Copyright 1997 Ryan Net Works, LLC. - All Rights reserved In order to understand how to implement security it is necessary to characterize hacking. This document encapsulates years of hacking experience and I hope that it will shed some light on just what hacking is an how you can defend against it. This paper serves as a foundation course in the subject of hacking whithout delving deeply into advanced mathematics or highly theoretical issues
Generally, hackers are unorganized but that doesn't mean we can't perform an analysis of hacking. The method we will use is one that was pioneered in World War II by the RAND coporation. If we try to understand hacking as an operations research problem then we can get it onto a firm, even mathematical foundation. The goal of the hacker is to maximize some set of stated goals (Theft, Revenge etc.) while at the same time minimizing his risk. The defender, on the other hand, is looking to amplify the the risk to the hacker while minimizing his exposure to potential abuse.
Consider making an assault on, say, Normandy or Kuwait, a hacker is presented with many of the same problems. How is he to maximize his chance of success while minimizing his risk. Each action he can perform is characterized by a signal that the defender may or may not be able to detect. Therefore, one of his goals must be to minimize the signal he sends to the defender. We caveat this statement because the attacker may decide that stealth costs too much and his real goal is better served by a frontal assault. Even so, this choice simply means that the defender recieves the signal at full strength right from the start so the same methods we outline for amplifying and detecting attack signals will apply.
In order to begin an analysis of hacking we need to break it up into phases and then run our min/max analysis on each phase. Hacking, like any other attack, can be characterized by the following phases.
The remainder of the paper considers each of these phases in turn. We also begin to give a method whereby we can assign weights to our matrix variables values according to their values leading to a stated goal.
Here the hacker tries to map out out the defenders assets. We create a table that with three columns,
METHOD Asset Signal Comment
1.1 DNS nh(u) h 1.2 INTERNIC (INer/DDN) nh(u) l 1.3 Social engineering 1.3.1 Telephone book u l 1.3.2 call personel u m 1.3.3 Dumpster diving nhup m 1.3.4 Def. marketing p m-l 1.3.5 Att. marketing p h 1.3.6 Knob rattling nhup h 1.3.7 Help desk requests u l 1.3.8 Admins name u l 1.3.9 Financial statements nhup l 1.3.10 News clippings nhup l 1.4 Hacker BBS 1.5 Machine Based Data Collection 1.5.1 Search news postings nhups l 1.5.2 War dialing hs m AIO5, toneloc 1.5.3 Info bots nhups m 1.5.4 Satan nhups h 1.5.5 DNS nhu l 1.5.6 WHOIS nhu l 1.5.7 Ping hn h 1.5.8 Finger hnu h finger @@espn.com 1.5.9 Traceroute nh m tcpdump ethload sniffers 1.5.10 Net managers w/ host disc.nh h Scotty HPOpenview 1.5.11 Ether host prob nhs h Broadcasts 1.5.12 Sniffers nhups l
This is the heart of the operations research approach to hacking. Here the hacker plays out the what-if scenarios away from the prying eyes of the defender. By assigning a value to each of the goals (e.g. Curiosity = 5, Revenge = 1, Money = 0) and assigning a cost to each method we can minimize the signal, maximize the result, and minimize the cost.
We do not have time nor can we set up the mathematics for min/max problems here but the interested student can pickup a testbook on the subject of operations research and apply the mathematics to the analysis generated here. The columns of this table are given by:
Motivation Motivation Code Signal Comment
2.1 Establish goals 2.1.1 Curiosity/inteligence p m 2.1.2 Competetive edge/ corp espionage md h 2.1.3 Revenge - disguntled employee... pd h 2.1.4 Vandalism pd m 2.1.5 Bragging pd h 2.1.6 Blackmail pmd m 2.1.7 Theft m m-h 2.1.8 Embezzlement m l-m 2.2 Inventory resources 2.2.1 Create inventory xxx l-h 2.2.2 Assign inventory cost - N.B. here code = cost 22.214.171.124 Invent h l 126.96.36.199 Trade m h 188.8.131.52 Purchase m m 184.108.40.206 Steal l h 220.127.116.11 Freeware/shareware l l 2.2.3 Fill inventory 18.104.22.168 Invent h l 22.214.171.124.1 Design Tools 126.96.36.199.1.1 Stack smashing 188.8.131.52.1.2 Race conditions 184.108.40.206.1.3 Lying (resource swapping) 220.127.116.11.1.4 Backdoor 18.104.22.168.1.5 Bruteforce 22.214.171.124 Trade 126.96.36.199.1 Hacker Groups l m 188.8.131.52 Purchase 184.108.40.206.1 Consultants h l 220.127.116.11.2 Hacker CDROMs l l l0pht 18.104.22.168 Steal 22.214.171.124.1 Hacker Groups m h 126.96.36.199.2 Government h h 188.8.131.52 Freeware/shareware 184.108.40.206.1 Hacker Groups l m 220.127.116.11.2 News letters l m 2.2.4 Benefits analysis - N.B. code: s = secrecy, e = effective 18.104.22.168 Invent es n/a 22.214.171.124 Trade e l 126.96.36.199 Purchase e l 188.8.131.52 Steal es m 184.108.40.206 Free/shareware es l 2.2.4 Assign inventory benefit xxx l 2.2.5 Cost benefit analysis xxx l 2.4 Make a battle plan xxx l 2.4.1 Fill min/max matrix 2.4.2 Run min/max matrix 2.4.3 Review results and run min/max matrix again
Here we try to get onto a host, ususally through a network. So we concentrate on network hacks in this section.
