Sunday, September 27, 2009

Python workshop at HSB

Yesterday I went to a python workshop organized at the hackerspace Brussels. We gathered at the void*pointer around 14 hours. fs111 gave us a very nice introduction to python.

There where programmers and people who who had not programmed in ages but it was ok. You could ask any question you had and there were some exercises, classics like the number guessing games, to get you up and programming.

We have a home work assignment, writing a very simple port scanner :). Have a look at the hackerspace website if you want to join for the follow up.

My conclusion is simple python is a very powerful language, easy to learn (that is the credit of the instructor) and it is worth to sit down an afternoon and learn it. It will be certainly become a weapon of choice to handle some of my day-to-day admin problems.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

BiLE - finding out relationships

BiLE is a Bi-directional Link Extractor, a tool suite of Perl scripts create by Sensepost. It uses HTTrack and Google to give you a view on what websites have a strong relationship with the website of your target.

The first interesting script is is called when you run it against a target website it starts HTTrack to get the target website and all websites to which it can find hyperlinks. BiLE will also query Google using the "link:" directive. Using this Google hack it can find all websites linking to the target website. produces 2 output files. The first one is a .mine file the other one is a .walrus file. If you have a look at the .mine file you'll see that the output is of the form source:destination.

Here is a sample of the output when I tested it:

This file only tells you that there is a link from your target website to a destination website. So there is a relationship between target and destination but you can't tell how important it is. This is why you have the script uses the output file of and uses a weighing algorithm to determine the importance of the relationships between the target and the destinations. In the readme is a little description how it works.

To get the up and running I had to alter the code since I got the error " gives sort: open failed: +1: No such file or directory – error".

Change this line from:
`cat temp | sort -r -t “:” +1 -n > @ARGV[1].sorted`;
`cat temp | sort -r -t “:” -k 1 -n > @ARGV[1].sorted`;

I found the solution on the minimalistic transparent x-desktop blog.

The output of is something like this:

The value at the end is the weight. It is a meaningless value, we are only interested in the rate of decay. To get this done in a reasonable easy way, you copy the content of the .sorted file (This is the output file of BiLE-weigh) and paste it into a spreadsheet. In OpenOffice Calc a wizard pops up asks you how it should handle the data. Your delimiter is a semicolon (:). Once you got the data in your spreadsheet the last action is to sort it by the weight descending.

Now you have a nice little list that tells you what relationships exist between your target website and other websites.

My output was: 298.62 165 165 75 75

The next website has a weight of 6.6, so it drops dramatically and therefore you can assume that the interesting part stops here.

So these 5 lines of output will allow you to assume that the target organization has real life relations with, and

Don't toss away the offline copies you have now from your targets website and the website which have a relationship with it because source code analysis can may be tell us more about their systems.