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1 Technical Risk Technical Remediation Technical Myth Mike Scher Director of Labs Neohapsis, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Technical Risk Technical Remediation Technical Myth Mike Scher Director of Labs Neohapsis, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Technical Risk Technical Remediation Technical Myth Mike Scher Director of Labs Neohapsis, Inc.

2 2 Neohapsis 101 - Who we are and what we do Information Security Consultancy with an emphasis on R&D and QA/QC Network Computing Magazine's Chicago Lab Producers of the SANS Security Alert Consensus Newsletter (SAC) Security Design, Testing, Forensics

3 3 Managing Technical Risks Legal Risk Management  Infrastructure Security Financial Risk Management (Insurance) Risk Transfer and Due Diligence

4 4 Technical Risks Risks to Systems –Process Disruption –Access to data Risks to Data –Data can be disclosed or ‘stolen’ –Data can be altered –Data can be destroyed –Data can become unavailable

5 5 How Technical Risks to Data Ripen Gaps: Lack of policy –regarding access to and placement of sensitive data Lack of technical access controls –that implement system and data access policies Lack of policy verification and enforcement –that audits technical access controls

6 6 How Technical Risks to Data Ripen Ambiguities or lapses: Ambiguity or oversight in policy –from no authoritative source of policy interpretation Ambiguity or oversight in application of technical access controls –from no authoritative source of technical policy planning and review

7 7 How Technical Risks to Data Ripen Technical failures in access controls Complexity of technical security systems –System interactions –Unpredictable failure modes Inability to validate security aspects of vendor- provided systems, including security systems –Technical limitations of corporate test groups –Time and materials limitations of testing –Legal limits from statute and license

8 8 Protections for Data WHO - Authentication systems –IDs –Passwords –Certificates –Tokens WHAT and HOW - Access control / authorization systems –Firewalls (and “intrusion prevention”) –Routers, switches –Operating system controls WWHW Review - Audit Systems –Intrusion Detection –Logging –Event aggregation and analysis (SIM)

9 9 AAA Authentication systems validate who it is Access control systems limit what they can do Audit Systems review who did what, when

10 10 Policy is Critical Without coordination of Who, What, and How, and the ability to test and audit, security is a matter of reaction Reactive security is costly Reactive security is ultimately ineffectual Policy, well-implemented and reviewed, means proactive security, anticipating needs

11 11 Examples of Technical Risks External Access Controls –Too many internal applications open to outside –VPN and dial-up access based on weak access controls –Access to Internal applications dependent on 3 rd party’s security Online Applications –User account guessing (weak access controls) –Session ID spoofing/guessing –Insufficient input data scrubbing “SQL tampering” Arbitrary command execution “Cross-site scripting” Audit Issues –No or unverifiable history of who accessed what –No ability to monitor copies of data

12 12 Authentication User identification –Who do you claim to be? –Note the use of the term claim –Examples: a userid:“jsmither” a name:“Joshua Smither” a SS#:111-11-1111 An e-mail address: –Not always unique, even on the system

13 13 Authentication (cont.) User identification + Something else = –Reasonable association of the person with the ID presented –Why “reasonable”? All access controls can be defeated Many can be “spoofed” Reasonability depends (ideally) on a risk analysis What does the ID guard?

14 14 Authentication (cont.) PLUS Something else (How can I reasonably assume you are who you claim to be?) –Password –Digital Certificate –“One-time” password (e.g., tokens) –Biometric –ANI (“caller-ID”) –Physical locality (including IP address) –Combinations of techniques

15 15 Passwords Passwords: –Generally reusable –Mandatory change periods –Minimums on password length, ‘strength’

16 16 Digital Certificates Based on difficulty of factoring the huge product of two very large, prime numbers “Secure websites” (SSL) Public/Private Key encryption (PGP) –A uses B’s PUBLIC key to send to B –B uses B’s PRIVATE key to read it –B uses A’s PUBLIC key to respond


18 18 Tokens and Smart Cards Tokens (“One-Time Passwords”) –Brands: SecurID Axent (Symantec) Defender SecureComputing Safeword Cryptocard Smartcards –“Memory” Smart Cards strore information (such as a Digital Certificate) –‘True” Smart Cards do the math internally

19 19 Biometrics Familiar territory in forensics work The goal is, ultimately, to do what we do in “real life” – to recognize the person Convergence (accuracy of readers) remains a critical issue with fairly high false negatives and some disturbing false positive numbers in recent testing

20 20 Locality Door-mounted card readers, hand-print readers, keypads, etc. Car door PIN locks Keys in locks ANI (“Automatic Number Identification”) Secure terminals in secure locations IP addresses (in some cases)

