Category Archives: Network (Protocol, Topology & Standard)

Multiple vulnerabilities were discovered in the TCP/IP stack (NetworkPkg) of Tianocore EDKII, Security focus of CVE-2023-4523 (5th Feb 2024)

Original article published January 2024, status update published January 23, 2024.

Preface: Supermicro is aware of a potential vulnerability known as “PixieFAIL” in the BIOS firmware. Multiple vulnerabilities were discovered in the TCP/IP stack (NetworkPkg) of Tianocore EDKII, an open source implementation of UEFI. These nine vulnerabilities that if exploited via network can lead to remote code execution, DoS attacks, DNS cache poisoning, and/or potential leakage of sensitive information.

Background: The UEFI image parser is well-implemented, with a strict set of format validation requirements. The UEFI image loader starts the image allocation process by reserving enough memory for the image to be fully loaded. The UEFI image loader starts the image allocation process by reserving enough memory for the image to be fully loaded. The required memory is extended by a single page so that the loader has enough space to store information about the debugging symbols. Usually this is not necessary, but depending on the linker, debugging information can be placed inside the image overlay. Because the overlay information is not loaded into memory, the UEFI loader ensures that it is available by copying it from disk to this additionally allocated page.

EDK2’s Network Package provides network modules that conform to UEFI 2.4 specification

Vulnerability details: EDK2’s Network Package is susceptible to an out-of-bounds read vulnerability when processing  Neighbor Discovery Redirect message. This vulnerability can be exploited by an attacker to gain unauthorized access and potentially lead to a loss of Confidentiality.

Ref: The subject matter expert performed a cursory inspection of NetworkPkg, Tianocore’s EDK II PXE implementation, and identified nine vulnerabilities that can be exploited by unauthenticated remote attackers on the same local network, and in some cases, by attackers on remote networks. The impact of these vulnerabilities includes denial of service, information leakage, remote code execution, DNS cache poisoning, and network session hijacking.

NIST Official details: Please refer to the link for details –

Supermicro Official details: Please refer to the link for details –

do you know the weaknesses of IP-in-IP design? 2nd jun 2020.

Background: IPIP tunnel is typically used to connect two internal IPv4 subnets through public IPv4 internet. It has the lowest overhead but can only transmit IPv4 unicast traffic.

Vulnerability details: The vulnerability is due to the affected device unexpectedly decapsulating and processing IP in IP packets that are destined to a locally configured IP address. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a crafted IP in IP packet to an affected device. Should you have interested of the actual impact, please refer attached diagram.

Remedy: Users can block IP-in-IP packets by filtering IP protocol number 4 (IPv4 encapsulation – RFC 2003).

For official announcement, please refer to following link –

5g, where to go from here?

Preface: Why some people want everything fast. But when a man is having dinner with his girlfriend, he hopes that time will be slower.

5G communication background: In April 2008, NASA partnered with Geoff Brown and Machine-to-Machine Intelligence (M2Mi) Corp to develop 5G communications technology.
As times go by, On 3 April 2019, South Korea became the first country to adopt 5G.

Heard a lot of news of 5G technology. In additional to high speed and low latency. Can the 5G architecture be hacked?

5G is the first generation that was designed with virtualization and cloud-based technology. Nokia said building separate systems to meet future requirements and use cases of 5G was not an option, so the future network needed to be integrated and aligned with software-defined functions, cognitive technology to orchestrate it and distributed content and processing. 5G’s future rests on software-defined networking (SDN), whose main concept is to decouple the infrastructure of wireless networks from expensive, closed hardware and shift it to an intelligent software layer running on commodity hardware. However, software-defined functions are vulnerable to security threats as well. One of the most significant security risk factors is the possibility of a compromised SDN controller attack at the control plane layer. Due to the centralization design of the SDN, the SDN controller becomes the brain of the SDN architecture. Attackers can focus on compromising the SDN controller in an attempt to manipulate the entire network.

