Rapid7 Blog

National Exposure  

National Exposure Index 2017

Today, Rapid7 is releasing the second National Exposure Index, our effort to quantify the exposure that nations are taking on by offering public services on the internet—not just the webservers (like the one hosting this blog), but also unencrypted POP3, IMAPv4, telnet, database servers,…

Today, Rapid7 is releasing the second National Exposure Index, our effort to quantify the exposure that nations are taking on by offering public services on the internet—not just the webservers (like the one hosting this blog), but also unencrypted POP3, IMAPv4, telnet, database servers, SMB, and all the rest. By mapping the virtual space of the internet to the physical space where the machines hosting these services reside, we can provide greater understanding of each nation's internet exposure to both active attack and passive monitoring. Even better, we can point to specific regions of the world where we can make real progress on reducing overall risk to critical internet-connected infrastructure. Measuring Exposure When we first embarked on this project in 2016, we set out to answer some fundamental questions about the composition of the myriad services being offered on the internet. While everyone knows that good old HTTP dominates internet traffic, we knew that there are plenty of other services being offered that have no business being on the modern internet. Telnet, for example, is a decades-old remote administration service that offers nothing in the way of encryption and is often configured with default settings, a fact exploited by the devastating Mirai botnet attacks of last October. But, as security professionals and network engineers, we couldn't say just how many telnet servers were out there. So we counted them. Doing Something About It We know today that there are about 10 million apparent telnet servers on the internet, but that fact alone doesn't do us a lot of good. Sure, it's down 5 million from last year—a 33% drop that can be attributed almost entirely to the Mirai attacks—but this was the result of a disaster that caused significant disruption, not a planned phase-out of an old protocol. So, instead of just reporting that there are millions of exposed, insecure services on the global internet, we can point to specific countries where these services reside. This is far more useful, since it helps the technical leadership in those specific countries get a handle on what their exposure is so they can do something about it. By releasing the National Exposure Index on an annual basis, we hope to track the evolving internet, encourage the wide-scale deployment of more modern, secure, appropriate services, and enable those people in positions of regional authority to better understand their existing, legacy exposure. Mapping Exposure We're pretty pleased with how the report turned out, and encourage you to get a hold of it here. We have also created an interactive, global map so you can cut to the statistics that are most important for you and your region. In addition, we're releasing the data that backs the report—which we gathered using Rapid7's Project Sonar—in case you're the sort who wants to do your own investigation. Scanning the entire internet takes a fair amount of effort, and we want to encourage a more open dialogue about the data we've gathered. You're welcome to head on over to scans.io and pick up our raw scanning data, as well as our GitHub repo of the summary data that went into our analysis. If you'd like to collaborate on cutting this data in new and interesting ways, feel free to drop us a line and we'll be happy to nerd out on all things National Exposure with you.

Bringing Home The EXTRABACON [Exploit]

by Derek Abdine & Bob Rudis (photo CC-BY-SA Kalle Gustafsson) Astute readers will no doubt remember the Shadow Brokers leak of the Equation Group exploit kits and hacking tools back in mid-August. More recently, security researchers at SilentSignal noted that it was possible to modify…

