Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Common sense

Technology is never foolproof and here is an excellent example where common sense is overwhelmingly essential.
I received the highlighted link in my Gmail which wasn't marked as spam. A quick glance at the path and I knew this was obviously a ruse but I wondered why Gmail's spam detection didn't pick this up. I quickly ran the suspicious link against the scanners hosted on VirusTotal and was utterly disappointed that not a single engine was able to mark it as malicious.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Wireshark: The Secrets of the Shark"

Rushed out 2 columns drafts ahead of schedule and Hakin9 decided to use them in consecutive issues. Here is the excerpt of the latest one.
"This column was inspired by the international screening of the Tintin movie by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. Just like Tintin, Wireshark is an international icon too. It is primarily harnessed for network troubleshooting and packet analysis but did you know that there are other applications of this powerful tool?"

Monday, November 28, 2011

v4.0

I upgraded "Firefox" to v8 and realised that it was sluggish due to configs being wiped by v3.0 of my "ubuntuprivacy" script. I modified the script as follows.

#!/bin/sh
echo "\033[0;34mProceeding to clean your system to ensure your privacy.\033[0m"
echo
echo "\033[0;31mWiping Firefox history and cache.\033[0m"
#sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/*.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/addons.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/chromeappsstore.sqlite
#sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/content-prefs.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/cookies.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/downloads.sqlite
#sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/extensions.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/formhistory.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/permissions.sqlite
#sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/places.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/search.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/urlclassifier3.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/webappsstore.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/Cache/*
echo "\033[0;32mFirefox history and cache wiped.\033[0m"
echo "\033[0;31mWiping Trash.\033[0m"
sudo srm -rllv .local/share/Trash/
echo "\033[0;32mTrash wiped.\033[0m"
echo "\033[0;31mWiping Applications history and cache.\033[0m"
sudo srm -rllv .recently-used
sudo srm -rllv .recently-used.xbel
sudo srm -rllv .thumbnails
sudo srm -rllv .macromedia/Flash_Player/#SharedObjects/*
#sudo srm -rllv .openoffice.org/*/user/temp
#sudo srm -rllv .openoffice.org/*/user/backup
sudo srm -rllv .libreoffice/*/user/temp/*
sudo srm -rllv .libreoffice/*/user/backup/*
sudo srm -rllv .purple/logs/*/*
sudo srm -rllv .xsession-errors
sudo srm -rllv .gimp-*/tmp
echo "\033[0;32mApplications history wiped.\033[0m"

#"ubuntuprivacy" written by commandrine.
#Please send comments and queries to commandrine[at]gmail[dot]com.
#Version 4.0 dated 9th Nov 2011.
#Pre-requisite is having "secure-delete" installed. Install it using "sudo apt-get install secure-delete".
#Save this script to your home folder. Run "sudo chmod +x ubuntuprivacy.sh" to make it executable.

You can also download the script from here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"HTTPS Everywhere"

Finished this column months ahead of schedule and it was finally published in this month's issue of "Hakin9".
An excerpt of it below.
"HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox extension that was developed and is maintained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). It was first released in June 2010 and is not available from Mozilla but can be downloaded from EFF’s site (https://www.eff.org/files/https-everywhere-latest.xpi)."
I should really get started on my next column draft.

Friday, October 21, 2011

batch

Wrote a batch script that triggers "ubuntuprivacy", "patch" and "avastupdate" sequentially.

#!/bin/sh
./ubuntuprivacy.sh
./patch.sh
./avastupdate.sh

The scripts can be downloaded here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Prey: From Praying to Preying"

My new column is out in Hakin9 magazine. It was 2 months overdue so it is a relief that it is finally published.
An excerpt of it in the "Tool Time" column this month.
"Since the issue 7/2010 article Prey: A new hope, there have been developments in the device tracking tool. It has been enhanced to now be able to monitor lost Android smartphones and tablets when activated. There was a reported case in May 2011 where a Californian harnessed evidence collected from a similar tool, Hidden, to recover his stolen Macbook."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

nessusjob

Was lazy to memorise the Nessus commands to start/stop the service as well as update its plugins so I decided to dump them into the following script.

