Blacksheep: Firesheep Protection

Several days after the controversial Firefox extension Firesheep was released, hacker wannabes can now automate HTTP session hijacking on an unencrypted wireless network. Many people came up with different protections like forced HTTPS and VPN. In addition to these available options, a new Firefox plugin called Blacksheep was released by Zscaler security to countermeasure Firesheep.

\"Firesheep
Blacksheep detects Firesheep by tricking the hacker with a fake cookie. In turn, Blacksheep alerts the user when someone is using Firesheep in the network. It displays the IP address of the hacker and serves as a warning as well. Note that both BlackSheep and Firesheep have the same codebase so you can’t run them simultaneously at the same Firefox session. You can’t play the bad guy and the good guy at the same time. :)

So far, everything about Blacksheep sounds convenient and helpful but as mentioned in PCMag, it is not the best protection against HTTP session hijacking. There are other sidejacking and hijacking tools out there; Blacksheep is specifically tailored for Firesheep so it still leaves you helpless against other unencrypted wireless network exploits.

The best solution is to not use unencrypted wifi at all. If you are stubborn at least use VPN to encrypt the traffic. Consider that you have been warned already. Prevention is always better than cure. Protect yourself.

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Firesheep Makes HTTP Session Hijacking Simple

\"Fire-sheep\"

Who would have thought that a single Firefox extension can get massive attention from security analysts, media and even the public? Firesheep makes anyone uncomfortable using free unencrypted wireless network because Firesheep capture and exploit HTTP session cookies in an unsecure wireless connection. Anyone who installed the extension could easily hack someone else’s Facebook and Twitter account, and possibly every login that relies on cookies.

I was impressed when this extension was released for Firefox. If you are using OSX you don’t even have to download any pre-requisite software. In Windows, you have to install some packet capture software first. After installing the extension, roam around, use any free and unencrypted wifi, and you can hack already. It’s that simple. Anyone could be a hacker these days.

HTTP session hijacking is a serious security flaw. Something that you shouldn\’t ignore. It was discussed in the blog of Firesheep’s developer, Eric Butler:

HTTP Session hijacking, as a vulnerability, is nothing new in the year 2010. It is a security vulnerability that people have been aware of for quite some time, with notable tools and papers existing at least since 2004 on this exact subject. OWASP (The Open Web Application Security Project) categorizes the issues responsible for HTTP Session Hijacking in to one of it’s Top 10 Web Security Risks, “A3: Broken Authentication and Session Management”.

There are several ways to protect yourself from the exploit. The most obvious is you should never use unencrypted wireless access. Use WPA or stronger encryption, if available, in your wireless network. You can also use browser extensions to force secure HTTP or HTTPS on supported websites like HTTPS Everywhere. Other methods involves using SSH (Secure Shell) and VPN. You read how to do it here and here.

The release of Firesheep creates more awareness in the danger of HTTP session hijacking and the peril of using unsecured wireless connection.

So the next time you stop by your favorite coffee shop, I dare you to use the free unsecured wifi. I might be just around the corner stealing your cookies. Nomnomnom.

Credit: image taken from Taltopia.

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Globe SuperDuo Just Ditched My Number

I am not sure if anyone else encountered this problem with Globe SuperDuo or Duo landline service. The landline number should be retained if you renew the registration in 30 days; however, my number got replaced even if I renewed my SuperDuo registration within 24 hours!

It usually takes me less than 5 minutes to do the re-registration with a prepaid sim but it wasn\’t the case last night. I had difficulty renewing my SuperDuo service.

After sending SUPERDUO MM 599 to 8888, I received the usual text message that I have to reply with \’YES\’ to 8888 to complete registration. I promptly replied \’YES\’ to 8888 but the system rejected my registration:\”Sorry, we cannot process your GLOBE SUPERDUO request at this time. Please try again later.\”

That is exactly what I did.

I sent another re-registration to 8888 but I received the \’error\’ yet again.

I failed at least 3 times so I thought I should wait for a few hours to try the registration out once more.

After a few hours, I sent the re-registration — I replied \’YES\’ to the text prompt — alas! I got my SuperDuo service re-activated… but I got a NEW number! :( My old number got replaced.

I am not mad. I am just sad and disappointed because I am using this service faithfully for the last 6 months and it screwed up! I like my old number back so I hope @Talk2Globe would response to my tweets immediately. I really hope I can get my old number back.

