Most of the computer security white papers in the Reading Room have been written by students seeking GIAC certification to fulfill part of their certification requirements and are provided by SANS as a resource to benefit the security community at large. SANS attempts to ensure the accuracy of information, but papers are published "as is". Errors or inconsistencies may exist or may be introduced over time as material becomes dated. If you suspect a serious error, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the early days of the Internet, users had to type in text commands to navigate. Tools were later developed, E.g. early browsers, to be the "user's agent" so that commands did not have to be typed in to navigate -‐ the user could simply click to navigate.
By: Frankie Fu Kay Li (posted on October 14, 2011)
Spear-phishing emails were sent to a political figure at my place of residence. An email, including the attached sample was provided for forensics analysis. This email contained obviously well crafted message to lure the recipient to open the malicious attachment. It was predicted as an Advanced Persistent Threat attack (APT-attack).
Reverse Engineering on malware analysis is a process which is used on malware in order to understand its operation, code structure and its functionality. This project aims to understand the operation of a malware and investigate the parameters, code and structure which is created or modified by the malicious software. In response to this objective a virtual lab was created to analyse the malicious software. A new variant of "DroidKungFu" was analised named "DroidKungfu-2 A" which infected Android platform. After the Code analysis we understood the malicious piece of code which was embedded along with the original code. The services, activity that gets started and the mobile information which is sent to the remote servers. Once the malware gets the root access of the victim machine it can even damage the system.
Forensics is a complex subject, where details matter greatly. Even more complicated are investigations where forensic methods are used to further understand, identify, capture, and mature and understanding of a malicious attack that may have taken place on a computer.
A recent report on botnet threats (Dhamballa, 2010) provides a sobering read for any security professional. According to its authors, the number of computers that fell victim to botnets grew at the rate of 8%/week in 2010, which translates to more than a six-fold increase over the course of the year.
Cybercriminals have made alarming improvements to their infrastructure over the last few years. One reason for this expansion is thousands of websites vulnerable to SQL injection. Malicious code writers have exploited these vulnerabilities to distribute malware.
The Web was born on Christmas Day, 1990 when the CERN Web server (CERN httpd 1.0) went online. By version 2.0, released in 1993, CERN httpd, was also capable of performing as an application gateway. By 1994, content caching was added. With the publication of RFC 1945 two years later, proxy capabilities were forever embedded into the HTTP specification (Berners-Lee, Fielding, & Frystyk, 1996).
Android is an open-source mobile operating system, based upon a modified version of the Linux kernel, initially developed by Android Inc., a firm purchased by Google in 2005.
A Gartner study released on November 2010 outlined that Android has become the second-most popular OS in the world (Gartner, 11/2010). The growth of Android has exceeded their previous study, released last year, in which they had predicted that Android will be the No.2 worldwide mobile operating system in 2012 (The H, 08/10/2009). According to another Gartner study (Gartner, 08/2010)., there will be only a slight difference between Symbian and Android market share in 2014: 30.2% for Symbian against 29.6% for Android.
The purpose of this paper is to describe how static code analysis was used to gain insight into the functionality of a simple HTTP Bot. Certain tools can be used to analyze what a piece of malware has done to an infected system. For example, Regshot can be used to determine what registry changes have been made after a malware specimen has been executed on a test system (Zeltser, 2009b). The tcpdump command can be used to detect network activity that occurs after the malware has been used to infect a host (Northcutt, 2001).
In today’s highly connected Internet age, we have seen an overwhelming flood of new malware. According to a report published by McAfee (Marcus, Greve, Masiello, & Scharoun, 2009), over 12 million new pieces of malware were discovered in the first three quarters of 2009. This rate of thousands of new samples per day has exceeded our ability to manually analyze and catalog these threats. Additionally, maintaining a comprehensive library of samples and supporting analysis artifacts has created an information organization nightmare.
