Monthly Archives: March 2012

BSides Detroit 12 Interviews 13

This week Wolfgang and Chris talk with Mike Westra of Ford. Mike is talking about the Ford Sync System and clearing up some of the misconceptions of hacking your car. He also touches on how he heard of BSides Detroit.

This episode is cross-posted at Rats and Rogues.

BSides Detroit 12 Interviews 12

This week Wolfgang and Josh Little (aka Zombie Tango, co-founder of #misec and OWASP Detroit), interview Kris Lamb of Arbor Networks. Arbor Networks is a returning sponsor of BSides Detroit, thanks in part to Kris’s advocacy. Kris has some interesting insights into the security community in general and the advantages of the Michigan community in particular.

This episode is cross-posted at Rats and Rogues.


BSides Detroit 12 Interviews 11

his week Wolfgang and I are joined by a rogue. @Rogueclown, that is.  You might remember Nicolle Neulist from the Rats and Rogues Panel episode back in January. This time Nicolle is talking about HSTS, or HTTP Strict Transport Security. Since the interview, she’s gone on do do more research, which means her talk will be all that better.

Abstract: Although not widely implemented on websites yet, HTTP Strict Transport Security is a standards-track web security mechanism designed to allow a website to force a browser to only accept the site if it is delivered over SSL/TLS. HSTS has been implemented on two of the three most widely used browsers: Firefox and Chrome. It is designed as a transparent way to protect users from sniffing attacks and spoofed pages, by forcing SSL/TLS on pages that should have it. This presentation explores the design of HSTS as well as its implementation. Basically, all HSTS contains is one header telling the browser to only accept the site over a secure and trusted connection for a certain time. Except for a few dozen sites, for which HSTS protection has been hard-coded into Chrome at the request of the website owners, HSTS data for both Firefox and Chrome is saved in a user’s profile. If a user tries to load a site in the browser’s HSTS database, and the site is delivered either over plaintext or with a bad certificate, the browser returns an error that the site is not available. HSTS is designed to be transparent to the user — which is good for keeping users off some malicious sites, but can also be dangerous in the sense that it is so easy to take away a protection that a user doesn’t even know is there. One common way in which HSTS is mis-implemented by webmasters is by putting HSTS headers on a subdomain ( without putting one on the website at the main domain ( — even if only serves as a redirect to Even with HSTS in place, and the database knowing that should be accessed securely, a user who only types could access a malicious site. I will show a demonstration of this in a VM lab with a rogue DNS server provided by a DHCP server as the attack vector; DNSChanger malware, however, would work just as well. This can be straightforwardly addressed by webmasters, by placing an HSTS header at with subdomain permissions enabled, or adding HSTS headers to all pages at all domains and subdomains. Another implementation flaw involves the threat of an attacker adulterating or deleting a browser’s HSTS database. Since HSTS is transparent, a user is unlikely to notice if the database has been tampered with. I will demonstrate and share code (written as a Metasploit module for the sake of community usability) that will remove the HSTS databases for both Firefox and Chrome, as well as continue to do so in the future — leaving the user vulnerable to accessing malicious sites posting with “legitimate” domain names when using a rogue DNS server. Although with root privileges this can be done for all users, even with user-level privileges this can be set to persistently break any given user’s HSTS protection. Hard-coding, as Chrome does, may work for small amounts of sites, but may not be scalable as more sites adopt HSTS.

This episode is cross-posted at Rats and Rogues.

BSides Detroit 12 Interviews 10

It is week 10, Wolfgang said we’re half way through. This week Justin and I were not available so Wolf and Ray talked to Rob Former (Slugs on Toast).

Rob is talking about “Smart” Power Meters. Ray actually asks some good questions. Listen in to find out just how secure and safe the new tech really is.

Abstract: In the information security business, it seems you can’t open a journal or blog site without being inundated with articles about SmartMeters and AMI. There is a lot of speculation and FUD on this topic. There are claims of wormable code and full carnal pwnage. What are the facts? What can you really do to hack a meter, and what does that gain you? This talk will examine the vulnerability points of a typical meter and the systems that support it. Will you be able to hack a meter by the end of this talk? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on how smart you are I guess. What you WILL get out of this talk is a sense of the security realities that adding two-way communication and shutoff switches to the meter on the side of your house brings, along with the ability to tell if the talking head on is full of sh*t or not. Oh yes, I’ll also be poking fun at the Tin Foil Hat crowd. If you don’t know who that is, come to the talk.

This episode is cross-posted at Rats and Rogues.