Pwning People through Technology<br />Mike Murray<br />Hacker Halted USA 2009<br />9/24/09<br />
Mike Murray<br />A decade of experience in penetration testing, vulnerability research and social engineering<br />CISO of...
4<br />Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity.<br />And I&apos;m not sure about the former.<br />-...
5<br />Social Engineering:The practice of obtaining confidential information by manipulating users.<br />Source:  Wikipedi...
Human Vulnerability<br />Humans are social creatures<br />Human nature makes us vulnerable to each other<br />Social engin...
7<br />That Sounds Familiar<br />
8<br />Mesmer<br />Erickson<br />Elman<br />Brown<br />Ponzi<br />Angel<br />Irving<br />Abagnale<br />Weill<br />Houdini<...
Why Now?<br />9<br />
1985<br />1990<br />1993<br />10<br />
Vulnerability Environment:<br /><ul><li>Syn Flooding
 UDP Denial of Service
 Smurf attacks
 Teardrop
 Land</li></ul>August 24, 1995 <br />November 8, 1996<br />October 13, 1994 <br />1997<br />1994<br />11<br />
Major Vulnerabilities in:<br /><ul><li> Bind
Sendmail
Sadmind
 Apache
 IIS
 Wu-FTPD
Tooltalk
 IMAP
 POP
 SQL Server
Statd, CDE</li></ul>Major Worms:<br /><ul><li>Cod Red
Nimda
SQL Slammer
MS Blaster</li></ul>1998<br />2000<br />2003<br />12<br />
2003<br />2006<br />2009<br />13<br />
14<br />Human /<br />Organization<br />Network<br />Service /<br />Server<br />Client<br />Application<br />The Vulnerabil...
Penetration Test Success<br />We spend a huge amount of time on the exploit<br />Books written on XSS, XSRF and buffer ove...
The Critical Faculty<br />The hypnotist’s term for the part of the mind that acts as the rational alert system<br />Allows...
The Military Experiments<br />Would Military officers disobey a direct order under hypnosis?<br />17<br />
Rule #1 Create a context that ensures that the behavior we want is completely appropriate.<br />18<br />
19<br />The Three Skills<br />Critical Faculty is bypassed through three fundamental skills:<br />Artful Communication and...
© 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />Communication<br />The art of com...
Precision<br />Information Transfer is hindered by the incompleteness of language<br />Deletion<br />Distortion<br />Gener...
Influence<br />Influence is about maintaining agreement<br />Avoiding CF activation<br />This is about the amygdala<br />T...
© 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />The Basics<br />This is third gra...
© 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />Awareness<br />Words are meaningl...
© 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />Tone Analysis of Writing<br />As ...
Due to the mystery surrounding social engineering many people are afraid of it, or they feel they will never be able to ac...
Many people are afraid of social engineering due to its mystery.  Perhaps they feel they will never be able to accomplish ...
 trying to land a job
 score the big promotion</li></ul>Paraphrased fromhttp://www.social-engineer.org<br />
Many people are afraid of social engineering.  They fear they won’t succeed at a social engineering test. But you are enga...
 trying to land a job
 score the big promotion</li></ul>Paraphrased fromhttp://www.social-engineer.org<br />
© 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />Tone in SE<br />Back to the prime...
