Grey bar Blue bar
Share this:

Mon, 4 Mar 2013

Vulnerability Management Analyst Position

Have a keen interest on scanning over 12000 IP's a week for vulnerabilities? Excited about the thought of assessing over 100 web applications for common vulnerabilities? If so, an exciting, as well as demanding, position has become available within the Managed Vulnerability Scanning (MVS) team at SensePost.

Job Title: Vulnerability Management Analyst

Salary Range: Industry standard, commensurate with experience

Location: Johannesburg/Pretoria, South Africa

We are looking for a talented person to join our MVS team to help manage the technology that makes up our Broadview suite and, more importantly, finding vulnerabilities, interpreting the results and manually verifying them. We are after talented people with a broad skill set to join our growing team of consultants. Our BroadView suite of products consists of our extensive vulnerability scanning engine, which looks at both the network-layer and the application layer, as well as our extensive DNS footprinting technologies.

The role of the Vulnerability Management Analyst will possess the following skills:

  • Be able to multitask and meet client deadlines. We want a person that thinks 'I can do that!'

  • Possess excellent written and oral communication skills. Being able to understand a vulnerability and explain it to business leaders is a must.

  • A working knowledge of enterprise vulnerability management products and remedial work flow

  • A broad knowledge of most common enterprise technologies and operating systems

  • A passion for security and technology

Some additional conditions:

  • A post graduate degree or infosec certification would be beneficial, however, showing us you have the passion and skills also helps

  • This job requires some after-hours and weekend commitments (we try to keep this to a minimum)

  • Bonus points for knowledge of sed, awk and python, ok even ruby.

  • PCI-QSA is desired but not required

Impress us with your skills by sending an email to and lets take it from there.

SensePost is an equal opportunity partner.

Wed, 9 Mar 2011

You got to want it bad

In the movie "The American President", the statement is made that America has advanced citizenship and that "you gotta want it bad, because it will put up a fight". The same can be said for vulnerability management. It is never a completed exercise or a process where the status quo can be maintained quite easily, especially in a distributed enterprise environment. The reason: change.

SensePost recognised early on that just having an accurate vulnerability scanner isn't good enough to ensure continuous and less arduous vulnerability management. There needs to be workflow and efficiency build into such a scanner. Hence our HackRack and now lately, our BroadView managed vulnerability scanning offerings.

But, no matter how good a scanner is or how well the workflow has been designed, there is still a very large amount of manual analysis required.

For example:

In BroadView, when viewing scan results, by default the Medium, High and Critical findings are shown. Fab and groovy. But, should one just stop there? The Low and Info findings can be as interesting as the rest. For example, a client of ours that usually has a handle on things, had an informational finding about virtual directories being guessable on one of their web servers: the directories "/testing" and "/test" were identified. This "/testing" directory turned out to contain the beta version of a new e-commerce web application and even though reasonable security was in place, a blind SQL injection test showed us they were developing on live data. Just like that, an informational finding became a critical finding. If we had been focused on CVSS scores and risk impact only, this finding would have been flying under the radar.

What we saw on BroadView:

Vulnerability management is not easy. It will put up a fight; be that in the form of stubborn sysadmins not closing the holes or developers taking chances with release candidates and beta products. The vulnerability manager has to be on his/her toes and perform constant scanning and prodding. Vulnerability scanner results should never be taken at face value, and the associations between findings should be understood.

It is wise to keep in mind that vulnerability management is cyclic and repetitive. And as Dr Ruth always used to say: "Once, is not enough". You cannot scan once, find nothing, and sit back and relax. You may just miss your /testing directory.

For our BroadView customers we have added a couple of new blizzards to enhance the process to monitor results.

  • Missing Microsoft Patches (Operating System category)
  • Guessable Virtual Directories (Web Application category)
  • Open jBoss Consoles (Web Application category)
Blizzards are widgets (iGoogle style) of information queried from the vulnerability database in BroadView that provides users with a looking glass view of their environment. Under normal circumstances one would have had to go grep or search for very specific vulnerability IDs. With the blizzards, that cumbersome task has been removed.

The Missing Microsoft Patches blizzard combines all the possible patches that could be missing and this is especially necessary where Internet facing targets are scanned. Murphy's Law usually applies where patches and Internet facing devices are concerned - that one patch that can result in pwnage, is normally the one missing.

The output from the Missing Microsoft Patches blizzard would typically consist of an IP:Value output

The jBoss Console blizzard was created after we realised it is becoming more and more prevalent for consoles to be found open during assessments and vulnerability scanning.

Having access to world class pen-testers really does give the vulnerability management team a good insight into which vulnerabilities can actually lead to system compromise.

Happy scanning

Wed, 2 Mar 2011

To understand the battlefield, you need a broad view

It is always a little bemusing to hear that we only provide pentests. Since 2001, SensePost has offered a very comprehensible vulnerability management service that's evolved through multiple generations of technologies and methodologies into a service we're very proud of. The Managed Vulnerability Scanning ("MVS") service makes use of our purpose-built BroadView scanning technology to scan a number of high profile South African and European clients. More information can be found here, but the purpose of this post is to introduce it with a basic overview of its deployment.

