Archive for Security

Sample Blackberry Enterprise Server Policy

The policy below provides an example of security measures that should be taken towards protecting a corporate network from the threats presented by mobile devices.

These configurations and options should be “taken with a grain of salt”; as a guideline to what features should be set to mitigate the risk of smart-phone being used as un-metered gateways into the corporate network.

The 5-step process should be put into action to address security issues related to smart-phones.

  1. Identify threats and vulnerabilities.
  2. Measure the risk.
  3. Determine what control should be put in place.
  4. Implement industry best practices and standards.
  5. Develop and communicate policy and awareness.


Device-Only Items:

Password Required: True
Allow Peer-to-Peer Messages: False (This can be set to be audited if enabled)
Minimum Password Length: 4
User Can Disable Password: False
Maximum Security Timeout: 5
Maximum Password Age: 180
User Can Change Timeout: False
Password Pattern Checks: (used to enforce complexity in passwords)
Enable Long-Term Timeout: True
Allow SMS: False (These can be set be audited if enabled)
Enable WAP Config: False

Desktop-Only Items:

Show Application Loader: False
Force Load Count: 0
Auto Backup Enabled: True
Auto Backup Include All: True
Do Not Save Sent Messages: False

Common Policy Group:

Lock Owner Info: Lock Information Text
IT Policy Notification:
Set Owner Info: (If found please return to message……)
Disable MMS: True

Password Policy Group:

Set Password Timeout: 20
Set Maximum Password Attempts: 5
Suppress Password Echo: True
Maximum Password History: 3

Security Policy Group:

Disable Untrusted Certificate Use: True
Disabled Revoked Certificate Use: True
Disable Peer-to-Peer Normal Send: True
Disable Key Store Low Security: True
Certificate Status Cache Timeout: 1
Disallow Third Party Application Download: True
Force Lock When Holstered: True
Allow Third Party Apps to Use Serial Port: False
Disable Invalid Certificate Use: True
Disable Weak Certificate Use: True
Disable Key Store Backup: True
Certificate Status Maximum Expiry Time: 4
Disable Stale Status Use: True
Disable Cut/Copy/Paste: True
Disable Radio When Cradled: True
Disable Forwarding Between Services: True
Disabled Unverified CRLs: True
Disable 3DES Transport Crypto: False
Disable Persisted Plain Text: True
Disable Unverified Certificate use: True
Disable IP Modem: True
Allow Smart Card Password Caching: False

SMIME Application Policy Group:

SMIME Minimum Strong RSA Key Length: 1024
SMIME Minimum Strong DH Key Length: 1024
SMIME Minimum Strong ECC Key Length: 163
SMIME Allowed Content Ciphers: AES (256-bit), Triple DES
SMIME Minimum Strong DSA Key Length: 1024

Memory Cleaner Policy Group:

Memory Cleaner Maximum Idle Time: 10
Force Memory Cleaner When Holstered: True

TLS Application Policy Group:

TLS Disable Weak Ciphers: Disable weak ciphers
TLS Disable Untrusted Connection: Disable untrusted connections
TLS Minimum Strong RSA Key Length: 1024
TLS Minimum Strong DH Key Length: 1024
TLS Minimum Strong ECC Key Length: 163
TLS Disable Invalid Connection: Disable invalid connections
TLS Minimum Strong DSA Key Length: 1024
TLS Device Side Only: False

WTLS Application Policy Group:

WTLS Disable Weak Ciphers: Disable weak ciphers
WTLS Disable Untrusted Connection: Disable untrusted connections
WTLS Minimum Strong RSA Key Length: 1024
WTLS Minimum Strong DH Ley Lenth: 1024
WTLS Minimum Strong ECC: 163
WTLS Disable Invalid Connection: Disable invalid connections

Browser Policy Group:

Allow BIS Browser: False

PIM Sync Policy Group:

Disable PIN Messages Wireless Sync: False
Disable SMS Messages Wireless Sync: False

Desktop Policy Group:

Desktop Password Cache Timeout: 10
Desktop Allow Desktop Add-ins: False
Desktop Allow Device Switch: False

Locking Down The Blackberry Network

Auditing SMS and PIN Messages on a BES


Locking Down The Blackberry Network

Early last year India threatened to discontinue Blackberry service if Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the Blackberry did not allow the Indian Government to monitor the Blackberry network traffic raising serious security concerns. Here are a few articles from PCWorld, InfoWorld, and CNet.

