This is an article I wrote a while ago and never got published. It’s a bit outdated now, but I still think it can be useful for historical purposes, so I’ll post a link to it below.
This document analyzes the use of the cyber environment in the Syrian civil war by both the population and the government in order to characterize online tactics and strategies developed and used by each belligerent. This overview allows for generalization of online behavior by hacktivists and nation-state sponsored actors on communication networks in the region, which will continue to see online attacks from various parties in the foreseeable future during similar conflict. In Syria, because of poor infrastructure, low rate of Internet penetration and early adoption of control mechanisms by the current government, the authorities had dominance over their information environment early in the conflict, enabling rapid gathering of intelligence on dissidents. While social medias were leveraged by the population as in many other uprisings for coordination, it was also the theater of multiple offensive cyber operations by internal and external groups, mostly for information operations purposes. Despite the high level of activity, none appeared to have a definitive impact on the ground. While events recorded in this space have not reached the level of intensity of other conflicts, it proves a useful model for similar conflicts in the Middle East region.
Racicot, Jonathan, The Syrian Civil Conflict in the Cyber Environment, https://www.academia.edu/15182402/The_Syrian_Civil_Conflict_in_the_Cyber_Environment, last accessed 2015-09-03
Out of nowhere, here’s an article I wrote for the Canadian Military Journal. China, as one of many alleged actors on the frontier of cyber espionage, is best understood by briefly examining the past century, how it influences contemporary cyber operations attributed to Chinese-based actors, and how they could be used against the Canadian Armed Forces in a potential Southeast Asian conflict.
See the full article here: https://www.academia.edu/7633668/The_Past_Present_and_Future_of_Chinese_Cyber_Operations; or
Cards are quite an interesting species of object that have invaded our lives in every way: we either use them for public transit, laundry, gift cards, phone cards, credit cards etc… One could gather quite a lot of power buy not only understanding their functioning, but also by being able to tamper their data. I must admit that I have absolutely no knowledge (or almost) of those devices, but hopefully, by the end of this project, this will have completely changed.
Visual Study of Smart Cards
Smarts card are usually the size of the credit cards and dimensions are defined accordingly to the ISO/IEC 7810 standard. The standard defines four card sizes: ID-1, ID-2, ID-3 and ID-000. Smart cards are usually comprised in the ID-1 category although some are into the ID-000 category, which mostly comprise of SIM cards. Each of them are 0.76 mm thick. The properties are defined as follow1:
|ID-1||85.60 × 53.98 mm||Most banking cards and ID cards|
|ID-2||105 × 74 mm||German ID cards issued prior to Nov 2010|
|ID-3||125 × 88 mm||Passports and Visas|
|ID-000||25 × 15 mm||SIM cards|
The material use for the card is usually Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Of course the most interesting item on rhe card is that golden connector. There are various type of connectors as shown in the picture below:
There are also three main types of smart cards: contact cards, contactless and vault cards 
Actually the two that are actually important in everybody’s life are the contact and contactless cards, the latest being use in public transit most of the time. For now I’ll concentrate on contact cards.
Information is transferred using electrical connectors, i.e the golden chip on the card to the reader. Usually, the chip as around 8 connectors as follow:
Now contact cards are divided in two categories : memory cards and multiprocessor cards. Memory cards are furthermore divided into 3 categories:
- Straight Memory Cards
- Protected/Segmented Memory Cards
- Stored Value Memory Cards
I recently got handed a laundry smart card and for some reason, got fascinated with it. I never really played with hardware but studying those devices have interested me to the point of studying them in a special project. The goal is to be able to modify the contents of the memory of the card. This project will be conducted in two phases :
- Dump the content of the memory into my computer
- Alter the content and write it back to the card
A client is handled a Smart Card called “SmartCity” from a company called Coinamatic, which provide laundry solutions to property managers. The card can be loaded and recharged using coins or debit/credit cards through “reload centers“. You can put up to 50$ maximum on the card. To use the facilites, you need to insert the card into a slot built into the washers/dryers. The washer is a Commercial Energy Advantage Top Load Washer MAT14PRAWW model. The dryer is a 27″ Commercial Single-Load Electric Stack Dryer model MLE24PRAZW.
