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How to build a Red Team and Why?

I recently gave a talk at the Rant Forum in London on the topic of "RedTeam, why this is more than a buzz word?". It was an interesting experience and whilst different from traditional security events, as the crowd can and will interrupt you at any time, it was very enjoyable.
Many attendees asked if I could produce some "slides" after the talk. As no slides were used, below is a collection of notes from wich the talk was based on.

In this post we will explain what RedTeam is, how does it fit with other similar security services and what advantages does it bring to an organisation. We will also look into what works? what doesn’t? And where is this “new” type of service going?
A Red Team is part of a trio of services which increases in sophistication: Vulnerability Assessment, Penetration Testing and then Red Teaming. We will d...

RANT FORUM - Red Team Recipes Presentation

I will be giving a talk tomorrow evening, the 28th of November at around 6pm, in London at the Risk and Network Threat (RANT) Forum .

The topic is:
Why RedTeam is more than just a buzz word? What works? What doesn't? And where is this "new" type of service might be going? All those questions answered by someone who is actually delivering Red Team activities.

Registration is free, you get free drinks and food... plus you get to hear me talk, so what is not to like?! :)

You can register HERE

The RANT Forum is quite different from your typical free security briefing, for a start it is not a sales forum. However, the company behind it is a recruitment agency, so they are still interested in taping the UK Security professional community!

IDS used as a Network Forensic Tool

Note: This is the second post of a two parts series on how to use IDS in a different way.

Intrusion Detection Systems are traditionally seen as Defensive tools. They can however be used for different purposes than initially designed for as highlighted in the previous post , where we discussed how IDS could be used as an offensive tool.
The popularity of pre-configured/packaged IDS environments such as SELKS or Security Onion provide various software packages and Graphical User Interfaces to navigate through large volume of data by parsing/categorising/filtering it automatically.

More importantly, such systems are starting to provide mo...

IDS used as an Offensive Security Tool

Note: This is the first post of a two parts series on how to use IDS in a different way.

Intrusion Detection Systems such as Snort and Suricata are traditionally seen as Defensive tools, and in essence they are. They can alert on security issues occurring on your network such as Botnet Activities, network based attacks, hosts/servers activities and vulnerabilities.

That last point is important.

It is important because that same information used for defence activities, could be used by an attacker as part of an attack reconnaissance. For example, being able to identify a list of hosts that use outdated SSH/SSL servers, a vulnerable Flash Client or other vulnerable software/services; HTTP logs highlighting users web activities, clear text passwords, etc.
When looking at an IDS that way, it becomes a passi...

Securing your Cloud Storage with a Boxcryptor alternative called EncFS

Cloud storage providers such as Dropbox, Box, One Drive, etc. are increasingly being used for both personal and business reasons. On the Business side, often without the individual's company fully aware of what data is actually leaving their premises.

One of the issue with storing data in the cloud is Security. Looking at Dropbox in recent years, there has been a number of embarrassing blunders which resulted in their customers' data becoming available to anyone who knew where to look. We did blog about it several times: here, here and here. Many other security blogs also related those stories, such as this nice summary from Sophos.

To limit the risks relat...

How to reduce WEB 2.0 attack surface by going back to WEB 1.0, the dynamic way!

The arrival of WEB 2.0 brought dynamic content through the use of technologies such as Java, Flash and PHP.
Consequently it also widen the attack surface. Websites became prettier, more interactive, easier to update and also easier to attack!

The need for further functionality was, as it is often the case, at the cost of security.

The four diagrams below illustrates the differences between a WEB 1.0 and a WEB 2.0 architecture as well as highlighting the increased attack surface.
In a typical WEB 1.0 architecture, besides the physical, human and network security considerations, protecting the data is dependant of the Operating System and the application security layers. Typically, the application security layer is restricted to the Web Server (i.e.: Apache) if no other services/applications are exposed to the Internet.

Diagram 1 - WEB 1.0 Typical Ar...


Website update

We have completed our latest website refresh and you may have to reload the various pages to see the new version.
This update brings more information about the different services we offer and how we position ourselves. It also provides better infographics which should make navigating through the site easier to the eye.
We are planning another minor update to our blog section in the coming weeks which will improve your RSS experience.


SELKS 2.0 vs. Security Onion

I have recently been testing SELKS v2.0 which is an open source Network Security Monitor (NSM) based on an ELK framework: Elasticsearch (search and analytics engine) Logstash (log normalisation) Kibana (visualisation). The NSM core engine is provided by the first "S" which stands for Suricata (Network IDS) and the last "S" which stands for Scirius (Management GUI for Suricata).
SELKS is provided as a live Linux distribution based on Debian 8 (Jessie) which is also installable.

SELKS V2.0 is a great improvement from SELKS V1.0, so much so that I now consider it a serious contender to Security Onion (SO) at...

BlackHat Mobile Security Summit - London 2015

In June 2015 I attended the Blackhat Mobile Security Summit in London, a 2 days event filled with talks from various researchers and security professionals, there was a 3rd day in the form of a workshop for anyone attending the Interop London hosting event
Blackhat is historically a USA based event with its main conference taking place in Las Vegas every year, lately they started to host similar (but smaller) conferences around the world such as in Singapore and Amsterdam (which I blogged about last year here).

This London edition was definitely on the "smaller" side and this actually had a few advantages:

  • You could attend all the sessions as none were run in parallel
  • It was easier to mingle among fellow participants and speakers
  • There was less "walking"! :)

  • The quali...
    >>[READ MORE]

    Hackfu2015 Challenge 7 - Solution

    This is part of my write up from the Hackfu 2015 Security Challenge.

    The third and last challenge I solved was surprisingly very easy, but there might have been more to it...

    The instructions given were:

  • An ELF Binary file: shipbinary
  • "Your mission is to analyse the executable binary and find a way to get it to run to its completion so that it ends up spitting out the access code for the ship's central server."

  • Below is how I solved that challenge:
    We first run the following command to see all the printable/ASCII strings from the binary.
    > strings shipbinary
    Below is an extract of the most interesting result from the above command.
    Enter Decryption Code:
    Code Accepted.
    Establishing Connection to Planet Abaddon...
    out.txt -c 1 | tail -1| awk '{print $4}' | cut -d '/' -f 2
    >>[READ MORE]