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.
7 Truths About BEC Scams
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  6/13/2019
DNS Firewalls Could Prevent Billions in Losses to Cybercrime
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/13/2019
Can Your Patching Strategy Keep Up with the Demands of Open Source?
Tim Mackey, Principal Security Strategist, CyRC, at Synopsys,  6/18/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-1874
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-20
A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Cisco Prime Service Catalog Software could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to conduct a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attack on an affected system. The vulnerability is due to insufficient CSRF protection mechanisms on the web-ba...
CVE-2019-1875
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-20
A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Cisco Prime Service Catalog could allow an authenticated, remote attacker to conduct a cross-site scripting (XSS) attack against a user of the web-based interface. The vulnerability is due to insufficient validation of user-supplied input by t...
CVE-2019-1876
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-20
A vulnerability in the HTTPS proxy feature of Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) Software could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to use the Central Manager as an HTTPS proxy. The vulnerability is due to insufficient authentication of proxy connection requests. An attacker could exp...
CVE-2019-1878
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-20
A vulnerability in the Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) implementation for the Cisco TelePresence Codec (TC) and Collaboration Endpoint (CE) Software could allow an unauthenticated, adjacent attacker to inject arbitrary shell commands that are executed by the device. The vulnerability is due to insuff...
CVE-2019-1879
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-20
A vulnerability in the CLI of Cisco Integrated Management Controller (IMC) could allow an authenticated, local attacker to inject arbitrary commands that are executed with root privileges. The vulnerability is due to insufficient validation of user-supplied input at the CLI. An attacker could exploi...