DEF CON 23 - Wesley McGrew - I Hunt Penetration Testers: More Weaknesses in Tools and Procedures
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When we lack the capability to understand our tools, we operate at the mercy of those that do. Penetration testers make excellent targets for bad actors, as the average tester's awareness and understanding of the potential risks and vulnerabilities in their tools and processes is low, and the value of the information they gather and gain access to among their client base is very high. As demonstrated by Wesley's DEF CON 21 talk on vulnerabilities in penetration testing devices, and last year's compromise of WiFi Pineapple devices, the tools of offensive security professionals often represent a soft target. In this talk, operational security issues facing penetration testers will be discussed, including communication and data security (not just âbugsâ), which impact both testers and clients. A classification system for illustrating the risks of various tools is presented, and vulnerabilities in specific hardware and software use cases are presented. Recommendations are made for improving penetration testing practices and training. This talk is intended to be valuable to penetration testers wanting to protect themselves and their clients, and for those who are interesting in profiling weaknesses of opposing forces that may use similar tools and techniques.
Wesley McGrew (@McGrewSecurity) is an assistant research professor at Mississippi State University's Distributed Analytics and Security Institute. At DASI, he is involved in malware and vulnerability research. In the spring 2013 semester, he began teaching a self-designed course on reverse engineering to students at MSU, using real-world, high-profile malware samples, as part of gaining NSA CAE Cyber Ops certification for MSU. Wesley has presented at Black Hat USA and DEF CON on forensics, malware, and penetration testing topics, and is the author of security and forensics tools that he publishes through his personal/consultancy website, McGrewSecurity.com.