Category Archives for "Security"

The rise of multivector DDoS attacks

The rise of multivector DDoS attacks

It's been a while since we last wrote about Layer 3/4 DDoS attacks on this blog. This is a good news - we've been quietly handling the daily onslaught of DDoS attacks. Since our last write-up, a handful of interesting L3/4 attacks have happened. Let's review them.

Gigantic SYN

In April, John tweeted about a gigantic 942Gbps SYN flood:

The rise of multivector DDoS attacks

It was a notable event for a couple of reasons.

First, it was really large. Previously, we've seen only amplification / reflection attacks at terabit scale. In those cases, the attacker doesn't actually have too much capacity. They need to bounce the traffic off other servers to generate a substantial load. This is different from typical "direct" style attacks, like SYN floods. In the SYN flood mentioned by John, all 942Gbps were coming directly from attacker-controlled machines.

The rise of multivector DDoS attacks

Secondly, this attack was truly distributed. Normal SYN floods come from a small number of geographical locations. This one, was all over the globe, hitting all Cloudflare data centers:

The rise of multivector DDoS attacks

Thirdly, the attack seem to be partially spoofed. While our analysis was not conclusive, we saw random, spoofed source IP addresses in the largest internet exchanges. The above Hilbert curve shows the source IP Continue reading

Global Cybersecurity and the Internet Conundrum

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the first World War. The 1918 ceasefire re-introduced a fragile peace that had collapsed when the world failed to defend common rules and international cooperation. International security and stability are as important now as they were a century ago.

That’s why French President Emmanuel Macron and leaders from around the world are about to gather in Paris for the first Paris Peace Forum. The forum will attempt to pave a way forward for a world that is shifting and changing faster than most of us can keep up with. That change and shift, and the speed of it is enabled by the Internet.

That is why the Internet Society is participating in the Forum.

I will be in Paris to speak on a panel about creating peace in cyberspace. Cybersecurity concerns across the world are real and justified and need to be addressed. We believe that the collaborative approach that helped to drive the growth of the Internet and allows it to thrive is essential for establishing cybersecurity.

The essence of a collaborative approach is that it allows stakeholders to create a shared vision for security.

The Shared Vision

At the Continue reading

Setting Up Addressing and Routing: FTDv Fun

In my previous blog (Fun in the Lab: FTDv & FMC – Install and Deploy) we deployed a FMC VM and a FTDv VM and ended the blog with the FTDv successfully added to the FMC.

Now?  Now let’s add IP addressing for the FTDv and also set up routing protocol neighbor relationships.  I learned what I am about to show you from my co-worker and friend, Keith Brister.  So don’t thank me, thank Keith.  🙂

I tossed together a ~29 minute YouTube.  Obviously you can watch the entire thing.  Or… here you go for the big sections.

Done and Done.  Easy Peasy!


Fun in the Lab: FTDv & FMC – Install and Deploy

This is my Stealthwatch playground…. errrr… I mean … ahem… “work environment” for a Technical Solution Workshop I am working on for Stealthwatch.

Going to set up FTDv and FMC today.  A co-worker and friend, Scott Barasch, helped me get jump started… so figure I’ll pass on what I just learned to you. 🙂

What this blog will cover is

    1. Deploying the OVF for FTDv
    2. Deploying the OVF for FMC
  2. VMware settings
    1. Tweak for FTDv
    2. Tweak for FMC
  3. Prepping to Power On
    1. Snapshot Both Before Power On
    2. Power Both On
  4. Setup via Console
    1. FMC – console in and setup IP address
    2. FTDv – console in and step thru the prompts
  5. Test IP Connectivity
    1. Ping FMC and FTDv from the PC
    2. Notice Can’t ping FTDv
    3. Fix
    4. Ping
  6. Browse into FMC
    1. Change password
    2. Setup DNS
    3. Setup NTP
    4. Accept EULA
    5. Apply
    1. License FMC
  8. FMC/FTDv: Make the Connection
    1. FTDv – Point FTDv to FMC
    2. FMC – bring the FTDv into the fold.  🙂


So let’s begin.  What I have to host my FMC & FTDv VMs is a UCS M4 with a NIC connected to a Cat4948 in vlan 1.  That NIC is tied to vSwitch0 in the UCS. Continue reading

BGP Hijacks: Two more papers consider the problem

The security of the global Default Free Zone DFZ) has been a topic of much debate and concern for the last twenty years (or more). Two recent papers have brought this issue to the surface once again—it is worth looking at what these two papers add to the mix of what is known, and what solutions might be available. The first of these—

Demchak, Chris, and Yuval Shavitt. 2018. “China’s Maxim – Leave No Access Point Unexploited: The Hidden Story of China Telecom’s BGP Hijacking.” Military Cyber Affairs 3 (1).

—traces the impact of Chinese “state actor” effects on BGP routing in recent years. Whether these are actual attacks, or mistakes from human error for various reasons generally cannot be known, but the potential, at least, for serious damage to companies and institutions relying on the DFZ is hard to overestimate. This paper lays out the basic problem, and the works through a number of BGP hijacks in recent years, showing how they misdirected traffic in ways that could have facilitated attacks, whether by mistake or intentionally. For instance, quoting from the paper—

Brian Kemp is bad on cybersecurity

I'd prefer a Republican governor, but as a cybersecurity expert, I have to point out how bad Brian Kemp (candidate for Georgia governor) is on cybersecurity. When notified about vulnerabilities in election systems, his response has been to shoot the messenger rather than fix the vulnerabilities. This was the premise behind the cybercrime bill earlier this year that was ultimately vetoed by the current governor after vocal opposition from cybersecurity companies. More recently, he just announced that he's investigating the Georgia State Democratic Party for a "failed hacking attempt".

According to news stories, state elections websites are full of common vulnerabilities, those documented by the OWASP Top 10, such as "direct object references" that would allow any election registration information to be read or changed, as allowing a hacker to cancel registrations of those of the other party.

Testing for such weaknesses is not a crime. Indeed, it's desirable that people can test for security weaknesses. Systems that aren't open to test are insecure. This concept is the basis for many policy initiatives at the federal level, to not only protect researchers probing for weaknesses from prosecution, but to even provide bounties encouraging them to do so. Continue reading

Why no cyber 9/11 for 15 years?

This The Atlantic article asks why hasn't there been a cyber-terrorist attack for the last 15 years, or as it phrases it:
National-security experts have been warning of terrorist cyberattacks for 15 years. Why hasn’t one happened yet?
As a pen-tester who has broken into power grids and found 0dayss in control center systems, I thought I'd write up some comments.

Instead of asking why one hasn't happened yet, maybe we should instead ask why national-security experts keep warning about them.

One possible answer is that national-security experts are ignorant. I get the sense that "national" security experts have very little expertise in "cyber" security. That's why I include a brief resume at the top of this article, I've actually broken into a power grid and found 0days in critical power grid products (specifically, the ABB implementation of ICCP on AIX -- it's rather an obvious buffer-overflow, *cough* ASN.1 *cough*, I don't know if they ever fixed it).

Another possibility is that they are fear mongering in order to support their agenda. That's the problem with "experts", they get their expertise by being employed to achieve some goal. The ones who know most about an issue are simultaneously the Continue reading
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