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© 2001 Halvar Flake Auditing binaries for security vulnerabilities Speech outline (I) Legal considerations concerning reverse engineering Introduction.

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Presentation on theme: "© 2001 Halvar Flake Auditing binaries for security vulnerabilities Speech outline (I) Legal considerations concerning reverse engineering Introduction."— Presentation transcript:

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2 © 2001 Halvar Flake Auditing binaries for security vulnerabilities Speech outline (I) Legal considerations concerning reverse engineering Introduction to the topic: The different approaches to auditing binaries Review of C/C++ programming mistakes Spotting these mistakes in the binary Demonstration of finding a vulnerability --- Break ---

3 © 2001 Halvar Flake Auditing binaries for security vulnerabilities Speech outline (II) Patching the problem away Dealing with Run-time-encrypted binaries Automated scanning for suspicious constructs Automating the process of reconstructing structures Extending structure reconstruction to automate OOP class reconstruction Free time to answer questions and discuss the topic

4 © 2001 Halvar Flake Legal considerations Technically, the reverse engineer breaks the license agreement between him and the software vendor, as he is forced to accept upon installation that he will not reverse engineer the program. The vendor could theoretically sue the reverse engineer and revoke the license. Depending on your local law, there are different ways to defend your situation:

5 © 2001 Halvar Flake Legal considerations (EU) EU Law: 1991 EC Directive on the Legal Protection of Computer Programs Section 6 grants the right to decompilation for interoperability purposes Section 5.3 grants the right to decompilation for error correction purposes Under EU Law, these rights cannot be contracted away

6 © 2001 Halvar Flake Legal considerations (USA) US Law: Final form of DMCA includes exceptions to copyright for: Reverse engineering for interoperability Encryption research Security testing One should ask his lawyer if these rights can be contracted away.

7 © 2001 Halvar Flake Approach A: Stress testing Overly long (or malformed) strings are automatically generated and supplied to the program Pro‘s: The process is largely automatic No specially skilled personnel is needed The stress-testing tool is re-usable Con‘s: The protocol has to be known Complex conditions will be missed

8 © 2001 Halvar Flake Approach B: Tracing Input A reverse engineer reads the program from the point where it receives input on and analyzes the code to find possible weaknesses Pro‘s: Even very complex conditions are found Con‘s: Auditor needs to be highly skilled Nearly infeasible for large applications Very time consuming since one will be reading a lot of irrelevant `tentacles´

9 © 2001 Halvar Flake Approach C: Finding suspicious constructs and reading backwards Certain constructs which appear suspicious are detected, and a reverse engineer then manually analyzes the threat they pose Pro‘s: A lot less time consuming than approach B The process of detecting suspicious constructs can be automated Fairly complex conditions can be found Con‘s: Some vulnerabilities will be missed Needs highly specialized auditor

10 © 2001 Halvar Flake Blackhat vs Whitehat auditing Blackhat: Wants the fastest way to find an unknown vulnerability Doesn‘t care if he misses some problems Only needs to repeat the process if the vulnerability was fixed Whitehat: Wants security, so he needs to read all code Has to repeat the process with every upgrade Has to continue after he has found something The Blackhat is at an advantage here

11 © 2001 Halvar Flake Tools the auditor needs IDA Pro by Ilfak Guilfanov Can disassemble x86, SPARC, IA64, MIPS and much more... Includes a powerful scripting language Can recognize statically linked library calls Features a powerful plug-in interface Features CPU Module SDK for self-developed CPU modules Automatically reconstructs arguments to standard calls via type libraries, allows parsing of C-headers for adding new standard calls & types Great technical support... much more...

12 © 2001 Halvar Flake strcpy() and strcat() Old news: strcpy() and strcat() copying dynamic data into any kind of fixed-size buffer are inherently suspicious C/C++ auditing recap

13 © 2001 Halvar Flake sprintf() and vsprintf() Old news: Since sprintf() can expand an arbitrary string using the `%s` format character, any call to sprintf()/vsprintf() which expands dynamic data into a fixed-size buffer has to be considered suspicious. C/C++ auditing recap

14 © 2001 Halvar Flake The *scanf() function family As *scanf() parses data of dynamic origin into fixed buffers by using the ´%s` format character, any *scanf() call which targets a fixed-size buffer with a `%s` format character is suspicious C/C++ auditing recap

15 © 2001 Halvar Flake The strncpy()-pitfall (I) While strncpy supports size checking, it does not guarantee NUL-termination of the destination buffer. So in cases where the code includes something like strncpy(destbuff, srcbuff, sizeof(destbuff)); problems will arise. C/C++ auditing recap

16 © 2001 Halvar Flake The strncpy()-pitfall (II) C/C++ auditing recap Source string\x0 data After copying the source into a smaller buffer, the destination string is not properly terminated any more. Destination string data with a \x0 somewhere Any subsequent operations which expect the string to be terminated will work on the data behind our original string as well.