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Hacker Halted 2009 - Owning People through Technology

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  • The information security world exists on an incredibly short (20 year) timeframe - Even taking a *REALLY* long view, the entire Infosec industry extends only back as far as the mid-80s - AROUND 20 YEARS.Those were the daysSoftware Vulnerabilities weren’t significant - most based on configuration weaknessOnly a handful of people understood how to exploit technologiesSmall Target Surface - Few internet-connected computersFocus was on phone phreaking and academia Social Engineering reigned supremeMost successful attacks involved social engineeringUnsophisticated controls environmentsFew understood the jargonPolicies encouraged trust over security
  • Two Vital DatesOctober 13, 1994Mosaic Netscape 0.9 releasedThe web becomes easy to navigateAugust 24, 1995Windows 95 ReleasedHome computer use proliferates massivelyThe Internet Experiences exponential growthMoney starts to change handsInternet connected computers become a viable targetThis created a target rich environment...Phrack 49 - November 8, 1996.Aleph1 - Smashing the Stack for Fun and ProfitThe first real sophisticated vulnerabilities start to emergeA buffer overflow required knowledge of assembly and coding skillHackers now had to be more technicalReadily available exploit code actually makes breaking in to computers easierThe “golden age” of server hacking begins.1996-2003 - More of the sameMemory attacks become more sophisticatedPolymorphic shell-code designed to evade detective controlsMore advanced use of memory spaces (format strings, integer exploits) Windows XP Service Pack 2 AppearsMicrosoft finally hardens their operating systemsThe world changes overnightSecurity is now baked in to the computer.Server based vulnerabilities disappearAs massive server-based vulnerabilities disappear, client interaction becomes keyThe number of issues continues to increase, but the type of issues starts to change radicallySince 2005No major direct-exploitation worm outbreaksLess than a handful of “remote root” direct exploitation vulnerabilitiesMajor Classes of AttacksDrive-by DownloadExploitation through EmailExploitation through Social Networking SitesPhishing / Pharming / Spear-PhishingWhat’s the similarity?If you said “human interaction”, you get a gold star.
  • Two Vital DatesOctober 13, 1994Mosaic Netscape 0.9 releasedThe web becomes easy to navigateAugust 24, 1995Windows 95 ReleasedHome computer use proliferates massivelyThe Internet Experiences exponential growthMoney starts to change handsInternet connected computers become a viable targetThis created a target rich environment...Phrack 49 - November 8, 1996.Aleph1 - Smashing the Stack for Fun and ProfitThe first real sophisticated vulnerabilities start to emergeA buffer overflow required knowledge of assembly and coding skillHackers now had to be more technicalReadily available exploit code actually makes breaking in to computers easierThe “golden age” of server hacking begins.1996-2003 - More of the sameMemory attacks become more sophisticatedPolymorphic shell-code designed to evade detective controlsMore advanced use of memory spaces (format strings, integer exploits) Windows XP Service Pack 2 AppearsMicrosoft finally hardens their operating systemsThe world changes overnightSecurity is now baked in to the computer.Server based vulnerabilities disappearAs massive server-based vulnerabilities disappear, client interaction becomes keyThe number of issues continues to increase, but the type of issues starts to change radicallySince 2005No major direct-exploitation worm outbreaksLess than a handful of “remote root” direct exploitation vulnerabilitiesMajor Classes of AttacksDrive-by DownloadExploitation through EmailExploitation through Social Networking SitesPhishing / Pharming / Spear-PhishingWhat’s the similarity?If you said “human interaction”, you get a gold star.
  • Two Vital DatesOctober 13, 1994Mosaic Netscape 0.9 releasedThe web becomes easy to navigateAugust 24, 1995Windows 95 ReleasedHome computer use proliferates massivelyThe Internet Experiences exponential growthMoney starts to change handsInternet connected computers become a viable targetThis created a target rich environment...Phrack 49 - November 8, 1996.Aleph1 - Smashing the Stack for Fun and ProfitThe first real sophisticated vulnerabilities start to emergeA buffer overflow required knowledge of assembly and coding skillHackers now had to be more technicalReadily available exploit code actually makes breaking in to computers easierThe “golden age” of server hacking begins.1996-2003 - More of the sameMemory attacks become more sophisticatedPolymorphic shell-code designed to evade detective controlsMore advanced use of memory spaces (format strings, integer exploits) Windows XP Service Pack 2 AppearsMicrosoft finally hardens their operating systemsThe world changes overnightSecurity is now baked in to the computer.Server based vulnerabilities disappearAs massive server-based vulnerabilities disappear, client interaction becomes keyThe number of issues continues to increase, but the type of issues starts to change radicallySince 2005No major direct-exploitation worm outbreaksLess than a handful of “remote root” direct exploitation vulnerabilitiesMajor Classes of AttacksDrive-by DownloadExploitation through EmailExploitation through Social Networking SitesPhishing / Pharming / Spear-PhishingWhat’s the similarity?If you said “human interaction”, you get a gold star.
  • Watkins, EstabrooksEstabrooks: “I can hypnotize a man — without his knowledge or consent — into committing treason against the United States”
  • Confirmation – what lawyer would ever use that subject line?
