Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operations

7/16/2018
03:00 PM
50%
50%

10 Ways to Protect Protocols That Aren't DNS

Here's how to safeguard three other network foundation protocols so they don't become weapons or critical vulnerabilities.
Previous
1 of 11
Next

When an attack using a basic Internet protocol makes the news, it tends to focus on the Web, with either HTTP or DNS in a starring role. But history shows us that other protocols can be used as both weapons and doors for attacking vulnerable organizations.

Three different protocols — BGP, NTP, and FTP — are especially useful to threat actors looking to disrupt operations or steal assets from individuals and organizations. Recent incidents around cryptocurrency wallets show just how effective Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) hijacking can be as part of an attack plan. BGP's mystery, from most users' points of view, stems from its complexity and adds to the danger because most organizations only begin to work directly with BGP when their networks pass into the "very large" category.

Network Time Protocol (NTP) might seem like the sort of protocol that is merely convenient, allowing users to avoid listening for time announcements on the radio and typing the results into their systems, but everything from cryptography to file transfer depends on computers and network components getting authoritative time from a canonical server. This requirement makes NTP ubiquitous and valuable when it comes to wreaking havoc on a victim.

And while users tend to use HTTP far more than File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for moving files between systems, many applications and systems still use FTP as an essential mechanism. Because FTP is often used for transferring very large files, it becomes a powerful weapon when criminals are able to use it against a target.

"Stop using these protocols" isn't practical advice for most organizations; far too many applications and users depend on them to make abandonment anything but a very long-term solution — and in the case of BGP and NTP, no replacement is on the horizon. So it becomes necessary for companies to figure out how to protect the protocols so that they remain tools while not becoming weapons or critical vulnerabilities.

There are, of course, many ways to protect network foundation protocols, but a handful of suggestions may help spur thought and provide inspiration for moving defense forward. This list is intended to provide a jumping-off point for discussions on how an organization can protect itself and its Internet neighbors from harm through one of these protocols.

What steps has your organization taken to protect these essential protocols? If you have found a suggestion not on this list to be especially helpful, let us know in the comments, below. The online community is waiting to become more secure!

(Image: Tatiana Popova)

 

 

 

Black Hat USA returns to Las Vegas with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

 

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

Previous
1 of 11
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Jon M. Kelley
100%
0%
Jon M. Kelley,
User Rank: Moderator
7/19/2018 | 12:01:23 PM
Too many tabs, too little info
THis is the first time this year that I've gone through one of DRs multitab "specials".  To be honest this post subject still explains why I skip them:  too many slow loading tabs, with almost no relevant text per tab. Tabs with less than 100 words - get real.  Maybe I'll try again near Christmas.
How Attackers Could Use Azure Apps to Sneak into Microsoft 365
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  3/24/2020
Malicious USB Drive Hides Behind Gift Card Lure
Dark Reading Staff 3/27/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
Data breaches and regulations have forced organizations to pay closer attention to the security incident response function. However, security leaders may be overestimating their ability to detect and respond to security incidents. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-10940
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
Local Privilege Escalation can occur in PHOENIX CONTACT PORTICO SERVER through 3.0.7 when installed to run as a service.
CVE-2020-10939
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
Insecure, default path permissions in PHOENIX CONTACT PC WORX SRT through 1.14 allow for local privilege escalation.
CVE-2020-6095
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
An exploitable denial of service vulnerability exists in the GstRTSPAuth functionality of GStreamer/gst-rtsp-server 1.14.5. A specially crafted RTSP setup request can cause a null pointer deference resulting in denial-of-service. An attacker can send a malicious packet to trigger this vulnerability.
CVE-2020-10817
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
The custom-searchable-data-entry-system (aka Custom Searchable Data Entry System) plugin through 1.7.1 for WordPress allows SQL Injection. NOTE: this product is discontinued.
CVE-2020-10952
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
GitLab EE/CE 8.11 through 12.9.1 allows blocked users to pull/push docker images.