Category: Security

What is the difference between tunnel | transport mode in IPsec

Intro

IPsec makes VPN connection possible. I enables to simulate a leased line across public Internet and thus enable us to get secure connection across unsecured environment. It enables encryption, authentication and protection of our data when sent across insecurity of the world’s biggest internetwork – Internet.

It’s the cheap way to simulate a leased line, the way to send private data across the public network without compromising privacy. The goal of IPsec is to secure services and lower the cost of data transfer. Try to compare it to pricing of data transfers across dark cables / leased lines.

There are two parts of IPsec security suite
– ESP – Encapsulating Security Payload
– AH – Authentication Header

Based on our situation we can configure two different modes of operation and here we are to make the things clear about the differences and the technology behind those modes.

IPSec Transport Mode and Tunnel Mode

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Source-based routing in IPv4 and IPv6 networks

In my current studies, I did some work about security inside networking data paths. In my recent work, I tried to get some experiments done that needed to use source based routing in order to be completed. Like most of the scientific work that tries to get from paper to experiment and then to something useful, it failed at the very beginning. If I can be more precise and improve a bit the appearance of my failure here. I can do it by explaining what happened and what did I came across while researching my idea. It’s something as simple as this:

Source based routing, by the suggestion of IETF needs to be disabled by default on networking devices. At least it should be as the feature itself is recognised as a major security threat and IETF itself is trying to get rid of it.

Of course that can be considered like a stop sign in an experiment where you are relying solely on source based routing to get your thing running.   (:

When you look at the networking technology these days that’s probably IP protocol that you are talking about. Okay maybe you are new age junkie and you are probably speaking about IPv6 protocol. Either way, the very first and main principle of routing packet across data network is based on the destination IP address routing/decision making. Router is making decision on where will he send some packet based more or less solely on destination IP address. It is doing so by reading his locally built routing table of destination subnets. From that table router gets the info out of which interface will he sent the packet that is destined for some address.

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IPv6 First-Hop Security

All methods to mitigate IPv6 security issues
Real life security intro

In the process of configuring our corporate network test segment for IPv6, there was a direct demand to pay particular attention to security. It was my role to go trough all materials I could get to learn more about IPv6 security.

It was my role to go trough all materials I could get to learn more about IPv6 security. In that process, first stop was my favourite packetpushers podcast. They published more that 200 podcast till now and one of them was about IPv6 security that I needed. In that security show from last year

They published more that 200 podcast till now and one of them was about IPv6 security that I needed. In that security show from last year Healthy Paranoia Show 4:IPv6 Security Smackdown! Mrs. Y with bunch of great hosts discussed IPv6 security. They speak about almost all stuff that exists today in securing IPv6 enabled networks. One of the guests was Mr. Eric Vyncke, Cisco Distinguished Consulting Engineer who wrote IPv6 Security book for CiscoPress. Later, I did see that this book was everything you need to learn IPv6 security.  Of course, it’s easy to get edge router to run IPv6 on

One of the guests was Mr. Eric Vyncke, Cisco Distinguished Consulting Engineer who wrote IPv6 Security book for CiscoPress. Later, I did see that this book was everything you need to learn IPv6 security.  Of course, it’s easy to get edge router to run IPv6 on

Later, I did see that this book was everything you need to learn IPv6 security.  Of course, it’s easy to get edge router to run IPv6 on Internet-facing interface, but my goal is to get IPv6 inside our LAN environment and that part is still tricky if you include all the stuff needed to be done (especially on firewall part of the story).

I searched for additional information and some examples on how to configure Cisco gear for IPv6. Specially helpful were IPv6 webinars from long followed Networking/Cisco genius Ivan Pepelnjak at his great site ipspace.net (one of my homepage tabs). Here the guest is again Eric Vyncke.

After I gathered the knowledge out of those resources, I was ready to deploy IPv6 on my test segments and make it secure. Here are just a few rows about every one of IPv6 first-hop security features that are available on Cisco equipment. Just for the info, not all the equipment has all the features. Some of them came out

Here are just a few rows about every one of IPv6 first-hop security features that are available on Cisco equipment. Just for the info, not all the equipment has all the features. Some of them came out

Just for the info, not all the equipment has all the features. Some of them came out a few months ago so older switches and routers may not have all of these implemented. Sometimes you will be limited by the license to. I need to mention that other vendor’s equipment also supports most features mentioned below. For

I need to mention that other vendor’s equipment also supports most features mentioned below. For now it seems that Cisco invested the most effort and gathered the best team of engineers to add all possible features for IPv6 first-hop security inside IOS.

Let’s go with the list:

IPv6 RA Guard – RA messages are important part of IPv6 architecture. They are the only way to get default gateway info to host in the network segment (beside static configuration). DHCPv6 does not carry this information in his messages unlike DHCPv4. RA messages are Router Advertisement messages send from main router that is default gateway for that specific network segment. Having that in mind it’s clear that, only port on the switch that needs to receive RA messages inbound, is the port connecting the router. All other switch ports for hosts are only forwarding RA messages to host devices but there is no need for host to send RA messages back to switch. Even better, it is wrong if some host sends RA messages because he is then practically trying to take the role of default gateway away from router. Configuring RA Guard on all switch ports except port that heads towards the router is preventing rouge RA advertisements on that segment.

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RADIUS server Infrastructure

In short RADIUS means Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service server or proxy.  Is used for centralised accounting, authorisation and most of all, authentication. This technology will help you control who will be able to connect to your network and who will not be granted the access.

It can control the access for all sorts of networks, wireless, VPN, dial-up, direct device to device like router to router connections, basically wherever you put it the middle of communication he can do the control.

There is also RADIUS proxy configuration where proxy only receives and accepts the connection requests but for the decision making it will be connected to other server who will do the RADIUS role.

There are two major ways to deploy radius server and that are:

  • Deployment of FreeRADIUS server on UNIX servers. This is by many network engineers basically a best daemon which implements radius protocol and makes your UNIX server a RADIUS enabled server.
  • Deployment of IAS role – Internet Authentication Service on Windows Server machine will allow you to make your Windows Server machine respond to RADIUS requests and act as a real RADIUS server. It includes some AD stuff implemented in so it will be able to authenticate the users from Active Directory domain. Which is his biggest advantage over UNIX deployment of course if you have AD deployed in you organization, and you have surely.

RADIUS server connects to user account database which is Active Directory in Windows Server or some normal user database in UNIX. Can be normal SQL table with users in it and can checks access credentials. If the user is authorized to access some network that is secured with RADIUS, he will authorize the access for that user and writes a log of the user entrance to the network.

Components of a RADIUS infrastructure

radius components

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Find unknown static IP on device

If you work in networking sooner or later there will be a situation where someone will bring you a device that you must connect to your network that was used somewhere else before. That can be something like switch, Fiber channel switch, some security appliance, different controllers etc. In that case this device will often have a static IP address assigned and you will not know whish address that is. In that case you are unable to communicate with the device and if you are connecting it to your network he will have different IP from you subnet. That will make the device unreachable.

You need to find this unknown IP address in some way so you can connect to the device and then change the IP.

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