Securing Instant Messaging - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Securing Instant Messaging

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  1. Securing Instant Messaging Matt Hsu

  2. Outline • Introduction • Instant Messaging Primer • Instant Messaging Vulnerabilities and Exploits • Securing Instant Messaging in Your Corporation • Conclusion

  3. Introduction

  4. Instant Messaging Primer • Instant Messaging is not a new technology • The first system, IRC, was developed in 1988 by Jarkko Oikarinen • Providing Services: p2p real-time chatting and file transfer capabilities • Current IM systems: ICQ, AOL IM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat

  5. Communication Mode Client-Server instant messaging P2P instant messaging

  6. Encryption, File Transfers, Scripting, Others • Most IM systems do not encrypt p2p traffic • Those systems do not encrypt files transferred either • A handful of IM platforms offer scripting capabilities • Additional functionality: mini-Web provided by ICQ

  7. Instant Messaging Vulnerabilities and Exploits (1) • Eavesdropping • Using a packet sniffer • Account Hijacking • A number of Web sites provide DIY for launching such a attack • Password protection is very limited • Data Access and Modification • Buffer overflow • In May 2002, w00w00 identified a vulnerability: an attacker to gain full access to targeted systems

  8. Instant Messaging Vulnerabilities and Exploits (2) • Worms and Blended Threats • IM software maintains a list of buddies • By two ways: 1)leveraging IM scripting 2) exploiting a buffer overflow • Scripting Instant Messaging Threats • Instant Messaging Threats that Exploit Vulnerabilities • Denial-of-Service • Instant messaging server vulnerabilities

  9. Securing Instant Messaging in Your Corporation • IM vs. Firewalls • Out-of-the-box firewall configurations are not sufficient enough to block access • Tunneling tech: It make a client to slip past the corporate firewall • IM File Transfers vs. Firewalls • The best way to block file transfers is to block the port numbers used by IM products

  10. Instant Messaging Best Practices • Establish a corporate instant messaging usage policy • Properly configure corporate perimeter firewalls • Deploy desktop antivirus software • Employ personal firewalls to ensure policy compliance • Deploy corporate instant messaging servers • Recommended instant messaging client settings • Install all IM patches a.s.a.p • Use vulnerability management solutions to ensure policy compliance

  11. Conclusion • Current IM systems are inadequately secured • Need a layer suitable security systems • Consider the growing number of wireless phones already supporting IM services • Great Sentence: “Only by appropriately securing these systems will businesses be able to reap their full economic benefits”