Perhaps above prediction was true. Samsung 5G Core NFs are cloud native NFs, which consist of container-based micro-services to enable flexible scaling and upgrade to meet telecom operators’ requirements. For more details, please refer below diagram.

Besides, 5G Service-Based Architecture (SBA) components consists of serveral components (Resource Controller, Subscription Manager, Policy Controller and Exposure Server). The interconnect in between packet core controller to above four different components could make use of HTTP/JSON. From security point of view , it is hard to forseen that this type of interconnection whether will encounter vulnerability in future.

On demand patch management in existing information technology world will be extend to 5G network in future.

Docker and Kubernetes become a main trend in technology world. Both products features can improve the redundancy and fault tolerance level of the system. And therefore it is hard to avoid the 5G services provider install similar architecture. APT attack and ransomware will wreak havoc with cyber world. In order to reduce the the zero-day of attack to Docker and Kubernetes environment. System hardening process and access control policy must be take in this place. So the 5G service based architecture system will be the new hacker target soon.

Summary: The above description is only cover a small part of the 5G network. Let us observe what will happen to the mobile communication world?

Configure a strong PSK to avoid wireless offline cryptographic attack

Preface: Maybe people won’t use WPA because it’s not safe. However, WPA2 can also collect PSK through tools.

Technical details:

WPA and WPA2 offline attack technique are well known today. For instance, penetration test conduct the WiFi penetration test will relies on tool (Aircrack-NG). As a matter of fact, the attacker first obtains a man-in-the-middle (MitM) position between the victim and the real Wi-Fi network. However it does not enable the attacker to decrypt packets! One of the way use a password recovery tool work with “wordlist”. The mechanism is read line by line from a textfile (aka “dictionary” or “wordlist”) and try each line to find out the password.

Reference: The dictionary pass-phrase attack is one of the popular attacks on WPA2-PSK. Since PSK will be the main key to protect WLAN, the attacker will try to guess the pass-phrase used to generate PSK. This can be done by capturing the initial WPA2-PSK handshaking between a legitimate wireless client and the AP.

Remedy: Sounds like not difficult to crack. In our world, IoT devices do not use 802.1x for authentication. What can we do?

If not possible change to 802.1x, configure a strong PSK with a minimum length of 19 characters or more.

Cisco Aggregation Services Router 9000 Series IPv6 Fragment Header Denial of Service Vulnerability

Cisco Aggregation Services Router 9000 Series IPv6 Fragment Header Denial of Service Vulnerability

IPv6 design limitation highlights by Cisco on 2013 RSA conference. Since ICMP header is in 2nd fragment. Defense mechanism especially RA guard no cue where to find (see my cartoon picture). Perhaps stateful firewall can doing the defense. Meanwhile, this issue told the world there is no real secure Internet Protocol! But this vulnerability occurs on Cisco only causes Denial of Service (reboot). At least no privileges escalation or data leakage.

SS7 flaw make two factor authentication insecure – Reveal the veil


Two factor authentications claimed itself that it is a prefect security solution. No matter online banking transaction, Bitcoin wallet, e-trading business system and application system which concern the data privacy are willing to apply two factors authentication.

The overall comments for two factor authentication on the market

Let’s take a review in below cyber security incident records

  1. Cyber Criminals stolen Bitcoin in electronic Wallets by counterfeit two factor authentication SMS messages.A investment trader so called night owl. He was notified the passwords had been reset on two of his email addresses on 11th Aug 2016. He losses among the largest in his bitcoin investment. The venture capitalists (Bo Shen) he had value of US$300,000 electronic money (Augur REP tokens) stolen by hacker, plus an undisclosed amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies lost. Coinbase (US base world biggest bitcoin exchange) observed that a double growth of cyber heist among it customers during November to December 2016.
  2. Criminals carried out an attack from a network of a foreign mobile network operator in the middle of January 2017. Meanwhile the attackers use SS7 vulnerability to intercept and redirect mTANs ( mobile transaction authentication numbers) sent by banks in Germany to authorize transfers payment out of victim accounts.

