Our Picks – Black Hat USA 2009 Edition – Day 2

//Our Picks – Black Hat USA 2009 Edition – Day 2

Yesterday we posted our day one picks for Black Hat USA 2009. Today we will share our top picks for day two.

Attacking SMS (1000 – 1100)

With the increased usage of text messaging around the globe, SMS provides an ever widening attack surface on today’s mobile phones. From over the air updates to rich content multimedia messages, SMS is no longer a simple service to deliver small text-only messages. In addition to its wide range of supported functionality, SMS is also one of the only mobile phone attack surfaces which is on by default and requires almost no user interaction to be attacked.

This talk will seek to inform the audience of threats to today’s mobile phones posed by hostile SMS traffic. We will discuss attacking the core SMS and MMS implementations themselves, along with 3rd party functionality that can be reached via SMS. Results will be presented of testing against mobile platforms in real-world situations.

In addition to our own results we will discuss and release a number of tools to help users test the security of their own mobile devices. Finally, we will demonstrate and release an iPhone-based SMS attack application that facilitates a number of the attacks we discuss.

SADE: Injecting Agents into VM Guest OS (1115 – 1230)

As more and more virtual machines (VM) are packed into a physical machine, refactoring common kernel components shared by virtual machines running on the same physical machine could significantly reduce the overall resource consumption. The refactored kernel component typically runs on a special VM called a virtual appliance. Because of the semantics gap in Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)-based virtualization, a physical machine’s virtual appliance requires the support of per-VM in-guest agents to perform VM-specific operations such as kernel data structure access and modification.

To simplify deployment, these agents must be injected into guest virtual machines without requiring any manual installation. Moreover, it is essential to protect the integrity of inguest agents at run time, especially when the underlying refactored kernel service is security-related. This paper describes the design, implementation and evaluation of a stealthy agent deployment and execution mechanism called SADE that requires zero installation effort and effectively hides the execution of agent code. To demonstrate the efficacy of SADE, we describe a signature-based memory scanning virtual appliance that uses SADE to inject its in-guest kernel agents, and show that both the start-up overhead and the run-time performance penalty of SADE are quite acceptable.

"Smart" Parking Meter Implementations, Globalism, and You (1345 – 1500)

Throughout the United States, cities are deploying "smart" electronic fare collection infrastructures that have been commonplace in European countries for many years. In 2003, San Francisco launched a $35 million pilot program to replace approximately 23,000 mechanical parking meters with electronic units that boasted tamper resistance, payment via smart card, auditing capabilities, and an estimated $30 million annually in fare collection revenue. Other major cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, and San Diego, have made similar moves.

In this session, we will present our evaluation of electronic parking meters, including smart card protocol analysis and emulation, silicon die analysis, and firmware reverse engineering, all of which aided in successful breaches.

Breaking the security myths of Extended Validation SSL Certificates (1515 – 1630)

Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates have been touted by Certificate Authorities and browser vendors as a solution to the poor validation standards for issuing traditional SSL certificates. It was previously thought that EV certificates are not affected by attacks that allow malicious hackers to obtain a non-EV SSL certificate, such as the MD5 collision attack or the widely publicized failures of some CAs to validate domain ownership before issuing certificates.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the security offered by EV certificates is not any better than the security of even the cheapest $12 SSL certificate. In this talk we will show how any attacker who can obtain a non-EV SSL certificate for a website can perform completely transparent man-in-the-middle attacks on any SSL connection to that site, even if the website is protected is by an EV certificate and the users are diligently inspecting all information contained in the SSL certificates.

Re-conceptualizing Security (1645 – 1800)

Security is both a feeling and a reality. You can feel secure without actually being secure, and you can be secure even though you don’t feel secure. We tend to discount the feeling in favor of the reality, but they’re both important. The divergence between the two explains why we have so much security theater, and why so many smart security solutions go unimplemented. Several different fields–behavioral economics, the psychology of decision making, evolutionary biology–shed light on how we perceive security, risk, and cost. It’s only when the feeling and reality of security converge that we have real security.

2017-03-12T17:40:20-07:00 July 7th, 2009|Security Conferences|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. GA Wieth July 7, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Interesting stuff. I’ve seen those “smart” parking meters and in general I prefer them — I always forget change at home! But it also means that I can’t use up the last minutes from some guy who’s overpaid for his parking spot.

    I wonder if the EV SSL stuff is the same I’ve been hearing for the last six months ago. In general, I think the argument that MITM attacks are just as possible with EV is somewhat irrelevant, since SSL technology will always have this vulnerability (it’s really a browser issue). But maybe the above lecture will have some new info?

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