Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Microservices Journal Authors: John Wetherill, Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Microservices Journal, Security

Microservices Journal: Blog Feed Post

Turning the Pushdo Bot into the Push-oh-no-you-don’t Bot

Options to put a stop to the latest mutation of the Pushdo trojan

Options to put a stop to the latest mutation of the Pushdo trojan

image The Pushdo bot is a malevolent little beast that is nothing new to Infosec professionals. What might be new, however, is that it recently changed its code and now creates junk SSL connections. Lots of them.

blockquote I mean you are likely seeing an unexpected increase in traffic by several million hits spread out across several hundred thousand IP addresses. No you didn't read that wrong that is millions of hits and hundreds of thousands of IP addresses. This might be a big deal if you're used to only getting a few hundred or thousands of hits a day or you don't have unlimited bandwidth. -- ShadowServer 01/29/2010

Pushdo is usually classified as a "downloader" trojan - meaning its true purpose is to download and install additional malicious software. (SecureWorks, Analysis of a Modern Malware Distribution System) That’s something you definitely don’t want to let loose inside your network, right? So the trick is to recognize its new behavior, somehow, and kick it in the derriere before it can do any real damage or consume resources or leave little bot droppings that might clog up the network pipes.

Luckily, Pushdo has a recognizable pattern: it sends malformed SSL HELLO requests after the TCP connection is established. This means we have several options for dealing with this new variant.


STOPPING PUSHDO

First, you could ignore it. That’s probably asking for trouble but it is an option. The target server will respond to the request with an error because the client hello portion of the SSL handshake is malformed. There’s very little danger in that, it’s expected behavior. However, there’s a distinct possibility that the pattern will change again, potentially by correcting the “malformed” hello so that it is valid and thus making a connection and delivering itself. Having been lulled into ignoring it, it might even succeed. Yes, it could be a social engineering attempt to make you complacent in preparation for a real attack. Miscreants are evil like that, you know, you just can’t trust them.

blockquote The most aggressive pushdo infected hosts appear to establish a connection about once a minute. We identified about 10k host attacking www.sans.org. According to some reports, Pushdo will also just establish a TCP connection, and then just sit without actually sending the SSL Helo message.
ISC SANS Diary

Because the new behavior of Pushdo now has it basically acting like a (fairly ineffective in most cases) DoS, it’s also not a good idea to let the requests get to the server because, well, that means the DoS is successful. If the server is busy responding to Pushdo requests it can’t respond to legitimate requests. In a public cloud computing environment, of course, the consequences can likely be pushdocounted in hard dollars as instances of applications may be launched or continue to remain active throughout the duration of the attack, even though second, third or more instances may not be required for availability at the time. For all the good things about elastic on-demand scalability, this one will continue to be a downside until security services are available that can detect and reject attacks at the “edge” of the cloud provider’s environment.

Second, you could terminate SSL connections on a capable Load balancer or application delivery controller. Most modern solutions of this ilk will recognize the malformed hello and refuse to accept them. This is not much different than the server responding with an error except that offloading the task of dealing with SSL and the miscreant traffic means the server can still respond easily to legitimate requests. If you have some other component terminating SSL, check if it’s capable of recognizing the malformed headers. If not, and you have a network-side scripting capable component downstream from it, you can always use the third option to intercept the requests, inspect them, and instruct the component to reject it if it contains malformed data.
Think SSL DoS Not Dangerous?

Back in the days when I was still putting products to the test I often evaluated SSL-terminating solutions like appliances and specialized hardware on PCI cards. To test capacity we basically created the equivalent of a DoS attack.

In one test we generated enough load to fry the PCI slot on a Sun Sparc server. Fried electronics is not a pleasant smell, especially in a confined space. In another test, a now long defunct product would continually reboot itself when load reached a specific point, effectively disrupting service completely for all servers behind it.

Many SSL-terminating solutions require licensing for a specific TPS rate, and a DoS can easily surpass that rate. When SSL is handled by the servers themselves, the additional strain from processing high amounts of SSL can effectively reduce the ability of the server to handle other legitimate requests to zero, consuming all available resources in a relatively short period of time. Even if an SSL DoS won’t fry your circuitry, it can certainly be a Bad Thing for your applications and infrastructure and cause performance degradations and, if you’re in ‘the cloud’, possibly additional charges.

The third option is to put into place a filter or network-side script that examines the request and determines whether it is legitimate or not.

The fourth option is to put in place IDS/IPS (such as Snort) filters to handle the requests.

