Black Hat USA 2023 NOC: Community Assurance

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The Black Hat Community Operations Middle (NOC) supplies a excessive safety, excessive availability community in probably the most demanding environments on this planet – the Black Hat occasion.

The NOC companions are chosen by Black Hat, with Arista, Cisco, Corelight, Lumen, NetWitness and Palo Alto Networks delivering from Las Vegas this yr. We recognize Iain Thompson of The Register, for taking time to attend a NOC presentation and tour the operations. Try Iain’s article: ‘Contained in the Black Hat community operations heart, volunteers work in geek heaven.’

We additionally present built-in safety, visibility and automation: a SOC (Safety Operations Middle) contained in the NOC, with Grifter and Bart because the leaders.

Integration is essential to success within the NOC. At every convention, we have now a hack-a-thon: to create, show, check, enhance and at last put into manufacturing new or improved integrations. To be a NOC accomplice, you should be prepared to collaborate, share API (Automated Programming Interface) keys and documentation, and are available collectively (whilst market rivals) to safe the convention, for the nice of the attendees.

XDR (eXtended Detection and Response) Integrations

At Black Hat USA 2023, Cisco Safe was the official Cellular Machine Administration, DNS (Area Identify Service) and Malware Evaluation Supplier. We additionally deployed ThousandEyes for Community Assurance.

Because the wants of Black Hat developed, so have the Cisco Safe Applied sciences within the NOC:

The Cisco XDR dashboard made it straightforward to see the standing of every of the related Cisco Safe applied sciences, and the standing of ThousandEyes brokers.

Under are the Cisco XDR integrations for Black Hat USA, empowering analysts to analyze Indicators of Compromise (IOC) in a short time, with one search. We recognize, Pulsedive and Recorded Future donating full licenses to the Black Hat USA 2023 NOC.

For instance, an IP tried AndroxGh0st Scanning Site visitors in opposition to the Registration server, blocked by Palo Alto Networks firewall.

Investigation of the IP confirmed it was recognized malicious.

Additionally, the geo location in RU and recognized affiliated domains. With this data, the NOC management authorized the shunning of the IP.

File Evaluation and Teamwork within the NOC

Corelight and NetWitness extracted almost 29,000 recordsdata from the convention community stream, which have been despatched for evaluation in Cisco Safe Malware Analytics (Risk Grid).

It was humorous to see the variety of Home windows replace recordsdata that have been downloaded at this premier cybersecurity convention. When file was convicted as malicious, we’d examine the context:

  • Is it from a classroom, the place the subject is said to the habits of the malware?
  • Or, is from a briefing or a demo within the Enterprise Corridor?
  • Is it propagating or confined to that single space?

The pattern above was submitted by Corelight and investigation confirmed a number of downloads within the coaching class Home windows Reverse Engineering (+Rust) from Scratch (Zero Kernel & All Issues In-between), a certified exercise.

The ABCs of XDR within the NOC, by Ben Greenbaum

One of many many Cisco instruments in our Black Hat equipment was the newly introduced Cisco XDR. The highly effective, multi-faceted and dare I say it “prolonged” detection and response engine allowed us to simply meet the next objectives:

One of many much less public-facing advantages of this distinctive ecosystem is the power for our engineers and product leaders to get face time with our friends at accomplice group, together with people who would usually – and rightfully – be thought-about our rivals. As at Black Hat occasions prior to now, I acquired to take part in significant conversations in regards to the intersection of utilization of Cisco and threerd occasion merchandise, tweak our API plans and clearly specific the wants we have now from our accomplice applied sciences to higher serve our clients in frequent. This collaborative, cooperative challenge permits all our groups to enhance the way in which our merchandise work, and the way in which they work collectively, for the betterment of our clients’ skills to satisfy their safety targets. Really a singular state of affairs and one by which we’re grateful to take part.

Safe Cloud Analytics in XDR, by Adi Sankar

Safe Cloud Analytics (SCA) permits you to achieve the visibility and steady risk detection wanted to safe your public cloud, non-public community and hybrid setting. SCA can detect early indicators of compromise within the cloud or on-premises, together with insider risk exercise and malware, in addition to coverage violations, misconfigured cloud belongings, and person misuse. These NDR (Community Detection and Response) capabilities have now develop into native performance inside Cisco XDR. Cisco XDR was accessible beginning July 31st 2023, so it was a good time to place it by its paces on the Black Hat USA convention in August.

Cisco Telemetry Dealer Deployment

Cisco Telemetry Dealer (CTB) routes and replicates telemetry information from a supply location(s) to a vacation spot client(s). CTB transforms information protocols from the exporter to the patron’s protocol of selection and due to its flexibility CTB was chosen to pump information from the Black Hat community to SCA.

Usually, a CTB deployment requires a dealer node and a supervisor node. To cut back our on-prem foot print I proactively deployed a CTB supervisor node in AWS (Amazon Internet Providers) (though this deployment isn’t accessible for purchasers but, cloud managed CTB is on the roadmap). Because the supervisor node was deployed already, we solely needed to deploy a dealer node on premise in ESXi.