#!/bin/sh
echo "\033[0;34mPrepping Nessus for scanning.\033[0m"
sudo /etc/init.d/nessusd stop
echo "\033[0;31mUpdating Nessus plugins.\033[0m"
sudo /opt/nessus/sbin/nessus-update-plugins
echo "\033[0;31mStart Nessus service.\033[0m"
sudo /etc/init.d/nessusd start
echo "\033[0;31mAccess Nessus console on https://127.0.0.1:8834.\033[0m"

#"nessusjob" written by commandrine.
#Please send comments and queries to commandrine[at]gmail[dot]com.
#Version 1.0 dated 23rd September 2011.
#Pre-requisite is having "Nessus" installed, registered license key configured and the Nessus user created.
#Save this script to your home folder. Run "sudo chmod +x nessusjob.sh" to make it executable.

Download it here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My first column

Hakin9 asked me to be a bimonthly contributor to their new column entitled "Tool Time" and here is an excerpt of it.
"Hispasec Sistemas has managed the service, VirusTotal, since 1st June 2004. The website (http://www.virustotal.com) offers the public access to multiple Antivirus (AV) engines hosted by them to provision online scanning of individual files to uncover malware by harnessing a combination of signature-based and heuristic detection."

Friday, July 22, 2011

v3.0

I updated "ubuntuprivacy.sh" to comment out wiping of OpenOffice history and include wiping of LibreOffice history.

#!/bin/sh
echo "\033[0;34mProceeding to clean your system to ensure your privacy.\033[0m"
echo
echo "\033[0;31mWiping Firefox history and cache.\033[0m"
#sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/*.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/addons.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/chromeappsstore.sqlite
#sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/content-prefs.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/cookies.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/downloads.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/extensions.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/formhistory.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/permissions.sqlite
#sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/places.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/search.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/urlclassifier3.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/webappsstore.sqlite
sudo srm -rllv .mozilla/firefox/*.default/Cache/*
echo "\033[0;32mFirefox history and cache wiped.\033[0m"
echo "\033[0;31mWiping Trash.\033[0m"
sudo srm -rllv .local/share/Trash/
echo "\033[0;32mTrash wiped.\033[0m"
echo "\033[0;31mWiping Applications history and cache.\033[0m"
sudo srm -rllv .recently-used
sudo srm -rllv .recently-used.xbel
sudo srm -rllv .thumbnails
sudo srm -rllv .macromedia/Flash_Player/#SharedObjects/*
#sudo srm -rllv .openoffice.org/*/user/temp
#sudo srm -rllv .openoffice.org/*/user/backup
sudo srm -rllv .libreoffice/*/user/temp/*
sudo srm -rllv .libreoffice/*/user/backup/*
sudo srm -rllv .purple/logs/*/*
sudo srm -rllv .xsession-errors
sudo srm -rllv .gimp-*/tmp
echo "\033[0;32mApplications history wiped.\033[0m"

#"ubuntuprivacy" written by commandrine.
#Please send comments and queries to commandrine[at]gmail[dot]com.
#Version 3.0 dated 22th July 2011.
#Pre-requisite is having "secure-delete" installed. Install it using "sudo apt-get install secure-delete".
#Save this script to your home folder. Run "sudo chmod +x ubuntuprivacy.sh" to make it executable.

The wiping of Flash cookies (which I blogged about previously) is also appended into this version.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ubuntu update error

When I ran "sudo-apt update" command in Terminal, I get the following error.

