Operations
8/19/2014
12:30 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
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
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
Enterprises today have a wide range of third-party options to help improve their defenses, including MSSPs, auditing and penetration testing, and DDoS protection. But are there situations in which a service provider might actually increase risk?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-0750
Published: 2015-05-22
The administrative web interface in Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) 10.6(1) and earlier allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary commands via crafted input to unspecified fields, aka Bug ID CSCut02786.

CVE-2012-1978
Published: 2015-05-21
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in Simple PHP Agenda 2.2.8 and earlier allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) add an administrator via a request to auth/process.php, (2) delete an administrator via a request to auth/admi...

CVE-2015-0741
Published: 2015-05-21
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in Cisco Prime Central for Hosted Collaboration Solution (PC4HCS) 10.6(1) and earlier allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users, aka Bug ID CSCut04596.

CVE-2015-0742
Published: 2015-05-21
The Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) application in Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Software 9.2(0.0), 9.2(0.104), 9.2(3.1), 9.2(3.4), 9.3(1.105), 9.3(2.100), 9.4(0.115), 100.13(0.21), 100.13(20.3), 100.13(21.9), and 100.14(1.1) does not properly implement multicast-forwarding registrati...

CVE-2015-0746
Published: 2015-05-21
The REST API in Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) 5.5(0.46.2) allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (API outage) by sending many requests, aka Bug ID CSCut62022.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.