# Types of VPN

Another small post out of my “At a Glance” series: The different types of virtual private networks (VPNs). Looking at Site-to-Site and Remote Access VPNs.

# Setting up NTS-Secured NTP with NTPsec

This is a guest blogpost by Martin Langer, Ph.D. student for “Secured Time Synchronization Using Packet-Based Time Protocols” at Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, Germany.

In the previous posts, I already introduced the Network Time Security (NTS) protocol and described the most important features. Although the specification process has not been completed, there are already some independent NTS implementations and public time servers (IETF106). NTPsec is one of the important representatives of this series and already offers an advanced NTS solution. In this post, I’ll give you a short guide to setting up an NTS-secured NTP client/server with NTPsec.

# Network Time Security – Strengths & Weaknesses

This is a guest blogpost by Martin Langer, Ph.D. student for “Secured Time Synchronization Using Packet-Based Time Protocols” at Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, Germany.

The Network Time Security protocol (NTS) is close to completion as an Internet standard and will replace the existing security mechanisms in NTP. The introductory article on NTS describes the basic communication process as well as the most important features. Despite high-security efforts, NTS also has its limitations. In this blogpost, I list the strengths and weaknesses of the new authentication mechanism and describe them briefly.

# Network Time Security – New NTP Authentication Mechanism

This is a guest blogpost by Martin Langer, Ph.D. student for “Secured Time Synchronization Using Packet-Based Time Protocols” at Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, Germany.

In many areas, the use of authentication mechanisms in NTP is important to prevent the manipulation of time information by an attacker. For many years, NTP has been offering solutions such as a Symmetric Key based method and the Autokey approach. However, both have serious disadvantages, for which reason they are rarely used to secure NTP connections. After years of development, a new standard is to be adopted in 2020 that solves the problems of the current mechanisms and offers a real alternative. First implementations of the so-called Network Time Security protocol (NTS) are already available and interoperate with each other …

# Idea: On-the-Fly TLSA Record Spoofing

It is quite common that organizations use some kind of TLS decryption to have a look at the client traffic in order to protect against malware or evasion. (Some synonyms are SSL/TLS interception, decryption, visibility, man-in-the-middle, …) Next-generation firewalls as well as proxies implement such techniques, e.g., Palo Alto Networks or Blue Coat. To omit the certificate warnings by the clients, all spoofed certificates are signed by an internal root CA that is known to all internal clients. For example, the root CA is published via group policies to all end nodes.

But what happens if the DNS-based Authentication of Named Entities (DANE) is widely used within browsers? From the CA perspective, the spoofed certificates are valid, but not from the DANE perspective. To my mind we need something like an on-the-fly TLSA record spoofing technique that works in conjunction with TLS decryption.

# How to use DANE/TLSA

DNS-based Authentication of Named Entities (DANE) is a great feature that uses the advantages of a DNSSEC signed zone in order to tell the client which TLS certificate he has to expect when connecting to a secure destination over HTTPS or SMTPS. Via a secure channel (DNSSEC) the client can request the public key of the server. This means, that a Man-in-the-Middle attack (MITM) with a spoofed certificate would be exposed directly, i.e., is not possible anymore. Furthermore, the trust to certificate authorities (CAs) is not needed anymore.

In this blog post I will show how to use DANE and its DNS records within an authoritative DNS server to provide enhanced security features for the public.

# Roundcube Installation Guide

Roundcube is an email webclient which is easy and intuitive to use. I am using it for my private mails, connecting via IMAP and SMTP to my hoster. One of the great advantages is the “flag” option which is synchronized via IMAP to my Apple devices.

Following is a step-by-step installation guide for Roundcube plus an update scenario. It is a kind of “memo for myself”, but hopefully, others can use it as well.

# Yet another ownCloud Installation Guide

If you want to use you own ownCloud installation, you can find several documentation on the Internet on how to set up this server, e.g. the official ownCloud documentation, or installation guides such as this or that or here. But none of these page alone provided enough information for installing a secure server completely from the beginning.

So here comes my step-by-step guide which surely won’t be complete, too. ;) However, hopefully it will help other people while searching for their way to install ownCloud. Additionally I am showing how to upgrade an ownCloud server.

# F5 SSL Profile: “Single DH use” not working?

In the paper of the Logjam attack, a sentence about the F5 load balancers confused me a bit: “The F5 BIG-IP load balancers and hardware TLS frontends will reuse $g^{b}$ unless the “Single DH” option is checked.” This sounds like “it does NOT use a fresh/ephemeral diffie-hellman key for new connections”. I always believed, that when a cipher suite with EDH/DHE is chosen, the diffie-hellman key exchange always generates a new $b$ for computing $g^{b}$. Hm.

Therefore, I tested this “Single DH use” option on my lab F5 unit, in order to find out whether the same public key (as noted in Wireshark) is used for more than one session.

# Palo Alto PANOS 6.1.2: No more SSLv3/POODLE

Another fixed issue in the just released PANOS version 6.1.2 from Palo Alto Networks is bug ID 71321: “Removed support for SSL 3.0 from the GlobalProtect gateway, GlobalProtect portal, and Captive Portal due to CVE-2014-3566 (POODLE).” I scanned my lab unit before (6.1.1) and after the OS upgrade (6.1.2) and here are the results.

# Apache SSL Cipher Suites: Perfect Forward Secrecy

I was interested to tune my https sites with Apache to support only cipher suites that use the ephemeral Diffie-Hellman key exchange = perfect forward secrecy. But after searching a while through the Internet, only SSLCipherSuite with a few concrete algorithms were presented, while I wanted to use a more generic option such as known from “!MD5”. Here it is:

# Palo Alto Remote Access VPN for iPhone

I tested the Palo Alto GlobalProtect app on my iPhone, but also the native IPsec Cisco VPN-Client on iOS which connects to the GlobalProtect Gateway on a Palo Alto firewall, too. Since this variant needs no further licenses from Palo Alto, it is a cheap alternative for a basic VPN connection.

Though not that much exciting, there are a few differences in the logs on the firewall which I will show here on the basis of a few screenshots.

# At a Glance: Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS)

During the last few months the concept of Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) was presented on many newspapers and guidelines. This concept is related to the session key generation for SSL/TLS as well as for IPsec tunnels. And even though many of these articles describe the benefit of PFS, I was still missing a picture that shows the main difference between the classical key exchange via RSA and the exchange via Diffie-Hellman with PFS. So, here comes my poster. ;)

# E-Mail Übertragung verschlüsseln

Zur Zeit wird viel über Abhörmaßnahmen im Internet und speziell über das generelle Mitschneiden von Traffic normaler User geredet. Und während große Firmen gezielt Verschlüsselungstechniken einsetzen können hat der Otto Normalverbraucher kaum das Wissen, um ernsthaft etwas gegen das Mitschneiden seiner Daten zu tun. Dabei ist es gar nicht so schwer, zumindest die Übertragung der eigenen E-Mails hin zu seinem Provider über entsprechende Maßnahmen abzusichern. Ob man damit die internationalen Geheimdienste aussperrt bleibt fraglich, aber zumindest schränkt man das Mitlesen der privaten E-Mails durch Unbefugte im Internet deutlich ein! Hier kommt also eine Erklärung inkl. einiger Screenshots der gängigen E-Mail Programme und Smartphones, um die eigenen E-Mails über einen verschlüsselten Kanal zu übertragen. Continue reading E-Mail Übertragung verschlüsseln