With the 10G succesful dealer node deployed it was time to put in a particular plugin from engineering. This bundle isn’t accessible for purchasers and continues to be in beta, however we’re fortunate sufficient to have engineering assist to check out the newest and best expertise Cisco has to supply (Particular shoutout to Junsong Zhao from engineering for his assist). The plugin installs a stream sensor inside a docker container. This enables CTB to ingest a SPAN from an Arista change and rework it to IPFIX information. The stream sensor plugin (previously Stealthwatch stream sensor) makes use of a mixture of deep packet inspection and behavioral evaluation to establish anomalies and protocols in use throughout the community.

Along with the SPAN, we requested that Palo Alto ship NetFlow from their Firewalls to CTB. This enables us to seize telemetry from the sting gadgets’ egress interface giving us insights into visitors from the exterior web, inbound to the Blackhat community. Within the CTB supervisor node I configured each inputs to be exported to our SCA tenant.


Non-public Community monitoring within the cloud


First, we have to configure SCA by turning on all of the NetFlow based mostly alerts. On this case it was already accomplished since we used the identical tenant for a Blackhat Singapore. Nonetheless, this motion could be automated utilizing the API api/v3/alerts/publish_preferences/ by setting each “should_publish” and “auto_post_to_securex” to true within the payload. Subsequent, we have to configure entity teams in SCA to correspond with inside Blackhat community. Since subnets can change convention to convention, I automated this configuration utilizing a workflow in XDR Automate.

The subnets are documented in a CSV file from which the workflow parses 3 fields: the CIDR of the subnet, a reputation and an outline. Utilizing these fields to execute a POST name to the SCA /v3/entitygroups/entitygroups/ API creates the corresponding entity teams. A lot sooner than manually configuring 111 entity teams!

Now that we have now community telemetry information flowing to the cloud SCA can create detections in XDR. SCA begins with observations which flip into alerts that are then correlated into assault chains earlier than lastly creating an Incident. As soon as the incident is created it’s submitted for precedence scoring and enrichment. Enrichment queries the opposite built-in applied sciences akin to Umbrella, Netwitness and risk intelligence sources in regards to the IOC’s from the incident, bringing in further context.

SCA detected 289 alerts together with Suspected Port Abuse, Inner Port Scanner, New Uncommon DNS Resolver,and Protocol Violation (Geographic). SCA correlated 9 assault chains together with one assault chain with a complete of 103 alerts and 91 hosts on the community. These assault chains have been seen as incidents throughout the XDR console and investigated by risk hunters within the NOC.


Cisco XDR collects telemetry from a number of safety controls, conducts analytics on that telemetry to reach at a detection of maliciousness, and permits for an environment friendly and efficient response to these detections. We used Cisco XDR to its fullest within the NOC from automation workflows, to analyzing community telemetry, to aggregating risk intelligence, investigating incidents, preserving observe of managed gadgets and rather more!

Hunter summer season camp is again. Talos IR risk searching throughout Black Hat USA 2023, by Jerzy ‘Yuri’ Kramarz

That is the second yr Talos Incident Response is supporting Community Operations Centre (NOC) throughout the Black Hat USA convention, in a risk searching capability.

My goal was to make use of multi-vendor expertise stacks to detect and cease ongoing assaults on key infrastructure externally and internally and establish potential compromises to attendees’ methods. To perform this, the risk searching crew targeted on answering three key hypothesis-driven questions and matched that with information modeling throughout totally different expertise implementations deployed within the Black Hat NOC:

  • Are there any attendees trying to breach one another’s methods in or outdoors of a classroom setting?
  • Are there any attendees trying to subvert any NOC Methods?
  • Are there any attendees compromised, and will we warn them?

Like final yr, evaluation began with understanding how the community structure is laid out, and what sort of information entry is granted to NOC from varied companions contributing to the occasion. That is one thing that modifications yearly.

Nice many thanks go to our buddies from NetWitness, Corelight, Palo Alto Networks, Arista and Mandiant and lots of others, for sharing full entry to their applied sciences to make sure that searching wasn’t contained to only Cisco gear and that contextual intelligence may very well be gathered throughout totally different safety merchandise. Along with expertise entry, I additionally acquired nice assist and collaboration from accomplice groups concerned in Black Hat. In a number of instances, a number of groups have been contributing technical experience to establish and confirm potential indicators of compromise.

Bouncing concepts throughout the crew to reach at conclusion

For our personal expertise stack, Cisco provided entry to Cisco XDR, Meraki, Cisco Safe Malware Analytics, 1000’s Eyes, Umbrella and Safe Cloud Analytics (previously referred to as StealthWatch).

The Hunt

Our each day risk hunt began with gathering information and searching on the connections, packets and varied telemetry gathered throughout the complete community safety stack in Cisco applied sciences and different platforms, akin to Palo Alto Networks or NetWitness XDR. Given the infrastructure was an agglomeration of varied applied sciences, it was crucial to develop a risk searching course of which supported every of the distributors. By combining entry to shut to 10 totally different applied sciences, our crew gained a higher visibility into visitors, however we additionally recognized just a few attention-grabbing cases of various gadgets compromised on the Black Hat community.

