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.

Perimeter

11/14/2013
03:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

NSA Leaks Bolster IETF Work On Internet Security

The Internet Engineering Task Force's efforts to add security to the Internet's protocols have been reinvigorated by fallout from revelations of controversial NSA spying programs

Ongoing efforts to beef up the security of the Internet's underlying protocols may have gotten a major boost, thanks to the National Security Agency (NSA).

Officials from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) today said last week's plenary meeting of the body charged with developing protocols for the Net was dominated with talk of better securing the Internet to thwart wide-scale surveillance akin to those programs leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

"There is noticeable momentum," said Stephen Farrell, IETF Security Area Director, today in a press briefing on last week's IETF 88 Plenary in Vancouver.

Among some of the IETF security efforts that could see the light of day relatively soon is work on guidance for easily "turning on" encryption between email servers. Farrell says email providers already are looking at this, and the hope is they will roll it out "in a matter of months."

"Clearly, there's a very long-term question: With a lot of technology things you can do, there remains an adversary willing to spend a lot of effort and money and [who] will still be able to extract metadata from various protocols," Farrell said. "But we can make it significantly harder to launch the pervasive attacks we've been seeing."

New IETF protocols don't get written or adopted overnight, however. The voluntary, open committee process for proposing and ultimately releasing a protocol specification can take years, even for some of the most straightforward technologies. Security is even tougher. "None of the solutions in securing the Internet is necessarily easy," noted IETF chair Jari Arkko. "You need backward compatibility, interoperability among different parties, and different components."

The Snowden leaks helped spur an about-face by the IETF in its work on the next-generation Web protocol, HTTP 2.0. In March 2012, the HTTPbis Working Group charged with the HTTP 2.0 work decided against encryption by default using the Transport Layer Security protocol. The working group has since decided to rethink that in the wake of the NSA Internet surveillance revelations.

Also on the table is work on securing the transport protocols underlying the Net. One notable effort is a proposed protocol for adding encryption directly to the TCP protocol itself. There's also a working group forming to cover security in application-layer protocols, including instant messaging, for example.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Cyberattacks Are Tailored to Employees ... Why Isn't Security Training?
Tim Sadler, CEO and co-founder of Tessian,  6/17/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Powerful Cybersecurity Skills the Energy Sector Needs Most
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer,  6/22/2021
News
Microsoft Disrupts Large-Scale BEC Campaign Across Web Services
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/15/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-2322
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
Vulnerability in OpenGrok (component: Web App). Versions that are affected are 1.6.7 and prior. Easily exploitable vulnerability allows low privileged attacker with network access via HTTPS to compromise OpenGrok. Successful attacks of this vulnerability can result in takeover of OpenGrok. CVSS 3.1 ...
CVE-2021-20019
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
A vulnerability in SonicOS where the HTTP server response leaks partial memory by sending a crafted HTTP request, this can potentially lead to an internal sensitive data disclosure vulnerability.
CVE-2021-21809
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
A command execution vulnerability exists in the default legacy spellchecker plugin in Moodle 3.10. A specially crafted series of HTTP requests can lead to command execution. An attacker must have administrator privileges to exploit this vulnerabilities.
CVE-2021-34067
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
Heap based buffer overflow in tsMuxer 2.6.16 allows attackers to cause a Denial of Service (DoS) by running the application with a crafted file.
CVE-2021-34068
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
Heap based buffer overflow in tsMuxer 2.6.16 allows attackers to cause a Denial of Service (DoS) by running the application with a crafted file.