Update:
For the third time in three months now, every time my Super Duo expires Globe seems to forget that there is a 30-day grace period. Again, a new number is issued to me even if I should have retained my previous number. I have complained several times about this and it seems that Globe doesn\’t bother to address this issue with prepaid users. Sure, it is easy to just change sim card but the system is faulty and that\’s why I am complaining. If you can do something about it, fix it. If you can\’t let your customers know. Don\’t ignore it!

Update 2:
I posted a new post about Globe Super Duo on February 2011 and When I renewed my Super Duo subscription on March 2011, the problems described here have been resolved already.

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Hands-on ABAP Training at Work

I\’m excited to have my hands-on training on SAP ABAP 4 for the next two weeks starting tomorrow. I can read and understand ABAP codes but I don\’t have any formal training. I\’m not an ABAP developer so I have no formal background at all. I do equal amount of functional support and technical consultation in my job right now so knowing ABAP will be a great addition in my arsenal of skills.

In Sam\’s Teach Yourself ABAP 4 in 21 days, you just need 2 lines in order to create your first \”hello world\” program in SAP.

Here\’s how:

report ztx0201.
write \'Hello SAP World\'.

Easy? Don\’t be fooled. I know a lot of hello world programs in a number of programming languages but it does not count in my resume.

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Parallel Parking Made Easy

Nissan Around View Monitor (AVM) makes parking easy by using set of cameras and sensors mounted at all four sides of the vehicle. These cameras form a synthesized view of the surrounding using a processing technique that offers a bird\’s eye view of the vehicle. Nissan\’s AVM is unique from other camera-assisted car technologies because it\’s the first one to offer comprehensive real-time view of the vehicle from all angles, not just a view in front or rear.

\"Worrisome Sounds clever, isn\’t it? Now even a newbie driver can park effortlessly in tight parkings. According to the studies of Nissan there are four common blind spots. The first two — left corner and back of the car can be addressed already by the beeping sensors in front and rear end. The last two can be resolved by AVM. The first two scratches I made in my car is on the left fender and on the rear bumper so I can\’t disagree with their study.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd will introduce the AVM in the new Elgrand, scheduled in Japan by the end of this month. The technology will also be featured on Infiniti EX35 in the U.S. market. While I can\’t find a schedule for the Philippines yet, I\’m sure this technology will eventually find its way in the Philippine market as we have narrow roads, too, similar with Japan and other neighboring Asian countries. It\’s only a matter of time before Japanese car manufacturers add similar features in the the Asian market.

You can already find Toyota sedans with front and back sensors. At first, I thought that having front sensors is insane but I learned that their Lexus big brothers even have automatic parking! Mercedes-Benz have this technology that drives the car for you, much like an auto-pilot, but it does not steer the car. It detects the car in front of you and accelerates as needed. Maybe in the future we won\’t even have to drive and park, we just command the cars.

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USB Switchblade and Hacksaw

\"USBI joined the Security Interest Group in our workplace and one of my quest is to make it as my secondary job since I\’m interested in security-related programs, vulnerability assessment and protection.

One of my concern right now is how to find relevant information to prove that the improper use of a typical USB flash disk (thumb drive) is a security threat to our workplace. Then I stumbled upon the Hak .5 video podcast episode 2×03 regarding USB Hacksaw:

The USB Hacksaw is an evolution of the popular USB Switchblade that uses a modified version of USBDumper, Blat, Stunnel, and Gmail to automatically infect Windows PCs with a payload that will retrieve documents from USB drives plugged into the target machine and securely transmit them to an email account.

Sounds cool and dangerous.

I tried the proof of concept and I wasn\’t able to get the expected result because one of the program was detected as trojan. I am using a corporate anti-virus during my test. If you are not using an updated anti-virus, good luck.

The USB switchblade is supposed to silently steal information from a victim PC with Windows 2000, XP or 2003 OS while a USB hacksaw is supposed to copy files of the unsuspecting user of your PC. The switchblade can be defeated by disabling the autorun option in Windows and using an updated anti-virus. However it is not guaranteed that this precautionary measure will really help the victim. At this moment, the password recovery tool is yet to be encrypted. Using anti-virus disabler can also enable the switchblade do its job unsuspectedly. The thing is, with USB Hacksaw, the hacker (host PC) may have overriden his or her anti-virus program so that the stealthy program does its job copying the whole content of the victim\’s USB.

When you read things like this, you will now have second thoughts on plugging in someone\’s else thumb drive in your PC or laptop or using your thumb drive in someone\’s else PC or laptop. There are some flash disks with password protection and encryption but I doubt that it will be useful at all. So the next time you use flash disk, handle it with care because it is regarded as a security threat.

Links:
Hak .5 Wiki – USB Hacksaw

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