One such instance was an AsyncRat-compromised system discovered with NetWitness XDR, based mostly on a selected key phrase positioned within the SSL certificates. As seen within the screenshot beneath, the device permits for highly effective deep-packet-inspection evaluation.

AsyncRAT visitors file.

After optimistic identification of the AsyncRat exercise, we used the Arista wi-fi API to trace the person to a selected coaching room and notified them about the truth that their system gave the impression to be compromised. Typically all these actions could be a part of a Black Hat coaching courses, however on this case, it appeared evident that the person was unaware of the reliable compromise. This little snippet of code helped us discover out the place attendees have been within the lecture rooms, based mostly on Wi-fi AP connection, so we might notify them about their compromised methods.

A easy Arista API implementation that tracked the place customers have been positioned on the convention ground.

All through our evaluation we additionally recognized one other occasion of direct malware compromise and associated community communication which matched the exercise of an AutoIT.F trojan speaking over a command and management (C2) to a well-know malicious IP [link to a JoeBox report]. The C2 the adversary used was checking on TCP ports 2842 and 9999. The instance of AutoIT.F trojan request, noticed on the community could be discovered beneath.

Instance of AutoIT.F trojan visitors.

Above visitors pattern was decoded, to extract C2 visitors file and the next decoded strings gave the impression to be the ultimate payload. Discover that the payload included {hardware} specification, construct particulars and system title together with different particulars.

AutoIT.F decoded trojan visitors pattern

Likewise, on this case, we managed to trace the compromised system by the Wi-Fi connection and notifiy the person that their system gave the impression to be compromised.

Clear Textual content authentication nonetheless exists in 2023

Though indirectly associated to malware an infection, we did uncover just a few different attention-grabbing findings throughout our risk hunt, together with quite a few examples of clear textual content visitors disclosing electronic mail credentials or authentication session cookies for number of purposes. In some cases, it was potential to watch clear-text LDAP bind makes an attempt which disclosed which group the system belonged to or direct publicity of the username and password mixture by protocols akin to POP3, LDAP, HTTP (Hyper Textual content Switch Protocol) or FTP. All these protocols could be simply subverted by man-in-the-middle (MitM) assaults, permitting an adversary to authenticate in opposition to companies akin to electronic mail. Under is an instance of the plain textual content authentication credentials and different particulars noticed by varied platforms accessible at Black Hat.

Cleartext passwords and usernames disclosed in visitors.

Different examples of clear textual content disclosure have been noticed through primary authentication which merely used base64 to encode the credentials transmitted over clear textual content. An instance of this was observed with an City VPN (Digital Non-public Community) supplier which seems to seize configuration recordsdata in clear textual content with primary authentication.

Base64 credentials utilized by City VPN to get configuration recordsdata.

A couple of different cases of varied clear textual content protocols akin to IMAP have been additionally recognized on the community, which we have been shocked to nonetheless be use in 2023.

iPhone Mail utilizing IMAP to authenticate.

What was attention-grabbing to see is that a number of fashionable cell purposes, akin to iPhone Mail, are glad to just accept poorly configured electronic mail servers and use insecure companies to serve primary functionalities, akin to electronic mail studying and writing. This resulted in quite a few emails being current on the community, as seen beneath:

E-mail reconstruction for clear textual content visitors.

This yr, we additionally recognized a number of cell purposes that not solely supported insecure protocols akin to IMAP, but in addition carried out direct communication in clear textual content, speaking the whole lot in clear textual content, together with person photos, as famous beneath:

Pictures transmitted in clear textual content.

In a number of cases, the cell software additionally transmitted an authentication token in clear textual content:

Authentication token transmitted in clear textual content.

Much more attention-grabbing was the truth that we have now recognized just a few distributors trying to obtain hyperlinks to patches over HTTP, as effectively. In some cases, we have now seen authentic requests despatched over HTTP protocol with the “Location” header response in clear textual content pointing to an HTTPS location. Though I might anticipate these patches to be signed, speaking over HTTP makes it fairly straightforward to change the visitors in MitM situation to redirect downloads to separate places.

HTTP obtain of suspected patches.
HTTP obtain of suspected patches.

There have been quite a few different examples of HTTP protocol used to carry out operations akin to studying emails by webmail portals or downloading PAC recordsdata which disclose inside community particulars as famous on the screenshots beneath.

Clear textual content electronic mail inbox entry.
PAC recordsdata noticed in clear textual content, disclosing inside community setup.

Cisco XDR expertise in motion

Along with the standard expertise portfolio provided by Cisco and its companions, this yr was additionally the primary yr I had the pleasure of working with Cisco XDR console, which is a brand new Cisco product. The thought behind XDR is to provide a single “pane of glass” overview of all of the totally different alerts and applied sciences that work collectively to safe the setting. A few of Cisco’s safety merchandise akin to Cisco Safe Endpoint for iOS and Umbrella have been related to through XDR platform and shared their alerts, so we might use these to achieve a fast understanding of the whole lot that’s occurring on community from totally different applied sciences. From the risk searching perspective, this permits us to rapidly see the state of the community and what different gadgets and applied sciences may be compromised or execute suspicious actions.

XDR console on the very starting of the convention.
XDR console on 10:35 a.m. on Aug. 5, 2023.

