Using Infogreffe – France’s National Registry of Corporations and Companies

Any operator knows that prior to any penetration testing activity requires a solid recon phase. The more information you collect about your target, the wider your attack surface becomes and thus, increased chances in a successful infiltration. In this post, we browse to the France’s registry, i.e. the “Registre du Commerce et des Societes” to extract information from the company and use this information to expand our attack surface

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Introduction

Any operator knows that prior to any penetration testing activity requires a solid recon phase. The more information you collect about your target, the wider your attack surface becomes and thus, increased chances in a successful infiltration. When your target is a company, you have a wide array of tools to extract information from and pretty much every country has some sort of registry where financials and board information is kept up to date. Sometime, it also include additional information such as incorporation documents, trademark renewals and so one.

In this post, we browse to the France’s registry, i.e. the “Registre du Commerce et des Societes” to extract information from the company and use this information to expand our attack surface. In this post, we used Huawei as an example, only because they are widespread and maintain multiple locations. All information extracted is publicly available and should not be used to conduct fraudulent or illegal activities.

20130903 - Screenshot - Inforgreffe
Homepage of the ‘Registre du Commerce et des Societes’

Contents

The Système d’Identification du Répertoire des ÉTablissements (SIRET) Number

The SIRET stands for “système d’identification du répertoire des établissements” which is a unique number given to a physical commercial location (building, store, apartment etc…). The SIRET is 14 digits long. The first 9 digits is the SIREN, i.e. the “Système d’Identification du Répertoire des ENtreprises”, which uniquely identify the company owning the unit. The next four digits are the unit number and the last number is a checksum. The checksum is done using the Luhn algorithm. For example, let’s analyze the SIRET for Huawei Technologies France;

Search Results for Keyword 'Huawei' using the Infogreffe Search Engine
Search Results for Keyword ‘Huawei’ using the Infogreffe Search Engine

As you can see above, the SIRET for the Huawei Technologies France headquarters is 451 063 739 00119. What this number says is that Huawei Technologies France has been assigned SIREN 451 063 739 and that the headquarters is the 11th building Huawei Technologies France occupied in France. By observing the SIRET of each location, you can see the building numbers goes from 3 to 11, meaning the company had 3 buildings prior that they moved out from.

That being said, we could now purchase the KBIS report and get quite a lot of information about the board of Huawei Technologies France. But since we are cheap bastards, we’ll look somewhere else for this information. After all, CEOs and executive usually want to tell the world about their position. A quick search for “SIRET ‘451 063 739 00119′” on Google will yield three results only, but that’s all we need for now. The first one on verif.com will provide the list of the executives.

Names of the executives of Huawei Technologies France found on Verif.com
Names of the executives of Huawei Technologies France found on Verif.com

In all honesty thought, just searching for “Huawei Technologies France” would have return another website with the same information. However, Infogrette, like every other national registry can be a valuable startign point to retrieve additional details and expand your recce.

Additional information about Huawei Technologies France found on Societe.com
Additional information about Huawei Technologies France found on Societe.com

And actually, this site is even more generous, as it gives the month and year of birth of every executive in the company:

Birth information about the president of Huawei Technologies France
Birth information about the president of Huawei Technologies France
Birth information about the director general of Huawei Technologies France
Birth information about the director general of Huawei Technologies France

We can validate this information using the advanced search engine of the Infogreffe web site. There is a functionality included to search companies using names of executives including their birth information. For example, let’s make sure Mr. Wang is still on the board of the company. From the front page, click on “Recherche Avancée” (Advanced Search) and then select the second tab: “Recherche par Dirigeant” (Search by Director). Type the name using the “Lastname, Firstname” format and the birth year of the person. Then click the “Rechercher” (Search) button;

Advanced search using "Wang, Yeming" and "1974" to find Huawei Technologies France
Advanced search using “Wang, Yeming” and “1974” to find Huawei Technologies France

Once the results appear, we can see that Mr. Wang is still registered as being the director general of the company. Since any change must be registered to the tribunals, we can be confident that this information is valid.

Search results confirm that Mr. Wang is still at the headquarters of Huawei Technologies France
Search results confirm that Mr. Wang is still at the headquarters of Huawei Technologies France

Conclusion (So What?)

