Tag Archives: Positive Technologies

PHDays VII: To Vulnerability Database and beyond

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, May 23-24, I attended PHDays VII conference in Moscow. I was talking there about vulnerability databases and the evolution process of vulnerability assessment tools, as far as I understand it.

To Vulnerability Database and beyond

But first of all, a few words about the conference itself. I can tell that since the last year the event got even better. I’ve seen lot of new faces. Some people I didn’t know, but they knew me by my blog and accounts in social networks. What a strange, strange time we live in! I was very pleased to see and to talk with you all, guys! 🙂

PHDays is one of the few events that truly brings all Russian community of security professionals together. I’ve seen people I have studied with in university, colleagues from the all places where I have been worked, and nearly all researchers and security practitioners that I follow. Big thanks for the organizers, Positive Technologies, for such an amazing opportunity!

It is also a truly international event. You can see speakers from all over the world. And all information is available both in Russian and English. Almost all slides are in English. Three parallel streams of reports, workshops and panel discussions were dubbed by professional simultaneous interpreters, like it is a United Nations sessions or something, recorded and broadcast live by the team of operators and directors. Final result looks really great.

Video of my presentation:

I was talking too fast and used some expressions that was hard to translate. The translator, however, did an awesome job. He is my hero! 🙂 If you didn’t understand something on video, I made a transcript bellow.

A version without translation for Russian-speakers is here.

Slides:

Unfortunately gif animation is not working in the Slideshare viewer.

Today I would like to discuss vulnerability databases and how vulnerability assessment systems has been evolving. Prior to discussing vulnerability databases I need to say that any vulnerability is just a software error, a bug, that allowing hacker to do some cool things. Software developers and vendors post information about such vulnerabilities on their websites. And there are tons and tones of vendors, and websites, and software products, and vulnerabilities.

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My comments on Forrester’s “Vulnerability Management vendor landscape 2017”

A top consulting company, Forrester Research, recently published report “Vendor Landscape: Vulnerability Management, 2017“. You can read for free by filling a small form on Tenable web site.

Forrester Vendor Landscape: Vulnerability Management, 2017

What’s interesting in this document? First of all, Josh Zelonis and co-authors presented their version of VM products  evolution. It consists of this steps (I have reformulated them a bit for the copyright reasons) :

  1. Initial fear of automated vulnerability assessment tools
  2. Mid-1990s and first productized offerings
  3. Authenticated scanning dramatically improved accuracy of scans
  4. Application scanning (DAST)
  5. Security assessment of software containers and DevOps in general.

As you see, the last one is about containerization. And it is now presented only in Tenable.io/FlawCheck. 😉

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Programmers are also people who also make mistakes

It’s the first part of our talk with Daniil Svetlov at his radio show “Safe Environment” (or “Safe Wednesday” – kind of wordplay in Russian) recorded 29.03.2017. We were discussing why Software Vulnerabilities are everyone’s problem. Full video in Russian without subtitles is available here.

If we look at who commits, who adds vulnerabilities to the CVE database, they are very different people.

I added manually transcribed Russian/English subtitles to the video:

  • Why vulnerabilities are dangerous for business and for ordinary people?
  • How vulnerabilities appear in programs?
  • How to write code safely?
  • What motivates vulnerability researchers?
  • Vulnerabilities as a first step in writing malicious software

We wanted to talk today about software vulnerabilities. Tell me, what is it all about, why are they dangerous for business, for ordinary people and what are the difficulties with their remediation.

Speaking about vulnerabilities, it’s probably worth to tell how they generally appear in programs.

Let’s say we have a company. This company is developing some software. Some programmers work in it. Programmers are also people who also make mistakes. And if some mistakes that are directly related to the functionality of this application, can be detected quite simply in the testing process…

Are you talking about functional testing?

Yes, it is about functional testing.

QA specialists can quickly find these vulnerabilities, or these problems, these bugs. Some problems can not be detected in such a simple way. For example, some problems related to security.

Why? Because the main task of the programmers: the program should work.

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MaxPatrol 8 installation process

Today I have a great opportunity to write about MaxPatrol 8. For me it is a very nostalgic experience. I worked for many year in Positive Technologies developing this product. And now I can write about it from the customer side.

MaxPatrol is still not very well known outside Russia and CIS, although this product available in English, and has even a Korean localization. So, why not to introduce this product to the readers of my blog? The other reason to write this post is a pretty common opinion, that MaxPatrol is very hard to install and use, and it is the main disadvantage of the product. In fact it is not true.

MaxPatrol 8 loading screen

MaxPatrol is not perfect like any other product. But it’s no more complex than any other enterprise level Vulnerability Management product. It’s my considered opinion after working with a number of other vulnerability and compliance assessment products. GUI may look unfamiliar from the first look, but you can quickly get used to it.

As for the functional capabilities, in some cases it is even difficult to compete with MaxPatrol. Here are the most interesting features:

  1. Advanced White Box assessment:
    • Extended OS inventory
    • Software license control
    • User control
    • Password recovery (hash brute-force)
    • Security checks for running services
  2. Advanced Compliance scanning capabilities
  3. Special assessment modules:
    • SAP ERP
    • SCADA
    • Core telecom networks
  4. Forensic mode – security incidents detection based on event logs analysis

The first blog post will be about MaxPatrol installation.

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Gartner’s view on Vulnerability Management market

Not so long time ago Gartner’s report “Vulnerability Management an essential piece of the security puzzle” has become publicly available. Now you can read it for free by filling out a questionnaire on F-Secure website.

Gartner VM Market Guide

At the bottom of the document there is a reference to Gartner G00294756 from 05 December 2016. This document is quite fresh, especially for not very dynamic VM market ;-), and pretty expensive. Thanks for F-secure, we can read it now for free. If you are wondering why this anti-virus company is sponsoring Gartner VM reports: year ago they have bought Finnish VM vendor nScence, and I even did a small review of this product (F-Secure Radar Vulnerability Management solution, F-Secure Radar basic reporting, F-Secure Radar ticketing, F-Secure API for scanning).

Talking about the document, I would like, firstly, to thank Gartner. Do you know who writes most articles about VM? Of course, VM vendors. And we all understand that their main goal is to promote their own products. Reports of independent consulting firms, primarily IDC, Forrester and Gartner, allow us to get some balanced view from the side. It is very important.

Here I would like to comment some theses of the text.

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