So you’ve got options, you just need to decide which one will best serve your needs. I, of course, heavily recommend any option that detects and rejects as close to the perimeter as possible so as to avoid needless resource consumption, but more important than that is simply stopping the attack.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch ...
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists will discuss how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations m...
of cloud, colocation, managed services and disaster recovery solutions, 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. TierPoint, LLC, is a leading national provider of information technology and data center services, including cloud, colocation, disaster recovery and managed IT services, with corporate headquarters in St. Louis, MO. TierPoint was formed through the strategic combination of some of t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Column Technologies, a global technology solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1998, Column Technologies is a leader in application performance and infrastructure management for commercial and federal markets. The company is headquartered in the United States, with a diverse and talented team of more than 350 employees around th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ciqada will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will mee...
I woke up this morning to the devastating news about the earthquake in Nepal. Sitting here in California that destruction is literally on the other side of the world but my mind immediately went to thinking about my good friend Jeremy Geelan. See Jeremy and his family have been living in Kathmandu for a while now. His wife, in fact, is the Danish Ambassador to Nepal!
Public Cloud IaaS started it's life in the developer and startup communities and has grown rapidly to a $20B+ industry, but it still pales in comparison to how much is spent worldwide on IT: $3.6 trillion. In fact, there are 8.6 million data centers worldwide, the reality is many small and medium sized business have server closets and colocation footprints filled with servers and storage gear. While on-premise environment virtualization may have peaked at 75%, the Public Cloud has lagged in ado...
Dave will share his insights on how Internet of Things for Enterprises are transforming and making more productive and efficient operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures in the cleantech industry and beyond. Speaker Bio: Dave Landa is chief operating officer of Cybozu Corp (kintone US). Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dave has been on the forefront of the Cloud revolution driving strategic business development on the executive teams of multiple leading Software as a Services (SaaS) ap...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
Microsoft is releasing in the near future Azure Service Fabric as a preview beta. Azure Service Fabric is built to run microservices - a complex application consisting of smaller, interlocked components that enables updating components without disrupting service. Microsoft has used this over the past few years internally for many of its own applications and the new release is for general use, a new product. OSIsoft is an early adopter of this system and run with it to expand into the explo...
ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure IaaS, today released its SDK for Ruby, written against the company's new RESTful API. The new SDK joins ProfitBricks' previously announced support for the popular multi-cloud open-source Fog project. This new Ruby SDK, which exposes advanced functionality to take advantage of ProfitBricks' simplicity and productivity, aligns with ProfitBricks' mission to provide a painless way to automate infrastructure in the cloud. Ruby is a genera...
This digest provides an overview of good resources that are well worth reading. We’ll be updating this page as new content becomes available, so I suggest you bookmark it. Also, expect more digests to come on different topics that make all of our IT-hearts go boom!
79% of new products miss their launch date. That was the conclusion of a CGT/Sopheon Survey in which the impact of such market misses were also explored. What it didn't dig into was the reason why so many products and projects miss their launch date. When we start digging into the details with respect to applications, we can find at least one causal factor in the delivery process, specifically that portion which focuses on the actual move into production, from which consumers (internal and...
DevOps tasked with driving success in the cloud need a solution to efficiently leverage multiple clouds while avoiding cloud lock-in. Flexiant today announces the commercial availability of Flexiant Concerto. With Flexiant Concerto, DevOps have cloud freedom to automate the build, deployment and operations of applications consistently across multiple clouds. Concerto is available through four disruptive pricing models aimed to deliver multi-cloud at a price point everyone can afford.
This is a no-hype, pragmatic post about why I think you should consider architecting your next project the way SOA and/or microservices suggest. No matter if it’s a greenfield approach or if you’re in dire need of refactoring. Please note: considering still keeps open the option of not taking that approach. After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether building multiple small components instead of a single, large component makes sense for your project. This post assumes that you...
This is my first blog post at AppDynamics, and I have to say that it’s great to be aboard. It’s been a hectic first couple of weeks, but the energy, enthusiasm and friendliness of everyone I have met has made me very excited about 2015! AppDynamics has a market leading APM and analytics platform but it also takes great people to make a great company – and AppDynamics has a wealth of talent! So to start my blogging life at AppDynamics I want to focus on something that is a red-hot buzzword in IT...
ProfitBricks has launched its new DevOps Central and REST API, along with support for three multi-cloud libraries and a Python SDK. This, combined with its already existing SOAP API and its new RESTful API, moves ProfitBricks into a position to better serve the DevOps community and provide the ability to automate cloud infrastructure in a multi-cloud world. Following this momentum, ProfitBricks has also introduced several libraries that enable developers to use their favorite language to code ...
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to off...
ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure IaaS, announced the launch of its new DevOps Central and REST API, along with support for three multi-cloud libraries and a Python SDK. This, combined with its already existing SOAP API and its new RESTful API, moves ProfitBricks into a position to better serve the DevOps community and provide the ability to automate cloud infrastructure in a multi-cloud world. Following this momentum, ProfitBricks is also today introducing several l...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...