by Derek Abdine & Bob Rudis (photo CC-BY-SA Kalle Gustafsson) Astute readers will no doubt remember the Shadow Brokers leak of the Equation Group exploit kits and hacking tools back in mid-August. More recently, security researchers at SilentSignal noted that it was possible to modify the EXTRABACON exploit from the initial dump to work on newer Cisco ASA (Adaptive Security Appliance) devices, meaning that virtually all ASA devices (8.x to 9.2(4)) are vulnerable and it may be interesting to dig into the vulnerability a bit more from a different perspective. Now, "vulnerable" is an interesting word to use since: the ASA device must have SNMP enabled and an attacker must have the ability to reach the device via UDP SNMP (yes, SNMP can run over TCP though it's rare to see it working that way) and know the SNMP community string an attacker must also have telnet or SSH access to the devices This generally makes the EXTRABACON attack something that would occur within an organization's network, specifically from a network segment that has SNMP and telnet/SSH access to a vulnerable device. So, the world is not ending, the internet is not broken and even if an attacker had the necessary access, they are just as likely to crash a Cisco ASA device as they are to gain command-line access to one by using the exploit. Even though there's a high probable loss magnitude1 from a successful exploit, the threat capability2 and threat event frequency3 for attacks would most likely be low in the vast majority of organizations that use these devices to secure their environments. Having said that, EXTRABACON is a pretty critical vulnerability in a core network security infrastructure device and Cisco patches are generally quick and safe to deploy, so it would be prudent for most organizations to deploy the patch as soon as they can obtain and test it. Cisco did an admirable job responding to the exploit release and has a patch ready for organizations to deploy. We here at Rapid7 Labs wanted to see if it was possible to both identify externally facing Cisco ASA devices and see how many of those devices were still unpatched. Unfortunately, most firewalls aren't going to have their administrative interfaces hanging off the public internet nor are they likely to have telnet, SSH or SNMP enabled from the internet. So, we set our sights on using Project Sonar to identify ASA devices with SSL/IPsec VPN services enabled since: users generally access corporate VPNs over the internet (so we will be able to see them) many organizations deploy SSL VPNs these days versus or in addition to IPsec (or other) VPNs (and, we capture all SSL sites on the internet via Project Sonar) these SSL VPN-enabled Cisco ASAs are easily identified We found over 50,000 Cisco ASA SSL VPN devices in our most recent SSL scan.Keeping with the spirit of our recent National Exposure research, here's a breakdown of the top 20 countries: Table 1: Device Counts by Country Country Device count % United States 25,644 50.9% Germany 3,115 6.2% United Kingdom 2,597 5.2% Canada 1,994 4.0% Japan 1,774 3.5% Netherlands 1,310 2.6% Sweden 1,095 2.2% Australia 1,083 2.2% Denmark 1,026 2.0% Italy 991 2.0% Russian Federation 834 1.7% France 777 1.5% Switzerland 603 1.2% China 535 1.1% Austria 497 1.0% Norway 448 0.9% Poland 410 0.8% Finland 404 0.8% Czech Republic 396 0.8% Spain 289 0.6% Because these are SSL VPN devices, we also have access to the certificates that organizations used to ensure confidentiality and integrity of the communications. Most organizations have one or two (higher availability) VPN devices deployed, but many must deploy significantly more devices for geographic coverage or capacity needs: Table 2: List of organizations with ten or more VPN ASA devices Organization Count Large Japanese telecom provider 55 Large U.S. multinational technology company 23 Large U.S. health care provider 20 Large Vietnamese financial services company 18 Large Global utilities service provider 18 Large U.K. financial services company 16 Large Canadian university 16 Large Global talent management service provider 15 Large Global consulting company 14 Large French multinational manufacturer 13 Large Brazilian telecom provider 12 Large Swedish technology services company 12 Large U.S. database systems provider 11 Large U.S. health insurance provider 11 Large U.K. government agency 10 So What? The above data is somewhat interesting on its own, but what we really wanted to know is how many of these devices had not been patched yet (meaning that they are technically vulnerable if an attacker is in the right network position). Remember, it's unlikely these organizations have telnet, SSH and SNMP enabled to the internet and researchers in most countries, including those of us here in the United States, are not legally allowed to make credentialed scan attempts on these services without permission. Actually testing for SNMP and telnet/SSH access would have let us identify truly vulnerable systems. After some bantering with the extended team (Brent Cook, Tom Sellers & jhart) and testing against a few known devices, we decided to use hping to determine device uptime from timestamps and see how many devices had been rebooted since release of the original exploits on (roughly) August 15, 2016. We modified our Sonar environment to enable hping studies and then ran the uptime scan across the target device IP list on August 26, 2016, so any system with an uptime > 12 days that has not been rebooted (or is employing some serious timestamp masking techniques) is technically vulnerable. Also remember that organizations who thought their shiny new ASA devices weren't vulnerable also became vulnerable after the August 25, 2016 SilentSignal blog post (meaning that if they thought it was reasonable not to patch and reboot it became unreasonable to think that way on August 25). So, how many of these organizations patched & rebooted? Well, nearly 12,000 (~24%) of them prevented us from capturing the timestamps. Of the remaining ones, here's how their patch status looks: We can look at the distribution of uptime in a different way with a histogram, making 6-day buckets (so we can more easily see "Day 12"): This also shows the weekly patch/reboot cadence that many organizations employ. Let's go back to our organization list and see what the mean last-reboot time is for them: Table 3: hping Scan results (2016-08-26) Organization Count Mean uptime (days) Large Japanese telecom provider 55 33 Large U.S. multinational technology company 23 27 Large U.S. health care provider 20 47 Large Vietnamese financial services company 18 5 Large Global utilities service provider 18 40 Large U.K. financial services company 16 14 Large Canadian university 16 21 Large Global talent management service provider 15 Unavailable Large Global consulting company 14 21 Large French multinational manufacturer 13 34 Large Brazilian telecom provider 12 23 Large Swedish technology services company 12 4 Large U.S. database systems provider 11 25 Large U.S. health insurance provider 11 Unavailable Large U.K. government agency 10 40 Two had no uptime data available and two had rebooted/likely patched since the original exploit release. Fin We ran the uptime scan after the close of the weekend (organizations may have waited until the weekend to patch/reboot after the latest exploit news) and here's how our list looked: Table 4: hping Scan Results (2016-08-29) Organization Count Mean uptime (days) Large Japanese telecom provider 55 38 Large U.S. multinational technology company 23 31 Large U.S. health care provider 20 2 Large Vietnamese financial services company 18 9 Large Global utilities service provider 18 44 Large U.K. financial services company 16 18 Large Canadian university 16 26 Large Global talent management service provider 15 Unavailable Large Global consulting company 14 25 Large French multinational manufacturer 13 38 Large Brazilian telecom provider 12 28 Large Swedish technology services company 12 8 Large U.S. database systems provider 11 26 Large U.S. health insurance provider 11 Unavailable Large U.K. government agency 10 39 Only one additional organization (highlighted) from our "top" list rebooted (likely patched) since the previous scan, but an additional 4,667 devices from the full data set were rebooted (likely patched). This bird's eye view of how organizations have reacted to the initial and updated EXTRABACON exploit releases shows that some appear to have assessed the issue as serious enough to react quickly while others have moved a bit more cautiously. It's important to stress, once again, that attackers need to have far more than external SSL access to exploit these systems. However, also note that the vulnerability is very real and impacts a wide array of Cisco devices beyond these SSL VPNs. So, while you may have assessed this as a low risk, it should not be forgotten and you may want to ensure you have the most up-to-date inventory of what Cisco ASA devices you are using, where they are located and the security configurations on the network segments with access to them. We just looked for a small, externally visible fraction of these devices and found that only 38% of them have likely been patched. We're eager to hear how organizations assessed this vulnerability disclosure in order to make the update/no update decision. So, if you're brave, drop a note in the comments or feel free to send a note to research@rapid7.com (all replies to that e-mail will be kept confidential). 1,2,3 Open FAIR Risk Taxonomy [PDF]

