Disguised Raspberry Pi that can Hack your Network

I’ve been playing around with a Raspberry Pi on and off for a while now. The credit card sized, fully functional computer can do many things, including being transformed into a security testing tool!

There is a great article on TunnelsUp.com that demonstrates disguising a Raspberry Pi computer as a power plug and configuring it to connect out to a control server using SSH. Basically making it into something like the popular Pwnie Plug device.

When assembled, the device looks like a any other power adapter that clutters our power hungry offices. Except this one allows someone on the outside of the building to connect into the building, possibly allowing them to perform attacks against your infrastructure.

Though the author mentions just using “A Linux OS” on the PI, using something like this and placing Kali Linux on it would make it a very powerful (and affordable) attack/ security testing platform. Kali is the latest version of the Backtrack penetration testing platform, is loaded with security tools and works exceptionally well on a Raspberry Pi.

Very cool project, this should jog the creative mind of penetration testers and hopefully be a warning to IT departments to keep an eye out for rogue devices such as this.


Hard Drive Hacking – Hardware Backdoor even if Drive Wiped!

Hard Drive Hack

With all eyes on the Vegas security conferences, some amazing news comes out of OHM2013, a security conference in The Netherlands. At the show a security researcher demonstrated how a hacker could re-program the firmware on a hard drive to maintain a backdoor, and apparently the attack would still work even if the hard drive was erased and reformatted!

This week at a European security conference a security researcher demonstrated an attack that would allow a hacker to access and modify the Flash Firmware on a hard drive and program it to protect his access.

Firmware is code stored on a special flash-able chip on the drive. The built in code tells the drive how to work, how to read and write data. It is flashable (can be reprogrammed) so the manufacturer can release updates to the firmware. Most people never re-flash or update their hard drive firmware.

At the security conference, the presenter demonstrated how the attack works. He ran the program to modify the firmware on a drive. He pretended his access was detected and the administrator password was reset.

The firmware was programmed to look for a special trigger code, a special website address perhaps, that once the hard drive cache sees, it grabs the password file the next time it is accessed and changes the password back to what the hacker set it to.

And it worked!

So basically, if the hard drive firmware is compromised by a hacker, they could change it to allow them to have access to the compromised system again, even if the entire drive was erased and re-formatted.

Crazy stuff.

For more information, including a step by step explanation and proof of concept code, check out Spritesmods.com.

Will Emergency Alert Vulnerability lead to new Zombie Attack Warnings?

You are sitting with your best friend watching TV when the shrill warning of the Emergency Alert Warning goes off on your TV.  As the text scrolls across the screen you wonder if it could it be an approaching storm or worse, a tornado warning. But not this time.

It is something much better,

A Zombie attack!

But before you pile into your car, grab your girlfriend Liz, then head to the Winchester to have a nice cold pint and wait for all of this to blow over  like in ‘Shaun of the Dead’. The zombie apocalypse you are being threatened with could just be a fake warning posted by a hacker.

This is exactly what happened to TV viewers in Great Falls, Montana back in February. An infomercial was interrupted by the familiar warning bell and an Emergency Alert warning stating “bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living“. They were warned “Do not attempt to approach or apprehend the bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous.”

The warning was fake of course, as a hacker had obtained control of the Emergency Alert System. And it could happen again as a new security vulnerability has been found in the system.

According to The Register, security “researchers at IOActive have found that systems used to receive and authenticate emergency alert messages are vulnerable to remote attack.”

Apparently root level SSH keys in some Linux Web App Servers used by the alert system have been publicly released in a firmware upgrade.

This key allows an attacker to remotely log on in over the internet and can manipulate any system function. For example, they could disrupt a station’s ability to transmit and could disseminate false emergency information. For any of these issues to be resolved, we believe that re-engineering needs to be done on the digital alerting system side and firmware updates to be pushed to all appliances,” said Mike Davis of IOActive.

Not good, as many rely heavily on the Emergency Alert System. Especially in areas that have strong or unpredictable weather patterns.

Until the situation is remedied, if you receive a Zombie Apocalypse warning from the TV, think twice before you grab your shotgun and head down to the cemetery to play Left 4 Dead 2 in real life…

Video Training: Kali Linux – Assuring Security by Penetration Testing

Want to learn computer security and don’t know where to start? Want to learn some of the latest hacking and pentesting techniques using Kali Linux? Know security pretty well, but want to brush up on your skills and see what the new Kali Linux has to offer?

And all at a very affordable price?

Then look no further than “Kali Linux – Backtrack Evolved: Assuring Security by Penetration Testing“. 

The teacher, Justin Hutchens is a bright young rising infosec star. I had the absolute honor to work on Justin’s training class as a technical reviewer, and can honestly tell you that you are going to be engaged, and you are going to learn some great material from a very impressive, easy to follow and capable teacher.

The course covers almost 3 hours of hands on learning that will teach you how to:

  • Prepare a fully-functional and low-budget security lab, where you can practice and develop your penetration testing skills without fear of legal consequence
  • Gather information about a target with advanced reconnaissance techniques
  • Identify target systems on a network using host discovery tools
  • Identify services running on target systems by scanning and enumeration
  • Discover vulnerabilities to determine potential attack vectors
  • Launch automated exploits and payloads using the Metasploit Framework
  • Learn a variety of hands-on techniques to exploit target systems
  • Establish backdoors to ensure continued access
  • Escalate privileges to acquire maximum control over compromised systems

For pricing and more information see the PacktPub Website.

Check it out!