To give you a better understanding of our coverage, below are a number of statistics from our scanning database.

Number of scans per week: 935 average per week

Number of findings stored: 3 795 963

Number of collected attribute instance: 1 274 016

Number of unique IPs listed as targets: 24723

Number of unique IPs with issues: 4931

However, the stats are not the interesting bit. BroadView goes further than simply storing open issues, it also tags interesting characteristics of the targets using 'attributes', which are pieces of information associated with a finding, but are not necessarily a result. It is possible to query these attributes and tie them back to hosts; this enables you to search across all hosts for matching attributes. The most used attributes are:

  • TCP Banners
  • Operating System Value
  • Hosts Accessible (True/False)
  • SMTP Relaying Allowed (True/False)
  • SMB Directories
  • CMS Type
With all these attributes, one can perform intelligent scanning or reporting. For example, target all Windows devices with an open port 80 and running IIS5, or show a list of all open relays on our domain, or keep an updated list that shows all BIND servers that still require the recent DoS patch. This can be very useful, especially when setting up targeted scans or for network/patch management. Effectively, the attributes allow you to utilize BroadView as a network service monitoring device rather than just a vulnerability scanner. BroadView makes use of a dashboard to display blizzards (widgets with specific data sets); the data source for the blizzards is anything we can pull from the vulnerability and attribute database, displayed as a list or graph. For this purpose we have specific widgets that can show you in an instant the open ports across your network, sensitive open ports such as database services or phpmywebadmin instances.

So, we have loads of data and it makes for interesting analysis.

For example:

The number of targets with potential webservers: 918

And breaking it down further:

  • Apache =186
  • IIS = 303
The number of targets inviting worm trouble: (port 139 open to the Internet)

The top 3 SSL certificate issuers used:

  • Entrust - 230
  • VeriSign - 159
  • Thawte - 47
And many more.

Next time, more about the dashboard and the blizzards.

Tue, 6 Apr 2010

BroadView V4 Attributes

Following on from Evert's posting about the new BroadView v4, I'd like to showcase a specific aspect of BV that we've found useful, namely Attributes. These are small pieces of data collected and maintained for each host scanned by BV including somewhat mundane bits of info like IP address and OS but, they also include some really tasty morsels about remote hosts that are scanned. Attributes are collected on a per-scan-per-host basis, and are populated by each test that runs during the scan. Since attribute population is dependent on the selected tests, the set of Attributes available to you would vary according to you configuration.

Consider the trivial attribute Network.TCP.HTTP.Banner; this doesn't require credentials to acquire and is stored by a test that detects webservers. On the other hand, the test that stores Users.Microsoft.Windows.Group.SystemOperators.Members would require domain credentials in order to pull the needed info. This is common inside of organisations, where BV is primarily intended.

To help me explain the power of Attributes a little easier, here are a few scenarios:

Your IT manager wants to know which Windows machines are missing the new MS10-018 patch. Instead of trawling through all the latest scans looking for hosts that are affected , you simply:

  1. Login to BroadView
  2. Click Attributes
  3. Select Patches.Microsoft.Windows.Missing
  4. Click MS10-018
  5. Download CSV
  6. Done
Perhaps you have rolled-out a new WSUS system and need to find all the Windows hosts still configured with the old WSUS server name. Again:
  1. Login to BroadView
  2. Attributes
  3. Config.Microsoft.Windows.WSUS.Server
  4. Click the name of the old WSUS server
  5. Download CSV
  6. Done
Or you are trying to find all the hosts with a specific piece of software installed (e.g. uTorrent). Click Attributes >> Software.Installed.Microsoft.Windows >> uTorrent >> Download CSV.

One of the IT techies gives you a call:

Bob: Hey Steve Steve: Ahoy Bob: Do you know which FTP servers on the network allow Anonymous access? Steve: Ofcourse I do Login to BroadView >> Attributes >> Network.TCP.FTP.IsAnonymousAccessAllowed >> True >> Download CSV Steve: You got mail Bob: Awesome, thanks

As you can see the power and extensibility of BroadView Attributes is (according to opinions from the office) Simply Astonishing(tm). We are currently working with our Assessment team to include Attributes that would allow them to very quickly pull a list of all "low hanging fruit" vulnerabilities when performing an internal Pen Test.

