Ha cking Me thodolo gie s

An overview of historical hacking approaches
Johnny Long http://johnny.ihackstuff.com johnny@ihackstuff.com

Va rie d Ap proaches
 “Old School”: Slow, careful, precise, invasive  “Pros”: Fast, careful, precise, sometimes invasive  “Skript Kiddies”: Slow, reckless, imprecise, invasive  “Defacers”: Fast, reckless, precise, mildly invasive

Old sc hool
For years, information security pundits have followed and believed in a “hacking methodology” which described the steps a hacker classically followed when performing an attack. That methodology followed the following basic steps:

 Information Gathering  Probe  Attack  Advancement  Entrenchment  Infiltration/Extraction

Ol d School : Inf ormat ion Gatheri ng
 Decide and discover which targets to attack  Often begin with a specific network or a specific company    Whois, nslookup queries samspade.org Search engines (“googlescanning”)

Old Sc hool: Pr obe
 Scan specific targets for vulnerabilities
 Search sweeping ranges of ports with a portscan (nmap)  Grab details such as service versions from the discovered ports aka “banner grabbing” (netcat)  NT: Connect to and enumerate information from NETBios (enum)  Search the Internet for vulnerabilities based on versions of software found on targets

Old Sc hool: Pr obe

 NMAP ( http://www.insecure.org/nmap)  Superscan (http://www.webattack.com/get/ superscan.shtml)  Nessus: (http://www.nessus.org)  Whisker: (http://sourceforge.net/projects/whisker/)  Netcat: (http://www.atstake.com/research/tools/)  Enum (http://razor.bindview.com/tools/index.shtml)  THC-Probe ( http://www.thehackerschoice.com/download.php?t=r&d= )

Old Sc hool: Pr obe

Nmap is used to scan the ports of the target system. Using the –O option would also report the Operating System of the target.

Old Sc hool: Pr obe

Nmap’s guess at the operating system type

Old Sc hool: Pr obe

some services listen behind RPC. rpcinfo can give us this info.

Old Sc hool: At ta ck
    Gather compatible exploits Compile exploits (if required) Launch exploits against targets Modify parameters, re-launch exploits (if required)

Old Sc hool: At ta ck
 There are many different types of attacks which can be broken down into several classifications.  The attacks are performed from one of two perspectives:  Local: The attacker has access to a command prompt or has gained the ability to execute commands on the target  Remote: The attacker exploits the target box without first gaining access to a command shell

At tacks: Bu ffer Overflo w
 Aka the “Boundary Condition Error”: Stuff more data into a buffer than it can handle. The resulting overflowed data “falls” into a precise location and is executed by the system
 Local overflows are executed while logged into the target system  Remote overflows are executed by processes running on the target that the attacker “connects” to

 Result: Commands are executed at the privilege level of the overflowed program  Example: SNMPXDMID overflow (Solaris 6-8) http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/2417

At tacks: I nput Va lid ation
 An process does not “strip” input before processing it, ie special shell characters such as semicolon and pipe symbols  An attacker provides data in unexpected fields, ie SQL database parameters

At tacks: I nput Va lid ation
 Example: Trillian IRC Module Format String Vulnerability ( http://online.securityfocus.com/bid/5388)  “A format string vulnerability has been reported in the Trillian IRC module. An attacker can exploit this vulnerability by enticing a user to join a channel with a malicious channel name (e.g. #%n%n%n). An attacker in control of a malicious server may exploit vulnerable clients who have connected.”

At tacks: Ra ce Co nditio ns
 An attacker forces an action during a sensitive time window between two operations  A program checks to make sure output file “/tmp/temp_output” does not exist  The program wanders off and does other stuff…  An attacker quickly creates a symlink from “/tmp/temp_output” to “/etc/shadow”  The program writes to the “/tmp/temp_output” which clobbers “/etc/shadow”  Example: RedHat Linux diskcheck ( http://online.securityfocus.com/bid/2050 )

At tacks: Enviro nme nt Er rors
 An attacker makes a change to a program’s environment that was not expected  For example, a program relies on the UNIX environment variable $USER to determine who is running the program  An attacker changes this value to “root” before executing the program

