Category Archives: Video

Microsoft Patch Tuesday March 2020: a new record was set, SMBv3 “Wormable” RCE and updates for February goldies

SMBv3 “Wormable” RCE

Without a doubt, the hottest Microsoft vulnerability in March 2020 is the “Wormable” Remote Code Execution in SMB v3 CVE-2020-0796. The most commonly used names for this vulnerability are EternalDarkness, SMBGhost and CoronaBlue.

Microsoft Patch Tuesday for March 2020: a new record was set, SMBv3  "Wormable" RCE and updates for February goldies

There was a strange story of how it was disclosed. It seems like Microsoft accidentally mentioned it in their blog. Than they somehow found out that the patch for this vulnerability will not be released in the March Patch Tuesday. So, they removed the reference to this vulnerability from the blogpost as quickly as they could.

But some security experts have seen it. And, of course, after EternalBlue and massive cryptolocker attacks in 2017, each RCE in SMB means “OMG, this is happening again, we need to do something really fast!” So, Microsoft just had to publish an advisory for this vulnerability with the workaround ADV200005 and to release an urgent patch KB4551762.

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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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Is Vulnerability Management more about Vulnerabilities or Management?

I’ve just read a nice article about Vulnerability Management in the Acribia blog (in Russian). An extract and my comments below.

In the most cases Vulnerability Management is not about Vulnerabilities, but about Management. Just filtering the most critical vulnerabilities is not enough.

Practical Cases:

  1. “Oh, yes, we know ourselves that that everything is bad!” – CVE-2013−4786 IPMI password hash disclosure on > 500 servers. Customer just accepted the risks, Acribia proposed an effective workaround (unbrutable user IDs and passwords). It’s often hard to figure out right remediation measures and implement them. Someone should do it!
  2. “We can download OpenVAS without your help!” – CVE-2018-0171 Cisco Smart Install RCE on 350 hosts. Vulnerability detection rules of several Vulnerability Scanners were not good enough to detect this vulnerability. Do not rely on scanners, know how they work and their limitations.
  3. “If the attackers wanted to hack us, they would have already done it!” – CVE-2017-0144 (MS17-010) Windows SMB RCE on domain controller and several other critical servers. Vulnerability was detected in infrastructure several times, the remediation was agreed with the management, but it was ignored by responsible IT guys. As a result, during the next successful WannaCry-like malware attack the servers, including the DC were destroyed. Vulnerability Management is about the willingness to patch anything, very quickly, as often as required. Otherwise, it makes no sense.

PHDays 9: new methods of Vulnerability Prioritization in Vulnerability Management products

On May 21, I spoke at the PHDays 9 conference. I talked about new methods of Vulnerability Prioritization in the products of Vulnerability Management vendors.

PHDays9 new ways of prioritizing vulnerabilities

During my 15 minutes time slot I defined the problems that this new technology has to solve, showed why these problems could NOT be solved using existing frameworks (CVSS), described what we currently have on the market and, as usual, criticized VM vendors and theirs solutions a little bit. 🙂

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Code IB 2019: Vulnerability Management Masterclass

On March 29, I held one hour master class “HOW to avoid excessive formalism in Vulnerability Management process” at Code IB Profi 2019. Everything went quite well and I’ve got 88% positive ratings. Not bad result ^_^.

The main feature of the conference was a very special audience. The only way to visit this event was to buy a real ticket (there were no promotional codes, invites, free tickets from sponsors, etc.). So, the people who came were really interested in the content. Target audience: CISO, their deputies, leading experts from all industries. The whole event was up to 200 people, it lasted for 2 days with 4 threads of masterclasses.

This year organizers decided that titles of all masterclasses should start with “How to” (to keep them practical) and there should be checklists for each masterclass as a handout. I am going to translate my checklist Into English and publish it in this blog soon.

In fact, there were 2 masterclasses on Vulnerability Management at the conference! The second was held by Lev Paley. However, our content did not intersect: I spoke mostly about technical stuff (and I criticized VM vendors as usual), and he spoke mainly about the organizational part and high-level processes.

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Splunk Discovery Day Moscow 2018

Today I attended the Splunk Discovery Day 2018 conference. It is something like a local equivalent of the famous Splunk .conf. More than 200 people have registered. The event was held in the luxury Baltschug Kempinski hotel in the very center of Moscow with a beautiful view of the Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Recently, I have been working more and more with Splunk: I develop connectors, write searches and dashboards, optimize them. Splunk has become the main data visualization tool for me.

Splunk Discovery Day Moscow 2018

Video from the event (27 minutes). This is NOT a complete recording of speeches, but rather some fragments and slides.

At the same time, I make most of data analysis with my own Python scripts. Currently this approach seems more effective. But as for providing final results in a beautiful way and making various notifications, in this sphere Splunk is really convenient and useful. Of course, I can make own a Web GUI application that will do something similar for my tasks, it doesn’t make sense if there is an Enterprise level tool that is very good for this.

My tasks are not quite typical for Splunk clients from Security Teams who look at it in the context of SIEM and SOC mainly. Asset Inventory is actually similar to Business Intelligence: almost all connectors are non-standard, and there are no strict requirements for real time (we operate with days and months, not seconds). We have same approach: “Bring some data to Splunk and get insights from it.” And in this sense, it is great that this event was NOT for the information security experts mainly.

It was mentioned a lot that Splunk is primarily a tool for Business Intelligence. And it’s not just for geeks. Splunk is preparing a mobile application with augmented reality, technologies for recognizing requests in natural language and voice. I think this is all mainly for fun, but the trend for casualty is clear.

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