Currently we collect just over 50 attributes, but are adding new ones as we either think of or clients request more. The full list is:

Services.Microsoft.Windows.Running Users.Microsoft.Windows.Local.LastLoggedIn Users.Microsoft.Windows.Local.NeverLoggedIn Users.Microsoft.Windows.Local.PasswordNeverExpires Users.Microsoft.Windows.Group.AccountOperators.Members Users.Microsoft.Windows.Group.BackupOperators.Members Users.Microsoft.Windows.Group.PrintOperators.Members Users.Microsoft.Windows.Group.Replicators.Members Users.Microsoft.Windows.Group.SystemOperators.Members Users.Microsoft.Windows.Network.NeverChangedPasswords Users.Microsoft.Windows.Network.NeverLoggedOn Users.Microsoft.Windows.Network.PasswordNeverExpires Users.Microsoft.Windows.ActiveDirectory.Group.Members Users.Microsoft.Windows.ActiveDirectory.AccountsOld.Members Users.Microsoft.Windows.ActiveDirectory.AccountsStale.Members Users.Microsoft.Windows.ActiveDirectory.AccountsBadLogins.Members Users.Microsoft.Windows.ActiveDirectory.AccountsOldPassword.Members Users.Microsoft.Windows.ActiveDirectory.AccountsPasswordNeverSet.Members Users.Microsoft.Windows.ActiveDirectory.AccountsDisabled.Members Users.Microsoft.Windows.ActiveDirectory.AccountsLocked.Members Config.Microsoft.Windows.Domain.IsCorrect Config.Microsoft.Windows.Domain.Value Config.Microsoft.Windows.WSUS.Server Config.Microsoft.Windows.WSUS.Server.IsConfigured Config.Microsoft.Windows.WSUS.Server.Value Config.Microsoft.Windows.MachineName Debug.Network.IsHostAccessible
Debug.Microsoft.Windows.Registry.Access.Full Debug.Microsoft.Windows.Registry.Access.Read Debug.Microsoft.Windows.Registry.Access.Fail Debug.Microsoft.Windows.Privileges.Admin.Full Debug.Microsoft.Windows.Privileges.Admin.Fail ServicePacks.Microsoft.Windows.Win2k3.Value ServicePacks.Microsoft.Windows.Win2k3.IsInstalled ServicePacks.Microsoft.Windows.NT4.Value ServicePacks.Microsoft.Windows.NT4.IsInstalled ServicePacks.Microsoft.Windows.Win2k.Value ServicePacks.Microsoft.Windows.Win2k.IsInstalled ServicePacks.Microsoft.Windows.XP.Value ServicePacks.Microsoft.Windows.XP.IsInstalled Software.Microsoft.Office.Value Software.Microsoft.Office.IsInstalled Software.Microsoft.SMSAgent.IsInstalled Software.Microsoft.SMSAgent.IsRunning Software.Microsoft.SMSAgent.IsInstalled Software.Microsoft.SMSAgent.McAfee.EPOAgent.IsInstalled Software.AntiVirus.Linux Processes.Microsoft.Windows Network.TCP Network.TCP.FTP.IsAnonymousAccessAllowed Network.TCP.SMTP.IsRelayAllowed Network.TCP.HTTP.Banner Network.TCP.HTTP.Directories Network.TCP.Banner Network.TCP.SMB.Direcotories Network.UDP.DNS.ReverseDNS Network.UDP.LDAP.BaseObject

Tue, 30 Mar 2010

BroadView - coming of age

Ever since Ron Gula's RiskyBusiness talk #142 about their Nessus philosophy, I decided to come out of the closet and share with our readers the work we do in the vulnerability management field. [Ed: If you don't listen to Risky Business then, as we say in South Africa, eish.] Ron explained that with Nessus they aim to give users a tool that can be used for monitoring and auditing - not enforcing. The "sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes" mantra comes to mind. For 9 years now we have been building two vulnerability management solutions named HackRack (for hosted, external scanning) and BroadView (for internal scanning) and it was especially HackRack that has claimed the limelight. The runt of the litter has always been BroadView, but alas (luckily?), no more.

We decided a while ago to invest our new ideas and technology in BroadView, and when that matured and stabilized, use the new BroadView as a base for new HackRack and HackRack PCI services.

And that process is nicely on track.

I mean, just look at this interface. The Blizzards page will allow BV users to get up to date stats about their environment but also allow them to quickly grasp the actual state of affairs on their network. Blizzards are visual sql queries that display averaged or calculated results of vulnerability scans as well as collected attributes. In the example below, one can quickly appreciate the impact of adding a batch of new machines to a scan, and the resulting impact on the New Issue count blizzard.

We don't see BV as just another vulnerability scanner. Its a data collector of note. It does not just scan,it also collects. From every networked device that is probed, attributes are collected that range from regular basic info such as IP addresses and operating system values, to machines without SMS agents and WebDAV directories on HTTP services.

In the weeks and months to come we will share with you the trial and tribulations to eventually bring to light BroadView v4, Final Release. We will share with you our frustration and jubilations in successfully executing intensity scans on virtualised hardware, how to mine for installed software on OS X and appreciating the amazing reduction in bandwidth utilisation by switching from SOAP to Thrift.

Well, I am off to go watch one our guys participate in a televised panel discussion - and at the same time figuring out if there are any advantages in being able to interface BroadView with our Saeco coffee machine ...