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IoT
7/10/2019
09:00 AM
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10 Ways to Keep a Rogue RasPi From Wrecking Your Network

A Raspberry Pi attached to the network at NASA JPL became the doorway for a massive intrusion and subsequent data loss. Here's how to keep the same thing from happening to your network.
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Since 2011, engineers, students, and hobbyists have been using a small Linux server called the Raspberry Pi (or RasPi, for short). Many of these servers, roughly the size of a deck of playing cards, are in workshops and classrooms, but their capabilities have made them popular with corporate engineers and scientists looking to solve specific problems on a small budget.

But with that popularity has come the inevitability of RasPis being attached to corporate networks, with results that can be, well, problematic. For example, a report issued last month by NASA's Inspector General on security at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) cites a serious intrusion into the network — one that began in a vulnerable RasPi attached to the network without the approval or knowledge of the IT team.

There are now a dozen different RasPi versions, including the new Raspberry Pi 4, which includes models with up to 4 gigabytes of RAM and a powerful ARM processor. Even with the new specifications, RasPis start at $5 and top out at $55 per system.

If history is any indication, more individuals will decide they can solve problems without bothering with enterprise requisitions or approvals. So how can an enterprise security team protect the corporate network from these "rogue" RasPis? 

We've collected 10 possibilities to get you started, five aimed at applying protection to the network and five aimed at making the RasPi itself less vulnerable to intrusion. Implementing any one will make your network safer. Implementing all should go a long way toward ensuring that RasPis are good, safe, citizens on your enterprise network.

(Image: goodcatfelix VIA Adobe Stock)

 

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio

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websitejk
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websitejk,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/16/2019 | 4:12:55 PM
Re: Pi not RasPi
Concur
websitejk
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websitejk,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/16/2019 | 4:04:10 PM
Re: Pi not RasPi
Concur 💯
tdsan
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tdsan,
User Rank: Ninja
7/14/2019 | 7:40:28 AM
Re: Network Segmentation
To BradlyRoss,

They had Network Segmentation in place, that was not the problem (review the link and the satellite layout). Their labs, production, admin, mgmt aspect of the network was in place; the problem was that they got lax and the tools the had in place reported on its existence, no one from the security team, admin or development team identified this system as being a problem especially when you have applications that are associated with internal systems (i.e. hardware - NMS, SIEM, IPS, etc).

Remember, this device was in place for 10 months on a production network (did not matter if the network was segmented, they had time to run Wireshark or tcpdump, with all of the Ph.ds and engineering staff; they could not find this device listed as a blimp on the "network radar". You have to ask yourself, NASA has numerous layers of security, why was this ignored, it took an audit team to go through the network to find this device. That is why NSA needs a NAC (Network Access Control) device along with mac address and port filtering configured on the network.



Satellite, GSS and Network Architecture

Todd
BradleyRoss
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BradleyRoss,
User Rank: Moderator
7/13/2019 | 2:15:06 PM
Network Segmentation
I think that the only reasonable approach is to divide your network into multiple subnets with firewalls between them.  One should be the production subnet with strict physical controls over what can be attached and rules for configuration.  Another should be a development area where it is difficult to control what is attached or the software configuration.  Another network would be used for administration of the system, and still another would be used for normal users.  You may be able to have firewall rules enforce connections based on IP addresses and port numbers, but antivirus software can't be counted on to stop malicious software and access.
tdsan
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tdsan,
User Rank: Ninja
7/12/2019 | 5:48:53 PM
Raspberry PI Concerns
It's not important to use a particular firewall or defensive mechanism. It is important to think about defense and use some method (or, ideally, [the] combination of methods) to protect the RasPi and the network on which it sits from criminal exploit and intrusion.

I am not so sure I agree with the ending comment made by the presenter, secuirty controls are put in place at various layers but it is knowledgebase, human interaction and device set to limit the organizations area of penetration (attack vector). However, I do think the best way of addressing this issue would be to setup a NAC (Network Access Control) system that limits what can run on the existing network. This should have been one of the first options along with:
  • Port Management/Access
  • MAC Address Control

These two methods disable the port (Port Mgmt) and MAC address policies so as not to allow unauthorized devices on the network.

Also, they should have had an NMS (Network Management System) in place to identify the systems on the network by their MAC addresses. I think this was more about incompetence and lack of attention to detail than anything else (the human factor is what we need to be focusing on). The NASA hack went on for about 10 months.

T

 
schopj
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schopj,
User Rank: Strategist
7/12/2019 | 4:52:22 PM
Pi not RasPi
RasPi might look good on paper, but say it out loud.  Ive never heard anyone call a Pi a RasPi.  Its just a Raspberry Pi, or a Pi.  Pi 1, Pi2, etc.  

 
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