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Perimeter

12/26/2018
09:00 AM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
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6 Ways to Anger Attackers on Your Network

Because you can't hack back without breaking the law, these tactics will frustrate, deceive, and annoy intruders instead.
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Security 101
Robert Portvliet, technical fellow at Cylance, thinks about what has frustrated him most as a pen tester: companies that do their homework and expose minimal attack surface, '[making] it difficult for an attacker each step of the way,' he explains.
Some techniques, he says, are as simple as properly hardening systems: Prevent PowerShell execution, for example, and don't give adversaries the ability to install new packages. Don't give people more privileges than they really need. Use architecture such as Microsoft Red Forest, which protects the transfer of credentials so attacks like LLMNR poisoning aren't as effective.
Proper network segmentation also helps. 'You can't attack what you can't reach,' Portvliet explains. For example, if two departments aren't required to communicate, segment their networks and disallow interaction. 'It's about removing that easy win,' he says.
He recommends companies approach their environments from an attacker's perspective. Assume each compromise point, come in from the outside, and phish a workstation. If someone can get into your network, he shouldn't be able to become a local admin. Go through the process of a potential compromise and ensure the right defenses are in place for each step.
What you want to do is break multiple parts of the attacker kill chain. 'What I've found in pen testing is if you do the basic stuff and you do it well, it makes the pen test much more difficult,' Portvliet says. 'All the tried-and-true methods no longer bear fruit.'
(Image: Tonsnoei - stock.adobe.com)

Security 101

Robert Portvliet, technical fellow at Cylance, thinks about what has frustrated him most as a pen tester: companies that do their homework and expose minimal attack surface, "[making] it difficult for an attacker each step of the way," he explains.

Some techniques, he says, are as simple as properly hardening systems: Prevent PowerShell execution, for example, and don't give adversaries the ability to install new packages. Don't give people more privileges than they really need. Use architecture such as Microsoft Red Forest, which protects the transfer of credentials so attacks like LLMNR poisoning aren't as effective.

Proper network segmentation also helps. "You can't attack what you can't reach," Portvliet explains. For example, if two departments aren't required to communicate, segment their networks and disallow interaction. "It's about removing that easy win," he says.

He recommends companies approach their environments from an attacker's perspective. Assume each compromise point, come in from the outside, and phish a workstation. If someone can get into your network, he shouldn't be able to become a local admin. Go through the process of a potential compromise and ensure the right defenses are in place for each step.

What you want to do is break multiple parts of the attacker kill chain. "What I've found in pen testing is if you do the basic stuff and you do it well, it makes the pen test much more difficult," Portvliet says. "All the tried-and-true methods no longer bear fruit."

(Image: Tonsnoei stock.adobe.com)

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ricardo.arroyo@watchguard.com
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50%
[email protected],
User Rank: Author
1/4/2019 | 7:19:51 PM
Re: Canaries
As with everything else there are some companies that provide the alerting infrastructure and send you an email. A quick google search will result in a few companies that provide a managed service.
samwebstudio
0%
100%
samwebstudio,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/4/2019 | 6:46:22 AM
Re: Hack back
nice
MarkSitkowski
100%
0%
MarkSitkowski,
User Rank: Moderator
1/3/2019 | 5:53:39 PM
Re: Hack back
There's a very simple and effective way to strike back, which will not violate any laws, and earn you some gratitude.

As you rightly pointed out, hackers don't use their own hardware, they use compromised machines, usually high-end servers.

The thing to do, as soon as you detect a hack attempt is:

Add a firewall rule blocking the IP address

Look up the owner of the IP in whois

Send your log extract, which shows the hack attempt, to the owner's abuse contact, and CC the country's CERT office

In all cases, the owner will either remove the malware/script or cancel the account generating the traffic. ISP's hate hackers nearly as much as you do, and you'll get cooperation from  every country in the world.

The most satidfying message we received was from a Russian ISP, saying "This user has been terminated..."

We've been doing this for years and, to-date, have seen 102195 sources of hacking removed from the internet.

Do it. It works.

 
Joe Stanganelli
100%
0%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2018 | 6:29:02 PM
A couple of points
The note about sharing information and working together is well taken. The financial-services sector has been doing this and scaling up their resources here for some years now -- with assistance/collaboration w/ government agencies as well (the latter of which see it as a matter of crime deterrence and national security).

The separate point about "non-prosecutable activity" is similarly well-taken. While I could never advise it as an attorney, risk and compliance professionals need to understand that security is about risk. Sometimes, non-compliance -- while unlawful and unrecommended by the attorneys -- is an effective business tactic.
Joe Stanganelli
100%
0%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2018 | 6:23:00 PM
Re: Open-ports
@Dr.T: Of course, in some cases, accessibility trumps security. The key is looking at which ports are open and which ports are being accessed. Some ports have almost no business being accessed by unknown third parties ever.
idolapk
0%
100%
idolapk,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/29/2018 | 2:51:01 PM
Re: Hack back
very nice
Dr.T
100%
0%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2018 | 11:26:39 AM
Open-ports
If you have an open port on your machine, for example, many people know you have a weakness. Open ports are the same as least privileged approach, closed unless needed.
Dr.T
100%
0%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2018 | 11:21:42 AM
Canaries
Canaries are less invasive and less passive, and it's less likely even an advanced attacker will realize what happened. I assume it still requires to set it up and monitor, do some resources are needed.
Dr.T
100%
0%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2018 | 11:19:38 AM
Honeypots
However, they require time to build and monitor, and companies often don't have the resources they need to do that Honeypots are good, it requires resources obviously, you can use that resource to harden you production env.
Dr.T
100%
0%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2018 | 11:17:45 AM
privileges
Don't give people more privileges than they really need. I think this is important aspect of whole security, and always missed use of least privilege rule.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
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Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/19/2020
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Nick Selby, Chief Security Officer at Paxos Trust Company,  2/19/2020
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