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Softpanorama, October-December 1998; v.10. No. 4 (0a3)
Note: This Chronicle covers 3-d quarter of 1998, but materials relevant to this period can be added much later.
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Musings on open source security models -- important article from Linux World. Please read it.
Attention: This section should not be considered as an authoritative source of vulnerabilities. Selection of material is arbitrary and strongly dependent on the author current interests.
|John the Ripper 1.6|
|John the Ripper is a password cracker, currently available for UNIX, DOS, WinNT/Win95. Its primary purpose is to detect weak UNIX passwords. It has been tested with Linux x86/Alpha/SPARC, FreeBSD x86, OpenBSD x86, Solaris 2.x SPARC and x86, Digital UNIX, AIX, HP-UX, and IRIX.|
|scoop @ 12/04/98 - 17:45 EST|
|pgp4pine is an interactive program for using PGP with email programs, specifically Pine. It is compatible with PGP2.6.3i, PGP5.0, and GnuPG 0.42).|
|NCSfck is a very secure program to check for file changes in files like /bin/login to protect your system against trojan binaries. It creates a database which you can put on a read-only disk to ensure that nobody is able to alter any information contained therein.|
|vision @ 11/29/98 - 17:08 EST|
|Log Scanner was written to watch
for anomalies in log files. Upon finding them, it can notify you
in a variety of ways. It was designed to be very modular and configurable.
Unlike most other log scanners, this one has more than single pattern
matches. It will allow you to trigger notifications on multiple
occurrences of one or several events.
This release no longer depends on tail -f, now allows for log files that are rotated, and even comes with a nifty little Install script.
|Egon @ 12/02/98 - 17:44 EST|
|Secure Remote Password (SRP) is a password-based authentication and key exchange mechanism where no information about the password is leaked during the authentication process. It does not require any public key cryptography, yet even if one were to eavesdrop on the authentication process, no information which would aid in guessing the password can be obtained (in theory). There are some reworked Telnet and FTP clients and servers available already.|
|guest @ 12/03/98 - 03:49 EST|
|mod_ssl provides provides strong
cryptography for the Apache 1.3 webserver via the Secure Sockets
Layer (SSL v2/v3) and Transport Layer Security (TLS v1) protocols
by the help of the SSL/TLS implementation library SSLeay from Eric
A. Young and Tim J. Hudson. The mod_ssl package was created in April
1998 by Ralf S. Engelschall and was originally derived from software
developed by Ben Laurie for use in the Apache-SSL HTTP server project.
This is a pure bugfixing release.
|Ralf S. Engelschall @ 12/03/98 - 05:02 EST|
|hunt is a security tool by Pavel Krauz that was recently announced on bugtraq. It uses well-known weaknesses in TCP/IP to perform connection hijacking detection, normal, active and ARP-spoofed hijacking, connection watching and resets as well as arp spoofing, sniffing and mac discovery.|
|the amazing ice-cube @ 12/04/98 - 11:39 EST|
|Deception Toolkit (DTK) 0.7|
|The Deception ToolKit (DTK) is a toolkit designed to give defenders a couple of orders of magnitude advantage over attackers. The basic idea is not new. Deception can be used to counter attacks. In the case of DTK, the deception is intended to make it appear to attackers as if the system running DTK has a large number of widely known vulnerabilities. DTK's deception is programmable, but it is typically limited to producing output in response to attacker input in such a way as to simulate the behavior of a system which is vulnerable to the attackers method.|
|guest @ 12/04/98 - 12:59 EST|
|Secure-Linux Patch 0.6|
|The Secure-Linux patch adds a
few security features to the kernel which, while not a complete
method of protection, will stop most of the 'cookbook' buffer overflow
exploits cold. It also adds the option of restricting the use of
symlinks in +t (temp) directories which fixes most tmp-race exploits
as well. It can also add a little bit more privacy to the system
by restricting access to parts of /proc to root so that users may
not see who else is logged on or what they're doing.
This release adds support for the recently released Kernel 2.0.36.
|Ethereal is a network protocol
analyzer that lets you capture and interactively browse the contents
of network frames. Packet data can be read from a file, or live
from a local network interface.
Ethereal now sports TCP session reconstruction, IP hostname resolution, ethernet manufacturer resolution, and quite a few other fixes and improvements.
|pgp4pine is an interactive program
for using PGP with email programs, specifically Pine. It is compatible
with PGP2.6.3i, PGP5.0, and GnuPG 0.4.
This version introduces support for GnuPG. It uses pipes to extract your secret and public keys from PGP 2, PGP5, or GnuPG 0.4.
|SAINT (Security Administrator's
Integrated Network Tool) is a security assesment tool based on SATAN.
Features include scanning through a firewall, updated security checks
from CERT & CIAC bulletins, 4 levels of severity (red, yellow, brown,
& green) and a feature rich HTML interface.
Version 1.3.3 contains major bugfixes, and added tests for the tooltalk vulnerability, Back Orifice and NetBus.
|Fortify provides full strength,
128-bit encryption facilities to export editions of Netscape Navigator
and Communicator. These are used when connecting to an encrypting
web server (with the SSL protocol). Fortify also adds the ability
to generate 1024-bit RSA keys internally (these are typically used
for client certificates), plus the ability to send and receive e-mail
messages using strong 128-bit encryption (with the S/MIME protocol).
