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Looking forward to USENIX Security!

USENIX Security '11 USENIX Security is by far my favorite conference. This year is taking place in San Francisco from August 8th to August 11th and the program looks pretty strong again. There is some great work on quickly detecting malicious Javascript in the Browser and the talk on "Comprehensive Experimental Analyses of Automotive Attack Surfaces" promises to make us all rethink the security of our cars. Actually, all of the sessions seem like they will be interesting. So, see you all there.
Categories: News, Security
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Lizamoon SQL Injection Campaign Compared

Malware infections such as SQL injection are a well known security problem. Over the past two years we have seen several large-scale infections on the web, e.g. Gumblar.cn and Martuz.cn. Recently, a new SQL injection campaign called Lizamoon has gained a lot of attention. I had expected web sites would become more secure over time and less susceptible to simple security problems, so it is surprising that SQL injection is still a prevalent problem. That let me to wonder: Was Lizamoon as successful as previous infections? In a discussion about this problem, my colleague Panayiotis Mavrommatis suggested that comparing the size of campaigns via search engine result estimates might not be very accurate measurement.

That begs the question of how to assess the impact of infections. While the number of infected URLs is one possible measure, it is skewed by many different factors, e.g. a single vulnerable site contributes a large fraction of the infected URLs and overstates the impact. Instead, counting the number of infected sites might be a better metric. Even so, to judge the relative scale of an infection campaign, it might be helpful to compare it to previous incidents.

Below is a comparison of the Gumblar.cn/, Martuz.cn/ and Lizamoon infections based on Google's Safe Browsing data. The graph shows the number of unique infected sites over a 30 day sliding window.

For this analysis, I counted the sites that had a functioning reference to it, e.g. a script src=. Sites that escaped the script tag rendering it harmless were not counted. For Lizamoon, I aggregated the sites provided by the websense blog into a single measure:

hxxp://lizamoon.com/
hxxp://tadygus.com/
hxxp://alexblane.com/
hxxp://alisa-carter.com/
hxxp://online-stats201.info/
hxxp://stats-master111.info/
hxxp://agasi-story.info/
hxxp://general-st.info/
hxxp://extra-service.info/
hxxp://t6ryt56.info/
hxxp://sol-stats.info/
hxxp://google-stats49.info/
hxxp://google-stats45.info/
hxxp://google-stats50.info/
hxxp://stats-master88.info/
hxxp://eva-marine.info/
hxxp://stats-master99.info/
hxxp://worid-of-books.com/
hxxp://google-server43.info/
hxxp://tzv-stats.info/
hxxp://milapop.com/
hxxp://pop-stats.info/
hxxp://star-stats.info/
hxxp://multi-stats.info/
hxxp://google-stats44.info/
hxxp://books-loader.info/
hxxp://google-stats73.info/
hxxp://google-stats47.info/
hxxp://google-stats50.info/

The graph shows two interesting facts.
  • The Lizamoon campaign started around September 2010 and actually peaked in October 2010 with ~5600 infected sites. At the moment, it seems to be undergoing a revival.
  • If we compare the number of infected sites, Gumblar.cn/ is still clearly the winner with ~62,000 sites, followed closely by Martuz.cn/.
For future studies of malware infections, I suggest taking the number of infected sites as a more reliable measure than counting the number of infected URLs.

Update 2011-04-04:
The blog post incorrectly referred to Gumblar.cn and Martuz.cn/ as SQL injection attacks. These attacks used stolen FTP credentials.
Categories: Hacking, Malware, News, Security, SpyBye
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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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Anatomy of a PDF Exploit

PDF has become the de-facto standard for formatting print documents. Over the years, it has evolved into a feature rich and very complex system. PDF supports embedded Javascript that can be used for form validation and contains support for different image formats and 3D models, etc. As a result, PDF implementations have numerous vulnerabilities that can be exploit by adversaries to gain control over a user’s computer. Here are a number of CVEs that are currently being exploited in the wild: CVE-2007-5659, CVE-2008-2992, CVE-2009-0927, CVE-2009-2994, CVE-2009-4324, CVE-2010-0188.

In this blog post, we are going to look at current exploitation of CVE-2010-0188: An integer overflow in the parsing of the dot range option in TIFF files. The vulnerability was publicly announced in February 2010. Examples of exploit code are readily available on the Internet and a very good explanation of how the exploit works has been provided by Fortinet.

The exploit described by Fortinet utilizes an AcroForm described in XML. The XML contains an image field with an embedded TIFF image that triggers the vulnerability.

Continue reading "Anatomy of a PDF Exploit"
Categories: Hacking, Malware, Security
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LEET '10 Call for Papers

The call for papers for the 3rd USENIX Workshop on Large-Scale Exploits and Emergent Threats (LEET '10) Botnets, Spyware, Worms, and More just went out. It will be held on April 27, 2010 in San Jose, CA.

LEET '10 will be co-located with the 7th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI '10), which will take place April 28–30, 2010.

Important Dates
  • Submissions due: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 11:59 p.m. PST
  • Notification of acceptance: Wednesday, March 24, 2010
  • Final papers due: Monday, April 5, 2010

Workshop Organizers
Program Chair
  • Michael Bailey, University of Michigan
Program Committee
  • Dan Boneh, Stanford University
  • Nick Feamster, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Jaeyeon Jung, Intel Labs, Seattle
  • Christian Kreibich, International Computer Science Institute
  • Patrick McDaniel, Pennsylvania State University
  • Fabian Monrose, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Jose Nazario, Arbor Networks, Inc.
  • Stefan Savage, University of California, San Diego
  • Matt Williamson, AVG Technologies
  • Yinglian Xie, Microsoft Research
  • Vinod Yegneswaran, SRI International

Go submit your work!
Categories: Malware, News, Security, SpyBye, Systrace
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DirectShow Vulnerability Exploited Everywhere

The DirectShow vulnerabilities are being exploited all over the place now. Unfortunately, the second vulnerability in DirectShow is still unpatched and exploit sites seem to be jumping on this. There is even some evidence that it's possible to successfully exploit the vulnerability without even using JavaScript. New exploit domains are popping after every day. DirectShow now seems to be what Flash and PDF were earlier in the year.
Categories: Malware, Security, SpyBye
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