Friday 18 February 2011

Art of hacking 1 - spyd3rm4n's guide to hacking

This series of articles can be very useful for many beginners out there but after the thedefaced and darkmindz went down, I haven't really seen these articles anywhere else. So I thought to share this article over here. Its NOT written by me and I would like to provide the full credit to the original author as well.

Art of hacking [ 1 ] 

spyd3rm4n's guide to hacking

Part I

[0x01] Definition
[0x02] Method
[0x03] Side_Notes
[0x04] Credits

Sub Definition{
a : to write computer programs for enjoyment
b : to gain access to a computer illegally

Sub Method{
These are the boundaries that differentiate a hacker, from a cracker. A cracker will use the same methods of a hacker, but instead of leaving it at just that, they will take it one step beyond, and use the information gained to extort another person and/or cause damage.

Now that has been cleared up, I will just inform you of one of my most common method of hacking.

When I hack, it is a golden rule that I must know what I am hacking. If it's a website, I must know what language is it written in. If I do not, I will learn the language, or at least be able to read it and pick out human errors in the programming.

I usually start like this:
I will first search the website for vulnerable user-input fields. Something that interacts with the viewer. It should include fields that are POST and GET. I will test these fields for penetration. The most common fields vulnerable, are search forms. These can be vulnerable to almost any type of injection, HTML, JAVASCRIPT, or SQL. To test if a field is injectable with HTML, I will usually type "<h1>hello</h1>." If the page returns the word hello in big bold letters, I know it's vulnerable. I then will step it up to JAVASCRIPT. I will type "<script>alert(1)</script>", <script language="Javascript">alert(1)</script>m etc.." If the returned page contains an alert message printing the number 1, I know I can cross-site script it (XSS). SQL on the other hand has a number of pen-testing syntaxes. I usually type a single quote, if it returns SQL errors, I know its vulnerable to injection. If it doesn't, I will sometimes try different combinations of SQL attacks. I will try most commonly, and my favorite, a union injection. Syntax: '+union+select+1-- 
If that returns with any sort of SQL error, I then know I hit the jackpot. The most common error with union selections is "The UNION SELECT statement is missing the correct number of columns" or something of that sort. It means that you have to select more than one column. This can be the longest part of injecting. You then have to '+union+select+1,2-- each time, adding on another number separated by a comma until your UNION SELECT statement has no errors, and returns a value from that field. I will then look for the returned page for a number. If for example, lets say I did '+union+select+1,2,3,4,5,6--
and the page returns a series of pictures, and in the blue, there is just the number 6 on that page, I will then do '+union+select+1,2,3,4,5,table_name+from+information_schema.tables--
This will select the table name from the information schema, if its allowed. That's all I'm going to say about that for now. If you want to know more, you can learn up on your SQL.

Next, if I find the site is pretty secure, it is always important not to rule out other methods of intrusion. My 2nd and favorite method, is the capturing of the host. With a simple WHOIS lookup, I can find the host of their site. Now, if I pen-test their host and find a vulnerability, that is just as good as hacking their site because it allows for a way in. If all else fails, you can do a reverse IP lookup on the domain of the website. Take a look at all the other websites on that IP and pen-test their security. If you can get rights to upload on one of their sites, you can upload a PHP-Shell and work your way into their directory, viewing their files. If you want to take it further, you can go ahead and try to root the server. Rooting is pretty easy if you know what you're looking for/know any stack/buffer overflows for the OS. Most servers run linux, so it's best to look for overflows for that specific kernel version that contain "Local Root" in it. Other than that, there are so many ways of obtaining root. These include but are not limited to key-logging, phishing, and social engineering. That's pretty much the basis of one of my most common methods of hacking. If you would like to know more, well.. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to pick up the knowledge as you continue your career hacking.

Sub Side_Notes{
If you want to learn more, you can check out the mini-books on Hide My Ass, XSS Injection, SQL Injection, Navigating towards root in a PHP Shell, and Stack Overflows in a nuttshell.

Sub Credits{
I'm sure you're all wondering who I am going to credit in this. The thing is that over the years, I have encountered many talented hackers. Too many to name in fact. But, there is one person I have to give credit to for being probably one of the most talented hackers I have "read" from. This person is unknown, and I'm sure many of you have read some of their docs. This person is the author of the ZFO (Zero For Owned) series. If you haven't read them, I highly suggest you do a google dork for Zeroforowned. Not to sure on how many of them are still public/around. (You'll notice the style of documentation similarity that I have put in this document, with the ZFO).

- Credits : Kr3w of TheDefaced