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Denver November 2009 meeting

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Wednesday 18 November 2009, 6pm @ Raytheon Polar Services

Anton Rager: "The Evils of XSS: Its not just for cookies anymore"

Many security professionals, security administrators and developers are aware of Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities, but disregard them as a significant risk to an organization. Traditionally XSS attacks have either involved nuisance re-direction of a client or leakage of client cookies/state information to an attacker. They are almost always a one-shot XSS exploit against a vulnerable server and dont have the ability to execute multiple transactions against an XSS vulnerable site.

This presentation briefly outlines current XSS attacks, then discusses and demonstrates methods to create multi-transaction XSS attacks or persistent XSS based browser hi-jacking. Browser hi-jacking uses the victim browser to leverage existing trust that a browser may have with an XSS vulnerable site, and performs an arbitrary number of transactions from the victim browser against the vulnerable site. This means that the attacker can use the victims browser to attack a site that is behind a firewall, requires client-side certificates, filters IP addresses, or has a cached authentication with the victim browser this is way beyond cookie theft as an attacker is actually using the victims browser to access the site. Attack modes can include transparent site traversal thru victim browser (read and/or write to server with access of victim from remote attack console), passive monitoring of victim interaction with target site, or active MITM content modification of information to/from victim browser.

A custom tool (XSS-Proxy) will be demonstrated that demonstrates the ability for a remote attacker to perform these XSS based attacks. XSS persistence and commands are controlled from a Perl based HTTP attack server with victim/XSS target content forwarded to the same server. This does not rely on any new vulnerability in browsers and currently works in modern JavaScript enabled IE and Mozilla/Firefox based browsers.

Presenter: Anton Rager

Anton Rager is an independent security researcher focused on vulnerability exploitation, VPN security and wireless security. He is currently a programmer with an undisclosed network storage startup where he focuses on application development, Linux network magic, and Linux kernel/driver hacking.

He is best known for his work with 802.11 wireless WEP security and associated testing/analysis tools. In 2001 he released WEPCrack, the first open-source, public domain utility to validate the WEP/RC4 attack discovered by Fluhrer, Mantin and Shamir. Anton was also a Contributing Technical Editor to the book Maximum Wireless Security. In 2003 he continued researching 802.11/WEP and developed an injection attack and open-source tool (WEPWedgie) that allows network scanning attacks of WEP encrypted networks without knowledge of WEP keys. This tool/attack is mentioned in the book WI-FOO: The Secrets of Wireless Hacking as well as multiple online articles.

Anton has also focused heavily on IPSec VPN security issues and in 2001 implemented the first open-source utility to allow password attacks against IKE based IPSec VPN connections (IKECrack). Follow-on IPSec research resulted in an IKE protocol testing tool (IKEProber) that highlighted multiple vulnerabilities in common IPSec client/gateway implementations.

More recently he has been working with web application security issues and in 2005 devised a novel Cross-Site-Scripting (XSS) attack method and open-source tool (XSS-Proxy) to allow browser hijacking with XSS vulnerable sites. This tool/attack is also highlighted in Phishing Exposed book and as well as the book XSS-Attacks that he co-authored with other leading XSS researchers.

Anton has presented at well-known security conferences and has conducted many security training and security awareness primers with industry and government sectors. He currently resides and works near Denver, Colorado. In addition to an addictive computer security hobby, Anton is also an extreme mountain biker, snowboarder, naturalist, guitarist and philosopher hack.


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