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Executive Editor

Black Hat: 9 free security tools for defense & attacking

News Analysis
Jul 29, 20166 mins
Cisco SystemsGoogleInternet of Things

Some of the researchers who at Black Hat will show how they hack and release the tools they used to do it

black hat conference 2015
Credit: Steve Marcus, Reuters

When Black Hat convenes next week in Las Vegas, it will be a rich environment for gathering tools that can be used to tighten security but also – in the wrong hands – to carry out exploits.

Researchers presenting generally point out the value these releases hold for researchers like themselves who operate in experimental environments as well as for enterprise security pros who want to build better defenses against such attack tools.

Presenters will detail a broad range of exploits they’ve carried out against devices, protocols and technologies from HTTP to internet of things gear to the techniques penetration testers use to test the networks of their clients.

[ MORE BLACK HAT: A run down on Black Hat for security newbs ]

Here is a sampling of some of the scheduled educational briefings coming up next week along with a description of the free tools that will accompany them. 

HTTP/2 & QUIC – Teaching Good Protocols To Do Bad Things

Presenters: Carl Vincent, Sr. Security Consultant, Cisco, and Catherine (Kate) Pearce, Sr. Security Consultant, Cisco

These two researchers took a look at HTTP/2 and QUIC, two Web protocols used to multiplex connections. The researchers say they are experiencing déjà vu because they have found security weaknesses in these protocols that are reminiscent of weaknesses they found two years ago in multipath TCP (MPTCP). Back then they discovered that because MPTCP changed paths and endpoints during sessions, it was difficult to secure the traffic and possible to compromise it. “This talk briefly introduces QUIC and HTTP/2, covers multiplexing attacks beyond MPTCP, discusses how you can use these techniques over QUIC and within HTTP/2, and discusses how to make sense of and defend against H2/QUIC traffic on your network,” according to the description of their talk. They say they will release tools with these techniques incorporated.

Applied Machine Learning for Data Exfil and Other Fun Topics

Brian Wallace, Senior Security Researcher, Cylance, Matt Wolff, Chief Data Scientist, Cylance, and Xuan Zhao, Data Scientist, Cylance

This team applied machine learning to security data to help analysts make decisions about whether their networks are facing actual incidents. They say lacking an understanding of machine learning can leave you at a disadvantage when analyzing problems. “We will walk the entire pipeline from idea to functioning tool on several diverse security-related problems, including offensive and defensive use cases for machine learning,” they write in describing their briefing. They plan to release all the tools, source code and data sets they used in their research. They’ll also include an obfuscation tool for data exfiltration, a network mapper and a command and control panel identification module.

GATTacking Bluetooth Smart Devices – Introducing a New BLE Proxy Tool

 Slawomir Jasek, IT Security Consultant, SecuRing

The internet of things is rife with devices that make use of Bluetooth Low Energy, but they don’t always take advantage of all the security features of the technology.A

surprising number of devices do not (or simply cannot – because of the use scenario) utilize these mechanisms,” says researcher Slawomir Jasek in his written description of his talk. Instead, security is provided by a higher-level Generic Attribute (GATT) profile to protect communications between IoT devices and their controllers, such as mobile phones. He says it’s easy to spoof an IoT device and trick the phone into connecting to it, setting up a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack. “[J]ust imagine how many attacks you might be able to perform with the possibility to actively intercept the BLE communication!” he writes. He will release aBLE MITM proxy tool that “opens a whole new chapter for your IoT device exploitation, reversing and debugging.”

Secure Penetration Testing Operations: Demonstrated Weaknesses in Learning Material and Tools

Wesley McGrew, Director of Cyber Operations, HORNE Cyber

This speaker says that penetration testers are often trained using widely available materials that can lead to inadequate protection of their clients’ data and the pen-testing procedure itself. “Malicious threat actors are incentivized to attack and compromise penetration testers, and given current practices, can do so easily and with dramatic impact,” he says. McGrew will demonstrate techniques for hijacking testers’ procedures and release all the tools he uses in the demo.

Does Dropping USB Drives in Parking Lots and Other Places Really Work?

Elie Bursztein, Anti-fraud and abuse research lead, Google

Everybody knows that if you drop USB keys in a parking lot, they will be picked up and a high percentage of them will wind up plugged into computers. Bursztein says his research included dropping 300 USB sticks in a parking lot. 98% were picked up and of those, 48% were not only plugged into a computer, but files on them were opened. His talk will analyze why people pick up these sticks, and he will release a tool to help mitigate these attacks. 

I Came to Drop Bombs: Auditing the Compression Algorithm Weapon Cache

Cara Marie, Senior Security Consultant, NCC Group

Decompression bomb attacks use specially crafted compressed archive files that, when they are unpacked, tie up applications to such an extent that they crash. But not all compression algorithms are equally suitable for the task. Marie has audited a great number of these to find out which are the best bomb candidates and will release them at the conference. They can be used by researchers to test the susceptibility of applications to these particular attacks.

Pwning Your Java Messaging with Deserialization Vulnerabilities

Matthias Kaiser, Head of Vulnerability Research, Code White

Messaging in Java environments relies on serialization, the conversion of objects into series of bytes. Deserialization is turning the series back into objects. There have been ongoing improvements in Java deserialization exploits that make it possible to attack the applications that use Java messaging. Kaiser will talk about implementations that are vulnerable and release the Java Messaging Exploitation Tool to help users identify and exploit these systems.

Access Keys Will Kill You Before You Kill the Password

Loic Simon, Principal Security Engineer, NCC Group

The speaker, Loic Simon, uses this example: Keys used to access the Amazon Web Services infrastructure are often stored unencrypted and spread around among developers, creating a security weakness. This could be addressed by use of multi-factor authentication, which some users may avoid because it is more cumbersome than they’d like. Simon will show how MFA can be employed regardless of what authentication method is used, and will release a tool “used to allow painless work when MFA-protected API access is enforced in an AWS account.” 

Viral Video – Exploiting SSRF in Video Converters

Maxim Andreev, Sowtware Developer, Group, and Nikolay Ermishkin, Information Security Analyst, Group

The free FFmpeg libraries boast tools for converting multimedia formats including conversions for playlists that feature links to other files. This talk will consider how to exploit server side request forgery in processing these playlists. It shows how such SSRF against cloud-based servers can give full access to services such as Amazon Web Services, as well as attacks on Facebook, Telegram, Microsoft Azure, Flickr, Twitter services, Imgur and others. The speakers will release a tool to detect and exploit this vulnerability.