The last two years was not so good for Adobe Acrobat Reader users especially for those using versions prior to version 9. Core Security had released the advisory to address about util.printf stack buffer overflow vulnerability on Adobe Acrobat Reader with CVE tag CVE-2008-2992 (CoreSecurity, 2008). An attacker can exploit this issue to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user running the application or crashing the application, denying service to the legitimate user. More information on this vulnerability can be obtained by reading a paper on the vulnerability and exploitation analysis written by a CoreSecurity researcher via this link http://www.coresecurity.com/content/adobe-reader-buffer-overflow.
The stage, it seems, is set for an epic battle between two of the most dangerous fighters in the nefarious world of malware. In one corner: ZeuS, undoubtedly the reigning champion of Banking Trojans, so much so, that the distinction of “king” has often been used to describe it (Falliere & Chien, 2009). In the other corner: SpyEye, a relatively new, but at the same time worthy, challenger, posing to dethrone ZeuS. This paper documents a part of this budding and dynamic battle as it unfolds – so dynamic in fact, that within the time it took to write this paper, both crimeware kits had already moved on to their next releases, implementing some serious licensing and anti-reversing measures (Krebs, 2010).
“Malware is a set of instructions that run on your computer and make your system do something that an attacker wants it to do”. (Skoudis, 2004) It can perform a number of undesirable tasks on your computer. Malware is often referred to as malicious code because its programming intent is usually for something malicious. In his book, “Malware: Fighting Malicious Code”, Ed Skoudis writes, “The malicious code doesn’t have your best interests in mind.” (Skoudis, 2004).
Western societies increasingly rely upon information as the foundation for their social, political, financial and military success. Much of this information is transmitted through the Internet, or is handled in intranets using the Internet protocols. Often these internal networks even engage in some sort of (in)direct communication with the Internet itself.
Examples of such mostly internal systems include Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) at times controlling nuclear reactors, civil defense sirens and air traffic control or the electricity/water/oil supply for entire nations. Other examples of sensitive internal systems include databases of large banks, of the police and of the military containing financial or intelligence information.
By: Manuel Humberto Santander Pelaez (posted on March 16, 2010)
Malware programs have evolved in recent years from small programs capable of destroying information and making devices become unusable to highly sophisticated programs able to take over the user’s computer and collect personal information, with several impacts to the users like identity theft or money theft.
By: Anthony Cheuk Tung Lai (posted on March 2, 2010)
At the Malware Domain List web site (Malware Domain List, 2009) simply input “PDF” in the search box, and a number of malicious sites marked with “PDF Exploit” are listed. This reflects how popular malicious PDF files are as a malware carrier currently. It is difficult for end users to realize that popular sites and PDF files sent by friends may actually be infected with shellcode and exploits. Besides PDF malware, fake anti-virus software is also popular as a payload downloaded to victim machines luring end users to voluntary click to scan their computers, installing a malicious executable payload.
This paper will document both sides of a phishing campaign, the phisher and the phished, providing a unique view as best as I’m able to recreate it from the phisher’s own emails and information from the phished financial institution.
I am submitting this abstract to fulfill the technical paper requirements for the GSEC Gold Certification. The paper will be a detailed introduction of malware analysis for security professionals. This paper would be an excellent fit to the Security Essentials track by providing information to assist in the gap that exists in the field, as malware issues are common in computer security today.
It can be as basic as a listing of Computer Commandments: Thou shalt not use P2P at work; Thou shalt not download and activate .wav or .mpg files at work; Thou shalt not bring and activate .wav or .mpg files from home; Thou shalt not download private email on corporate equipment.
To comprehend the personal motivations of a virus writer investigating the technical angle presents only a small part of the puzzle. There is a significant gap between what is known about viruses/worms and our understanding of the virus writer.
Recent history has amply demonstrated the threat that worms pose to the Internet and those who rely on its correct functioning. Most of the damage done by worms can be traced to the burden they place on networks due to their characteristic exponential growth as they seek to propagate themselves.
This paper will provide information and avenues for the developer of software products as well as the user of the software products to gain confidence that a software package is not likely to contain malicious code and have a minimal risk of potential vulnerabilities in a software package.
An examination of the elements of a well written security policy that may keep an organization out of a mess (i.e., experiencing a computer system virus infection), or once infected, can help lead the way out.
