Infiltrate 2011 and Offensive Security

Security researchers from around the world are digesting the weekend’s fare at Infiltrate2011, organized by security outfit Immunity. “No policy or high-level presentations, just hardcore thought-provoking technical meat” was promised, and presenters served it up sizzling.

The sessions folded in a variety of topics slicing up current offensive security issues with some defensive interest mixed in. Discussions spread from technical wizardry attacking hardened linux kernels to general network exploration and reconnaisance. Infiltrate2011 itself follows somewhat on the Blackhat/Defcon conference model, but reduces the corporate marketing at those conferences. The peer reviewed set of presentations and research sponsored by one of the best known offensive security/penetration testing groups in the business sets the bar high and undistracted for the level of technical content. The final agenda is listed here.

There are too many interesting sessions from the two days to mention in this space, some are mentioned here. Nico Waisman began the conference with a discussion of strategic surprise, understanding the exploitation domain, and a review of the past couple decades of offensive security research. He discussed the lack of novelty and the sloppiness in many attacks today driven by money and politically motivated interests and compared them against elegant, artistic pursuits of researchers like Solar Designer and others from the 90s. And when the going gets tough, the tough got EIP – Chis Velasek and Ryan Smith carved up exploitation development details for the recent overflow bug in Microsoft’s FTP server reported as “unexploitable” as a limited but usable 0day enabling remote code execution. Tarjei Mandt dished out Windows kernel attack technique details that most likely will be with us for years, and Cesar Cerrudo fired up Windows service protection flaws and attacks that have been present for years and should be present for some time to come. On the mobile side, Bas Albert and Massimiliano Oldani poured over the Android attack surface while Sean Heelan and Agustin Gianni stirred up some tricks in attacking the WebKit browser heap. Instead of the common big corporation names, breaks were sponsored by SADMIND, MS09-050 and LSASS.

Some of the talks were preceded with “we assume that you read and understand our last 80 page paper published on heap exploitation” or similar, leading to the in-depth technical meat you would expect from a quality group.

Infiltrate 2011 and Offensive Security

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