The Coalfire Labs Blog

Welcome to the Coalfire Labs Blog, a resource covering the most important issues in IT security and compliance.  The Coalfire Labs blog is written by the company's leadership team and our highly-credentialed security assessment experts.


  • Am I doing it right? An introspective look at "why it's like this"

    May, 2020, Mike Weber, Vice President, Coalfire Labs

    Cybersecurity, as a practice within organizations, has existed for decades. Larger (or government) organizations have had dedicated cybersecurity functions in place since at least the ‘90s. By the early 2000s, organizations were appointing CISOs, and by the end of that decade over 85% of large organizations had a CISO, and by 2017, over 85% of ALL organizations have appointed a CISO.

  • The Basics of Exploit Development 3: Egg Hunters

    May, 2020, Andy Bowden, Consultant, Coalfire Labs

    Hello dear reader. If you have read the other articles in this series, welcome back!  If not I encourage you to read the previous installments before proceeding with this post. This post covers a surprisingly useful technique in exploit development called Egg Hunters. In order to demonstrate how Egg Hunters function, we will write an exploit for a 32 bit Windows application vulnerable to a SEH overflow. However, due to how the application handles input, we will be required to use an Egg Hunter to locate our payload in memory move execution to it.

  • Part Two: Reverse Engineering and Patching with Ghidra

    April, 2020, Dan McInerney, Senior Security Consultant, Coalfire

    In the first installment of our three-part blog series we learned how to root the Flashforge Finder 3D printer and acquire its firmware. In this post, we will delve into reverse engineering and patching the software using the new open source NSA tool Ghidra, which rivals its expensive competitors such as IDA Pro in value and ease of use.

  • The Cloud is Beige - The demise of black box testing

    April, 2020, Mike Weber, Vice President, Coalfire Labs

    Black-box penetration testing is dead. I’d question why it is even a consideration. It’s of limited and dubious value in almost any context. Wait, wait… I didn’t mean that. Put down the pitchforks and torches, development and QA teams, I’m only talking about black-box penetration testing. Yes, traditional software functional or regression testing in a black-box manner does have a purpose. Validating the functional requirements of the code has a place, and it’s valuable. Non-functional black-box testing has a place as well, when evaluating the sturdiness of an application such as load testing and the like. Settle down.
  • With IoT, Common Devices Pose New Threats

    April, 2020, Dan McInerney, Senior Security Consultant, Coalfire

    For Instance… Hackers Setting Your 3D Printer on Fire

    The world is careening toward the reality that almost all electronics in your home and business are connected to the internet. Many of these devices contain things like heating elements, batteries, and motors that are entirely software-controlled. Do you… trust them? Coalfire decided to see how low the barrier was for hackers to attempt to cause life-threatening harm by weaponizing one of today’s increasingly common and cheap devices. In this three-part blog post, we will identify the target, uncover challenges, and hopefully answer our query above.

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