The clarification of two factor authentication criteria

Two factor authentication (2FA) definition is based on providing two of the following three “somethings”: (1) something you know, which is your username and password combination or a pin, (2) something you have, which can be a bank card, mobile device, smartwatch, or another device you’ve flagged as safe, and in more advanced scenarios, (3) something you are, which includes biometrics like fingerprints, retina scans, or voice recognition. By requiring a user to verify their identity with two or more of these unique ways, 2FA is effectively extending security beyond the password. The final step of the authentication process is send one-time authorization code to a device via an SMS, which you then enter to prove your identity.

My doubt on above matter?

What if my situation in regards to key terms “something you are” function replace by a hardware token. In this scenario, my hardware authentication token will be synchronized in the 1st round of registration to RSA ACE server. Thereafter the dependence of the hardware token depends on a element (timing). This setup compliance to 2FA definition. In the sense that it did not involve SMS message. So the 2FA still trustworthy, right?

SS7 Vulnerability

A proof of concept shown that attacker could use the telephone network to access the voice data of a mobile phone, find its location and collect other information. Hacker able to manipulating USSD commands to spoof financial transactions such as the authorization of purchases or the transfer of funds between accounts.

The hacks exploit the SS7 vulnerability by tricking the telecom network believing the attacker’s phone has the same number as the victim’s phone. We know that hackers can hijack whatsApp and telegram via ss7. A vulnerability found on 2008.

SS7 design fundamental is going to trust any request.  We known that JSS7 is an implementation of SS7 telephony protocol in Java, aims to create an open source, multiplatform, SS7 protocol stack. And therefore counterfeit SMS message will more easier (see below information supplement 1 at the bottom of this page for reference). Carriers often “ask” one another for the whereabouts of a certain device so they can calculate the nearest cell tower to route a call. These sorts of automated interactions happen all the time. Nokia safeguards network operations with new security features in Sep 2015. The features consisting of Signaling Guard and Security Assessment service, detects and prevents attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in the SS7 protocol. It looks that such remediation step not effective to avoid insider threats.

Nokia safeguard network operation effectiveness

The fundamental of SS7 signal system is operate in a private network, meaning that cyber criminals have to hack it to gain entry—or find a telecom insider willing to offer illicit access.However there is another vulnerability on ASN.1. That is ASN.1 Compiler flaw leads to Network vulnerability. As such , hacker explore the back door on SS7 not only targeting to their internal staff. It might have possibility allow attackers to remotely execute unknown and unauthorized code inside the firmware of devices that use the compiled ASN1C code from within C and C++. Meanwhile java language fully compatible with SS7 protocol stack and platform. Oops! Do you think a design weakness will be happen in this place?

Hacker might reading shared memory data using Java . Program source that is written by C++.

Hacker can create a method in Java to read or write on shared memory. Hacker might have way relies on Java SS7 benefits hook to sharing memory process. As a result, it compromise the machine. It can send SMS to anyone or anywhere includes communicate with other Telco vendor. It is the most concern and dangerous way.


From technical point of view, 2FA (Two factor authentication) still a secure method for authentication. It looks that the flaw given by SS7 signaling system instead of 2FA itself. Since 2FA not limit to SS7 to conduct authentication. You are allow to use other alternative. Guys do not worry too much.

Information supplement 1: Open Source Java SS7 stack that allows Java apps to communicate with legacy SS7 communications equipment. JSS7 is an implementation of SS7 telephony protocol in Java, aims to create an open source, multiplatform, SS7 protocol stack. Below javascript sample is the pass along message implementation programming syntax for reference.

