Category Archives: Productology

Microsoft Patch Tuesday July 2020: my new open source project Vulristics, DNS SIGRed, RDP Client and SharePoint

I am doing this episode about July vulnerabilities already in August. There are 2 reasons for this. First of all, July Microsoft Patch Tuesday was published in the middle of the month, as late as possible. Secondly, in the second half of July I spent my free time mostly on coding. And I would like to talk more about this.

Microsoft Patch Tuesday July 2020: my new open source project Vulristics, DNS SIGRed, RDP Client and SharePoint

Vulristics

I decided to release my Microsoft Patch Tuesday reporting tool as part of a larger open source project (github). I named it Vulristics (from “Vulnerability” and “Heuristics”). I want this to be an extensible framework for analyzing publicly available information about vulnerabilities.

Let’s say we have a vulnerability ID (CVE ID) and we need to decide whether it is really critical or not. We will probably go to some vulnerability databases (NVD, CVE page on the Microsoft website, Vulners.com, etc.) and somehow analyze the descriptions and parameters. Right? Such analysis can be quite complex and not so obvious. My idea is to formalize it and make it shareable. It may not be the most efficient way to process data, but it should reflect real human experience, the things that real vulnerability analysts do. This is the main goal.

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Barapass, Tsunami scanner, vulnerabilities in Windows DNS Server and SAP products, weird attack on Twitter

This episode is based on posts from my Telegram channel avleonovcom, published in the last 2 weeks. So, if you use Telegram, please subscribe. I update it frequently.

Barapass, Tsunami scanner, vulnerabilities in Windows DNS Server and SAP products, weird attack on Twitter

Barapass update

I recently released an update to my password manager barapass. BTW, it seems to be my only pet project at the MVP stage, which I use every day. 😅

What’s new:

  1. Now I am sure that it works on Windows 10 without WSL. And you can run it beautifully even with the icon. 😊 Read more about installation in Windows in this file.
  2. Not only “copy the next value to the clipboard” (or “revolver mode” ) is now possible in the search results section. You can also get the previous value or copy the same value one again if it was somehow erased in the clipboard. Previously, I had to retype the search request each time to do this, and it was quite annoying. By the way, I unexpectedly discovered that the user input history inside the application magically works in the Windows shell (using up and down arrows) without any additional coding. On Linux it does not.
  3. You can set a startup command, for example, to decrypt the container.
  4. The startup command and quick (favorite) commands are now in settings.json and not hard-coded.
  5. settings.json, container files and decrypted files are now in “files” directory. It became more convenient to update barapass, just change the scripts in the root directory and that’s it. I divided the scripts into several files, now it should be more clear how it works.

So, if you need a minimalistic console password manager in which you can easily use any encryption you like – welcome! You can read more about barapass in my previous post.

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How to list, create, update and delete Grafana dashboards via API

I have been a Splunk guy for quite some time, 4 years or so. I have made several blog posts describing how to work with Splunk in automated manner (see in appendix). But after their decision to stop their business in Russia last year, including customer support and selling software and services, it was just a matter of time for me to start working with other dashboarding tools.

How to list, create, update and delete Grafana dashboards via API

For me, Grafana has become such a tool. In this post I want to describe the basic API operations with Grafana dashboards, which are necessary if you need to create and update dozens and hundreds of dashboards. Doing all this in the GUI will be painful. Grafana has a pretty logical and well-documented API. The only tricky moments I had were getting a list of all dashboard and editing an existing dashboard.

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Anti-Phishing process with advanced phishing attacks simulation

This time I want to write about the service of my friends from Antiphish. They call it “security awareness and employee behaviour management platform”. Simply put, they teach company employees how to detect and avoid phishing attacks.

By the way, they are great guys, made a demo for me, prepared custom templates, like in real PoC for a corporate client. Thanks so much for the excellent work!

The main idea

When you sign in to the Antiphish interface, you see the dashboards with information about the people who studied security courses, were tested during the course and were checked using emulated phishing attacks (some of these attacks are amazing, and I’ll show them at the end). This is the main idea. How can you protect your organization from phishing attacks? Educate people and constantly provoke them. Not just to send an email and see the employees who visited your “malicious” website. No, there should be a process!

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Microsoft Patch Tuesday April 2020: my classification script, confusing RCE in Adobe Type Manager and updates for older vulnerabilities

Easiest task ever?

Making the reviews of Microsoft Patch Tuesday vulnerabilities should be an easy task. All vulnerability data is publicly available. Even better, dozens of reviews have already been written. Just read them, combine and post. Right?

Microsoft Patch Tuesday April 2020: my classification script, confusing RCE in Adobe Type Manager and updates for older vulnerabilities

Not really. In fact it is quite boring and annoying. It may be fun to write about vulnerabilities that were already used in some real attacks. But this is a very small part of all vulnerabilities. What about more than a hundred others? They are like “some vulnerability in some component may be used in some attack (or may be not)”. If you describe each of them, no one will read or listen this.

You must choose what to highlight. And when I am reading the reports from Tenable, Qualys and ZDI, I see that they choose very different groups of vulnerabilities, pretty much randomly.

My classification script

That’s why I created a script that takes Patch Tuesday CVE data from microsoft.com and visualizes it giving me helicopter view on what can be interesting there. With nice grouping by vulnerability type and product, with custom icons for vulnerability types, coloring based on severity, etc.

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Parsing Nessus v2 XML reports with python

Upd. This is an updated post from 2017. The original script worked pretty well for me until the most recent moment when I needed to get compliance data from Nessus scan reports, and it failed. So I researched how this information is stored in a file, changed my script a bit, and now I want to share it with you.

Previous post about Nessus v2 reports I was writing mainly about the format itself. Now let’s see how you can parse them with Python.

Please don’t work with XML documents the same way you process text files. I adore bash scripting and awk, but that’s an awful idea to use it for XML parsing. In Python you can do it much easier and the script will work much faster. I will use lxml library for this.

So, let’s assume that we have Nessus xml report. We could get it using Nessus API (upd. API is not officially supported in Nessus Professional since version 7) or SecurityCenter API. First of all, we need to read content of the file.

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Forrester report for Rapid7: number juggling and an excellent overview of Vulnerability Management problems

I recently read Forrester’s 20-page report “The Total Economic Impact™ Of Rapid7 InsightVM“. It is about the Cost Savings And Business Benefits that Vulnerability Management solution can bring to the organizations.

Forrester report for Rapid7

In short, I didn’t like everything related to money. It seems like juggling with numbers, useless and boring. But I really liked the quotes from customers who criticized existing Vulnerability Management solutions, especially the low quality of the remediation data. These are the real pain points of Vulnerability Management process.

How did Forrester count money?

Forrester interviewed five existing customers of Rapid7 and created a “composite organization”.

This “composite organization” has 12,000 IT assets and spends $223,374 per year on Rapid7 InsightVM ($670,123 for 3 years) including integrations and trainings costs. That means $18 per host. Well, quite a lot, especially when compared to unlimited Nessus Professional for just $2,390 per year. A wonderland of Enterprise Vulnerability Management. 🙂

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