Attacks: Weak Passwords
 accounts with weak passwords are guessed by a remote attacker  Accounts with weak passwords are cracked by attacker with access to a password database  THC-HYDRA Login Hacker

At tack: Ex plo it Sit es
SecurityFocus: (http://www.securityfocus.com) Packetstorm: (http://packetstormsecurity.org) New Order: (http://neworder.box.sk/) Hack in the Box: (http://www.hackinthebox.org/ )  phreak.org (http://www.phreak .org/archives/exploits/unix/)    

Old Sc hool: At ta ck phase s
 The Attack is most often broken into several phases (perhaps running cyclically)  Locating Exploits  Getting Exploits  Modification of Exploits  Building Exploits  Testing Exploits  Running Exploits

Old Sc hool: L ocatin g exploit s

Old Sc hool: L ocatin g exploit s

Old Sc hool: Ge tting Ex ploits

The ‘wget’ program downloads the exploit to the attacker’s machine

Old Sc hool: Mo difyi ng exploit

(-lsocket won’t work)

Most exploits will not work across all platforms, so modifications generally need to be made. In this case, -lsocket is removed for running on out RedHat 7.2 attack box.

Old Sc hool: Bu il din g Ex ploit

Some exploits come complete with a Makefile, so a simple ‘make’ command is all that’s required to build the exploit.

Old Sc hool: Bu il din g Ex ploit

The make command successfully produces the exploit, in this case ‘automountdexp’

Old Sc hool: Te st ing Ex ploit

The ‘–h’ parameter shows the usage for this exploit.

Old Sc hool: At ta ck Ru nnin g Explo it

This attack executes commands on the target (a Solaris 2.5.1 box) as root. In this case, the attacker drops a line into /etc/inet/inetd.conf and a line into /etc/services. When the system is restarted (or inet is restarted) a listening root shell is opened on port 31337.

Old Sc hool: At ta ck Su ccess!

The attacker connects to the 31337 port on the target and is greeted with a root prompt.

Old Sc hool: Ad vancement (optio nal)
 Trojans  Local Exploits

 If needed, gain further access to targets by further exploitation

 The advancement phase will somewhat mirror the Attack phases unless the attacker has already tested the exploits

Old Sc hool: En trenchme nt
 Modify targets to ensure future access
  Backdoors Rootkits

En trenchme nt: Ba ckdoors
 Linux Non-listening backdoor programs = No listening port!
 SAdoor (http://cmn.listprojects.darklab.org/)  Cd00r (http://www.phenoelit.de/stuff/cd00rdescr.html)

 NT/2K
 Fake GINA Username and password interceptor (
http://www.rootkit.com/projects/ginatroj/ )

 NTKap Removes NT ACL protection ( http://www.rootkit.com/projects/ntkap/ )

En trenchme nt: Ro otkits
 Linux
   LRK5: (http://online.securityfocus.com/data/tools/lrk5.src.tar.gz) ADORE: (http://online.securityfocus.com/tools/1490 ) KNARK (http://online.securityfocus.com/tools/1163 )

 NT
 NT Rootkit (http://www.rootkit.com/projects/ ntroot/)  NULL.SYS ( http://www.rootkit.com/projects/nullsys/ )

Old Sc hool: Infilt ration/E xtr action
 Install sniffers to monitor network traffic, gather usernames/passwords  Extract data from compromised systems  Compromise neighboring targets based on captured data or trust relationships

Pr ofessio nals
Professional hackers, or ethical hackers, tend to follow the following methodologies:

 Information Gathering  Probe  Attack  Advancement  Infiltration/Extraction

Pr ofessio nals
 Most often, professional ethical hackers rely on “Vulnerability Scanners” to perform their jobs.
     Nessus Retina by eeye Network Associates CyberCop H.E.A.T. Internet Security Systems Internet Scanner

(see http://www.networkcomputing.com/1201/1201f1b1.html)

Pr ofessio nals

 Vulnerability Scanner Demo

“ Sk rip t Kiddies”

Sk rip t Ki ddie s
 Skript Kiddies, named for their annoying ability to (sometimes) successfully compromise a system using pre-written scripts, generally follow a very simple non-cyclical methodology. (See http://project.honeynet.org/papers/enemy/ for an interesting writeup on the topic) Exploit Selection Target Selection Attack

Sk rip t Ki ddie s: Ex ploit Se le ctio n
 Nearly identical to the “Old School” method of locating exploits, skript kiddies generally use Search engines to locate exploits  Skript Kiddies are generally not a technically savvy lot, so exploit selection is made based on attack platforms available (generally Windows-based) and ease of use.

