Do Enterprise Management Applications Dream of Electric Sheep? presented at BlackhatUSA 2006

by Dave Goldsmith, Tom Ptacek,

Summary : Thomas Ptacek and Dave Goldsmith present the results of Matasano Security's research into the resilience of Enterprise Agents: the most dangerous programs you've never heard of, responsible for over $2B a year in product revenue, running on the most critical enterprise servers from app servers to mainframes.
Enterprise Agents are their own worms, preinstalled for the convenience of attackers. We found critical, show-stopping vulnerabilities in every system we looked at.
It's a whirlwind tour of the landscape of internal security. We reversed proprietary binaries, deciphered custom protocols, and cracked encryption algorithms.
It's a call to arms. Applications running behind the firewall aren't getting audited. While vulnerability research talent fights over the scraps of Windows OS security, hundreds of thousands of machines remain vulnerable to attacks most people thought were eliminated in the early '90s
For the past 12 months, Matasano Security has conducted a research project into the security of internal applications. Our theory? That any code which doesn't run in front of a firewall, exposed to Internet hackers, is unaudited, wide openfertile ground for ever-adapting attackers. Our findings? Tens of applications reversed, proprietary protocols deciphered, "state-of-the-art" XOR encryption algorithms cracked, and it's worse than we thought. Perhaps more than any other software, save the operating system itself, insecure systems management applications pose a grave threat to enterprise security. They're the Agobot that your administrators installed for you.
Internal security is a nightmare, and things are going to get worse before they get horrible.