European Parliament hacked

You may have already read about the recent successful attempt of a hacker breaking into mail accounts of European Parliament members. I don’t want to repeat the story here which can be found on numerous locations on the web.

Just in short: The EU Parliament uses an old Microsoft Exchange mail system along with a synchronization component called Active Sync on mobile phones. Both components have many and well known security flaws which were not fixed (or have not been replaced I would say). It was quite easy for the hacker to perform some kind of MITM (man-in-the-middle) attack while he was just sitting close to the parliament and waits for somebody to connect to the exchange server via WiFi.

So what is the lessen we can learn here. First of all, the IT department of the European Parliament did a really bad job. That’s quite obvious and there is no excuse for that. They even allow Windows XP computers inside their network which is like if they would roll out a big poster on the Parliament which reads “Hackers Welcome!” – unbelievable.

So thats not really a lessen we can learn so what else went wrong? As with this and other MITM attacks, there are often indications that something is not right. For instance, if somebody has compromised your network you may see “wrong certificate” messages in your browser or Email system or https: connections switch over to http: connections and things like that. In this case, users did receive an error message which they just confirmed and thus the hacker got access to the mail account. Of course users, especially users of Microsoft software may already got used to error messages but again, such messages should never be just ignored. So if your own network setup produces regular error messages, I can strongly recommend to find and solve the reason for that. Once it is solved (or even when not) see those messages at least as a reminder to change your passwords – which should happen on a regular basis anyway.

What else? The hacker did use WiFi for his attack. It is so easy to fake a public WiFi hotspot or to listen to communication that goes through a public WiFi hotspot that doesn’t use extra encryption. This attack could have been prevented if the Parliament members would have used a Cell/3G/4G/LTE connection instead of WiFi. You may wonder why they did use WiFi. If you look at the names of the people who have been compromised you will notice that all seem to be from other EU countries but France. In Europe, unfortunately, if you cross a border, you got pushed back to stone-age in terms of communication. In Europe there is almost no global data roaming available which means you have either to use GPRS at speeds of 171kbs or accept ridiculous communication costs. I doubt that the Parliament members had the costs in mind but they rather found that Internet is just not working on their devices without WiFi when being in Strasbourg.

Even though I think you as a user of NetworkToolbox are aware about the insecurity of WiFi but just in case: Try to prevent to use public WiFi hotspots wherever and whenever possible. Always give cell/3G/4G/LTE communication precedence if available, even if slower. Although these Networks are not 100% secure and by no means against NSA, GCHQ but way way more secure than any WiFi connection. It seem to get a common hobby for kids sitting with their laptops or phones on public places or transports and to setup their own “Free and secure Internet connection” to grab other peoples Email accounts and Facebook credentials. Moreover, I have seen so many wrong and insecure configured public WiFi networks that let anybody who is logged in to the network browse any computer connected to that network at the same time. You can try it out yourself with NetworkToolbox. You will be surprised.

Of course, sometimes there are no alternatives to WiFi and if you have to use it, ensure that your device is secured enough and try to prevent to send credentials at all or at least unsecured over the WiFi network. You can ensure this by using just https: connections when connecting to facebook etc. Even if you don’t plan to check your mails over WiFi and even if you just like to quickly browse a certain website, keep in mind that your mail client most likely will check for new mails in the background once you are connected. So ensure that you mail client has been setup using SSL/TLS etc. In addition, I change my passwords every time when I come back from vacation or business trip as even the aforementioned measures can not 100% protect you.

Next week I will write about security issues with TV Sets from LG and others that are known to spy out your privacy.

So as always, don’t trust the evil.

Have a great and secure weekend,

regards,

Marcus


D-Link router back-door

As you may have already heard, the following D-Link routers have a back-door built in:

DIR-100, DIR-120, DI-624S, DI-524UP, DI-604S, DI-604UP, DI-604+ and TM-G5240

and there are even some more from other vendors. D-Link can now line up with HP (see my post here) and many others.

There is still no excuse and reason for Vendors for building in back-doors in their products. However, keep in mind that the recent findings of back-doors only revealed very silly and odd implementations. There may be much more, not so easy to find back-doors that may allow NSA (or even worse) to access your equipment.

I said “silly” as this back-door again contains the name of the originator. The way how this back-door is working is just by using the following string as HTTP Agent “xmlset_roodkcableoj28840ybtide” and if you read this the other way round, you will know the name. Silly isn’t it. This will probably speak for itself about the code quality of this guy.

However, as I still had one of those D-Link routers in my basement, I created another Demo-Video that demonstrates how to test your own router for this back-door using my NetworkToolbox app.

Quite easy to do. So I would recommend to apply this test on your router, if you own a D-Link one.

Stay tuned,

regards,

Marcus


Find Medion NAS-Servers on the web

Thanks to SHODAN (please also visit Johns website at www.shodanhq.com and don’t forget to contribute his work) it is quite easy to locate MEDION NAS-Servers on the web.

This is also a very good example on how to use NetworkToolbox in combination with SHODAN.

  • Step 1. (spy your device)

First, given that you own such a MEDION-NAS Server (but any oder device with Web-Interface can be used as well), just open the Socket tool in NetworkToolbox, type in the IP of this box, select port 80 and tap on connect.

