[ISN] Credit-card hackers stung with bogus IIS 'sploit

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu Jun 13 2002 - 00:51:19 PDT

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    By Thomas C Greene in Washington
    Posted: 12/06/2002 at 18:25 GMT
    What happens when you float a counterfeit IIS hole in a carder
    chatroom on IRC, tantalizing its young denizens with a quick, easy
    score? Do they proxy up, patiently enumerate the site, grab banners,
    analyze what they're up against and carefully plot an attack? Or do
    they rush into the trap like so many elite lemmings?
    That's what CardCops' Dan Clements and Penetrationtest.com's Karsten
    Johansson wanted to know. So they set up a fake IIS directory
    .../InetPub/scripts/_private on an Apache server (yes, Apache), with a
    fake security hole, seeded a couple of IRC carder channels with the
    news, and watched.
    Within 24 hours approximately 200 cyber warriors had bitten the hook,
    and not one figured out that they were stuffing around on a Linux box.  
    A quick banner check, or even a quick check with Netcrtaft, was all
    they'd have needed to see what they were onto. No one tried to own the
    machine; and a surprising number didn't even bother to go through a
    Scanners were employed but not by many; a handful appear to have used
    Nmap and/or Nessus, and two appear to have used an older version of
    Gaa Moa's HTTP Exploiter (GME) which contained a number of recommended
    directory paths until GM decided to release it without them in later
    versions to discourage the utterly clueless.
    A few visitors showed initiative and attempted a couple of known
    exploits with Front Page Extensions, continuing to trust that they
    were on an IIS server. Also "a few people recognized the apparent
    directory traversal attack that we emulated, and attempted to read
    other directories using our 'exploit,'" Johansson said.
    In the bogus IIS directory were a couple of .exe files and an .xls
    spreadsheet with fake CC numbers. "Roughly half of the of the people
    who connected actually downloaded the xls file with the fake credit
    card numbers in it. There were a lot of 'look but don't touch'
    connections, and some people who focused on the .exe files instead,"  
    he added.
    "Most of them simply downloaded the files in the exploited directory.  
    A few then tried to look at the primary Web page but did not return
    once they received the fake 404 error. A fair number of them did
    manage to find the fake login screen, though, but nowhere near as many
    as I expected."
    A couple also requested favicon.ico -- the little custom icon added to
    a Web browser's favorites list. Since servers log the requests, an
    attacker can often learn where the logfiles are located, which can in
    turn lead to additional exploitation. Again, immediate failure was not
    followed up with curiosity.
    A number looking for /.htpasswd ended up looking for /.htpasswrd ,
    /~passwrd , /~.passwrd /htpasswrd /htpasswd, etc. (The circumflex
    character merely refers to the home directory, so it's clearly useless
    unless there's a user named 'htpasswrd' on the system.)
    It was interesting that the carders exhibited so little imagination,
    curiosity and patience. If they couldn't get what they wanted easily,
    either by trying some stock exploit or running some automated progie,
    they gave up without a struggle. Those who attempted additional
    exploits and failed seemed not to ask themselves why they failed.
    Of course, by selecting IRC for a venue one is necessarily selecting
    less sophisticated IP warriors. But there's a reason for this.  
    CardCops' Clements reckons that the vast majority of CC fraud can be
    attributed to the cumulative effects from vast batallions of unskilled
    opportunists, which the carder channels represent. It makes sense to
    expect competent blackhats to have better things to do than whack
    minor pr0n pay-sites and Mom & Pop e-commerce sites for easy pickings.
    CardCops, a CC fraud-prevention Web site, "believes in engaging
    hackers and carders on their own turf...where we can define the
    location of the virtual battlefield," Clements says.
    "It's a warning to kiddies: 'it's not as easy as you think.' We're
    letting them know that we'll be in their virtual world; and they'll
    always have to wonder if someone's playing with them."
    He's hoping that by publicizing the results of the joint sting with
    Penetrationtest.com, the teeming millions of would-be cyber fraudsters
    will get a sense of how easily they can be jerked around, deceived,
    even trapped -- and perhaps be deterred.
    At least until they figure out what a banner check is.
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