package org.mobicents.protocols.ss7.isup.impl.message;


import org.mobicents.protocols.ss7.isup.ISUPMessageFactory;
import org.mobicents.protocols.ss7.isup.ISUPParameterFactory;
import org.mobicents.protocols.ss7.isup.ParameterException;
import org.mobicents.protocols.ss7.isup.impl.message.parameter.MessageTypeImpl;
import org.mobicents.protocols.ss7.isup.message.ISUPMessage;
import org.mobicents.protocols.ss7.isup.message.PassAlongMessage;
import org.mobicents.protocols.ss7.isup.message.parameter.MessageName;
import org.mobicents.protocols.ss7.isup.message.parameter.MessageType;

 * Start time:xx<br>
 * Project: xx<br>
 * @author <a href="">xx </a>

public class PassAlongMessageImpl extends ISUPMessageImpl implements PassAlongMessage {
 public static final MessageType _MESSAGE_TYPE = new MessageTypeImpl(MessageName.PassAlong);

static final int _INDEX_F_MessageType = 0;
 private ISUPMessage embedded;
 * @param source
 * @throws ParameterException
 public PassAlongMessageImpl() {
 super.f_Parameters.put(_INDEX_F_MessageType, this.getMessageType());

public MessageType getMessageType() {
 return _MESSAGE_TYPE;

 public void setEmbeddedMessage(ISUPMessage msg) {
 this.embedded = msg;

 public ISUPMessage getEmbeddedMessage() {
 return embedded;

public boolean hasAllMandatoryParameters() {
 return this.embedded == null ? false: this.embedded.hasAllMandatoryParameters();

 public int encode(ByteArrayOutputStream bos) throws ParameterException {
 throw new ParameterException("No embedded message");

//encode CIC and message type
 this.encodeMandatoryParameters(f_Parameters, bos);
 final byte[] embeddedBody = ((AbstractISUPMessage)this.embedded).encode();
 // 2 - for CIC
 bos.write(embeddedBody, 2, embeddedBody.length - 2);
 return bos.size();

 public int decode(byte[] b, ISUPMessageFactory messageFactory,ISUPParameterFactory parameterFactory) throws ParameterException {
 int index = 0;
 //decode CIC and PAM message type.
 index += this.decodeMandatoryParameters(parameterFactory, b, index);
 byte targetMessageType = b[index];
 this.embedded = messageFactory.createCommand(targetMessageType, this.getCircuitIdentificationCode().getCIC());
 //create fake msg body
 byte[] fakeBody = new byte[b.length-1];
 System.arraycopy(b, 1, fakeBody, 0, fakeBody.length);
 index+=((AbstractISUPMessage)this.embedded).decode(fakeBody, messageFactory, parameterFactory)-2;
 return index;

// Not used, PAM contains body of another message. Since it overrides decode, those methods are not called.
 protected void decodeMandatoryVariableBody(ISUPParameterFactory parameterFactory, byte[] parameterBody, int parameterIndex)
 throws ParameterException {
 // TODO Auto-generated method stub


protected void decodeOptionalBody(ISUPParameterFactory parameterFactory, byte[] parameterBody, byte parameterCode)
 throws ParameterException {
 // TODO Auto-generated method stub


protected int getNumberOfMandatoryVariableLengthParameters() {
 // TODO Auto-generated method stub
 return 0;

protected boolean optionalPartIsPossible() {

throw new UnsupportedOperationException();


Information supplement 2: How to protect your IT premises? Found vulnerability sometimes isn’t a flaw.This is the original design! For more detail, please refer below:  

How to protect your IT premises? Found vulnerability sometimes isn’t a flaw.This is the original design!


21st century kill chain (logic bomb, cyber bomb and ransomware)


The 21st century is the current century of the Anno Domini era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. It began on January 1, 2001 and will end on December 31, 2100. It is the first century of the 3rd millennium.

We can’t tolerate cyber attack happen in election again, President said.

Headline news told that former president Obaman intend to use new technique to reduce other country especially Russia engage the cyber attack to USA during 2016 election of president. The solution is that activate a cyber bomb technique. But this idea did not action yet.

What is a logic bomb?

A logic bomb is a piece of code intentionally inserted into a software system that will set off a malicious function when specified conditions are met. The technical term so called slag code.