Sk rip t Ki ddie s: Ta rget Se le ctio n
 Most target selection involves noisy scanners, often launched from Windows platforms  An increasing number of Skript Kiddies, however, are gaining familiarity with Linux and use fairly standard tools such as nmap.

Sk rip t Ki ddie s: At tack!
 Unlike old-school attacks, Skript Kiddies tools are generally pre-compiled, or written in interpretive languages such as PERL  If an exploit needs to be built, most kiddies will not be able to get them working  If a built exploit fails, a skript kiddie usually moves along to another target instead of fixing the exploit. This makes the process noncyclical.

“ De facer s”

Web De facers
While “old school” methods are still in use, web defacers statistically own the hacking landscape http://www.alldas.org

Pr ofil e o f a we b defa cer
Handle: intrud3rm4n Age: 21 Group: Leader of ISOTK (In Search of the Knowledge!) Defacement count (8/09/02): 960 sites, 785 addresses, 175 mass defacements  My favorite defacement:    

     

Country of Origin: Brazil Language: Portuguese Favorite Hacking food: Hamburgers and Fries Favorite Hacking Music: Metallica =) Favorite exploit: whacking LINUX boxen Reason for defacing: FUN

De faced: Ca p Ge mini

Follo win g we b defa cers

Follo win g we b defahttp://www.zone-h.com/en/defacements cers

Follo win g we b defa cers


Common Me thodol

Web Def acement ogy

Web Defacers, for the most part, have a slightly different methodology. Instead of basing the exploit on the target, the target is selected based on it’s vulnerability to the exploit! The web defacement methodology (again, often cyclical) is generally as follows: Exploit Selection Target Selection Attack Defacement

Web De facement
Amateur defacers usually stick with one exploit and one target platform,,,

 An attacker’s level of comfort with an Operating System will often decide the types of exploits used
 UNIX-based attackers often opt for C-based remote overflows  Windows-based attackers often opt for perl-based remote overflows, visual basic tools, or command-line “net” commands  Attackers with only browser-based experience or simplistic attackers seeking privacy through proxies will opt for URLbased attacks such as UNICODE or DECODE, Front Page exploits, or PHP-Nuke attacks

De facer’s Ex plo it Se le ctio n

De facer’s Se arch for Ex ploits

Often an amateur defacer will monitor popular security sites (such as securityfocus) to select exploits

De facer’s Ta rget Se le ctio n
 Armed with an exploit, most web defacers now seek for vulnerable targets using various methods
 Web searching
   Netcraft Netstat Google

 Host scanning
 Nmap  Custom scanners

Defacer’ s Target Sele ctio n: Web Searches

Defacer’ s Target Sele ctio n: Web Searches
 Using search engines to locate vulnerable servers is a very interesting and fruitful technique which hasn’t been explored in great detail.
 http://johnny.ihackstuff.com/security/googledorks.shtml

Defacer’ s Target Sele ctio n: intitle:”Index of” Searches Web “Apache 1.3.11” Google query:

Here, Apache 1.3.11 servers are located through creative use of the Google search engine.

Defacer’ s Target Sele ctio n: Web Searches


De facer’s Ta rget Se le ctio n: Host Sc annin g
Nmap’s OS detection feature (-O) provides a decent guess as to the operating system of the target

De facer’s Ta rget Se le ctio n: Host Sc annin g
http://packetstormsecurity.com provides a great resource for custom vulnerability scanners.

De facer’s At tack
 Once the target and the exploit are selected, the attacker launches the attack against the server.  If the attack fails, the attacker will often modify the attack and try again.

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