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Re: "Fire and forget" exploits?
From: Nick FitzGerald <nick () virus-l demon co uk>
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2006 09:55:53 +1300

Brendan Dolan-Gavitt wrote:

  I'm looking for examples of (remote) security vulnerabilities whose
exploitation involves no guesswork--eg, no bruteforcing the return
address, or altering your exploit based on the server's response, etc.
  It seems like this kind of exploit is dying out, particularly as
different flavors of Linux proliferate, each with their own slightly
different libc and userland; in the Windows world, however, we still
find "universal" exploits that work on NT4/2k/XP over a variety of
service packs.

I don't think this is the main reason such exploits are less commonly 
seen these days.

A great deal of "hackish activity" is now directly or indirectly 
focussed on spamming, identity theft and related scams, and the money 
laundering that necesarily trails along behind such activity.  In 
general, all these folk need to achieve their ends are stupid bugs in 
web applications.  The web is replete with crappily written, widely 
deployed PHP schlock that more than fulfills these folks needs.  As 
they make money from working this plentiful low-hanging fruit, there is 
little motivation for many of them to spend the time and effort on the 
much more elusive grand exploits of days gone by...

In fact, they generaly want to stay _under_ the radar for as long as 
possible -- their business model depends on it -- rather than making 
the big splash on CNN, doing a Markoff interview/book/movie deal, etc, 


Nick FitzGerald

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