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Category: security

Video: IPv6 RA Guard and Extension Headers

Last week’s IPv6 security video introduced the rogue IPv6 RA challenges and the usual countermeasure – RA guard. Unfortunately, IPv6 tends to be a wonderfully extensible protocol, creating all sorts of opportunities for nefarious actors and security researchers.

For years, the networking vendors were furiously trying to plug the holes created by the academically minded IPv6 designers in love with fragmented extension headers. In the meantime, security researches had absolutely no problem finding yet another weird combination of IPv6 headers that would bypass any IPv6 RA guard implementation until IETF gave up and admitted one cannot have “infinitely extensible” and “secure” in the same sentence.

For more details watch the video by Christopher Werny describing how one could use IPv6 extension headers to circumvent IPv6 RA guard

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Video: Rogue IPv6 RA Challenges

IPv6 security-focused presentations were usually an awesome opportunity to lean back and enjoy another round of whack-a-mole, often starting with an attacker using IPv6 Router Advertisements to divert traffic (see also: getting bored at Brussels airport) .

Rogue IPv6 RA challenges and the corresponding countermeasures are thus a mandatory part of any IPv6 security training, and Christopher Werny did a great job describing them in IPv6 security webinar.

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Video: Practical Aspects of IPv6 Security

Christopher Werny has tons of hands-on experience with IPv6 security (or lack thereof), and described some of his findings in the Practical Aspects of IPv6 Security part of IPv6 security webinar, including:

  • Impact of dual-stack networks
  • Security implications of IPv6 address planning
  • Isolation on routing layer and strict filtering
  • IPv6-related requirements for Internet- or MPLS uplinks
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OMG: VTP Is Insecure

One of my readers sent me an interesting pointer:

I just watched a YouTube video by a security researcher showing how a five line python script can be used to unilaterally configure a Cisco switch port connected to a host computer into a trunk port. It does this by forging a single virtual trunk protocol (VTP) packet. The host can then eavesdrop on broadcast traffic on all VLANs on the network, as well as prosecute man-in-the-middle of attacks.

I’d say that’s a “startling revelation” along the lines of “OMG, VXLAN is insecure” – a wonderful way for a security researcher to gain instant visibility. From a more pragmatic perspective, if you enable an insecure protocol on a user-facing port, you get the results you deserve1.

While I could end this blog post with the above flippant remark, it’s more fun considering two fundamental questions.

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Building a Separate Infrastructure for Guest Access

One of my readers sent me an age-old question:

I have my current guest network built on top of my production network. The separation between guest- and corporate network is done using a VLAN – once you connect to the wireless guest network, you’re in guest VLAN that forwards your packets to a guest router and off toward the Internet.

Our security team claims that this design is not secure enough. They claim a user would be able to attach somehow to the switch and jump between VLANs, suggesting that it would be better to run guest access over a separate physical network.

Decades ago, VLAN implementations were buggy, and it was possible (using a carefully crafted stack of VLAN tags) to insert packets from one VLAN to another (see also: VLAN hopping).

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Soap Opera: SRv6 Is Insecure

I heard about SRv6 when it was still on the drawing board, and my initial reaction was “Another attempt to implement source routing. We know how that ends.” The then-counter-argument by one of the proponents went along the lines of “but we’ll use signed headers to prevent abuse” and I thought “yeah, that will work really well in silicon implementations”.

Years later, Andrew Alston decided to document the state of the emperor’s wardrobe (TL&DR: of course SRv6 is insecure and can be easily abused) and the counter-argument this time was “but that applies to any tunnel technology”. Thank you, we knew that all along, and that’s not what was promised.

You might want to browse the rest of that email thread; it’s fun reading unless you built your next-generation network design on SRv6 running across third-party networks… which was another PowerPoint case study used by SRv6 proponents.

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Why Does DHCPv6 Matter?

In case you missed it, there’s a new season of Lack of DHCPv6 on Android soap opera on v6ops mailing list. Before going into the juicy details, I wanted to look at the big picture: why would anyone care about lack of DHCPv6 on Android?

Please note that I’m not a DHCPv6 fan. DHCPv6 is just a tool not unlike sink plunger – nobody loves it (I hope), but when you need it, you better have it handy.

The requirements for DHCPv6-based address allocation come primarily from enterprise environments facing legal/compliance/other layer 8-10 reasons to implement policy (are you allowed to use the network), control (we want to decide who uses the network) and attribution (if something bad happens, we want to know who did it).

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State of IT Security in 2021

Patrik Schindler sent me his views on code quality and resulting security nightmares after reading the Cisco SD-WAN SQL Injection saga. Enjoy!


I think we have a global problem with code quality. Both from a security perspective, and from a less problematic but still annoying bugs-everywhere perspective. I’m not sure if the issue is largely ignored, or we’ve given up on it (see also: Cloud Complexity Lies or Cisco ACI Complexity).

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Another SD-WAN Security SNAFU: SQL Injections in Cisco SD-WAN Admin Interface

Christoph Jaggi sent me a link to an interesting article describing security vulnerabilities pentesters found in Cisco SD-WAN admin/management code.

I’m positive the bugs have been fixed in the meantime, but what riled me most was the root cause: Little Bobby Tables (aka SQL injection) dropped by. Come on, it’s 2021, SD-WAN is supposed to be about building secure replacements for MPLS/VPN networks, and they couldn’t get someone who could write SQL-injection-safe code (the top web application security risk)?

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