Desktop Betrayal: Exploiting Clients through the Features They Demand

Presented at DerbyCon 1.0 (2011), Oct. 2, 2011, 2 p.m. (50 minutes)

In this talk, Kevin Johnson of Secure Ideas and Tom Eston of SecureState will explore the use of client features to gain privileged access to the client systems. During previous talks around social networks, Tom and Kevin discovered that most of the damage we could perform against a target didn’t use an exploit against any vulnerable system. They were able to create various attacks that made use of the features of the client machines. While this talk will not disclose any vulnerabilities within popular client software, they will be releasing multiple attacks that use these clients against their users. Kevin and Tom will be discussing attacks using JavaScript, HTML5, PDF files and Firefox extensions. They will be releasing code to perform these attacks as well as add-ons to tools such as BeEF and Metasploit that will enable these tools to make use of the attacks.


  • Kevin Johnson
    Kevin Johnson is a security consultant and founder of Secure Ideas. Kevin came to security from a development and system administration background. He has many years of experience performing security services for fortune 100 companies, and in his spare time he contributes to a large number of open source security projects. Kevin’s involvement in open-source projects is spread across a number of projects and efforts. He is the founder of many different projects and has worked on others. He founded BASE, which is a Web front-end for Snort analysis. He also founded and continues to lead the SamuraiWTF live DVD. This is a live environment focused on Web penetration testing. He also founded Yokoso and Laudanum, which are focused on exploit delivery. Kevin is a certified instructor for SANS and the author of Security 542: Web Application Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking. He also presents at industry events, including DEFCON and ShmooCon, and for various organizations, like Infragard, ISACA, ISSA, and the University of Florida.
  • Tom Eston (agent0x0)
    Tom Eston is a Senior Security Consultant for SecureState. Tom is a senior member of SecureState’s Profiling team, which provides attack and penetration testing services for SecureState’s clients. Tom focuses much of his research on new technologies such as social media and mobile devices. He is the founder of which is an open source community dedicated to exposing the insecurities of social media. Tom is also a security blogger, co-host of the Security Justice and Social Media Security podcasts and is a frequent speaker at security user groups and national conferences including Notacon, OWASP AppSec, DEFCON and ShmooCon.

Similar Presentations: