8

In my opinion to be sure that protection mechanisms work, you should know what attacks can be performed against them. Only if you know techniques that can be used to attack you, you can be sure whether you are protected. If you go to Sec.SE asking about attack protection without knowing full attack profile, you can't judge whether those protection mechanisms work. So before knowing protection measures, you should know attack itself.

Based on this, I think that questions asking about how to perform an attack seem to be good for me as this knowledge is needed to be able to judge protection measures.

For example to be sure that my protection measures catching scan anonymizers work, I should know techniques that can be used to anonymize scans.

To figure out how to build smartphone that will be able to notify user in case of attack, I should know how those attacks work.

Arguments like this can be devised in most of situations.

I vote to allow content like this to be posted on site.

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10

(Lightly adapted from my answer to How do we provide value to white and grey hats?)

I'm speaking here as a fully white-hat person (I'm a developer whose products are sometimes part of a security infrastructure, and an occasional system administrator). Talking about attacks tells me what I'm supposed to defend again. When designing a defense, a lot of the difficulty is imagining how it could be breached.

Why would a thread about an attack require a remediation? Conversely, should a thread about a defense include a way to bypass it?

Rejecting questions because they're “too black hat” lessens the value of the site to me. I need to know what I'm defending against. If black hats want to post to the site, what I have to say to them is teach me.

(And it's tit for tat, of course. I'm perfectly happy with having defense techniques published on the site, even if they end up informing black hats what they're up against.)

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  • I agree. Security is an evolving concept. Public disclosure of security vulnerabilities leads to them being fixed as opposed to undiscovered and exploited in the wild later. – Rohan Durve Aug 13 '12 at 1:41
  • +1, we white-hat tool developers benefit from sharing of test-cases. – Mike Samuel Aug 13 '12 at 15:26
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    +1, but I think we need to draw the line somewhere. Blackhat techniques should be taught in abstract, but certainly not at a tutorial or guide level. Otherwise we risk turning into hackforums, or an equal monstrosity. – Polynomial Aug 13 '12 at 21:38
  • +1, Hiding the facts only makes people "feel secure", not be secure. – Pacerier Aug 24 '15 at 12:01

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