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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

4/2/2019
11:40 AM
Robert Lemos
Robert Lemos
News
50%
50%

FireEye Creates Free Attack Toolset for Windows

The security services company releases a distribution of 140 programs for penetration testers who need to launch attacks and tools from an instance of Windows.

Kali Linux has become the standard tool for offensive security specialists, but for penetration testers who need native Windows functionality, there has not been a similarly maintained set of tools.

Security service firm FireEye aims to change that. The company released a collection of more than 140 open-source tools for Windows on March 28 that give red-team penetration testers and blue team defenders a curated collection of the top reconnaissance and exploitation programs. Dubbed Complete Mandiant Offensive Virtual Machine, or CommandoVM, the toolset allows security researchers to have a go-to Windows environment for offensive operations, says Jake Barteaux, a consultant for FireEye's Mandiant and a co-creator of the toolset.

"Almost every penetration tester that I have worked with has their own version of a Windows machine that they use during internal pen tests," he says. "Having that Windows machine is standard tradecraft for a lot of penetration testers. A lot of them will install many of the same tools that are included in Commando, but there hasn't ever been a standard toolset for Windows testing."

Toolset distributions for penetration testers solve two major problems. The first is finding the best penetration testing tools. Released in 2013, Kali Linux has some 600 security, reconnaissance and exploitation tools in its distribution, according to Offensive Security, the certification and training group behind the free distribution. CommandoVM contains many of the same tools, some of which work natively on a Windows machine inside a corporate network.

"They can use the VM as a staging area," Barteaux says. "A lot of times, getting a beacon or getting some sort of command-and-control foothold on their own personal virtual machine allows them to pivot into the network easier."

The second major problem for penetration testers is maintenance of their toolset, he says. Packaging up the programs in a distribution also allows for faster maintenance, making patching and updating easier. Kali Linux started out as a distribution that received occasional updates; now the toolset is a rolling distribution with updates multiple times a day.

Red team exercises, also known as penetration testing, allow companies to use employees or consultants to test their network and systems security. While automated scanning will often find issues, penetration testing allows security specialists to focus on digging deeper into potential vulnerabilities. In addition, such activities can help incident responders—blue teams—react more quickly and more knowledgeably to threats.

CommandoVM is based on FireEye's FLARE VM platform for malware analysis and application reverse engineering. The distribution includes a variety of tools commonly used by offensive security testers, including the programming languages Python and Go, the network scanners Nmap and Wireshark, web-security testing frameworks such as BurpSuite, and Windows security tools, such as Sysinternals and Mimikatz. 

"We tried to make the tools easy for junior red teamers to pick up and [use] right away," Barteaux says. "Another goal of mine to create it is to create a tool set. Even senior red teamers might be able to use it. It would be a good way to train people." 

While Kali Linux has become the de facto penetration tester toolset in the past six years, there are times when a pen tester needs Windows, he says.

"Especially when you are red team-focused, you will not have a Linux machine sitting on the network that you can install Kali on," Barteaux says. "You are going to pivot through a Windows machine on the network."

A common attack, for example, is to use CommandoVM to create an Active Directory deployment to act as a beachhead into the network, allowing reconnaissance, credential attacks and other authentication-based compromises. In an example attack using the toolset, FireEye demonstrated identifying a web server running Jenkins, using Burp-Suite to brute force the login credentials and gain privileged execution on the server.

The CommandoVM distribution can be downloaded for Windows 7 or Windows 10 from Github. A list of all the tools in the distribution can be found on the Github Readme file.

Related Content

 

 

 

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two cybersecurity summits at Interop 2019. Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the Interop agenda here.

Veteran technology journalist of more than 20 years. Former research engineer. Written for more than two dozen publications, including CNET News.com, Dark Reading, MIT's Technology Review, Popular Science, and Wired News. Five awards for journalism, including Best Deadline ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
StephenGiderson
100%
0%
StephenGiderson,
User Rank: Strategist
4/14/2019 | 11:52:07 PM
Fair usage
Now that there is one that is made available for the Windows platform, it makes it so much easier for testers to do their work in this environment. It gives a fair chance for users across various platforms to ensure they get in on the know on the latest tools that are available.
bell621iran
50%
50%
bell621iran,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/5/2019 | 6:04:23 AM
Re: Nice Post
Thank you , now I understand. This is really helpful for my website.
Puzzle Games
bell621iran
50%
50%
bell621iran,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/5/2019 | 6:03:32 AM
Nice Post
I visited multiple sites but this site is actually superb. I'm bookmark your site url...
Arcade Games
Mobile Banking Malware Up 50% in First Half of 2019
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/17/2020
Active Directory Needs an Update: Here's Why
Raz Rafaeli, CEO and Co-Founder at Secret Double Octopus,  1/16/2020
New Attack Campaigns Suggest Emotet Threat Is Far From Over
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  1/16/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
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-2019-20399
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-23
A timing vulnerability in the Scalar::check_overflow function in Parity libsecp256k1-rs before 0.3.1 potentially allows an attacker to leak information via a side-channel attack.
CVE-2020-7915
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-22
An issue was discovered on Eaton 5P 850 devices. The Ubicacion SAI field allows XSS attacks by an administrator.
CVE-2019-20391
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-22
An invalid memory access flaw is present in libyang before v1.0-r3 in the function resolve_feature_value() when an if-feature statement is used inside a bit. Applications that use libyang to parse untrusted input yang files may crash.
CVE-2019-20392
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-22
An invalid memory access flaw is present in libyang before v1.0-r1 in the function resolve_feature_value() when an if-feature statement is used inside a list key node, and the feature used is not defined. Applications that use libyang to parse untrusted input yang files may crash.
CVE-2019-20393
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-22
A double-free is present in libyang before v1.0-r1 in the function yyparse() when an empty description is used. Applications that use libyang to parse untrusted input yang files may be vulnerable to this flaw, which would cause a crash or potentially code execution.