Thursday, November 29, 2012

Few notes about sslstrip tool...

I decided to test sslstrip tool. The idea was that I'll use it to demonstrate to users that they should take a note if there is https when they are accessing some site where they have to type password or some other sensitive data. To create test network I used Windows 7 running within VMware Workstation and using iptables I redirected traffic from virtual machine to local port 80 where I started sslstrip tool. But, no matter what I did, it didn't work. It seems that when VMWare is used iptables redirection  doesn't work as expected. In other words, it seems that netfilter hooks aren't placed within vmware network stack.

I managed to get around that issue by modifying hosts file within Windows. Namely, you should open file C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts and add the following line there:
The exact IP address is the one assigned to vmnet8 interface on host operating system. Now start Firefox as usual and type in the URL bar:
Note that I'm explicitely telling Firefox to use http, not https. Anyway, after I did it this way everything worked as expected.

The next "problem" you migh have is that no matter what you do, the site you access automatically switches to https. The reason is HSTS. It is used by server to inform Web browser that it should be accessed only through SSL connections. For this reason sslstrip doesn't work with sites that use HSTS, like Google  and Twitter. But, it doesn't mean that those sites are completely protected. If the client is accessing those sites for the first time or the client never used https to access them, then HSTS can be prevented. The point is that HSTS information is transferred only via https connection. Anyway, to get around this clear history (i.e. go Tools then Clear Recent History... and select to clear everything).

And, for the end, I don't think that it is necessary to enable forwarding in the Linux kernel in order for sslstrip to work, i.e. the following command is unnecessary:
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
Namely, the kernel isn't doing forwarding of IP packets in order for this to work. sslstrip acts as a proxy and thus kernel isn't doing any relaying. But, in case you are diverting only a part of the traffic, e.g. only HTTP, and the kernel is handling the rest, i.e. DNS, then forwarding is necessary in the kernel.

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scientist, consultant, security specialist, networking guy, system administrator, philosopher ;)

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