Tenable Network Security Podcast Episode 180 - "Detecting Backdoors, One Vulnerability Trumps All (Sometimes)"

by Paul Asadoorian
August 26, 2013

Welcome to the Tenable Network Security Podcast Episode 180

Announcements

Discussion & Highlighted Plugins

Detecting Backdoors

  • The latest Nessus plugin feed update includes detection for Poison Ivy, a popular backdoor used by attackers. Poison Ivy allows a remote attacker to control the compromised system, and has mechanisms to jump from process to process. While anti-virus products should detect the presence of this software, there's always a chance of gaps. For example, by modifying the Poison Ivy binary, you can change its signature. This means if your AV software is out-of-date, an attack will be successful. If a determined attacker, dare I say "APT," were to modify this software to bypass even up-to-date AV software, Nessus can be used as a second line of defense in conjuction with malicious process detection adding more malware detection layers.

Catching Third-party Software Vulnerabilities

  • Perhaps one of the toughest challenges still for IT today, is keeping up with third-party software. Users will find ways to install software on their own (such as virtual machine software). Filling in the gaps nicely is the Tenable Passive Vulnerability Scanner (PVS). I've been running PVS on my lab network and witnessed firsthand as it flagged a PuTTY vulnerability on one system, and told me that my Flash player was out-of-date on my other system. Third-party vulnerabilities have a tendency to hide, and PVS helps uncover them in a big way.

One Vulnerability Trumps All (Sometimes)

  • Reading about OSPF vulnerabilities has me worried, especially when the description states: This vulnerability could allow an unauthenticated attacker to take full control of the OSPF Autonomous System (AS) domain routing table, blackhole traffic, and intercept traffic. Routing protocol attacks, while limited to the local network (unless they refer to BGP) can be particularly damaging. "Intercepting traffic" has a deeper meaning. If an attacker is able to insert themselves into the middle of TCP/IP communications, the possibilities for attack are endless. IT teams must assign a high priority to this type of attack. While some traffic will be encrypted, injection attacks can undermine the encryption. For example, the ability to add any HTML or Javascript to any website the user visits translates into global XSS vulnerabilities, allowing an attacker to undermine any security controls you may have in place (eventually).

New & Notable Plugins

Nessus

General

Passive Vulnerability Scanner

Tenable Compliance Checks

Security News Stories

  1. Open Security Research: Remote Code Execution on Wired-side Servers over Unauthenticated Wireless
  2. ZMap - The Internet Scanner
  3. If You Send To Gmail, You Should Have 'No Legitimate Expectation Of Privacy' | Business Insider
  4. Researchers release tool to pickup the SLAAC in Man-In-The-Middle attacks using IPv6 | Network World
  5. Putty Security Update (SSH Tool)
  6. Poison Ivy: Assessing Damage and Extracting Intelligence
  7. Hackers use new tactic to attack U.S. media sites | Reuters
  8. Attention, parents: Baby monitor hacked; default password to blame?
  9. Zuckerberg Facebook hacker gets $10k fundraiser bug bounty
  10. CSOs: Stop flogging the threats and start providing solutions
  11. Bloke leaks '1000s' of Twitter login tokens, says he can hack ANY twit