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
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
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.
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
The Cold Truth about Cyber Insurance
Chris Kennedy, CISO & VP Customer Success, AttackIQ,  11/7/2019
Black Hat Q&A: Hacking a '90s Sports Car
Black Hat Staff, ,  11/7/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-5230
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-13
P20 Pro, P20, Mate RS smartphones with versions earlier than Charlotte-AL00A 9.1.0.321(C00E320R1P1T8), versions earlier than Emily-AL00A 9.1.0.321(C00E320R1P1T8), versions earlier than NEO-AL00D NEO-AL00 9.1.0.321(C786E320R1P1T8) have an improper validation vulnerability. The system does not perform...
CVE-2019-5231
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-13
P30 smartphones with versions earlier than ELLE-AL00B 9.1.0.186(C00E180R2P1) have an improper authorization vulnerability. The software incorrectly performs an authorization check when a user attempts to perform certain action. Successful exploit could allow the attacker to update a crafted package.
CVE-2019-5233
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-13
Huawei smartphones with versions earlier than Taurus-AL00B 10.0.0.41(SP2C00E41R3P2) have an improper authentication vulnerability. Successful exploitation may cause the attacker to access specific components.
CVE-2019-5246
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-13
Smartphones with software of ELLE-AL00B 9.1.0.109(C00E106R1P21), 9.1.0.113(C00E110R1P21), 9.1.0.125(C00E120R1P21), 9.1.0.135(C00E130R1P21), 9.1.0.153(C00E150R1P21), 9.1.0.155(C00E150R1P21), 9.1.0.162(C00E160R2P1) have an insufficient verification vulnerability. The system does not verify certain par...
CVE-2010-4177
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-12
mysql-gui-tools (mysql-query-browser and mysql-admin) before 5.0r14+openSUSE-2.3 exposes the password of a user connected to the MySQL server in clear text form via the list of running processes.