blackhat US 2012 arsenal – security testing tools

blackhat US 2012 has sessions when researches can showcase tools, projects and demos.  Here is my super concise summary of the arsenal.  I have tried to highlight if tools are free/opensource.  Also see my summary of the conference.

 Binary visualization, evolution of hex editor ..cantor.dust..
 Collaboration on Metasploit Armitage
 ARP and DNS poisoning ARPwner
 Amazon Web Services AWS Scout
 Python tool for protocol fuzzing backfuzz
 Burp Suite extensions Burp Extensibility Suite
 Bypass CAPTCHA Bypassing Every CAPTCHA provider with clipcaptcha
 Crowd reverse engineering CrowdRE
 Network simulation to study malware FakeNet
 Fuzzing PHP GDFuzz
 Metasploit NTLM relay (open source) Generic Metasploit NTLM Relayer
 Python scriptable pen testing Gsploit
 Python tool exploit HTACCESS HTExploit bypassing htaccess restrictions
 Java email phishing test social engr defenses ice-hole 0.3 (beta)
 Machine learning to security incidents pre-breach Incident Response Analysis Visualization and Threat Clustering through Genomic Analysis
 Sniff iphones and ipads (open source) iSniff GPS
USB human interface devices in pen tests Powershell scripts for offensive security and post exploitation Kautilya and Nishang
 Volatile memory from Linux/Linux based LiME Forensics 1.1
 Add security features to apps post development MAP
 Better host based incident response MIRV
 Web application fireall (open source) ModSecurity Open Source WAF
 OWASP project for training, experimentation OWASP Broken Web Applications Project
Assess OData Oyedata for OData Assessments
 Python tool to explore PDF peepdf
 PHP eval function phpmap
 Incidence response and investigation (free) Redline
 Registry analysis (free?) Registry Decoder
 SAP GUI network traffic SAP Proxy
 iOS apps Semi-Automated iOS Rapid Assessment
 Opensource smartphone pen testing Smartphone Pentesting Framework
 Search engine hacking (Free) Tenacious Diggity – New Google Hacking Diggity Suite Tools
 Vulnerability aggregation and management (open source) ThreadFix
 Web security scanner (open source) Vega
 Manual and automated approach to web app assessment (ruby, open source) WATOBO – Web Application Toolbox
 Attack XMPP connections XMPPloit
 Mobile IPS zCore IPS

blackhat US 2012 – Ultimate security testing conference Buzz

To me security testing is the ultimate testing challenge.  blackhat conferences are the premier conferences on information security.  I have included a concise summary of the Blackhat 2012 US conference, to give you a feel for current security topics.  It’s worth spending a few hours reading the conference schedule – it’s a very interesting read. e.g.,

Here is my summary:

Malware author evasion Rodrigo Branco
CPU instruction vulnerability Rafal Wojtczuk
ARM exploitation (embedded) Stephen Ridley
Beat Google Bouncer Nicholas Percoco
Action Message Format testing Luca Carettoni
Identifying .NET vulnerabilities James Forshaw
Javascript browser blended threats Phil Purviance
Various techniques Dan Kaminsky
Stochastic forensics Jonathan Grier
Detecting unrelated external code Silvio Cesare
Web application firewall Ivan Ristic
Security card game Tadayoshi Kohno
MAC EFI rootkit Loukas K
Android’s DEX file format Timothy Strazzere
Browser Flash sandboxes Paul Sabanal
Mobile Near Field Communication protocol Charlie Miller
Windows kernel vulnerabilities Cesar Cerrudo
Security industry watchgroup Jericho
Microsoft Exchange->devices Peter Hannay
Windows 8 Matt Miller
Windows 8 Metro apps Sung-ting Tsai
Jemalloc Firefox exploitation Patroklos Argyroudis
Polymorphic viruses Mario Vuksan
Oracle index (database) David Litchfield
Malware analysis environment detection Chengyu Song
Iris recognition Javier Galbally
Air traffic control systems Andrei Costin
Google Chrome native client Chris Rohlf
Better Communication=Security acceptance James Philput
HTML5/Websockets Sergey Shekyan
Hardware backdoor Jonathan Brossard
Industrial firmware Ruben Santamarta
Browser EEF Steve Ocepek
Reverse Engineering 3G microcell Mathew Rowley
Embedded systems code using electrical consumption Yann Allain
HTML5 top 10 threats Shreeraj Shah
Intrusion detection complete failure John Flynn
iOS/Appstore vulnerability Justin Engler
iOS kernel memory allocators Stefan Esser
iOS security Dallas De Atley
Legal Robert Clark
Smart Grid Don Weber
Hotel Onity locks Cody Brocious
Javascript botnets analyze villians Chema Alonso
Pin Pads Nils
Attacking PHP apps, e.g., Mediawiki George Argyros
Cellular networks Collin Mulliner
Java vulnerabilities Jeong Wook Oh
Remote smartphone attack/Baseband processor Ralf-Philipp Weinmann
Proactive defense Iftach Ian Amit
Security vision Jeff Moss
Social media/business networks Dan Gunter
SQL Injection exploit routers Zachary Cutlip
SSRF attack SAP/ERP Alexander Polyakov
Hash corruption Ryan Reynolds
 Web exploit toolkits Jason Jones
Kerberos, NTLM, domain hashes Alva Duckwall
Intrusion remediation Jim Aldridge
Dept Homeland Sec. – research, training, hiring opps Mark Weatherford
Internal dev processes rather than external vendor tools David Mortman
 ASLR Fermin J. Serna
IPV6, DNSSEC, new top level domains Alex Stamos
Attacking hardware Valeria Bertacco
Social trust systems Bruce Schneier
Windows gadgets Mickey Shkatov
Web user tracking Gregory Fleischer
Windows Phone 7 Tsukasa Oi
Windows 8 heap Chris Valasek

Testing hash functions

Cryptographic hash functions are used to avoid handling passwords in plain text. They are also used to verify data integrity, e.g., downloaded files (software). Hash functions are used to generate a message digest which is then encrypted using a private key.