  • Checks on your familyPut trust in you Requests your help
  • Hacker Halted 2009 - Owning People through Technology

    1. 1.
    2. 2. Pwning People through Technology<br />Mike Murray<br />Hacker Halted USA 2009<br />9/24/09<br />
    3. 3. Mike Murray<br />A decade of experience in penetration testing, vulnerability research and social engineering<br />CISO of Foreground Security (ForegroundSecurity.com) - leads penetration tests and security services engagements <br />Lead trainer and curriculum developer at Foreground’s training division The Hacker Academy (TheHackerAcademy.com)<br />Managing partner of Michael Murray and Associates, where he directs diverse stealth-mode security industry projects.<br />Security blogger (Episteme.ca), podcaster, and regular speaker on social engineering, vulnerability management and the human side of security.<br />Founder of Information Security Leaders, the leading resource on information security careers (InfoSecLeaders.com)<br />Certified Hypnotherapist and Master NLP Practitioner<br />3<br />3<br />
    4. 4. 4<br />Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity.<br />And I&apos;m not sure about the former.<br />- Albert Einsten<br />
    5. 5. 5<br />Social Engineering:The practice of obtaining confidential information by manipulating users.<br />Source: Wikipedia<br />
    6. 6. Human Vulnerability<br />Humans are social creatures<br />Human nature makes us vulnerable to each other<br />Social engineers exploit weaknesses in human nature to obtain information or access<br />6<br />
    7. 7. 7<br />That Sounds Familiar<br />
    8. 8. 8<br />Mesmer<br />Erickson<br />Elman<br />Brown<br />Ponzi<br />Angel<br />Irving<br />Abagnale<br />Weill<br />Houdini<br />Jermay<br />Con Men<br />Magicians<br />Hypnotists<br />
    9. 9. Why Now?<br />9<br />
    10. 10. 1985<br />1990<br />1993<br />10<br />
    11. 11. Vulnerability Environment:<br /><ul><li>Syn Flooding
    12. 12. UDP Denial of Service
    13. 13. Smurf attacks
    14. 14. Teardrop
    15. 15. Land</li></ul>August 24, 1995 <br />November 8, 1996<br />October 13, 1994 <br />1997<br />1994<br />11<br />
    16. 16. Major Vulnerabilities in:<br /><ul><li> Bind
    17. 17. Sendmail
    18. 18. Sadmind
    19. 19. Apache
    20. 20. IIS
    21. 21. Wu-FTPD
    22. 22. Tooltalk
    23. 23. IMAP
    24. 24. POP
    25. 25. SQL Server
    26. 26. Statd, CDE</li></ul>Major Worms:<br /><ul><li>Cod Red
    27. 27. Nimda
    28. 28. SQL Slammer
    29. 29. MS Blaster</li></ul>1998<br />2000<br />2003<br />12<br />
    30. 30. 2003<br />2006<br />2009<br />13<br />
    31. 31. 14<br />Human /<br />Organization<br />Network<br />Service /<br />Server<br />Client<br />Application<br />The Vulnerability Cycle<br />
    32. 32. Penetration Test Success<br />We spend a huge amount of time on the exploit<br />Books written on XSS, XSRF and buffer overflows<br />Very little research on how to get people to exploit themselves<br />Nearly all of our tests rely on that ability<br />Successful ethical hacking is successful SE<br />Far too little SE is discussed<br />15<br />
    33. 33. The Critical Faculty<br />The hypnotist’s term for the part of the mind that acts as the rational alert system<br />Allows the human to act on largely unconscious process<br />Things raise to conscious awareness based on CF activation<br />This suggests that all SE success is CF-related<br />Avoid activating critical-faculty<br />We want the person to execute a task that is inappropriate, yet fail to raise the CF alert to conscious awareness<br />16<br />
    34. 34. The Military Experiments<br />Would Military officers disobey a direct order under hypnosis?<br />17<br />
    35. 35. Rule #1 Create a context that ensures that the behavior we want is completely appropriate.<br />18<br />
