Aug 7 2009   3:47PM GMT

Things NOT to Do When You’ve Been Hacked, Part II

Arian Eigen Heald Arian Eigen Heald Profile: Arian Eigen Heald

I finally asked that deadly question: “What do your Incident Response Procedures say?” Whoops, there goes all the buddy-buddy geekiness: I have morphed into The Auditor Who Asks Questions.

“Umm, well, they pretty much say to do what we just did.” I notice the vagueness of the reply, but decide to let it pass, for the moment. They don’t really know what their procedures say they should do. Probably the procedures are too generic.

“OK. But what if he has jumped to this box from another box he compromised first? How would you know?” More pained and irritated looks coming my way. “By now, you won’t really be able to tell what happened unless you go to a backup and start analyzing whatever you can find for connection information. But that won’t necessarily give you rootkit information. If you’re lucky, you might see a netcat connection, but only if he hasn’t erased the Event Logs.”

“Even so,” I continue, knowing I am now excluded from the Kool Kids Klub, “If he has gotten your SAM database off the server, wouldn’t he know the administrator password? Is that password the same on every server?”

Turns out the password IS the same, and the Event Logs overwrite according to defaults. Now they can’t trust the server OR the administrator password. But I’m leaving, and besides, this isn’t an audit anyway, just some consulting.

So they left the server alone, because “There are all those websites on it, the users would scream and we’ll watch it carefully.” And never mind about passwords because “It’s a really tough one they’ll never crack.”

I wonder what will happen next, don’t you?

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