The war against autocomplete=off: let my browser remember passwords !

I noticed a while ago that many security professionals advise their customers to use ‘autocomplete=off’ in the password fields of login screens. It also started to scratch an itch on me when my password manager never stored passwords for a few websites. And I started to look for opinions before forging my own.

Websites advising to disable autocomplete

A few blogs, forum posts and even stackoverflow advise to disable autocomplete on password fields. itself advises to prevent web browsers from caching sensitive data in the client side.

What are the advantages of disabling autocomplete

The two main advantages for the security are the following:

  • Avoid caching sensitive data on client site (CC numbers)
  • Avoid storing the password in an insecure and hackable client-site database

The first bullet is in my opinion completely legitimate. Some information, like credit card numbers, should not be remembered in the web forms, because there is nothing that can let the browser understand that this field is sensitive, that its content should not be stored unencrypted on the hard drive and shown in plaintext at the first occasion when the user types a few digits in a text box (and be victim of shoulder eavesdropping). However passwords are different. They have their own class of input box and browsers know how to manage them. I will come to this later.

The second advantage of that policy is that passwords won’t be remembered in the case the user’s computer has been hacked. That’s true in a few occasions, like when the user has malware on his computer or his laptop gets lost/stolen. I would respond that no software password management solution can really help when the end user computer cannot be trusted. In many case, malware can just wait for the user to type his password to steal it. To efficiently protect against malware, users should be provided a physical device to be used to authenticate and sign any sensitive operation. That’s the only working mitigation in my opinion, we use these in Belgium for e-banking and it’s working pretty well. Read the rest of this entry »

Nuit Du Hack CTF 2013 : k1986 write-up

I’ve participed to NDH2013 this year and worked on a very interesting binary : k1986. It comes with two files :

aris@kali64:~/ndh2013$ ls -l k1986 license.db 
-rwxr-xr-x 1 aris aris 14984 jun 23 02:07 k1986
-rwx------ 1 aris aris   360 jun 22 22:54 license.db
aris@kali64:~/ndh2013$ file k1986-orig license.db 
k1986-orig: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, x86-64, invalid version (SYSV), for GNU/Linux 2.6.32, 
dynamically linked (uses shared libs), corrupted section header size
license.db: data

It’s starting well, corrupted ELF file. The content of license.db seems encrypted, so my first guess was that it was a DRM server of some kind. It becomes more fun when you try to check what it does:

aris@kali64:~/ndh2013$ objdump -t k1986-orig 
objdump: k1986-orig: File format not recognized
aris@kali64:~/ndh2013$ gdb --quiet ./k1986-orig 
"/home/aris/ndh2013/k1986-orig": not in executable format: Format de fichier non reconnu
(gdb) quit
aris@kali64:~/ndh2013$ nm ./k1986-orig 
nm: ./k1986-orig: File format not recognized
aris@kali64:~/ndh2013$ ldd ./k1986-orig 
	 n'est pas un exécutable dynamique

Read the rest of this entry »

Adding physical drives to VMware ESXi

I built a new lab environment at home, using VMWare ESXi 5.0, which is a very nice product, if we expect the windows-only GUI 1GB HDD needed to install bloatware. You can do pretty much anything from there, except something that looks so important that I wonder why it’s not on the windows GUI: mapping local disks to VMs.

I made this little post as a reminder for myself rather than a full tutorial. You can get more info on, on which this post is based.

In a nutshell:

  1. log on vmware ESXi as root.
  2. locate the name of your fs in /vmfs/devices/disks/, i.e. “/vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____Hitachi_HDT725025VLA380_______________________VFL104R6CNYSZW
  3. go to where you want to copy it. I suggest you create a directory in a datastore for this, like “/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/harddisks/
  4. vmkfstools -z /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____Hitachi_HDT725025VLA380_______________________VFL104R6CNYSZW Hitashi250.vmdk
  5. In your VM, use “attach existing virtual disk” and browse the harddisks directory on datastore.
  6. On linux, you will need “rescan-scsi-bus” to have you new hard disk detected.
  7. Profit

Remotemouse considered harmful

The problem

This weekend I found a nice application to control my mac from my iPhone. It’s Remotemouse from

Unfortunately, when testing I found out that there was no pairing request nor any authentication… I just fired up wireshark to see what was happening and as expected, it’s a very dump cleartext protocol that indicates mouse gestures, clicks, and keyboard events.

I took my editor and went with this little script that connects to my mac, put the mouse on the upper right corner (over the search lense), click it and search for the terminal. Opens it and launches a bindshell.

Remotemouse is binding on all interfaces, ipv4 and ipv6, so if you’re using it and allow direct connections from the outside, you are vulnerable.
Read the rest of this entry »