Sources for Tor Access Tools

As a follow up to my last couple of weeks posting around Tor and the research I am doing within the Tor network, I presented at the Central Ohio ISSA Security Summit around the topic of Tor Hidden Services. The audience asked some great questions, and today I wanted to post some links for folks to explore the Tor network on their own in as safe a manner as possible.

The following is a set of links for gaining access to the Tor network and a couple of links to get people started exploring Tor Hidden Services.  (Note: Be careful out there, remember, this is the ghetto of the Internet and your paranoia may vary…)

 Once you get into the Tor network, here are a couple of hidden service URLs to get you started:

http://kpvz7ki2v5agwt35.onion - Original hidden wiki site

http://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion/ - Duck Duck Go search engine

http://kbhpodhnfxl3clb4.onion - “Tor Search” search engine

As always, thanks for reading and stay safe out there! 

Great explanation of Tor in Less than 2 Minutes

Ever need to explain Tor to a management team? Yeah, us too. That’s why we wanted to share this YouTube video we found. It does a great job of explaining Tor in less than two minutes to non-technical folks.

The video is from Bloomberg Business Week and is located here.

Check it out and circulate it amongst your management team when asked about what this “Tor” thing is and why they should care.

As always, thanks for reading and we hope these free awareness tools help your organization out.

Watching Malware Evolve with TigerTrax

Recently, I have been spending a lot of my time working with TigerTrax, our intelligence platform, and using it to further my research into emerging threats. One of the most interesting areas has been using to track and trace the fits and starts of malware evolution using social media data and the web.

TigerTrax is really good at finding and analyzing the data for trends. The visualizations make spotting emerging patterns and even outliers very easy. For example, we noticed a trend around side loading of malware payloads recently. Not an overwhelming trend across all of malware, but associated with a specific group of verticals being targeted. This emerged easily from the graph data and analytics engines. We were able to use that information to inform our customers in that space and increase their capabilities in detection and incident response.

We have only just begun to find the deeper use cases for TigerTrax, but it is already changing the way MSI does work, even the core work of assessments. For example, with a small window of lead time, we can generate specific pattern analysis and cases to support findings in risk assessments, vulnerability and pen-testing work. The engines can keep our scenarios refreshed, keep us up to date with the latest attack vectors and exploits being used in the wild.

All in all, TigerTrax has given us a larger view of infosec, and watching malware evolve through its lens has become an interesting part of what we do at MSI. We look forward to the day when we can discuss more publicly what we are doing with TigerTrax and some of the findings we are generating, but for now, just know that the platform is being used in a myriad of ways, and that new developments are occurring on a daily basis. If you’d like to discuss what TigerTrax can do for your organization, give us a call. We’d be happy to sit down for a briefing with your team.

Let’s Get Proactive with End User Security

Where do most of the threats to the security of our IT systems lurk? The Internet, of course! Powerful malicious software apps are all over the Net, like website land mines, just waiting to explode into your computer if you touch them. And how about accessing social networks from your company work station? Do you really think that content on these sites is secured and only available to those you chose to see it? If so, then Im sorry to disillusion you.

So why do most concerns still let their employees casually access and surf the Web from their business systems? Especially in the present when most everyone has a smart phone or pad with them at all times? Businesses should embrace this situation and use it to their advantage. Why not set up an employee wireless network with all the appropriate security measures in place just for Internet access? (This network should be totally separate from business networks and not accessible by business computers). Its not expensive or difficult to administer and maintain a network like this, and employees could access websites to their hearts content (on their off time of course). And for those employees that are without a smart phone (an ever dwindling few), you could stand up a few kiosk computers that they could access using their employee wireless network password.

As for employees that need Internet access to perform their work duties, you should lock their access down tight. The best thing to do is to add needed websites to a white list and only allow those employees with a business need to access only those websites that are necessary and no others. Black listing and web filtering are partially effective, but they dont really work well enough. I cant tell you how often we have seen such filters in place at businesses that we assess that prevent access to gaming and porn sites, but still allow access to traps like known malicious websites in foreign countries! Go figure.

