Posts Tagged ‘attacks’

Bots Searching for Keys & Config Files [Sans StormCast]

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

If you don’t know our “404” project[1], I would definitively recommend having a look at it! The idea is to track HTTP 404 errors returned by your web servers. I like to compare the value of 404 errors found in web sites log files to “dropped” events in firewall logs. They can have a huge value to detect ongoing attacks or attackers performing some reconnaissance. Reviewing 404 errors is one task from my daily hunting-todo-list but it may quickly become unmanageable if you have a lot of websites or popular ones. The idea is to focus on “rare” events that could usually pass below the radar. Here is a Splunk query that I’m using in a daily report:

index=web sourcetype=access_combined status=404
| rex field=uri "(?<new_uri>^\/{1}[a-zA-Z0-9_\-\~]+\.\w+$)"
| cluster showcount=true t=0.6 field=new_uri
| table _time, cluster_count, cluster_label, new_uri | sort cluster_count

What does it do?

  • It searches for 404 errors in all the indexed Apache logs (access_combined)
  • It extracts interesting URI’s. I’m only interested in files from the root directory eg. “GET /<name><dot><extension>”
  • It creates “clusters” of common events to help in detecting rare ones.

Here is an example of output (top-20):


Many tested files are basically backup files like I already mentioned in a previous diary[2], nothing changed. But yesterday, I found a bot searching for even more interesting files: configuration files from popular tools and website private keys. Indeed, file transfer tools are used by many webmasters to deploy files on web servers and they could theoretically leave juicy data amongst the HTML files. Here is a short list of what I detected:


Each file was searched with a different combination of lower/upper case characters. Note the presence of ‘rules.abe’ that is used by webmasters to specify specific rules for some web applications[3]. This file could contain references to hidden applications (This is interesting to know for an attacker).

So, keep an eye on your 404 errors and happy hunting!


Xavier Mertens (@xme)
ISC Handler – Freelance Security Consultant

InfoSec Alert: Flash 0-Day Exploit Used by Angler Exploit Kit – Browsers Targeted

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

The “Angler” exploit kit is a tool frequently used in drive-by download attacks to probe the browser for different vulnerabilities, and then exploit them to install malware. The exploit kit is very flexible and new exploits are added to it constantly.

However, the blog post below shows how this exploit kit is currently using an unpatched Flash 0-day to install malware. Current versions of Windows (e.g. Window 8 + IE 10) appear to be vulnerable. Windows 8.1, or Google Chrome do not appear to be vulnerable.

This is still a developing story, but typically we see these exploits more in targeted attacks, not in widely used exploit kits. This flaw could affect a large number of users very quickly. Please refer to the original blog for details.


via InfoSec Handlers Diary Blog – Flash 0-Day Exploit Used by Angler Exploit Kit.

Victimized Celebs Blamed for Their Indecent Exposure | Hacking | TechNewsWorld

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

icloud iphone

The iBrute code on GitHub is "a garden-variety brute-force attack," said Andrew Jaquith, CTO of SilverSky.

The "" host that the iBrute code authenticated against is found in 76 other GitHub locations, which means the authentication vector "was clearly well-known to the broader programming community," he explained.

Apple "already has protections against brute force for most of their websites," Bob Doyle, security consultant at Neohapsis, told TechNewsWorld. "Reports now indicate they’ve restricted the number of incorrect guesses you can send to the "Find My iPhone" API, which should make it resistant to automated brute-forcing attacks like these."

Let’s Hear It for Fear and Loathing!

"When Scarlett Johansson’s account got hacked, that should have been a massive red flag for any celebrity who had any kind of compromising photographs in their accounts," KnowBe4’s Sjouwerman said. "If they had nude photos of themselves on the Internet, they should have deleted them."

Johansson’s account was hacked in 2011 and the hacker, Christopher Chaney, was jailed.

"This entire situation underscores the reality that today’s interconnected universe of networks is extremely complex and the potential access methods for criminals are many and varied," Steve Hultquist, chief evangelist at RedSeal Networks, told TechNewsWorld.

Protect Yourself at All Times

"Celebrities have, and always will be, easy targets simply due to the amount of information about their lives which can be gleaned from any gossip site," Evan Keiser, a security analyst at SilverSky, told TechNewsWorld.

via Victimized Celebs Blamed for Their Indecent Exposure | Hacking | TechNewsWorld.