Let’s get rid of default settings!


Let’s start with the configuration of the Indian who gained recognition on many servers on the web. The first setting we select is the one that prevents an attacker from recognizing the version of Apache. To do this, you can use two directives that have to be set to the following values:

ServerSignature Off
ServerTokens Prod

Separate user and group

The second step is to make sure that Apache runs under its own separate user and group. If the same user also manages something else, e.g. DBMS, an attacker who manages to compromise the web server can have access to the database as well.

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SharePoint Serving the Hacker

One of the few interesting exploits that I could find includes the ability to download the source code of ASPX pages whose address is known in advance and accessible from outside. This vulnerability exists only in SharePoint 2007, and the exploit is quite simple:


This could be useful, if the website has proprietary code. But you still need to know the address of specific page.

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Pwn Plug R2

Now, when everyone is obsessed with encryption, cryptocontainers and other methods of fighting with “software attacks” such seemingly obsolete things like intrusion bugs are regarded as artifacts from James Bond movies rather than a real threat. As a consequence, a network that is physically isolated from the Internet is considered to be almost invulnerable to hackers. Even if the length of the network is many kilometers, and there are no security people to protect many of its components, which are literally accessible to anyone, sometimes just open to anyone, the network is still considered to be absolutely secure. Actually, it is not, as experience has shown.

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The Smallest Trojan of Modern Age

It all started two years ago, when many antivirus companies tried to outdo each other with reports on catching a new malware with full-fledged functionality aimed at taking away cash from users of different online banking systems while fitting just in 19968 bytes of code.

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Spam with viruses

Despite the fact that Russia (surprise!) is not among the leaders in computer infectioning by this method (three leaders are traditionally USA, Germany and the UK), we suppose it will be still useful to find out what makes many users in different corners of the world click on attachments in messages from unknown senders. Off we go!

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Cryptography at gunpoint

Let us try to consider an implementation of any cryptographic algorithm from top downwards. At the first stage a cryptographic algorithm is written in the form of mathematic operators. Here the algorithm is in the environment where only mathematical laws are valid; therefore, researchers verify only the mathematical resistance of the algorithm, or its cryptoresistance. We have a low interest in this step because mathematical operations should be converted into a code. At the code operation stage the critical information about the cipher operation can ooze through holes in the implementation. Buffer overflow, incorrect memory operations, non-documented capabilities and other features of the program environment enable an intruder to find a secret encryption key without using complicated mathematical manipulations. Many researchers stop at this step forgetting that there is at least one more step. Data reflect the real physical state of logical elements rather than an abstract notion whereas computations are physical processes which convert logical elements from one state to another. Consequently, the program execution is a conversion of physical signals, and from this point of view the result of operation of an algorithm is determined by physical laws. Hence the implementation of a cryptographic algorithm can be considered in the mathematical, program and physical environments.

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