[ISN] Security UPDATE--Security Blog and Googling for
Vulnerabilities--July 28, 2004
isn at c4i.org
Thu Jul 29 02:53:03 EDT 2004
==== This Issue Sponsored By ====
Featured Download: Patch Management Software
1. In Focus: Security Blog and Googling for Vulnerabilities
2. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- Book Review: PDA Security: Incorporating Handhelds into the
3. Security Matters Blog
- It Had to Happen Sooner or Later
- Stopping Malware That Travels Through SSL Connections
- XML-Based Security Information Feeds
4. Instant Poll
5. Security Toolkit
6. New and Improved
- Know Your Enemy
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==== 1. In Focus: Security Blog and Googling for Vulnerabilities ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net
First, I want to let you know that we've added a new section to our
Web site and this newsletter. If you visit the Web site regularly and
subscribe to our security-related Really Simple Syndication (RSS)
feed, then you know we recently launched a new blog: Security Matters.
Each week in this newsletter, you'll find a summary of the most recent
You can visit the Security Matters blog to add your comments to a
given posting. If you have a tip, tidbit of information, resource,
commentary, or other content that you think might be of interest to
others, then certainly send me an email (mark at ntsecurity / net)
with that content and I'll consider posting it to the blog.
Last week, I mentioned the Information Security Writers Web site,
which publishes security papers written by many authors. In the past
week, the site has published a few new papers, one of which is
"Demystifying Google Hacks," by Debasis Mohanty.
The paper outlines several ways in which someone can use a particular
search syntax in Google to query for sites that might have known
vulnerabilities. For example, Google supports query syntax that
includes the commands intitle:, inurl:, allinurl:, filetype:, intext:,
and more. Google isn't the only search engine that provides the use of
this sort of query syntax. MSN Search, AlltheWeb, Yahoo!, and others
support a similar syntax to varying degrees.
If intruders are using search engines, you should try the same
techniques to check your own Web sites for vulnerabilities. Repeating
the searches when new Web-related vulnerabilities are published might
also be wise. Think of it as another method for scanning your systems.
You can also build false URLs into a honeypot that supports Web
services, then add the honeypot URLs to various search engines.
A drawback of using search engines to search for vulnerabilities on
your Web sites is that typing or pasting in query after query can
become tedious work. One obvious solution is to use scripts to store
queries and automate the actual querying and result gathering process.
Foundstone released a free tool in May that automates the process of
using Google to scan for vulnerabilities in a given site. I've used
SiteDigger a few times, and it works really well.
Site Digger has a list of more than 100 predefined queries
(vulnerability signatures) in which you simply enter a Web site
address and click a button to start the Google query process. After
the query is complete, you can easily export a report to HTML format.
The signatures are stored in XML format, so you can add more or
customize the current rules if you need to. If you do, be aware that
the tool also has an update feature that lets you download new queries
from the Foundstone Web site when they're available. I'm not sure
whether the update process totally overwrites the signature file or
not; you might want to save a copy of your custom signatures in case
Our Instant Poll this week asks, "Do you use search engines to look
for vulnerabilities in the Web sites you manage?" Visit
http://www.winnetmag.com/windowssecurity and give us your answer.
==== Sponsor: Security Administrator ====
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Security Administrator is the monthly newsletter from Windows &
.NET Magazine that shows you how to protect your network from external
intruders and control access for internal users. Sign up now to get a
1-month trial issue--you'll feel more secure just knowing you did.
==== 2. Security News and Features ====
Recent Security Vulnerabilities
If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security
Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security
vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these discoveries
Book Review: PDA Security: Incorporating Handhelds into the Enterprise
According to information published on the companion Web site to the
book "PDA Security: Incorporating Handhelds into the Enterprise,"
"PDAs have moved into the workplace. More than 25 million of them will
soon be accessing company networks." Such a proliferation of PDAs
represents another challenge for systems administrators who are
already struggling to ensure that their company's information isn't
violated in any way or by any means. Reviewer Tony Stevenson says the
book will be useful to administrators tasked with developing a
practical "handheld computing" strategy for their company or
organization. Most important, the book provides the framework for
assessing, and then addressing, the risks that PDAs present. Read the
entire book review on our Web site.
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==== 3. Security Matters Blog ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://www.winnetmag.com/securitymatters
Check out these recent entries in the Security Matters blog:
It Had to Happen Sooner or Later
- It was inevitable that somebody somewhere would produce a virus
that affects Windows CE devices, and it happened this week.
Stopping Malware That Travels Through SSL Connections
- Inspecting Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) traffic isn't possible
through standard methods. However, it is possible with a third-party
XML-Based Security Information Feeds
- Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds are a great way to quickly
gather security-related information, including information about all
the latest vulnerabilities.
==== 4. Instant Poll ====
Results of Previous Poll
The voting has closed in the Windows & .NET Magazine Network
Security Web page nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Do you
now use or do you plan to use 802.11i on your wireless LANs?" Here are
the results from the 47 votes.
- 13% Yes, we use 802.11i now
- 4% Yes, we plan to use 802.11i in the next 3 months
- 9% Yes, we plan to use 802.11i in the next 6 months
- 17% Yes, we plan to use 802.11i in the next year
- 57% No, we don't plan to use 802.11i
New Instant Poll
The next Instant Poll question is, "Do you use search engines to
look for vulnerabilities in the Web sites you manage?" Go to the
Security Web page and submit your vote for
- Yes, I do so regularly
- Yes, but only when I become aware of new Web vulnerabilities
- No, but I plan to start
- No, and I don't plan to start
==== 5. Security Toolkit ====
FAQ: Q. What Are the Relative Identifiers (RIDs) of a Domain's
by John Savill, http://www.winnetmag.com/windowsnt20002003faq
A. Every object in a domain has a SID, which consists of the domain's
SID and a RID. For built-in objects, such as built-in accounts, RIDs
are hard-coded. A table at the URL below lists the built-in objects,
their RID, and their object type. The fact that RIDs are hard-coded
explains why merely renaming, say, the Domain Administrator object
doesn't often thwart an intruder, who can simply locate the account by
using the RID 500. However, you can create a honeypot by renaming the
real Domain Administrator account and creating a new account called
Domain Administrator that has no permissions. You can use the bogus
Domain Administrator account to fool hackers into attacking it, then
log the attacks and delay any real damage to the bona fide Domain
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