Author Archive

Domain Fronting

February 10, 2017 Leave a comment

I came across a really interesting technique for using high-trust domains as redirectors to a censored/forbidden site.  During a security assessment, these could be setup to redirect C2 traffic from your target network to a server under your control (normally inaccessible).  The nuts and bolts of it are discussed in this write-up that’s almost two years old, but still relevant –

The basic definition of Domain Fronting is a “general-purpose circumvention technique based on HTTPS that hides the true destination of a communication from a censor.”  Content delivery networks (CDN’s) allow users to create accounts with them that include a high-trust domain (Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and others).  You can use domain fronting by making the DNS query and SNI HTTPS destination host headers point to such a “high-trust” domain (e.g.,, which can then forward it to the actual domain you want to visit encrypted within your HTTPS traffic as part of the HTTP Host Header.  Censors will be unable to block your traffic without some serious collateral damage that could prevent access to these otherwise “high-trust” domains.  This isn’t a free service, but it’s by no means cost prohibitive.

Recently Raphael Mudge provided a nice video and write-up of using this technique with Cobalt Strike.  Instead of paraphrasing it all, here are the links:


SSH Config

February 10, 2017 Leave a comment

If you use ssh a lot and you’re not in a Windows environment to use PuTTY, create a file – .ssh/config – with the following information:

Host myHost

HostName x.x.x.x
User userName

Host myHost2

HostName y.y.y.y 
User userName2
Categories: linux Tags: , ,

LibreOffice Base to View Access DB

October 20, 2016 Leave a comment

This is a summary of a post found on  Useful for opening up an acquired accdb file on Debian/Ubuntu.

One-time setup:

  1. Make sure LibreOffice Base is installed – sudo apt-get install libreoffice-base
  2. Download UCanAccess and extract it –
  3. Launch LibreOffice (not Base, just the main launcher)
  4. Tools > Options > Advanced > Class Path
  5. Add Archive: /root/Downloads/UCanAccess-3.0.7-bin/loader/ucanload.jar
  6. Close LibreOffice Launcher

Per-Database setup:

  1. Launch Base
  2. Connect to an existing DB (JDBC)
  3. Datasource URL – jdbc:ucanaccess:///path/to/.accdb/file
  4. JDBC driver class – net.ucanaccess.jdbc.UcanloadDriver
  5. Next, leave blank
  6. Finish/Save
Categories: linux Tags: ,

Spear Phishing Setup with IceDove/Thunderbird

October 19, 2016 Leave a comment

For spear phishing I’ve recently found quite a few benefits with using IceDove on Kali (similar to Thunderbird, same settings below should apply). If you register a domain name with, you can get free email for two months, WHOISGuard is free, and Premium DNS is an extra $5, a rather inexpensive setup.  Adding a new account is pretty straightforward as well.  However, when you add the account, you have to set up your name as the email address at first.  Once it’s setup, you can go back and change it to display whatever name you want.


Once that’s setup, you can also change how the email address actually appears in your target recipient’s mailbox.  The following will show up as coming from  If the person chooses to reply (or look closer at the email headers), the reply message will be sent to the Reply To address (and will be displayed in the To address of the reply email):


One other beneficial feature is the Send Later Add-on (Tools > Add-ons) that will allow you to queue up emails to be sent at whatever odd hours are required to get your phish in the desired email box at a reasonable time in the target time zone:


Format Long String for VBA with Python

October 15, 2016 Leave a comment

The following python script was useful when I had a long payload that I needed to add into a VBA macro.  It takes the string and then breaks it up into lines that can be added to the VBA.  VBA rules won’t let you have more than 25 line continuations and there’s also a certain length of string that can be in there as well.  The solution largely came from one of the responses here – .  The ‘320’ value is the number of characters I decided to make each line, you could easily make the script figure out how many characters per line were needed to keep within VBA’s boundaries.

text = "superlongstringtobreakup"

def split_by_n( seq, n ):
    """A generator to divide a sequence into chunks of n units."""
    while seq:
        yield seq[:n]
        seq = seq[n:]

commandlist = list(split_by_n(text,320))

f = open('powershell32_vba.txt', 'w')

for line in commandlist:
    f.write('& "' + line + '" _\n')
Categories: Scripting Tags: , , , ,

