Category Archives: Productology

Code IB 2019: Vulnerability Management Masterclass

On March 29, I held one hour master class “HOW to avoid excessive formalism in Vulnerability Management process” at Code IB Profi 2019. Everything went quite well and I’ve got 88% positive ratings. Not bad result ^_^.

The main feature of the conference was a very special audience. The only way to visit this event was to buy a real ticket (there were no promotional codes, invites, free tickets from sponsors, etc.). So, the people who came were really interested in the content. Target audience: CISO, their deputies, leading experts from all industries. The whole event was up to 200 people, it lasted for 2 days with 4 threads of masterclasses.

This year organizers decided that titles of all masterclasses should start with “How to” (to keep them practical) and there should be checklists for each masterclass as a handout. I am going to translate my checklist Into English and publish it in this blog soon.

In fact, there were 2 masterclasses on Vulnerability Management at the conference! The second was held by Lev Paley. However, our content did not intersect: I spoke mostly about technical stuff (and I criticized VM vendors as usual), and he spoke mainly about the organizational part and high-level processes.

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Vulnerability Management vendors and Vulnerability Remediation problems

It’s not a secret, that Vulnerability Management vendors don’t pay much attention to the actual process of fixing vulnerabilities, that they detect in the infrastructure (Vulnerability Remediation). Although it seems to be the main goal of VM products: to make vulnerabilities fixed and whole IT infrastructure more secure, right?

In fact, most of VM vendors see their job in finding a potential problem and providing a link to the Software Vendor’s website page with the remediation description. How exactly the remediation will be done is not their business.

Vulnerability Management vendors and Vulnerability Remediation

The reason is clear. Remediation is a painful topic and it’s difficult to sell it as a ready-made solution. And even when Vulnerability Vendors try to sell it this way, it turns out pretty ugly and does not really work. Mainly because the Remediation feature is sold to the Security Team, and the IT Team will have to use it.

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Why Asset Management is so important for Vulnerability Management and Infrastructure Security?

When people ask me how should they start building Vulnerability Management process in their organization (well, sometimes it happens), I advice them to create an effective Asset Management process first. Because it’s the foundation of the whole Infrastructure Security.

Asset Management. Because someone has to clean up this mess.

The term “Asset Management” has different meanings and if you start to google it, you will get some results related mainly to finance sphere. I use this term as Qualys and Tenable. For me Asset Management is the process of dealing with network hosts.

So, what should you do in situation described in the tweet above, when you don’t know exactly how many Windows hosts you have in your corporate IT environment? And, more importantly, why do you need to know?

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Can a Vulnerability Scan break servers and services?

The most serious problem of Vulnerability Scanners is that they are too complex and unpredictable. Usually they don’t affect the target hosts, but when they do, welcome to hell! And if you scan huge infrastructure, tens thousands hosts and more, it’s not “if” the scanner will break the server it’s “when” it will do it.

As a responsible person for Vulnerability Management you will be also responsible for all the troubles that VM product can make in the IT infrastructure. And what will you say to the angry mob of your colleagues from IT and Business when they will be quite curious to know why did the service/server go down after the scan? Actually, it’s not much to say.

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First steps with Docker: installation in CentOS 7, vulnerability assessment, interactive mode and saving changes

Docker and containerization are literally everywhere. IMHO, this changes the IT landscape much more than virtualization and clouds. Let’s say you have a host, you checked it and find out that there are no vulnerable packages. But what’s the point if this host runs Docker containers with their own packages that may be vulnerable? Add to this the issues with complex orchestration systems, such as Kubernetes, completely different DevOps subculture with their own terms, slang, beliefs, priorities, and the situation begins to look like complete IT Hell. πŸ™‚

First steps with Docker

But it seems that Docker will be here for a long time, so we will have to live with it. πŸ˜‰ Here I will not write what Docker is and how it works. There are many publications about this. I personally interested in what actually we can do with these weird “virtual machines”, how can we run and assess them.

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Vulnerability Management at Tinkoff Fintech School

In the last three weeks, I participated in Tinkoff Fintech School – educational program for university students. Together with my colleagues, we prepared a three-month practical Information Security course: 1 lecture per week with tests and home tasks.

Each lecture is given by a member of our security team, specialized in one of the following modules: Vulnerability Management, Application Security, Infrastructure Security, Network Security, Virtualization Security, Banking Systems Security, Blue & Red-teaming, etc.

Vulnerability Management at Tinkoff Fintech School

The course is still ongoing, but my Vulnerability Management module is over. Therefore, I want to share my impressions and some statistics.

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Tenable IO WAS Chrome Extension

In the comments of the previous post about Tenable IO WAS Fergus Cooney mentioned a new Google Chrome extension for Tenable IO WAS, that should help in configuring scan Authentication setting. You can install it in Chrome Web Store.

Tenable IO WAS Chrome App

The idea is great. Authentication process in modern web applications is actually too complicated for Web Application Scanners. It is almost impossible to determine automatically which elements of the web interface should be clicked and where to enter the login and password. So it’s great that we can help scanner to do this with the Selenium script. And if Selenium IDE is somehow integrated into the scanner, it is even better. With Tenable.io Web Application Scanning Chrome extension you simply perform the authentication procedure in Chrome once manually, and the recorded script will be sent to Tenable IO WAS.

However, the actual implementation of this extension, IMHO, could be better.

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