What is slag code?

It is not a virus, but works in a similar pattern. From technical point of view, slag code sounds like a set of instructions inserted into a program that are designed to execute the target action (sounds like “explode”).

Scenario – The technical term so called network exploded. The result of this explosion contains delete data ,corrupt data or have other harmful effects.


Below  example (Picture A) shown that only implement a simple command syntax to a windows workstation. The process will consume all the CPU resources until windows OS shutdown. This is the concept idea of a slag code. Do you think similar attack concept can whether be affect the services provider network equipment?

Picture A – slag code

How powerful of the cyber bomb, is it possible?

Above concept can show you that your workstation execute a slag code and result not operation properly. The service get back normal until reboot. What if, the telecommunication services provider receive the slav code crafted by expert. What’s the worst situation is?

Logic Bomb 

Logic Bomb 1 – infectious media (malware)

The logic bomb goal to achieve a destructive result. The infectious media relies on malware. The malware structure will  be consists of a executable file ( Agent.exe ). This file is for triggered the wiping function. Besides this file contains a hex string. For example – a hex string display 65B417D8. When we convert the hex code to numeric value, it indicate that this is the date and time of the attack to begin (June 30, 2017 at 2pm local time (2017-6-30 14:00:00)). As soon as the internal system clock on the machine hit 14:00:01, the wiper (agent) was triggered to overwrite the hard drive and master boot record on Microsoft OS of machines and then reboot the system. The malicious code can access and compromise Windows-based systems inside the industrial control network. After a Windows system has been infected, the weapon would be stealthy enough to evade IT security controls while it searches for a target system

Logic Bomb 2 – A persistent attack (the packets being constantly injected)

A persistent attack occurs when the attacker would put bad packets into a router and it would lead to vulnerabilities being exploited/revealed during the process. Significant damage can occur during this attack because packets would be flooded into the router and can end up suspend the routing function.

Remark: These attacks are very complicated to detect.

Logic Bomb 3 – The mistrating attacks

The mistreating attacks can be caused indirectly by directing an irresistible number of packers to the target victim address. Let the victim (router and network) isolated. In the means that the network services will be suspended.


Cyber warfare arsenal (major weapon)


Since this topic we discussed in past , for more details, please see below URL for reference.

The other side of the story on cyber attack (Electronic war between countries)

Informaiton Supplement  – BGP hijack attack

Below idea show a rogue AS falsely advertises a shorter path to reach a prefix P, which causes other AS’es to route traffic destined to the prefix P through the shorter path.


There are four AS’s: AS1, AS2, AS3 and AS4 (rogue).

Each routing daemon’s peers are shown using connections:

  1. Router 1 peers with router 2 and router 4.
  2. Router 2 peers with router 1 and router 3.
  3. Router 3 peers with router 4.

 1 – Show router 1 routing entries

BGP table version is 0, 
local router ID is

Network Next Hop Metric LocPrf Weight Path    0           32768  i    0               0  2 i                    0  2 3 i

Reminder A: On AS1, the chosen AS path to reach is “2 3” (i.e., via AS2 and AS3).

2: Start the rogue AS, the rogue AS will connect to AS1 and advertise a route to using a shorter path (i.e., a direct path from AS1 to AS4). Thus, AS1 will choose this shorter path by default.

3. Show router 1 routing entries again

BGP table version is 0, 
local router ID is 

Network Next Hop Metric LocPrf Weight Path     0           32768 i     0               0 2 i     0               0 4 i     0                 2 3 i

We can see AS4’s chosen path and also AS3’s path in the routing information base of AS1.
Since the AS path length to reach is smaller through AS4, router 1 chooses AS4 as its next hop.

From technical point of view, it successfully hijack the traffic in BGP network. We known internet routing protocol is using BGP. No suprise, this is only a basic theory. More complex and advance technique is under develop by different countries.
See who show his power to the world.