21 21 Problems in Authentication Username/Password –Easily stolen when sent “in clear” –Or via “trojan horse” programs, worms, viruses –Can be “weak” or “strong” (vs. guessing or “cracking”) Weak:mouser1 (guessable) r!verb3d (crackable) Strong:9i63vDvK –When they are memorable, they are weak –When they are strong, they are unmanageable –People almost always either pick weak passwords or they record their passwords someplace handy (perhaps protected by a single password) –Anyone can use anyone else’s password

22 22 Problems in Authentication (cont.) Digital Certificates –Large password protected by a small password –File can be taken just like any other –User’s password to activate the certificate may be Guessed Cracked Snooped –More like a “rubberstamp” signature in a locked drawer But owner may have no indication of its theft Rebuttable presumption of identity unlikely to ever be rebutted

23 23 Problems in Authentication (cont.) Biometrics –Biometrics are static, and easily copied once known –Never-ending escalation of spoofing tricks against the reader, never-ending need to upgrade readers –Remote biometric authentication raises issues Credentials injected into the stream Biometric readers use a variety of cryptographic methods to ensure data integrity and reader legitimacy At that point, biometrics are a fixed password in a public-key authentication system

24 24 Problems in Authentication (cont.) IP addresses (network locality) –Spoofable for some kinds of connections –Don’t establish that the user initiated the action

25 25 Authentication as Evidence Combining unintended authenticators with intentional authenticators increases evidentiary value: Example: DNR + time of day + IP + username and password + files found on user’s system

26 26 Problems in Authentication (cont.) DNR + IP + time of day + username and password + files found on user’s system –Was it the user? –Or was it a worm? –Or was it an electronic intruder using the person’s computer? Other, circumstantial evidence may defeat such assertions

27 27 Authorization Systems Essentially Access Control Lists (ACLs) –On Firewalls / IPS –On Gateways and Routers –On Servers –On Workstations

28 28 Firewalls Help provide an initial layer of defense at boundaries Provide network accounting mechanisms Can be used as a broad access control device Some firewalls can do ACL and pattern- based content control including virus filtering

29 29 Firewalls (cont.)

30 30 Firewalls (cont.) All firewalls are not created equal –Proxy vs. “stateful” –Proxy vs. Proxy –Proxy vs. “IPS” There is no “best” firewall Don’t solve host/server-level problems Have a history of their own security problems Often provide a false sense of security

31 31

32 32 Gateways Whose traffic goes where… and how? Gateways don’t just include firewalls –Alternate Routers Wireless Dial-up Legacy (X.25) –Virtual Private Network (VPN) gateways Any information security program must take all gateways to the corporate network into account.

33 33 VPNs VPN: –Simulate a point-to-point, dedicated telco line as closely as reasonably possible Identify user or remote network (authentication) Limit access (authorization) Log accesses and violations (accounting)

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36 36 VPNs (cont.) Inherently serve one real purpose: –Make doing a very risky thing as safe as reasonably possible Then why do we use them? –Costs –Also, costs –Oh, and costs, too.

37 37 VPNs (cont.) (Not to mention, costs.) The Big Myths about VPNs: –inherently add security –authenticate end-users –ensure authorized use –always less expensive than dedicated telco connectivity

38 38 VPNs (cont.) Risks (especially in connecting a home user to the enterprise network) are significant –Privacy of the connection and authentication traffic –Theft/compromise of authentication credentials –End user’s system used as live gateway to private network after the user authenticates –End user fooled into authenticating to trojan gateway –Store-and-forward (time-delayed) attacks from compromised end-user system

39 39 Logs (audit trails) and Authentication System logs of “who was on what system when” depend on Authentication credentials of the user Authentication credentials are often combined for greater assurance –password + biometric + locality –token(one-time password) + password + locality

40 40 Intrusion Detection Systems Misuse detection vs. Anomaly detection Host based (HIDS) vs. Network based (NIDS) –HIDS: Active Audit trail monitoring –NIDS: Snooping network traffic for signs of malfeasance Almost all report to a central collection, correlation and alert-generating server Useful as an early-warning system and for trending trouble areas Useful for some types of after-the-fact damage analysis

41 41 The Upshot Defense in depth is becoming the new best practice in most industries –Use firewalls at least at corporate borders –Use IDS internally and at borders –Secure servers and put IT policies in place to maintain their security –Use strong authentication devices for all remote access –Use VPNs with strong authentication and limit remote users’ capabilities Defense in depth requires coordinated, intelligent policies, risk analysis, and regular technical review Never assume a product is so secure that it is all you need for security – even a firewall IT staff need to get and stay up to date, reviewing new issues almost on a daily basis Manage IT risks as a part of conducting business

42 42 Questions ?

43 43 URLs Us: Many security mailing list archives: Security Alert Consensus (SAC): Mike:

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