PlaidCTF writeup for Pwn-200 (a simple overflow bug)

I know what you're thinking of: what's with all the Web levels!? Well, I was saving the exploitation levels for last! This post will be about Pwnable-200 (ezhp), and the next one will be Pwnable-275 (kappa). You can get the binary for ezhp here, and I highly recommend poking at this if you're interested in […]

PlaidCTF writeup for Web-300 – whatscat (SQL Injection via DNS)

Hey folks, This is my writeup for Whatscat, just about the easiest 300-point Web level I've ever solved! I wouldn't normally do a writeup about a level like this, but much like the mtpox level I actually wrote the exact tool for exploiting this, and even wrote a blog post about it almost exactly 4 […]

PlaidCTF writeup for Web-200 – kpop (bad deserialization)

Hello again! This is my second writeup from PlaidCTF this past weekend! It's for the Web level called kpop, and is about how to shoot yourself in the foot by misusing serialization (download the files). There are at least three levels I either solved or worked on that involved serialization attacks (mtpox, reeekeeeeee, and this […]

PlaidCTF writeup for Web-150 – mtpox (hash extension attack)

Hey folks, This is going to be my first of a couple writeups about this past weekend's CTF: PlaidCTF! My first writeup is for a 150-point Web level called mtpox. I chose this one to do first not only because it's the first level I completed, but also because the primary vulnerability was a hash […]

Ghost in the Shellcode: fuzzy (Pwnage 301)

Hey folks, It's a little bit late coming, but this is my writeup for the Fuzzy level from the Ghost in the Shellcode 2014 CTF! I kept putting off writing this, to the point where it became hard to just sit down and do it. But I really wanted to finish before PlaidCTF 2014, which […]

Ghost in the Shellcode: gitsmsg (Pwnage 299)

"It's Saturday night; I have no date, a 2L bottle of Shasta, and my all-rush mix tape. Let's rock!" ...that's what I said before I started gitsmsg. I then entered "Rush" into Pandora, and listened to a mix of Rush, Kansas, Queen, Billy Idol, and other 80's rock for the entire level. True story. Anyway, […]

Ghost in the Shellcode: TI-1337 (Pwnable 100)

Hey everybody, This past weekend was Shmoocon, and you know what that means—Ghost in the Shellcode! Most years I go to Shmoocon, but this year I couldn't attend, so I did the next best thing: competed in Ghost in the Shellcode! This year, our rag-tag band of misfits—that is, the team who purposely decided not […]

In-depth malware: Unpacking the ‘lcmw’ Trojan

Hey folks, Happy New Year, and welcome to 2014! On a recent trip to Tyson's Corner, VA, I had some time to kill, so I took a careful look at a malware sample that a friend of mine sent to me some time ago, which I believe he originally got off somebody else's hosed system. […]

BSides Winnipeg Wrap-up

For those of you who are close to me, you'll know that my life has been crazy lately. Between teaching courses, changing jobs (here I come, Google!recently started at Google! (I'm slow at posting these :) )), and organizing BSides Winnipeg, I've barely had time to breathe! Things are still chaotic, of course (in fact, […]

ropasaurusrex: a primer on return-oriented programming

One of the worst feelings when playing a capture-the-flag challenge is the hindsight problem. You spend a few hours on a level—nothing like the amount of time I spent on cnot, not by a fraction—and realize that it was actually pretty easy. But also a brainfuck. That's what ROP's all about, after all! Anyway, even […]

Epic “cnot” Writeup (highest value level from PlaidCTF)

When I was at Shmoocon, I saw a talk about how to write an effective capture-the-flag contest. One of their suggestions was to have a tar-pit challenge that would waste all the time of the best player, by giving him a complicated challenge he won't be able to resist. In my opinion, in PlaidCTF, I […]

A padding oracle example

Early last week, I posted a blog about padding oracle attacks. I explained them in detail, as simply as I could (without making diagrams, I suck at diagrams). I asked on Reddit about how I could make it easier to understand, and JoseJimeniz suggested working through an example. I thought that was a neat idea, […]

Padding oracle attacks: in depth

This post is about padding oracle vulnerabilities and the tool for attacking them - "Poracle" I'm officially releasing right now. You can grab the Poracle tool on Github! At my previous job — Tenable Network Security — one of the first tasks I ever had was to write a vulnerability check for MS10-070 — a […]

What’s going on with SkullSpace (our hackerspace)?

Hey everybody, This is just a super quick post today to direct you here - That's a post I wrote about SkullSpace - the hackerspace that me and several others helped found a couple years ago. We went down a "too good to be true" road, where we had a ton of space and […]

Everything you need to know about hash length extension attacks

You can grab the hash_extender tool on Github! (Administrative note: I'm no longer at Tenable! I left on good terms, and now I'm a consultant at Leviathan Security Group. Feel free to contact me if you need more information!) Awhile back, my friend @mogigoma and I were doing a capture-the-flag contest at One of […]

Using “Git Clone” to get Pwn3D

Hey everybody! While I was doing a pentest last month, I discovered an attack I didn't previously know, and I thought I'd share it. This may be a Christopher Columbus moment - discovering something that millions of people already knew about - but I found it pretty cool so now you get to hear about […] authentication misconceptions

Hey everybody, There have been a lot of discussion and misconceptions about's authentication lately. Having done a lot of work on the protocol, I wanted to lay some to rest. The first thing to understand is that, at least at the time I was working on this, there were three different login methods […]

Remote control manager FAIL

Hey guys, Today, I thought it'd be fun to take a good look at a serious flaw in some computer-management software. Basically, the software is designed for remotely controlling systems on networks (for installing updates or whatever). As far as I know, this vulnerability is currently unpatched; there are allegedly mitigations, but you have to […]

A deeper look at ms11-058

Hey everybody, Two weeks ago today, Microsoft released a bunch of bulletins for Patch Tuesday. One of them - ms11-058 - was rated critical and potentially exploitable. However, according to Microsoft, this is a simple integer overflow, leading to a huge memcpy leading to a DoS and nothing more. I disagree. Although I didn't find […]