Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Jyoti Bansal, Aruna Ravichandran

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, 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.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
The unique combination of Amazon Web Services and Cloud Raxak, a Gartner Cool Vendor in IT Automation, provides a seamless and cost-effective way of securely moving on-premise IT workloads to Amazon Web Services. Any enterprise can now leverage the cloud, manage risk, and maintain continuous security compliance. Forrester's analysis shows that enterprises need automated security to lower security risk and decrease IT operational costs. Through the seamless integration into Amazon Web Services, ...
Software development is a moving target. You have to keep your eye on trends in the tech space that haven’t even happened yet just to stay current. Consider what’s happened with augmented reality (AR) in this year alone. If you said you were working on an AR app in 2015, you might have gotten a lot of blank stares or jokes about Google Glass. Then Pokémon GO happened. Like AR, the trends listed below have been building steam for some time, but they’ll be taking off in surprising new directions b...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and containers together help companies achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of Dev...
A lot of time, resources and energy has been invested over the past few years on de-siloing development and operations. And with good reason. DevOps is enabling organizations to more aggressively increase their digital agility, while at the same time reducing digital costs and risks. But as 2017 approaches, the hottest trends in DevOps aren’t specifically about dev or ops. They’re about testing, security, and metrics.
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
Software delivery was once specific to the IT industry. Now, Continuous Delivery pipelines are used around world from e-commerce to airline software. Building a software delivery pipeline once involved hours of scripting and manual steps–a process that’s painful, if not impossible, to scale. However Continuous Delivery with Application Release Automation tools offers a scripting-free, automated experience. Continuous Delivery pipelines are immensely powerful for the modern enterprise, boosting ...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
Docker containers have brought great opportunities to shorten the deployment process through continuous integration and the delivery of applications and microservices. This applies equally to enterprise data centers as well as the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jari Kolehmainen, founder and CTO of Kontena, will discuss solutions and benefits of a deeply integrated deployment pipeline using technologies such as container management platforms, Docker containers, and the drone.io Cl tool...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed ...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Robert Doyle, lead architect at eCube Systems, will examine the issues and need for an agile infrastructure and show the advantages of capturing developer knowledge in an exportable file for migration into production. He will introduce the use of NXTmonitor, a next-generation DevOps tool that captures application environments, dependencies and start/stop procedures in a portable configuration file with an easy-to-use GUI. In addition to captur...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of D...
"We got started as search consultants. On the services side of the business we have help organizations save time and save money when they hit issues that everyone more or less hits when their data grows," noted Otis Gospodnetić, Founder of Sematext, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
We call it DevOps but much of the time there’s a lot more discussion about the needs and concerns of developers than there is about other groups. There’s a focus on improved and less isolated developer workflows. There are many discussions around collaboration, continuous integration and delivery, issue tracking, source code control, code review, IDEs, and xPaaS – and all the tools that enable those things. Changes in developer practices may come up – such as developers taking ownership of code ...
The proper isolation of resources is essential for multi-tenant environments. The traditional approach to isolate resources is, however, rather heavyweight. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Igor Drobiazko, co-founder of elastic.io, drew upon his own experience with operating a Docker container-based infrastructure on a large scale and present a lightweight solution for resource isolation using microservices. He also discussed the implementation of microservices in data and application integrat...
I’m told that it has been 21 years since Scrum became public when Jeff Sutherland and I presented it at an Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages & Applications (OOPSLA) workshop in Austin, TX, in October of 1995. Time sure does fly. Things mature. I’m still in the same building and at the same company where I first formulated Scrum.[1] Initially nobody knew of Scrum, yet it is now an open source body of knowledge translated into more than 30 languages[2] People use Scrum worldwide for ...