METHOD Access Signal Comment
3.1 Brute force u h 3.1.1 ftp u h 3.1.2 telnet u h 3.1.3 pop2/3 u h 3.2.4 rlogin u h 3.1.5 http u h 3.1.6 sql u h 3.1.7 kerberos u h 3.1.8 smnp an m 3.2 Sniffing ua l 3.3 Spoofing 3.3.1 DNS h m 3.3.2 IP h m 3.3.3 Kerberos IV hua l 3.3.4 smtp hua m 3.3.5 snmp v1 ha l 3.4 Stack smashing 3.4.1 SMTP ha l-m 3.4.2 Named/DNS " " 3.4.3 pop " " 3.4.4 http " " 3.5 Race 3.5.1 NFS hua m-h 3.5.2 Kerberos (all versions) " " 3.5.3 All ticket authentication progs " " 3.6 Back Door 3.6.1 Sendmail / wiz ha l 3.6.2 Debug stuff 220.127.116.11 Stack smashing hua m 18.104.22.168 Race " " 22.214.171.124 Brute " " 126.96.36.199 Back door " " 188.8.131.52 Spoofing " "
To establish a base of operations the hacker wants to insure that 1) access to the host/net continues and 2) boost priviledges to gain control of the log files and so erase evidence
We continue to use our familar table format:
METHOD Access Signal Comments
4.1 Be able to get back 4.1.1 Passwd cracking 184.108.40.206 Crack hua m 220.127.116.11 Crypt hua h 4.1.2 Trojan horses 18.104.22.168 login hua m 22.214.171.124 r commands " m 126.96.36.199 telnet " m 188.8.131.52 all inetd.conf files " m 184.108.40.206 kernal loadable modules hua l i.e. device driver trojans 4.1.3 Config files 220.127.116.11 .rhosts " m 18.104.22.168 host.equiv " " 22.214.171.124 etc. " " 4.2 Become admin 4.2.1 Stack - spoits 126.96.36.199 librar sploits a l getopt on Solaris. In libc.so 188.8.131.52 Most network attacks a m mail, DNS, etc. 4.2.2 Race 184.108.40.206 expreserve a l 220.127.116.11 .rexecd a l 18.104.22.168 cron a m 22.214.171.124 any simlink+suid files au m 4.2.3 Brute 126.96.36.199 all networked files au m 188.8.131.52 crack decryption au m 4.2.4 Back door 184.108.40.206 networking "debugs" au h 220.127.116.11 OS "debugs" au h 18.104.22.168 application "debugs" au m 22.214.171.124 bios calls au l 126.96.36.199 service maint passwd a l (unisys, ami, all routers) 4.2.5 Spoofing 188.8.131.52 all TCP/IP networking hua m 184.108.40.206 symlinks ua l 220.127.116.11 tmp files ua l 18.104.22.168 config files (cron) ua m Cukoos egg 4.3 Cover our tracks 4.3.1 Fix logs 22.214.171.124 syslog (syslog.conf) a h 126.96.36.199 messages (dmesg) " " 188.8.131.52 utmp " " 184.108.40.206 wtmp " " 220.127.116.11 history of compromised " " accoun 18.104.22.168 audit.log " " 22.214.171.124 /var/log authlog " " 4.3.2 Fix the OS 126.96.36.199 Fix loadable modules " l 188.8.131.52 Fix ".o" files " l 184.108.40.206 Bugs in OS " l eg.Sparc floating point exception bug
This is the heart of hacker motivation, the "why" a hacker hacks. Determination of a hackers motivation can lead to a strategy for dealing with computer fraud and abuse. That is simple curiosity can be dealt with without recourse to the law, whereas embezlment will reqire stronger action.
HomeLast updated by John Ryan firstname.lastname@example.org on Wed Feb 12 1997