commandrine@bridge:~$ sudo apt-get update
[sudo] password for commandrine:
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid Release.gpg
Ign http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid/main Translation-en_SG
Ign http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid/restricted Translation-en_SG
Ign http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid/universe Translation-en_SG
Ign http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid/multiverse Translation-en_SG
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid-updates Release.gpg
Ign http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-updates/main Translation-en_SG
Ign http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-updates/restricted Translation-en_SG
Ign http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-updates/universe Translation-en_SG
Ign http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-updates/multiverse Translation-en_SG
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid Release
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid-updates Release
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid/main Packages
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid/restricted Packages
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid/main Sources
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid/restricted Sources
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid/universe Packages
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid/universe Sources
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid/multiverse Packages
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid/multiverse Sources
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid-updates/main Packages
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid-updates/restricted Packages
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid-updates/main Sources
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid-updates/restricted Sources
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid-updates/universe Packages
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid-updates/universe Sources
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid-updates/multiverse Packages
Hit http://sg.archive.ubuntu.com lucid-updates/multiverse Sources
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release.gpg
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com lucid-security Release.gpg
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net/docky-core/ppa/ubuntu/ lucid/main Translation-en_SG
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-security/main Translation-en_SG
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release.gpg
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-security/restricted Translation-en_SG
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net/docky-core/stable/ubuntu/ lucid/main Translation-en_SG
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-security/universe Translation-en_SG
Get:1 http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release.gpg [316B]
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net/moonlight-team/pinta/ubuntu/ lucid/main Translation-en_SG
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-security/multiverse Translation-en_SG
Get:2 http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release.gpg [316B]
Get:3 http://security.ubuntu.com lucid-security Release [44.7kB]
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net/mozillateam/firefox-stable/ubuntu/ lucid/main Translation-en_SG
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release.gpg
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net/pidgin-developers/ppa/ubuntu/ lucid/main Translation-en_SG
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com lucid-security/main Packages
Get:4 http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release.gpg [316B]
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-mozilla-security/ppa/ubuntu/ lucid/main Translation-en_SG
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com lucid-security/restricted Packages
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com lucid-security/main Sources
Get:5 http://security.ubuntu.com lucid-security/restricted Sources [14B]
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com lucid-security/universe Packages
Get:6 http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release [57.3kB]
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release
Get:7 http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release [14.0kB]
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com lucid-security/universe Sources
Get:8 http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release [14.0kB]
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com lucid-security/multiverse Packages
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com lucid-security/multiverse Sources
Get:9 http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release [14.0kB]
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid/main Packages
Get:10 http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid/main Packages [1,506B]
Get:11 http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid/main Packages [752B]
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid/main Packages
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid/main Packages
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid/main Sources
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid/main Packages
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid/main Sources
Err http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid/main Sources
416 Requested Range Not Satisfiable 20003
Fetched 61.8kB in 22s (2,794B/s)
W: GPG error: http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 3AD52A40B98E84D3
W: GPG error: http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 9BDB3D89CE49EC21
W: GPG error: http://ppa.launchpad.net lucid Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY A6DCF7707EBC211F
W: Failed to fetch http://ppa.launchpad.net/pidgin-developers/ppa/ubuntu/dists/lucid/main/source/Sources.gz 416 Requested Range Not Satisfiable 20003

E: Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

Turning to the Ubuntu Forum, I get advise on running the following commands to rectify the missing keys issue.

gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv 3AD52A40B98E84D3

gpg --export --armor 3AD52A40B98E84D3 | sudo apt-key add -

gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv 9BDB3D89CE49EC21

gpg --export --armor 9BDB3D89CE49EC21 | sudo apt-key add -

gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv A6DCF7707EBC211F

gpg --export --armor A6DCF7707EBC211F | sudo apt-key add -

I encountered 2 keys that still generate update errors. Heading back to the Forum, I get the following steps to rectify the issue.

sudo -i

apt-get clean

cd /var/lib/apt

mv lists lists.old

mkdir -p lists/partial

apt-get clean

apt-get update

Problem solved.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

“aspydrv.asp;.jpg”

Was reading this article about an alleged Anonymous hacker uploading a file “aspydrv.asp;.jpg” onto servers to compromise them.
This piqued my interest. I Googled the above file and found numerous sites hosting this file. Further research educated me that using the ";.jpg" at the end of the ASP file can fool insecure IIS servers.
Accessing one of the vulnerable sites, I try uploading a test ASP page written by my buddy, Simon, and the file successfully bypasses the file type check. I click on the uploaded ASP page and the "Hello World" message is published on my browser.
It is a simple trick to gain control of a vulnerable webserver but timely patching and hardening will thwart this threat.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The seedy underworld of fake AV

Interesting research done on the fake AV industry and eye-popping statistics.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"Firestarter: Starter for your Firewall"

My new article is out this month in Hakin9 magazine. It is for paid subscribers only and here is an excerpt of it.
"The firewall is the first line of defense on the network perimeter and end points. Firewalls are susceptible to targeted attacks (eg. social engineering, application vulnerabilities) but they are still the foundation upon which access control is built upon."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Android smarphone screen capture

I wanted to take screenshots of my Android smartphone screen for my new security article and was having a nightmare doing so. It took 3 hours of research and troubleshooting to finally achieve success.
I relied on detailed information from this article to setup the Android SDK on my Ubuntu laptop.
Watch out for my new security article in Hakin9 magazine.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Insider threat

Friends I talk to are confident that their personal information is not important or critical but this is a scary and real example of what hackers will do with your details.