PowerShell Empire on AWS

June 2, 2016 Leave a comment

I ran into quite a few issues setting up PowerShell Empire on an amazon ec2 server in the free tier.  The following commands took quite a bit of research to figure out.  Hopefully they will be usefull to others in the near future.

sudo pip install flask
sudo pip install --upgrade pip (beware, this broke pip, had to then use easy_install)
sudo yum install python27-pyOpenSSL.x86_64
sudo easy_install pyopengl* (not sure if necessary, but came across it on a post and things started working)
sudo easy_install pydispatcher
sudo easy_install iptools
git clone
sudo yum install swig
sudo yum install openssl-devel
sudo yum install gcc
./ build
sudo python install
sudo ./empire

OSINT Gathering

January 22, 2016 Leave a comment

The following is the process I’ve followed for gathering intel during security assessments I’ve participated in.  OSINT gathering shouldn’t require you to send any packets to your target organization and as such, can usually be done in advance to an assessment date.

People OSINT

  1. Run theharvester and Maltego against the target domain (likely email domain) to generate a list of email addresses for importing into Recon-ng.
    • python -d <targetDomain> -b all -v -f <outputFile>
    • import into Recon-ng using import/list
  2. Run the following Recon-ng modules to check which users have been involved in any public credential leaks:
    • hibp_breach
    • hibp_paste
  3. I use Recon-ng as the basis for storing the majority of the data gathered.  I’ll create a separate workspace for each assessment and start by uploading the results from step one and then run salesmaple to finish up the email address gathering.  I haven’t had much success with the Facebook or LinkedIn modules, so tend to do that research more manually.
  4. For gathering intel on particular individuals (more for social engineering components of a security assessment), Michael Bazzell’s books and website have been invaluable.  Specifically his centralized search portal.  I highly recommend you at least watch the Free Video to get an idea of the power of some of the search tools in the portal.
    • The “Custom Search Tools” are what I’ve used the most.  The Facebook search tool can pull out all sorts of information that Facebook makes difficult to access if you are not friends with someone.  You do have to have to be logged into a Facebook account for this tool to work, and as a warning, whatever your account name is will likely show up on the target’s Facebook page suggesting that they become friends with you (and vice-a-versa); you may want to create an anonymous account (a good precaution for searches you make on any tools that require an account).
    • The Search Engines Tools is great for searching for a person’s name or other identifying information across a number of search engines (you do need to make sure you allow pop-ups if you want the results for each browser to be displayed in separate tabs, otherwise you can only search one at a time).
    • The Person Search, Username Search, Pastebin Search, Document Search, and others have been very useful.
  5. An additional resource for researching a specific person is any database that your Library has access to.  I can login to several different premium background search databases through different public library portals free of charge.
  6. Some premium services cost very little per month and are another resource (e.g.,,,
  7. Some other resources for gathering information on individuals

Technology OSINT

  1. Searching whois for netblocks belonging to the target organization is good place to start.  Be creative with how you search for the target entity’s name, often times the names are truncated or just different altogether.  You can use an asterisk (*) in your searches as a wildcard.  Recon-ng does a decent job at querying whois [whois_miner], provided you have a variety of company names to search by in your companies table.
  2. Load any known domains into your Recon-ng db (or use modules to populate them) and run the following modules:
    • netblocks-hosts/reverse_resolve
    • google_site_web
    • yahoo_domain
    • baidu_site
    • bing_domain_web
    • hosts-hosts/resolve
    • pgp_search
    • salesmaple
    • census_2012 (dated, but could be useful)
    • xssed
    • xssposed
    • netcraft
    • ssl_san
    • punkspider
    • builtwith (this is best run if you redirect the output to a text file and then use some sed/awk magic to strip out the technologies in use, otherwise this data doesn’t get stored in the db)
    • vpnhunter
  3. Maltego is a great resource.  Running any of their machines on various entities can provide a wealth of information.
  4. is another resource and relatively new.  It has an API and Recon-ng has a module for it, but it wasn’t working at the time of this post.  You can get scan data on your target without sending any packets.