III. Vulnerabilities of Hacking Protection

/* The following article is extracted from the "Information Security Newsletter" published by the JUCC IS Task Force. */  
Common Types of Attack

Vulnerability scanning

Hacker may initiate vulnerability scanning on target organisation's network to proactively identify the vulnerabilities of computer systems on a network. Hacker may obtain the operating system and version number, including service packs that may be installed, and identifies weaknesses or vulnerabilities in the operating system, on which certain hacking protection technologies are deployed.

Password cracking

Hacker may attempt to get password of an authorised user to gain access to the system with the username and password with authentication, which may render the hacking protections ineffective.

Trojans and backdoors

Trojans may sometimes be hidden in a software package of another program. Victims download the software package and install trojans onto their computer without notice. Once installed, trojans can run malicious programs on victim's computer, such as running commands remotely, intercepting keystrokes and so on. Backdoors created by Trojans also give hackers subsequent access to victims' computers.

Viruses and worms
The malicious codes from the hacker can be spread to victim's computer by a carrier programs, either via the form of viruses or worms. A virus code is infected on another normal program to spread itself. A worm is able to self-replicate and move from an infected computer to another victim's computer through network connection. If the hacking protection mechanisms are infected by viruses and worms, their abilities to defend against malicious attacks can be seriously impaired.

Recent Incident

HKEx Website Hacked

Trading in Hong Kong was disrupted on 10 August 2011 by a hacking incident on the Hong Kong Exchange website.

Shares of eight-listed companies were suspended from trade, including those of bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, flag-carrier Cathay Pacific and banking giant HSBC.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing CEO Charles Li said: "Our current assessment (is) that this is the result of a malicious attack by outside hacking.

Denial of Service
Denial of service (DoS) is initiated by hackers to prevent legitimate users of a system from using it by different methods, such as flooding a network with traffic and preventing a particular individual from accessing a service. If a denial of service attack is posed upon an intrusion detection system, it is possible that the intrusion detection system is suspended and further exploitations can be generated gainst the Universities' network.

Inadequate Code Review
Inadequate Code Reviews performed for application can result in system vulnerabilities and allow various malicious attack attempts successfully made by hackers.

Buffer overflow -- Hacker may send exceeding amount of information to a field variable in an application in order to cause an application error. The improper error handling of the application as the result of in adequate code reviews may lead to the execution of malicious commands after buffer overflow attack.

SQL injection -- SQL injection is dangerous to any database server behind a web application if there are insufficient input validation mechanisms in place. Hacker may be able to dump, alter, delete or create information in a database by inserting deliberated SQL commands into the input.

Cross-site scripting -- Web forms in the web pages of a web application may have a higher risk of being exploited by cross-site scripting (XSS) threat if malicious command entered into the web form is processed by the web application without being detected by its security function.

Relevant Material

Open Source Vulnerability Database (OSVDB)

Founded in August 2002 at the Black Hat and Defcon conferences, OSVDB was created to provide an independent and Open Source Vulnerability Database. The goal was to provide accurate, detailed, current and unbiased technical information about all types of vulnerabilities.

The project will promote greater, more open collaboration between companies and individuals, eliminate redundant works, and reduce expenses inherent with the development and maintenance of in-house vulnerability databases

See the article: (http://osvdb.org)



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