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Security - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Security. Outline. The Security Problem Authentication Program Threats System Threats Securing Systems Intrusion Detection Encryption Windows NT. The Security Problem. Security must consider the external environment of the system and protect it from: unauthorized access.

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Presentation Transcript


  • The Security Problem

  • Authentication

  • Program Threats

  • System Threats

  • Securing Systems

  • Intrusion Detection

  • Encryption

  • Windows NT

The security problem
The Security Problem

  • Security must consider the external environment of the system and protect it from:

    • unauthorized access.

    • malicious modification or destruction

    • accidental introduction of inconsistency.

  • It is easier to protect against accidental than malicious misuse


  • User identity most often established through passwords

    • can be considered a special case of either keys or capabilities

  • Passwords must be kept secret

    • Frequent change of passwords

    • Use of “non-guessable” passwords

    • Log all invalid access attempts

  • Passwords may also either be encrypted or allowed to be used only once

Program threats
Program Threats

  • Trojan Horse

    • Code segment that misuses its environment

    • Exploits mechanisms used to allow programs written by some users to be executed by other users

  • Trap Door

    • Specific user identifier, input, or password that circumvents normal security procedures

    • could be included in a compiler

  • Stack and buffer overflow

    • Exploits a bug in a program (overflow memory buffers) that leads to allowing the user executing the program to overwrite the program’s stack

System threats
System Threats

  • Worms

    • use spawn mechanism to spread and command remote machines

    • standalone program

    • internet worm

      • Exploited UNIX networking features (remote access) and bugs in finger and sendmail programs.

      • Grappling hook program uploaded main worm program

  • Viruses

    • fragment of code embedded in a legitimate program

    • mainly effect desktops

    • downloading viral programs from public depots (internet, etc)

  • Denial of service

    • Overload the targeted computer preventing it from doing any useful work

Threat monitoring
Threat Monitoring

  • Check for suspicious patterns of activity

    • several incorrect password attempts may signal password guessing

    • receiving network packets out-of-order may indicate fingerprinting/scanning

    • opening network connections and abandoning them may indicate DoS

  • Audit log

    • records the time, user, and type of all accesses to an object

    • useful for recovery from a violation and developing better security measures

  • Scan the system periodically for security holes

    • It is done when the computer is relatively unused

Threat monitoring1
Threat Monitoring

  • Check for

    • Short or easy-to-guess passwords

    • Unauthorized set-uid programs

    • Unauthorized programs in system directories, including /tmp

    • Unexpected long-running processes

    • Improper directory protections

    • Improper protections on system data files

    • Dangerous entries in the program search path (Trojan horse)

    • Changes to system programs: monitor checksum values


  • A firewall is placed between trusted and untrusted hosts.

  • The firewall limits network access between these two security domains.

Intrusion detection
Intrusion Detection

  • Detect attempts to intrude into computer systems

  • Detection methods:

    • Auditing and logging

    • Tripwire (UNIX software that checks if certain files and directories have been altered)

  • Detection algorithms

    • Pattern matching

    • Learn to distinguish normal from abnormal behaviors

  • System call monitoring

    • Learn “normal” sequences of system calls, and raise an alarm when an “anomalous” sequence is observed

    • False alarm rate must be low and detection rate high: difficult!!


  • Encrypt clear text into cipher text

  • Properties of good encryption techniques

    • Relatively simple for authorized users to incrypt and decrypt data

    • Encryption scheme depends not on the secrecy of the algorithm but on a parameter of the algorithm called the encryption key

    • Extremely difficult for an intruder to determine the encryption key

  • Data Encryption Standard (DES)

    • substitutes characters and rearranges their order on the basis of an encryption key provided to authorized users via a secure mechanism. Scheme only as secure as the mechanism


  • Public-key encryption based on each user having two keys

    • A public key – published key used to encrypt data

    • A private key – key known only to individual user used to decrypt data

  • Must be an encryption scheme that can be made public without making it easy to figure out the decryption scheme.

    • Efficient algorithm for testing whether or not a number is prime.

    • No efficient algorithm is know for finding the prime factors of a number.

Encryption example ssl
Encryption Example - SSL

  • SSL – Secure Socket Layer

    • Cryptographic protocol to facilitate the secure exchange of messages between two computers

    • Used between web servers and browsers for secure communication (credit card numbers)

    • The server is verified with a certificate.

    • Communication between each computers uses symmetric key cryptography

Computer security classifications
Computer Security Classifications

  • U.S. Department of Defense outlines four divisions of computer security: A, B, C, and D.

  • Trusted Computer Base (TCB)

    • Totality of hardware, software, and firmware for protection

  • D – Minimal security.

  • C – Provides discretionary protection through auditing.

    • C1 identifies cooperating users with the same level of protection; limited access right support for large groups of users

      • Most flavors of UNIX

    • C2 allows individual user-level access control and ensures that used memory is cleared before given to another user

      • Some secure versions of UNIX

  • A – Uses formal design and verification techniques to ensure security.

Computer security classifications1
Computer Security Classifications

  • B class

    • All the properties of C

    • each object may have unique sensitivity labels.

    • Mandatory Access Controls

    • Multiple Levels of Classification for objects, resources, users

    • B1

      • MAC for memory objects and users

    • B2

      • MAC for all system resources

      • Covert channels and audit

    • B3

      • Negative MAC

Computer security classifications2
Computer Security Classifications

  • A class

    • Uses formal design and verification techniques to ensure security.

    • A1: formally verified but otherwise equivalent to B3

    • A2+: developed by trusted developers in a trusted facility

Windows nt example
Windows NT Example

  • Configurable security allows policies ranging from D to C2.

  • Security is based on user accounts where each user has a security ID.

  • Uses a subject model to ensure access security.

    • A subject tracks and manages permissions for each program that a user runs.

  • Each object in Windows NT has a security attribute defined by a security descriptor. For example, a file has a security descriptor that indicates the access permissions for all users.