Hacking to pwn a cop car

My boy Kevin Finisterre recently made headlines while doing a penetration test on a city’s infrastructure.

(Kevin and I knew each other from past lives)

It turns out Kevin discovered a way to access video dumps from a police dash cam.  After a little more digging he was able to tap into “real time GPS tagged live audio and video from the cruiser.”

Kevin has a nice writeup of the exercise here, Owning a Cop Car.

Simplifying Information Security Risk Assessments

There’s a free webcast available from Accuvant’s Doug Landoll on Simplifying your Risk Assessments available here.

Some of the highlights are:

  • First, data and system owners need to be included on discussions to set protection requirements based on their criticality of their data (regulations can act as minimum baseline)
  • Hopefully you’re using a robust risk assessment method.  I strongly recommend reading How To Measure Anything.  Too many risk assessments result in Green, Yellow or Red traffic light graphics —- what does that really mean?
  • Common challenges that the webinar addresses:  High number of machines and monolithic vs. diverse environments (std. images across your enterprise or a free for all?)

The Power of GPU’s

There’s been a lot of talk recently about using graphics processing units (GPU) to crack passwords.  This was due to a recent paper published by a researchers from the Georgia Tech Research InstituteLong story short: Make sure your passwords are now a minimum of 12 characters in length.  Optimally, you should choose passwords from a universe of 4 character sets (Uppercase, lowercase, numbers, spec!al ch@racters).

One of the GTRI researchers who authored the paper was interviewed on the Cyber Jungle SU Root #164. The audio file is 25 minutes long.

On another note, the alternative uses of GPU’s won’t be going away anytime soon but could be renamed.  Both large chip makers, AMD and Intel, are working on or have already released hybrid CPU/GPU chips.  Read more here.


One more vulnerable web project….

Back in November I posted a list of intentionally vulnerable web applications for educational purposes.   You can find that list here: http://www.system7.org/2009/11/05/test-your-web-pentest-skillz/

A new one to add to the list is OWASP’s Broken Web Application Project.  There was a great talk at Shmoocon about the project.  This project might end up taking the gold medal in vulnerable web application projects. They plan to include versions of actual applications you see in the wild (Yazd, WordPress, phpBB) and all of the other web app testing projects (Damn Vulnerable Web App, Mutillidae, WebGoat).

Quickly assess your PHP infrastructure security: PHPSecInfo

From their homepage: PhpSecInfo provides an equivalent to the phpinfo() function that reports security information about the PHP environment, and offers suggestions for improvement. It is not a replacement for secure development techniques, and does not do any kind of code or app auditing, but can be a useful tool in a multilayered security approach.

Combine this tool with my  ‘Assault on PHP Applications’ blog entry and this recent ‘Web Security‘ article and you’ll be a fairly competent web pen-tester.