Network Security Concerns Examined

By John Honovich, Published Nov 05, 2009, 07:00pm EST

At an ISC West 2009 presentation [link no longer available], Slayton Solutions spoke in detail on the vulnerabilities of network security while using some highly uncommon situational examples that may exaggerate real life risks. [Note: view slides from presentation [link no longer available]].

The presentation provided an introductory study of network security topics like attack techniques, hacking tools, type of attacks, and preventative security options. 

Some key points discussed were: 

  • The scenario of hackers placing a rogue access point (an cloned access point of the same name) to fool wireless clients into logging in.
  • The scenario of a hacker inside a local network sending large "ping" packets to stall or stop communications of IP cameras.
  • Denial of service method where an attacker spams a target machine with communications request so it cannot respond to legitimate traffic.
  • Discussed the importance of strong passwords that are minimum of 8 characters long using symbols, letters, and numbers.
  • Discussed the importance of using SSL encryption and recommended the security industry use encryption on all communications devices.
  • Hacker may use software to scan for open TCP/IP ports. Explained that security DVRs are most likely set to port 480.  He recommended to change the port to a higher network number.
  • Did not recommend the use of Microsoft OS based DVRs because of the necessity of frequently patching the OS vs the reality of having someone patch the DVR every week.

In addition, physical security scenarios were brought up to bring attention to low tech techniques for stealing information.  For example, the concept of "dumpster diving" into trash bins and using "social engineering" to pretend to be someone else to gather IT information over the phone or in person. Although the scenarios mentioned are possible, the likelihood of these occurrences are uncommon and come across as overly dramatic for the purposes of consideration by a systems integrator.

On a related topic, refer to our discussion on the risks of IP camera hacking.

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