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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

3/4/2011
03:35 PM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
50%
50%

Hypervisor Security: Don't Trust, Verify

Combating vulnerabilities (and passing audits) is a matter of starting from the root and working up.

InformationWeek Green Virtualization Security Digital Issue- Mar. 7, 2011 InformationWeek Green
Download the InformationWeek March supplement on virtualization security , distributed in an all-digital format as part of our Green Initiative
(Registration required.)
We will plant a tree for each of the first 5,000 downloads.

VIrtualization Security

For years I've watched the delicate balance between enterprise IT groups and their security teams. Every now and then, there's a sea change in one area that gives rise to, let's say, passionate discussions. After attending last month's RSA conference, I feel one of those moments coming on, this time around production server virtualization. Specifically, we're talking about hardening the hypervisor--arguably one of the most important components of your virtual architecture.

What? Didn't think your CISO cared about hypervisors? Well, if he attended RSA, he does now. And if you have production VMs, you better get ready to prove they're secure. Don't expect your security team to just trust you.

Combating vulnerabilities (and passing audits) is a matter of starting from the root and working up. One option that impressed me at RSA is Intel's TXT (Trusted Execution Technology)--Intel's response to the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) specification published by the Trusted Computing Group and accepted as an ISO standard in 2009.

The foundation of this new trusted computing infrastructure is what's known as the "hardware root of trust," which establishes a bottoms-up security posture based on assuring the integrity of the VM kernel and loaded modules as they reside on disk and in memory. To take advantage, first make sure your server hardware supports TPM. Once you've verified that your gear has the correct processor extensions and supporting chipsets, it's just a matter of adding a small circuit board that plugs into a TPM slot on the server motherboard. After you enable TXT in the server BIOS that runs your host, you go through a process of generating the hash state that VMware ESXi, Xen, and other hypervisors will use during the boot process to detect unauthorized changes or whether malware has infiltrated the host operating system.

Moving up the stack, software vendor HyTrust offers a virtual appliance that can access the TXT status through the vSphere vCenter API and make decisions on controlling guest movement based on the classification status of the host server. HyTrust also offers network-based policy management for your virtual infrastructure that provides administrative access control, hypervisor hardening, and audit-quality logging to protect you from malicious, or sometimes just careless, insiders. Now when your security auditor asks for proof of hypervisor protection, you can go down your checklist: hardware root of trust (check), trusted virtualization environment (check), and security information and event management tools (check).

You're only going to increase your use of virtualization, so think in terms of evolving security. Evaluate where you are today and educate yourself as new hypervisor hardening options become available to ensure that you always stay a step ahead of the CISO--and the people after your data.

Schalk Theron is VP of security and operations for cloud services and ECM company SpringCM. Prior to joining SpringCM, Theron was at Washington Mutual, leading operational support for more than 50,000 users and a national network of more than 3,000 sites and multiple enterprise-class data centers supporting the award-winning Wamu.com. Write to us at [email protected].

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Data Leak Week: Billions of Sensitive Files Exposed Online
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/10/2019
Intel Issues Fix for 'Plundervolt' SGX Flaw
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
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
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-2019-5252
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
There is an improper authentication vulnerability in Huawei smartphones (Y9, Honor 8X, Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9i, Y6 Pro). The applock does not perform a sufficient authentication in a rare condition. Successful exploit could allow the attacker to use the application locked by applock in an instant.
CVE-2019-5235
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
Some Huawei smart phones have a null pointer dereference vulnerability. An attacker crafts specific packets and sends to the affected product to exploit this vulnerability. Successful exploitation may cause the affected phone to be abnormal.
CVE-2019-5264
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
There is an information disclosure vulnerability in certain Huawei smartphones (Mate 10;Mate 10 Pro;Honor V10;Changxiang 7S;P-smart;Changxiang 8 Plus;Y9 2018;Honor 9 Lite;Honor 9i;Mate 9). The software does not properly handle certain information of applications locked by applock in a rare condition...
CVE-2019-5277
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Huawei CloudUSM-EUA V600R006C10;V600R019C00 have an information leak vulnerability. Due to improper configuration, the attacker may cause information leak by successful exploitation.
CVE-2019-5254
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Certain Huawei products (AP2000;IPS Module;NGFW Module;NIP6300;NIP6600;NIP6800;S5700;SVN5600;SVN5800;SVN5800-C;SeMG9811;Secospace AntiDDoS8000;Secospace USG6300;Secospace USG6500;Secospace USG6600;USG6000V;eSpace U1981) have an out-of-bounds read vulnerability. An attacker who logs in to the board m...