Whereas inside visitors, we additionally discovered and plotted fairly just a few totally different port scans operating throughout the interior and exterior community. Whereas we’d not cease these except they have been sustained and egregious, it was attention-grabbing to see totally different makes an attempt by college students to seek out ports and gadgets throughout networks. Good factor that community isolation was in place to forestall that.

The instance beneath exhibits fast exterior investigation utilizing XDR, which resulted in profitable identification of any such exercise. What triggered the alert was a sequence of occasions which recognized scanning and the truth that suspected IP additionally had relationships with a number of malicious recordsdata seen in VirusTotal:

XDR correlation on suspected port scanner.

Primarily based on this evaluation, we rapidly confirmed that port scanning is certainly legitimate and decided which gadgets have been impacted, as seen beneath. This, mixed with visibility from different instruments akin to Palo Alto Networks boundary firewalls, gave us stronger confidence in our raised alerts. The additional contextual data associated to malicious recordsdata additionally allowed us to verify that we’re coping with a suspicious IP.

XDR correlation mapping to further attributes.

All through the Black Hat convention, we noticed many alternative assaults spanning throughout totally different endpoints. It was useful to have the ability to filter on these assaults rapidly to seek out the place the assault originated and whether or not it was a real optimistic.

XDR correlation on particular IP to establish connectivity to malicious area and visitors path.

Utilizing the above view, it was additionally potential to straight observe what contributed to the calculation of malicious rating and what sources of risk intelligence may very well be used to establish how was the malicious rating calculated for every of the elements that made up the general alert.

A breakdown of XDR correlation of risk intelligence on particular IP.

It’s not nearly inside networks

By way of the exterior assaults, Log4J, SQL injections, OGLN exploitation makes an attempt, and all types of enumeration have been a each day prevalence on the infrastructure and the purposes used for attendee registration, together with different typical web-based assaults akin to path traversals. The next desk summarizes a number of the noticed a number of the efficiently blocked assaults the place we have now seen the most important quantity. Once more, our due to Palo Alto Networks for giving us entry to their Panorama platform, so we are able to observe varied assaults in opposition to the Black Hat infrastructure.

A abstract of probably the most frequent exterior assaults noticed throughout Black Hat 2023.

General, we noticed a sizeable variety of port scans, floods, probes and all types of net software exploitation makes an attempt exhibiting up each day at varied peak hours. Happily, all of them have been efficiently recognized for context (is that this a part of a coaching class or demonstration?) and contained (if acceptable) earlier than inflicting any hurt to exterior methods. We even had a suspected Cobalt Strike server (179.43.189[.]250) [link to VirusTotal report] scanning our infrastructure and on the lookout for particular ports akin to 2013, 2017, 2015 and 2022. Given the truth that we might intercept boundary visitors and examine particular PCAP (packet seize) dumps, we used all these assaults to establish varied C2 servers for which we additionally hunted internally, to make sure that no inside system is compromised.

Community Assurance, by Ryan MacLennan and Adam Kilgore

Black Hat USA 2023 is the primary time we deployed a brand new community efficiency monitoring answer named ThousandEyes. There was a proof of idea of ThousandEyes capabilities at Black Hat Asia 2023, investigating a report of sluggish community entry. The investigation recognized the problem was not with the community, however with the latency in connecting to a server in Eire from Singapore. We have been requested to proactively deliver this community visibility and assurance to Las Vegas.

ThousandEyes makes use of each stationary Enterprise Brokers and cell Endpoint Brokers to measure community efficiency standards like availability, throughput, and latency. The picture beneath exhibits a number of the metrics captured by ThousandEyes, together with common latency data within the high half of the picture, and Layer 3 hops within the backside half of the picture with latency tracked for every community leg between the Layer 3 hops.

The ThousandEyes net GUI can present information for one or many TE brokers. The screenshot beneath exhibits a number of brokers and their respective paths from their deployment factors to the Black web site.

We additionally created a set of customized ThousandEyes dashboards for the Black Hat conference that tracked mixture metrics for all the deployed brokers.

ThousandEyes Deployment

Ten ThousandEyes Enterprise Brokers have been deployed for the convention. These brokers have been moved all through totally different convention areas to observe community efficiency for essential occasions and companies. Endpoint Brokers have been additionally deployed on laptops of NOC technical affiliate personnel and used for cell diagnostic data in several investigations.

Coming into Black Hat with data of how the convention will likely be arrange was key in figuring out how we’d deploy ThousandEyes. Earlier than we arrived on the convention, we made a preliminary plan on how we’d deploy brokers across the convention. This included what sort of system would run the agent, the connection kind, and tough places of the place they might be arrange. Within the picture beneath you possibly can see we deliberate to deploy ThousandEyes brokers on Raspberry Pi’s and a Meraki MX equipment

The plan was to run all of the brokers on the wi-fi community. As soon as we arrived on the convention, we began prepping the Pi’s for the ThousandEyes picture that was supplied within the UI (Person Interface). The beneath picture exhibits us getting the Pi’s out of their packaging and setting them up for the imaging course of. This included putting in heatsinks and a fan.

