SYDI-Server 2.2 Released

by patrick.ogenstad on December 2, 2008

Yesterday I released version 2.2 of my network documentation tool, SYDI-Server. The new package contains some small fixes, but also a script which lets you audit local group memberships in all your computers. That is local machine specific groups, not domain local groups.
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How far do you trust an unknown USB Stick?

by patrick.ogenstad on September 11, 2008

USB Stick

Suppose there was an unknown USB stick, waiting to be found in your parking lot. Perhaps this would scare you enough to disable autorun throughout your domain (you’ve done that right)? Now imagine if someone gave one of your users a USB device which was connected to a workstation on your network and in turn your network was compromised. How would you explain that? [click to continue…]


Social Engineering on the Train

August 19, 2008

Social Engineering on the Train

Train Ticket

During your childhood I’m sure you experienced a lot of magic, some things were just so fantastic and mind boggling you just couldn’t figure it out. For me, one of these extraordinary events was the work of train conductors. Before you laugh hear me out!

On some of the over ground trains in Sweden you don’t need a ticket to go on the train, however when the train conductor asks for your ticket you should be prepared to show it. So if you’re never asked, you basically don’t need the ticket.

There was usually just one train conductor for the entire train and he would walk between the different wagons at each station. Stepping into a wagon he could walk up to all the new passengers since he entered the last time and ask the passengers for their tickets.

What used to blow my mind was that as by magic the train conductors would always know which the new passengers were. They wouldn’t bug the existing passengers who had already shown their ticket. When I was a child I thought they must be superhuman, that they either had fantastic memory or were absolutely brilliant at what they did.

Traveling on the same trains now I can see it so easily. The train conductors don’t ask me for my ticket anymore, though they ask everyone around me.

I still have a monthly pass as it would go against my morals not to have a valid ticket, besides I also use it to ride the bus and the subways. I just find it interesting to experiment with social engineering in a harmless environment.

What I noticed was that when the train conductor entered the wagon all the new passengers would reach for their tickets. Everyone who had already shown his ticket just ignored the train conductor.

In reality the train conductors aren’t looking for new passengers, they are looking for people who want to show their tickets or rather they are looking for people who behave in a certain way.

So if I just ignore them when they come they ignore me. I’ve also tried looking at them, even having eye contact and smiling. As long as I don’t reach for my ticket I’m safe.

Looking at this from a security perspective they are very poor security guards. Their job is to protect the resource (train ride) from unauthorized use (passengers who don’t pay).

Of course taking this one step further this could be according to plan, in the name of user friendliness. As in don’t bug and annoy users who have already shown their pass. I would put my money on the former explanation.

In terms of social engineering this is really the low hanging fruits. You don’t have to engage in conversation or ask questions. It’s as easy as walking by a manned reception, if you behave like you belong on the inside many will just assume you do.

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German support for SYDI and the impact of translations

February 12, 2008

German has joined the ranks of languages you can use with SYDI-Server. The file will be included in the next version of SYDI-Server. Until then it is available for download through the download page. Thanks to Jan Picard who has made the translation file.

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Danish Language File for SYDI-Server

February 5, 2008

Thanks to Morten Vitved we now have a Danish language file for SYDI. This means we can now translate the XML files generated by SYDI-Server in seven different languages. The file with be included in the next version of SYDI-Server, until that time you can download it as a patch from the SYDI download page.

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SYDI-Server 2.1 Released

January 30, 2008

Around 1,5 years has passed since I released SYDI-Server 2.0 and now I’ve finally gotten my act together and released SYDI-Server 2.1!

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The Future of SYDI

December 17, 2007

As many of you have pointed out it’s been a while since the last version of SYDI was released. Darrin left a comment saying that the world will need an updated SYDI for new products like Windows Server 2008, SQL 2008 and Exchange 2007. I have some good news, some bad and some thoughts of […]

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Cisco ASA 5500 and the Hunt for the Lost Gateway

November 14, 2007

Don’t get me wrong, I love my little ASA 5505 especially with the Security plus license enabling me to have 20 VLANs. As they say a house with less than ten VLANs is like a body without a soul. However I’ve had some issues with the little fellow. As I’ve mentioned earlier there was an […]

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Slide Executive 2.0 Released

September 25, 2007

I would like to congratulate my friends at Novatrox for releasing Slide Executive 2.0. Slide Executive is a set of applications which enables you to build a library or database of your PowerPoint presentations. You can then use the library to quickly find a presentation or create a virtual presentation on the fly. The Slide […]

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The Broken NDA – Part 5

August 31, 2007

midfr0st was smoking a cigarette just below a DiMavia logo, yesterday he had scouted the area and reluctantly decided to set his plan to action. Here they come, he thought as some employees were returning from lunch. His back was aching, the better part of yesterday he had spent to create the outfit he was […]

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