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#infosec #security About using #Syspeace against #DDoS attacks for #sysadmin

Syspeace and DDoS attacks

We had a discussion the other day about Syspeace and if it would help in a DDoS attack.

Essentially a DDoS attack is about overloading a server with massive traffic thus making it unreachable for the services the way it is supposed to be.

This can be accomplished in numerous ways.

If for instance 10 000 computers in a botnet are targeted at downloading a specific image or file from a public website without a login, Syspeace would not be the tool for you. Not at the moment anyway. Syspeace is designed to monitor failed login attempts and handle them by custom rules to protect your Windows servers by completely blocking the attacking address in the local firewall. This will protect your server on all ports soo if you other services running on it, they would also be blocked for the attacker.

DOS/DDoS by using Brute force / dictionary attacks and how Syspeace would react

The two different methods in the brute force/dictioanry attack department would be the following.

Single login attempt method

If the same 10 000 copmuters try to login to your server (an Exchange weblogin, RDS/ Terminal Server, Sharepoint, Citrix and so on ) with a brute force / dictionary attack the server would stop responding due to the overload on CPU/RAM and the network would also be filled.

If each and one of these 10 000 computers only tries once to login , Syspeace wouldn’t react since that would esseantially mean that all logins (or IP addresses essentialy) would be blocked at the first thus disabling anyone to login.

If you’re a hosting provider or outsouring provider and you have a number of customers at static IP addresses you could whitelist the customers IP addresses and set up a Syspeace rule to block at one failed login and in that manner have the attacka partially handled by Syspeace.
However, if you’re a Cloud Service provier this won’t work in reality since your customers could be coming from any IP address anywhere.

Multiple login attempt method

The second method would be to have each and everyone of these 10 000 computers constantly trying to login multiple times and such an attack would be blocked by Syspeace.

Bare in mind though, this would not sort out the network being flooded but it would help you protect your server from crashing due to overloaded CPU/RAM usage and it would buy you time to contact your ISP and see if they can help you mitigate the attack (with specific tools or increasing your bandwidth for instance)

To a certain extent , the Syspeace Global Blacklist would probably also have you preemptively protected against some of the IP addresses attacking you already.

If you don’t have Syspeace at all it’s not unlikely you’ll also be having a lot of user accounts locked out if you you’re trying to use lockout policies. Here’s a previous blogpost on why that is

Future features in Syspeace

One of the things we’ve already released are public APIs for customers with their own applications, webapplications and loginforms so we enable them to use the Syspeace engine to easily handle brute force attacks. For more information on how to implement it on your website or appliaction , please refer to the Syspeace Detector API page

We do have some ideas on how also to have Syspeace help in the first scenario (1 login/computer attack) but we’ll get back to you on that after we’ve implemented quite a few new more features and functions that’s already in our roadmap.

To have your Windows servers protected against malicious login attempts and have it set up in minutes without changing your infrasctructure , please visit the Syspeace download page

By Juha Jurvanen

#infosec #cloudsecurity #Syspeace – Host Intrusion Prevention Software on an external #Windowsserver #VPS in the #Cloud #IaaS #PaaS

Syspeace – Host Intrusion Prevention Software on an external Windows Server VPS in the Cloud

There are many variations of IaaS / PaaS / Cloud services.
Some are public clouds and some are hybrids and some are private.
There’s also the possibility rent an external VPS and use as a server at quite a few providers nowadays.

The IaaS/PaaS (Infrastracture as a Service/ Platform as a Service) provider gives you acces to a virtual server designed as to your needs when it comes to RAM and storage. Basically, it’s usually an empty server with an operating system.

Running IT solutions on an external VPS decreases the need for hardware investements but there are still things you need to consider and you need to manage your server the same way you would with any physical server i terms of monitoring security and tha availability of services and applications.

Logically, the server is reachable from the Internet which will make it a target.
Anything that is reachable will be targeted for intrusion attempts. The responsibility for Iaas/PaaS provider is simply to provide you with the Hypervisor needed to host you operating system and the rest is up to you. You install the applications, webservers and everything just as you would with a normal physical server.

Some aware Iaas/PaaS/Cloud service provders do have some kind of Appshop/Control panel where you can get preconfigured software such as an antivirus or even Syspeace for intrusion prevention but it’s not that common.

