The ‘fing’ Corollary

Back in 2011, @joshcorman posited “HD Moore’s Law” which is basically:

Casual Attacker power grows at the rate of Metasploit

I am officially submitting the ‘fing’ corollary to said law:

Fundamental defender efficacy can be ascertained within 10 ‘fings’

The tool ‘fing’ : : is a very lightweight-yet-wicked-functional network & services scanner that runs on everything from the linux command line to your iPhone. I have a permanent ‘sensor’ always running at home and have it loaded on every device I can. While the fine folks at Overlook Software would love you to death for buying a fingbox subscription, it can be used quite nicely in standalone mode to great effect.

I break out ‘fing’ during tedious meetings, bus/train/plane rides or trips to stores (like Home Depot [hint]) just to see who/what else is on the Wi-Fi network and to also get an idea of how the network itself is configured.

What’s especially fun at—um—*your* workplace is to run it from the WLAN (iOS/Android) to see how many hosts it finds on the broadcast domain, then pick pseudo-random (or just interesting looking) hosts to see what services (ports) are up and then use the one-click-access mechanism to see what’s running behind the port (especially browser-based services).

How does this relate to HD Moore’s Law? What makes my corollary worthy of an extension?

If I use ‘fing’ to do a broadcast domain discovery, select ten endpoints and discover at least one insecure configuration (e.g. telnet on routers, port 80 admin login screens, highly promiscuous number of ports) you should not consider yourself to be a responsible defender. The “you” is a bit of a broad term, but if your multi-millon dollar (assuming an enterprise) security program can be subverted internally with just ‘fing’, you really won’t be able to handle metasploit, let alone a real attacker.

While metasploit is pretty straightforward to run even for a non-security professional, ‘fing’ is even easier and should be something you show your network and server admins (and developers) how to use on their own, even if you can’t get it officially sanctioned (yes, I said that). Many (most) non-security IT professionals just don’t believe us when we tell them how easy it is for attackers to find things to exploit and this is a great, free way to show them. Or, to put it another way: “demos speak louder than risk assessments“.

If ‘fing’ isn’t in your toolbox, get it in there. If you aren’t running it regularly at work/home/out-and-about, do so. If you aren’t giving your non-security colleagues simple tools to help them be responsible defenders: start now.

And, finally, if you’re using ‘fing’ or any other simple tool in a similar capacity, drop a note in the comments (always looking for useful ways to improve security).

Cover image from Data-Driven Security
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