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Category Archives for "Security"

How do you explain the unreasonable effectiveness of cloud security?

With the enormous attack surface of cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and GCP, why aren't there more security problems? Data breaches and cyber attacks occur daily. How do you explain the unreasonable effectiveness of cloud security?

Google has an ebook on their security approach; Microsoft has some web pages. Both are the equivalent of that person who is disgustingly healthy and you ask them how they do it and they say "I don't know. I just eat right, exercise, and get plenty of sleep." Not all that useful. Most of us want a hack, a trick to good health. Who wants to eat right? 

I'm sure Amazon also eats right, exercises, and gets plenty of sleep (probably not the people who work there), but AWS also has a secret that when that disgustingly healthy person starts talking about at a party, you just can't help leaning in and listening. 

What's the trick to 6-pack security? Proving systems correct. Does your datacenter do that? I didn't think so. AWS does. 

Dr. Byron Cook gave an enthusiastic talk on Formal Reasoning about the Security of Amazon Web Service. He's clearly excited about finally applying his research in a Continue reading

RPKI and BGP: our path to securing Internet Routing

RPKI and BGP: our path to securing Internet Routing
RPKI and BGP: our path to securing Internet Routing

This article will talk about our approach to network security using technologies like RPKI to sign Internet routes and protect our users and customers from route hijacks and misconfigurations. We are proud to announce we have started deploying active filtering by using RPKI for routing decisions and signing our routes.

Back in April, articles including our blog post on BGP and route-leaks were reported in the news, highlighting how IP addresses can be redirected maliciously or by mistake. While enormous, the underlying routing infrastructure, the bedrock of the Internet, has remained mostly unsecured.

At Cloudflare, we decided to secure our part of the Internet by protecting our customers and everyone using our services including our recursive resolver 1.1.1.1.

From BGP to RPKI, how do we Internet ?

A prefix is a range of IP addresses, for instance, 10.0.0.0/24, whose first address is 10.0.0.0 and the last one is 10.0.0.255. A computer or a server usually have one. A router creates a list of reachable prefixes called a routing table and uses this routing table to transport packets from a source to a destination.  

On the Internet, network Continue reading

RPKI – The required cryptographic upgrade to BGP routing

RPKI - The required cryptographic upgrade to BGP routing

We have talked about the BGP Internet routing protocol before. We have talked about how we build a more resilient network and how we can see outages at a country-level via BGP. We have even talked about the network community that is vital to the operation of the global Internet.

Today we need to talk about why existing operational practices for BGP routing and filtering have to significantly improve in order to finally stop route leaks and hijacks; which are sadly pervasive in today’s Internet routing world. In fact, the subtle art of running a BGP network and the various tools (both online and within your a networks subsystems) that are vital to making the Internet routing world a safe and reliable place to operate need to improve.

Internet routing and BGP and security along with its operational expertise must improve globally.

RPKI - The required cryptographic upgrade to BGP routing
photo by Marco Verch by/2.0

Nothing specific triggered today’s writing except the fact that Cloudflare has decided that it's high-time we took a leadership role to finally secure BGP routing. We believe that each and every network needs to change its mindset towards BGP security both on a day-by-day and a long-term basis.

It's time to stop Continue reading

VMware NSX-T Data Center in Evaluation for Common Criteria EAL4+ Certification

VMware NSX-T Data Center 2.x is now under evaluation for Common Criteria certification at Evaluation Assurance Level 4+ with BSI, Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security. Common Criteria is an internationally recognized standard (ISO-15408) that defines, validates, and assures security features and capabilities of IT security products. To see the evaluation status for VMware NSX-T 2.x, visit the German BSI certification website and reference certificate # BSI-DSZ-CC-1099.

VMware NSX-T was introduced to help organizations meet the stringent security demands of containerized workloads, multi-hypervisor, and multi-cloud. And this latest milestone for NSX-T 2.x reinforces VMware’s continuing commitment to deliver secure software to our customers. During the Common Criteria certification process, VMware NSX-T will undergo a thorough and rigorous evaluation methodology, with testing performed by a commercial Common Criteria Evaluation Facility under the oversight of the Certification Body. The Common Criteria certification acts as a seal of assurance for the federal government, its agencies, contractors and other organizations and assures that the product complies with strict security requirements specified within the designated level.

Within the VMware NSX portfolio, we have a long history of investing in certification efforts. For example, VMware NSX Data Center for vSphere 6.x also Continue reading

Expanding DNSSEC Adoption

Expanding DNSSEC Adoption
Expanding DNSSEC Adoption

Cloudflare first started talking about DNSSEC in 2014 and at the time, Nick Sullivan wrote: “DNSSEC is a valuable tool for improving the trust and integrity of DNS, the backbone of the modern Internet.”

Over the past four years, it has become an even more critical part of securing the internet. While HTTPS has gone a long way in preventing user sessions from being hijacked and maliciously (or innocuously) redirected, not all internet traffic is HTTPS. A safer Internet should secure every possible layer between a user and the origin they are intending to visit.

As a quick refresher, DNSSEC allows a user, application, or recursive resolver to trust that the answer to their DNS query is what the domain owner intends it to be. Put another way: DNSSEC proves authenticity and integrity (though not confidentiality) of a response from the authoritative nameserver. Doing so makes it much harder for a bad actor to inject malicious DNS records into the resolution path through BGP Leaks and cache poisoning. Trust in DNS matters even more when a domain is publishing record types that are used to declare trust for other systems. As a specific example, DNSSEC is helpful for preventing Continue reading

End-to-End Integrity with IPFS

End-to-End Integrity with IPFS

This post describes how to use Cloudflare's IPFS gateway to set up a website which is end-to-end secure, while maintaining the performance and reliability benefits of being served from Cloudflare’s edge network. If you'd rather read an introduction to the concepts behind IPFS first, you can find that in our announcement. Alternatively, you could skip straight to the developer docs to learn how to set up your own website.

By 'end-to-end security', I mean that neither the site owner nor users have to trust Cloudflare to serve the correct documents, like they do now. This is similar to how using HTTPS means you don't have to trust your ISP to not modify or inspect traffic.

End-to-End Integrity with IPFS
End-to-End Integrity with IPFS

CNAME Setup with Universal SSL

The first step is to choose a domain name for your website. Websites should be given their own domain name, rather than served directly from the gateway by root hash, so that they are considered a distinct origin by the browser. This is primarily to prevent cache poisoning, but there are several functional advantages as well. It gives websites their own instance of localStorage and their own cookie jar which are sandboxed from inspection and manipulation by malicious third-party documents. Continue reading

Cloudflare goes InterPlanetary – Introducing Cloudflare’s IPFS Gateway

Cloudflare goes InterPlanetary - Introducing Cloudflare’s IPFS Gateway
Cloudflare goes InterPlanetary - Introducing Cloudflare’s IPFS Gateway

Today we’re excited to introduce Cloudflare’s IPFS Gateway, an easy way to access content from the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) that doesn’t require installing and running any special software on your computer. We hope that our gateway, hosted at cloudflare-ipfs.com, will serve as the platform for many new highly-reliable and security-enhanced web applications. The IPFS Gateway is the first product to be released as part of our Distributed Web Gateway project, which will eventually encompass all of our efforts to support new distributed web technologies.

This post will provide a brief introduction to IPFS. We’ve also written an accompanying blog post describing what we’ve built on top of our gateway, as well as documentation on how to serve your own content through our gateway with your own custom hostname.

Quick Primer on IPFS

Cloudflare goes InterPlanetary - Introducing Cloudflare’s IPFS Gateway

Usually, when you access a website from your browser, your browser tracks down the origin server (or servers) that are the ultimate, centralized repository for the website’s content. It then sends a request from your computer to that origin server, wherever it is in the world, and that server sends the content back to your computer. This system has served the Internet well for decades, Continue reading

Welcome to Crypto Week

Welcome to Crypto Week
Welcome to Crypto Week

The Internet is an amazing invention. We marvel at how it connects people, connects ideas, and makes the world smaller. But the Internet isn’t perfect. It was put together piecemeal through publicly funded research, private investment, and organic growth that has left us with an imperfect tapestry. It’s also evolving. People are constantly developing creative applications and finding new uses for existing Internet technology. Issues like privacy and security that were afterthoughts in the early days of the Internet are now supremely important. People are being tracked and monetized, websites and web services are being attacked in interesting new ways, and the fundamental system of trust the Internet is built on is showing signs of age. The Internet needs an upgrade, and one of the tools that can make things better, is cryptography.

Every day this week, Cloudflare will be announcing support for a new technology that uses cryptography to make the Internet better. Everything we are announcing this week is free to use and provides a meaningful step towards supporting a new capability or structural reinforcement. So why are we doing this? Because it’s good for the users and good for the Internet. Welcome to Crypto Week!

A more Continue reading

Trading Off Security And Performance Thanks To Spectre And Meltdown

The revelations by Google’s Project Zero team earlier this year of the Spectre and Meltdown speculative execution vulnerabilities in most of processors that have powered servers and PCs for the past couple of decades shook the industry as Intel and other chip makers scrambled to mitigate the risk of the threats in the short term and then implement plans to incorporate the mitigation techniques into future versions of the silicon.

Trading Off Security And Performance Thanks To Spectre And Meltdown was written by Jeffrey Burt at .

From Idea to Action: Beyond the Net Selects 15 Amazing Chapter Projects!

The Beyond the Net Funding Programme is pleased to announce the results of our 2018 Grant Cycle. A total of 49 applications were received, and after a thorough reviewing process, 15 amazing projects were selected.

These projects are at the core of our mission, and will use the Internet to develop Community Networks in underserved areas, to empower women through ICT, as well as bringing awareness on  Internet policies around the world.

This is the result of months of effort from our Chapter Community. Many discussions, numerous clarifications and proposals, updates, and revisions form the Beyond the Net Selection Committee. We are proud of you all.

Please join us in celebrating the following projects!

Developing community networks in the Northern region of Brazil – Brazil Chapter

Supporting and promoting the development of the Internet to enrich people’s lives, the project aim is to contribute to the growth and improvement of community networks policies and practices in Brazilian rural areas, in order to strengthen those who are marginalized. Instituto Nupef will work to develop a new network in the state of Maranhão as well as a developing a communications plan for the Babassu coconut breakers organizations and movements. Objectives include Continue reading

Research: Tail Attacks on Web Applications

When you think of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, you probably think about an attack which overflows the bandwidth available on a single link; or overflowing the number of half open TCP sessions a device can have open at once, preventing the device from accepting more sessions. In all cases, a DoS or DDoS attack will involve a lot of traffic being pushed at a single device, or across a single link.

TL;DR
  • Denial of service attacks do not always require high volumes of traffic
  • An intelligent attacker can exploit the long tail of service queues deep in a web application to bring the service down
  • These kinds of attacks would be very difficult to detect

 

But if you look at an entire system, there are a lot of places where resources are scarce, and hence are places where resources could be consumed in a way that prevents services from operating correctly. Such attacks would not need to be distributed, because they could take much less traffic than is traditionally required to deny a service. These kinds of attacks are called tail attacks, because they attack the long tail of resource pools, where these pools are much Continue reading

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