ProtoLeaks: A Reliable and Protocol-Independent Network Covert Channel

Abstract: We propose a theoretical framework for a network covert channel based on enumerative combinatorics. It offers protocol independence and avoids detection by using a mimicry defense. Using a network monitoring phase, traffic is analyzed to detect which application-layer protocols are allowed through the firewalls. Using these results, a covert channel is built based on permutations of benign network objects, such as FTP commands and HTTP requests to different web servers. Any protocol that offers reliability guarantees can be plugged into the framework. This includes any protocol that is built on top of the TCP protocol. The framework closely mimics the behavioral statistics of the legitimate traffic, making the covert channel very hard to detect.

Conference: International Conference on Information System Security 2012

Paper: PDF


Hack.LU 2013 CTF Wannabe Writeup Part Two: Buffer Overflow Exploitation


This blogpost contains a writeup of the second phase of the Hack.LU 2013 Wannabe challenge. The first phase writeup can be found here: Hack.LU 2013 CTF Wannabe Writeup Part One: Web Exploitation

During the first phase, we managed to get ourselves a limited shell (www-data) on a webserver. In this phase, we had to exploit a custom C program compiled for Linux x64 which contained a couple of buffer overflow vulnerabilities. Because of some memory protection measures, a Return-Oriented Programming (ROP) approach was taken. The whole process is described in more detail below. Continue Reading


Hack.LU 2013 CTF Wannabe Writeup Part One: Web Exploitation


I attended the Hack.LU conference which took place during 22-24th of October 2013. This conference is well-known for its excellent capture the flag contest created by fluxfingers, which was no different this year.  By the end of the conference, there were 21 published challenges within the fields of crypto, web, reverse engineering, exploiting, internals, and miscellaneous. After completing the fairly easy ‘Pay TV’ and ‘RoboAuth’ challenges during my limited free time on the first and second day (I was attending courses rather than dedicating time to the CTF), I started focusing on a harder challenge in the evening, according to its 400 points reward: ‘Wannabe’. It was categorized as ‘exploiting’ and came with the following description: Continue Reading