Next post : the card reader/writer
EMV 4.2 Specification, EMVCo, May 2008, http://emvco.com/ accessed on 2009-07-20
Infineon SLE4442, Flylogic Engineering’s Analytical Blog, December 1st, 2007, http://www.flylogic.net/blog/?p=17 accessed on 2009-07-20
How-to: Read a FedEx Kinko’s smart card (SLE4442), Ian Lesnet, Hack-a-day, November 28th, 2008, http://hackaday.com/2008/11/25/how-to-read-a-fedex-kinkos-smart-card-sle4442/, accessed on 2009-07-20
Intelligent 256-Byte EEPROM SLE 4432/SLE 4442, Siemens, 1995, http://www.smartcardsupply.com/PDF/DS_sle4432_42_0795.pdf accessed on 2009-07-20
Kinko’s Smart Card (Siemens SLE4442 memory chip), Strom Calson, http://www.stromcarlson.com/projects/smartcard/format.pdf accessed on 2009-07-20
1K EEPROM – Security Logic with Two Application Zones AT88SC102, Atmel, 1999, http://www.datasheetcatalog.org/datasheet/atmel/DOC1419.PDF accessed on 2009-07-20
Atul Dwivedi, an Indian hacker paid a visit to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) last Monday by defacing their website.
This accident comes amid a raise in violence targeted towards Indian native in Australia and apparently Dwivedi protested this situation by leaving a message on the website:
“This site has been hacked by Atul Dwivedi. This is a warning message to the Australian government. Immediately take all measures to stop racist attacks against Indian students in Australia or else I will pawn all your cyber properties like this one.”
This site is now up and running as per normal. Of course the webserver wasn’t connected to any internal network and didn’t contain any classified information according to a spokewoman:
“No sensitive information was compromised as the air force internet website is hosted on an external server and, as such, does not hold any sensitive information,1“
Microsoft products are used in pretty much every Western armed forces. So it’s save to assume the webserver used by the RAAF is probably running IIS. Of course, IIS implies as Windows machine and a Windows Server machine means that everything is almost certainly all Microsoft based. Of course we can now verify those claims and according to David M Williams from ITWire2 the website is hosted through Net Logistics, an Australian hosting company. The aforementioned article tries to explain the hack with the use of exploits. Which might have been the way Dwivedi did it, but the analysis is quite simple and lacks depth. The site still has an excellent link to a blog detailing the WebDAV exploit, see below for the link.
It’s not impossible to think that Dwivedi might have tricked someone into giving out too much information also. Social engineering can do lots and is usually easier than technical exploits. The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick should convince most people of that. Someone could look up on Facebook or another social networking site for some people in the RAAF and then try to pose as them and pose as them.
Then also, why not look for the FTP server? And God knows what else the server is running; maybe a SMTP server also (and probably it does). Now I wouldn’t suggest doing this, but running a port scan would probably reveal a lot of information. Moreover, using web vulnerability tools like Nikto could help find misconfigured settings in ASP or forgotten test/setup pages/files. Up to there, only two things are important: information gathering and imagination.
“Hacker breaks into RAAF website”, AAP, Brisbane Times, July 16, 2009, http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-national/hacker-breaks-into-raaf-website-20090716-dmrn.html accessed on 2009-07-17
“WebDAV Detection, Vulnerability Checking and Exploitation”, Andrew, SkullSecurity, May 20, 2009, http://www.skullsecurity.org/blog/?p=285 accessed on 2009-07-17
1 “Indian hacks RAAF website over student attacks”, Asher Moses, The Sydney Morning Herald, July 16, 2009, http://www.smh.com.au/technology/security/indian-hacks-raaf-website-over-student-attacks-20090716-dmgo.html accessed on 2009-07-16
The vulnerability resolves around the return value of the escape function in the JIT engine. It’s exploited using the <font> tag. The code for the exploit is public and can be found at milw0rm. The exploit use a heap spraying technique to execute the shellcode.
“Mozilla Firefox Memory Corruption Vulnerability”, Secunia, July 14, 2009, http://secunia.com/advisories/35798/ accessed on 2009-07-15
“Exploit 9137”, SBerry, July 13, 2009, http://milw0rm.com/exploits/9137 accessed on 2009-07-15
“Stopgap Fix for Critical Firefox 3.5 Security Hole”, Brian Krebs, The Washington Post, July 14, 2009, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/07/stopgap_fix_for_critical_firef.html accessed on 2009-07-15
1 “Mozilla Foundation tackles Firefox bug”, Nick Farell, The Inquirer, Wednesday, 15, July, 2009, http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1433480/mozilla-foundation-tackles-firefox-bug accessed on 2009-07-15