After all of the Pi’s have been prepped, we began flashing the ThousandEyes (TE) picture onto every SD-Card. After flashing the SD-Playing cards, we wanted as well them up, get them related to the dashboard after which work on enabling the wi-fi. Whereas we had a enterprise case that known as for wi-fi TE brokers on Raspberry Pi, we did need to clear a hurdle or wi-fi not being formally supported for the Pi TE agent. We needed to undergo a means of unlocking (jailbreaking) the brokers, putting in a number of networking libraries to allow the wi-fi interface, after which create boot up scripts to begin the wi-fi interface, get it related, and alter the routing to default to the wi-fi interface. Yow will discover the code and information at this GitHub repository.

We confirmed that the wi-fi configurations have been working correctly and that they might persist throughout boots. We began deploying the brokers across the convention as we deliberate and waited for all of them to return up on our dashboard. Then we have been prepared to begin monitoring the convention and supply Community Assurance to Black Hat. Not less than that’s what we thought. About half-hour after every Pi got here up in our dashboard, it might mysteriously go offline. Now we had some points we wanted to troubleshoot.

Troubleshooting the ThousandEyes Raspberry Pi Deployment

Now that our Pi’s had gone offline, we wanted to determine what was happening. We took some again with us and allow them to run in a single day with one utilizing a wired connection and one on a wi-fi connection. The wi-fi one didn’t keep up all evening, whereas the wired one did. We observed that the wi-fi system was considerably hotter than the wired one and this led us to the conclusion that the wi-fi interface was inflicting the Pi’s to overheat.

This conundrum had us confused as a result of we have now our personal Pi’s, with no heatsinks or followers, utilizing wi-fi at residence they usually by no means overheat. One concept we had was that the heatsinks weren’t cooling adequately as a result of the Pi kits we had used a thermal sticker as a substitute of thermal paste and clamp like a typical pc. The opposite was that the fan was not pushing sufficient air out of the case to maintain the interior temperature low. We reconfigured the fan to make use of extra voltage and flipped the fan from pulling air out of the case to pushing air in and onto the elements. Whereas a fan positioned straight on a CPU ought to pull the recent air off the CPU, orienting the Raspberry Pi case fan to blow cooler air straight onto the CPU can lead to decrease temperatures. After re-orienting the fan, to blow onto the CPU, we didn’t have any new heating failures.

Operating a few Pi’s with the brand new fan configuration all through the day proved to be the answer we wanted. With our mounted Pi’s now staying cooler, we have been capable of full a steady deployment of ThousandEyes brokers across the convention.

ThousandEyes Use Case

Connectivity issues with the coaching rooms have been reported throughout the early days of the convention. We utilized a number of totally different strategies to gather diagnostic information straight from the reported drawback areas. Whereas we had ThousandEyes brokers deployed all through the convention heart, drawback reviews from particular person rooms typically required a direct strategy that introduced a TE agent on to the issue space, typically focusing on a selected wi-fi AP (Entry Factors) to gather diagnostic information from.

One particular use case concerned a report from the Jasmine G coaching room. A TE engineer traveled to Jasmine G and used a TE Endpoint Agent on a laptop computer to hook up with the Wi-Fi utilizing the PSK assigned to the coaching room. The TE engineer talked to the coach, who shared a selected net useful resource that their coaching session relied on. The TE engineer created a selected check for the room utilizing the net useful resource and picked up diagnostic information which confirmed excessive latency.

Through the assortment of the info, the TE agent related to 2 totally different wi-fi entry factors close to the coaching room and picked up latency information for each paths. The connection by one of many APs confirmed considerably greater latency than the opposite AP, as indicated by the purple traces within the picture beneath.

ThousandEyes can generate searchable reviews based mostly on check information, akin to the info proven within the prior two screenshots. After capturing the check information above, a report was generated for the dataset and shared with the wi-fi crew for troubleshooting. 

Cellular Machine Mangement, by Paul Fidler and Connor Loughlin

For the seventh consecutive Black Hat convention, we supplied iOS cell system administration (MDM) and safety. At Black Hat USA 2023, we have been requested to handle and safe:

  • Registration: 32 iPads
  • Session Scanning: 51 iPads
  • Lead Retrieval: 550 iPhones and 300 iPads

Once we arrived for arrange three days earlier than the beginning of the coaching courses, our mission was to have a community up and operating as quickly as is humanly potential, so begin managing the 900+ gadgets and test their standing.

Wi-Fi Concerns

We needed to modify our Wi-Fi authentication schema. Within the prior 4 Black Hat conferences, the iOS gadgets have been provisioned with a easy PSK based mostly SSID that was accessible all over the place all through the venue. Then, as they enrolled, they have been additionally pushed a certificates / Wi-Fi coverage (the place the system then went off and requested a cert from a Meraki Certificates Authority, guaranteeing that the non-public key resided securely on the system. On the identical time, the certificates title was additionally written into Meraki’s Cloud Radius.

