The Coalfire Blog

Welcome to the Coalfire Blog, a resource covering the most important issues in IT security and compliance. You'll also find information on Coalfire's insights into the unique cybersecurity issues that impact the industries we serve, including Cloud Service Providers, RetailFinancial Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, Payments, Government.

The Coalfire blog is written by the company's leadership team and our highly-credentialed security assessment experts.


  • 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. Read more
  • 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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  • The Basics of Exploit Development 2: SEH Overflows

    March, 2020, Andy Bowden, Consultant, Coalfire Labs

    In this article we will be writing an exploit for a 32-bit Windows application vulnerable to Structured Exception Handler (SEH) overflows. While this type of exploit has been around for a long time, it is still applicable to modern systems.

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  • The Significance of the NIST Privacy Framework

    February, 2020, Mali Yared, Practice Director, Cyber Risk Advisory & Privacy, Coalfire

    Kudos to the NIST Privacy Team! Privacy Framework v.1.0 has finally been released. I’ve been tracking the growth of this initiative since the focus group was kicked off in September 2018 and respect its thoroughly explored yet fundamentally grass roots approach. A few points worth bringing to your attention:

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  • The Basics of Exploit Development 1: Win32 Buffer Overflows

    January, 2020, Andy Bowden, Consultant, Coalfire Labs

    In this article we will cover the creation of an exploit for a 32-bit Windows application vulnerable to a buffer overflow using X64dbg and the associated ERC plugin. As this is the first article in this series, we will be looking at an exploit where we have a complete EIP overwrite and ESP points directly into our buffer. A basic knowledge of assembly and the Windows operating system will be useful, however, it is not a requirement.

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