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.
Mobile Banking Malware Up 50% in First Half of 2019
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/17/2020
Active Directory Needs an Update: Here's Why
Raz Rafaeli, CEO and Co-Founder at Secret Double Octopus,  1/16/2020
Google Lets iPhone Users Turn Device into Security Key
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/15/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2011-3595
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-22
Multiple Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities exist in Joomla! through 1.7.0 in index.php in the search word, extension, asset, and author parameters.
CVE-2011-3610
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-22
A Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists in the Serendipity freetag plugin before 3.30 in the tagcloud parameter to plugins/serendipity_event_freetag/tagcloud.swf.
CVE-2019-18583
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-22
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: The CNA or individual who requested this candidate did not associate it with any vulnerability during 2019. Notes: none.
CVE-2019-18584
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-22
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: The CNA or individual who requested this candidate did not associate it with any vulnerability during 2019. Notes: none.
CVE-2019-18585
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-22
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: The CNA or individual who requested this candidate did not associate it with any vulnerability during 2019. Notes: none.