Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Equifax Argentinian portal secured with admin/admin (krebsonsecurity.com)
331 points by mjcl on Sept 12, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 52 comments

I used to jokingly call my Matasano partner daveg "admin/admin", because he would unironically check for admin/admin before testing in earnest. You'd laugh, because in our field you're supposed to break in with a memory corruption exploit that you worked out remote and black-box. But there he is, every Nth test (for single-digit N's), with an admin login.

This stuff is a lot more common than we like to acknowledge.

Unrelated tale of interest: I did my first web pentest in 2005 (I've been doing security work since '94-95, but I was a developer for several years before 2005 and missed the start of web pesting). And, I shit you not, the very first input I tested --- a login form --- had a 'OR''=' SQL injection on a plaintext password lookup. It warped my expectations for what to expect on web pentests for years.

I don't work in security, but most of the routers I that ever wanted to gain access to had some type of default credentials like admin/admin or admin/abc123 etc.

I've found the last few years they have generated, pretty difficult, passwords printed on the side now. At least, consumer routers...

I always do the same. admin/password etc are always worth a go - only takes a few seconds.

I feel like this was always the case with hacking someone's wifi router. Just try a few IPs until you got the router admin page, and then the admin/password combo.

My home AP's admin interfaces are on another VLAN.

You'll generally get the PUBLIC VLAN which can only see most of the internet, via a transparent Squid proxy. I also have a THINGS VLAN for well, general IoT stuff and a SEWER VLAN for things that scare me. Those last two have SSL bump enabled.

I'm sure everyone has at least 10 802.1Q VLANs defined on their home network.

Out of curiosity, what hardware/software do you use for an AP?

I had a Belkin AP for a while, which was okay, but couldn't do anything fancy, like DD-WRT, and the microwave would knock it offline — even after the microwave was done. (It had to be power cycled.)

Today I have the big black Comcast all-in-one AP/router/modem, and it resets the WiFi password (and only the password, not the SSID!) any time it soft or hard resets.

> a SEWER VLAN for things that scare me

This is an awesome name.

> SSL bump

This is a MitM of SSL traffic, or something else? (And if the former, requires installation of a CA cert on devices on that VLAN?) (I found the Squid page for it, but wasn't really clear on it even with the docs.)

I use Ubiquiti APs - at home I have a UAP-AC-PRO in the house and a UAP-AC-MESH in the garden (reasonably weather proof).

SEWER: I came up with the name at work after reading a Register article (probably scraped from HN) about yet another crappy IoT problem. I immediately renamed one of the VLANS there 8)

SSL bump is a Squid thing that does MitM for SSL as you found out and yes, you need to get the CA trusted to make it really transparent. Some devices don't bother testing the CA ...

> I'm sure everyone has at least 10 802.1Q VLANs defined on their home network.

Please tell me that's sarcastic. :)

(that said, I've got 6-7 at least)

> I'm sure everyone has at least 10 802.1Q VLANs defined on their home network.

I don't know about everyone but I can safely say if they don't then they're certainly no friend of mine.

(This could be because other people don't like what happens when my laptop connects to their network and so won't become my friend.)

On OSX all you have to do is go to the network preferences and it will tell you the router's IP address. I'm sure it's trivially easy to figure this out via the CLI and probably not too hard in Windows either.

It will tell you the IP address of the default route, and most routers have their web interface on the same IP, but there's no magic requirement that says that the two have to be the same.

I also do the admin/admin thing and basic SQL injection attempts habitually and they work with a high double-digit percentage. Of course, I'm not a pentester, so I imagine the situation is much worse outside of companies that pay for security audits.

In my web development work, I inherit a lot of websites, services and sprawling architectures developed by small consultancies. Virtually every single time, the passwords are basic and often the same across all clients. I understand that it lowers their support burden, but this is a disaster waiting to happen.

If there's a lawyer's, dentist's or other small business website out there developed from scratch (not Wordpress, etc), it seems you're almost guaranteed a basic, guessable login.

test/test is amazingly effective too.


Please excuse 123456 for crashing the party late.

Or the company name or short name

Yep, Assange used nortel/nortel back in the day on Nortel's switches.

Given over a month to examine the breach in private, you'd think they would have checked and remediated this massive security flaw. It makes me wonder, did anyone working on the Argentina site know about the US breach? Did anyone try raising a flag saying, "Hey guys... maybe we should change this admin/admin login?"

And if so, what were they responded with?

There are just too many questions to ask, and I'd love for every single one of them to be answered with honesty, but my hope at this point is dwindling.

Everything in the news about Equifax just exclaims all the worst possible words one can use to describe a company.

A very long time ago, my experience:

Boss: Find all the holes.

Engineers: (begin to iterate through a list instantly over the mic)

Boss: Did we capture all of that?


Boss: Okay, everyone please make a list and we will prioritize them.