  • Step 2. (locate uncommon and unique strings)

Next, tap on the HEAD command on the command-bar at the top, then press OK to confirm the host (the NAS accepts any host)
Then, you will see what the NAS Server returns such as:

HTTP/1.0 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Sun, 01 Sep 2013 07:16:42 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.9 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.9 OpenSSL/0.9.8o mod_wsgi/2.4 Python/2.6.2
Location: http ://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/cmd,/ck6fup6/register_main/redirectHome

The interesting thing here is the ck6fup6/register part which is quite uncommon.

  • Step 3. (search by using SHODAN)

Now, you can enter this part or pattern as search term in the SHODAN tool. SHODAN will find many MEDION-NAS Servers mostly in Europe of course. Not sure if some of them still use the default credentials which can be found in the manual, which is available on the web. It’s admin and 1234.

Today’s data update will add the aforementioned pattern as SHODAN search term (the list that appears when tapping the ? button) and also, this information has been added to the “How to” section in the Resources tab.

Stay tuned,

Marcus

P.S. I am already working on some improvements for NetworkToolbox. Especially the Network- and Portscan deserves some improvements.


Lavabit died

Unfortunately, one of the best (maybe only) secure mail service closed their doors.

Ladar Levison, the Owner and Operator of Lavabit was put under pressure by US Government to disclose users data. He decided against it and closes his service. He deserves our greatest respect although the end of lavabit is sad.

You can still read his clear statement on his website at lavabit.com.

He leaves no doubt about the security of data residing on US servers and networks.

This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States, Ladar said.

So, don’t trust the evil, like I used to say.

Stay tuned,

Marcus


BIG WARNING TO ALL USERS OF ASUS ROUTERS

This is a warning for a severe security issue with many Asus Routers.

Almost all RT-Axx and RT-Nxx routers and probably more have a directory traversal issue.

By just adding the parameter /tmp/lighttpd/permissions to the IP address or url of the router, the password file can be downloaded which contains all usernames and passwords of all users, including the administrator.

Even more worse, it is possible to execute any executable on the router or even upload or modify additional executable or files.

Asus is aware about this since June. There is no update available yet and even not a warning on their website.

This issue is so severe because those routers are quite easy to find e.g. by using the included shodan tool and by searching for asuscomm.com which is the suffix of the dynamic domain which will be created by Asus AiCloud service.

More worse and even another implementation flaw of Asus, by searching for this term, hackers will automatically know the first part of the dynamic dns entry (the part in front of asuscomm.com) which means that all routers that are being found by shodan can still be compromised even if the IP address has been changed meanwhile.

As there is no security update available yet, ALL those routers and ALL FILES in Asus AiCloud can be accessed as if there would be no password protection at all.
A single Search for such routers in Chicago returned 171 AiCloud devices and Berlin 130.

Scary!

Recommendations:

– Ideally, replace all Asus devices

If that’s not feasible :

– Switch off all AiCloud services (there are actually three) on your router
– Disable all UPnP services (which is even good for all other situations)
– Disable remote access
– Change all username and passwords

Stay tuned,

Marcus


Be carefull if you use a Ruckus device

If you are using a Ruckus Wireless router, doublecheck if you really have changed your default password as this router can be maintained from the internet and that can’t be switched off.

A quick search for Ruckus with the shodan tool reveals that many of those routers are installed worldwide and very likely, most of them will use the default username super and password sp-admin.

Affected devices are:

ZoneFlex 7731 802.11n Wireless Bridge
ZoneFlex 2942 802.11g Access Point
ZoneFlex 2741 802.11g Outdoor Access Point
ZoneFlex 7942 802.11n Access Point
ZoneFlex 7962 Dual Band 802.11n Access Point
ZoneFlex 7762 Dual Band 802.11n Outdoor Access Point
ZoneFlex 7762-S Dual Band 802.11n Outdoor Sector Access Point
ZoneFlex 7343 2.4GHz 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi Access Point
ZoneFlex 7363 Dual Band 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi Access Point

which all use the same pre defined username and password.

Moreover, the following devices even have an empty username and password:

ZoneDirector 1000
ZoneDirector 1100
ZoneDirector 3000

The default username and password will be added to the default password list of this app with the next data update.

Kind regards,

Marcus


Unbelievable but true! Backdoor in HP’s Backup solution

Not only that we users have to live with poor quality soft- and hardware that makes it easy for hackers to break into our systems. On top of that, soft- and hardware vendors implement their own backdoors to our systems.

It’s hard to believe but often true. Just recently a backdoor in HP’s storage system StoreOnce was revealed. It will probably remain HP’s secret why they spent resources in implementing such backdoors rather than increasing usability and security.

Maybe it was kind of preemptive obedience for those guys from NSA or GCHQ or just a brain fart of the head of HPs development department, who knows. Definitely it was not to the advantage of us users. If you ask HP to recover a lost admin password, they claim there is no way for doing so and just suggests a re-install. HP seems to be resistant to learning as they can look back to a long history of revealed backdoors in their systems.

So what can we do? Again, don’t trust the evil. Take into account that such backdoors exist. Think twice what kind of data you like to store (or I should better say share) on your systems.
Even if there is an update, backdoors may still exist. For HP StoreOnce storage system there even is no update available more than one month after the backdoor was exposed.

If you own a StoreOnce system, try to use the SSH client included in my app and connect to the IP of your StoreOnce system. The backdoor credentials are:

Username: HPSupport
Password: badg3r5

Yes, the password is ‘ badg3r5’. Unbelievable, isn’t it?