Thursday, 9 February 2017

Ticketbleed (CVE-2016-9244)

A vulnerability similar to the well-known heartbleed was discovered in the TLS/SSL stack of F5 BIG-IP appliances that allows a remote attacker to extract up to 31 bytes of uninitialized memory at a time. This vulnerability is called Ticketbleed as it lies in the implementation of Session Tickets, which is a resumption technique used to speed up repeated connections. The vulnerability affects the proprietary F5 TLS stack which exposes 31 bytes at a time.

You can test your domain using the automated script which you can find at:

Alternatively, you can test for Ticketbleed yourself with a Go script: here

Fixes and mitigation
The full list of affected versions is available on the F5 website. At the time of this public disclosure not all releases have upgrade candidates available.

Disabling Session Tickets is a complete mitigation, which will only cause a performance degradation in the set-up phase of resumed connections.

Reproduced here are the instructions provided by F5 and available at the link above.

  1. Log in to the Configuration utility
  2. Navigate on the menu to Local Traffic > Profiles > SSL > Client
  3. Toggle the option for Configuration from Basic to Advanced
  4. Uncheck the Session Ticket option to disable the feature
  5. Click Update to save the changes


Monday, 6 February 2017

Guest Speaker for University of South Wales (Information Security Research Group) - InfoSec Community; Stepping into the security industry

I had the pleasure to be invited as a guest speaker to the University of South Wales by the Information Security Research Group (ISRG). The talk was about the Information Security community and more specifically how young professionals can step into the security industry.
During this talk, the students (graduates & postgraduates) had the opportunity to understand and discuss what they can do today in order to ensure they are well prepared when it comes to stepping into the security industry.

The talk included an introduction to what is considered to be a security oriented mindset, provided a number of quick tips, mentioned several online resources, and last but not least how to prepare for an interview. The students among a number of subjects that were raised during the talk, were also introduced to penetration testing types, practices, methodologies, real stories from the industry, tools, and techniques. Black Box testing versus White Box testing was explained, the significance of white-listing was discussed and a brief comparison between Vulnerability Assessments and Penetration Testing was given.

Monday, 26 December 2016

TP-LINK Modem / Router (ADSL2+) Security and Vulnerabilities

I really hope this blog post starts a small trend when it comes to the security of home-based routers. I started searching online for home routers (SOHO) and wanted to compare them based on how secure they are, up to a reasonable price for a household. I have seen all these different makes that have been found in the recent years to contain hard-coded credentials and other known backdoors, and I wanted to investigate this a bit further. 

It is very hard to find security related information about routers before deciding which one to buy. Also, it is really annoying to see that manufacturer only care and promote the features and functionality of a router, and do not consider security at all.

From where I stand, when a company sells a router, should be in their best interest that router to have no security vulnerabilities. Otherwise, it is like having a company that wants to sell bulletproof vests that doesn't stop bullets, other than those fired from Airsoft BB guns.

I do understand that most people might choose a router based on its cost, colour, shape and if it is shiny. However, from my experience, these people just want to get online and want to simply replace the really bad modem/router their ISP provided for "free". Most of the time the real reason behind that decision is because when more than two devices are connected to those "free" devices, the Internet experience becomes annoying, to say the least. For such use, it is not hard to find a replacement for these "free" routers at a very reasonable price, and 90% of the time, it is totally worth it.

Friday, 23 December 2016

in-flight entertainment vs avionics

For those of you who have had the opportunity to see one of my presentations "Can you really hack an airplane: Myths & Truths", you are already familiar with what is really happening and the confusion between in-flight entertainment systems and avionics ( I was asked to put this article up by a number of friends in the security industry to highlight a few very important points. The purpose of this article is to provide food for thought. Especially, when you hear someone saying that "hacked" an airplane, or made it fly "sideways" by tampering with its systems through the in-flight entertainment system. Consider the following points and come to your own conclusions. 

Anyone who is trying to "generalise" and claim that during an actual flight, for example through the in-flight entertainment system, managed to take control of the plane and/or that it is possible to actually fly an aircraft like this, should first read what the law has to say about this. (Tokyo Convention 1963). 
Do you really want someone with the excuse of being a "security researcher" tampering with the airplane's systems while you are on an actual flight, because he/she decided that has nothing better to do? I am sorry, but from where I stand, we (security researchers) respect the law, and make sure we have permission to conduct any security assessments & penetration testing, in a safe and approved environment. 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

IRISSCON 2016 - 8th IRISSCERT Cyber Crime Conference

IRISSCON 2016 - The 8th #IRISSCERT Cyber Crime Conference
Ireland's first CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team)

This year, my talk was all about Cyber Resilience. The talk provided the opportunity to participants to familiarise and understand what the term really means, and why it should not be considered as another buzzword used in the industry.  

Threats constantly evolve based on the way our defences counter-evolve, and this cycle is something that is going to happen no matter what. What matters the most is in what way we act upon, and how our decisions need to be part of a bigger strategy and not treat security in an ad-hoc manner, especially when it is too late.