Wednesday, July 28

Project Razorback has been unleashed on the World

For several months, the Vulnerability Research Team (VRT) here at Sourcefire has been heads down in coming up with a new framework for detection called Razorback, and now, it's been unveiled to the world this this morning.

Being announced at Defcon this weekend by the VRT, so if you are in Defcon this week, reading my posts, First: Have a beer for me, as I am not there this year due to the impending birth of my child, and Second: Attend this talk.  If no other talks are attended during your drunken hacking binge in Vegas, go to this talk.


What is Razorback?

In Marketing speak: "Razorback is an Open-Source Framework for an intelligence driven security solution."  Okay, okay, what does that mean?

Razorback is a system that detects and decodes, well, just about anything you need it to.  Following that, it has the ability to then block and alert on that activity.  So, for example:

  • Obfuscated Javascript?  Decoded, Blocked?

  • Bad PDFs? Decoded, Blocked?

  • Bad Word Documents? Powerpoint Documents? Decoded, Blocked?

This framework is aimed primarily at these Client based attacks, and, dare I use it?  Advanced Persistent Threat (APT).  It was born out of necessity and a discussion with the VRT during a panel they participated in last year about detection.  The community asked for something to be able to perform a function like this, and well, here it is.  Better.  There is nothing to combat these threats, so Sourcefire created one.

So, say for example, a PDF comes in via email.  The PDF is sent to Razorback by the SMTP engine, Razorback runs it through the detection, -- which I'm not even going to begin to explain here, because it's extremely awesome and complicated, and you should go to the talk to fully understand --, and if the detection decides the PDF is bad, it will record that fact in it's database so that all further attempts with a PDF like that one will be blocked from there on out.   Now, that's just one example.

Since Razorback is an Open-Source project and framework, anyone can write a detection "nugget" for it.  These nuggets, written in C, can detect pretty much anything and provide actionable intelligence on it afterwards, and of course, since it's Open-Source, many different "feeds" can be provided to Razorback.

SMTP, ClamAV, Snort, Web proxies, Web filtering devices, et all.  They can all be written to feed data to Razorback which then can have the ability to take further action after it's analyzation.

This is a different approach to detection than what's been tried before.  While IPS is great, it can't really grab a PDF off the wire, reassemble it, decode it, and block it in real-time.  With Razorback, Snort can grab the PDF off the wire, pass it to Razorback where it will be analyzed, and so on.

After the talk if the VRT puts their slides and more info up on their website, I'll make sure that I post further information about it.  But for now, here it is:


Here's another article about Razorback over at DarkReading.


AmnA said...


Ccieanna said...

Super; Awesome.

Is there any size limitations and what if the document comes internally

Joel Esler said...

Size limitation? Not as far as I know, but the VRT would need to answer that. I am not sure what you mean about the internally part.

Ccieanna said...

Thanks for the first part.

What I meant internally is suppose I am inside the corporate network. I create a malicious PDF and send an email to my boss:)

Will the Razor scan this PDF too or will let go as it is internal traffic?

Hope I am clear

Joel Esler said...

If the Desktop can send this file over, or the SMTP engine, sure.

Occam said...

"After the talk if the VRT puts their slides and more info up on their website, I’ll make sure that I post further information about it."
Version 0.1.1 was released, any new nuggets of information?