Using Certificates with cURL


The problem: Using Digital Certificates issued by a Certification Authority (CA) with curl.

The situation: I have a .cer (Digital Certificate) file, .pfx (Personal Information Exchange file i.e., the private key for the certificate). I cannot use either of these to authenticate to the web service as curl would not accept these formats.

The solution:
1) Convert it into PEM format (X.509 certificate) using openssl.
openssl pkcs12 -in abcd.pfx -out abcd.pem
Enter a passphrase and a password.
2) Still you cannot use this with curl because you’d get a few errors.
3) Convert this PEM certificate into three different certificates for the client, the private key and the certification authority certificate.
openssl pkcs12 -in abcd.pfx -out ca.pem -cacerts -nokeys
openssl pkcs12 -in abcd.pfx -out client.pem -clcerts -nokeys
openssl pkcs12 -in abcd.pfx -out key.pem -nocerts
4) Use the following command:
curl -k https://www.thesitetoauthenticate.com/test -v –key key.pem –cacert ca.pem –cert client.pem:

This stuff is also mentioned on curl forum at http://curl.haxx.se/mail/archive-2005-09/0138.html


List of Security Conferences


I wanted to have a list of all the security conferences around the world for a quick reference so I compiled together a list.

DefCon http://www.defcon.org
BlackHat http://www.blackhat.com/
shmoocon http://www.shmoocon.org/
ToorCon http://www.toorcon.org/
you sh0t the sheriff http://www.ysts.org/
Hack.lu http://hack.lu
WOOTCon http://www.usenix.org/event/woot08/
Source Conferences http://www.sourceconference.com/
InfoSecurity Europe http://www.infosec.co.uk/
SyScan http://www.syscan.org
CONFidence http://confidence.org.pl/
CEICConference http://www.ceicconference.com/
RSA Conference http://www.rsaconference.com/
CanSecWest http://cansecwest.com/
EUSecWest http://eusecwest.com/
PACSec http://pacsec.jp/
BA-Con http://ba-con.com.ar/
Hack in the box http://www.hackinthebox.org/
Clubhack http://clubhack.com/
Xcon http://xcon.xfocus.net/
T2 Conference http://www.t2.fi
LayerOne http://layerone.info/
Owasp Conference http://www.owasp.org
DeepSec Conference https://deepsec.net/
FrHack conference http://www.frhack.org/
Shakacon http://www.shakacon.org/
Secrypt conference http://www.secrypt.org/
HackerHalted Conference
SecTor Conference http://www.sector.ca/
Microsoft Bluehat http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bluehat/default.mspx
ReCon http://recon.cx/
Hacker space festival http://www.hackerspace.net
RAID Conference http://www.raid-symposium.org/
Sec-T Conference http://www.sec-t.org/
BruCon http://www.brucon.org
DIMVA Conference http://www.dimva.org
SeaCure Conference http://seacure.it/
ColSec http://www.univ-orleans.fr/lifo/Manifestations/COLSEC
Auscert http://conference.auscert.org.au
RuxCon http://www.ruxcon.org.au/
uCon http://www.ucon-conference.org/
Chaos Communications Congress http://www.ccc.de/
Bellua Cyber Security http://www.bellua.com/bcs/
CISIS Conference http://www.cisis-conference.eu/
ATC Conference http://www.ux.uis.no/
NDSS Conference http://www.isoc.org/isoc/conferences/
EkoParty Conference http://www.ekoparty.com.ar/
No Con Name http://www.noconname.org/
KiwiCon http://www.kiwicon.org/
VNSecon http://conf.vnsecurity.net
EC2nd Conference http://www.ec2nd.org/
IMF Conference http://www.imf-conference.org/
BugCon http://www.bugcon.org/
Cyber Warfare http://www.ccdcoe.org
POC Conference http://www.powerofcommunity.net/
QuahogCon http://quahogcon.org/
NotaCon http://www.notacon.org
PhreakNic http://www.phreaknic.info
PlumberCon http://plumbercon.org/
Internet Security Operations and Intelligence http://isotf.org/isoi7.html

Spike Fuzzer linker errors


I decided to play around with Spike fuzzer and encountered some weird errors during installation. I was using gcc 4.1.2.

gcc -ggdb -o generic_listen_tcp generic_listen_tcp.o dlrpc.o 
dlargs.o spike.o listener.o hdebug.o tcpstuff.o
spike_dcerpc.o base64.o udpstuff.o spike_oncrpc.o -ldl -L. -ldlrpc
/usr/bin/ld: generic_listen_tcp: hidden symbol `__stack_chk_fail_local' in
/usr/lib/libc_nonshared.a(stack_chk_fail_local.oS) is referenced by DSO
/usr/bin/ld: final link failed: Nonrepresentable section on output
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
make: *** [generic_listen_tcp] Error 1

If you are also getting the same error, I would recommend that you do the following

SPIKE/SPIKE/src$ ./configure

Now open the Makefile in your favorite editor and edit the CFLAGS line to include the following option:


This is how my CFLAGS line looks like in the Makefile:

CFLAGS = -Wall -funsigned-char -c -fPIC -ggdb -fno-stack-protector

This should make it build fine (I do get a few warnings but that’s cool…it still does not result in a no-build.


Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst Certified


This week I got the CREA certification to add to my list of CISSP, CEPT, Visa QSA. This certification required a good practical and conceptual knowledge of reverse engineering. The certification requires a good working knowledge of components such as IA-32 assembly language, malware reversing, expert level knowledge of IDA Pro, OllyDbg, HiEW, Dumpbin etc., PE File header, repairing packed and compacted binaries, using system level reversing etc. The exam was good and tested on the concepts of the reverse engineer.


Installing Firewalk on KUbuntu


Installing Firewalk turned out to be more complicated than I thought it would be. There were some compilation issues and some library errors.
The chief amongst them was:

checking for arp_get in -ldnet... no
configure: error: No libdnet? http://libdnet.sourceforge.net.

I did install libdnet using aptitude but it did not do the trick. Thereafer, searching a few forums got me this information. The “Libdnet” that Firewalk looks for is libdumbnet1 in the ubuntu language.
So I got the Debian packages from the following links:
I continued to get that error and no wonder because there was nothing in /usr/lib.
So I executed the following commands :

$ cd /usr/lib
$ sudo ln -s libdumbnet.so libdnet.so
$ cd /usr/include
$ sudo ln -s dumbnet.h dnet.h

Then there was a compilation error:

firewalk.c: In function ‘firewalk’:
firewalk.c:193: error: label at end of compound statement
make[1]: *** [firewalk.o] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/trance/Desktop/Firewalk/src'
make: *** [all-recursive] Error 1

So then opening the firewalk.c file in vim (and following up on line 193) showed that the “break;” statement was missing after default: switch statement.
So then I added the the following characters (without quotes) “break;” at a line above the comment as shown below:

/* empty */

$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install
$ sudo cp man/firewalk.8 /usr/local/man/man8

Now firewalk was installed and ready to use!


Dell XPS M1210 Memory Upgrade


I recently purchased 2x2GB Memory upgrades for my fantastic Dell XPS M1210. To upgrade the memory there were 2 slots one located at the base of the laptop (the black bottom) and the other was located below the keypad. I searched a lot on the Internet but could not find the location of the 2nd slot.
The owner’s manual also did not mention the location of the DIMM B slot (the 2nd memory slot). See the details on the manual about how to remove the keyboard to reach the 2nd memory slot.
The key to reach the 2nd slot is to first remove the hinge cover (the cover that has three button saying Power, “Media Direct”, etc.). The hinge cover is not screwed so you can just lever it up using a thin, flat object and pop-it up, remove the three screws fixing the keyboad, pulling the keyboad out and right in the middle you will see the memory slot.
Hopefully, this post will help someone upgrading memory on their Dell XPS M1210.


The first interview of my life


This is not a post but nostalgia. This post is actually a transcript of the first interview of my life. It was for a top Indian Software Consultancy Company (referred to as “XYZ” from now on). I remember that it was July 9th, 2001 and it was a really rainy day in Bombay. While coming to the college I was totally drenched and was looking rather distraught! I cleared the aptitude test and then came the Big One – The Interview!
I went to the interview thinking that i wanted to completely screw up the interview (coz I was interested in some other company) so i went there casually dressed with a demonic smile on my face >:-) . In hindsight, I think the way I appeared for this interview was really gutsy for me and I probably couldn’t have done that had I been craving to get a job in this company. Here is the transcript of the interview.