Remember that your VPS shares “IP-space” with other customers when it comes to the network at your provider and you have absolutely no idea of what your “neighbors” are doing and if they’re the slightest security aware.
They may hve been hacked without you knowing it (or them either for that matter) and they could have the IP address right next to you and their server could be used for instance for portscanning or hacking attempts against your VPS (if seen this quite a few times now).

Your IaaS/PaaS provider usually wouldn’t know since it’s not their responsibility. Their role is simply to provide you and their other customers with a VPS. Nothing more. No security monitoring, no antivirus, no application / services monitoring
In case of a larger DDoS attack, they probobaly have ways to handle them if it concerns their entire network and affects a lot of their customers but when it comes to attacks speciafically targetet at your VPS and your users on it, it’s a bit trickier.

Imagine the scenario you’ve set up a server, you got your users set up, installed your applications and services and it’s up and running. Now, rermember that there’s no connection nbetween you userdatabase and login mechanisms locally on the VPS and your IaaS/PaaS systems so they’ll actually never even get any alarms if some is trying to brute force your server or your webapplication. They will be alerted in case of a large DDoS attack against their entire netowrk but they will not be alerted in cases of a bruteforce attack targetetd against your VPS.
So, in short, it’s all up to you. There’s no differnce apart from your not running the server in your own datacenter or at a hosting company.

Protecting your Windows Server, Exchange, Terminal Server / RDS, Sharepoint, SQL Server, Citrix and more from intrusion attempts

If your running a Windows server as a VPS you need to set up Syspeace to automatically handle intrusion attempts and have them blocked, tracked and reported againts the Syspeace Global Blacklist.
You also need to secure the server in other ways such as an antivirus, have your services monitored, you webapplication login form secured both from malicios code and from brute force logins (this is also wher Syspeace comes into play since there are plugins available for various webplatforms to use against bruteforce attacks)

Syspeace is an automated Host Intrusion Prevention System (also called a HIPS) and is targeted to protect Windows servers, Exchange and OWA , Sharepoint, Terminal Server / RDS and the RDWEB login, Citrix , SQL Server and more from bruteforce / dictionary attacks. . It is easy to install, and easy to manage and you’ll set it up in a couple of minutes and you’re protected. Instantly.

As I’m writing this, Syspeace has succesfully blocked, tracked and reported over 2 921 200 (2.9 Million) brute force and dictionary attacks against Windows servers worldwide.

Have a look the Syspeace website for a free trial download or keep reading some of the previous articles I’ve written on various securiy aspects on server managagement such as Using various brute force and dictionary attack prevention methods to prevent hackers – and why they don’t work and Securing your #WinServ and #MSExchange with an acceptable baseline security

By Juha Jurvanen @ JufCorp

#infosec #cloudsecurity #Syspeace – Host Intrusion Prevention Software on an external #Windowsserver #VPS in the #Cloud #IaaS #PaaS

Syspeace – Host Intrusion Prevention Software on an external Windows Server VPS in the Cloud

There are many variations of IaaS / PaaS / Cloud services.
Some are public clouds and some are hybrids and some are private.
There’s also the possibility rent an external VPS and use as a server at quite a few providers nowadays.

The IaaS/PaaS (Infrastracture as a Service/ Platform as a Service) provider gives you acces to a virtual server designed as to your needs when it comes to RAM and storage. Basically, it’s usually an empty server with an operating system.

Running IT solutions on an external VPS decreases the need for hardware investements but there are still things you need to consider and you need to manage your server the same way you would with any physical server i terms of monitoring security and tha availability of services and applications.

Logically, the server is reachable from the Internet which will make it a target.
Anything that is reachable will be targeted for intrusion attempts. The responsibility for Iaas/PaaS provider is simply to provide you with the Hypervisor needed to host you operating system and the rest is up to you. You install the applications, webservers and everything just as you would with a normal physical server.

Some aware Iaas/PaaS/Cloud service provders do have some kind of Appshop/Control panel where you can get preconfigured software such as an antivirus or even Syspeace for intrusion prevention but it’s not that common.

Remember that your VPS shares “IP-space” with other customers when it comes to the network at your provider and you have absolutely no idea of what your “neighbors” are doing and if they’re the slightest security aware.
They may hve been hacked without you knowing it (or them either for that matter) and they could have the IP address right next to you and their server could be used for instance for portscanning or hacking attempts against your VPS (if seen this quite a few times now).

