Category Archives: Penetration Testing

From CSV to CMD to qwerty

The ongoing breach stories of targeted email campaigns harbouring malicious attachments made me think of writing up a summary of a presentation I gave at the amazing NCC Con held in Dublin in January this year. The talk was based on a pentesting war story that started off exploiting the old (but I believe often overlooked) Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) trick to go from an Excel export function in a web app to OS code running on users’ workstations. From there, the story takes us on to domain creds via some NTLMv2 theory (without a pentest laptop), a bug in hashcat and a new script “catflap”. Continue reading

Testing for Anti-Virus on File Upload

One of the issues on a standard web app checklist is to test whether or not an application that supports file upload is scanning those files for malware. This article reviews the methodology and highlights the danger of corrupting an EICAR test file so that it no longer acts as a valid test. It is based on an internal presentation I gave, the slides for which are here. Continue reading

When HTML Encoding Helped XSS

Recently I was pentesting a web app that had an unauthenticated XSS vulnerability but there was some heavy filtering in place. Nonetheless I was able to achieve session fixation using a combination of a technique I previously explained and some fun filter workarounds – including using the application’s own defensive HTML encoding to create a working XSS payload! Continue reading

Thoughts on Testing for POODLE

I recently did an internal presentation on POODLE – what the flaw is and how to test for it – and a version of the slides can be found here. Obviously much has been written about the vulnerability, its mitigations and what the future holds. What follows expands on the testing aspect of the presentation, with a few pointers on manual checks if you feel you need to verify or clarify – and possibly even add to – what the tools are telling you. Continue reading

Testing for Cipher Suite Preference

It’s often important to know which SSL/TLS cipher suite is preferred by a server to alter the risk rating of a particular issue. For POODLE, if the server prefers RC4 ciphers over SSLv3 connections then it’s very unlikely that a connection will be vulnerable to POODLE. Similarly, if a server prefers block ciphers then reporting RC4 support should be appropriately adjusted. Occasionally tools conflict over which cipher suite is preferred so I thought I’d write up how to resolve this manaully in the spirit of the SSL/TLS manual cheatsheet. Continue reading

Testing for TCP/IP Timestamps

It always used to be a stock joke in my old workplace that if you were having a tough time finding issues in a pentest then you could always rely on “TCP/IP timestamps”. Recently I did a re-test (based on another company’s report) that included this issue and found that it’s easy for this to be a false positive. I thought I’d write up this finding – as much for the journey I took through Nessus, Nmap, hping and Wireshark as for the result itself. Continue reading

The Small Print for OpenSSL legacy_renegotiation

The other day my attention was drawn to a switch in OpenSSL called -legacy_rengotation. I pulled up the built-in help for s_client and, sure enough, there it was. So I trawled back through the release notes and it looked to have been there since version 0.9.8m. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t spotted this before: it looked like the perfect way to test for insecure renegotiation without the faff of having to recompile OpenSSL or use an older version. But after a bit of testing this proved to be a red herring… Continue reading

SQL Injection in Search Fields

A quick posting about a fun SQL injection I cracked last week (of course, it’s only when you’ve cracked them that they’re fun!). A colleague had found the classic sign of a problem – add a single quote and you get an error – but was having no luck doing anything more. I was getting nowhere with my test so I thought I’d take a look for a change of scene. The input field was in a search box so, for example, search=keyword' returned an error but search=keyword'' was fine. Anything more exciting than that, however, such as search=keyword' and '1'='1, didn’t seem to work as expected: in this case, an error was returned instead of the same set of results that the normal search=keyword produced. Continue reading

Session Fixation and XSS Working Hand-in-Hand

Often a combination of security flaws come together to produce a unique attack vector. Individually the flaws may not amount to much but together they make an interesting combo. This is invariably more interesting from a pentesting point of view because you know that a tool couldn’t positively find it. Session fixation is one such scenario because usually a few requirements must be met for the attack to work. I thought I’d write up a recent session fixation flaw because the act of forcing the cookie onto the victim involved a little twist on overwriting session cookies that made a reflective XSS attack last a lot longer while also laughing in the face of httponly. Continue reading