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1 SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 1 Steganography Then and Now John Hally May 2012 GIAC GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GCFA, GCWN,

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Presentation on theme: "1 SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 1 Steganography Then and Now John Hally May 2012 GIAC GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GCFA, GCWN,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 1 Steganography Then and Now John Hally May 2012 GIAC GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GCFA, GCWN, GPEN

2 Steganography What it is: Hidden Writing –From Greek words steganos (covered) and graphie (writing). –The goal is to hide that communication is taking place. What it is not: Cryptography –The goal of Cryptography is to make data unreadable by third party. Commonly combined together SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 2

3 Uses – Then Digital watermarking/copyright protection Corporate espionage Anti-forensics Terrorist cell covert communications SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 3

4 Tools - Then Then (Circa 2001): –Spammimic –MP3Stego –OutGuess –JPHS (JP Hide and Seek) –Many others: SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 4

5 Detection - Then Direct comparison using original (visual, statistical) Targeted Detection tools – target popular steganography tools StegDetect General framework - Statistical analysis SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 5

6 Tools - Now Updates/derivations of original tools Steganography Analysis and Research Center (SARC) – Detection Tools SARC tools: –StegAlyzerAS –StegAlyzerSS –StegAlyzerRTS 3 rd Party tool Integration (Fidelis) SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 6

7 Detection - Now Signature-based solutions are prevalent AntiVirus/AntiMalware similarities Original Methodologies still relevant Forensic expert consensus – not typically included in investigations SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 7

8 8 In Use Today Command and Control Operation Shady Rat Espionage Russian Intelligence Illegals Program Terrorism?

9 SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 9 Operation Shady Rat A multi-year targeted operation by one actor in order to extrude sensitive information from its targets. –71 compromised organizations identified: 21 Government Organizations - including 6 US Federal, 5 State, 3 County 6 Industrial Organizations - Construction/heavy industry, Steel, Solar, Energy 13 Technology-based Organizations – including 2 Security organizations 13 Defense Contractors, many others. –3 Stage targeted attack: Spear Phishing Command and Control (C&C) Information Exfiltration

10 SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 10 Shady Rat C & C Trojan exploit code used steganography Commands embedded in HTML and image files HTML files used encryption and encoding for obfuscation Impregnated commands in images

11 SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 11 Examples of Steganographic Files

12 SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 12 Espionage United States vs. Anna Chapman and Mikhail Semenko Illegals Program – Investigation of Russian sleeper agents operating in the U.S. Main goal was to infiltrate the United States policy making circles. Agents were to hide connections between themselves and the Russian Intelligence Federation

13 SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 13 Espionage: Covert Communications Investigation revealed the use of steganography for communications back to Russia Custom steganography program used to embed data in images Communications also took place via wireless drive-by Additional physical steganograhic methods were used

14 Enterprise Defenses Know your data Know your traffic Know your people Education Vigilance SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 14

15 Summary Steganography Art of hiding messages in files for covert communications Tools –Hundreds of tools available, many use the same methods Detection –Detection methods for well known tools –Statistical analysis required for custom tools –Not commonly searched for in typical forensic analysis Uses –Command and Control – Shady Rat –Russian Espionage – Illegals Program Defenses –Know your data, traffic, people –Education and vigilance SANS Technology Institute - Candidate for Master of Science Degree 15


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