Monday, June 30, 2008
Last month, during the a exam item writing workshop for the CISSP-ISSAP certification, I got an idea about how a malicious e-mail sender could try to get a unseen by the recipient reading confirmation, including the IP address of the recipient. I was talking about S/MIME messages and I thought about the signature validation process, where some of the steps could require external information (like a CRL) to be accessed. The interesting part of it is that the location of this information can be included in the message itself, as the PKCS#7 package can also include the certificate used to generate the signature.I went into Microsoft documentation about the validation process from Outlook, and found this:(reference: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457027.aspx#EKAA)When the first certificate in the chain is validated, the following process takes place. 1.Â Â Â Â Â The chaining engine will attempt to find the certificate of the CA that issued the certificate being examined. The chaining engine will inspect the local system certificate stores to find the parent CA certificate. The local system stores include the CA store, the Root store, and the Enterprise Trust store. If the parent CA certificate is not found in the local system certificate stores, the parent CA certificate is downloaded from one of the URLs available in the inspected certificates AIA extensions. The paths are built without signature validation at this time because the parent CA certificate is required to verify the signature on a certificate issued by the parent CA.2.Â Â Â Â Â For all chains that end in a trusted root, all certificates in the chain are validated. This involves the following steps.*Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Verify that each certificate's signature is valid.*Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Verify that the current date and time fall within each certificate's validity period.*Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Verify that each certificate is not corrupt or malformed.3.Â Â Â Â Â Each certificate in the certificate chain is checked for revocation status. The local cache is checked to see if a time valid version of the issuing CA's base CRL is available in the cache. If the base CRL is not available in the local cache, or the version in the local cache has expired, the base CRL is downloaded from the URLs available in the CDP extension of the evaluated certificate. If available, it is confirmed that the certificate's serial number is not included in the CA's base CRL.As described, the recipient system will try to gather the CA certificate from a URL that is specified on the signers' certificate, that is embedded in the signed message. A specially crafted certificate can be generated with an AIA (Authority Information Access) containing an URL controlled by the malicious sender. By doing that the sender will immediately know when the message recipient read the message on Outloook, even if the certificate is untrusted (so you won't need a certificate from a Trusted CA to be able to do that). I performedÂ some tests that confirmed this scenario. Other e-mail clients like Mozilla Thunderbird and Lotus Notes have not presented the same behavior. It seems that only Outlook implements this part of RFC2459. It's behaving in the right way, but I believe that the user should have the ability to disable it.Here is a sample of a web access from the recipient of a message crafted like that. On this case, the AIA address included in the certificate was poitining to theÂ "http://www.securitybalance.com/ca.html" URI.
10.10.10.31 - - [12/May/2008:15:47:43 -0400] "GET /ca.html HTTP/1.1" 200 116 "-" "Microsoft-CryptoAPI/5.131.2600.3311"(anonymized IP address)
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
This is what Raffy is saying:"Some of the problems I see with Security Information Management are (the first four are adapted from the Gartner IDS press release):
- False positives in correlation rules
- Burden on the IS organization by requiring full-time monitoring
- A taxing incident-response process
- An inability to monitor events at rates greater than 10.000 events per second
- High cost of maintaining and build new adapters
- Complexity of modeling environment
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I was reading this:
"With a goal of getting IT professionals to use standard terminology and eliminate ambiguity in expressing important risk-management concepts, the Open Group is finalizing a 50-page compendium of "risk-management and analysis taxonomy."The Open Group Security Forum's risk taxonomy of about 100 expressions will not only address seemingly simple words such as threat, vulnerability and risk, but less common terms such as control strength."I was thinking, why these guys are doing it when there are stuff like ISO Guide 73, ISO27005 and ISO27000 published or in their way to be published?
This study from Jeff Jones blog show why the Server Core feature of Windows Server 2008 was so expected by security professionals. We can see a 40% reduction on the vulnerability numbers for a server running Windows if it was using something like Server Core. My main concern now is if software providers will enable their products to run over a Server Core server. It would be a shame to have this feature and can't use it because some piece of software demands Solitaire to be installed in order to run :-)
Friday, June 13, 2008
I'm back. OK, almost. Today I spent two hours reading lots of accumulated RSS news, blog postings and others. I was glad to see that nothing very exciting happened during the last weeks, when I was moving to Toronto and wasn't able to follow the news and post on the blog. Now my life is slowly getting into something we may call "routine", so I think it's time to resume the activities of this blog.First, it seems that there are some good stuff from Mogull and Schneier. I'll read their posts as soon as possible to see if there is something I can add about.Today I went to Infosecurity Toronto. I was impressed on how small the exhibition was. Someone told me that the owners of the event did something weird on the marketing side, starting the negotiation of space and sponsorships too late. However, it was good to go there and take a quick look into the local security market. As always, conferences are those places where there are lots of vendors and not a single customer :-)I'm still looking for a job here. I'm having some good conversations with some pretty interesting companies, I hope to be employed by the end of this month.One interesting thing to mention here is that during my last week in Brazil I was hacked. Yes. I'm not ashamed to say that, specially because I'm aware that security professionals draw more attention from potential attackers. What happened was that I made two mistakes related to my personal password management "policy". I was using the same password to services supposed to be less low-risk to me. The first mistake was to consider 3 services that have higher risk implied as "low risk" (actually, I couldn't even remember I was using that pwd on them - it was something very automatic for me) and the second was to use that password on a very target and potentially insecure service. There is a small group of self-called "hackers" in Brazil that are trying to cause problems to the key names of Information Security of the country. Unfortunately, I am on that list. As I was caught in the middle of my relocation I was unable to follow a lot of incident response procedures I would like to, but I'm also aware that some of the others that are being targeted by this group are doing that. I won't even talk too much about it as it seems that what they are really looking for is that people talk about them. This, however, is interesting as a reminder for me that as a security professional I need to be a little more paranoid about security on my personal stuff.That's all for now. I hope to able to find more interesting stuff to write about again. I'm keeping my personal "in portuguese" blog updated with my impressions about my new city, but this one needs some special care too. I'll try harder.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I know that there are ages since I wrote here last, but I'm finally putting together what I need here in Toronto and I believe that in a few days I'll resume not only my blogging but my twitter presence. Don't unsubscribe, dear readers!