DeepSec 2013 Workshop: Attacks On GSM Networks

René Pfeiffer/ October 4, 2013/ Conference, Security, Training

Mobile phone networks have penetrated even the most remote areas of the Earth. You can send a tweet from Mount Everest if you like, the cell service is already there. In addition mobile phone networks feature 6 billion subscribers all over the world. Communication by mobile devices has entered the routine of daily life. It’s not all about talking. Smartphone, laptops, tablets and modems access the Internet by mobile phone networks. And as every security specialist knows: If there’s a network, then there are protocols, and these protocols can be attacked. True, it’s not as easy as TCP/IP since mobile phone networks feature sets of more complex protocols. Nevertheless these networks can be accessed, and you cannot block it. This is why you should get in touch with the threats to your organisation. DeepSec

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DeepINTEL Schedule Update: New Talk – “Advanced Security through Network Intelligence”

René Pfeiffer/ August 30, 2013/ Administrivia, Conference, Security Intelligence

Due to personal reasons one of our DeepINTEL speakers had to unfortunately cancel his appearance. Therefore we present a new talk held by Caroline Krohn. The title is “Advanced Security through Network Intelligence”. „Network Intelligence“ is the sum of findings extracted from people’s activities in the internet. Information related to people can be either, restricted and protected by any kind of encryption, or public and available to everybody. Nowadays, it is almost sufficient to collect data from open sources to put together a precise profile on a person of interest. Transparency does not only occur through own postings on so-called social networks, such as Facebook, Xing, LinkedIn, Twitter. Third party mentions and pictures other people post and tag, etc. also help following people’s activities outside the internet. Even the decision not to appear on

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Using untrusted Network Environments

René Pfeiffer/ November 15, 2012/ Administrivia, Conference, Security

We mentioned on Twitter that DeepSec 2012 will again feature an open wireless network. This means that there will be no barriers when connecting to the Internet – no passwords, no login, no authentication and no encryption. Some of us are used to operate in untrusted environments, most others aren’t. So the tricky part is giving proper advice for all those who are not familiar with protecting their computing devices and network connections. We don’t know what your skills are, but we try to give some (hopefully) sensible hints. If you are well-versed with IT security and its tools, then you probably already know what you are doing. Nevertheless it’s a good habit to double-check. We caught one of our own sessions chairs with his crypto pants down and found a password – just

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DeepSec 2012 Talk: Passive IPS Reconnaissance and Enumeration – false positive (ab)use

René Pfeiffer/ October 14, 2012/ Conference

Once you have a network, you will have intruders. You may already have been compromised. How do you know? Right, you use proper and hard to fool monitoring tools that will always detect good and evil. If you believe this statement, then you probably never heard of the dreaded false positive, commonly known as false alarm. Sometimes a search pattern triggers, but there is no attack. Getting rid of false positives is difficult. As a side effect security researchers have explored false positives as an attack vector. Arron ‘Finux’ Finnon is presenting a new look at intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS) and new uses for false positives. You can use false positives to better understand the security posture from an attacker’s point of view, and more importantly be used to discover security devices such as

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DeepSec 2012 Talk: Own the Network – Own the Data

René Pfeiffer/ October 12, 2012/ Conference

We all use networks every day. This is obvious when it comes to the Internet, but there are more networks if you use phones and other gadgets. Like it or not, these networks are a part of your infrastructure. Now you know, but attackers (and security people) knew this before. So, what can happen to your data if the network is compromised? The short answer: a lot! The long answer is given by Paul Coggin in his presentation at DeepSec 2012. Paul’s presentation discusses the security issues with the critical network architectures being deployed by service providers and utilities to support next generation network services such as IPTV, 3G/4G, smart grid, and more. There’s a lot happening behind the scenes. Once new products are announced, the stage has already been prepared. Network infrastructure security

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High Availability is not Redundancy

Mika/ October 11, 2012/ High Entropy, Odd

This is about the “A” in the CIA triad of security: Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability Just recently I was a witness of an incident where the failure of a perceived redundant system caused an outage of more than 5 hours of the central IT services of a multinational/intercontinental enterprise. Vital services like VoIP calls and conference bridges (which were interrupted with high profile customers) , SAP, e-mail, central file services, CAD, order processing, printing of delivery notes and therefore loading of trucks, processing of EDIFACT-based orders and invoices, etc. were unavailable for most of the 20.000 employees and customers worldwide during this black-out. What happened? Some when in the morning we noticed a lot of commotion in the department (open plan office) and quite soon it was obvious that all network based services were out

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DeepSec 2012 Workshop: Attacks on GSM Networks

René Pfeiffer/ September 20, 2012/ Conference

We are proud to follow the tradition of breaking hardware, software, code, ciphers or protocols. When it comes to mobile phone networks, you can break a lot. The workshop on Attacks on GSM Networks will show you the current state of affairs and some new tricks and developments. The attacks that will be discussed during the training are not theoretical, they are feasible and can be exploited to be used against you. Knowing about the capabilities of your adversaries is absolutely important since virtually no organisation or business runs without the use of mobile networks. What do you have to expect? Well, attendees will spend about half the time re-visiting the key aspects of GSM’s security features and their publicly known weaknesses. During the other half, attention is being paid to the hands-on practical

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It’s the Smart Meters that matter – or is it?

