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RE: Honeypot detection and countermeasures
From: "Rob Shein" <shoten () starpower net>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 10:34:38 -0400

They have collections of tools, yes...but can you learn to pen-test from
that collection?  Absolutely not.  The point here is "can you learn to be a
pen-tester by having a single pen-test done against your honeypot?"  The
answer is still no.

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Boman [mailto:michael.boman () securecirt com] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 10:03 AM
To: Rob Shein
Cc: 'John Public'; 'Larry Colen'; 'Brass, Phil (ISS 
Atlanta)'; pen-test () securityfocus com; 'Lance Spitzner'
Subject: RE: Honeypot detection and countermeasures

On Tue, 2003-06-24 at 21:48, Rob Shein wrote:
First off, I still maintain that watching the attack will 
NOT tell you 
which tool was used.  Watching the attack AND being 
familiar with the 
tool(s) will, but in of itself, you don't see a series of 
attacks on a 
web server and say "ah, that was Nessus, not just whisker, 
and you can 
download it from www.nessus.org!"  If you see a buffer overflow 
against a real server, you don't automatically know what 
it's called, 
and where to get it (or how to use it).  And you certainly wouldn't 
know the difference between a non-safe Nessus plugin that 
only crashes 
a system and the real overflow attack, but with an error so 
it doesn't 
gain root.  You have to be familiar with the tools in 
general to begin 
with, and since the whole scenario started with a company who was 
going to observe a pen test to try and figure out how to do one, I 
would presume that they lack that knowledge.

Didn't expect my reply heating up the thread so much, but I 
feel like I need to put more wood on the fire:

If a honeypot / honeynet can't get the tools used, how come 
every single "research" honeypot dump I've seen so far have a 
collection of tools that has been used? Because the attacker 
put them there of course! If you need a spring board into a 
network (happens to me more often then you think) you need to 
put at least a small collection of tools on the server. Now, 
what if those tools were copied somewhere else?

Of course, if you get yourself a talk-the-talk PT 
guy/companies, all the tools can already be found on the net. 
But there are PR guys/companies that has a collection of 
lesser known/unknown tools. From my point of view the only 
difference between a good guy/company (PT vendor) and a bad 
guy (script kiddie, 'leet hacker) is the good guy asks for 
permission and gives a report, while you will never hear form 
the bad guy.

When it comes to PT companies the in-house/limited exposure 
tools would be counted as trade secrets and intellectual 
properties (for a limited time, until they hit 
pen-test/bugtraq). But never the less the tools are what 
separate them from the rest.

Seriously, would you pay big bucks for someone to run Nessus 
against the systems when you can just DIY such test yourself?

Best regards
 Michael Boman

Michael Boman
Security Architect, SecureCiRT Pte Ltd http://www.securecirt.com

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