You need your own “cop on the beat”: Why security scanning services are not enough.

He knows what “normal” is. Source: Wikimedia Commons

I have repeatedly had the experience of performing external vulnerability assessments and discovering significant issues that were not being called out as such by the regular commercial assessment services employed by the client organization.

I recently discovered a case where active web server logs were freely available on the open Internet .  The usual information – source IP address, target resource, and status codes –  were all available.

Example:

64.39.99.99 – – [02/Aug/2017:10:09:07 -0400] “GET /client/chat.php?id=1%22%20%3E%3C/script%3E%3Cscript%3Ealert%28%27QualysXSSTestPart2%27%29%3C/script%3E&xhash=1 HTTP/1.1” 302 433 “-” “-“
64.39.99.99 – – [02/Aug/2017:10:09:08 -0400] “GET /index.do HTTP/1.1” 302 301 “-” “-”
64.39.99.99 – – [02/Aug/2017:10:09:10 -0400] “GET /userui/welcome.php HTTP/1.1” 302 311 “-” “-”
64.39.99.99 – – [02/Aug/2017:10:09:12 -0400] “GET /struts2-rest-showcase/orders HTTP/1.1” 302 321 “-” “-”
64.39.99.99 – – [02/Aug/2017:10:08:58 -0400] “POST /rest/json/login HTTP/1.1” 302 308 “-” “-”
64.39.99.99 – – [02/Aug/2017:10:09:14 -0400] “GET /node.xml HTTP/1.1” 302 301 “-” “-”
64.39.99.99 – – [02/Aug/2017:10:09:14 -0400] “GET /user/login HTTP/1.1” 302 303 “-” “-”
64.39.99.99 – – [02/Aug/2017:10:09:15 -0400] “GET / HTTP/1.1” 302 293 “-” “-”
64.39.99.99 – – [02/Aug/2017:10:09:16 -0400] “GET /admin.php HTTP/1.1” 302 302 “-” “-”
64.39.99.99 – – [02/Aug/2017:10:09:16 -0400] “GET /console/login/LoginForm.jsp HTTP/1.1” 302 320 “-” “-”

The highlighted entry is a “cross site scripting” (XSS) test being run over the Internet by the vulnerability management service “Qualys“.

From “whois 64.39.99.99”

NetRange: 64.39.96.0 – 64.39.111.255
CIDR: 64.39.96.0/20
NetName: QUALYS

Anyone on the Internet was able to view these logs and learn of the organization’s use of Qualys and something of the types of tests being performed and what the outcome of those tests were.

All highly useful information to any potential attacker.

Note that the problem here is NOT with Qualys.

The site that allowed these logs to be revealed had no “technical” security problem. Any internal user who was basing their understanding of the external security status of the organization strictly on the scanning service reports would likely have no reason to believe anything was wrong.

Your organization needs at least one knowledgeable and caring staff member whose job it is to know what your organization looks like from the Internet and can see when something is clearly wrong in the same way a neighborhood patrol officer can notice a strange car or a gate open that is normally locked.

You need your own “cop on the beat”.

 

 

 

This entry was posted in General InfoSec by James Klun. Bookmark the permalink.

About James Klun

Eldergeek – 30+ years of Mainframe/Unix/etc systems programming, administration, and technical management. 15+ years of Infosec. Endless amounts of what might pass for English prose.

“We have met the enemy, and he is us”
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Walt_Kelly