Penetration testing, red teaming, hacking, being enthusiastic about information security, or whatever else you want to call it -- to some degree, it's an art form.  A significant portion of this type of work is non-linear and it requires a creative mind to piece together the puzzle.  While the example I'm about to give seems relatively straightforward, there are other aspects of hash cracking that require an artistic imagination and I've seen challenges where I was amazed by the creativity of both the challenger and the participant.  Today, we're keeping it simple but this is a real world situation.

While scanning a host, we uncover the following:

Read more: Pentesting 101: Hash Cracking

According to the Interwebs, fuzzing involves sending random data to software until something happens or something reveals itself.  Fuzzing a web server is not much different really other than I wouldn't call it random data.  We're essentially taking lists of words, throwing them at the web server in different ways, and we're looking at the response.

In my opinion, fuzzing is an art form because it's a matter of using the right tool, with the right list, in the right way, to get the right response.

Read more: Pentesting 101: Web Fuzzing

I was talking with a guy the other day and he said something along the lines of -- "Sometimes there are bad things that happen on the Internet."  I replied:  "There are bad things happening on the Internet ALL THE TIME."

Fast forward to today -- I'm working on a project and I need to parse through the Apache access.log file, create a unique list of IP addresses, perform an nslookup on each of the IP addresses, ignore the addresses that do not resolve, and I need to spit out the list of addresses that resolve. 

Not that I'm shocked but while writing this up and using cat to show the first part of the log for this screenshot, I see mostly malicious traffic hitting this server:

Read more: Log Parser

We manage and monitor backups for our clients and as part of our process, we perform audits to ensure backups can be restored.  Going on a tangent for a moment, the purpose of a backup is not to capture the data, the purpose is to restore data when there's data loss.  You would be surprised when the backup software reports a successful run and yet you're unable, or you have difficulty, restoring that data.  Not to get into the weeds too far, point being, it's important to test the restore function to see if your expectations and reality align.  

Back on topic.  In the process of testing the restore capability, we occasionally come across files with "password" in the title or some other title that leads us to believe a document contains passwords.  In a few previous posts, I've discussed various methods for hunting for sensitive data and cracking of various file protections.  In this post, I'm putting a couple of those together.

Read more: Password Hunting

As a hacker security professional, I'm more of a generalist than a specialist and while I'm ok at web application security, I wouldn't tout my prowess in that area. 

A few weeks ago, I took a class specific for web app security because that area is so vast, I felt like I wanted to move further up the line by hiring a professional to teach me some things I don't know.  Two areas that I've spent little time banging around on are Node and Mongo.  Both were discussed in class but briefly.  To continue my education, I've been playing around with vulnerable Node apps on Github.  

NodeGoat is a vulnerable application built for the specific purpose of education and while you could go the route of using the Docker image, I would suggest going the manual installation avenue.  At least for me, I find it helpful to see both the front and the back-end.  The installation is not complicated.

Read more: NodeGoat

Sometimes you're the windshield and sometimes your the bug.  This week, I'm feeling like the bug with respect to educational development.  I'm a little beat down from trying to understand an exploitation technique that I'm having a hard time grasping.  In need of a break, I went in search for something on the easier side to build my confidence.  Looking through some of the older machines on Vulnhub, I found Quaoar which claims to be easy.  I went beyond what was necessary to achieve victory but I think given its level of difficulty, I could take this further, explore it beyond root, and see what else I could uncover.

Kicking off with Nmap:

Read more: Vulnhub hackfest2016: Quaoar Walkthrough