Squirreling Backdoors Into Distribution Points

So it seems that SquirrelMail 1.4.11 and 1.4.12 were recently backdoored. Similar to some high-profile backdoors in the past, this was done by modifying the distribution tarball on rather than infiltrating the source code repository [1]. In this case, the backdoor was detected when a user noticed that the MD5 published on SquirrelMail's website didn't match the calculated MD5 from the SourceForge distribution. Since the SVN repository remained intact, we can't go back and examine the backdoor in detail. However, we do have a newsgroup posting that sheds a little light on the situation: >...

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Boston/Cambridge InfoSecurity Events

Software Security Weaknesses - Avoiding and Testing Bob Martin is giving a talk tonight at the Boston Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN) meeting on "Software Security Weaknesses - Avoiding and Testing". The meeting is at MITRE in Bedford in the basement conference center of M-Building (the one next to the parking garage). Pizza and discussions at 6pm, talk at 7:10pm. Its open to anyone. BeanSec BeanSec, an informal gathering of security professionals, is held the 3rd Wednesday of every month in Cambridge. It will be held tomorrow night from 6pm-9pm at the Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass...

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Risk vs Vulnerability

George Ou has an interesting analysis of Microsoft OS vs Apple OS vulnerability counts. Anything comparing the security of these two companies becomes controversial. I think that any analysis of vulnerability counts should include a paragraph on risk vs. vulnerabilities to diffuse the Mac fanboys. I might be able to leave my backdoor safely unlocked (a vulnerability) in the suburbs of Boston in Concord, MA. I wouldn't do the same thing in Brooklyn, NY. Same vulnerability, different threat environment. Everyone readily admits that Macs have less risk on average due to their population and...

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Thought Exercise: Automated Vulnerability Creation

A few of us were hanging out in the Veracode kitchen the other day and got to discussing the idea of programmatically injecting vulnerabilities into software. This is essentially the opposite of the problem that most security vendors, including ourselves, are trying to solve -- that is, detecting vulnerabilities. Clearly there's not much business value in making software less safe, though you could imagine such a tool being used for educational purposes or a way to mass-produce QA test cases. It sounds easy, right? Certainly it would be easy to inject the types of classic security...

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Veracode Makes 10 IT Security Companies to Watch

Network World has named Veracode to their 10 IT Security Companies to Watch. Sim Simeonov has some commentary on this is his blog.

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External Code in the Software Development Process

Recently I got a message from Kelley Jackson Higgins of Dark Reading. She was looking for some comments on Fortify Software's new paper on "Cross Build Injection" or "XBI". I had read the paper and, while I think the issues are real, the way they are framed they miss the big picture. So I figured I would partake in a little "XPI", that's "Cross Publicity Injection", and take this opportunity to talk about the larger issue of accepting code into the build process. The Dark Reading article is here. Whenever externally developed code of an uncertain security posture is made part of software, it...

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Exploits of a Mom

XKCD has a funny web security theme today:

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Classifying and Prioritizing Software Vulnerabilities

We were more than pleased to read a new report by John Pescatore of Gartner recommending that security managers adopt the use of the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) to support more repeatable, fast-acting vulnerability management processes. This recommendation backs up the decision made by our CTO, Chris Wysopal, more than a year ago to adopt the CVSS standard as a part of the Veracode rating system. Another interesting recommendation in the report is: "Enterprieses should ensure that processes are in place to detect, assess, and manage each software vulnerability class." You'll...

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Friday Hacker Brainstorming

Sometimes when you are deep in the forest looking at one branch of one tree, trying to reduce false negative rates for detecting a specific class of software vulnerability, it is useful to step back and look at the forest of what is going on in criminal hacking. Today we were throwing some ideas around the office about hacking techniques we had seen reported. This got the discussion flowing towards extrapolating and using techniques in new areas. The following is a list of old and new. Gaining network access Popping open the TNI box outside someone’s house and running a phone cable from the...

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Secure Software and Application Testing - Before Procurement

Chenxi Wang of Forrester Research and Chris Wysopal, our founder and CTO, will discuss ways to secure applications before they are purchased and deployed in an enterprise -- as a part of contract negotiations and the RFI and RFP process. More information on the seminar and instructions on how to register can be found on the Veracode site.

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