And dont forget to properly segment your business networks. Users should only be allowed access to those network resources that they need for business purposes. Users in workstation space should never be allowed to seeinto server space. Preventing this will go a long way in curtailing attacks from the other big danger the malicious insider. 

Thanks to John Davis for writing this post.

OpenSSL Problem is HUGE – PAY ATTENTION

If you use OpenSSL anywhere, or use a product that does (and that’s a LOT of products), you need to understand that a critical vulnerability has been released, along with a variety of tools and exploit code to take advantage of the issue.

The attack allows an attacker to remotely tamper with OpenSSL implementations to dump PLAIN TEXT secrets, passwords, encryption keys, certificates, etc. They can then use this information against you.

You can read more about the vulnerability itself here. 

THIS IS A SERIOUS ISSUE. Literally, and without exaggeration, the early estimates on this issue are that 90%+ of major web sites and software packages using OpenSSL as a base are vulnerable. This includes HTTPS implementations, many mail server implementations, chat systems, ICS/SCADA devices, SSL VPNs, many embedded devices, etc. The lifetime of this issue is likely to be long and miserable.

Those things that can be patched and upgraded should be done as quickly as possible. Vendors are working on patching their implementations and products, so a lot of updates and patches will be forthcoming in the next few days to weeks. For many sites, patching has already begun, and you might notice a lot of new certificates for sites around the web.

Our best advice at this point is to patch your stuff as quickly as possible. It is also advisable to change any passwords, certificates or credentials that may have been impacted – including on personal sites like banking, forums, Twitter, Facebook, etc. If you aren’t using unique passwords for every site along with a password vault, now is the time to step up. Additionally, this is a good time to implement or enable multi-factor authentication for all accounts where it is possible. These steps will help minimize future attacks and compromises, including fall out from this vulnerability.

Please, socialize this message. All Internet users need to be aware of the problem and the mitigations needed, even for personal safety online.

As always, thanks for reading, and if you have any questions about the issues, please let us know. We are here to help!

MSI Contributes to Criminal Underground Report

MSI is proud to announce that a Rand report that we contributed to is now available. The report details the underground economy and provides insights into the operation, intelligence and flow of the underground markets.

You can download a free copy of the report here.

We are happy to support research projects such as these and they represent yet another way that MSI fulfills our promise to give back to the security community. If you have questions about this project or about our other contributions, please reach out to me on Twitter (@lbhuston).

Make Plans Now to Attend Central OH ISSA Security Summit 2014

Brent will be speaking again this year at the ISSA Security Summit in Columbus

This year he has an interesting topic and here is the abstract:

A Guided Tour of the Internet Ghetto :: The Business Value of Tor Hidden Services

Following on the heels of my last set of talks about the underground value chain of crime, this talk will focus on a guided tour of the Internet Ghetto. You may have heard about Tor, the anonymizing network that rides on top of the Internet, but this talk takes you deep inside to visit the slums, brothels & gathering places of today’s online criminals. From porn to crimes against humanity, it is all here.

This talk will discuss Tor hidden services, help the audience understand what they are, how they operate, and most importantly, how to get business and information security value from them. If you think you know the dark side of the net, think again! Not for the feint of heart, we will explain some of the ways that smart companies are using hidden services to their benefit and some of the ways that playing with the dark side can come back to bite you.

Take aways include an understanding of Tor, knowledge of how to access and locate hidden services and underground content, methods for using the data to better focus your business and how to keep an eye on your kids to make sure they aren’t straying into the layers of the onion.

 Come out and see us at the Summit and bring your friends. It’s always interesting and a great event to catch up with peers and learn some amazing new stuff. See ya there!

Topic Analysis with TigerTrax

Recently, my team was asked to use our TigerTrax platform to observe a body of social media content around a specific topic for 12 hours and extract meaningful data. The topic chosen by the client was “fracking”.

