user:
  1. Don't trust sites with your confidential data if the above points are not fixed. Choose a more secure alternative
  2. Use HTTPS everywhere plugin
  3. For improved security, use VPN
Because hacking has never been so easy before.
And last but not least, if you like the DSploit project, don't forget to donate them!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

WiFi hacking on tablets

Disclaimer: Don't hack anything where you don't have the authorization to do so. Stay legal.

Ever since I bought my first Android device, I wanted to use the device for WEP cracking. Not because I need it, but I want it :) After some googling, I read that you can't use your WiFi chipset for packet injection, and I forgot the whole topic.

After a while, I read about hacking on tablets (this was around a year ago), and my first opinion was: 
"This is stupid, lame, and the usage of that can be very limited".

After playing one day with it, my opinion just changed: 
"This is stupid, lame, the usage is limited, but when it works, it is really funny :-)"

At the beginning I looked at the Pwn Pad as a device that can replace a pentest workstation, working at the attacker side. Boy was I wrong. Pwn Pad should be used as a pentest device deployed at the victim's side!

You have the following options:
  1. You have 1095 USD + VAT + shipping to buy this Pwn Pad
  2. You have around 200 USD to buy an old Nexus 7 tablet, a USB OTG cable, a USB WiFi dongle (e.g. TP-Link Wireless TL-WN722N USB adapter works).

In my example, I bought a used, old 2012 Nexus WiFi. Originally I bought this to play with different custom Android ROMs, and play with rooted applications. After a while, I found this Pwn Pad hype again and gave it a shot.

The Pwn Pad community edition has an easy-to-use installer, with a proper installation description. Don't forget to backup everything from your tablet before installing Pwn Pad on it!

I don't want to repeat the install guide, it is as easy as ABC. I booted a Ubuntu Live CD, installed adb and fastboot, and it was ready-to-roll. I have not measured the time, but the whole process was around 20 minutes.

The internal WiFi chipset can be used to sniff traffic or even ARP poisoning for active MiTM. But in my case, I was not able to use the internal chipset for packet injection, which means you can't use it for WEP cracking, WPA disauth, etc. This is where the external USB WiFi comes handy. And this is why we need the Pwn Pad Android ROM, and can't use an average ROM.

There are two things where Pwn Pad really rocks. The first one is the integrated drivers for the external WiFi with monitor mode and packet injection capabilities. The second cool thing is the chroot wrapper around the Linux hacking tools. Every hacking tool has a start icon, so it feels like it is a native Android application, although it is running in a chroot Kali environment.


The first recommended app is Wifite. Think of it as a wrapper around the aircrack - airmon - airodump suite. My biggest problem with WEP cracking was that I had to remember a bunch of commands, or have the WEP cracking manual with me every time I have to crack it. It was overcomplicated. But thanks to Wifite, that is past.

In order to crack a WEP key, you have to:
  1. Start the Wifite app
  2. Choose your adapter (the USB WiFi)

  3. Choose the target network (wep_lan in the next example)
  4. Wait for a minute 
  5. PROFIT!

SSH reverse shell

This is one of the key functionalities of the Pwn Pad. You deploy the tablet at the Victim side, and let the tablet connect to your server via (tunneled) SSH.

The basic concept of the reverse shells are that an SSH tunnel is established between the Pwn Pad tablet (client) and your external SSH server (either directly or encapsulated in other tunneling protocol), and remote port forward is set up, which means on your SSH server you connect to a localport which is forwarded to the Pwn Pad and handled by the Pwn Pad SSH server.

I believe the best option would be to use the reverse shell over 3G, and let the tablet connect to the victim network through Ethernet or WiFi. But your preference might vary. The steps for reverse shells are again well documented in the documentation, except that by default you also have to start the SSH server on the Pwn Pad. It is not hard, there is an app for that ;-) On your external SSH server you might need to install stunnel and ptunnel if you are not using Kali. The following output shows what you can see on your external SSH server after successful reverse shell.

root@myserver:/home/ubuntu# ssh -p 3333 pwnie@localhost
The authenticity of host '[localhost]:3333 ([]:3333)' can't be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is 14:d4:67:04:90:30:18:a4:7a:f6:82:04:e0:3c:c6:dc.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added '[localhost]:3333' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
pwnie@localhost's password:
  _____      ___  _ ___ ___   _____  _____ ___ ___ ___ ___
 | _ \ \    / / \| |_ _| __| | __\ \/ / _ \ _ \ __/ __/ __|
 |  _/\ \/\/ /| .` || || _|  | _| >  <|  _/   / _|\__ \__ \
 |_|   \_/\_/ |_|\_|___|___| |___/_/\_\_| |_|_\___|___/___/

 Release Version: 1.5.5
 Release Date: 2014-01-30
 Copyright 2014 Pwnie Express. All rights reserved.

 By using this product you agree to the terms of the Rapid Focus
 Security EULA:

 This product contains both open source and proprietary software.
 Proprietary software is distributed under the terms of the EULA.
 Open source software is distributed under the GNU GPL:


Now you have a shell on a machine that is connected to the victim network. Sweet :) Now Metasploit really makes sense on the tablet, and all other command-line tools.

EvilAP and DSniff

Start EvilAP (it is again a wrapper around airobase), choose interface (for me the Internal Nexus Wifi worked), enter an SSID (e.g freewifi), enter channel, choose whether force all clients to connect to you or just those who really want to connect to you, and start.

The next step is to start DSniff, choose interface at0, and wait :) In this example, I used a popular Hungarian webmail, which has a checkbox option for "secure" login (with default off). There are sooo many problems with this approach, e.g. you can't check the certificate before connecting, and the login page is delivered over HTTP, so one can disable the secure login checkbox seamlessly in the background, etc. In this case, I left the "secure" option on default off.

In the next tutorial, I'm going to show my next favorite app, DSploit ;)

Lessons learned

Hacking has been never so easy before
In a home environment, only use WPA2 PSK
Choose a long, nondictionary passphrase as the password for WPA2
Don't share your WiFi passwords with people you don't trust, or change it when they don't need it anymore
Don't let your client device auto-connect to WiFi stations, even if the SSID looks familiar

I believe during an engagement a Pwn Plug has better "physical cloaking" possibilities, but playing with the Pwn Pad Community Edition really gave me fun moments.

And last but not least I would like to thank to the Pwn Pad developers for releasing the Community Edition!