Category Archives: Security

Security nightmare – It is time to update all your device

What a week – security wise. Many vulnerabilities have been uncovered. You are most likely affected by one or more of these. Read on and start updating all your devices.

Wi-Fi WPA2 vulnerability

Years ago, we all moved our Wi-Fi to WPA security protocol as WEP was deemed unsecure. Now vulnerability is found in WPA1/2 too, making it possible for malicious attackers to inspect and modify the tracking between computer and access point.

The vulnerability is known as KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attacks) and are in the Wi-Fi standard, so all devices are affected – laptops, access points, printers, phones… anything with Wi-Fi. The vulnerability is at client side, but many access points acts are repeaters etc., so do patch all Wi-Fi devices, otherwise the communication might be compromised.

Bleeping Computers are keeping a list of affected devices and firmware and driver updates to mitigate the problem.

Microsoft fixed the issue on October 10th and rolled out the update on Patch Tuesday, so if you are keeping your device up-to-date, then you are all safe. Apple has not yet released a patch.

Read more about KRACK.

RSA key generation vulnerability

It does not sound intimidating, but this is a major vulnerability affecting Google Chromebooks, HP, Lenovo and Fujitsu PCs and laptops, SmartCards, routers, IoT devices – all devices that has a hardware secure chip (like TPM) from Infineon Technologies produced since 2012.

RSA keys are used to securely store secrets such as passwords, encrypt data (e.g. BitLocker) and generate certificate keys used in secure communication and sender/receiver attestation. It also affects digital ID’s such as those used by the Estonian government, based on SmartCard technology.

The RSA generated prime numbers are not truly random, making it possible to crack the private key via the public key. Depending on the size of the RSA key, they estimate it takes:

  • 512-bit RSA keys – 2 CPU hours (the cost of $0.06)
  • 1024-bit RSA keys – 97 CPU days (the cost of $40-$80)
  • 2048-bit RSA keys – 140.8 CPU years, (the cost of $20,000 – $40,000)

Based on an Intel E5-2650 v3@3GHz Q2/2014. 97 CPU days are nothing, as the crack can run in parallel and compute resources have become cheap with all the Cloud offerings.

To mitigate the ROCA security vulnerability requires firmware upgrades of the hardware secure chip. Microsoft (Windows 7+) and Google and others has released patches.

Read more about the ROCA CVE-2017-15361 vulnerability.

Securing my devices

It is time to update all my devices, but it is going to take time.

This is the list of devices I need to update: 5 Laptops, 1 Chromebook, 1 Xbox One, 1 Windows tablet, 2 iPads, 2 iPhones, 1 Android, 1 Windows Phone, 1 Ubiquity Access Point, 1 Sagemcom router (Owned by the ISP), 1 Amazon Echo, 1 Samsung TV, 1 Panasonic TV and countless IoT devices

Who am I kidding. Some of my devices are old (like my TVs), so the manufacturer will properly never release a patch.

Like it is not worrisome enough, then a privilege-escalation vulnerability in Linux kernel was also discovered. This means even more stuff to update.


ASP.Net Security Vulnerability

Friday the September 17th a serious security exploit was demonstrated at security conference by Juliano Rizzo and Thai Duong. A tool called POET (Padding Oracle Exploit Tool) was used to show the exploit in both .Net and Java.

POET exploits a well-known vulnerability in the way many websites encrypt text stored in ViewState, form authentication tickets, cookies, hidden HTML fields and request parameters.

It a deficiency in the encryption libraries in both Java and the .Net framework utilizing the fact that encrypted strings are padded in blocks of e.g. 8 bytes or 16 bytes or …. I will not go into details, as it is explained well in details here.

The exploit works on any block-cipher encryption mechanism, such as AES, DES and Triple DES.

The exploit is quite severe, as it can be used to download the web.config file.

The attack that was shown in the public relies on a feature in ASP.NET that allows files (typically javascript and css) to be downloaded, and which is secured with a key that is sent as part of the request. Unfortunately if you are able to forge a key you can use this feature to download the web.config file of an application (but not files outside of the application). We will obviously release a patch for this… Scott Gu

There are lots of systems affected, such as ASP.Net 1.0-4.0 (WebForms and MVC), SharePoint, Microsoft CRM, JavaServer Faces etc.

HTTPS with SSL/TLS does not protect your site.

Below is a video showing how to use the POET tool with DotNetNuke.

Scott Gu has workaround details until Microsoft releases a patch.

Update September 29th, 2010: A security update is released by Microsoft. More details about the patch on Scott Gu’s blog.

Transferring SQL Server logins

I had to migrate a SQL Server 2008 instance on to new hardware.

I choose to detach the databases and attach the databases on the new SQL Server 2008 instance on the new hardware. This was easy, but the origin SQL Server instance used mixed SQL Server and Windows Authentication Mode. This also meant that I had to migrate SQL Server logins, as the logins where a mix of SQL Server logins and Active Directory domain accounts/groups.

Both the SQL Server logins and domain accounts/groups has an unique SID (Security Identifier), which ties the logins in the SQL Server with the users in the database.

While the domain accounts/groups resides in the Active Directory domain controllers, the SQL Server logins only resides in the SQL Server. This means, moving domain accounts/groups is easy, by just creating the same users in the new SQL Server instance, but SQL Server logins is not. I could either choose to:

  • Recreate the SQL Server logins with new users in each of the databases, as new SQL Server logins will get new SIDs and therefore not be tied to the old database users. This also requires that you know all the passwords – alternative reconfigure all the client applications using SQL Server logins 🙁
  • Transfer the SQL Server logins with SID and password 🙂

How to transfer SQL Server logins? See the KB article: How to transfer the logins and the passwords between instances of SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008. Easy 🙂