Vulnerabilities / Threats
7/23/2009
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Rising Internet Fraud, Darknets On Agenda At Black Hat

The information-security community is set to converge for the industry's premier conference as Black Hat comes to Las Vegas on July 25 - 30.

The economy may still be sputtering but for hackers and scammers, opportunities abound.

At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas next week -- the training sessions begin on Saturday, followed by the presentations on Tuesday -- Jeremiah Grossman, founder and CTO of WhiteHat Security, plans to reveal how hackers are making massive sums on the Internet.

His presentation, "Mo' Money Mo' Problems: Making a LOT More Money on the Web the Black Hat Way," is a follow-up of his Black Hat session last year called "Get Rich or Die Trying."

How much money? He said the schemes he'll be discussing have been used to defraud companies for anywhere from thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions.

The techniques covered aren't vulnerabilities that can be found by automated scanning. Rather, he said, they're ways of taking advantage of business logic flaws, ways of gaming the system in clever ways. As an example, he cites coupon code abuse and password reset hacks.

He also said he'd discuss a scheme to defraud Apple's iPod repair replacement program.

In March, a Michigan man was charged with felony mail fraud and money laundering for allegedly duping Apple into sending him approximately 9,000 iPod Shuffles, some of which he allegedly sold online for $49 apiece. The man, Nicholas Arthur Woodhams, along with several part-time employees, allegedly figured out Apple's iPod Shuffle serial number assignment scheme and then used that knowledge to obtain replacement iPods for units that had never purchased.

"Crime can pay," said Grossman, "and the other lesson here is that a lot of the attacks that are going on are things that a lot of people aren't looking for."

The Black Hat keynote will be delivered by Robert Lentz, CSO of the Department of Defense. Other noted speakers include Amit Yoran, chairman and CEO of NetWitness and former Director of the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security, Linton Wells II, distinguished research professor at National Defense University and former DoD CIO, and Richard H. L. Marshall, senior information assurance representative in the Office of Legislative Affairs at the National Security Agency.

At the show, at least 13 new vulnerabilities and 18 new security tools will debut.

The conference will include presentations about software called Veiled that can establish ad hoc browser-based darknets, data theft by bypassing EV SSL certificates, and Social Security Number prediction techniques.

The researchers who developed the SSN guessing scheme, Alessandro Acquisti, an associate professor of information technology and public policy at CMU's Heinz College, and Ralph Gross, a postdoctoral researcher, estimate that an identity thief could obtain credit card accounts at a rate of up to 47 per minute using their system.

Vulnerabilities in Apple's Mac OS will be the subject of two sessions by Dino Dai Zovi, co-author of "The Mac Hacker's Handbook."

And much attention will be paid to mobile phone vulnerabilities. Sessions covering mobile phone issues include: "Exploratory Android Surgery," "Fuzzing the Phone in your Phone," "Attacking SMS," "iPhone 3.x Exploitation: Pitfalls, Challenges, and Solutions," "Post Exploitation Bliss -- Loading Meterpreter on a Factory iPhone," and "Is Your Phone Pwned?"

There will also be sessions on remotely sniffing keystrokes on laptops and desktop computers using mechanical energy emissions and power line leakage, enterprise Java rootkits, exploiting Smart Meters, breaking "unbreakable" Oracle software using Metasploit, and more.

Black Hat is owned by TechWeb, which publishes InformationWeek.

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