Primary Content: Home

What is BEAST?

Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS

BEAST is an attack against SSL/TLS which is the cryptographic system that protects data sent online. A practical attack was found to be possible against TLS v1.0 and SSLv3.0 (and below). The issue is that the Initialisation Vector (IV) utilised as part of the encryption process can be determined by an attacker. IVs are utilised to prevent encrypted data from being deterministic, they essentially make it harder for attackers to determine patterns in encrypted data. Without them if a repeating pattern is evident in the plaintext then it will be evident in the ciphertext and this type of informations is greatly useful to an attacker. IVs are designed to prevent this, however with the BEAST attack they are shown to be deterministic which greatly reduces their use as a protection mechanism.

It reduces the protection but the deterministic nature is of limited use to an attacker and they are only able to retrieve small amounts of information from the encrypted data, however with attacks against web applications small amounts of data can cause a large impact – if an attacker is able to retrieve information such as session tokens.

Continue reading: What is BEAST?



A vulnerability exists in outdated version of OpenSSL which allows an attacker to cause the server to disclose up to 64kb of server memory contents. This can cause secret keys, authentication tokens, usernames and passwords to be compromised. This can lead to an attacker being able to impersonate users and decrypt data transferred between a user and the server.

Continue reading: Heartbleed

HSTS: HTTP Strict Transport Security

HSTS is a web security mechanism to prevent downgrade attacks, it’s a mechanism that allows a web server to instruct web browsers to only communicate with the server over SSL, so that all subsequent traffic is encrypted, even if a user attempts to visit an insecure link (the browser will ‘correct’ the user and request the secure site instead).

Continue reading: HSTS: HTTP Strict Transport Security

Path Traversal Cheat Sheet: Linux

Got a path/directory traversal or file disclosure vulnerability on a Linux-server and need to know some interesting files to hunt for? I’ve got you covered Know any more good files to look for? Let me know!

The list included below contains absolute file paths, remember if you have a traversal attack you can prefix these with encoding traversal strings, like these:

Continue reading: Path Traversal Cheat Sheet: Linux

XXE Cheatsheet – XML External Entity Injection

All the fun of the post on XML External Entities (XXE) but less wordy!


<!--?xml version="1.0" ?-->
<!DOCTYPE replace [<!ENTITY example "Doe"> ]>

Continue reading: XXE Cheatsheet – XML External Entity Injection