Better Criteria for Selecting Pen Test Consultants

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By Chris Eng February 27, 2007  | Research 3

An article was forwarded to me today, entitled Avoid Wasting Money on Penetration Testing. While the core message is on target (i.e. be sure you know what you are getting before you sign on the dotted line), the suggestions for how to achieve this are misleading. Let's examine the "5 steps to choosing a supplier" outlined in the article: Ask if their consultants have passed an... READ MORE

Implications of the Google Desktop Hack

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By Chris Eng February 23, 2007

Watchfire just released a whitepaper on Overtaking Google Desktop which is a thought-provoking read. It essentially exploits the mechanism by which Google Desktop hooks the browser in order to inject links to the local Google Desktop instance when the user performs a typical online Google search. There are a couple of gating factors to making this attack viable -- the initial attack vector... READ MORE

TJX Data Theft Just Keeps Getting Worse

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By Chris Wysopal February 23, 2007

TJX issued a press release yesterday coming clean on what they know about the breach of their corporate network. They are now admitting that they have been compromised as early as July 2005 and continued to be compromised up until December 2006. It is unlikely only one attacker found the vulnerabilities exploited. I wouldn't be surprized if dozens of attackers found their way into the network... READ MORE

Stupid Solaris Tricks, and a Brief Retrospective

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By Chris Eng February 12, 2007 3

An annoyingly stupid vulnerability in the stock Solaris 10/11 telnet daemon, courtesy of Full Disclosure (more details in this PDF, but it's NSFW): Pass "-f[user]" as the "-l" option to telnet, and presto, you bypass the entire authentication process and are logged in as the user of your choice! Works for the root user too, as long as the server is configured to allow remote root logins. [email protected] READ MORE

Heading to RSA

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By Chris Eng February 4, 2007

Like many of the people who will eventually read this, I'm packing my bags and heading to San Francisco tonight for the RSA Conference. For those of you also attending, please stop by our booth (#2612) and say hello. We'll be giving demos of our service platform and discussing how our software-as-a-service delivery model will help solve application security problems that tool-based approaches... READ MORE

How to Pick Up Malware at the Airport

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By Chris Eng February 3, 2007  | 4

A few weeks ago I was waiting for a flight in the JetBlue terminal of JFK. JetBlue offers free Wi-Fi to its customers, which is a nice touch. I powered up my laptop and this is what I saw: If I'm your typical non-security-minded traveler, which of these networks am I most likely to connect to? I would guess that the majority of people will select one of the two with Jet Blue in the SSID, or... READ MORE

The Software Trustworthiness Framework (STF©)

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By Chris Wysopal January 30, 2007  | Research

[Today we have our first guest blog entry from Elfriede Dustin. Elfriede is a co-author of "The Art of Software Security Testing" and has written a few books on software testing, most notably, "Automated Software Testing" published by Addison-Wesley in 1999. We have heard plenty from security experts on how to fix the software development process to produce more secure... READ MORE

Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing: Application Security Edition

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By Chris Eng January 24, 2007

I've always been a fan of Joel Spolsky's Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing. Unfortunately, I've never been able to apply it in its purest form because in recent years, I've been hiring mostly application security consultants, not software engineers. However, the structure is still remarkably useful, with some modifications. So, without further ado, here's an example of how one... READ MORE

Security as a Function of Agility and Complexity

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By January 23, 2007

It occurs to me that security, in general, has historically been measured as a function of a few inputs: Pro-activity (locking up early), accuracy (locking things correctly), and completeness (locking all the doors). What's missing from this equation is the fact that people often lock their valuables away and assume that they're safe indefinitely that way. All codes, passwords, and locks degrade... READ MORE

Vulnerability Disclosure in the new “Software in the Cloud” World - Part II

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By Chris Wysopal January 17, 2007  | Research

In part I of this article I wrote about the history of vulnerability research and how researchers having legal access to the software and hardware they need to conduct their research is a pre-requisite. This is why there was such little research on software before 1996. Not only is legal access important but being able to run the software in a lab environment is important. Pure black box testing... READ MORE

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