René Pfeiffer/ March 18, 2012/ Communication, High Entropy, Security

Wired’s Danger Room has an article about how ubiquitous computing and smart homes are eagerly awaited by the CIA to turn your networked environment into a gigantic spy tool. CIA Director David Petraeus very much likes the „Internet of things” as an information gathering tool. Security researchers can’t wait, too. However they have a very practical approach by pointing out the missing security design. Smart homes might be very dumb after all, and they might not be a „home“. If your home turns against you and breaches your privacy, it’s not a home any more. Plus the next „digital Pearl Harbor“ (whatever this means) might start in your refrigerator. Who knows? This is a very simplistic view on the „Internet of things”. If things automatically turn into sensors and report useful information once they

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Getting your Perception right – Security and Collaboration

René Pfeiffer/ January 29, 2012/ Discussion, Security

If all security-related events were not connected and could be analysed with a closed system in mind, getting security measures right would be much easier. Technicians will probably yawn at this fact, but networks connect a lot of different stuff (think „series of tubes“ and many points between them). In turn this means that you can use this for your own advantage and talk to others on the network, too! This surprising conclusion is often forgotten despite the use of the term „Internet community“ and developers working together on intrusion detection signatures, malware analysis and other projects. Stefan Schumacher talked about cooperative efforts to establish an international cyber defence strategy at DeepSec 2011. Securing infrastructure and implementing a proper defence in depth doesn’t rely on technical solutions alone. You need to establish procedures for

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DeepSec 2011 Conference Network Observations

René Pfeiffer/ November 24, 2011/ Security, Stories

All of you who attended DeepSec 2011 know that we had a Wall of Sheep at the conference. We set it up by copying packets via the Netfilter TEE target from the router to the Wall of Sheep box (note to self: never ever mirror broadcast or multicast packets). We only displayed logins and the number of characters of the password, all data was processed and stored in RAM. The display was only accessible from the conference network. On the first day of the conference we did not announced the Wall, we only encouraged everyone to use secure protocols and not to use services that send sensitive data unprotected. We even set up posters and flyers warning to use the conference network (the reason were other events at the venue taking place in parallel).

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Mobile Phone Calls as Security Risk

René Pfeiffer/ October 13, 2011/ Conference, Security

Do you rely on your mobile phone? Do you frequently call someone or get called? Do you transmit messages or data across mobile phone networks? Maybe you shouldn’t unless you use additional security layers since mobile phone networks must be regarded as a security risk. Karsten Nohl of Security Research Labs has taken a look at Austrian mobile networks. The result is a wake-up call for companies and individuals alike. According to Nohl the local Austrian providers A1/Mobilkom, T-Mobile Österreich und Orange have not updated their networks as other operators in Europe have already. He explained that there is no sign of any additional hardening. The transmissions of mobile phone network clients can be intercepted and decrypted with very little technical effort. The networks still use the A5/1 encryption standard which has been repeatedly

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Workshop: Attacks on GSM Networks

René Pfeiffer/ September 10, 2011/ Conference

The topic of GSM networks has been discussed at past DeepSec conferences right from the very first event in 2007. Recent years saw a significant increase of research in GSM attacks: The weaknesses of A5/1 encryption have been demonstrated and exploited, several GPRS networks in Europe have been shown to be insecure, and an ever-growing number of Open Source projects in the area of GSM and GPRS are gaining significant attraction. Despite the availability of attack methods, the tools are often hard to use for security professionals due to their limited documentation. The published attacks are often difficult to reimplement when assessing the vulnerability of GSM networks. This is exactly why DeepSec 2011 offers a two-day training on attacking GSM networks. Attendees will spend about half the time re-visiting the key aspects of GSM’s

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Mobile Network Security revisited at the Linuxwochen

René Pfeiffer/ May 20, 2011/ Veranstaltung

Tomorrow we will present a review talk about the state of mobile network security. The talk will be held at the Linuxwochen in Eisenstadt. We will address results discussed in the past DeepSec conferences (including work of Karsten Nohl, Harald Welte, David A. Burgess, Sylvain Munaut, Dieter Spaar, Ralph-Philipp Weinmann and others). If you understand German we recommend listening to Chaosradio Express #179 where Karsten explain to Tim Pritlove the state of GSM security over a period of 130 minutes. Slides of our talk will be available after the Linuxwochen. Update: You can download the slides here. There’s a simple audio recording available as well (MP3 or OGG).

Mobile Security and authTokens

René Pfeiffer/ May 17, 2011/ Security

Recently we mentioned the topic of mobile security in this blog since it keeps being addressed by security researchers. Now there’s something that can be combined by networking, defective by design and mobile security. German security researcher from the University of Ulm have explored a flaw in Google’s ClientLogin protocol. The initial idea stems from Dan Wallach, who took a closer look at the transmissions of an Android smartphone. The authentication token is sent via unencrypted HTTP which means it can be seen by attackers on the same network. Since the token is your key to online services and is probably used by apps dealing with your calendar, contacts or private pictures, an attacker has full access to this data (or any other data an app deals with via the network). Reading, manipulating or

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The workshops have started!

René Pfeiffer/ November 23, 2010/ Administrivia

We’re near the end of the first day of workshops. We got a smooth start and the mood is great. Wi-Fi is up and running, we got a radio uplink with 32 MBit/s in both directions.¹ The GSM guys have their demonstration set-up up and running. We suspect the social engineering goes well (we can’t tell, we only see smiling faces and awfully nice persons in there). Our ISP enabled Marc to set-up the 6to4 tunnel for the IPv6 security/pentesting workshop. Mariano teaches his class how to determine if their (or your) business-critical SAP implementation is secure. If you are a really late booker, we still accept registrations for the conference, either by our online ticketing service or by ¹ When on site, look for ESSIDs DeepSec2010, DeepSec2010a, DeepSec2010g and DeepSec2010N (no encryption, bring

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