    36. 36. 19<br />The Three Skills<br />Critical Faculty is bypassed through three fundamental skills:<br />Artful Communication and Use of Language<br />Awareness of the Target<br />Frame Control<br />The skills are the same when online<br />Language<br />You must have structure your language to effect control of your target<br />Awareness<br />You must know how your target will interpret your communication <br />Frame Control<br />Your ability to control the context of your communication will be the largest component of suppressing the CF<br />
    37. 37. © 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />Communication<br />The art of communication<br />Language is the first skill of the social engineer<br />Ability to craft words is first step in influence<br />Language is not real<br />Incomplete representation of reality<br />Incompleteness creates opportunity<br />Dual Purpose of Language<br />Information Transfer<br />Influence<br />
    38. 38. Precision<br />Information Transfer is hindered by the incompleteness of language<br />Deletion<br />Distortion<br />Generalization<br />Presupposition<br />
    39. 39. Influence<br />Influence is about maintaining agreement<br />Avoiding CF activation<br />This is about the amygdala<br />The goal is to change representation without triggering disagreement<br />Disagreement is the mind’s defense against inappropriate influence.<br />This is not about rhetorical/logical disagreement<br />Agreement allows <br />The artful inversion of precision<br />Use of deletion, distortion and generalization to maintain agreement<br />Sometimes referred to as being “artfully vague”<br />
    40. 40. © 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />The Basics<br />This is third grade English class:<br />Spelling<br />Grammar<br />Punctuation<br />Most CF-activation is here<br />Taught as base of much Sec Awareness Training<br />
    41. 41.
    42. 42. © 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />Awareness<br />Words are meaningless without awareness of what is working<br />Your awareness of others acts as a compass<br />You need to see and hear the effect of your words<br />Main components of awareness in face-to-face<br />Body language<br />Facial expressions<br />Language Tone<br />How do we do this in technological social engineering?<br />
    43. 43. © 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />Tone Analysis of Writing<br />As native speakers of English, we infer auditory tone into written word.<br />Two main components:<br />Word choice<br />Punctuation<br />Simple example<br />
    44. 44. Due to the mystery surrounding social engineering many people are afraid of it, or they feel they will never be able to accomplish a successful social engineering test. However, every time you try to get someone to do something that is in your interest, you are engaging in social engineering. From children trying to get a toy from their parents to adults trying to land a job or score the big promotion, all of it is a form of social engineering.<br />Introduction tohttp://www.social-engineer.org<br />
    45. 45. Many people are afraid of social engineering due to its mystery. Perhaps they feel they will never be able to accomplish a successful social engineering test. However, you are engaging in social engineering whenever you try to influence someone to act in your interest. <br />All of these are forms of social engineering: <br /><ul><li> children trying to get a toy from their parents
    46. 46. trying to land a job
    47. 47. score the big promotion</li></ul>Paraphrased fromhttp://www.social-engineer.org<br />
    48. 48. Many people are afraid of social engineering. They fear they won’t succeed at a social engineering test. But you are engaging in social engineering whenever you try to influence someone to act in your interest. Examples:<br /><ul><li> children trying to get a toy from their parents
    49. 49. trying to land a job
    50. 50. score the big promotion</li></ul>Paraphrased fromhttp://www.social-engineer.org<br />
    51. 51. © 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />Tone in SE<br />Back to the prime rule<br />Tone needs to be natural and appropriate.<br />Every situation has a tone and a fel for the writing that is unlikely to activate the CF.<br />
    52. 52.