Because the system now had TWO Wi-Fi profiles, it was now free to make use of its inbuilt prioritisation listing (extra particulars right here) guaranteeing that the system joined the safer of the networks (802.1x based mostly, moderately than WPA2 / PSK based mostly). As soon as we have been certain that every one gadgets have been on-line and checking in to MDM, we then eliminated the cert profile from the gadgets that have been solely used for Lead Retrieval, because the purposes used for this have been web dealing with. Registration gadgets connect with an software that’s really on the Black Hat community, therefore the distinction in community necessities.

For Black Hat USA 2023, we simply didn’t have time to formulate a plan for the gadgets that will permit people who wanted to have elevated community authentication capabilities (EAP-TLS in all probability), because the gadgets weren’t connecting to a Meraki community anymore, which might have enabled them to make use of the Sentry functionality, however as a substitute an Arista community.

For the longer term, we are able to do one among two issues:

  1. Provision ALL gadgets with the identical Wi-Fi creds (both Registration or Attendee) Wi-Fi on the time of enrolment and add the related safer creds (cert, perhaps) as they enroll to the Registration iPads ONLY
  2. Extra laboriously, provision Registration gadgets and Session Scanning / Lead Retrieval gadgets with totally different credentials on the time of enrolment. That is much less optimum as:
    • We’d must know forward of time which gadgets are which used for Session Scanning, Lead Retrieval or Registration
    • It could introduce the possibility of gadgets being provisioned with the mistaken Wi-Fi community creds

When a Wi-Fi profile is launched on the time of Supervision, it stays on the system always and can’t be eliminated, so choice 2 actually does have the chance to introduce many extra points.

Automation – Renaming gadgets

Once more, we used the Meraki API and a script that goes off, for a given serial quantity, and renames the system to match the asset variety of the system. This has been fairly profitable and, when matched with a coverage exhibiting the Asset quantity on the House Display screen, makes discovering gadgets fast. Nonetheless, the spreadsheets can have information errors in them. In some instances, the anticipated serial quantity is the system title and even an IMEI. While we are able to specify MAC, Serial and SM system ID as an identifier, we are able to’t (but) provide IMEI.

So, I’ve needed to amend my script in order that it, when it first runs, will get the complete listing of enrolled gadgets and a primary set of inventories, permitting us to lookup issues like IMEI, system title, and so on., returning a FALSE if nonetheless not discovered or returning the Serial if discovered. This was then amended additional to go looking the Identify key if IMEI didn’t return something. It might, theoretically, be expanded to incorporate any of the system attributes! Nonetheless, I feel we’d run rapidly into false positives.

The identical script was then copied and amended so as to add tags to gadgets. Once more, every system has a persona:

  • Registration
  • Lead Retrieval
  • Session Scanning

Every persona has a special display structure and software required. So, to make this versatile, we use tags in Meraki Methods Supervisor communicate. Which means that when you tag a tool, and tag a setting or software, that system will get that software, and so forth. As Methods Supervisor helps a complete bunch of tag sorts, this makes it VERY versatile as regards to complicated standards for who will get what!

Nonetheless, manually tagging gadgets within the Meraki Dashboard would take without end, so we are able to utilise an API to do that. I simply needed to change the API name being made for the renaming script, add a brand new column into the CSV with the tag title, and a few different sundry issues. Nonetheless, it didn’t work. The issue was that the renaming API doesn’t care that the ID that’s used: MAC, Serial or SM Machine ID. The Tagging API does, and you will need to specify which ID that you simply’re utilizing. So, I’d modified the Various Machine ID search technique to return serial as a substitute of SM system ID. Serial doesn’t exist when doing a tool lookup, however SerialNumber does! A fast edit and several other hundred gadgets had been retagged.

After all, subsequent time, all of this will likely be accomplished forward of time moderately than on the convention! Having good information forward of time is priceless, however you possibly can by no means rely on it!

Caching Server

Downloading iOS 16.6 is a hefty 6GB obtain. And while the delta replace is a mere 260MB, that is nonetheless impactful on the community. While the obtain takes a while, this may very well be massively improved by utilizing a caching server. While there’s many alternative ways in which this may very well be achieved, we’re going to analysis utilizing the caching functionality constructed into macOS (please see documentation right here). The rational for that is that:

  1. It helps auto uncover, thus there’s no must construct the content material caching on the fringe of the community. It may be constructed anyplace, and the gadgets will auto uncover this
  2. It’s astoundingly easy to arrange
  3. Will probably be caching each OS (Working System) updates AND software updates

While there wasn’t time to get this arrange for Black Hat USA 2023, this will likely be put into manufacturing for future occasions. The one factor we can’t resolve is the humongous period of time the system must put together a software program replace for set up!


Predictably (and I solely say that as a result of we had the identical challenge final yr with Meraki as a substitute of Arista doing the Wi-Fi), the Registration iPads suffered from astoundingly poor obtain speeds and latency, which may end up in the Registration app hanging and attendees not with the ability to print their badges.

We’ve three necessities in Registration:

  • Basic Attendee Wi-Fi
  • Lead Retrieval and Session Scanning iOS gadgets
  • Registration iOS gadgets

The problem stems from when each Attendee SSID and Registration SSID are being broadcast from the identical AP. It simply will get hammered, ensuing within the aforementioned points.

