Operations
8/19/2014
12:30 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail vvv
100%
0%

Access Point Pinched From Black Hat Show WLAN

A few apparent pranks, practice DDoS attacks, and other mischievous activities were spotted on the Black Hat USA wireless network in Las Vegas this month.

Missing: One wireless access point that had been mounted on a hand-crafted stand built from PVC pipe purchased at a home improvement store.

Last seen: At Black Hat USA in Las Vegas in the halls of the Mandalay Bay Conference Center.

Have you seen this wireless access point? An AP just like this one was pilfered from the Black Hat USA show network.

Have you seen this wireless access point? An AP just like this one was pilfered from the Black Hat USA show network.

Whoever ripped off the wireless AP from the Black Hat USA show network really couldn't do much with it without an Aruba controller to go along with it. Even so, by now it may be sitting on a WLAN somewhere or up for sale on eBay.

Jon Green, CTO of Aruba Government Solutions, who headed up the NOC team that ran the onsite wireless LAN for the Black Hat conference, told me that during the show he had seen someone trying to install a sniffer on another of the show network's APs in an apparent attempt to monitor traffic going through it.

The now-missing AP later disappeared altogether and has not been found. The culprits left behind the homemade PVC mounting stand, though.

"We never found the stolen AP. We really have no choice but to write it off at this point," Green said. "Given the nature of our architecture, there's nothing an attacker could get out of the AP that would provide any value, however. Best we can do is work with the conference center next year to improve physical security, or maybe we need to keep APs out of the hallways at night."

[Black Hat USA's wireless network offers authenticated, secure access as well as "open" access. Read A Peek Inside The Black Hat Show Network.]

Green and his team also battled a few denial-of-service attacks on the show network, but none that lasted for very long. The DDoSes were more about experimentation than network takedown, they say. "There were also quite a few impersonating APs, meaning someone trying to advertise the BlackHat-2014 network from their own APs," Green said. "Those we were able to block fairly effectively, at least in the places where we had WiFi coverage."

The Black Hat WLAN offered both a WPA2-based secure network for attendees and an open, unsecured network that's mostly used for test-driving hacking tools and new skills acquired in Black Hat training sessions -- and maybe a for a little bad behavior here and there.

Overall, the NOC team didn't have to fend off any major security incidents. Among the final stats: The network traffic peaked at 1,150 concurrent users; the team saw 1,000 concurrent MiFi devices; and 45% of users opted for the secure access network option.

Lessons learned from this year's show network: "People have gotten wiser about certificate issues lately, so we'll be making some improvements in how we provide the secure network," Green said.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Kelly Jackson Higgins
50%
50%
Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
8/27/2014 | 9:48:27 AM
Re: Physical Security - Yeah, that......
Yes--the NOC team says it was a lesson learned. You would think that the Mandalay Convention Center would be relatively secure physically, as most casinos and establishments are in Vegas. 
wloveless294
50%
50%
wloveless294,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/27/2014 | 4:02:34 AM
Physical Security - Yeah, that......
So a person was seen attempting to direclty connect to the LAN port to install a sniffer....then the AP goes missing.  Both incidents scream out, where was the phsyical security measures?!  Meaning....lock it up if someone is not sitting there, and never have open LAN ports in accessible areas, especially public, and certainly at night or when no one is physically present. 
Kelly Jackson Higgins
50%
50%
Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
8/19/2014 | 3:47:10 PM
Re: broom closet?
It was definitely removed from the stand and disconnected from the network. Where it went after that remains a mystery. 
soozyg
50%
50%
soozyg,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/19/2014 | 3:45:05 PM
broom closet?
Maybe some inexperienced staff stuck it in a broom closet somewhere?
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: "I've seen worse.  Last week Tim had a dragon."
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.