July 29, 2007

Chief Security Strategist @ Splunk

Filed under: Log Analysis — @ 29th of July 2007, 20:12

Effective immediately, I have a new employer! I am leaving ArcSight to start working for Splunk, an IT search company in San Francisco. As their Chief Security Strategist, I will be working in product management, with responsibility for all of the UI and solutions.

The work I have been doing in my past with log management and especially visualization is going to directly apply to my new job. I will be spending quite some time to help further the visual interfaces and define use-cases for log management. Exactly what I’ve been doing for the last four years already 😉

Please don’t send me any emails to my arcsight email anymore. My new address:
raffy at splunk . c o m

I found out that a lot of the Splunk developers hang out on IRC (#splunk). I’ve been hanging out in there for the last couple of days. Maybe you can catch me there too 😉

These Splunk guys are funny. One of the first things they did is giving me a Mac book. Darn. I have never used a Mac before. This is crazy. All the little things I had developed and installed on my Linux boxen I now have to translate to OS X. I am slowly getting used to this beast, but there are still things I wasn’t able to figure out. Maybe some of you want to help me out?

  • The first thing that I did was looking for something to cover the built-in camera. I don’t trust this thing. Who knows who’s watching 😉 I finally found the iPatch. Unfortunately they are out of stock. Well, I just built my own …
  • Then I discovered that the plugs I have for the microphone and headphone jacks are not working either. They are slightly too big. Well, I will have to talk to Josh about that during DefCon 😉
  • Then the other thing that I am struggling with is logging and auditing. I used tcpspy before to log all the connections that are opened to and from my machine. I downloaded the source and started compiling. No luck. Here is the error during compilation. Anyone know how to fix this?
    tcpspy.c: In function 'ct_read':
    tcpspy.c:236: error: 'TCP_ESTABLISHED' undeclared (first use in this function)
  • Maybe there is another tool that I can use to record all the connections? The nice thing about tcpyspy is that it also logs the application that opened or accepted the connection and the user associated with that.
  • What do I do about auditing? Are there instructions somewhere on how to enable either BSM auditing for Mac OSX or is there something else? I would like to mainly audit access to critical files on my box.
  • There are all kinds of other little odd things, but these are the items bugging me right now 😉

See ya all at BlackHat! Hit me up so we can meet up!

July 25, 2007

Parsing XML on the Command Line

Filed under: UNIX Scripting — @ 25th of July 2007, 11:24

I haven’t written about UNIX scripting in a while. It was yesterday in the afternoon that our QA guy came over and asked me some questions about VI. Among his problems was the “parsing of an XML” file. He wanted to extract elements from specific branches of an XML structure. I told him that VI was not XML aware. It treats XMLs just like any other text file; line by line. He was not happy with my answer and kept bugging me. Then he said: “You should write a tool called XMLgrep”. And that was it. I was pretty sure that someone had written a tool that would do exactly that.

After 30 seconds on google, I found it: XMLStarlet. It took me about 30 minutes to get the hang of the tool, but it is really cool. It takes XPATH queries as an input. My knowledge of XPATH goes back to my thesis and is a bit rusty, but I finally got it right. Here is an example of how to apply an XPATH query to an XML file:

xmlstarlet sel -t -c "/archive/ActiveList[@name='Public Webmail']/description" JSOX_ActiveLists.xml

another one:

xmlstarlet sel -t -m "/archive/ActiveList" -v "concat (@name,'
')" JSOX_ActiveLists.xm

Yes, there is a newline in this command. However, it didn’t really work for me. What I wanted to do is separating the different outputs with a newline, but for some reason this didn’t work. I tried all kinds of things, but no luck. Oh well.

Here is another link that might be useful. It’s a nice tutorial on XMLStarlet.

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July 18, 2007

CEE – CEF – Event Interoperability Standards

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 18th of July 2007, 17:44

Bob Blakley from the burton group wrote a blog entry about event interoperability standards. This clearly shows that interoperability is a hot topic. However, it also shows that we (CEE) still have to do a lot of work educating the community ;)I want to correct some of Bob’s statements about CEF and provide some more information and thoughts:

