After a week of travel I am finally working through my reading list, and got around to RSnake’s awesome “Talk with a Black Hat” series. Check out Part 1Part 2 and Part 3. He takes us behind the curtain – but instead of discussing impact, which your fraud and loss group can tell you – he documents tactics being used against us all the time.

At the beginning of Part 1, RSnake tackles the ethical issues of communicating with and learning from black hats. I never saw this as an issue, but if you did, just read his explanation and get over it:

I think it is incredibly important for security experts to have open dialogues with the blackhat community. It’s not at all dissimilar to police officers talking with drug dealers on a regular basis as part of their job: if you don’t know your adversary you are almost certainly doomed to failure.

Right. A few interesting tidbits from Part 1, including “The whole blackhat market has moved from manual spreading to fully automated software.” And that this fellow’s motivation was pretty clear: “Money. I found it funny how watching tv and typing on my laptop would earn me a hard worker’s monthly wage in a few hours. [It was] too easy in fact.”

And the lowest hanging fruit for an attack. Yup, pr0n sites.

Now to discuss my personal favourite: porn sites. One reason why this is so easy: The admins don’t check to see what the adverts redirect to. Upload an ad of a well-endowed girl typing on Facebook, someone clicks, it does a drive by download again. But this is where it’s different: if you want extra details (for extortion if they’re a business man) you can use SET to get the actual Facebook details which, again, can be used in social engineering.

There is similarly awesome perspective on monetizing DDoS (which clearly means it is not going away anytime soon), and that was only in Part 1. Part 2 and 3 are also great, but you should read them yourself to learn about your adversaries.

And to leave you with some wisdom about mindsets:

Q: What kind of people tend to want to buy access to your botnet and/or what do you think they use it for?

A: Some people say governments use it, rivals in business. To be honest, I don’t care. If you pay you get a service. Simple.

Simple. Yup, very simple.

Photo credit: “Charles F Esolda” originally uploaded by angus mcdiarmid