Program and System Threats


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Program and System Threats

  1. 1. - Reddhi Sekhar Basu(559) PROGRAM AND SYSTEM THREATS
  2. 2. Trojan Horse  A Trojan horse is a code segment that misuses its environment.  A Trojan, is a type of malware that masquerades as a legitimate file or helpful program possibly with the purpose of granting a hacker unauthorized access to a computer.  According to a survey conducted by BitDefender from January to June 2009, "Trojan-type malware is on the rise, accounting for 83-percent of the global malware detected in the world."
  3. 3. Trojan Horse • Long search paths, such as are common on UNIX systems, exacerbate the Trojan horse problem. For instance, the use of “.” character in a search path, tells the shell to include the current directory in the search. So, if an user A has “.” in his search path, has set his current directory to user B’s directory, and enters a normal system command, the command would be executed from user B’s directory instead. The program would run on user B’s domain, allowing the program to do anything that the user is allowed to do, including deleting files.
  4. 4. Popular Trojan Horses • Netbus • Subseven or Sub7 • Y3K Remote Administration Tool • Back Orifice • Beast • Zeus • The Blachhole Exploit Kit • Flashback Trojan
  5. 5. Login Emulator An unsuspecting user logs in at a terminal and notices that he has apparently mistyped his password. He tries again and is successful. What has happened is that his authentication key and password have been stolen by the login emulator that was left running on the terminal by the thief. The emulator stored away the password, printed out a login error message, and exited; the user was then provided with a genuine login prompt.
  6. 6. A Trojan may give a hacker remote access to a targeted computer system. Operations that could be performed by a hacker on a targeted computer system may include: – Use of the machine as part of a botnet (e.g. to perform automated spamming or to distribute Denial-of-Service attacks) – Electronic Money theft – Data Theft(e.g. retrieving passwords or credit card information) – Installation of software, including third-party malware – Downloading or uploading of files on the user's computer – Modification deletion of files – Crashing the Computer – Anonymizing Internet Viewing
  7. 7. Trapdoor • Trap Door is a type of security breach where the designer of a program or a system leaves a hole in the software that only he is capable of using. • A Trap Door is a secret entry point into a program that allows someone to gain access without normal methods of access authentication.
  8. 8. Example of a trapdoor Programmers have been arrested for embezzling from banks by including rounding errors in heir code, and having the occasional half cents credited to their accounts. This account crediting can add up to a large sum of money, considering the number of transactions that a large bank executes.
  9. 9. Trapdoors • Trapdoors can be included in the compiler as well. The compiler could generate standard object code as well as a trapdoor, regardless of the source code being compiled. • Trapdoors pose a difficult problem since to detect them we have to analyze all the source code for all components of a system.
  10. 10. Stack and Buffer Overflow • Stack or buffer overflow is the most common way for an attacker outside of the system, on a network or dial-up connection to gain unauthorized access to the target system. This be used by the unauthorised user for privilege escalation. • Buffer overflow attacks are especially pernicious as it can be run within a system and travel over allowed communications channels. They can even bypass the security added by firewalls.
  11. 11. • The attacker exploits a bug in the program. The bug can be a simple case of poor programming, in which the programmer neglected to code bounds checking on an input field. In this case, the attacker sends more data than the program was expecting. Using trial and error, or by examination of the source code of the attacked program if it is available, the attacker determines the vulnerability and writes a program to do the following: 1. Overflow an input field, command line argument, of input buffer until it writes into the stack. 2. Overwrite the current return address on the stack with the address of the exploit code loaded in the next step. 3. Write a simple setoff code for the next space in the stack that includes the commands that the attacker wishes to execute (e.g. spawn a shell)
  12. 12. Worm • A worm is a process that uses the spawn mechanism to clobber system performance. • The worm spawns copies of itself, using up system resources and perhaps locking out system use by all other processes.