This paper, presented in the form of sample guidelines/procedures, will express in much detail the steps, techniques and methods of defense utilized/implemented in the detection, investigation and tracing of a suspected computer virus
This paper discusses: the rise in attacks from worms; two worms making security headlines throughout the month of July 2001, including the essence of their structure and how to neutralize the infections; and, preventative measures that can be taken by a company both at the perimeter and internal levels to help reduce the possible exposure to worms.
This paper highlights the Code Red Worm: how it attacked, how to reduce your system's vulnerability to such a threat, how to reduce exposure if successfully attacked, and how to defend against such future threats.
This paper describes the w32.nimda.a@mm virus (NIMDA), who is at risk for infection by this virus, the extent of possible damage if infected, the indications that your system has been compromised, corrective actions to take if infected, and, lastly, alternatives to Microsoft IIS.
By: Jeffrey A. Tricoli (posted on October 31, 2003)
This paper will focus on several important lessons to be learned from the Code Red worm: the need for faster identification; the need for more coordinated analysis; the need for more clear and timely warnings; and, identifying the contributing factors.
The goal of this paper is to review how Nimda propagates, focus on the initial vulnerabilities it exploits to enter an organization, and what preparations could have been done to prevent exploitation in the first place.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the main methods by which Nimda spreads, to share effective ways to prevent the spread of Nimda, and to suggest that a holistic approach is needed to prevent the propagation and spread of recently developed worms.
This paper discusses how to stop malicious code at the desktop level by examining defensive malware detection software that fall into three categories; signature matching, behavior analysis, and CRC matching.
This paper examines the Nimda worm to identify what makes it different from other types of malicious code, the current fixes available for the worm, and some recommendations for protecting against further infections by similar types of malicious code.
By: Michael Desrosiers (posted on October 31, 2003)
This paper examines the concept of worm propagation, and describes what the author sees the future worm to look like, out in the wild. Also addressed are what steps can be taken to limit its effectiveness.
In this paper, the author demonstrates that solid and vigilant network security architecture has become an essential element of systems management by reviewing just how dangerous and effective the NIMDA virus is, and how it represents a significant threat to the integrity of enterprise networks.
By: Jennifer M. Marek (posted on October 31, 2003)
This paper discusses the differences between two types of mobile code, Microsoft ActiveX controls and Java Applets, and the security risks of both. Finally, the paper will gives alternative suggestions on what a can be done to allow some users to use mobile code, while not putting a secure intranet at risk.
This paper focuses on providing the reader with an overview of the current virus landscape and aids in developing best practice anti-virus policies. After presenting the threat, we'll introduce you to today's most popular anti-virus tools.
This paper illustrates four major worms: Code Red, Code Red II, Nimda and SQLSnake, and discusses the scope of the problem, its effect on your systems and some steps to prevent you from becoming yet another statistic.
New spyware programs crop up everyday, and the attackers are ever evolving in the ways that they try to attack system vulnerabilities, and this paper addresses why our network defenses and corporate policies have to be ever evolving to be effective.
By: Stephen M. Sladaritz (posted on October 31, 2003)
This paper will discuss what heuristics is, why we should use it, warts and all, and some ideas for how to use it best. Finally we'll talk about how to be a good neighbor while using it, and wrap it up with a discussion on including heuristics in our antivirus policies.
The most common generators are the virii script generators, polymorphic, and encryption generation engines; each of these precepts needs to be thought through more, however, to really understand the threat against the enterprise, caused by such virii generators.
This paper describes in detail the steps required to implement and harden a Symantec LiveUpdate server on a Microsoft Windows 2000 platform. In addition to being a cookbook to build a LiveUpdate FTP server, this paper describes methods and concepts that can be used to secure any vendor application on the Windows 2000 platform
This paper will examine the differences between worms and viruses, and then discuss recent developments in virus and worm technology. Some defensive techniques will be examined, and an attempt will be made to predict future possible techniques that may emerge in viruses or worms.
This paper discusses the popularity of the SubSeven Trojan and the general vulnerability of many systems on the Internet, particularly those of home users, and providdes an awareness of the dangers of being infected with this malicious program.