VMware VMs Not Running Problem

06/03/2017

Problem

Today something weird happened on my VMware Workstation 12 Player. I was unable to run any of my virtual machines(VMs) stored on my computer. When I tried to run a VM, an error message pop up, saying:

VMware Player cannot connect to the virtual machine. Make sure you have rights to run the program, access all directories the program uses, and access all directories for temporary files.

Failed to connect pipe to virtual machine. The system cannot find the path specified.

If start VMware Workstation Player in administrator mode, the second part of the error message became:

The vmx process exited prematurely.

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Simulating EternalBlue Exploit Used by WannaCry Attack

05/17/2017

On May 12 2017, a ransomware called WannaCry attacked the Internet across multiple countries, causing serious damages to some companies, hospitals, and government agencies.

The WannaCry used a vulnerability in Windows operating system to infect target machines. The attack method that exploits vulnerability was disclosed in April and named as “EternalBlue”. The vulnerability was discovered in Microsoft’s Server Message Block(SMB) running on port 445, normally used for file sharing between machines in the network.

Although Microsoft found the vulnerability earlier and release a security patch to fix the problem in security bulletin MS17-010 in March, 2017, there were still a lot of machines not patched till May. This gave the WannaCry an excellent opportunity to infect machines worldwide.

In this post, I am going to simulate an EternalBlue exploitation against a vulnerable Windows 7 virtual machine using Kali Linux and Metasploit Framework.

First, create a virtual machine running Windows 7. DO NOT INSTALL NEW WINDOWS UPDATES.

updates

(No new updates installed)

Then, share a folder. The Windows Firewall will enable the rule to allow inbound communication through port 445.

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Fix No Disk Space Problem Caused by Snapshots in OpenSUSE

01/16/2017

Problem

There was an issue about my OpenSUSE Leap 42.1 today. When I started the system, OpenSUSE could not get to the desktop and left a message “No space left on device”. Luckily, I was still able to operate the system through terminal. By running the df -h command, the current disk usage was revealed:

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
devtmpfs        3.9G  4.0K  3.9G   1% /dev
tmpfs           3.9G     0  3.9G   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs           3.9G   11M  3.9G   1% /run
tmpfs           3.9G     0  3.9G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /var/tmp
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /var/spool
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /var/opt
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /var/lib/pgsql
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /var/lib/mailman
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /var/lib/named
/dev/sda2       256M   39M  218M  15% /boot/efi
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /var/lib/mysql
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /var/lib/mariadb
/dev/sda10       30G  8.3G   22G  29% /home
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /var/lib/libvirt/images
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /var/crash
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /tmp
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /srv
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /opt
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /boot/grub2/x86_64-efi
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /boot/grub2/i386-pc
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /usr/local
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /var/log
/dev/sda9        21G   20G     0 100% /.snapshots

Among the output, /dev/sda9 is a Btrfs volume with many subvolumes. As the result showed, disk space in this volume had been exhausted. How did this happen?

(Note: If you just want to find the solution, please go to “Summary” part near the end of this article.)

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Get Partition Type GUIDs from GPT

02/19/2016

GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a new disk partition system designed to replace classical DOS (a.k.a MBR) partition system. It is supported by most modern operating systems.

A GPT system starts with a legacy Master Boot Record (MBR) sector. The next sector is GPT header, followed by 32 sectors containing GPT partitiion entries. Each entry occupies 128 bytes and describes one single partition on the disk. Since a sector’s size is 512 bytes, each one can store 4 entries. Thus, the whole partition table can store at most 32 * 4 = 128 partition entries.

GPT

(By The original uploader was Kbolino at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Each partition entry starts with a 16-byte long partition type globally unique identifier (GUID). It is used to describe the type and general purpose of the partition. This can provide useful information to digital forensic examiners.

Unfortunately, the current version of the Sleuth Kit (4.1.3) does not display partition type GUIDs when processing a GPT system directly. But with a little help of other tools, it won’t be difficult to obtain such information from a disk image.

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Inside Sleuth Kit 01 - Source Code Structure

02/02/2016

Since the Sleuth Kit is an open source software, we can obtain TSK’s source codes easily. Studying the source codes can help us understand more concepts in file system analysis. It will be a great experience to study inside the Sleuth Kit.

The source codes of TSK can be downloaded here.

Note the release version of TSK is in the “master” branch. The current version of TSK being developed is in the “develop” branch. I will use the master branch to explain my discovery over TSK source codes.

The tools folder stores compiled programs once you follow the instruction manual in “INSTALL.txt” at root folder. These programs are categorized into different folders such as fstools, vstools, hashtools. The corresponding *.cpp files are also in these folders. These files contain the main function of each program, making them good starting point to study the codes.

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