The next thing you know, other tickets like my business application just crashed came up and everyone started to work on them. Surely manager and project manager collected the list (from 1 or 2 people out of 10, 15), and asked tech lead to prioritize. The prioritization is now available, but either people argue over and over about how to change, or people just look at the most expensive shit before doing the least expensive.

Basically, mismanagement.

It seems to me that the systematic incentives in place with EFX simply do not require good security.

Security is expensive. But fraud/breaches at a CC company hit the wallet directly and hence it is relatively cheaper to invest into securing their infrastructure. With EFX though, there is no direct loss of revenue; it is the CC companies that are hit. Until now there was no directly measurable effect of their security practices and so it didn't incentivize any investment. And lastly these are old organizations with old systems and a lot of momentum, and again without a correcting force.

If someone was starting up a new credit reporting agency today can you imagine the security/compliance/auditing gauntlet they would have to run through to even open the doors? Very interesting events indeed.

    If someone was starting up a new credit reporting agency
    today can you imagine the security/compliance/auditing 
    gauntlet they would have to run through to even open the
    doors? Very interesting events indeed.
Perhaps, but you'd be surprised to learn fintech / new insurance companies aren't compliance ready espeically at launch time when they are already serving customers (in fact, I doubt some of them were even licensed when they first started). As long as you can dodge the ball / ask for extension, you are fine. This is why you'd hire a skillful security compliance officer to negotiate with the auditors. Or, you can choose to run your startup in stealth mode first, and then slowly deal with the laws.

My experience with compliance is not in the fin/banking industry, and perhaps doesn't apply to anybody at all. When I had to deal with SOX compliance, I just had to make sure audit logs were in place and they were exported to a safe and auditable log, along with clear documentation about where things were, roles and privileges of different user groups, how accounts are created/terminated/updated etc, rather we have backups or not.

If you say developers must have access to this production S3 bucket, totally cool, for as long as the manager responsible for this system is aware (if written somewhere will be even better). The auditors don't care the actual implementation. If your internal site superuser login is admin/admin, they don't care. If you allow public access to a secret portal, they don't care. Your boss signs off the risk, auditor is happy to move on to the next item. Auditors don't care how many times you backup a day, or which copy is retained for 7 years as per SOX; as long as you did everything SOX requires, you are good.

YOU DO NOT tell auditors how your system actually work because that's digging a grave for yourself. You sell your system to auditor like speaking to a customer, with as little information about the backend as possible. This is called minimize impact zone. If your system runs on five different DBs, have ten micro-services, a couple monitoring and alerting tools, and a dozen other stuff, well, please do not tell them all of the above. Choose what you can present and what you can defend. Limit what you show.

The auditor just wanted to see if there were logs and whether management had any clues what was going on. Don't spill the secrets so they won't question (e.g. do not tell them there is a publicly accessible secret portal). Communicating with auditor is a very mindful skill, not something to be taken lightly. If you encounter a very technical auditor, yes, you'd face a tougher interview, but they are not there to judge your incompetence, just going to keep asking questions till you spill secrets, then HAHA, they now have something to write.

For an institution like Equifax, there are too many holes to cover up at once, so they will limit exposure as much as possible. I'd say being a credit agency they also have leverage, although that's just my conspiracy: all four agencies work with each other to make sure no one's credit is affected by compliance report... No one wants to piss off a credit agency.

I work with auditors regularly, can confirm. Naively believed in my first year of employment that this was a cooperative relationship with them there to help us understand our security weaknesses. Boy was I corrected on that quickly!

Very thankful for the security community keeping up the diligence on this.

If this can manage to stay in the news cycle for several more days, something may actually be done. Otherwise, (and this seems far more likely) the world will move on, Equifax will rebrand, and the cycle will continue...

If you want something to get done, go do it (and hopefully many will follow). Do not hope others will do things or solve issues while you wait and see.

I hope more public security shaming like this happens, consequences and lawsuits be damned. This is getting too tiresome, we've been tolerating incompetence and bad management for too long.

Yes, this is incompetence. Gross, egregious, horrible incompetence.

Problem is, though, it only takes one incompetent person - or even one person making a mistake one time - to open the door for a massive breach. Requiring perfection of humans in order to maintain security... that's not a workable approach.

Yes, this was inexcusable. But also, our current approach to security is fatally flawed.

>Problem is, though, it only takes one incompetent person - or even one person making a mistake one time - to open the door for a massive breach.

In the absence of effective governance and process, sure. But half the point of them is to ensure the single-actor miscarriages get caught and handled.

The real problem today is that the maturity of an organization's governance/process is not directly linked to the sensitivity of the data being protected. Instead it's linked to the size and age of the corporation, and the amount of resources (people, money) available to expend on them.

