Tag Archives: Qualys

Problems of Vulnerability Prioritization and Detection

It’s the third part of our talk with Daniil Svetlov at his radio show “Safe Environment” recorded 29.03.2017. In this part we talk about Vulnerability Prioritization and Detection:

  • Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS)
  • Environmental factor
  • Manual and  automated vulnerability detection
  • Unauthenticated and authenticated  scanning
  • Why vulnerability scanners are so expensive and why the can’t detect everything

Scanner does not detect all vulnerabilities

Video with manually transcribed Russian/English subtitles:

Prioritization

– Here also the question how to prioritize vulnerabilities properly. Because if you have, as you said, two Linux servers and 20 workstations running Windows, then in principle, you may not need to do prioritization. But if you have fifteen hundred servers: some of them are on perimeter, some are in your DMZ, some are in the internal network. It is still necessary, probably, to understand correctly which vulnerabilities and where should be patched in in the first place.

Yes, this is absolutely true and it’s a very good question. How to prioritize?

Common Vulnerability Scoring System

A natural way. If we look at vulnerabilities with a CVE identifier, for them in the US National Vulnerability Database we can find CVSS Base Score. It is an assessment of vulnerability criticality level.

How is it calculated?

Some person fills the questionnaire: can it be remotely exploited – no, is there public exploit – no, etc.

CVSS framework

The result is a CVSS vector – this is a line in which you can see the main characteristics of this vulnerability and CVSS Base score is the score from 0 to 10 depending on criticality.

This is a natural way of prioritization. But sometimes this method does not give very good results.

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Carbon Blacking your sensitive data it’s what the agents normally do

But usually without such consequences. In this situation with Carbon Black, I am most interested in the actual reasons of all this media noise. From what point business as usual becomes a scandal. Ok, when you see Carbon Black customer’s private files in public access at Virus Total it’s a 100% epic fail. But what about other options.

Carbon Black and DirectDefense Illustration from investigation by DirectDefense 

  1. Agent makes file analysis by himself on user’s host. It’s probably ok. Some paranoid person, like me, may say that it’s possible that data may leak during the update process, like in case of M.E.Doc. But it probably can be detected it in traffic somehow.
  2. Agent sends file to the vendor’s cloud for further analysis in some private multiscanner. Vendor will have copy of your private data. What if this data will leak? Are you sure that vendor will bear responsibility for this?
  3. Agent sends file to vendor’s cloud, vendor than sends it to some third-party for analysis. Are you sure vendors that you use doesn’t do this? How can you investigate this? What will be your next actions if you figure out that they do it without your permission?
  4. Agent sends file to the vendor’s cloud, vendor then sends it to some third-party for analysis, third-party opens access to this file for a wide range of people.

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Not for Russians

Let’s talk about web-site blocking. Not about cases of government censorship, not about cases where content is blocked for copyright reasons and not even about sanctions. I want to pay attention to the cases when companies block access to their own sites voluntarily for user from the whole country, in particular for the users from Russia.

I do not know why they actually do such things. Perhaps they are trying to defend themselves against evil Russian hackers. Not the most effective measure. Attackers know how to use proxies and VPNs. Maybe they are under constant DDoS attack from Russian IPs? But these problems can also be solved more effectively without blocking an entire country. And this can be understood for the company, which is not much in Information Security, but I see this regularly on the websites of Security Vendors. For example, Tanium:

Tanium

Or a very recent purchase of Qualys, start-up Nevis Networks:

Nevis Networks

But okay, in these cases, only sales of these companies in Russia suffer (if they even exist).

A slightly different case was recently seen on the Amazon recruiting site.

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Qualys new look and new products

As you all know, it’s Black Hat 2017 time. This year Qualys seems to be the main newsmaker among Vulnerability Management vendors. Qualys Team renewed logo and website, updated marketing strategy, presented two new products: CloudView and CertView. I decided to take a look.

New Qualys Logo

Talking about design, I liked the old logo more. I don’t see “Q” here. Mirrored “9” maybe. 🙂 However, I did not like the blue nut of Tenable before and now it looks right and familiar.

Site design was also changed and simplified. I really liked well-structured qualys.com, where and every scan mode (“Cloud Apps”) had it’s own color and icon.

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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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