This version adds support for the first time for Netscape's newest generation of browsers - the v4.5 stream.
|Fortify provides full
strength, 128-bit encryption facilities to export editions of Netscape
Navigator and Communicator. These are used when connecting to an
encrypting web server (with the SSL protocol). Fortify also adds
the ability to generate 1024-bit RSA keys internally (these are
typically used for client certificates), plus the ability to send
and receive e-mail messages using strong 128-bit encryption (with
the S/MIME protocol).
This version adds support for the first time for Netscape's newest generation of browsers - the v4.5 stream.
|scoop @ 11/04/98 - 17:18 EST|
|Netwatch allows a user (superuser) to monitor an Ethernet segment and examine activity on the network. Hostnames are highlighted in colours (for those supporting them) to indicate activity on the bus network based on time ( less than 1 minute red, less than 5 minutes yellow, less than 30 minutes green and otherwise blue). The monitor includes statistics on transmitted and received packets, transmitted and received bytes, protocol of last packet (TX or RC), last communication partner (IP address) and Logging entire stats to an ASCII file.|
|rc.firewall is a shell script to set up tight rules-based firewalling and IP masquerading using ipchains. The homepage also includes an ipfwadm equivalent.|
|ftpcheck scans hosts and networks for FTP and anonymous FTP archives. It was written as a security analysis tool. ftpcheck is very fast. It can effectively scan a class C network for anonymous FTP sites in less than 5 seconds. It does this by starting a new process for each connection. ftpcheck requires perl and libnet (from CPAN).|
|Squid is a high performance Web proxy cache that can be arranged hierarchically for an improvement in response times and a reduction in bandwith usage. Squid runs on all popular Unix platforms.|
|KSniff Snapshot 981101|
|KSniff is a packet sniffer/analyzer
developed for the KDE project which supports plugins written in
This snapshots contains fixes to the binary RPM and installation as well as further cleanups.
"The Commerce Department will allow a coalition of 10 hi-tech companies to export a new encryption technology ... while enabling law-enforcement officials to eavesdrop on some digitized conversations."
"The coalition, led by Cisco, Ascend, BayNetworks, 3Com, HP, Network Associates, Novell, Red Creek Commuications, Secure Computing, and SUN..."
"Companies also submitted for government approval the private doorbell system... These private doorbell access points rest inside routers... Though the new system allows easy access to electronic massives and files, police would still need a court order to open those messages."
"An administration official said the technology is helpful to law enforcement because it allows them access to e-mail systems, which have proved the most difficult to monitor."
Wall Street Journal, page B5
Suggested by Leonid Yegoshin.
Withdrawal ordered for U.S. Pentagon hackers
SAN FRANCISCO -- Two California teenagers who mounted one of the most systematic hack attacks ever on U.S. military computers have received their official sentence from a federal judge: no more computers. U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney ordered the two, aged 16 and 17, to keep their cybernoses clean during their three-year probation, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced on Thursday. The judge forbade the hackers from possessing or using a computer modem, from acting as computer consultants, or having any contact with computers out of sight of "a school teacher, a librarian, an employer, or other person approved by the probation officer."
Chris Andrian, a lawyer for one of the boys, said Thursday the judge had been wise to pull the plug.
"That is the punishment aspect; it is like taking their toy away from them," Andrian said. "But I think (the order) should stick. They have been sufficiently frightened and humiliated that they don't want to run back into the arms of the law."
After an intensive investigation by the FBI, the Defense Department and NASA, all alarmed over hacker assaults on sensitive military and institutional computers, the boys were cornered on Feb. 25, when FBI agents descended on Cloverdale, about 75 miles (120 km) north of San Francisco, searched their homes and seized computers, software and printers.
Although officials said no classified networks were penetrated, the ease with which the hackers accessed computers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the U.S. Air Force and other organizations clearly demonstrated how vulnerable the U.S. computer system had become.
Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre told reporters the barrage was "the most organized and systematic attack the Pentagon has seen to date," and officials said later the boys' activities had "had the potential to disrupt military communications throughout the world."
The teenagers, who went by the codenames "Makaveli" and "TooShort", pleaded guilty to illegally accessing restricted computers, using "sniffer" programs to intercept computer passwords, and reprogramming computers to allow complete access to all of their files. They also pleaded guilty to inserting "backdoor" programs in the computers to allow themselves to reenter at will.
Beginning with a local Internet service provider, which eventually raised the alarm over possible intrusion, the boys leapfrogged into other systems, including the University of California at Berkeley, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, national laboratories, numerous military computers and two sites in Mexico.
Each of the two teenagers could have been put into custody until his 21st birthday. But Chesney's sentence was the result of plea agreements which included the "no computer" provision.
The two boys were also ordered to serve 100 hours of community service and to pay $4,330 and $1,195 respectively in restitution to institutions and companies damaged by their intrusions.
Andrian, the lawyer for one of the boys, said most of the money would go to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. He added that he felt the teenage hackers had no malicious intentions, but were simply trying to probe the country's most advanced computer systems.
"I call it the Mount Everest effect," Andrian said. "They did it to prove they could."
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