So what you may ask. What can I do with this. We found out the following about Huawei Technologies France:

  • SIREN (ID)
  • Physical locations in France
  • The name of the president and birth information
  • Names and birth information of most executives
  • Financial data of the company

You have now 7 addresses you can physically recon, i.e. see if you can dumpster dive, gather information about physical security (HID cards, fences, cameras etc…) or people working at these locations, which can then lead to additional recce on individual targets. Recceing the individuals found will likely lead to information about their relations, employment and responsibilities, possibly even to email addresses.

This simple guide was meant to provide a quick and dirty “howto” guide to one of the many, many tools available online to conducting research on companies or individuals for any law enforcement purposes. The Infogreffe is a drop in the ocean to locate business information for a very specific region. In the upcoming weeks and months, we will develop on other tools for other regions, as well as techniques you can use to track down targets. Don’t forget that the most important part of the operation is the information gathering phase. The more you know about your target, the easier the later phases will become. Keep in mind that other countries also keep similar registries, although the quality of their website may differ greatly.

Powerpoint presentation from Huawei found online detailing employment in Huawei Technologies France
Powerpoint presentation from Huawei found online detailing employment in Huawei Technologies France found online using Google.

References:

[1] Conseil national des greffiers des Tribunaux de commerce. “Registre du commerce et des sociétés.” Infogreffe – Greffe du tribunal de commerce. https://www.infogreffe.fr/ (accessed September 3, 2013).

Cyberwarfare Magazine – Introduction

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For anyone reading the news on a daily basis and being careful to the state of world affairs, one can’t help but feel some kind of tension between world nations. Whether it’s for resources, land, religious or ideological beliefs, these tensions are transforming or will transform into conflicts one day or another.

For centuries these conflicts, crisis and wars have been fought on the battlefield: warriors of two or more factions were crossing the blade until a victorious side emerged. This has been true for ages and will probably go on for a long time, as human nature doesn’t evolve easily. What will change thought is the battlefield, and we are currently witnessing a new and fast-paced battlefield, which isn’t on land, air or sea, but rather on copper wires, in air and computer networks. With the emergence of the Internet, the cyberspace has now become a new world were a new generation of soldiers and warriors will fight.

Previous events, although few, are a clear sign that more and more militaries are becoming aware of the new possibilities of exploring the cyberspace as a new field where battles can and will be fought. Whether our enemies are terrorists, criminals or opposing nations, we can see that more and more interest is put toward cyber warfare. Recent events are all pointing to that fact. Some may be familiar with the recent conflict in Georgia, where Russia is suspected of having used denial-of service attacks against Georgian servers[1] and against Estonia[2] also. The U.S announced the creation of the Air Force Cyber Command; an unit entirely devoted to cyber warfare. Let’s not forget previously suspected Chinese attacks on various western nations in 2005 and 2007[3].

Let it be clear though. This magazine is about cyber warfare, not electronic warfare (EW), although cyber warfare is usually considered part of the EW field, the inverse is not true. EW is fairly well documented, but it’s not the case for cyber warfare. This magazine intends to cover the following topics:

Cyberspace will become the first battlefield
Cyberspace will become the first battlefield

  • Government Cyber Defence
  • Cyber crime
  • Cyber terrorism
  • Cyber espionage
  • Case studies
  • New technologies
  • Attacks, defence and tactics
  • New products
  • Opinions
  • Book reviews
  • Computer security
  • Events analysis
  • Cyber warfare across world militaries
  • Etc…

In our days and age, we can’t forget about terrorism and counter-insurgency. Therefore it would be unbelievable not discussing about cyber-terrorism and cyber-crime. All those topics are going to be covered in future articles.

Our time offers us a great new aspect of war to study and explore. Among information, psychological and economical warfare, cyber warfare is one of the most fasting growing and fascinating method of conducting war. More research and analysis needs to be conduct on this kind of war, and this is what this magazine will achieve.


[1] Thomas Claburn, “Under Cyberattack, Georgia Finds ‘Bullet-Proof’ Hosting With Google And Elsewhere“, Information Week, August 18, 2008, http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/attacks/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=210002702 (accessed on October 23, 2008)

[2] Ian Traynor, “Russia Accused of Unleashing Cyberwar to Disable Estonia”, The Guardian, May 17, 2007, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/may/17/topstories3.russia (accessed on October 23, 2008)

[3] Joël-Denis Bellavance, “Cyberattaque à Ottawa” (in french), Cyberpresse, June 9, 2008,  http://technaute.cyberpresse.ca/nouvelles/internet/200806/09/01-18725-cyberattaque-a-ottawa.php (accessed on October 23, 2008)