XYZ: So Mr Rajat … tell me about urself and ur family in *short*
Me : In the year 1980 i was born in allahabad and spent the initial yrs of mylife in blah blah blah ….and completed my schooling in Shree Ram Welfare Society’s High School, Andheri(W), Mumbai . therafter i went to Sathaye College….(blah blah blah) and i came to this college thinking that this college would be good.
XYZ: & how did u find this college?
Me : (thinkin for a while and then with a heavy heart ) ok !
XYZ: Rajat y did u chose our company (XYZ) instead of other companies.
Me : i did not choose XYZ i’ve just come for this interview ! In fact u guys have come to our college (for on-campus placements) i haven’t come for this interview.
XYZ: but would u like to join our co.?
Me: i’ve come for this interview ! what does this indicate to u?
XYZ: give me one reason why u want to join XYZ?
Me: i don’t want join XYZ… i’ll goto any other co. that comes next…as a matter of fact any other co. will take me!
XYZ: Mr Rajat in this form (these guys had given us a form to fill in whichwe were supposed to write the salary we desired which i forgot to fill… oops faux pas ? well not quite) which we have given to u , uhaven’t mentioned the salary u want…. what r ur expectations?
Me : I want more!
XYZ: MORE !%#$%$#$ y do u want more?
Me: because i know i’m worth it!
XYZ: u say so but it is for us to see whether u r worth it!
Me: put me to test and i’ll prove i’m worth it !
XYZ: but why do u want more ?
Me : everybody wants more so what is wrong if i want more!(the guy seems to be pissed off to my delight)
XYZ: but u must be having some expectations , don’t u?
Me : yes of course , i have . but u r not gonna live up to them. u had made it quite clear the salary u’ll be offering to us … so it doesn’t matter what my expectations are u r gonna give only what *you* want to give us , so there rests the matter.
XYZ: tell me about this person whom u know & works in XYZ.
Me : He is my cousin and he stays at andheri.
XYZ: so what have u heard from him about our co. ?
XYZ: but u might have heard something at least!!!!!
ME : we meet at social gatherings and the last thing we want to speak about is XYZ!!!
XYZ: ok tell me about ur project … this assembler
Me : blah blah blah
XYZ: ok … so in ur form u write u want “A GOOD NETWORKING PROJECT PREFERABLY BASED ON NETWORK SECURITY” . what do u know about networking?
XYZ: (a very surprised Mr. Sleepy said) NOTHING !?!? then how can u say u want a project in it?
Me: well , i’ve attended a few seminars @ IIT and it ensured me that that was the only field i’m interested in.
XYZ: then ur interest may change after studying the subject!
Me : No, it won’t change!!!!
XYZ: wat do u know bout networkin?
Me: latest happenings … blah blah blah
XYZ: suppose that we don’t have a project in network securities for you then what will u do?
Me: i have written that it is my ambition to work on a networking project…AMBITIONS ARE NOT ALWAYS FULFILLED.
XYZ: Rajat … there is a rule in ur college that if u get 1 co. u r noteligible for the rest.we offer u 16k .. so if tomorrow infosys comes and offers u 20k wat will u do?
Me : I WILL GO !!!!!
XYZ: u’ll go !?! that means you are after money ?
Me : who said that !? i never said that ! i want more money but more important than that is the work environment & the kind of projects i get. if i getbetter projects there i’ll go money is secondary but still important .
XYZ: (as if trying to juistify a lesser salary) u know rajat that on paper their (Infosys) salary may look large but 20% blah blah blah ….. 12.5 % blahblah blah …6% blah blah blah … (and lots more statistics which lasted foran eternity as far as my viewpoint goes)
XYZ: do u realise that XYZ has a 3yr. service agreement or u r chargedRs.50,000/- . what are your feelings about that?
Me : it is absolutely wrong.
XYZ: why?
Me: The word “bond” itself says that u r “bound” to the co. no matter what.
XYZ: that is why we don’t call it a “bond” we call it a “service agreement”.
Me: ok…that’s just another name for it. i personally think that instead of”binding” people to ur co. u should create such an environment that people like to stay in ur co. with their wishes and so the co. will benefit if peoplework with their wishes.
XYZ: do u havre any questions for us?
Me: yes , sir i do! in ur qns a few minutes back u mentioned infosys and in ur pre-placement talks u said u r no.1 software co. of india. how can u say thatwhen all that we see in the newspapers is infosys and with u comparing urself to infosys?
XYZ: infosys is 12% blah blah blah … 19% blah blah blah …(and lots morestatistics that made me feel as miserable as our indian cricket team witheverything out of control)does that answer ur qn?
Me: ya! sir may i ask another question ?
XYZ: ya sure! (with some uneasiness)
Me: sir, this yr. we have seen our seniors get whole lot of “back out” letters! what r ur feelings about that?
Me: i mean r u people going to do the same with us?
XYZ: (i think this was it and he lost his complete cool and he pointed to me & said sternly) till this date our company has not given any “back-out” letters to anybody.
Me: Thank u .sir. it was a pleasure!

This was the first interview of my life and I ended up getting selected for this company. It was a great experience working there and I realized that money is not everything! At the end of it I think I was not rude but dangerously honest in giving my answers and this plan could have backfired on me but it didn’t … may be I was lucky or may be this was destiny!