Hacker conference to address emerging Web threats

The four-day conference will address enterprise applications, hardware and big-picture Internet issues

The Black Hat security conference will kick off next week in Barcelona, with training sessions and briefings from some of the most talented security researchers in the industry.

Facebook's chief security officer, Max Kelly, is scheduled for a keynote presentation on Wednesday morning following two days of training sessions. The last two days of the conference will focus on briefings featuring research into a variety of threats on the Internet and application vulnerabilities.

One of those presentations will focus on a way to insert a backdoor into SAP's ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications. SAP's business software is often the core of a company's operations and is used to manage invoicing, human resources, procurement and billing, among many other functions.

SAP's software uses databases from companies such as Oracle, said Mariano Nuñez Di Croce, director of research and development for Onapsis, a company that focuses on penetration testing for SAP systems and others such as Oracle's PeopleSoft and JD Edwards enterprise applications.

Many companies do not configure the Oracle database correctly, which makes the SAP system vulnerable to attack.

"What we have found is, it is possible instead of modifying the program you can connect to the database and modify the code directly in the database," Nuñez Di Croce said.

The problem with SAP and the Oracle database has been known for a few years, although Nuñez Di Croce recently figured out how to slip a "backdoor" into a program in the database that can then send data to a remote hacker. Since the Oracle database does not conduct an integrity check of the source code, the attack would be difficult to detect.

It would allow an attacker, for example, to forward all information related to a new customer account. It could also let a hacker modify shipping orders or collect the log-in details when employees log on to the SAP system, he said.

"It's amazing to see how many experienced SAP customers don't know about this vulnerability," Nuñez Di Croce said.

SAP responded that what Onapsis found is "not a specific vulnerability."

"We have been made aware of the issue by Onapsis and have reviewed it. We believe that if customers follow our guidelines for security, the risk of illegitimate access through a backdoor can be excluded," SAP said in a statement.

"SAP focuses on preventing illegitimate access to SAP systems, rather than detecting manipulation within the database," the company added. It said it takes security issues "very seriously."

Nuñez Di Croce's company plans later this month to release a tool that will check to ensure applications within the database haven't been tampered with. The tool is called the Onapsis Integrity Analyzer for SAP.

It creates a hash value, or a unique numerical identifier based on the source code for applications. If the tool scans an application later and it has a different hash value, it may have been tampered with, indicating a backdoor, Nuñez Di Croce said.

Nuñez Di Croce's presentation will be in Black Hat's application security track. The conference will have two other tracks, one focusing on the "big picture" security issues and one dedicated to hardware, according to the conference schedule.

In the big picture track, Stephan Chenette, principal security researcher for Websense Security Labs, will give a presentation on a project called Fireshark. The project aims to streamline collecting information on the tens of thousands of Web sites that may contain malicious code and are designed to attack unsuspecting visitors.

Fireshark "is capable of visiting large collections of Web sites at a time, executing, storing and analyzing the content and from it identifying hundreds of malicious ecosystems," Chenette wrote on Black Hat's Web site.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securityblack hathacking

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?