[ISN] Security UPDATE--Search Engines Increase Web Site
Security--January 19, 2005
isn at c4i.org
Thu Jan 20 04:45:22 EST 2005
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1. In Focus: Search Engines Increase Web Site Security
2. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- The Scoop on Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool
- AMD Adds Holographic Security Labels to Processors
- Review: Security Explorer 4.8
3. Security Matters Blog
- The Race to Protect Customers
- A Matter of Daze
4. Security Toolkit
- Security Forum Featured Thread
5. New and Improved
- Secure Middleware Repriced and Repackaged
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==== 1. In Focus: Search Engines Increase Web Site Security ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net
Back in July 2004, I mentioned a whitepaper, "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. The paper is at the first
URL below. The Security UPDATE in which I wrote about it is at the
second URL below.
For example, Google supports query syntax that uses the commands
intitle:, inurl:, allinurl:, filetype:, intext:, and more. Google
isn't the only search engine that supports this sort of query syntax.
MSN Search, AlltheWeb, Yahoo! Search, and others support a similar
syntax to varying degrees.
As you know, the Santy worm, which takes advantage of search engine
queries to find vulnerable sites, was released around the Christmas
holidays. Recently, someone posted a message to a popular
techno-gadget-related blog site stating that he'd found a search query
that can locate vulnerable Webcams.
If worm writers and other people are using search engines to find
vulnerabilities, you might want to try the same techniques to check
your own Web sites for vulnerabilities. Instead of typing or pasting
query after query into search engines, you can use scripts to store
queries and automate the actual querying and result-gathering process.
Another solution is to use a tool specifically designed for the task.
Foundstone (now a division of McAfee) recently released a new version
of its SiteDigger tool (2.0) that automates the process of using
Google to scan for vulnerabilities in a given site.
SiteDigger 2.0 has several added capabilities. Foundstone boasts that
it now provides "10 times more results." The tool also has an improved
user interface, an expanded Help file, an improved results page, and
improvements for signature updates. The company also said that
SiteDigger 2.0 produces less false positives, which means it's less
prone to alert you to problems that don't really exist. The new tool
can also perform raw searches, and as you might expect, it can detect
some of the latest vulnerabilities, such as overly exposed Webcams.
SiteDigger requires the Microsoft .NET Framework and also relies on
the Google API, so you'll need to obtain the API license key, which is
a simple process. More information about how to get the license key
can be found at Foundstone's SiteDigger Web page.
I wonder why Foundstone limits SiteDigger to Google queries. I think
the tool would be even more useful if the company added support for
other major search engines. Nevertheless, it's a useful tool as it
stands. Get yourself a copy and check it out.
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==== 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
The Scoop on Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool
Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) is now available
and will be updated on the second Tuesday of each month, according to
Microsoft. The tool is essentially a consolidation of the company's
other malware cleaning tools. The new all-in-one tool is currently
designed to remove the Blaster, MyDoom, Sasser, Zindos, Nachi, Gaobot,
Doomjuice, and Berbew forms of malware.
AMD Adds Holographic Security Labels to Processors
To help thwart illegitimate copies of its Processor-in-a-Box (PIB)
technology, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has added new holographic
labels to ensure authenticity.
Review: Security Explorer 4.8
ScriptLogic's Security Explorer 4.8 lets administrators quickly and
easily audit and adjust permission attributes for NTFS file systems,
registries, and shares on local or remote computers. The program
executes quickly and displays exactly what you want: directories,
files, and their associated permissions. Read Jeff Fellinge's review
on our Web site.
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==== 3. Security Matters Blog ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://www.windowsitpro.com/securitymatters
Check out these recent entries in the Security Matters blog:
The Race to Protect Customers
Ever wonder what goes on inside a company that provides security
solutions on "Patch Tuesday"? Learn about the scramble that takes
place in order to protect customers before exploits are turned loose
on the unsuspecting public.
A Matter of Daze
The day after "Patch Tuesday" can reasonably be called "Exploit
Wednesday" because, invariably, someone will learn how to take
advantage of the published vulnerabilities and release loads of
technical information within 24 hours.
==== 4. Security Toolkit ====
FAQ, by John Savill, http://www.windowsitpro.com/windowsnt20002003faq
Q: I have Zone Labs' ZoneAlarm firewall installed, and it's reporting
a problem with Microsoft Application Error Reporting. What's causing
Find the answer at
Security Forum Featured Thread: File-Based Restrictions in Folders
A forum participant writes that his company has a shared folder
that contains all the company's official business files, including a
lot of multimedia files (such as .mpg and .avi files) that need to be
backed up. He wants to know if there is any way to restrict users from
putting personal .mpg, .avi, .mp3, and other files into particular
folders on his server so that these personal files won't fill his tape
backups? Join the discussion at:
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Secure Middleware Repriced and Repackaged
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