The takeaway from that is:

  1. There must be a devoted SSID for Registration gadgets
  2. There must be a devoted SSID all through Black Hat for Classes Scanning and Lead Retrieval (This may be the identical SSID, simply dynamic or id (naming modifications relying on vendor) PSK)
  3. There must be devoted APs for the iOS gadgets in heavy visitors areas and
  4. There must be devoted APs for Attendees in heavy visitors areas

Lock Display screen Message

Once more, one other studying that got here too late. Due to the vulnerability that was mounted in iOS 16.6 (which got here out the very day that the gadgets have been shipped from Choose2Rent to Black Hat, who ready them), a substantial period of time was spent updating the gadgets. We will add a Lock Display screen message to the gadgets, which present states: ASSET # – SERIAL # Property of Swapcard

Given {that a} go to to a easy webpage was sufficient to make the system susceptible, it was crucial that we up to date as many as we might.

Nonetheless, while we might see with ease the OS model in Meraki Methods Supervisor, this wasn’t the case on the system: You’d need to go and open Settings > Basic > About to get the iOS Model.

So, the ideas occurred to me to make use of the Lock Display screen Message to point out the iOS model as effectively! We’d do that with a easy change to the profile. Because the OS Model modifications on the system, Meraki Methods Supervisor would see that the profile contents had modified and push the profile once more to the system! One to implement for the following Black Hat!

The Ugly….

On the night of the day of the Enterprise Corridor, there was a brand new model of the Black Hat / Lead Retrieval app printed within the Apple App Retailer. Sadly, not like Android, there’s no profiles for Apple that decide the precedence of App updates from the App Retailer. There may be, nevertheless, a command that may be issued to test for and set up updates.

In three hours, we managed to get almost 25% of gadgets up to date, however, if the person is utilizing the app on the time of the request, they’ve the ability to say no the replace.

The Irritating…

For the primary time, we had just a few gadgets go lacking. It’s unsure as as to whether these gadgets are misplaced or stolen, however…

In previous Black Hat occasions, after we’ve had the synergy between System Supervisor and Meraki Wi-Fi, it’s been trivial, as inbuilding GPS (World Positioning System) isn’t existent, to have a single click on between system and AP and vice versa. We’ve clearly misplaced that with one other vendor doing Wi-Fi, however, on the very least, we’ve been capable of feed again the MAC of the system and get an AP location.

Nonetheless, the opposite irritating factor is that the gadgets are NOT in Apple’s Automated Machine Enrollment. Which means that we lose a number of the safety performance: Activation Lock, the power to drive enrollment into administration after a tool wipe, and so on.

All isn’t misplaced although: As a result of the gadgets are enrolled and supervised, we are able to put them into Misplaced Mode which locks the system, permits us to place a persistent message on the display (even after reboot) and make sure that the cellphone has an audible warning even when muted.

Yow will discover the code and information at this GitHub repository and the information in this weblog publish.

SOC Cubelight, by Ian Redden

The Black Hat NOC Cubelight was impressed by a number of initiatives primarily the 25,000 LED Adafruit Matrix Dice (Overview | RGB LED Matrix Dice with 25,000 LEDs | Adafruit Studying System). Aside from the mounting and orientation of this 5-sided dice, that’s the place the Cubelight differs from different initiatives.

The Raspberry Zero 2W powered gentle makes use of customized written Python to show alerts and statistics from:

  • Cisco Umbrella
  • NetWitness
    • Variety of clear-text passwords noticed and protocol breakdown
    • TLS encrypted visitors vs non-encrypted visitors
  • Cisco ThousandEyes
    • BGP Reachability
    • Whole Alerts
    • DNS Decision in milliseconds
    • HTTP Server Availability (%)
    • Endpoint Common Throughput (Mbps)
    • Endpoint Latency

Automating the Administration of Umbrella Inner Networks, by Christian Clausen

The Black Hat community is in actual fact a group of over 100 networks, every devoted to logical segments together with the NOC infrastructure, particular person coaching courses, and the general public attendee wi-fi. DNS decision for all these networks is supplied by Umbrella Digital Home equipment: native resolvers deployed onsite. These resolvers helpfully present the interior IP tackle (and subsequently community subnet) for DNS queries. This data is helpful for enrichment within the SOAR and XDR merchandise utilized by NOC employees. However moderately than having to manually reference a spreadsheet to map the particular community to a question, we are able to mechanically label them within the Umbrella reporting information.

Cisco Umbrella permits for the creation of “Inner Networks” (a listing of subnets that map to a specific website and label).

With these networks outlined, NOC employees can see the title of the community within the enriched SOAR and XDR information and have extra context when investigating an occasion. However manually creating so many networks can be error susceptible and time-consuming. Fortunately, we are able to use the Umbrella API to create them.

The community definitions are maintained by the Black Hat NOC employees in a Google Sheet; and is repeatedly up to date because the community is constructed, and entry factors deployed. To maintain up with any modifications, we leveraged the Google Sheets API to consistently ballot the community data and reconcile it with the Umbrella Inner Networks. By placing this all collectively in a scheduled job, we are able to hold the community location information correct even because the deployment evolves and networks transfer.

