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Advanced Attacks Call For New Defenses
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Bprince
Bprince,
User Rank: Ninja
5/1/2012 | 2:31:03 AM
re: Advanced Attacks Call For New Defenses
I think there is room for both Arkin and Wang's points of view. Both are correct in a sense...
Brian Prince, InformationWeek/Dark Reading Comment Moderator
CiscoJones
CiscoJones,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/1/2012 | 12:36:51 PM
re: Advanced Attacks Call For New Defenses
Just a quick thought.- We need two new operating systems.- One for Dev and Q&A and the other for Prod.- The Prod server has two modes: maintenance and on-line.- When in on-line mode, nothing can be changed and least privilege is strictly enforced with no admin privileges.- Any admin changes will be done when the server is put into maintenance mode which will force all Internet applications (web, ftp, ssh, email, etc...) to shut down.- The Prod server will not allow connections to originate from it to the outside world so browsing, ftp/tftp, file share, etc... clients will not work.- The only way for an admin to move files on or off the server will be through the security hardened console mode.- Logs will be configured in maintenance mode to send to a SIEM in an encrypted tunnel.- This should fix the server issue.- Protecting the clients is going to be tougher.-
macker490
macker490,
User Rank: Ninja
5/1/2012 | 1:04:23 PM
re: Advanced Attacks Call For New Defenses
System Intake: where you have web-browsers and e/mail programs taking in data pages all day every day -- and Hackers busy building kits to manufacture polymorphic virus attacks, well yes: you do need to proceed with the idea that you are going to take in some bad code

and that bad code will attempt to direct one of your applications to do something it should never have been allowed to do: update your system

and so: the "sandbox"- -- essentially Problem State a'la System /360, c.1965

way to go, margie [belated applause]

the appearance of executable documents -- i.e. documents containing Java, Visual Basic etc creates a new and worse problem: what occurs if an executable document is moved from its intake area into another directory on the system and is picked up by a user or process that has sensitive privileges?

creating executable documents was a bad idea to begin with but now that we have them we will have to determine what to do when such a document is moved from its intake area

this will turn out to be an ugly problem
macker490
macker490,
User Rank: Ninja
5/1/2012 | 1:10:07 PM
re: Advanced Attacks Call For New Defenses
you got it!! production machines need to be locked down and then certified using a Software Inventory Audit.- If they pass the audit they get a production certificate (x.509 ) which remains valid until the machine requires maintenanace.- as soon as maintenace starts its x.509 certificate is REVOKED .After the maintenance it will be re-certified and a new certificate created.

MSFT AppLocker is a very important concept in this. In AppLocker YOU specify what OS and apps you will allow; anything else is ejected.

remember: the common element in hacking is un-authorized programming, used to compromise the operation of the victim.
sweerek
sweerek,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/1/2012 | 6:58:24 PM
re: Advanced Attacks Call For New Defenses
The best yet weak solution will be some new software or patch. -You cannot have a true sandbox on the same hardware. -Instead, why not use many-many core processors to each run their own environment (OS, apps, etc.) and contain it there. -AFRL created something like this about a decade ago, called the Cyber Sensing Station ---http://spi.dod.mil/docs/CSS_DS.... -It was built for many remote users to have full root / hardware access to servers, yet not exfiltrate data. -Wrt this article and jumping ahead a decade, each environ could run on its own hardware (not VM) yet be bounded inward & outward by hardware. -Just a thought.....
sweerek
sweerek,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/1/2012 | 7:03:52 PM
re: Advanced Attacks Call For New Defenses
Even better than no root is no persistence. Boot the machine from ROM (think LiveCD) and then reboot occasionally to insure a pristine machine. -Also, don't 'not allow' but rather not even provide the code/kernel to do those things. In other words, don't lockdown, gut instead. -These and other approaches are old hat to AFRL and form the Three Tenets of CyberSecurity -- see-http://spi.dod.mil/tenets.htm. Wrt clients, the solution is Secure End Nodes, see -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.... -


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