Rapid7 Releases New Research: The National Exposure Index

Today, I'm happy to announce the latest research paper from Rapid7, National Exposure Index: Inferring Internet Security Posture by Country through Port Scanning, by Bob Rudis, Jon Hart, and me, Tod Beardsley. This research takes a look at one of the most foundational components of…

Today, I'm happy to announce the latest research paper from Rapid7, National Exposure Index: Inferring Internet Security Posture by Country through Port Scanning, by Bob Rudis, Jon Hart, and me, Tod Beardsley. This research takes a look at one of the most foundational components of the internet: the millions and millions of individual services that live on the public IP network. When people think about "the internet," they tend to think only of the one or two protocols that the World Wide Web runs on, HTTP and HTTPS. Of course, there are loads of other services, but which are actually in use, and at what rate? How much telnet, SSH, FTP, SMTP, or any of the other protocols that run on TCP/IP is actually in use today, where are they all located, and how much of it is inherently insecure due to running over non-encrypted, cleartext channels? While projects like CAIDA and Shodan perform ongoing telemetry that covers important aspects of the internet, we here at Rapid7 are unaware of any ongoing effort to gauge the general deployment of services on public networks. So, we built our own, using Project Sonar, and we have the tooling now to not only answer these fundamental questions about the nature of the internet and come up with more precise questions for specific lines of inquiry. Can you name the top ten TCP protocols offered on the internet? You probably can guess the top two, but did you know that #7 is telnet? Yep, there are 15 million good old, reliable, usually unencrypted telnet out there, offering shells to anyone who cares to peek in on the cleartext password as it's being used. We found some weird things on the national level, too. For instance, about 75% of the servers offering SMB/CIFS services - a (usually) Microsoft service for file sharing and remote administration for Windows machines -  reside in just six countries: the United States, China, Hong Kong, Belgium, Australia and Poland. It's facts like these that made us realize that we have a fundamental gap in our awareness of the services deployed on the public side of firewalls the world over. This gap, in turn, makes it hard to truly understand what the internet is. So, the paper and the associated data we collected (and will continue to collect) can help us all get an understanding of what makes up one of the most significant technologies in use on Planet Earth. So, you can score a copy of the paper, full of exciting graphs (and absolutely zero pie charts!) here. Or, if you're of a mind to dig into the data behind those graphs, you can score the summary data here and let us know what is lurking in there that you found surprising, shocking, or sobering.

Featured Research

National Exposure Index 2017

The National Exposure Index is an exploration of data derived from Project Sonar, Rapid7's security research project that gains insights into global exposure to common vulnerabilities through internet-wide surveys.

Learn More

Toolkit

Make Your SIEM Project a Success with Rapid7

In this toolkit, get access to Gartner's report “Overcoming Common Causes for SIEM Solution Deployment Failures,” which details why organizations are struggling to unify their data and find answers from it. Also get the Rapid7 companion guide with helpful recommendations on approaching your SIEM needs.

Download Now

Podcast

Security Nation

Security Nation is a podcast dedicated to covering all things infosec – from what's making headlines to practical tips for organizations looking to improve their own security programs. Host Kyle Flaherty has been knee–deep in the security sector for nearly two decades. At Rapid7 he leads a solutions-focused team with the mission of helping security professionals do their jobs.

Listen Now