Skip to content running with phpBB3

Despite being incredibly busy at work, and purusing many extra curricular activities, I finally managed to update to phpBB3. Unfortunately, the spammers were slowly taking over the forum and phpBB2 did not provide adquate tools for managing spam. phpBB3 on the other hand supports recaptcha and other nice spam managing features. I also hope to release a new version of honeyd including bug fixes and support for libevent2.
Categories: News

Profile Story On Me :-)

CNet's Ellinor Mills wrote a nice security profile on me with the catching title: Google's Niels Provos battles malware on the Web. Blacksmithing, security, martial arts, etc, it's all there.

Categories: News

HotSec'11 CFP Out: Singular emphasis on new ideas and problems!

The HotSec 2011 CFP is out:

Important Dates
  • Submissions due: May 5, 2011, 11:59 p.m. EST
  • Notification of acceptance: June 14, 2011
  • Electronic files of final papers due: July 5, 2011

HotSec is renewing its focus by placing singular emphasis on new ideas and problems. Works reflecting incremental ideas or well understood problems will not be accepted. Cross-discipline papers identifying new security problems or exploring approaches not previously applied to security will be given special consideration. All submissions should propose new directions of research, advocate non-traditional approaches, report on noteworthy experience in an emerging area, or generate lively discussion around an important topic.
Categories: News

Virtual Nudity at Airports

Recently, I had the pleasure of flying from the new terminal at the San Jose Airport. The building is quite nice from the inside and even has some cool futuristic moving statues. With all the good stuff comes also a set of virtual nudity machines at the security screening point. The virtual nudity machines also known as backscatter x-ray screening promise increased privacy since the naked images of passengers are viewed at a remote location and there is no requirement of a physical examination. As the sign states these machines are optional but whoever refuses must subject themselves to a thorough physical pat down. I already had one really bad experience with the virtual nudity machines at another airport - I was told I was not allowed to wear my watch or any necklaces. Well, this time I chose the metal detector and walked through without any further hassles. However, I had the pleasure of watching every single person who was shepherded through the virtual nudity machines being patted down. One woman had her breast touched - perhaps she dared to wear an underwire bra? The next guy got patted down around his legs. His offense was a chap stick hidden in his pocket. What really amused me was the guy after him who was patted down because he had not removed his handkerchief from his pocket. At the end of the day, anyone going through the backscatter x-ray machines got patted down and spent a significantly longer time at the security checkpoint. This seems like an overly expensive experiment that hopefully will be abandoned soon.
Categories: Security
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Adobe PDF Vulnerability: Stack overflow in Font File parsing

Metasploit has a great write up on new vulnerability in PDF. The basic problem is a stack overflow when parsing OpenType fonts. In particular, SING Glyphlet tables contain a 27 byte long unique name that is expected to be NUL-terminated and stored in a 28-byte buffer. The vulnerable code is using strcat and lacks bounds checking resulting in a stack overflow.

The PDF in the wild prepares the heap via Javascript and contains multiple different font files that are selected by navigating to a specific page in the PDF based on the viewer version. Each font files has slightly different shell code. It was amusing to see that the attackers after modifying the head and SING tables did not fix up their respective checksums. According to Metasploit, this exploit works under Windows 7 with both DEP and ASLR turned on. Fun Fun. As of now, no patched version is available. The SecBrowsing blog contains instructions with temporary remedies.
Categories: Malware, News, SpyBye
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Libevent-2.0.7-rc release

Nick announced the release of Libevent-2.0.7-rc today. Here is an excerpt from his email:

Thanks to everybody who reported and fixed bugs in Libevent 2.0.6-rc,
Libevent 2.0.7-rc should be much more stable and portable, especially
for people using IOCP, Windows, rate-limiting, or threads.

There are also numerous small bugfixes thoughout the codebase (though
still not, alas, in the http stuff).

For a complete list of changes, just see the ChangeLog included with
the source distribution.

You can download source code of libevent releases from
Categories: Libevent, News
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