On our discussion of this topic, I am not going to input key word conclusion on the end of page this time. As we know, above items is my speculation. Believed it or not , the cyber attack atmosphere looks similar with discussion in past.

But bear in mind that any product includes cyber weapon require test and pilot run. These rehearsal looks mandatory since it is hard to foreseen the overall damage effect (including the response of the countries). On the other hand it is a test to know the actual system specification in hostile country. It compared to traditional way become more effective! Hire a spy infiltrate to hostile country is not the way today. Do you agree?

I am going to write more interested topics. Hope you will be interest. See you. Have a nice weekend.









Who spying on me? Da Vinci or Archimedes?


Archimedes’ principle is a law of physics fundamental to fluid mechanics.

Leonardo Da vinci  is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived.

Since they are the famous scientists. They dedicate their inventions to the world. But we known the infamous tools in cyber world for the government surveillance program. The most famous eavesdropping feature type of malware. Those surveillance tools make use of similar naming convention. From general point of view, it looks that it is not respect of these two great scientists!

About  Da vinci  Spy tools

A powerful spy software developed by Italian hack team, the tool benefits to track a person’s calls and other communications in real-time.  This tools only sell to law enforcement or government agent. Italian Hacking Team was hacked by other hacker group on 2015. More than 400GB of data, including source code, internal documents and emails that could reveal the identity of customers display on embedded torrent file share link. A rumors were told that Italian hack team blamed their customer unethical collect their technology and hack them.

About Archimedes tool

We all known tool used by the CIA named “Archimedes”  open to the world through WikiLeaks on 5th May 2017. Archimedes developed by CIA engineering development Group. The project code so called UMBRAGE project.  It is a interested project code name. The definition of Umbrage means offense; annoyance; displeasure: to feel umbrage at a social snub; to give umbrage to someone; to take umbrage at someone’s rudeness.


 Da vinci  Spy tool

Da vinci spy tool relies on JAR (Java ARchive) , Microsoft Office and Adobe Flash Player design limitation as a infection media to fulfill their remote control system (RCS) criteria (see below). A more advance technique of tool easy to fool the cyber defense mechanism since this is a unknown attack (zero day) and therefore it will be more easily to spread out the spyware fulfill their objective.

1. Self-signed JAR
2. CVE-2012-4167: Integer overflow in Adobe Flash Player
3. CVE-2010-3333: Stack-based buffer overflow in Microsoft Office
4. CVE-2012-5054: Integer overflow in the copyRawDataTo method in the Matrix3D class in Adobe Flash Player
5. CVE-2012-1682: Unspecified vulnerability in the Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
6. CVE-2013-0633: Buffer overflow in Adobe Flash Player


Archimedes is an update to Fulcrum 0.6.1. The design objective of Fulcrum. Fulcrum will direct a target machine’s HTTP client traffic to the URL of the attacker’s choice. The technique involves ARP Spoofing to Get In the Middle and HTTP Traffic Injection. The simple conceptual idea shown in below picture.

Archimedes (Fulcrum 0.6.2) focus windows OS with high flexibility. The attacker can execute Fulcrum as an EXE with Compiled Parameters. In order to avoid anti-virus program protection .The remote attacker can run as DLL with rundll32.exe with CommandLine Parameters. The tool itself is not sophisticated. Attacker can easy to get rid following files (f32.exe,f32.dll,fs32.exe,fs32.dll,f.cfg and f.log). The normal computer user do not know what is happen.

Capability and Flexibility

Da vinci  Spy tool:

Capability: small footprint,  unknown vulnerability (zero day)

Flexibility: Antivirus program not easy to detect until vulnerabilities found by vendor

Archimedes :

Capability: small footprint,  similar normal application program service daemon

Flexibility: Antivirus program not easy to detect until vulnerabilities found by vendor


Both spy tools (Da vinci  &  Archimedes (Fulcrum 0.6.2))are using inline hooking technique (see below).