    53. 53. Actual Email from TD<br />Hello Michael Murray,I appreciate your interest in viewing your TD Visa account informationusing EasyWeb. Thank you for taking the time to write.If you currently have an active EasyWeb profile but can not access your TDVisa, you may have 2 separate customer profiles set up with TD CanadaTrust.  For immediate assistance with correcting this situation, Iencourage you to call EasyLine toll free at 1-866-222-3456. A BankingSpecialist can combine your profiles if necessary, provided that thepersonal information on both profiles match. Representatives are available24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are not registered for EasyLine,kindly press 2 and then 0 to speak with a representative. The combiningprocess usually takes about two days to complete, and once it is finished,you should be able to view your entire personal portfolio via EasyWeb.<br />
    54. 54. © 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />Frame Control<br />Cognitive Frames<br />Wikipedia: ”the inevitable process of selective influence over the individual&apos;s perception of the meanings attributed to words or phrases. Framing defines the packaging of an element of rhetoric in such a way as to encourage certain interpretations and to discourage others”<br />The frame is the context in which the content of an interaction occurs<br />Physical Frame control<br />Transformation<br />Extension / Contraction<br />Combination<br />Amplification / Compression<br />
    55. 55. © 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />The Elements of Influence<br />Cialdini and others have found that creating a frame with certain elements can enhance influence<br />Reciprocity<br />Authority<br />Social Proof<br />Confirmation<br />Scarcity / Urgency<br />Emotional / Amygdala hijack<br />Confusion<br />Inserting these elements within a frame can strengthen influence<br />These are natural human responses<br />We use these responses to create a context for influence<br />
    56. 56. Confirmation<br />35<br />
    57. 57. © 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />Confirmation<br />Confirmation Bias<br />That which confirms what we already believe, we tend to believe.<br />That which fails to confirm what we already believe, we tend to ignore.<br />The brain LITERALLY turns off<br />No CF activation<br />
    58. 58. During the run-up to the 2004 presidential election, while undergoing an fMRI bran scan, 30 men--half self-described as &quot;strong&quot; Republicans and half as &quot;strong“ Democrats--were tasked with assessing statements by both George W. Bush and John Kerry in which the candidates clearly contradicted themselves. . Not surprisingly, in their assessments Republican subjects were as critical of Kerry as Democratic subjects were of Bush, yet both let their own candidate off the hook….<br />The neuroimaging results, however, revealed that…<br />&quot;We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning&quot; <br />From: http://resonancetechnologies.com/press/articles/ThePoliticalBrain.pdf<br />
    59. 59. © 2008 – Foreground Security, Michael Murray & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved<br />Confirmation in SE<br />Signal Theory<br />Branch of economics relating to the messages passed by inference <br />E.g. A CEH is a signal that you have chosen the path of an EH <br />We need to give appropriate signals<br />Tone<br />Language<br />Appearance<br />
    60. 60. Back to TD<br />Hello Michael Murray,I appreciate your interest in viewing your TD Visa account information using EasyWeb. Thank you for taking the time to write.If you currently have an activeEasyWebprofile but can not access your TD Visa, you may have 2 separate customer profiles set up with TD Canada Trust.  For immediate assistance with correcting this situation, I encourage you to call EasyLine toll free at 1-866-222-3456. A Banking Specialist can combine your profiles if necessary, provided that the personal information on both profiles match. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are not registered for EasyLine, kindly press 2 and then 0 to speak with a representative. The combining process usually takes about two days to complete, and once it is finished, you should be able to view your entire personal portfolio via EasyWeb.<br />Best regards,Debra MatsumotoInternet Correspondence Representative________________________________________TD Canada Trust 1-866-222-3456http://www.tdcanadatrust.comEmail: customer.service@td.comTDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf) 1-800-361-1180This email is directed to, and intended for the exclusive use of, the addressee indicated above. TD Canada Trust endeavours to provide accurate and up-to-date information relating to its products and services. However, please note that rates, fees and information are subject to change.<br />
    61. 61.
    62. 62.
    63. 63. Reciprocity<br />42<br />
    64. 64. 43<br />We create relationships through trading value.<br />Temporary inequality creates powerful bonds.<br />
    65. 65. Reciprocity == Investment<br />The act of exchanging value<br />I can do something for you<br />You can do something for me.<br />Both acts strengthen our bond.<br />We become more invested in the relationship<br />The more invested a person feels, the more likely they are to be influenced by the relationship<br />This is the Nigerian scam’s overwhelming power<br />44<br />
    66. 66.
    67. 67. Scarcity<br />46<br />
    68. 68. Scarcity<br />People will take almost any opportunity for their own gain<br />Especially if the opportunity seems scarce<br />If we have to hurry, the amygdala takes over<br />This is a marketing tactic<br />Infomercials<br />Scams<br />47<br />
    69. 69. Ron Popeil<br />“If you call in the next 15 minutes…”<br />
    70. 70.
    71. 71.
    72. 72. So much more we could discuss…So little time.Keep an eye on:ForegroundSecurity.comEpisteme.caEmail me: mmurray@episteme.ca<br />
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