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RE: Honeypot detection and countermeasures
From: ".:[ Death Star]:." <deathstar () optonline net>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 02:44:27 -0400

First of all I would like to say that the net is filled with script
kiddies (almost anyone of them can run nessus). Running nessus is very
easy (my 16 years old brother knows how to do it), but how about writing
your own NASL scripts that's something not easily done because you need
to know the technique of the attack. 

I've seen many discussions going back and forth about honypots ... well
my dear friends I can tell you that no matter what you do it's very hard
and time consuming to discover if the node your penetrating is running a
honeypot. Unless you actually know that the company you're scanning is
told you that they are using a honeypot. Another thing to keep in mind
and that is many companies cannot use honeypots (because in some cases
it might be considered entrapment, and it's prosecuted by the law
enforcement agencies). 

As for using external entities to perform the pen-test it's considered a
very good idea for the reason being (in most cases) that you want to see
you networks/systems in the eyes of a hacker. Another good reason for
having an external auditor is to prove to the law enforcement agencies
that you're in compliance with the standards and regulations (diligence
/ due diligence).

As we all know that on of the first things you do when pen-testing is
fingerprinting and enumerating systems/networks, in most cases if you
find out that a system is open like a window then you need to have the
system placed on the suspicious list. An example is having a server with
port 23 open!!! One of the best ways to avoid getting detected while
fully scanning the system for open ports is to use IDLE scanning. Then
if it happened and you where able to exploit a system u can use a tool
like datapipe or fpipe to port forward the traffic into the system you
owned (This way the honeypot if exist cannot see you as an external node
...)

The bottom line here is that discovering honeypot is very time
consuming, unless you really want to spend all the time of the pen-test
attempting to exploit a system that shows vulnerability but doesn't
respond to your attack the way an exploited system would. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Shein [mailto:shoten () starpower net] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 10:35 AM
To: 'Michael Boman'
Cc: 'John Public'; 'Larry Colen'; 'Brass, Phil (ISS Atlanta)';
pen-test () securityfocus com; 'Lance Spitzner'
Subject: RE: Honeypot detection and countermeasures

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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Latest attack techniques.

You're a pen tester, but is google.com still your R&D team? Now you can get 
trustworthy commercial-grade exploits and the latest techniques from a 
world-class research group.

Visit us at: www.coresecurity.com/promos/sf_ept1 
or call 617-399-6980
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