Archive for the ‘software’ Category

REcon 2012

June 19, 2012

I’ve just recently returned from REcon 2012 and while I heard a couple people express that they had “heard” that some people were more disappointed with this year’s conference compared to prior ones, I personally really enjoyed it and felt it was the best one yet.  I saw and enjoyed more of the lectures this year than I have in the past and seemed to have better interactions with the other conference attendees, better conversations, and generally enjoyed myself more than years past.  Perhaps it was because this year Montreal wasn’t in the middle of a heat wave with no air conditioning in the hotel and the conference hotel didn’t catch fire (:

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ExploitHub

February 29, 2012

ExploitHub LogoA few years ago, following the failure of WabiSabiLabi’s 0day auction site, I gave some thought to how to create a public marketplace for exploits that actually works.  Obviously given the example of WabiSabiLabi and a little common sense that any vulnerability researcher worth their salt would know, you can’t have a public market for 0day vulnerabilities.  As WabiSabiLabi quickly found out, by disclosing enough information about the vulnerability so that a potential customer can make a determination about whether or not to buy it, you’re likely giving up enough information about the vulnerability for them to find it themselves, given varying levels of time and effort.  Thus, you can really only market 0day to trusted customers and when your marketplace is open to the public, your customers are most definitely not trusted and consists of various demographics who have lots of disposable time on their hands to go hunt down your vulnerabilities.  So, what if we remove 0day from the equation entirely I thought? Could an open market for exploits of public vulnerabilities work? Would anyone actually buy such exploits?  ExploitHub was born, and it turns out the answer is yes.

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The Folly of a Scheduled Patch Release Cycle

December 11, 2008

A number of years ago, Microsoft led the charge by moving away from a dynamic patch release schedule to a monthly patch release schedule, essentially creating an imposed monthly patch cycle for their customers.  Since then, many other vendors have followed suit.  There are opinions and arguments supporting both a release schedule philosophy as well as a release upon completion philosophy, and today I’m going to outline where I stand on the issue.

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The Internet is a Dirty, Dirty Mistress

June 27, 2008

It’s been quite a while since I wrote or updated DFW, the I)ruidic FireWall.  Included with that utility is a default iptables firewall policy which the user can use directly, tweak to their liking, or completely throw away and start over from scratch.  NetFilter (iptables) has come a long way since I was actively working in the firewall space and regularly maintaining the DFW utility, so I thought it high time that I update the firewall policies on my servers to take advantage of some of it’s newer features, and in doing so update DFW’s default policy with some extra bells and whistles.  The primary goal I wanted to accomplish was to significantly clean up my firewall logs, as the Internet is an extremely dirty and hostile place to connect a computer to.  Regularly my logs would be full of default drop log entries for entire port-scans, the same worm-infected hosts connecting to the same closed ports over and over and over again, and other general random connection attempts.

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Vulnerability Disclosure, Cryptography Research, and Open Source

January 23, 2007

Today, Bruce Schneier posted an essay to his blog arguing the case for full disclosure of software vulnerabilities, which I am also in favor of. It’s apparently a side-bar to an article in CSOOnline entitled “The Chilling Effect” which is about some of the growing issues surrounding vulnerability research in web software. There’s also two other side-bars arguing the case for keeping vulnerability information secret or only telling the software vendors as well as the hybrid option that has sprung up in the last few years termed “responsible disclosure.”

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