However Archimedes (Fulcrum 0.6.2) looks develop infiltration technique from layer 2. For instance ARP cache poisoning.  Both spy tools entry point (infiltration) looks have differences! Da vinci more focus on layer 7 (application) and Archimedes run on layer 2. Seems it is hard to proof the integrity of the rumors (Italian hack team blamed their customer unethical collect their technology and hack them). But it is not the absolute answer. Let’s keep our eye open on wiki-leaks to know more!




Conduct self assessment enhance your cyber security setup


Although your in house IT setup has SIEM, IDS, IPS, ..etc. But you may have questions? What is the defense criteria. Yes, we fully understand that install full scope of defense mechanism might mitigate the risk, right? Implement the IT strategic outsourcing.  Enforce the follow the Sun policy. Deploy the management security service.  But think it over, those defense mechanisms are involve human operation.  Perhaps the SLA agreement of your services provider promises 99.99 % response time. But cyber security incident handling method far away with normal IT operation framework. For instance, engage the forensic investigation sometimes consume time to isolate the problem. As a matter of fact, SLA looks like a value. The quicker you receive email reply or return phone call did not imply it boots up the value of cyber incident management.


Now we look back the cyber incident history. The security experts and security analysis Guru are summarized the key factors of the weakness of IT infrastructure today. No matter how was the size of your firm. Below key elements can guide you to the appropriate approach.

Weaknesses of IT domain – Key elements

  1. Unauthenticated protocols
  2. Outdated hardware
  3. Weak user authentication
  4. Weak file integrity checks
  5. Vulnerable Windows operating systems
  6. Undocumented third-party relationships

If your firm is able to compliance above 6 items of key elements. I was say congratulation to you. But for the realistic point of view, I believed that it is not easy to archive. For instance, you application development team is going to enhance the application. However the application integrate with a legacy product. Furthermore the legacy product is retired of their product life cycle. You know what is the weakness and the vulnerabilities. As a matter of fact, it is not possible to inform your management team suspend the project process since this is a business objective. Similar fashion of  scenario you might encountered or familiar.  Any idea or resolution to resolve such business habit forming manner. Since all the final decision will be decide by CSO, CIO or coporate management team. But at least following hints can give more space to you for thinking of this subject matter.


Use a security controls matrix to justify controls and identify the weakness of the specifics area. The design goal is that take the benefit of matrix table for simplification terms. Thus provide a straight forward path which can apply to the key objective area. Since we all tech guy and no need to mention in depth. For more details, please see below:

Base on the 6 key elements of weakness in overall IT Infrastructure. Below assessment tool can provides an overall idea to you which area of weakness encountered in your shop.


authenticated protocols Availability SSL or VPN (Ipsec) Change control policy
Router (GUI access) Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Switch (GUI access) Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Firewall (GUI access) Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Managed security service (GUI access) Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Cloud Farm (GUI access) Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Total score Full score (5) Full score (5)
Outdated Hardware Still operate In-House hardware lifecycle policy
Router (OS obsoleted) Yes(0)/No(1) Yes(1)/No(0)
Switch (OS obsoleted) Yes(0)/No(1) Yes(1)/No(0)
Firewall (OS obsoleted) Yes(0)/No(1) Yes(1)/No(0)
Sever (Vendor support – End of Life) Yes(0)/No(1) Yes(1)/No(0)
PABX (CTI server) Yes(0)/No(1) Yes(1)/No(0)
Total score Full score (5) Full score (5)
user authentication ID asset management Single sign-on feature
Router Logon access Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(0)/No(1)
Switch Logon access Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(0)/No(1)
Firewall Logon access Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(0)/No(1)
Privileges ID Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(0)/No(1)
Application program service ID Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(0)/No(1)
Total score Full score (5) Full Score (5)
File integrity check Top Secret / Confidential Data Data classification Policy
Server Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Web Application (External) Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Web Application (Internal) Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Database (DB) Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Cloud farm Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Total score Full score (5) Full score (5)
Vulnerability management Zero day & critical patch Incident management procedure
Router Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Switch Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Firewall Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Server Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Application Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Total score Full score (5) Full score (5)
3rd Party relationship Responsibilities (scope of works and support level of cyber security incident) Dedicated subject matter expert implement in this role
Management security services Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Web Hosting Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Application (Vendor service support token) Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Hardware maintenance (services provider) Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Network (MPLS, Frame-link, Internet line, Boardband..etc) Yes(1)/No(0) Yes(1)/No(0)
Total score Full score (5) Full score (5)


