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.

Perimeter

6/22/2009
04:37 PM
John H. Sawyer
John H. Sawyer
Commentary
50%
50%

Maltego: Going On The Offensive *And* Defensive To Defend Against Social Networks

You know the military's ol' mantra about "loose lips sink ships"? Well, it's being redefined by sites like Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook, according to a great article from Federal Computer Week that discusses the threats social networks pose to operational security.

You know the military's ol' mantra about "loose lips sink ships"? Well, it's being redefined by sites like Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook, according to a great article from Federal Computer Week that discusses the threats social networks pose to operational security.The premise behind the article -- a perfect follow-up to my post from last Friday about the potential for data leaks from nontraditional networks -- is that attackers can learn information about their targets from all of the different social networks.

I've written about the threats from social network sites before, but I think having it brought forth by a Defense Intelligence Agency operational security analyst helps put in perspective the seriousness of the threat. Providing such information as your favorite books, sports teams, and commonly frequented coffee shops, for example, can all be used by an attacker to social engineer the target (that means you). That information can also provide clues to gain access to your accounts through guessing passwords or answering password reset questions.

One tool I'm now using regularly is Paterva's Maltego, which helps penetration testers gather the same sort of information from social networking sites, figure out connections between e-mail addresses and personal identities, identify additional sites hosted by a particular IP, and much more. The ease with which you can dig deep into a Website, identity, e-mail address, IP address, and domain name is awesome.

I've always thought of Maltego from an offensive perspective, but its defensive uses can be quite useful for companies concerned about employees divulging too much information, too. For example, the FCW article linked above details an excellent hypothetical scenario in which a person is targeted using information found in his LinkedIn profile and resume. The same could happen to employees throughout your company as a way to see what sorts of information might be floating around just waiting to be used against you.

Wondering if this might be something to try out with your company? Here is a free community edition of Maltego that you can take for test drive. Take a look -- you never know what you might find.

John H. Sawyer is a senior security engineer on the IT Security Team at the University of Florida. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are his own and do not represent the views and opinions of the UF IT Security Team or the University of Florida. When John's not fighting flaming, malware-infested machines or performing autopsies on blitzed boxes, he can usually be found hanging with his family, bouncing a baby on one knee and balancing a laptop on the other. Special to Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment:   It's a PEN test of our cloud security.
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-5226
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-24
Cross-site scripting in SimpleSAMLphp before version 1.18.4. The www/erroreport.php script allows error reports to be submitted and sent to the system administrator. Starting with SimpleSAMLphp 1.18.0, a new SimpleSAML\Utils\EMail class was introduced to handle sending emails, implemented as a wrapp...
CVE-2019-1517
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-24
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was in a CNA pool that was not assigned to any issues during 2019. Notes: none.
CVE-2019-1518
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-24
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was in a CNA pool that was not assigned to any issues during 2019. Notes: none.
CVE-2019-1519
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-24
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was in a CNA pool that was not assigned to any issues during 2019. Notes: none.
CVE-2019-1520
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-24
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was in a CNA pool that was not assigned to any issues during 2019. Notes: none.