HardenedBSD's Integriforce

For the past few weeks, I've been working on a new feature for HardenedBSD's secadm project. secadm is short for Security Administration and is built to control the various exploit mitigation features we're developing in HardenedBSD. I'm currently writing a feature I've termed "Integriforce", short for "integrity enforce." It's very similar in concept to NetBSD's Veriexec feature.

In secadm's configuration file, you list the executables you want to make sure verify to a certain hash along with the hash. You can specify two modes: soft or hard. Soft means that execution is allowed even if the hashes don't match, but a warning message is logged. Hard mode disallows execution if the hashes don't match along with logging an error message.

As it stands right now, verification of shared objects an application depends on is not happening. We are investigating how to do that while still giving reasonable performance. One possible solution is to check the hash on every call to open(). We would cache the modified time (mtime) of the file. If the file hasn't been modified since its first hash check, then we already know the state of the file. If the file has changed (mtime differs), then rerun the hash calculation and update the cache. This would be expensive on both the CPU side and the disk side, especially given the mutexes/locks needed to maintain multicore/multiprocessor safety. Now each call to open() would require acquiring at least one lock, possibly two.

We've completed our first milestone and are preparing to release secadm 0.2-rc1 within the next couple weeks. Verifying the integrity of applications using SHA1 and SHA256 are currently supported. The second milestone will be released as secadm version 0.3. That will include ELF binary signing with x509 certificates, similar to how PE files can be signed.

Blake to Present at HackCon Next Week

Sorry for the late notice everybody, somehow this slipped my mind. Blake will be presenting an updated version of his Defcon 22 DDoS talk at HackCon in Oslo, Noway next week. cisc0ninja will unfortunately not be assisting this time around, as he has decided to leave the security/hacking scene for the gaming scene (specifically Elder Scrolls Online). For anybody going that wants to meet up - as always, just look for the guys in the SX shirts. We look forward to Blake's talk and hope to see more of the SX Crew representing SX at various conferences in the future.

New Tools Layout Released Today

I'm happy to announce that we have released our new layout for the tools section of the site today. The interface was done by one of our recruits, revall, and the backend changes were completed by cisc0ninja before he retired. We welcome any suggestions on improving our site at the appropriate area of the forums. In other news, our weekly meetings have been going well. We hope to see more new faces this Thursday in IRC.

Shinobi Promoted to Crew, IRC Meetings Resume Today

The first announcement is fairly big since we haven't let anybody into our crew since November 15, 2012. It is with great honor that I would like to announce the High Council's decision to promote Shinobi to the status of full crew member of SOLDIERX. Shinobi is now the head of Operations for all of SX (essentially what I've been doing all of these years). As with all members promoted to the status of full crew, we hope that Shinobi will continue his efforts and show the same enthusiasm and workmanship that he showed during his inductee status. Congratulations!

After two weeks of no IRC meetings due to the holidays, our weekly meetings will resume today. As with our last IRC meeting, we will have it from noon to one (12:00-13:00) EST and then again at nine to ten (21:00-22:00) EST. We're having two time slots in hopes that everybody who wants to attend will be able to make one of the sessions. Hope to see you all there!

cisc0ninja Retires, Open IRC Meetings Every Thursday

cisc0ninja has decided to retire from SX. He has stated that he's not currently interested in computer security, so there's no place for him here in SX. He has moved onto gaming, so if anybody plays Elder Scrolls Online - feel free to reach out to him and join him in game. We're leaving his [email protected] email account open.
Since the majority (91%) voted that they would attend a chat session where members of SOLDIERX would answer any question they wanted, we are now starting that as a weekly IRC chat on Thursday. Our current plan is to have it from noon to one (12:00-13:00) EST and then again at nine to ten (21:00-22:00) EST. We're having two time slots in hopes that everybody who wants to attend will be able to make one of the sessions. Our first meeting will be this Thursday, December 18, 2014. Hope to see you all there!

HardenedBSD and the Offset2lib Attack

The recently disclosed offset2lib attack against Linux's default ASLR implementation has generated a lot of chatter. As mentioned in the paper, ASLR implementations based off of PaX's--which is the case for HardenedBSD--are generally secured against this attack. Our whitepaper describes how we calculate separate offsets for the execution base, mmap, and the stack. For Position-Independent Executables (PIEs), the shared objects have a different randomization offset than the executable itself.

While HardenedBSD is secure against this particular attack, further additions to our implementation can help strengthen it. Since each shared object is randomized with the same delta, the same attack could theoretically be carried out in between libraries. Research is being done in HardenedBSD to randomize the base address of each shared object independent of the other shared objects. This would strengthen HardenedBSD against similar attacks. Additional research is being done to randomize the load order of shared libraries as well. OpenBSD does this to further frustrate an attacker as he or she will not be able to know beforehand in which order the libraries will be loaded.

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