Sunday, April 7, 2019

Blockchain Exploitation Labs - Part 2 Hacking Blockchain Authorization

Bypassing Blockchain Authorization via Unsecured Functions

Note: Since the first part of this series I have also uploaded some further videos on remediation of reentrancy and dealing with compiler versions when working with this hacking blockchain series.  Head to the console cowboys YouTube account to check those out.  Haha as mentioned before I always forget to post blogs when I get excited making videos and just move on to my next project… So make sure to subscribe to the YouTube if you are waiting for any continuation of a video series.. It may show up there way before here. 

Note 2:  You WILL run into issues when dealing with Ethereum hacking, and you will have to google them as versions and functionality changes often... Be cognizant of versions used hopefully you will not run into to many hard to fix issues. 

In the second part of this lab series we are going to take a look at privacy issues on the blockchain which can result in a vulnerably a traditional system may  not face. Since typically blockchain projects are open source and also sometimes viewable within blockchain explorers but traditional application business logic is not usually available to us. With traditional applications we might not find these issues due to lack of knowledge of internal functionality or inability to read private values on a remote server side script.  After we review some issues we are going to exploit an authorization issues by writing web3.js code to directly bypass vertical authorization restrictions.

Blockchain projects are usually open source projects which allow you to browse their code and see what's going on under the hood.  This is fantastic for a lot of reasons but a developer can run into trouble with this if bad business logic decisions are deployed to the immutable blockchain.  In the first part of this series I mentioned that all uploaded code on the blockchain is immutable. Meaning that if you find a vulnerability it cannot be patched. So let's think about things that can go wrong..

A few things that can go wrong:
  • Randomization functions that use values we can predict if we know the algorithm
  • Hard-coded values such as passwords and private variables you can't change.
  • Publicly called functions which offer hidden functionality
  • Race conditions based on how requirements are calculated

Since this will be rather technical, require some setup and a lot of moving parts we will follow this blog via the video series below posting videos for relevant sections with a brief description of each.  I posted these a little bit ago but have not gotten a chance to post the blog associated with it.  Also note this series is turning into a full lab based blockchain exploitation course so keep a lookout for that.

In this first video you will see how data about your project is readily available on the blockchain in multiple formats for example:
  • ABI data that allows you to interact with methods.
  • Actual application code.
  • Byte code and assembly code.
  • Contract addresses and other data.

 Lab Video Part 1: Blockchain OSINT: 

Once you have the data you need to interact with a contract on the blockchain via some OSINT how do you actually interface with it? That’s the question we are going to answer in this second video. We will take the ABI contract array and use it to interact with methods on the blockchain via Web3.js and then show how this correlates to its usage in an HTML file

Lab Video Part 2: Connecting to a Smart Contract: 

Time to Exploit an Application:

Exploit lab time, I created an vulnerable application you can use to follow along in the next video. Lab files can be downloaded from the same location as the last blog located below. Grab the file:

Lab file downloads:

Ok so you can see what's running on the blockchain, you can connect to it, now what?   Now we need to find a vulnerability and show how to exploit it. Since we are talking about privacy in this blog and using it to bypass issues. Lets take a look at a simple authorization bypass we can exploit by viewing an authorization coding error and taking advantage of it to bypass restrictions set in the Smart Contract.  You will also learn how to setup a local blockchain for testing purposes and you can download a hackable application to follow along with the exercises in the video..

Lab Video Part 3:  Finding and hacking a Smart Contract Authorization Issue: 


In this part of the series you learned a lot, you learned how to transfer your OSINT skills to the blockchain. Leverage the information found to connect to that Smart Contract. You also learned how to interact with methods and search for issues that you can exploit. Finally you used your browsers developer console as a means to attack the blockchain application for privilege escalation.

Hacking All the Cars - Part 2

Connecting Hardware to Your Real Car: 

 I realized the other day I posted Part 2 of this series to my youtube awhile ago but not blogger so this one will be quick and mostly via video walkthrough. I often post random followup videos which may never arrive on this blog. So if you’re waiting on something specific I mentioned or the next part to a series its always a good idea to subscribe to the YouTube. This is almost always true if there is video associated with the post.  

In the last blog we went over using virtual CAN devices to interact with a virtual car simulators of a CAN network This was awesome because it allowed us to learn how to interact with he underlying CAN network without fear of hacking around on an expensive automobile. But now it’s time to put on your big boy pants and create a real CAN interface with hardware and plug your hardware device into your ODB2 port. 

The video I created below will show you where to plug your device in, how to configure it and how to take the information you learned while hacking around on the virtual car from part1 and apply it directly to a real car.   

Video Walk Through Using Hardware on a Real Car

As a reference here are the two device options I used in the video and the needed cable: 

Hardware Used: 

Get OBD2 Cable:

Get CANtact:


Creating Network Interfaces: 

As a reference here are the commands from the video for creating a CAN network interface: 

USB2Can Setup: 
The following command will bring up your can interface and you should see the device light color change: 
sudo ip link set can0 up type can bitrate 125000

Contact Setup: 
Set your jumpers on 3,5 and 7 as seen in the picture in the video
Sudo slcand -o -s6 /dev/ttyACM can0 <— whatever device you see in your DMESG output
Ifconfig can0 up


That should get you started connecting to physical cars and hacking around. I was also doing a bit of python coding over these interfaces to perform actions and sniff traffic. I might post that if anyone is interested. Mostly I have been hacking around on blockchain stuff and creating full course content recently so keep a look out for that in the future.