Internet-wide problem to be revealed at conference

European version of the well-known conference promises another security surpise

Organizers of next week's Black Hat Europe conference are promising a security presentation that could impact anyone who uses the Internet, but no details have been released yet.

They say the presentation, due to take place April 16, will be as important as the one from security researcher Dan Kaminsky at a Black Hat's conference last July about a widespread flaw in the DNS (Domain Name System).

Kaminsky's research prompted a massive, industry-wide effort to patch DNS servers vulnerable to a dangerous attack that could redirect Web surfers to fraudulent Web sites even if the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) was typed in correctly, among other attack scenarios.

Black Hat's Europe conference, in Amsterdam, will also feature cutting-edge presentations on security problems in Apple's OS X operating system, the OpenOffice.org productivity suite and SAP software. Also, six new vulnerabilities will be revealed, along with 12 tools for security pros.

Details of some of the presentations are available on Black Hat's Web site along with recent audio interviews with some of the presenters.

Here's a preview of some of the presentations:

- Tactical fingerprinting using metadata: Chema Alonso and Enrique Rando will show how it is possible to gather lots of information about a company's internal network by analyzing documents on a Web site. It's possible to figure out the network structure, match IP (Internet Protocol) addresses with internal server names, printer and folders. Alonso and Rando are both computer engineers.

- Eric Filiol, head scientist at the French Army Signals Academy, will argue that OpenOffice.org, the open-source office productivity suite, hasn't kept its security up-to-date. It's far easier to develop malicious OpenOffice.org documents than it is for Microsoft's Office suite, which is frequently abused. Filiol will say there are conceptual weaknesses with OpenOffice.org and that it should be redesigned.

- So you want to put a keylogger on an Apple computer but don't want to leave a trace? Charlie Miller and Vincenzo Iozzo will give a presentation that shows how, once a machine has been exploited, other code can be put onto the machine with a minimal trace. "You don't have to call the kernel to execute your binary," Iozzo said in the Black Hat audio preview. "You leave less traces for forensic investigation and if you're an attacker, it's a pretty cool thing."

They'll also cover the iPhone, which runs a modified version of OS X. Miller, who recently won CanSecWest's PWN2OWN contest for hacking a Mac, is a principal analyst at Independent Security Evaluators. Iozzo is a student at the Politecnico di Milano.

- SAP systems are tough to troubleshoot due to their complexity. Mariano Nunez Di Croce, senior security researcher at CYBSEC, will show how to do an SAP penetration test, as well as show the latest version of sapyto, an open-source SAP penetration test framework. He will also will give tips on how to secure an SAProuter, which is a component of every SAP implementation that can pose a security risk if not configured correctly.

- Some of the protocols that underpin the Internet have design flaws that could be exploited by an attacker. Luckily, most of the systems that use the protocols aren't Internet facing and are secured by the carriers and operators that use them. But if someone got access to a carrier's network, the attacks could be disastrous, according to researchers Enno Rey and Daniel Mende. Their talk will address BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) and MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching).

Black Hat Europe will hold training sessions on Tuesday, April 14, and Wednesday, April 15, followed by two days of briefings.

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