Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Analytics

10/23/2006
09:10 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Metasploit to Go Wireless

Wireless device-driver software set to emerge as the next big petri dish for exploits, attacks

HD Moore, Jon Ellch (a.k.a. johnny cache), and another researcher known as "skape," are collaborating on adding 802.11 wireless exploits to the Metasploit 3.0 penetration testing tool. Moore, the creator of Metasploit, has written a wrapper for the tool that lets it execute raw 802.11 packet injection.

802.11 packet injection lets an attacker go after the lowest level of the operating system, such as wireless device drivers, which Ellch says are an attacker's goldmine. "This code is full of bugs because it is not written by software companies and until recently, bugs in it were not really exploitable," Ellch says. "Now that we can send packets at such a low level, we can hit the bugs in the code."

Wireless device-driver vulnerabilities are becoming a hot topic. Ellch, in a presentation at last week's Blue Hat summit, told Microsoft it needs to work with device-driver vendors to turn off some of the unnecessary wireless card features to minimize the risk of a hack. "The basic problem is end users have two choices on the driver, 'on' or 'off.'" And there's a lot of code in this software associated with features users may not need, such as "power-save," for instance, that leaves the door open for bugs.

"The more code you have, the more bugs there are," he says.

And with Metasploit 3.0 about to include 802.11 exploits as well, Microsoft and device-driver vendors may have to take action sooner, rather than later. "A working Metasploit module is definitely motivation for wireless vendors to review their code," says Moore, who is also director of security research with BreakingPoint Systems. Moore says the new features will likely be ready to go in the next few weeks for Metasploit 3.0.

Meanwhile, Ellch says for Microsoft to better secure the 802.11 device-driver layer of the kernel, it would have to determine which features users could disable in their device drivers. "Microsoft can't fix this themselves," though. The software giant would need to work with wireless card device-driver developers, he says.

Microsoft developers didn't actually commit to following Ellch's recommendations, but they did say it would be easy to implement in Vista. The company has already been searching for device-driver bugs, he says.

"Microsoft is really interested in trying to solve this problem," Ellch says. "That's what really impressed me the most. Microsoft is actively looking for bugs in device drivers, even though they didn't write them. That takes a lot of work, because Microsoft doesn't have the source code" for that.

So why not pitch this to the device-driver vendors themselves? "You won't find one that doesn't say 'we don't have bugs,' but they all do," Ellch says. "Anyone who has not had their device driver patched yet is going to."

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)
  • BreakingPoint Systems Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. 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
     

    Recommended Reading:

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
    COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
    Dark Reading Staff 7/9/2020
    Introducing 'Secure Access Service Edge'
    Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  7/3/2020
    Russian Cyber Gang 'Cosmic Lynx' Focuses on Email Fraud
    Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/7/2020
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon
    Current Issue
    Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
    This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
    Flash Poll
    The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
    The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
    This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2020-15001
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-09
    An information leak was discovered on Yubico YubiKey 5 NFC devices 5.0.0 to 5.2.6 and 5.3.0 to 5.3.1. The OTP application allows a user to set optional access codes on OTP slots. This access code is intended to prevent unauthorized changes to OTP configurations. The access code is not checked when u...
    CVE-2020-15092
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-09
    In TimelineJS before version 3.7.0, some user data renders as HTML. An attacker could implement an XSS exploit with maliciously crafted content in a number of data fields. This risk is present whether the source data for the timeline is stored on Google Sheets or in a JSON configuration file. Most T...
    CVE-2020-15093
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-09
    The tough library (Rust/crates.io) prior to version 0.7.1 does not properly verify the threshold of cryptographic signatures. It allows an attacker to duplicate a valid signature in order to circumvent TUF requiring a minimum threshold of unique signatures before the metadata is considered valid. A ...
    CVE-2020-15299
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-09
    A reflected Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Vulnerability in the KingComposer plugin through 2.9.4 for WordPress allows remote attackers to trick a victim into submitting an install_online_preset AJAX request containing base64-encoded JavaScript (in the kc-online-preset-data POST parameter) that is execu...
    CVE-2020-4173
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-09
    IBM Guardium Activity Insights 10.6 and 11.0 does not set the secure attribute on authorization tokens or session cookies. Attackers may be able to get the cookie values by sending a http:// link to a user or by planting this link in a site the user goes to. The cookie will be sent to the insecure l...