Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Baruch Sadogursky, Pat Romanski, Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan, Lacey Thoms

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, Java IoT, @MicroservicesE Blog, @ContainersExpo Blog, CloudExpo® Blog, Cloud Security

Open Source Cloud: Blog Feed Post

Creating a Self-Defending Network Using Open Source Software

You’ve got a firewall and a DMZ, you’re all set, right?

By: Steve McMaster

This past weekend, I presented the idea of a self-defending network at Ohio LinuxFest 2012. The accompanying slides are now available here. So let’s talk about network security. You’ve got a firewall and a DMZ, you’re all set, right? Not so fast slugger. We preach a theory called “defense in depth” here at Hurricane Labs. And that means you need something to defend you when your firewall admins make a mistake. And something to protect you when that layer fails. And so on. So what are these other layers? Well one of them is having a good IDS/IPS system. An IDS/IPS listens to network traffic, generally the traffic inside your firewall, and either alerts on (IDS) or drops/blocks altogether (IPS) traffic that meets specific rules defining “bad traffic”. But what else can you do?

A coworker and I put a couple pieces of open source software (OSSEC and Snort) together to respond to certain types of automated attacks we were seeing in our IDS (we use Snort in this case). Prior to this, an engineer would manually respond to alerts by logging into our firewall and blocking the IP address causing the alert. This process was tedious, repetitive, and time consuming. By the time the firewall change would be pushed, generally the scan (it was usually a scan) was over and the attacker had moved on. So we took advantage of a feature in OSSEC called “active response”, which is used to react to events on the network. OSSEC was configured to watch for Snort alerts, and would run a script on our Internet routers (running Vyatta core 6.3) to block the IP for 10 minutes. This response runs almost immediately. We hand selected alerts that we had associated with simple scans, such as FTP Brute Force attacks, and set them up to block the addresses. But this wasn’t enough for us.

We started to ponder what sorts of scans were happening that our firewall was dropping. For example SIP or SSH scans, which don’t ever pass through the firewall, that were at best sucking up bandwidth and at worst causing problems if our firewall rules ever let something slip. Granted, those sorts of slips are uncommon, but mistakes are always possible and it’s best to plan for every type of failure.

Coincidentally, we also wanted to test a new IDS on the market called Suricata. Suricata was designed from the ground up to be an “open source next generation intrusion detection and prevention engine”, and we wanted to run it through its paces (which is a different article entirely). So, we configured a server running Suricata, but this one was configured to watch traffic on a SPAN session watching traffic outside the firewall. What we found in preliminary testing was that we saw a few types of scans on a regular basis – NMAP ping scans, SSH brute force scans, and SIP scans. So, similarly to what we did with FTP brute forcing (which for multiple reasons is better detected on the sensor inside the network) we configured OSSEC to watch logs from Suricata (which was relatively simple, as it logs in a format compatible with Snort alerts anyways). Poof! A network that defends itself.

What we’ve done is similar in premise to the Team Cymru Darknet Project. According to their website, a darknet is “a portion of routed, allocated IP space in which no active services or servers reside.” It is then assumed that any packets entering the network are unsolicited and more than likely undesirable. This can be used to reliably build a list of known malicious hosts. Unlike a true darknet, we’re using IP space that hosts active services, however we’ve tuned our monitoring to look specifically for traffic we know, by design, not to expect. This allows us to gain many of the benefits of a darknet without the resource investment required.

The advantage of this method is that we can run the “active response” on multiple targets. So, for example, we run two Internet-facing routers on our colocated data center network, and another on the edge of our office network. By detecting scans on both networks, the other network is automatically protected as well. This could be propagated to several other mechanisms as well. It could be used to build a dynamic BGP feed, or DNS blacklist, of hosts that are known to be scanning the Internet maliciously.

I’ve attached a few snippets to this article to help get you started on the path to building a self-defending network. These include configuration examples and rule signatures for OSSEC, Snort and Suricata.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Hurricane Labs

Christina O’Neill has been working in the information security field for 3 years. She is a board member for the Northern Ohio InfraGard Members Alliance and a committee member for the Information Security Summit, a conference held once a year for information security and physical security professionals.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
2015 predictions circa 1970: houses anticipate our needs and adapt, city infrastructure is citizen and situation aware, office buildings identify and preprocess you. Today smart buildings have no such collective conscience, no shared set of fundamental services to identify, predict and synchronize around us. LiveSpace and M2Mi are changing that. LiveSpace Smart Environment devices deliver over the M2Mi IoT Platform real time presence, awareness and intent analytics as a service to local connected devices. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Sarah Cooper, VP Business of Development at M2Mi, will d...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In this session, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, will describe how to revolutionize your architecture and...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
We’re entering a new era of computing technology that many are calling the Internet of Things (IoT). Machine to machine, machine to infrastructure, machine to environment, the Internet of Everything, the Internet of Intelligent Things, intelligent systems – call it what you want, but it’s happening, and its potential is huge. IoT is comprised of smart machines interacting and communicating with other machines, objects, environments and infrastructures. As a result, huge volumes of data are being generated, and that data is being processed into useful actions that can “command and control” thi...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Thanks to widespread Internet adoption and more than 10 billion connected devices around the world, companies became more excited than ever about the Internet of Things in 2014. Add in the hype around Google Glass and the Nest Thermostat, and nearly every business, including those from traditionally low-tech industries, wanted in. But despite the buzz, some very real business questions emerged – mainly, not if a device can be connected, or even when, but why? Why does connecting to the cloud create greater value for the user? Why do connected features improve the overall experience? And why do...
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participa...
Imagine a world where targeting, attribution, and analytics are just as intrinsic to the physical world as they currently are to display advertising. Advances in technologies and changes in consumer behavior have opened the door to a whole new category of personalized marketing experience based on direct interactions with products. The products themselves now have a voice. What will they say? Who will control it? And what does it take for brands to win in this new world? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zack Bennett, Vice President of Customer Success at EVRYTHNG, will answer these questions a...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The multi-trillion economic opportunity around the "Internet of Things" (IoT) is emerging as the hottest topic for investors in 2015. As we connect the physical world with information technology, data from actions, processes and the environment can increase sales, improve efficiencies, automate daily activities and minimize risk. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ed Maguire, Senior Analyst at CLSA Americas, will describe what is new and different about IoT, explore financial, technological and real-world impact across consumer and business use cases. Why now? Significant corporate and venture...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehe...
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.