PFX Profiles in Microsoft’s System Management Server

In a recent assessment, we had to evaluate how Microsoft’s System Management Server (SMS) certificate management solution (CMS) stores and handles certificates. This question came up because sensitive, encrypted user certificates were to be stored in the SMS CMS. Due to the sensitivity of the handled certificates, we assessed the protection capabilities of the certificate management solution against extraction attempts from a local attacker with administrative privileges.

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How ‘security’ black boxes might corrupt your investment

Usually I’m not the kind of guy who talks about such economic topics. Because I’m an engineer / security researcher who is exclusively concerned with understanding technical problems and if possible, solving them accordingly. My whole education is based on this and contains predominantly technical aspects of information security. This sometimes makes it difficult to understand what the market cares about (and why some products are being developed / exist on the market 😉 ). Nevertheless, a current engagement for one of our customers made me stumble upon such a product.

We were involved in a test where a security appliance (a black box 😉 ) played the core role. As you might know, the test procedure generally depends on the security question to be answered. In this case the question to be answered was, whether the black box provides the promised information security benefit. More specifically, we took a look at the environment / infrastructure, the protocols and the systems around it and checked if the black box does its magic. So the black box itself wasn’t in direct focus of the test. We were quite amazed about the blind trust the product received (but what else can one do, but trust the device they have already purchased ;-)? You can analyze it and that is what we did. Continue reading “How ‘security’ black boxes might corrupt your investment”

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Being at VB2015…

I am currently at the 25th Virus Bulletin International Conference in Prague. The VB2015 is hosted by the Virus Bulletin portal and provides three full days of learning opportunities and networking.

VB2015 focuses on the key themes:

  • Malware & botnets

  • Anti-malware tools & techniques

  • Mobile devices

  • Hacking & vulnerabilities

  • Spam & social networks

  • Network security

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Internet Information Service 7.5 Hardening Guide

Internet Information Services (IIS) contains several components that perform important functions for the application and Web server roles in Windows Server. As it is designed to be used in an enterprise environment, the security of this system must be kept at a high level.

By default IIS implements a lot of basic security measures, but are these the relevant ones to protect your business? Continue reading “Internet Information Service 7.5 Hardening Guide”

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The Role of VGX.DLL in the Context of the Latest IE 0-Day

On Saturday, April 26 Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer version 6 until version 11 is under potential risk against drive-by attacks from malicious websites, regardless of the underlying Microsoft operating system and the associated memory protection features integrated with the operating system. Microsoft has assigned CVE-2014-1776 to this unknown use-after-free vulnerability, which in the worst case could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted website. If an attacker successfully exploits this vulnerability, s/he will gain the same rights and privileges as the current user (once again, activated User Account Control [UAC] helps keeping privileges of the user low).

The recommended mitigating controls from Microsoft, especially unregistering the VGX.DLL library has led to the misunderstanding, that many people thought the vulnerability is located in the VGX.DLL library. That is wrong. Instead, the vulnerability is located in mshtml.dll, mshtml.tlb, Microsoft-windows-ie-htmlrendering.ptxml, and Wow64_microsoft-windows-ie-htmlrendering.ptxml and therefore unregistering of the above library does not globally mitigate the vulnerability. It only mitigates a specific attack vector where Vector Markup Language (VML) is being used during the attack. Continue reading “The Role of VGX.DLL in the Context of the Latest IE 0-Day”

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