Research and Development


Here at Portcullis, we are frequently involved in “red team” exercises, which means we subject an organisation’s information security systems to rigorous testing and analysis. The opposite of a red team is a “blue team”. A blue team attempts to identify and stop the red team from compromising systems. One of the techniques used when red teaming is to write malicious code to test the security systems of our clients. One of the issues we face resides in the fact that we need to bypass sandbox systems that analyse our files in real-time to identify if the potentially malicious file should be blocked and Indicators Of Compromise (IOCs) generated or if the files are benign and safe. At the same time, blue teams that catch our files will try to reverse engineer them in order to understand how we may be compromising systems. Even though the last point is not really relevant for us (ultimately we’re not the bad guys), the first point is. Continue reading

Those of you that have been following the UK infosec market recently will have noticed an upturn in talk relating to “Red Team” style engagements. Unlike a traditional penetration test, the object of such an exercise is not to locate vulnerabilities (though of course that helps) but rather to exercise the “Blue Team” i.e. the internal users at an organisation responsible for defending their network. This change has been driven by CBEST and the associated STAR exam offerings from CREST, which have certainly raised the bar. Whilst most IT security consultancies are happy to talk about phishing, the level to which they go to mimic the target can vary. Continue reading