Double-odd Elliptic Curves

This post is about some new (or sort of new) elliptic curves for use in cryptographic protocols. They were made public in mid-December 2020, on a dedicated Web site: https://doubleodd.group/There is also a complete whitepaper, full of mathematical demonstrations, and several implementations. Oh noes, more curves! Will this never end? It is true that there … Continue reading Double-odd Elliptic Curves

Faster Modular Inversion and Legendre Symbol, and an X25519 Speed Record

Elliptic curves are commonly used to implement asymmetric cryptographic operations such as key exchange and signatures. These operations are used in many places, in particular to initiate secure network connections within protocols such as TLS and Noise. However, they are relatively expensive in terms of computing resources, especially for low-end embedded systems, which run on … Continue reading Faster Modular Inversion and Legendre Symbol, and an X25519 Speed Record

Immortalising 20 Years of Epic Research

In December 2019 we launched this new technical security research blog site. As part of its launch we had cause to revisit our old blog website and found a myriad of forgotten whitepapers and conference presentations spanning NCC Group's history (formation in 1999). Deeply nested on our old blog site we found over 200 whitepapers … Continue reading Immortalising 20 Years of Epic Research

Paper: Thematic for Success in Real-World Offensive Cyber Operations – How to make threat actors work harder and fail more often

tl;dr Today we've released a whitepaper on the key techniques that continue to enable us to breach the largest and most sophisticated organisations on the planet. Organisations that prioritize these areas, and the mitigations we outline, will thwart attacks while making threat actors work harder and ultimately fail more often. Objective The purpose of this … Continue reading Paper: Thematic for Success in Real-World Offensive Cyber Operations – How to make threat actors work harder and fail more often

Exploring DeepFake Capabilities & Mitigation Strategies with University College London

Overview  NCC Group is an industry partner for University College London’s (UCL) Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science (CDT in DIS). The UCL CDT in DIS encompasses a wide range of areas in the field of 'big-data' including the collection, storage and analysis of large datasets, as well as the use of complex … Continue reading Exploring DeepFake Capabilities & Mitigation Strategies with University College London

Research Report – Zephyr and MCUboot Security Assessment

Over the years, NCC Group has audited countless embedded devices for our customers. Through these security assessments, we have observed that IoT devices are typically built using a hodgepodge of chipset vendor board support packages (BSP), bootloaders, SDKs, and an established Real Time Operating System (RTOS) such as Mbed or FreeRTOS. However, we have recently … Continue reading Research Report – Zephyr and MCUboot Security Assessment

Curve9767 and Fast Signature Verification

This post is about elliptic curves as they are used in cryptography, in particular for signatures. There are many ways to define specific elliptic curves that strive to offer a good balance between security and performance; here, I am talking about specific contributions of mine: a new curve definition, and some algorithmic improvements that target … Continue reading Curve9767 and Fast Signature Verification

Blind Return Oriented Programming

tl;dr In 2014 a paper [http://www.scs.stanford.edu/brop/bittau-brop.pdf] which introduces Blind Return Oriented Programming (BROP), a state-of-the-art exploitation technique, was released by researchers from Stanford University. The paper discusses a general approach in which BROP is used to exploit services which are both vulnerable to stack-based buffer overflows and automatically recover after a crash. What is best … Continue reading Blind Return Oriented Programming

Some Notes About the Xen XSA-122 Bug

tl;dr; This is a summary of a vulnerability in Xen I found earlier in 2015, and why it’s not very useful in practice. Basically you can leak small amounts of memory from the hypervisor stack, but due to the way the associated hypercall is compiled, it turns out you can’t reliably leak very useful information. … Continue reading Some Notes About the Xen XSA-122 Bug

Advice for security decision makers contemplating the value of Antivirus

Over the last 12 months there has been an increasing amount of analysis on the effectiveness of desktop AntiVirus and its ability to detect and stop the reality of targeted attacks (I refuse to use the APT banner). This critique has been covered in pieces such as: The death of antivirus software (Infosec Island, January 2012)Is … Continue reading Advice for security decision makers contemplating the value of Antivirus