As you might expect, there was quite a bit of conversation on the Internet about fracking during that period. The client wanted specifically to focus on a specific set of data and to identify potential activism or criminal activities that might be gathered from the data set. So, mission in hand, we engaged the TigerTrax platform and after 12 hours of data gathering, began our analysis.

The data we extracted was pretty amazing to the client. They were quite interested in some of the findings. For example, we identified and presented the client with:

  • A word cloud of specific topics found in the data set and their relationships
  • A list and frequency count of the keywords used in the data
  • A ranked list of hash tags used to communicate
  • The top retweeted/reposted posts during the period
  • Profiles and demographics of the most influential posters during the period
  • Analysis of a variety of multimedia content for “virality” and potentially dangerous impacts
  • We identified an emerging damaging PR issue that the client was able to get in front of
  • Details of an organized campaign to damage the reputation and safety of executives
  • Videos and diagrams educating activists in vandalism and other aggressive techniques

The client was able to use this information to help educate their membership, strengthen their security during protest events and to better understand some of the emerging PR concerns around their operations. They also began to work with ISPs and other service providers to begin takedown requests for the more illicit content.

This is just a sample of some of the ways that clients are leveraging the new TigerTrax platform to assist them with business needs. Get in touch and let us know your ideas or specific problems and we will see how we can help. If you want to know what the world is saying and how it affects you, TigerTrax just might be the solution you are looking for.

Topic analysis can be performed with TigerTrax as a single deep dive event with a customized report delivered and open for re-use with other clients, or can be completely customized to the client organization and solely for their use. Ongoing monitoring and analysis of topics and events can also be done as a part of the TigerTrax services. If you would like to hear more about the TigerTrax platform, or Topic Analysis, please give us a call at (614) 351-1237 extension 206. You can also reach out to me on Twitter (@lbhuston), and we can arrange a discussion. 

As always, thanks for reading and until next time, stay safe out there.

Podcast Release: Threats From the Net Feb 2014

The Kluniac is back! This month, the ElderGeek covers more emerging issues in infosec that came calling in February. 

Give it a listen, and touch base with him on Twitter (@pophop) to tell him what you’d like to hear on upcoming episodes. He loves the chatter and really digs listener feedback.

You can get this month’s episode by clicking here.

MSI Announces New Business Focused Security Practice

At MSI, we know security doesn’t exist for its own sake. The world cares about business and so do we. While our professional and managed service offerings easily empower lines of business to work with data more safely, we also offer some very specific business process focused security services.

 

Attackers and criminals go where the money is. They aren’t just aiming to steal your data for no reason, they want it because it has value. As such, we have tailored a specific set of security services around the areas where valuable data tends to congregate and the parts of the business we see the bad guys focus on most.

 

Lastly, we have also found several areas where the experienced eyes of security experts can lend extra value to the business. Sometimes you can truly benefit from a “hacker’s eye view” of things and where it’s a fit, we have extended our insights to empower your business.

 

Here are some of the business focused offerings MSI has developed:

 

  • Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) practice including:
    • Pre-negotiation intelligence
    • Pre-integration assessments
    • Post purchase threat intelligence
  • Accounting systems fraud testing
  • ACH & wire transfer security validation
  • End-to-end EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) security testing
  • Business partner assessments
  • Supply chain assessments
  • Executive cyber-protection (including at home & while traveling abroad)

MSI knows that your business needs security around the most critical data and the places where bad guys can harm you the worst. We’ve built a wide variety of customized security solutions and offerings to help organizations harden, monitor and protect the most targeted areas of their organization. At MSI, we know that information security means business and with our focused security offerings, we are leading the security community into a new age.

 

At a Glance Call Outs:

Variety of business focused services

M&A offerings

Assessments of systems that move money

Fraud-based real world testing

Business partner & supply chain security

Executive protection

 

Key Differentiators:

Focused on the business, not the technology

Reporting across all levels of stakeholders

Specialized, customizable offerings

Capability to emulate & test emerging threats

Thought leading services across your business