What is your over performance score on above matrix table?  If it is not suitable to your environment. No problem, please go ahead to modify the criteria and try to fit to your project scope. Even though external auditor engage the risk assessment they are using the same idea.  Good luck to all of you!






Part 2:Blockchain technology situation – Malware join to bitcoin mining

A moment of silence, prayer for the dead (Terrorist attack on the streets attack near U.K. Parliament 22nd Mar 2017)

A moment of silence, prayer for the dead 
Tragedy in Russia - Explosion in the St. Petersburg metro 3rd Apr 2017

Part 2: Blockchain technology situation – Malware join to bitcoin mining

We continuous the discussion topic on blockchain technology situation.  Part 1:Blockchain technology situation – A Tales of Two Cities The discussion on part 2 mainly focus on malware threats to bitcoin industry.  We understand that Bitcoin was designed to be uncensorable digital cash that could operate outside the existing financial system. As mentioned last time, it looks that the blockchain technology contained weakness on end point device (bitcoin owner workstation or mobile phone). Even though you deploy a proprietary wallet, the overall setup will become weakness once malware compromise your end point device. Below picture diagram bring an idea to reader of bitcoin wallet architecture, see whether you have different idea in this regard?

Bitfinex incident wakes up concern on endpoint security

More than US$60m worth of bitcoin was stolen from one of the world’s largest digital currency exchanges (Bitfinex) on 2nd Aug 2017. Nearly 120,000 units of digital currency bitcoin worth about US$72 million was stolen from the exchange platform Bitfinex in Hong Kong, said Reuters Technology News. Director of Community & Product Development for Bitfinex stated that the bitcoin was stolen from users’ segregated wallets. The investigation has found no evidence of a breach to any BitGo servers, said the representative of BitGo.

Since no evidence proof that security breach happened in that place but what is the possible cause?

An announcement posted by official group (Bitfinex), the company informed that there are going to secure the environment and bring down the web site and the maintenance page will be left up. From technical point of view, if  API and signing keys reside on servers. Hacker might have access with legitemate credential once a bitcoin wallet user workstation compromised.As a matter of fact if the webservice is hacked, bitcoin owner will lost the money (see above bitcoin wallet architecture comparison diagram for reference).

Our Observation

The weakness of Node.J.S trading API Framework.

The java script contain security weakness. It benefits hacker to understand the operation path. For instance

Client send his payload, his key, and the hmac of his payload with his secret key. Server retrieve user with his pk, recompute the hmac with the retrieved sk and then check if the computed hmac is equal to the retrieved hmac. (see below program syntax for reference).


From technical point of view, malware which contains steal private key or digital certificate function, they have capability transform to bitcoin malware. As usual, the infection technique relies on Spear phishing. The emails contained a malicious attachment with the file which contained a zero-day exploit. The exploit attacked multimedia software platform used for production of animations especially Adobe Flash to install a malware onto the victim’s computer.

Then malware obtained bitfinex private key and one of the following item.

i) bitgo’s private key

ii) bitfinex bitgo’s username and password and authy’s credentials (that allows the hacker to create new api access tokens and remove daily limits)

iii) bitfinex bitgo’s api access token

Or apply new keys gave to bitgo as new 2-3 internal bitfinex address. signed tx with bfx key, and “new key” that was just given. Meanwhile bypassing bitgo’s security checks.


Above information detail is one of the example. It looks that quote a real incident can increase the visibility of the understanding.  Apart from that, discussion looks never ending. I believed that part 3 will be coming soon.