On capturing Cyber Attaks 2015

Good day all,

I wanted to take some time to reflect on 2015 and the events we have seen. Obviously this has been a politically  charged year and there has been a lot of unrest globally. In this context, I wanted to take a minute to heighten some awareness about a subject not often detected in support calls. The issue of Cyber-Terrorism or Just plain Virus Detection is something we used to catch pretty easily. However, since 2008 , the attack methods have become more sophisticated, and the methods required to detect criminal behavior on Dell servers has become obtuse. I mean, we are here fix an issue and close a case. But, If we happened to be at the depth in the case, where we are analyzing logs and captures anyway, there becomes, what I feel is a need to  protect our cuosmters from what is observed.  We should be cognizant to  warn the customer if they are in danger of any criminal element, invading their business.

To this goal, I wanted to just send out a few resources to allow you to just look at a few dead giveaways, and provide you with some easy info, to see the packets for the threat that they may pose.

First understand that Attack events happen all the time. They generally match up to Unrest events or even holidays. I guarantee if you look at traffic on your firewall this holiday season, you will see traffic from China and or

North Korea or other countries that have no business being on your system. I don’t know why hackers choose times of civil unrest or holidays to do their hacking, but I have noticed this phenomenon over the course of years. This brings me to my first point:

Look for IP addresses and check to see who owns them.

 Very simply, Do a Who is or even a map lookup- check out this link- http://www.infosniper.net. You get instant feedback on where this external connection is coming from. Frequent visits from foreign soils, especially countries on the

Embargo list, are a telltale sign you’re on a list somewhere. You better get your protection in order when you see this activity.

HTTP communication Gets are a very common way to see rogue behavior

Here is a template you can follow the steps to see how to isolate a PHP attack. This is a trace during the Boston Bombing period. This article ranks at the top of articles I have seen because it can teach you a lot:

  1. How to find suspect HTTP packets.
  2. How to find like .JS or stat.htm
  3. How to extract a script from the trace.
  4. How to analyze a script to see if it is a virus
  5. How to use tools that know what IDs to look for in a trace

There is more to learn from this one link, but have a look for yourself. You can just follow along if you are looking at a trace, and you’re doing the steps in no time.

General Rogue troubleshooting

My final point is another Keeper document. Likely the most important link for you is this article called Wirewhark: a guide to color my packets.  It is a great read as a training cliff note, and can help you look for attacks on  Your customers computer. The resources are plentiful, but you really want to spend at least some time in Wire shark every month. It is a tool that pays back benefits. IT is a tool, who has the loyalties of elements of the Federal Government, FBI, Law enforcement and other like-minded security conscious groups. Let’s help those groups. Get your certification today!

SO what does this PDF cover? 16 points and only 30 pages!! This is a wireshark jump start for sure. It is a good refresher as well.  In just a few pages you will get up to speed on:


  1. Profiles
  2. Display filters
  3. Color rules
  4. Packet Details
  5. Network Reconnaissance
  6. DNS reconnaissance
  7. DNS Information
  8. Network Mapping
  9. NPAP scanning
  10. Web Server Scanning
  11. Detect Host Exploitation
  12. FTP brute force attack
  13. Data Recovery
  14. Attachments
  15. Detecting Covet Channels
  16. SSH over ICMP


In closing, It is difficult to grasp that this issue is happening on systems we work on. Don’t take it from me. I had do my reading too. I can put you to a good resource . These articles are written by top security experts on threats realized in the United States and around the world:




To all a happy and safe holiday,