No password needed

New malware targeting Mac OS X that will not prompt users to enter their administrator password before infecting the victim's machine. Mac users and Apple can continue to be in denial but it is a reality now.
Install an AV on your Mac.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Encrypted mails

I decided to install a digital certificate for my Gmail account. This is simple and free to set up.
  1. Apply for a free certificate from Comodo.
  2. The certificate will be automatically installed to your browser when you click on the link in the email from Comodo.
  3. Install the "Gmail S/MIME" addon from the Firefox addon source.
  4. Log into Gmail and the "Encrypt" icon is visible when you compose new mails.
You need to allow outbound TCP traffic on port 465 if you have a host firewall running on your system. If you want to export the installed certificate for use in other software, click on "Preferences">"Advanced">"Encryption">"View Certificates".

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Graphics Engine threat

A recently added Graphics Engine, WebGL, in Firefox 4 and Chrome 9 are vulnerable to exploit.
The article provisions solutions to disabling this component in both browsers. I will quickly summarise how to disable WebGL in Firefox 4.
  1. Type in "about:config" in the address bar.
  2. Search for "webgl".
  3. Set value for "webgl.disabled" to "true".
  4. Restart Firefox.
Simple steps that will give you peace of mind.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Armitage"

"Armitage" was a tool that I discovered from the cover of "Linux Journal" in "Page One" today. It shows how outdated I am with the latest fancy security tools available out there.
Visiting the website hosting the tool, I came across this demo video of the tool in action.

This video is easy to follow and comprehend. It saves me the effort of making a similar video. From the demo, the tool proves to be intuitive and logical. The learning curve is pretty gentle as it assists users through the logical flow of discovering vulnerable machines to identifying the applicable exploits that can be launched against the target in order to successfully compromise that system.
Definitely a must-have interface to enhance the capabilities of "Metasploit".

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Websense Defensio

It has been almost 2 years since I last went to a Security seminar. I strongly believe that you learn when you attend an event with good content. Today was a classic example. I was enlightened about the available of a free service from "Websense" called "Defensio". It is a tool for social mediums to protect both users and their followers against threats in the form of unruly followers or hackers.
It is available as an app in "Facebook". Type "Defensio" into the search box to find it listed under "Applications". Add the app and allow it access to your profile to protect it. Access the settings section and choose your desired configurations. I tried posting an adult link to my wall and it was successfully blocked by "Defensio".

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Terminal

Visited "OMG! Ubuntu!" today as I do everyday. I was presented by a terminal upon successfully accessing the site. My first instinct was that it was a mistake made by the server administrator as my request was redirected to "http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/bash/". I typed in "help" as hinted in the terminal window. Typical Linux commands were revealed along with strange ones like "moo" and "fortune".
The funny outputs were indicative of an April Fool's prank. The comment "Enjoyed this April fools? click a few ads!" in the page source confirmed this.
I had already caught on and proceeded to continue my fun by running "wget" and "rm *". I also read articles published on the site in text format.
Typing "logout" brings you back to the homepage.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New 2FA

"PassWindow" is a new type of 2 factor authentication (2FA) in the market. The concept is different from what we are normally used to.

It is compact compared to "RSA" tokens. On the topic of "RSA", "RSA" was breached recently and sensitive data was stolen from their network.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Flash drive data purging issue

A new study discovers that employing traditional secure deletion techniques on solid state drives result in majority of data residing on those said drives being left intact. This is a security problem as most portable devices contain solid state drives due to their compact form.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cross-platform Trojan

Cross-platform Trojan that infects Windows, Mac and Linux machines via Java. Interestingly enough, the Trojan is not persistent in Linux as it cannot survive reboots.
A breakdown of the infection rate by OS can be found here.