For systems of this kind of scale, for organizations of this kind of size, handling data of this level of sensitivity, you'd expect a huge bank of governance and process designed specifically to guard against single-actor breaches. Things like active automated monitoring for change to the network and systems, full change control/approvals process, system certification, risk analysis, penetration testing.

These things are hard to implement, take time, and are a significant investment that lacks easily measurable benefits. It doesn't help that this stuff is seen as 'not sexy', either.

So what approach do you recommend?

Criminal charges against the company for security negligence. Seize their assets and close them down.

Back in the 90's hackers used to get criminal charges for getting into secure systems. Now tech companies are a little more intelligent about it and they pay bounties to hackers. It should go all the way in the other direction though, the responsibility for getting hacked should fall on the company that gets hacked for their shit security.

>I hope more public security shaming like this happens

This has been going on for a few years at least from my perspective. Shaming doesn't work well enough IMO, but maybe that's because I haven't seen or heard from companies who got shamed and then changed. Anthem and Target hacks were both high in the news, but both settled all of their lawsuits.

What legal protections do "security researchers" have to conduct this kind of investigation? After getting into the panel by using the admin/admin default, they continued to click around, clicked into user accounts, exposed passwords, etc. I understand the value of what they're doing (and their own internal policies to not release said data), but as far as I'm aware, there is no law that would protect them if Equifax decided to attempt to get them prosecuted under the Fraud/Abuse Act.

Every time there's a big-name company in the news, all the various security firms seem to go to town seeing who can break into the rest of their systems first. Regardless of intention, it still seems potentially criminal.

If it's not, this level of negligence should be criminal. There is no security ignorance left to claim on this day and age. I hope we learn the details of the US Equifax breach, and I hope for them it's nothing like this one.

I wonder if people do this on purpose when they really hate their client.

I know I've considered it.

I suppose at this point nothing about Equifax's security should surprise us, but this... this is just... wow.

Yes, this is stupid. One thing to note thou, DNI is not supposed to be secret or used as a secret in practice.

Right: when americans mention that SSN should not be used as a secret, I have to remind myself that it actually is. DNI's are as good as public, it really doesnt matter.

admin/admin is jokingly terrible, but i can find sympathy: its probably lazyness that got it there. But storing plain text passwords on a data-sensitive site? Or plaint text passwords at ANY point.

Veraz is a piece of shit also (I'm argentinian), much like the us counterparts.

Do you know if the web portal behind TLS?

The Argentinean site was created by an Equifax-acquired company that was called Veraz (that's why the site is called Veraz).

Most of the Equifax subsidiaries used to be different companies, and when I worked there they all had different technology stacks.

It's even worse than in the U.S. in some cases - in Uruguay, the ONLY credit bureau was acquired by Equifax, so if it goes down, so does the financial industry.

On the other side, SSN equivalents (DNI - National Identity Document in Argentina and CI - Identity Card) in Uruguay and Argentina are NOT treated as a secret in the same way as they are in the U.S. - most every company has access to them, and you can even request access to an API to call them (as noted by other commenters - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15234806 ).

Uruguayan cards now have chips and biometric facilities too.

Still, more gross negligence on Equifax's part. The Uruguayan operation was run pretty tightly, I was really surprised to learn that in the U.S. and Argentina they were not.

Needs to be sued out of existence. Send a message to corporate America: Protect Sensitive Data.

I'm sure Equifax has far more sway with the regulators than consumers. Nothing is going to change and Equifax isn't going to suffer more than a few million dollars in symbolic fines.

For a company that is supposed to be responsible for a lot of private data, they aren't very good at security. Makes me wonder how much better or worse the other credit bureaus are.

Hope for the best but expect the worst.

a play, in two parts:


additionally, the twitter account claiming responsibility (@real_1x0123, on friday, sep 08) for the webshell/compromise just protected their tweets. this will turn out to be much more interesting than it has been thus far.

Some of those are down already. Here's their salesforce login though: https://help.equifax.com/login

Here's the login for their finance blog: https://blog.equifax.com/wp-login.php

admin/password and admin/admin doesn't work on that one. It lets you keep trying passwords for a pretty long time, maybe possible to brute force.

I haven't been able to get through any of the others with admin/admin as well. Maybe someone is on the job.

I can't help thinking of how on-the-ball companies like yahoo, github and dreamhost are about security breaches for much lower-stakes information. This whole story is so pathetic. Makes me think the company is being run by people like my dad, who is barely capable of using a computer for Youtube and the news, and is constantly fearful and paranoid of "cyber" threats, but won't take the most basic steps to educate himself or take precautions.

Sure was up last Thursday. Cached results are being scrubbed from Google. The point I'm attempting to illustrate here is that someone appears to have had a PHP web shell on a force.com endpoint.

Yeah, I was just poking through the others to see if I could score any more easy wins :)

This is a business extinction event for Equifax, right?

Not a chance. Though they might change their name to Equifix.

"Too big to fail"


Applications are open for YC Winter 2023

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact