briefings - july 26 & 27

Briefings


And Then the Script-Kiddie Said Let There be No Light. Are Cyber-Attacks on the Power Grid Limited to Nation-State Actors?

Electricity is of paramount importance in our everyday lives. Our dependence on it is particularly evident during even brief power outages. You can think of power systems as the backbone of critical infrastructures. To date, cyber-attacks against power systems are considered to be extremely sophisticated and only within the reach of nation-states. However, through this presentation we will challenge this perception, and provide a structured methodology towards attacking a power system on a limited budget.

When gathering information during the design phase of an attack, it is electrifying what you can find on the internet if you know what to look for. We will demonstrate information obtained from the web that can be leveraged to model and analyze a target power system, and how we can use this information to model power systems throughout the globe.

However, this talk is not just about theory. We will demonstrate a critical vulnerability we discovered in General Electric Multilin products widely deployed in power systems. Essentially, we completely broke the home brew encryption algorithm used by these protection and management devices to authenticate users and allow privileged operations. Knowledge of the passcode enables an attacker to completely pwn the device and disconnect sectors of the power grid at will, locking operators out to prolong the attack. We will also show a technique for remotely fingerprinting affected devices over the network.

The talk includes a live demo showcasing exploitation of the vulnerability on a feeder management relay and how this vulnerability can have significant impact on a nation. We will discuss mitigation strategies, including the specific firmware update that addresses this vulnerability, and provide our thoughts on what the next steps in securing the power infrastructure should be. Tune in for more.


Breaking the x86 Instruction Set

A processor is not a trusted black box for running code; on the contrary, modern x86 chips are packed full of secret instructions and hardware bugs. In this talk, we'll demonstrate how page fault analysis and some creative processor fuzzing can be used to exhaustively search the x86 instruction set and uncover the secrets buried in your chipset. We'll disclose new x86 hardware glitches, previously unknown machine instructions, ubiquitous software bugs, and flaws in enterprise hypervisors. Best of all, we'll release our sandsifter toolset, so that you can audit - and break - your own processor.

Presented By

Christopher Domas

Broadpwn: Remotely Compromising Android and iOS via a Bug in Broadcom's Wi-Fi Chipsets

Remote exploits that compromise Android and iOS devices without user interaction have become an endangered species in recent years. Such exploits present a unique challenge: Without access to the rich scripting environment of the browser, exploit developers have been having a hard time bypassing mitigations such as DEP and ASLR.

But what happens when, underneath your heavily hardened OS, a separate chip parses all your Wi-Fi packets - and runs with no exploit mitigations whatsoever?

Meet Broadpwn, a vulnerability in Broadcom's Wi-Fi chipsets which affects millions of Android and iOS devices, and can be triggered remotely, without user interaction. The Broadcom BCM43xx family of Wi-Fi chips is found in an extraordinarily wide range of mobile devices - from various iPhone models, to HTC, LG, Nexus and practically the full range of Samsung flagship devices.

In this talk, we'll take a deep dive into the internals of the BCM4354, 4358 and 4359 Wi-Fi chipsets, and explore the workings of the mysterious, closed-source HNDRTE operating system. Then, we'll plunge into the confusing universe of 802.11 standards in a quest to find promising attack surfaces.

Finally, we'll tell the story of how we found the bug and exploited it to achieve full code execution - and how we went on to leverage our control of the Wi-Fi chip in order to run code in the main application processor.

Presented By

Nitay Artenstein

Cracking the Lens: Targeting HTTP's Hidden Attack-Surface

Modern websites are browsed through a lens of transparent systems built to enhance performance, extract analytics and supply numerous additional services. This almost invisible attack surface has been largely overlooked for years.

In this presentation, I'll show how to use malformed requests and esoteric headers to coax these systems into revealing themselves and opening gateways into our victim's networks. I'll share how by combining these techniques with a little Bash I was able to thoroughly perforate DoD networks, trivially earn over $30k in vulnerability bounties, and accidentally exploit my own ISP.

While deconstructing the damage, I'll also showcase several hidden systems it unveiled, including not only covert request interception by the UK's largest ISP, but a substantially more suspicious Columbian ISP, a confused Tor backend, and a system that enabled reflected XSS to be escalated into SSRF. You'll also learn strategies to unblinker blind SSRF using exploit chains and caching mechanisms.

Finally, to further drag these systems out into the light, I'll release Collaborator Everywhere - an open source Burp Suite extension which augments your web traffic with a selection of the best techniques to harvest leads from cooperative websites.

Presented By

James Kettle

Datacenter Orchestration Security and Insecurity: Assessing Kubernetes Mesos and Docker at Scale

Your datacenter isn't a bunch of computers, it is *a* computer. While some large organizations have over a decade of experience running software-defined datacenters at massive scale, many more large organizations are just now laying the foundations for their own cloud-scale platforms based on similar ideas. Datacenter-level operating systems such as Kubernetes, Mesos, and Docker Enterprise significantly change both the computing and security paradigms of modern production environments, whether they are in the cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid of the two. The focus of a lot of security attention related to containers and DevOps has been on the kernel-level isolation mechanisms, but these modern datacenter orchestration systems make single-node privilege escalation and persistence significantly less useful. We'll go over the background of what security benefits modern datacenter-level orchestration systems provide and what challenges they also bring along with them. We'll also discuss how to think about attacking and defending entire clusters vs. single machines and what common attack patterns (privilege escalation, lateral movement, persistence) look like specific to the orchestration layers instead of through the traditional native operating systems.

Presented By

Dino Dai Zovi

How We Created the First SHA-1 Collision and What it Means for Hash Security

In February 2017, we announced the first SHA-1 collision. This collision combined with a clever use of the PDF format allows attackers to forge PDF pairs that have identical SHA-1 hashes and yet display different content. This attack is the result of over two years of intense research. It took 6500 CPU years and 110 GPU years of computations which is still 100,000 times faster than a brute-force attack.

In this talk, we recount how we found the first SHA-1 collision. We delve into the challenges we faced from developing a meaningful payload, to scaling the computation to that massive scale, to solving unexpected cryptanalytic challenges that occurred during this endeavor.

We discuss the aftermath of the release including the positive changes it brought and its unforeseen consequences. For example it was discovered that SVN is vulnerable to SHA-1 collision attacks only after the WebKit SVN repository was brought down by the commit of a unit-test aimed at verifying that Webkit is immune to collision attacks.

Building on the Github and Gmail examples we explain how to use counter-cryptanalysis to mitigate the risk of a collision attacks against software that has yet to move away from SHA-1. Finally, we look at the next generation of hash functions and what the future of hash security holds.

Presented By

Elie Bursztein

Infecting the Enterprise: Abusing Office365+Powershell for Covert C2

As Enterprises rush to adopt Office365 for increased business agility and cost reduction, too few are taking time to truly evaluate the risk associated with this decision. This briefing will attempt to shine a light on the potential hazards of Microsoft's SaaS offerings while also demonstrating a practical example of what a malicious actor can do when Office365 is allowed into the Enterprise.

Specifically, this presentation will outline in detail how an attacker can leverage the combination of Office365+PowerShell to take advantage of native features which:

• Mount external Office365 storage and conceal its presence from end-users
• Encrypt and facilitate innocuous external communication with C2
• Exfiltrate data at high speed
• Bypass AV, DLP, Sandboxes, and NGFW along the way.

Presented By

Craig Dods

Real Humans Simulated Attacks: Usability Testing with Attack Scenarios

User studies are critical to understanding how users perceive and interact with security and privacy software and features. While it is important that users be able to configure and use security tools when they are not at risk, it is even more important that the tools continue to protect users during an attack. Conducting user studies in the presence of (simulated) risk is complicated. We would like to observe how users behave when they are actually at risk, but at the same time we cannot harm user study participants or subject them to increased risk. Often the risky situations we are interested in occur relatively infrequently in the real world, and thus can be difficult to observe in the wild. Researchers use a variety of strategies to overcome these challenges and place participants in situations where they will believe their security or privacy is at risk, without subjecting them to increases in actual harm. In some studies, researchers recruit participants to perform real tasks not directly related to security so that they can observe how participants respond to simulated security-related prompts or cues that occur while users are focused on primary tasks. In other studies, researchers create a hypothetical scenario and try to get participants sufficiently engaged in it that they will be motivated to avoid simulated harm. Sometimes researchers have the opportunity to observe real, rather than simulated attacks, although these opportunities are usually difficult to come by. Researchers can monitor real world user behavior over long periods of time (in public or with permission of participants) and observe how users respond to risks that occur naturally, without researcher intervention. In this talk, I will motivate the importance of security user studies and talk about a number of different user study approaches we have used at the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Lab at Carnegie Mellon University.

Presented By

Lorrie Cranor

What's on the Wireless? Automating RF Signal Identification

Most organisations want to monitor wireless devices within their environment, but, with a growing number of disparate low cost wireless technologies appearing on the market, the scale of this task can be unmanageable. Even identifying the presence of rogue signals can be difficult, let alone identifying an offending device.

Software defined radio receivers allow us to receive arbitrary RF signals and are therefore the perfect platform on which to build automated spectrum monitoring tools. Now, we can take this concept further by combining rapid spectrum monitoring with automated signal identification and analysis, allowing organisations to seek out rogue RF devices in their environment.

We have developed open source tools to monitor the RF spectrum at a high level and then drill down to individual signals, supporting both reverse engineering and signals intelligence. By automatically combining the results with OSINT data from regulatory bodies around the world, we are able to build up a picture of devices transmitting in an environment.

Presented By

Michael Ossmann  &  Dominic Spill

Zero Days Thousands of Nights: The Life and Times of Zero-Day Vulnerabilities and Their Exploits

Zero-day vulnerabilities and their exploits are useful in offensive operations as well as in defensive and academic settings.

RAND obtained rare access to a dataset of information about more than 200 zero-day software vulnerabilities and their exploits - many of which are still publicly unknown. We analyzed these data to provide insights about the zero-day vulnerability research and exploit development industry; give information on what proportion of zero-day vulnerabilities are alive (publicly unknown), dead (publicly known), or somewhere in between; and establish some baseline metrics regarding the average lifespan of zero-day vulnerabilities (longevity), the likelihood of another party discovering a vulnerability within a given time period (collision rate), and the time and costs involved in developing an exploit for a zero-day vulnerability.

The RAND study is the first publicly available research to examine vulnerabilities and their fully-functional exploits that are still currently unknown to the public. The research establishes initial baseline metrics that can augment conventional proxy examples and expert opinion, inform ongoing policy discussions, and complement current efforts to related to retention and disclosure of zero-day vulnerabilities and exploits.

This research can help inform software vendors, vulnerability researchers, and policymakers by illuminating the overlap between vulnerabilities found privately and publicly, highlighting the characteristics of these vulnerabilities, and providing a behind-the-scenes look at zero-day exploit development.

Presented By

Lillian Ablon