A hash function converts the input of any length to a fixed length output, called message digest.

Requirements of a hash function:

  • input can be any length
  • output length is fixed
  • relatively easy to compute
  • one way (hash functions are also called one-way functions)
  • collision-free – it is very difficult to find two strings which can generate the same hash value

Although this is not a requirement, hash functions are fast/should not be slow.

Some of the popular hash functions are MD5, SHA1 and SHA2.

Hands on

Use ruby to generate a hash. In IRB:

require 'digest/sha2' 
h = << 'string'
=> #<Digest::SHA2:256 
p h.class
=> Digest::SHA2

A common hash function SHA256 generates a hash which is 256 bits long. Each hex digit has 4 bits and you need 64 hex characters to store the digest.

p h.to_s.length
=> 64

Cross check with an online calculator at

Check the hash for other values such as ‘string1’, ‘grinst’, ‘string2’

Can you modify the string to generate a given hash? Can you ‘guess’ the hash?

Can you crack a hash?

When the input to a hash function is restricted, you can compute the hash for the all the input values and compare the output with the computed values. e.g., Encrypt a IP address using MD5. There are 256 values. Each of these can be computed in advance to understand the values. (Introduction to Network security – Neal Krawetz)

Using a ‘salt’

One way to crack hashes is to compute the hash of common words and see if they match the stored hash (dictionary attack). To prevent that you can use a ‘salt’. A salt is a random string which is pre-pended to each string to be hashed. This adds another layer of complexity to guessing the hash.

Which hash function should you use?

Weaknesses have been found in MD5 and SHA1. At this point (May 2012) you should make sure you are using SHA2.

Homework: How is encryption different from hashing? When would you use encryption instead of hashing?

Testing hash functions

If your application (web or desktop) uses passwords or other vulnerable information such as credit cards, you should check how the data is stored. Start by tracing the flow of the relevant data through the entire application (data tour).  If you have been doing blackbox testing, you may not have access to source and might face resistance when discussing the flow of data through the application.  To make an impact on testing security you should be able to discuss the flow of data through an application

If you are creating a security product which uses a hash function, e.g., allows administrators to use a hash function to create message digests, you may want to pay more attention to the correctness of the hash.

You should spend some time cross checking values with an online calculator.

You should trace how the original input value is stored and when the hash is computed.

When the user enters the value again, how is that compared with the stored value?

When working with security you often encounter complex algorithms.  Don’t be intimidated by the complexity – as a tester you need to focus on what is important.  It is less important to validate the actual algorithm. Although don’t ignore this. You are responsible for validating the results. It is more important to examine what type of data is stored in the application and how it is stored.

Note that calculating hash values of incorrect length or which are incorrect will leave you/the organization looking very stupid. (tester beware)

Are you using the correct standard?

When working with security algorithms, most teams work with standard algorithms. However, these algorithms are always undergoing scrutiny and change/refinement. You should check if you are using algorithms which don’t have any published flaws. Note that these algorithms are complex and you don’t need to understand the actually weakness. You can just search for opinion on the algorithm and any concerns. Should you be using the newer algorithm which was recently published?

Are you vulnerable if you don’t use the most recent algorithm?

It is unlikely that you will be vulnerable in the case of an attack if you use MD5 or SHA1 (along with a salt and other precautions). However, if you use SHA2, no one will find fault with you.

Use of third party libraries

When working with security algorithms you should check how the algorithm is implemented.  Is it part of the standard library provided with the compiler or are you using a third party component.  In both cases, is the implementation certified?

When hash functions are used to encrypt passwords or other user information, you should check how the data is stored and retrieved from a database. Are there performance implications? You should be able to create a very large number of the items to check performance.

In general when working with hash functions, you should plan to create large amount of data and check against an oracle, such as online calculator or a simple function in ruby or python.

You should have access to password lists and incorporate that into your testing.


These are some terms you should know when working with hash functions:

  • Parity check – used to detect errors in memory or communication. Add the number of bits and check with a parity bit.
  • CRC – Cyclic redundancy checks are used to detect changes to input, such as network data. Also used as a synonym for hash
  • checksums – generate fixed length data from input. They are generally simpler than hash functions. The hash value is also called a checksum
  • Non-repudiation – digital signatures are signed using the sender’s private key and can be used to establish ownership. Message authentication codes use a shared public key and do not have the property of non-repudiation.
  • rainbow tables  – save long chains of hashed passwords, saving on storage compared to a dictionary attack
  • dictionary attack – tries all the words in a list called a dictionary
  • brute force – tries every possible combination of characters
  • MD – Message Digest algorithm
  • SHA – Secure hash algorithm
  • one way encryption
  • data integrity
  • message digest

Final Thoughts

Spend time playing around with creating hashes in ruby.  You should know the length of the digest for different hash functions.  The only way to build confidence is to work with these functions instead of reading about them.