Your IaaS/PaaS provider usually wouldn’t know since it’s not their responsibility. Their role is simply to provide you and their other customers with a VPS. Nothing more. No security monitoring, no antivirus, no application / services monitoring
In case of a larger DDoS attack, they probobaly have ways to handle them if it concerns their entire network and affects a lot of their customers but when it comes to attacks speciafically targetet at your VPS and your users on it, it’s a bit trickier.

Imagine the scenario you’ve set up a server, you got your users set up, installed your applications and services and it’s up and running. Now, rermember that there’s no connection nbetween you userdatabase and login mechanisms locally on the VPS and your IaaS/PaaS systems so they’ll actually never even get any alarms if some is trying to brute force your server or your webapplication. They will be alerted in case of a large DDoS attack against their entire netowrk but they will not be alerted in cases of a bruteforce attack targetetd against your VPS.
So, in short, it’s all up to you. There’s no differnce apart from your not running the server in your own datacenter or at a hosting company.

Protecting your Windows Server, Exchange, Terminal Server / RDS, Sharepoint, SQL Server, Citrix and more from intrusion attempts

If your running a Windows server as a VPS you need to set up Syspeace to automatically handle intrusion attempts and have them blocked, tracked and reported againts the Syspeace Global Blacklist.
You also need to secure the server in other ways such as an antivirus, have your services monitored, you webapplication login form secured both from malicios code and from brute force logins (this is also wher Syspeace comes into play since there are plugins available for various webplatforms to use against bruteforce attacks)

Syspeace is an automated Host Intrusion Prevention System (also called a HIPS) and is targeted to protect Windows servers, Exchange and OWA , Sharepoint, Terminal Server / RDS and the RDWEB login, Citrix , SQL Server and more from bruteforce / dictionary attacks. . It is easy to install, and easy to manage and you’ll set it up in a couple of minutes and you’re protected. Instantly.

As I’m writing this, Syspeace has succesfully blocked, tracked and reported over 2 921 200 (2.9 Million) brute force and dictionary attacks against Windows servers worldwide.

Have a look the Syspeace website for a free trial download or keep reading some of the previous articles I’ve written on various securiy aspects on server managagement such as Using various brute force and dictionary attack prevention methods to prevent hackers – and why they don’t work and Securing your #WinServ and #MSExchange with an acceptable baseline security

By Juha Jurvanen @ JufCorp

#Infosec When and where is Syspeace useful for intrusion prevention ?

In what scenarios Syspeace is useful for preventing brute force attacks? Do I need it if I’ve only got a Windows workstation?

Syspeace - intrusion prevention for Windows servers

Syspeace website

Syspeace is an intrusion prevention software mainly targeted for Windows Servers, SBS Server, RDS TS Servers, RDWeb, Sharepoint Servers, SQL Server, Exchange, Sharepoint, Citrix and so on but it will also run on Windows 7 and above for home use.

To have a real use for Syspeace these conditions need to be met

1. You need to have enabled remote access to your server / workstation.

2. You need to have set up some kind of portforwarding in your external firewall to your server / workstation. If you are for instance on a standard broadband connection and you haven’t done anything with the default rules in your boradband modem, your workstation is probably not reachable from the Internet thus making a Syspeace installation quite unecessary and waste of RAM and COPU for you, minimal of course but still. There is no need to have software installed in any computer environment that actually doesn’t do anything for you. It’s a waste of resources.  

3.The same goes for servers although in a server environment you might want to have Syspeace installed to monitor and handle internal brute force attacks since Syspeace works just as efficently whetheter the attack is externla or internal. It will even block a workstation trying to connect to netowrk shares via the command prompt using “net use * \servernamesharename” command. Have a look at his entry for instance http://syspeace.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/syspeace-for-internal-brute-force-protection-on-windows-servers/

4. There could be a scenario where you have for instance your own hosted WorPress Blog that is reachable from the Internet . Please refer to http://syspeace.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/syspeace-for-protecting-wordpress-from-brute-force-attacks/ for an idea on brute force prevention for WordPress Blogs.

5. In server envirenments you might have Syspeace installed not only for intrusion prevention but also to have a good reporting on various user login activity that can be viewed and exported in the Access Reports Section.

