ivan's picture

Free speech, racism and hypocrisy

These are troubled times indeed. If you’ve been using the Internet for a while, you must have noticed that the general climate has been steadily declining. In fact, it feels like we have grown quite used to our weekly offense-fest. It is speculated that social media platforms are engineered in a way that encourages them: nothing generates more “engagements” than an inflammatory post that the audience will retweet in feverish, self-righteous anger. The mainstream media certainly doesn’t seem to mind, as this provides a constant stream of highly clickable opinion pieces. As for the participants of those heated debates, they get to go to bed feeling vindicated, feeling like they’ve done their part fighting whatever hateful ideology they helped repeal that day. So, what’s the harm?

ivan's picture

Detecting anomalies in the RICH header

A few days ago, Kaspersky published a blog post regarding a likely false flag in the wiper component of OlympicDestroyer. The attempt is based on an undocumented, lesser-known PE header called the RICH header. I don’t want to go into too much details regarding its layout, as many other sources have done a great job documenting it.

ivan's picture

ersh.py: a pure Python encrypted reverse shell

Today's article is going to be a short one. Many of you may have read @ropnop's great post on upgrading plain shells to interactive TTYs. While the commands given in the article can solve usability problems, they provide no help on the transport level where several things can go wrong:

ivan's picture

Process Hollowing with Manalyze's PE library

For some reason, articles about process injection techniques seem to be popular these days, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to write something I have had in mind for a long time. As some of you may know, I maintain Manalyze, a static analyzer for PE executables. One key part of this program is obviously its parser, as writing PE parsers is notoriously hard. For this reason, I took great pains to make sure this part of Manalyze could be reused in other projects. A solid documentation exists but examples go a long way and they were sorely missing.

ivan's picture

How I got tech support scammers infected with Locky

tech support scam webpage
A few days ago, I received a panicked call from my parents who had somehow managed to land on a (now defunct) web page (snapshot here) claiming they had been infected by Zeus. This horrible HTML aggregate had it all: audio message with autoplay, endless JavaScript alerts, a blue background with cryptic file names throwing us back to Windows' BSoD days, and yet somehow it displayed a random IP address instead of the visitor's one.
After everyone had a good laugh on Twitter, I decided to call them to know more about what they hoped to accomplish.
ivan's picture

Broken Synapse: writing a DSO decompiler

I've been a huge fan of Frozen Synapse ever since it was released back in 2011. It's a strategy game which looks like chess, only players move their pieces at the same time and discover the outcome at the end of the turn.
Here's what I figured: like a poorly written piece of poker software, I thought it was likely that the game client received information about the position of enemy units that would give a tactical edge to anyone reading them.
ivan's picture

Bypassing the "testcookie" anti-webscraping protection

A few days ago, I noticed that ApkTrack (an Android app I maintain) could no longer query one of the websites it usually obtains data from.
The app works mostly through web scraping and once in a while, the target websites set up new countermeasures to prevent bots from accessing their contents (even innocuous bots such as this app). In this post, we'll see how the protection I encountered this week-end was bypassed.
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