Security related news

Ryan McFarland writes on his blog: “Privilege escalation always comes down to proper enumeration. But to accomplish proper enumeration you need to know what to check and look for. This takes familiarity with systems that normally comes along with experience. At first privilege escalation can seem like a daunting task, but after a while you start to filter through what is normal and what isn’t. It eventually becomes easier to know what to look for rather than digging through everything hoping to find that needle in the haystack. Hopefully this guide will provide a good foundation to build upon and get you started.”

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Help Net Security reviewed Acunetix 11

Acunetix 11 Review by Help Net Security. Acunetix is one of the biggest players in the web security arena. The European-based company released the first version of their product back in 2005, and thousands of clients around the globe use it to analyze the security of their web applications. They recently unveiled Acunetix version 11, so Help Net Security decided to take it for a spin.

This is a very interesting read on how Dario Weißer (@haxonaut), cutz and Ruslan Habalov (@evonide) were able to find a PHP unserialize bug to exploit and gain remote code execution on Pornhub. Pornhub’s bug bounty program is at Hackerone In stead of actively attacking Pornhub, they took another road and attacked what Pornhub is built upon: PHP.

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Someone posted to notehub.org an article on how he broke into his college’s WordPress website, without having any prior knowledge of WordPress, PHP, and without any experience with hacking web servers. The attempts were spread out over a month, but effectively totaled a day maybe. The author said to have learned a lot of things while doing the research part which accounted for most of his time, though. On NoteHub, he shares some of the relevant details and how he went along doing this.

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GoSecure wrote up a new PHP exploitation technique using the default OPcache engine from PHP 7. Using this attack vector, it’s possible to bypass certain hardening techniques that disallow the file write access in the web directory. This could be used by an attacker to execute his own malicious code in a hardened environment.


This new PHP 7 OPcache attack vector is an additional exploitation technique tailored to specific hardened environments. It is not a universal vulnerability affecting PHP applications. With the arrival of PHP 7.0 in major distributions such as Ubuntu 16.04, this attack vector reinforces even more the need to audit your code for file upload vulnerabilities and to be wary of potentially dangerous server configuration.

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Sjoerd Langkemper writes about Cracking PHP rand(): Webapps occasionaly need to create tokens that are hard to guess. For example for session tokens or CSRF tokens, or in forgot password functionality where you get a token mailed to reset your password. These tokens should be cryptographically secure, but are often made by calling rand() multiple times and transforming the output to a string. This post will explore how hard it is to predict a token made with rand().


This is a very interesting read about how PHP rand() works, and how to attack & crack it. The post ends with the following conclusion:

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Revived Wire Media’s PHP File Manager got some issues…

Sijmen Ruwhof, who also analysed the malware spread through NU.nl back in 2012, found some serious security vulnerabilities in a PHP web application called “PHP File Manager”. One, among others, is a backdoor for Revived Wire Media to use. How sick is that?! Another vulnerability makes it easy to download confidential files.

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Deny direct access to PHP files in wp-content/uploads/

The following PHP function secures your WordPress website by disabling the execution of PHP scripts in wp-content/uploads, on Windows Server IIS web servers. It creates a web.config file for this purpose.

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Joomla websites using the Googlemaps plugin for Joomla are actively abused as open proxy for launching Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks. Even though the Googlemaps plugin vulnerability plugin_googlemap2_proxy.php was released over one and a half (1,5) years ago, I still see these DoS-attacks happening on a regular basis…

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Exploit PHP’s mail() function to perform remote code execution, under rare circumstances.

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Back To The Future: Unix Wildcards Gone Wild: DefenseCode‘s Leon Juranic released an article explaining an old-school hacking technique: Unix wildcard poisoning attacks. No ASLR bypass, ROP exploits or 0day remote kernel exploits, but if you wonder how basic Unix tools like ‘tar’, ‘chmod’ or ‘chown’ can lead to full system compromise, keep on reading.

Back To The Future: Unix Wildcards Gone Wild

Summer vacation’s over? More and more SQL injection attacks observed

Since a week or so, I notice a huge increase in SQL injection attacks on various websites. Anyone else seeing the same SQL injection attacks lately? This increased SQL injection activity – on various web sites and databases – has the following characteristics:

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How to put a MySQL server to sleep()

MySQL sleep() command injection attacks: how not validating your PHP user input can lead to Denial of Service (DoS) attacks against websites and back-end database servers. Simply by putting “AND sleep(3)” in the address bar… Happy SQL injection!

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Malware Must Die! has done a great, and extensive write-up on the subject of hacked and abused FTP sites (accounts). This topic fits well within my daily routine investigating and closing down hacked websites, for which I have to use various techniques for finding those hacked sites. As you might know, website security is one of the major themes of this site.

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How to test SMTP authentication and StartTLS using the command line?

When investigating SMTP authentication issues, particular over TLS encrypted SMTP connections, it’s always handy if you are able to test the SMTP authentication and StartTLS connection. Preferably from your command line. This post shows you how to test SMTP servers, verify SMTP authentication and StartTLS encrypted connections from the Linux and Windows command line.

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