Cybersecurity News Roundup, August 12 - 18
Qrator

For those of you still now subscribed to the Cybersecurity Newsletter - the form is at the top of the page.

Best news, articles and scientific papers published since August 12 till 18 are below.

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Qrator filtering network configuration delivery system
Qrator

TL;DR: Client-server architecture of our internal configuration management tool, QControl. 
At its basement, there’s a two-layered transport protocol working with gzip-compressed messages without decompression between endpoints. Distributed routers and endpoints receive the configuration updates, and the protocol itself makes it possible to install intermediary localized relays. It is based on a differential backup (“recent-stable,” explained further) design and employs JMESpath query language and Jinja templating for configuration rendering.

Qrator Labs operates on and maintains a globally distributed mitigation network. Our network is anycast, based on announcing our subnets via BGP. Being a BGP anycast network physically located in several regions across the Earth makes it possible for us to process and filter illegitimate traffic closer to the Internet backbone — Tier-1 operators.

On the other hand, being a geographically distributed network bears its difficulties. Communication between the network points-of-presence (PoP) is essential for a security provider to have a coherent configuration for all network nodes and update it in a timely and cohesive manner. So to provide the best possible service for customers, we had to find a way to synchronize the configuration data between different continents reliably.

In the beginning, there was the Word… which quickly became communication protocol in need of an upgrade.
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Cybersecurity News Roundup, August 5 - 11
Qrator

This post represents a regular Cybersecurity Newsletter issue, available at the dedicated subscribe page.

This time, we are between August 5 and 11 with the best articles, blog posts, and preprints.

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Cybersecurity News Roundup, July 29 - August 4
Qrator

This blogpost represents a regular Cybersecurity Newsletter issue, available at the dedicated subscribe page.

This time, we're between July 29 and August 3 with the best articles posted.

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What is going to happen on February 1, 2020?
Qrator

TL;DR: starting February 2020, DNS servers that don’t support DNS both over UDP and TCP may stop working.

Bangkok streetview
Bangkok streetview​​

Bangkok, in general, is a strange place to stay. Of course, it is warm there, rather cheap and some might find the cuisine interesting, along with the fact that about half of the world’s population does not need to apply for a visa in advance to get there. However, you still need to get acquainted with the smells, and the city streets are casting cyberpunk scenes more than anything else.

In particular, a photo to the left has been taken not far from the center of Thailand’ capital city, one street away from the Shangri-La hotel, where the 30th DNS-OARC organization meeting took place on May 12 and 13. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to security, stability, and overall development of the DNS — the Domain Name System.

Slides from the DNS-OARC 30 meeting are recommended for everyone interested in how the DNS works, though perhaps the most interesting is what is absent in those slides. Namely, a 45-minute round table with a discussion around the results of DNS Flag Day 2019, which occurred on February, 1, 2019.

And, the most impressive result of a round table is the decision to repeat DNS Flag Day once again.

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TLS 1.3 enabled, and why you should do the same
Qrator

As we wrote in the 2018-2019 Interconnected Networks Issues and Availability Report at the beginning of this year, TLS 1.3 arrival is inevitable. Some time ago we successfully deployed the 1.3 version of the Transport Layer Security protocol. After gathering and analyzing the data, we are now ready to highlight the most exciting parts of this transition.

As IETF TLS Working Group Chairs wrote in the article:
“In short, TLS 1.3 is poised to provide a foundation for a more secure and efficient Internet over the next 20 years and beyond.” 

TLS 1.3 has arrived after 10 years of development. Qrator Labs, as well as the IT industry overall, watched the development process closely from the initial draft through each of the 28 versions while a balanced and manageable protocol was maturing that we are ready to support in 2019. The support is already evident among the market, and we want to keep pace in implementing this robust, proven security protocol.

Eric Rescorla, the lone author of TLS 1.3 and the Firefox CTO, told The Register that:
“It's a drop-in replacement for TLS 1.2, uses the same keys and certificates, and clients and servers can automatically negotiate TLS 1.3 when they both support it,” he said. “There's pretty good library support already, and Chrome and Firefox both have TLS 1.3 on by default.”

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ClickHouse DB in DDoS mitigation
Qrator
Two-layered scheme for packet filtration with machine learning

In general, Qrator Labs filtering service involves two stages: first, we immediately evaluate whether a request is malicious with the help of stateless and stateful checks, and, secondly, we decide whether or not to keep the source blacklisted and for how long. The resulting blacklist could be represented as the list of unique IP-addresses.

 

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Wrong, wrong, WRONG! methods of DDoS mitigation
Qrator

That is a quote from one of my favorite bands. Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode is a living proof that you can say the word “wrong” 65 times in 5 minutes and still be a rock star. Let’s see how that’s going to work for me.

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Userspace traffic generation
Qrator
An artist’s concept showing MoonGen + DPDK + Lua traffic generation stack

DDoS attacks mitigation in the wild requires various techniques to be tested and learned. Hardware and software network solutions need to be tested in artificial environments close to real-life ones, with massive traffic streams imitating attacks. Without such experience, one would never acknowledge the specific capabilities and limitations every sophisticated tool has.

In this article, we are going to disclose certain methods of traffic generation used in Qrator Labs.

DISCLAIMER

We notoriously advise any and every reader not to try any offensive use of the tools we write about in this research. Organization of DoS attacks is legally persecuted and could lead to lengthy imprisonment. Qrator Labs responsibly conducts all tests within an isolated laboratory environment.

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Football-driven visitor
Qrator
Photo courtesy: Kommersant / Dmitry Korotaev

During the World Cup 2018 active period traffic of online stores has decreased by almost 1.5 times. Online games and Forex sites attendance felt even stronger, Qrator Labs found. The days of Russian team’s plays made the drop even more pronounced and evident. Such dynamics are tied not only to the popularity of football matches but also the holiday season, explain market participants.

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