  1. “CEF defines only a record format”. Well, that’s absolutely right and very very intended. You do not HAVE to define anything else. The transport for example is something that should not depend on the syntax and vice versa. I keep haing to make that point. The ArcSight CEF standard is not bound to any transport. Use anything. If you don’t have anything better, use syslog. It is very very very easy to implement. You just marshall a packet, send it to port 514 and done. Yes, it’s not reliable and all, but it’s a very simple and quick start. If you want, use something more complicated and with more capabilities. CEE will be doing exactly the same thing. We’ll break the standard up into four subtypes, separating syntax from transport, recomendation, and taxonomy.
  2.  “it doesn’t define service interfaces to allow event producers to notify event consumers that an event has been created and is ready to be processed”. Wow, this is interesting. Why would you not just send the event? Why going asynchronous? People, get away from the notion of pulling events!
  3. “it does not contain any mechanism for dealing with clock synchronization issues in distributed environments”. Since when should an interoperability standard take care of synchronizing clocks? Use NTP. I am just assuming that! The standard should not have to talk about that!
  4. “[…] CEF leaves the definition of event types (which are called “Signature IDs” […] ) up to the individual event producers, thus inviting both ID conflict issues and proliferation of different names for events of the same type in different systems.” Half of this is definitely wrong. The other half is again a separation issue. CEF is a syntax standard. Not a taxonomy! Furthermore, you use a combination of deviceVendor, deviceProduct, deviceVersion, and SignatureID for the unique ID. Hence, no overlapping IDs. I know where this is going. Have a look at CPE. Darn, that thing is complex. However, compeltely unnecessary in this case. Let people define their own IDs. They have them already anyways (except for most syslog entries, but there you just make an ID up). I know what I talk about. I have been doing all of this for the last 4 years! What is really missing in the critique is (and yes, I will admit that there are wholes in CEF) that the granularity of defining the signature IDs is not defined. For example, do you use the same ID for all logins? Failed and successful? The answer here is no. I need different ones, but that’s something CEF does not define. Be assured, CEE will!

I also disagree with Bob that multiple standards should be pursued and supported. I will definitely push CEE harder than CEF. It’s open, it’s a community effort, it’s Mitre led, and it’s going to be a more comprehensive approach. We are keeping NIST and all the other interested parties involved. No need for NIST to go out and create yet another standard. There are so many other standards out there also and just because they exist does not mean they are any good. For example XDAS  is not what I want to see standardized! Why? See my review of XDAS.

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July 12, 2007

Airline PCI Violation

Filed under: Security Information Management — @ 12th of July 2007, 00:34

Today I was booking my airline ticket to Kualalumpur, Malaysia for my trip to Hack in the Box in September. I called the sales lady for the airline and talk to her about my flight dates and all that. In the end she asks me for my credit card information. Number, expiration date, and then the CVV number on the back of my card (the security code, as it is called sometimes too). I hesitate for a second, trying to remember what I just learned from the PCI auditors we had in house. I couldn’t really remember when a merchant needed that number, but after a second I realized that it would be okay to give it to her. It’s about the same as on a Web page, where you enter that information. They can use the CVV to run a authorization with the credit card company. Well, I thought that would be it. Wrong!

A couple of hours later I get a pretty ugly Excel spreadsheet back. I am asked to print it out, sign it, and fax it back to them. I had a look at the form and I wondered what was going on. Well, there was all my information in this spreadsheet, including CVV number! They even “encrypted” my credit card number in the spreadsheet. I am just kidding. It was all in plain text. The only funny thing was that the credit card number field was not formatted as a string, but a number, so it looked like it was encrypted. *grins*. But back to serious. I was quite upset. All my information in this document. I have to assume that this excel document is on the sales person’s desktop, along with probably dozens of others. Hmmm… Maybe I should send an email with a link that points to a site that contains a … Let’s not even go there.

The next thing I did was digging up the PCI standard. And here it was, section 3.2.2:
3.2.2 Do not store the card-validation code (Three-digit or four-digit value printed on the front or back of a payment card (e.g., CVV2 and CVC2 data))
A clear violation! And you know, this is pretty much the first thing you should address; the way of authorizing credit card transactions. Just plain wrong! Darn!

I wrote them an email asking for a contact in their security department. So far, no luck, just the sales person telling me that she needs all that information to complete the transaction. Whatever. Either she needs my signature, but then no CVV, or the CVV and no signature. But not both! I wonder how this is going to continue.

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July 10, 2007

Cubing Log Files

Filed under: Log Analysis — @ 10th of July 2007, 20:44

<disclaimer>This post is not 100% serious</disclaimer>

The mere fact that I have to put a disclaimer here is sort of funny. I guess I don’t want to discuss a topic and then people come back calling me names 😉

At the FIRST conference last month in Spain, I was talking to Ben Chai for a while and he was recording the talk, as well as summarized some of the discussion in a blog entry. We talked about log analysis of huge amounts of data. I guess I came up with the idea of cubing logs to approach the problem, which uses log visualization of subsets to help the analyst.

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