ActiveX Fuzzer Runs IE Through Security Mill

Black Hat Notebook: Michael Lynn's lips are sealed; HD Moore ships an ActiveX fuzzing engine and a new version of the Metasploit exploit platform.

LAS VEGAS— Michael Lynn, the security researcher who provoked a firestorm of controversy at the 2005 Black Hat conference, just wants to fly under the radar this year.

Lynn, who quit his job at Atlanta-based Internet Security Systems to discuss a serious flaw in Cisco IOS (Internetwork Operating System), was spotted attending sessions and gabbing with his peers, a Black Hat conference bag slung over his shoulder.

"Im here as an attendee. Nothing to say, man," Lynn said, politely declining a request for an interview.

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Now working as a vulnerability researcher at Ciscos chief rival, Juniper Networks, in Sunnyvale, Calif., Lynn is being quietly thanked for one major change: conference material on CDs only.

Last year, at the height of the Lynn/Cisco dispute that involved law enforcement and his former employers at ISS, conference organizers were forced to rip pages from the 2-inch-thick book to remove all references to the Cisco IOS flaw.

This year, theres no heavy book to schlep around. All the talks are available as PDF files, stored on a CD.

Ironically, Lynn was last seen attending a swanky Cisco party.

HD Moore ships new ActiveX fuzzer

HD Moore just keeps churning out nifty security projects.

Moore, who is renowned in security circles for his work regarding penetration testing and exploit creation, has recently turned his attention to Web browsers, collaborating on several fuzz-testing tools aimed at finding design flaws.

Fuzz testers, or fuzzers, are used to pinpoint security vulnerabilities by sending random input to an application. If the program contains a vulnerability that leads to an exception, crash or server error, researchers can parse the results of the test to pinpoint the cause of the crash.

On the heels of his rollout of a malware search engine and the MoBB (Month of Browser Bugs) flaw disclosure project, Moore used the Black Hat conference spotlight to showcase a new Web-based ActiveX fuzzing engine capable of discovering vulnerabilities in COM objects exposed through the Internet Explorer browser.

The fuzzer, called AxMan, is designed to be used with IE6 and works by first identifying all registered COM objects and their associated typelib information and then using that information to test each objects properties and methods.

Moore said AxMan will trigger "hundreds of crashes" on a typical system, noting that the challenge for researchers is to figure out which browser crash is associated with which specific test.

AxMan is the fourth browser fuzzer released by Moore. He worked on three others, Hamachi, CSS-Die and DOM-Hanai, which have been used to put the major browsers through the security testing mill.

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Metasploit reloaded

HD Moores point-and-click Metasploit Framework has undergone a major makeover and the researcher plans to showcase the improvements to the point-and-click pen testing and hacking tool.

In a talk entitled "Metasploit Reloaded," Moore plans to discuss new modules and new functionality available in the Metasploit Framework 3.0 Beta 1.

/zimages/4/28571.gifFor advice on how to secure your network and applications, as well as the latest security news, visit Ziff Davis Internets Security IT Hub.

Moore said the primary goals of the 3.0 branch of the open-source exploit creation tool are to improve automation of exploitation through scripting, to simplify the process of writing an exploit, to increase the re-use of code between exploits, and to improve and generically integrate evasion techniques.

In Version 3.0, Metasploit developers have added new types of "passive" exploits (browser, sniffer, IDS attacks) and denial-of-service modules for recent Microsoft security patches and for multiple shells per exploit.

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