Published on May 31st, 2014 📆 | 3844 Views ⚑0
Big Iron Recon & Pwnage (BIRP) for Mainframe Released
BIRP, Big Iron Recon & Pwnage, is a tool that will assist in the security assessment of mainframe applications served over TN3270. This tool has been released at #HITB2014AMS
Much like what BURP and other web application proxies do for web application assessments, BIRP aims to do the same for TN3270 application assessments. And, much like with web applications, being able to see and modify fields that the application developer assumed were neither visible nor modifiable allows security assumptions be bypassed.
In particular, BIRP provides two capabilities for the aspiring TN3270 hacker:
- The first is that it shows all the data returned by the application in the screen. This includes hidden fields.
- The second is that it allows fields marked as “protected” aka “non modifiable” to be modified. Depending on how the application has been developed, this can allow application functionality to be modified.
Currently, BIRP has a fairly limited set of functionality. These are:
- Interactive Mode: The Interactive mode is the heart of BIRPs functionality. It will pass keypresses and other commands from BIRP to x3270 and allow the analyst to interact with the application as they would if they were using x3270 directly. However, it will also display the marked up “hacker view” of each screen returned, as well as record “transactions” and store it in the proxy history for later analysis and inspection.In interactive mode hitting Ctrl-h will print a help screen, Ctrl-k will display a color key, and ESC will exit back to the menu.BIRP tries to work out when a “transaction” has occurred, and record the before and after screen, as well as the modified fields. Certain keys are usually guaranteed to initiate a transaction such as Enter or any of the PF/PA keys. However, if for any reason the screen requires different keys to function, you can manually “push” a transaction with Ctrl-u right after performing the action.Finally, if you want to have the screen re-printed hit Ctrl-r.
- View History: This will display the history of all transactions BIRP recorded, and allow them to be inspected. Specifically it provides access to the screen submitted, the fields that were modified in that screen (i.e. the data submitted) and the response.For each screen, only the first row is displayed as context, but the full screen can be printed if you view the transaction.Also, you can drop into python and examine the screen object directly.
- Search History: Here you can perform a case sensitive search to find transactions with screens that contain certain text.
- Save History: You can save your history to a file, and load it again later with the -l switch on the command line. You need to save it to a unique filename.
- Python Console: The tool is not done yet, and right now there are lots of good reasons to be able to play with the objects directly. You can drop into an IPython embedded shell at various places. BIRP has a fairly useful set of python objects that you can interrogate, and I have made sure they have useful pythonic output (str/repr). The top object is the “history” which contains a list on “transactions”. You can interrogate the last transaction added by referring to history.last(). Each transaction has a request and response screen object. So, for example, to get a list of all hidden fields in the last response from the server you could use: history.last().response.hidden_fields.