17 © 2001 Halvar Flake The strncat()-pitfall (I) C/C++ auditing recap As with strncpy(), strncat() supports size checking, but guarantees the proper termination of the string after the last byte has been written. If the buffer that is targeted is the first one which was declared in the offending function, it is possible to overwrite the frame pointer and gaining control one function layer outwards.

18 © 2001 Halvar Flake The strncat()-pitfall (II) C/C++ auditing recap Buffer to which we append saved_EBP saved_EIP saved_EBP‘s lowest byte is set to 0x00 Function epilogue:movesp, ebp

19 © 2001 Halvar Flake The strncat()-pitfall (III) C/C++ auditing recap saved_EBP saved_EIP Function epilogue:pop ebp

20 © 2001 Halvar Flake The strncat()-pitfall (IV) C/C++ auditing recap saved_EIPFunction epilogue:ret The value in EBP (the frame pointer) is now our modified value !

21 © 2001 Halvar Flake The strncat()-pitfall (V) C/C++ auditing recap User-supplied data saved_EBP saved_EIP Next function epilogue:movesp, ebp ESP slides upwards (as its lowest order byte was overwritten) into the user-supplied data. We can now supply a new return address to gain control ESP should be here..... but it lands lands here...

22 © 2001 Halvar Flake The strncat()-pitfall (VI) C/C++ auditing recap Furthermore, the fact that strncat() has to deal with dynamic values for the len parameter increases the danger of signedness misconceptions: strncpy(buff, userdata, sizeof(buff)); strncat(buff, userdata2, sizeof(buff)-strlen(buff)-1); Fills buff so that strlen(buff) = sizeof(buff) len is pushed to –1 which is 0xFFFFFFF

23 © 2001 Halvar Flake Cast screwups (I) C/C++ auditing recap void func(char *dnslabel) { char buffer[256]; char *indx = dnslabel; int count; count = *indx; buffer[0] = '\x00'; while (count != 0 && (count + strlen (buffer)) < sizeof (buffer) - 1) { strncat (buffer, indx, count); indx += count; count = *indx; } First byte at *dnslabel is 0x80 = -128 Gets expanded to 0xFFFFF80signed comparison passes arbitrary length string is appended

24 © 2001 Halvar Flake Format string vulnerabilities C/C++ auditing recap Any call that passes user-supplied input directly to a *printf()-family function is dangerous. These calls can Also be identified by their argument deficiency. Consider this code: printf(“%s“, userdata); printf(userdata); Argument deficiency

25 © 2001 Halvar Flake -- x86 assembly recap -- void *memcpy(void *dest, void *src, size_t n); Assembly representation: push4 moveax, unkn_40D278 pusheax leaeax, [ebp+var_458] pusheax call_memcpy

26 © 2001 Halvar Flake Disassembly: strcpy()/strcat() This call targets a stack buffer The source is variable, not a static string

27 © 2001 Halvar Flake Disassembly: sprintf()/vsprintf() Target buffer is a stack buffer Expanded strings are not static and not fixed in length Format string containing „%s“

28 © 2001 Halvar Flake Disassembly: The *scanf() function family Format string contains „%s“ Data is parsed into stack buffers

29 © 2001 Halvar Flake Disassembly: The strncpy()/strncat() pitfall (I) If the source is larger than n (4000 bytes), no NULL will be appended Copying data into a stack buffer again...

30 © 2001 Halvar Flake Disassembly: The strncpy()/strncat() pitfall (II) The target buffer is only n bytes long

31 © 2001 Halvar Flake Disassembly: The strncat() pitfall Dangerous handling of len parameter

32 © 2001 Halvar Flake Disassembly: Cast screwups Does the function accepts a size_t parameter for copying data into a buffer ? (e.g. strncpy(), strncat(), fgets()) Is the size_t parameter a dynamic value and not hardcoded ? Is the size_t parameter at any point loaded using a movsx – instruction (move with sign extend) ? Is anything substracted from the size_t parameter before it gets passed to the function ?