DNS Visibility, Statistics, and Sneakers by Alex Calaoagan

One other Black Hat has come and gone, and, if DNS visitors is any indication, this was by far the most important with near 80 million DNS requests made. Compared, final yr we logged simply over 50 million. There are a number of elements within the bounce, the first being that we now, due to Palo Alto Networks, seize customers that hardcode DNS on their machines. We did the identical factor in Singapore.

In the event you missed it, right here’s the gist: Palo Alto Networks NAT’ed the masked visitors by our Umbrella digital home equipment on website. Site visitors beforehand masked was now seen and trackable by VLAN. This added visibility improved the standard of our statistics, supplying information that was beforehand a black field. Test again in 2024 to see how this new data tracks.

Digging into the numbers, we witnessed simply over 81,000 safety occasions, an enormous drop off from current years. 1.3 million requests have been logged final yr, nevertheless that quantity was closely pushed by Dynamic DNS and Newly Seen area occasions. Take away these two excessive quantity classes, and the numbers observe a lot better.

As at all times, we proceed to see an increase in app utilization at Black Hat:

  • 2019: ~3,600
  • 2021: ~2,600
  • 2022: ~6,300
  • 2023: ~7,500

Two years faraway from the pandemic, plainly Black Hat is again on its pure development trajectory, which is superior to see.

Social Media utilization, you too can see that the gang at Black Hat continues to be dominated by Gen X-ers and Millennials with Fb being #1, although the Gen Z crowd is making their presence felt with TikTok at #2. Or is that this a sign of social media managers being savvier? I’m guessing it’s a little bit of each.

Curious what courting app dominated Black Hat this yr? Tinder outpaced Grindr with over double the requests made.

Among the many many traits I noticed on the present ground, one actually caught with me, and it’s one all Distributors hopefully paid shut consideration to.

Of all of the displays and demoes I watched or noticed gathered, one single giveaway drew the biggest and most constant crowds (and most leads).

It’s an merchandise close to and pricey to my coronary heart, and if it’s not close to and pricey to your coronary heart, I’m certain it’s to somebody in your circle. Whether or not it’s on your children, spouse, accomplice, or shut buddy, while you’re away out of your family members for an prolonged interval, nothing matches higher as an” I missed you” convention present, except the attendee goes after it for themselves.

What’s it, you ask? Sneakers. Nikes to be particular. Jordans, Dunks, and Air Maxes to be much more particular. I counted three cubicles giving freely customized kicks, and each drawing I witnessed (signed up for 2 myself) had crowds flowing into aisles, standing room solely. And sure, like somebody you seemingly know, I’m a Sneakerhead.

Black Hat has at all times had a pleasant subculture twang to it, although it has dulled through the years. You don’t see many excessive mohawks or Viking hats nowadays. Perhaps that enjoyable nonetheless exists at Defcon, however Black Hat is now all Company, on a regular basis. Rather a lot has modified since my first Black Hat at Caeser’s Palace in 2011, it truly is a disgrace. That’s why seeing sneaker giveaways makes me smile. They remind me of the subculture that outlined Black Hat again within the day.

The Black Hat present ground itself has develop into a Nerd/Sneakerhead showcase. I noticed a pair of Tiffany Dunks and several other totally different iterations of Travis Scott’s collabs. I even noticed a pair of De La Soul Dunks (one among my private favorites, and really uncommon). I feel excessive finish kicks have formally develop into socially acceptable as enterprise informal, and it warms my coronary heart.

The ethical of this little remark? Distributors, when you’re studying this and have had hassle within the lead gathering division, the reply is straightforward. Sneakers. We’d like extra sneakers.

Cheers from Las Vegas ????.


We’re happy with the collaboration of the Cisco crew and the NOC companions. Black Hat Europe will likely be in December 2023 on the London eXcel Centre. 


Thanks to the Cisco NOC crew:

  • Cisco Safe: Christian Clasen, Alex Calaoagan, Aditya Sankar, Ben Greenbaum, Ryan Maclennan, Ian Redden, Adam Kilgore; with digital assist by Steve Nowell
  • Meraki Methods Supervisor: Paul Fidler and Connor Loughlin
  • Talos Incident Response: Jerzy ‘Yuri’ Kramarz

Additionally, to our NOC companions: NetWitness (particularly David Glover, Iain Davidson and Alessandro Zatti), Palo Alto Networks (particularly Jason Reverri), Corelight (particularly Dustin Lee), Arista (particularly Jonathan Smith), Lumen and the complete Black Hat / Informa Tech employees (particularly Grifter ‘Neil Wyler,’ Bart Stump, Steve Fink, James Pope, Mike Spicer, Sandy Wenzel, Heather Williams, Jess Stafford and Steve Oldenbourg).

About Black Hat

For 26 years, Black Hat has supplied attendees with the very newest in data safety analysis, improvement, and traits. These high-profile world occasions and trainings are pushed by the wants of the safety group, striving to deliver collectively the most effective minds within the trade. Black Hat conjures up professionals in any respect profession ranges, encouraging development and collaboration amongst academia, world-class researchers, and leaders in the private and non-private sectors. Black Hat Briefings and Trainings are held yearly in america, Europe and USA. Extra data is offered at: Black Black Hat is dropped at you by Informa Tech.

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