  13. 13. Worms Spread  independently of human action  usually by utilizing a security hole in a piece of software  by scanning a network for another machine that has a specific security hole and copies itself to the new machine using the security hole
  14. 14. Morris Worm • Robert Tappan Morris is an American computer scientist, best known for creating the Morris Worm in 1988, considered the first computer worm on Internet - and subsequently becoming the first person convicted under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
  15. 15. Morris Worm Disk containing the source code for the Morris Worm held at the Boston Museum of Science
  16. 16. Working of the Morris Worm
  17. 17. Morris Worm  Once in place, the main program undertook systematic attempts to discover user passwords. This happened in 3 stages: 1. Trying simple cases of no passwords or passwords constructed of account user name combinations. 2. Using comparisons with an internal dictionary of 432 password choices. 3. Trying each word in the online UNIX dictionary This elaborate and efficient 3-stage password cracking algorithm enabled the worm to gain further access to other user accounts on the infected system.  With each new access the worm searched for already active copies of itself. If it found one the new copy exited except for every seventh instance.
  18. 18. Computer Viruses A virus is a fragment of code embedded in a legitimate program unlike a worm which is structured as a complete, standalone program.
  19. 19. Spread of Viruses • Viruses are spread by users downloading viral programs from public bulletin boards or exchanging disks containing an infection. • Exchange of Microsoft Office documents are a common form of virus transmission these days because these documents contain so-called macros which are Visual Basic programs.
  20. 20. Classification of Viruses NON-RESIDENT VIRUSES • Non-resident viruses can be thought of as consisting of a finder module and a replication module. The finder module is responsible for finding new files to infect. For each new executable file the finder module encounters, it calls the replication module to infect that file. RESIDENT VIRUSES • The virus loads the replication module into memory when it is executed instead and ensures that this module is executed each time the operating system is called to perform a certain operation.
  21. 21. Classification (contd.) POLYMORPHIC VIRUS • Change virus’s signature each time. • It’s designed to avoid detection by antivirus software. • It acts like a chameleon. STEALTH VIRUS • It use some tactics to avoid detection such as altering its file size, concealing itself in memory, and Modifies parts of the system that can be used to detect it.
  22. 22. Creeper Virus The Creeper virus was first detected on ARPANET. Creeper was an experimental selfreplicating program written by Bob Thomas at BBN Technologies in 1971. Creeper used the ARPANET to infect DEC PDP-10 computers running the TENEX operating system. Creeper gained access via the ARPANET and copied itself to the remote system where the message, "I'm the creeper, catch me if you can!" was displayed. The Reaper program was created to delete Creeper.
  23. 23. Michelangelo Virus On March 6, 1992, the 517th birthday of Michelangelo, the Michelangelo virus was scheduled to erase infected hard disk files. But because of the extensive popularity surrounding the virus, most sites had detected and destroyed the virus before it was activated, so it caused little or no damage.
  24. 24. Love Bug Virus • In 2000, the Love Bug became very widespread. It appeared to be a love note sent by the friend of the receiver. Once invoked, by opening the Virtual Basic script, it propagated by sending itself to the first users in user’s email contact list. It just clogged user’s inbox and email systems, but was relatively harmless.
  25. 25. Protection against Viruses • The problem of viruses can be dealt with by using antivirus software. They work by searching all the programs on a system for the specific pattern of instructions known to make up a virus. When they find a known pattern, they remove the instructions, disinfecting the program. • The best protection against virus is the method of safe computing : purchasing unopened software from vendor and avoiding free or pirated copies from public sources or disk exchange.
  26. 26. Worms v/s Viruses WORMS  rely little or not at all on humans to spread VIRUSES  dependent upon a host file  spread across a network  need the help of humans to spread  spread rapidly  take a while to spread
  27. 27. Denial of Service  Denial of service does not involve stealing of resources or gaining information, but rather disabling legitimate use of a system or facilty.  It is easier than breaking into a machine.  They are network based.  They fall into 2 categories: 1. An attack that uses so many facility resources that, in essence, no work can be done.  2. An attack that disrupts the network facility of the computer.  It is impossible to prevent Denial of Service attacks. Frequently it is difficult to determine if a system slowdown is due to surge in use or an attack.
  28. 28. ANY QUESTIONS ?