33 © 2001 Halvar Flake Disassembly: Format String vulnerabilities Argument deficiency Format string is a dynamic variable

34 © 2001 Halvar Flake Disassembly: Format String vulnerabilities Argument deficiency Format string is a dynamic variable

35 © 2001 Halvar Flake Demonstration of finding vulnerabilities by manually auditing binaries

36 © 2001 Halvar Flake -- BREAK --

37 © 2001 Halvar Flake Patching the problem away (I) PE File Header.text section containing code other sections containing data... Zero-padded to the file alignment (usually 0x200) so-called `Cave` so-called ´Cave´

38 © 2001 Halvar Flake Patching the problem away (II).text section containing code `Cave` where we have put our new code jmp‘ing into our codepassing control back

39 © 2001 Halvar Flake Dealing with runtime encryption (I) PE File Header.text section containing code.rsrc section containing code.data section containing data descrambling code Entry point 1.The de-scrambling code is added to the end of the executable 2.The entry point is moved to the descrambler 3.The contents of the file are scrambled Entry point

40 © 2001 Halvar Flake Dealing with runtime encryption (II) Steps to undertake: Trace through the descrambler until it passes control back to the application Repair the damage done to the executable structure by the scrambler/descrambler/executable loader Dump the memory to disk Very time consuming ! Automated tools exist to do this for many scramblers (e.g. IceDump)

41 © 2001 Halvar Flake Automating the scanning for suspicious sprintf()-calls Criteria for suspicious sprintf() calls: Does the call expand data using a `%s`format character without size checking ? Does the call expand a non-static string through the ´%s´ ? Does the call suffer from an argument deficiency ? If so, is the format string dynamic or static ? Demonstration script: sprintf.idc

42 © 2001 Halvar Flake Automating the scanning for suspicious strncpy()-calls Criteria for suspicious strncpy() calls: Is the size_t parameter smaller or equal to the size of the target buffer ? Does the call copy dynamic data into a stack buffer ? Demonstration script: strncpy.idc

43 © 2001 Halvar Flake Automating the scanning for format string vulnerabilities (I) As we will frequently encounter wrapper functions that implement printf() – like functionality using either vsprintf() or vsnprintf(), it is desirable to have a script that can be used for all functions. The data it needs to get from the auditor is: 1.The address of the function that gets analyzed 2.The proper minimum stack correction of that function 3.The argument number of the format string

44 © 2001 Halvar Flake Automating the scanning for format string vulnerabilities (II) The criteria the script should then apply are: Is the stack correction smaller than our supplied minimum value ? Is the format string dynamic or static ? Demonstration script: format.idc

45 © 2001 Halvar Flake Reasons why we need to reconstruct structures Many applications store data in large structures which are passed around between functions. The information about the layout of these structures is lost during the compilation. This is bad for the reverse engineer for a variety of reasons: Without knowing how large target/source buffers are, it becomes very hard to evaluate the danger posed by a suspicious construct Many overflows happen within structures. Without knowing what we‘re overwriting, it becomes hard to see if a condition is exploitable at all

46 © 2001 Halvar Flake Demonstration of manual structure reconstruction While the manual reconstruction of structures using IDA‘s built-in capabilities is great for `real` reverse engineering, it takes too much time when only looking for suspicious constructs. Automated ways to at least reconstruct the structure member sizes is desirable.

47 © 2001 Halvar Flake Automated structure reconstruction Frequently, we have a pointer to a structure as a local variable in a function. What we want the script to do is: Trace through the entire function and find all places where this pointer is loaded into a register Each time the pointer is loaded, trace the code until the register is overwritten. Each time anything is referenced relative to the register, retrieve that value Use the retrieved values to add members to a structure, thus reconstructing accesses to it Demonstration script:bas_objrec.idc

48 © 2001 Halvar Flake Why is this interesting when auditing IIS ? Because it consists mostly of OOP code, and OOP code is notoriously annoying to read in the disassembly. Now, automated structure reconstruction can be of great interest when auditing OOP code: The more functions we can analyze which access the same structure, the more exact our reconstruction of that structure will be A class is nothing but a collection of functions which all work with the same structure

49 © 2001 Halvar Flake Considerations concerning class reconstruction Method1(...) Method2(...) Method3(...) Method4(...) Method5(...) vTable Every vTable entry points to a function which accesses the same structure via the this – pointer. The vTable therefore gives us a list of functions we can use to reconstruct the class data layout.

50 © 2001 Halvar Flake Any Questions ?


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