JWT: Signature-vs-MAC attacks

During a recent pen-test I stumbled upon a JSON Web Token(in short: JWT) based authorization scheme. JWTs consist of three parts: header, payload and verification information. The initial header part contains the name of the algorithm that will later be used to generate the verification part of the JWT. This is dangerous as an attacker can change this information and thus (maybe) control what scheme will be used for verification by the server.

On Reframing

There’s power in switching mental models. In my work, switching from “there might be a vulnerability in this software” to “i just haven’t found the vulnerability” was a game changer for me. I get nervous prior to presentations; one switch that helped me was that instead of thinking “my goal is to look bright” I try to remember that my goal is to teach the audience something and it doesn’t matter who stupid I look as long as they gain something from me.

Amazing (Physical) Access Control with HID RFID cards

So my company moved to a new building which uses HID RFID cards for access control. These cards are typically white with some sort of numeric code printed on one side of them. I have not included an image of my card due to (later) obvious reasons.. Setting up my Proxmark3 RDV4 reader Some time ago I joined the Kickstarter for an updated version of the Proxmark3 RFID reader/writer and immediately broke it during the initial flash update.

This year's review, 2018 edition

This year was good work- and health-wise, but bad when it comes to money and relationships. Financially the stock market drop hurt, emotionally getting dumped was painful. For 2019, I plan to keep and improve my healthy 2018 habits: enjoy life as non-smoker, keep on bouldering (6a+ - 6c with a rare sent 7a in-between), finally finish a full Bikram yoga sequence and maybe meditate more often. In addition, I’d like to improve my sleep.

Wireguard vs OpenVPN on a local Gigabit Network

Wireguard is recently making a splash as human-configurable low-overhead alternative to OpenVPN and IPSec. As some privacy-centric VPN providers are planning to support it (e.g., PIA) or already have a beta running (e.g., IVPN, as tested by Ars Technica) it was time for me to look into it. The Setup To get a better feeling about the used technology I directly connected my laptop to my desktop (gigabit Ethernet with no switch/router in between) and setup OpenVPN with a minimalist configuration as well as with a more realistic TLS-configuration.

Revising my lazy http/https interception setup

I’ve wrote about about creating a simple wireless (WLAN for us right-pondian) http/https interception setup before. Mostly I’m using this as a first step when testing mobile/desktop applications. Linux’ network-manager is perfectly able to create an software access-point with most modern network cards. Alas GNOME’s configuration tool only allows for the creation of ad-hoc networks (and switching to KDE for just this is a bit overkill for me) so you have to setup the access point on the command line with nmtui or nmcli.

Living with changes

This year seems to bring a lot of changes: I’ve switched employers after staying on/off at a research center or the last twelve years. When I started there, I was doing cool network coding for the SECOQC quantum key distribution network, it somehow felt as being a part of some bigger undertaking that finally let to something. My work had a tenable outcome, this compensated for the long hours and poor pay.

Fun Hacking Stuff ahead

Recently I’ve found an old post-it with guidelines I wrote myself a couple of years back, two of those stood out: make mistakes don’t buy stupid stuff Seems like I haven’t been the most consistent person back then. The post-it got discovered during a clean-up session of my flat, the same session brought up the following stupidly-bought-and-never-used gadgets: one BBC micro:bit that should be able to capture Bluetooth Low Energy transmissions one Proxmark 3 RV4 that should be able to do some nifty RFID stuff (and that I was recently able to fix) one Realtek Software-Defined Radio USB Stick (rtl-sdr).

GnuPG/PGP and Evolution/Seahorse Private Key Woes

I have a quite simple setup: Fedora 23 on my Desktop, Ubuntu 16.04 on my Notebook and a YubiKey thrown into the mix. I do have my normal GnuPG key DD436203 that I’m using. There’s also an old and revoked key 3F5D00B6 with which I was testing my YubiKey with (note to myself: don’t use an YubiKey-crested private key as you cannot backup it). My main key offers an ElGamal 2048bit subkey – which does not work with the Yubikey (as that only supports 2048bit RSA).

How (NOT) to hide OpenVPN behind HTTPS/SSL

Update 2017: Sadly I found out (thanks due to the comments on this blog post) that using port-share does not encapsulates subsequent traffic in normal TLS. So using this method will not fool Deep-Package Inspection Firewalls. If you need to mask all your traffic, this is not an option – you might need to investigate stunnel, information can be found here, here or here. I assume, that the higher success rate of this method could be related to some firewalls checking the target of the initial https request.