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PunkSPIDER Project Puts Vulnerabilities On (Searchable) Display 85

First time accepted submitter punk2176 writes "Recently I started a free and open source project known as the PunkSPIDER project and presented it at ShmooCon 2013. If you haven't heard of it, it's at heart, a project with the goal of pushing for improved global website security. In order to do this we built a Hadoop distributed computing cluster along with a website vulnerability scanner that can use the cluster. Once we finished that we open sourced the code to our scanner and unleashed it on the Internet. The results of our scans are provided to the public for free in an easy-to-use search engine. The results so far aren't pretty." The Register has an informative article, too.
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PunkSPIDER Project Puts Vulnerabilities On (Searchable) Display

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  • Re:Ethics (Score:5, Informative)

    by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @02:18AM (#42993875) Journal

    In the past hackers used to notify the owners and give them a chance to fix problems and the owners would either do nothing or even threaten to sue. Any slashdot reader should know this.

    Anyone claiming to know anything about the topic of web security should know the procedure used to remedy ~90% of all vulnerabilities. Those security updates you get each week don't appear out of nowhere. Someone like myself files a security ticket with the vendor or affected party. The vulnerability is confirmed and analyzed, then other vendors who are likely to have similar vulnerabilities are notified. A patch is pushed, THEN a CVE is issued. After that, more mainstream sites like slashdot pick up on, and link to, the CVE which explains what the vulnerability was is links to the update to fix it. That's typically about a week after the vulnerability is teported and 2-3 days after the fix is available. That's how securitu issues are normally handled, they aren't ignored. (If they were ignored we wouldn't average 100 security notices per week, would we?)

    When I found the PowerDNS vulnerability I could have come straight to Slashdot with "how to take down wikipedia and millions of other sites". If I were a scumball attention whore I would have done so. Instead, I reported it through proper channels. Wikipedia was patched within 36 hours, then other sites. The next day, the CVE went out, THEN you heard about it. I still get to brag - I just do it AFTER a) wikipedia and other responsive sites are safe and b) I have something worth bragging about, having protected wikipedia from being exploited.
    This jackass is merely attention whoting at other people's expense. He hasn't done anything special - just ran Nessus - but is advertising himself via the results rather than handling them responsibly.

    Suppose for a moment that some of the sites could leak sensitive information. Suppose also that sites which leak sensitive information should be slapped. Well, the slashvertised site, the cracker's search engine, is most certainly leaking sensitive information, ergo he should be slapped!

  • by punk2176 ( 2840475 ) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:45AM (#42994109) Homepage
    So one thing that we've been trying to make clear is that the project is *on track* to scan the entire Internet, we haven't scanned everything yet. We have scanned about 70k sites and have under 4 million indexed. Our next version is going to be clearer on what is and is not scanned - currently we just say 0 vulnerabilities if we haven't scanned it, indicating that we have not found vulnerabilities in it yet - not necessarily that it doesn't have any. This was all part of our ShmooCon presentation which just hasn't been released to everyone yet! The system is self-sustaining at this point so these numbers are constantly going up. The "not pretty" comes from the fact that we have over 100,000 vulnerabilities from just scanning about 70,000 sites (some sites have multiple vulnerabilities).
  • Re:Ethics (Score:2, Informative)

    by punk2176 ( 2840475 ) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @04:32AM (#42994233) Homepage
    Hmm, a few issues with this...

    1) The statement that we "just run Nessus" is incorrect. We wrote our own scanner that works on a Hadoop cluster. Why is this important? It means that we can handle a lot more scans than anyone else (several thousand per day with a small cluster) and it's also specifically made for mass scans. This is important in point 2 below.

    2) The process you're describing is for finding a vulnerability in a piece of software in general (e.g. a common CMS), not a specific vulnerability in an implementation of a piece of software (e.g. a specific website). That's a huge difference. You wouldn't put a CVE up for a SQL injection bug in a specific implementation of a site (you would only if it was common to an entire CMS for example). Anyway, what we hope is to build a community of like-minded security folks that can help those website owners fix their *specific issues* first and if applicable go through the process you describe when needed. We also want to provide this for free.

    3) What if the vulnerability is in a custom built site that no one cares enough about to do security research on. Who's letting them know their issues? We hope to provide a view of this to the website owner and yes, push them a little to get their security ducks in a row.

    4) We're not attention whores or jackasses. Calling people names isn't nice and makes us sad.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"