If you haven’t heard about it by now, let me clue you in: Java is a security nightmare. A few days ago, a zero-day exploit for Java 7 became widely-known. The exploit bypasses Java 7′s security sandbox and permits attackers to download and execute code without user interaction. The attack is already available in Metasploit and in the Blackhole Exploit Kit (BEK). Since it’s in BEK, users are now susceptible to this attack via so-called “drive-by” web hacks. All a user has to do is get unlucky and visit a compromised site (and there are a TON of compromised WordPress sites out there) and their machine is compromised.Read more
Author Archives: Brett Edgar
In the course of a recent incident response engagement, I ran into a hard-to-track-down problem involving imaging a drive. I was using a forensically sound hardware ATA drive imager (the awesome DiskJockey Pro Forensic edition), and was attempting to make several copies of a 2.5″ 250GB SATA Western Digital laptop drive that had a single Windows XP NTFS partition. The client had no similarly sized drives available, so our destination disks were brand new Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500GB 2.5″ SATA drives. 250GB can be copied by the DiskJockey in under an hour, so we figured this was going to be a two or three hour process. Oh, how wrong we were…Read more
Well, that didn’t take long. As of Thursday, an MS12-020 PoC (the Remote Desktop Protocol vulnerability) is in the wild. Looks like one of Microsoft’s MAPP partners leaked some test code. This PoC code only causes a Blue-Screen-of-Death, so the damage is limited to a denial-of-service. It won’t be long until the bad guys figure out which values they need to modify to achieve remote code execution. When that happens and you still have RDP open to the Internet and unpatched, you lose. I suspect we’ll see a worm exploiting this within a week. This could end up being a SQL Slammer-type event…
Seeing the rate at which companies have been successfully attacked by Java exploits while their users surf the web, I became increasingly alarmed and wondered how I was going to defend my own network. I had always known that Active Directory Group Policy could push out software, but I had never explored the option as I thought it sounded too involved.
The MS12-020 vulnerability for which Microsoft released a patch yesterday is about as bad as you can get. The vulnerability requires *no* authentication, can be exploited from *any network* that has connectivity to a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) service, and gives an attacker a full GUI at the super-user level (the SYSTEM account on Windows). Game. Over.