6. If you’re using mainly Cloud Services or a managed VPS ,the intrusion prevention should be handled by your Cloud Service Provider . Here’s an older blog post on how to have verify how your provider handles hacking attacks : http://syspeace.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/securing-cloud-services-from-dictionary-attacks-hack-yourself/

There is a fully functional, free 30 day trial for download at /free-download/download-plus-getting-started-with-syspeace/ .
Give it a try and have your Windows Server instantly protected from dictionary attacks and brute force attacks. The installtion is small, quick and very easu to set up. You’re up & running in 5 minutes and there’s no need to chnage your current infrasctructure, invest in specific and usually expensive hardware or hire external consultants.

By Juha Jurvanen @ JufCorp

Syspeace for internal brute force protection on Windows Servers

After installing Syspeace , the tech guys started getting notifications that their Exchange Server was trying to login to another server and it was rejected. There was no reason for this server to do so whatsoever and it had not been noticed earlier so it’s hard to say when it actually started.

After disabling the whitelist for the LAN at the customer site they started getting mail notifications that every workstation on their LAN was actually trying to login to various servers using various usernames and password, hence a brute force attack/dictionary attack from the inside.

Most likely a trojan has been planted somewhere and it has infected the rest.

This is a fairly simple example of how Syspeace can actually reveal a security breach a customer wasn’t even aware of had occured.

It is totally up to any customer to use whitelists for the LAN but as a precaution, I personnally wouldn’t recommend it since it acutally gives you a great heads up that something has happened if a computer or multiple computers suddenly starts to try and login to servers they’re not supposed to.

As a system administrator, you get the chance to get attack automatically blocked, logged, traced and reported and you can have a closer at the computer responsible for the attack or have a word the user to see what’s going on.

You can even create extensive reports on all activity originating from that user or computer using the Access Reports section in Syspeace to get a more clear view on how long it’s been trying and so on.

Since Syspeace automatically protects failed logins using Winlogon authentication, your Windows servers are also protected from computers/users trying to use the “net use” or “map network drive” with invalid logon credentials trying to acces shares they’re not supposed to.

If you don’t have processes in place for scanning logs, saving them and monitoring every login activity, it will become grusome task to even know if there’s something going on at all. You simply won’t have the tools to do so.

Have your own servers run the fully functional Syspeace free trial and see if you get any unexpected login failures from the internal network and from Internet.
You might be surprised.

By Juha Jurvanen

Am I under attack for a brute force or dictionary attack on my Windows server?

Brute force attack or dictionary attack on Windows servers

Dictionary attack and Brute force attack are fairly easy to find out if your Windows servers are being hit with some sort of an attack.

Simply enable auditing of Logon Events in your Security Policy and look at the eventviewer and see what pops up. You will then know if your server are hit by brute force or dictionary.

Dictionary or Brute force in the eventviewer

Open your eventviewer and search for logon events named 4625 n Windows 7, Vista, 2008 , 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2 or 529 on Windows server 2003.

Open up these events and look at the username used, the network source address and see if they are legitimate login attempts or not.
You could use for instance WHOIS to find out where the attack came from or traceroute or nslookup.

How do you single out dictionary or Brute force attack?

If you’re under attack you’ll be seeing hundreds or thousands of failed logon attempts, sometimes from a single IP address or in a more serious scenario, from hundreds or even thousands IP addresses at once.

In some cases, such an attack is also just a way to hide the real purpose behind the attack which is to find out what security measures you have in place and to search for any vulnerabilities you may have in place that can be use to hack you later on. The attacker tries to “hide in the noise” so to speak.

If it’s a single IP address it’s fairly easy just to block the attacker in your external firewall completely or in the local Windows firewall (assuming you’re awake and have seen the attack ) but, if it’s hundreds or thousands at once it becomes more or less impossible if you can’t automate it.

This is where Syspeace comes into play.

Syspeace – The innovative tool for Brute force and Dictionary attacks

Syspeace automatically monitors, traces, blocks and reports failed logon events if they reach the criteria you’ve set up, for example “If an attacker fails to login 10 times during 30 minutes, I want the attackers IP address to be blocked completely on all ports for 2 hours” or even “If an IP address fails to login more than 10 times during 7 days, I want the attacker to be blocked ..”

If you’re under attack, the fastest and easiest way is to download the free trial of Syspeace, install it and simply start the Syspeace service and the attack will be blocked automatically within minutes.

At the moment, Syspeace supports Windows 2003, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2 and all of the SBS versions, SQL Server, Exchange Server, Citrix and more.
Out of the box.
And there’s a fully functional, free 30 day trial on the website. We help you check for brute force attack and dictionary attack the easy way.