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Snowpocalypse 2010: Report From ShmooCon 2010

I spent Friday evening attending the FireTalks

Here I am at ShmooCon 2010 right in the middle of what people here in Washington DC are calling Snowpocalypse 2010. The Metro, busses, and taxis are all closed down and essentially the city has shut down. Being from Cleveland I find it a little laughable but it’s still a pretty bad storm. Well that hasn’t stopped ShmooCon from going strong.

This being my first hacker con it took me a little while to get acclimated to what kind of talks would be interesting and relevant to me as a network/firewall security guy. The first talk I found interesting was about an OWASP project called OWASP BWA (Broken Web Application). This project combines many of the web app testing programs into one place to help you sharpen your web app testing skills. You can install the iso in a VM as a place to test against. BWA combines Mutillidae, WebGoat, etc with some old versions of real programs like phpBB 2.0.0 and WordPress 2.0.0. Essentially it’s a one stop shop for broken web apps. The thing I found especially interesting was that it integrates with many WAFs like mod_security. This way you can test your WAF (Web App Firewall) to see how much it’s really blocking. This seems like a decent way to audit your WAF yourself. It’s good from time to time to test your firewalls to make sure they’re blocking everything they claim/should be.

The other talk that I found interesting was a demonstration of a Perl script that someone wrote to exploit the most recent VMWare vulnerability. Using an XSS attack the script (called gueststealer) can be put on to the hypervisor and it will steal the vmdk and vmx files of all the guest machines running there. So if you haven’t done your VMWare patches I suggest you start putting plans in place to get that done.

Another thing I’ve learned is a bit about lockpicking. I spent some time with some other con attendees learning how to pick from them. I got through a few 3pin locks and a Master lock rather easily. It definitely scared me a little how easy it was. The easiest lock to get through I thought was the wafer locks which you see a lot on filing cabinets and car doors. A set of wafer keys will get you into those cabinets and cars in literally seconds. It makes me glad our stuff is stored encrypted and and not in a filing cabinet somewhere.

I spent Friday evening attending the FireTalks. A series of 15 minutes talks not technically sanctioned by ShmooCon but with some talented people sharing what they know/learned/built. The most interesting of which being the SET v0.4 talk given by Dave Kennedy. He did a good job despite having real snowballs being thrown at him while he was presenting. I’ve seen his work on SET presented before but he has added some great features like exploits for Mac, Linux, as well as Windows which was the only OS supported before. He also put in self-signed Java applets so the user thinks the applet running is actually from the legitimate site that you just cloned. If you want to test how good your company’s security awareness policy is use SET (shameless plug: And once you’ve tested call us at Hurricane Labs to help you get to where you need to be).

I’m looking forward to more learing tomorrow and I’ll let you know what happens.

Talk to you then,


PS – You’re probably reading this on Saturday when I posted it. I didn’t post on Friday because the wireless here isn’t all that secure and I couldn’t pick up the wireless from our hotspot up in my room. In case you don’t know, NEVER use the wireless at a security conference. It’s just asking for trouble.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Hurricane Labs

Christina O’Neill has been working in the information security field for 3 years. She is a board member for the Northern Ohio InfraGard Members Alliance and a committee member for the Information Security Summit, a conference held once a year for information security and physical security professionals.

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