Virtual machines and network security...
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Thread: Virtual machines and network security...

  1. #1
    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
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    Virtual machines and network security...

    ...how are network admins handling the presence of virtual computers on
    their networks? Currently I rank as a domain admin, and virtual machines/
    computers are not yet an issue for us largely because very few of our users
    are even local admins thus lack the priviledges to install apps. I've been
    playing with the technology as time permits, and we may use it for our NT
    simulators. I'm interested in how other admins are handling their presence.
    Thanks.
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

  2. #2
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Treat VMs like any physical box and lock them down accordingly. It will depend on what platform the VMs run on (e.g., ESX, Windows, Linux etc) in addition to the VMs Guest OS itself.

    The principles are the same, just a slight variance in the number of physical boxes.
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  3. #3
    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
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    The IT dep't I'm working in is woefully understaffed and underfunded, and
    has been for some time. Currently there's two of us who handle support
    for 400+ computers onsite and maybe 150 remote users. I hate to admit
    this, but we don't even know where many of our computers are, nor does
    my company nor the client company (this is an outsourcing situation) seem
    particularly concerned at this point in time. There's a lot of network upgrading
    going on, but for now our network is not monitored save for some of the
    web browsing.

    What I'm wondering about more than anything is detecting rogue VM's and tracking them down.
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

  4. #4
    Only african to own a PC! Cider's Avatar
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    Wow broken, that is quite a stress factor for you. I played with Vm's abit and agree with MsKittens.

    PSeak to the boss there, you cant carry on like that :P
    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
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  5. #5
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokencrow
    The IT dep't I'm working in is woefully understaffed and underfunded, and
    has been for some time. Currently there's two of us who handle support
    for 400+ computers onsite and maybe 150 remote users. I hate to admit
    this, but we don't even know where many of our computers are, nor does
    my company nor the client company (this is an outsourcing situation) seem
    particularly concerned at this point in time. There's a lot of network upgrading
    going on, but for now our network is not monitored save for some of the
    web browsing.

    What I'm wondering about more than anything is detecting rogue VM's and tracking them down.
    What is the actual virtual appliance? Are all the machines Windows? or do you know?
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  6. #6
    Senior Member kr5kernel's Avatar
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    We use virtual machines and love it, something simple to help track them down would be nmap. Nmap will at least return that the mac address attached to a virtual machine is a vmware device, I am sure you could edit the vmx of a appliance and change it, but might be a quick and dirty way to check for rogues.
    Sample:
    MAC Address: 00:xx:xx:xx:xx:C4 (VMware)
    kr5kernel
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kr5kernel
    We use virtual machines and love it, something simple to help track them down would be nmap. Nmap will at least return that the mac address attached to a virtual machine is a vmware device, I am sure you could edit the vmx of a appliance and change it, but might be a quick and dirty way to check for rogues.
    Sample:
    MAC Address: 00:xx:xx:xx:xx:C4 (VMware)
    Before I comment.. WOW.. You obfuscated a MAC Address... very odd...

    Anyways... The problem with relying on MAC Address detection is that it's way to easy to change it....

    So a couple of questions:

    1) Are you worried about rogue VMs on internal machines or personal machines? (I'm guessing internal, since if it's a much better issue in general if people are able to use their personal computers at the office)...

    Following on my assumption of internal machines..

    These machines will be on the domain no doubt... So while kr5's suggestion works.. since it can be bypassed there are better methods..

    1. Write a quick and dirty tool to check and see if a version of VMWare, VirtualPC, Xen, etc is installed on the machine. (Since you have domain credentials... and assuming these machines are on the domain this will be fairly straight forward)... If a computer has VMWare without requiring it then it's probably running Rogue VMs... at that point you just have to watch for them..

    Unfortunately this is reactive...

    If you want to be proactive..

    2. Configuring your network (assuming quality switches) to make use of some of the more basic NAC features that most switches support... I highly suggest that on Cisco switches you take advantage of the command switchport port-securit maximum 1. This limits you to 1 Mac Address per switch port. You can use switchport port-security violation [shutdown|restrict|protect] to determine the method of action to take if a second MAC address is detected..

    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  8. #8
    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cider
    Wow broken, that is quite a stress factor for you.
    Yeah, no kidding. I'm getting a bit fed up, especially with purchasing, but I won't go there.

    Quote Originally Posted by HTRegz
    1. Write a quick and dirty tool to check and see if a version of VMWare, VirtualPC, Xen, etc is installed on the machine. (Since you have domain credentials... and assuming these machines are on the domain this will be fairly straight forward)... If a computer has VMWare without requiring it then it's probably running Rogue VMs... at that point you just have to watch for them..

    Unfortunately this is reactive...

    If you want to be proactive..

    2. Configuring your network (assuming quality switches) to make use of some of the more basic NAC features that most switches support... I highly suggest that on Cisco switches you take advantage of the command switchport port-securit maximum 1. This limits you to 1 Mac Address per switch port. You can use switchport port-security violation [shutdown|restrict|protect] to determine the method of action to take if a second MAC address is detected..
    My question as it pertains to my current position is more hypothetical
    than anything. We do have a series of Perl scripts we use to search
    PC's for files when need be. And that first solution came to me as I
    pondered what I'd posted. Just search the network for MS's VPC and
    VMware's app files.

    We run a series of Cisco 2800 and 2900's, and I think at some point my
    current employer may indeed employ those very NAC features. They
    make the most sense. Currently I'm not privy to config'ing those units,
    though I am a domain admin, and the network upgrades are coming fast
    and furious. I know when things settle down, we'll see a series of these
    features.

    Fwiw, I've finally caught on to VM's and am enjoying them when I get the chance. I can see how useful they really are. Well, back to the g-r-i-n-d...
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

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