Now president-elect Barack Obama vows to keep his Blackberry despite hacking fears and concerns by the Secret Service.

This will not only be a headache for the Secret Service but its pretty likely that hacking attempts towards the RIM network will increase exponentially.

Generally people just don’t think about the risk that a smart-phone poses, specially if its connected to a Blackberry Enterprise Server. How could my phone be a risk to anyone? Well a smartphone is not just a phone, but rather a miniature computer that is not just capable of making calls but it also an un-metered gateway into the corporate network.

In order to understand what actions to take to protect a smart-phone, in particular the Blackberry you have to understand how it works and how it interacts with the Blackberry Enterprise Server.


  • Lack of authentication
  • Lack of encryption
  • Lack of mobile code execution controls
  • Difficult to enforce controls
  • Peripheral devices introduce additional vulnerabilities
  • Infrastructure vulnerabilities service specific operating systems, platforms, applications, etc.
  • Small size is prone to theft and loss
  • All devices may not be corporate owned
  • Multiple configurations of the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) architecture
  • Limited centralized update mechanisms
  • Limited IT/CIO Control

Sources of Recommended Controls and Security Guidelines:

  • The Vendor (Microsoft, Treo, RIM, etc.)
  • SANS (
  • NIST has a great publication
  • Other existing guidelines
  • 3rd Party Solutions often fill the gaps

Once the vulnerabilities have been identified we proceed to implement controls and audits.


Controls will include policies, standards, practices, procedures, guidelines, awareness, authentication, encryption, and asset management.


Once the scope has been defined, allow to review the implementation of policies between the BES, servers, Blackberry devices, and Blackberry desktop agents. Audits also allow the review of configuration and options to ensure that security is not just available but implemented. Additionally configurations pushed down to end devices need to be audited as well.

The infrastructure design and configuration of network components (firewalls, routers, switches, VLANs, etc.) will need to be audited as they play an intricate part of the overall security of the system.

Risk Assessment:

Although this requires additional resources and expertise, its a must in certain environments like corporate or government. A risk assessment will identity security vulnerabilities and provide a 2nd chance to identify all “assets”.

Once this has been completed, validating the risk by performing an “ethical hack” will remove any uncertainty by proving the vulnerabilities identified actually exist.


Providing documentation on the findings is vital. The documentation required will contain an executive summary, action items and details for system administrators, and a clear and concise report with both the good and the bad findings.

A couple of things that should not fall through the cracks are ensuring that the corrective actions are implementable within the organization and the next audit scheduled.

Sample Policy:

Sample Blackberry Enterprise Server Policy


Checkpoint Firewall-1 and The SIP Protocol

You have an asterisk based VoIP phone system sitting on an internal network and you are trying to establish connectivity to a SIP-based trunk provider.

You configure a static NAT entry 1-to-1 for the asterisk box and allow the SIP (udp 5060) through the firewall, but SIP registration fails constantly.

While troubleshooting the issue you observe some strange behavior in the NAT. The SIP registration packet (source port 5060, destination port 5060) reaches the firewall, changes the source port at the interior interface and to another high port at the exterior interface, but the answer packet will not be translated correctly.

Fw monitor shows the following:

a.b.c.d is the internal (private) IP address
n.n.n.n is the external (public) IP address
w.x.y.z is the SIP providers IP address

eth1.10:i[502]: a.b.c.d -> w.x.y.z (UDP) len=502 id=0

UDP: 5060 -> 5060

eth1.10:I[502]: a.b.c.d -> w.x.y.z (UDP) len=502 id=0

UDP: 17973 -> 5060

eth0:o[502]: a.b.c.d -> w.x.y.z (UDP) len=502 id=0

UDP: 17973 -> 5060

eth0:O[510]: n.n.n.n -> w.x.y.z (UDP) len=510 id=0

UDP: 40625 -> 5060

eth0:i[404]: w.x.y.z -> n.n.n.n (UDP) len=404 id=5495

UDP: 5060 -> 40625

eth0:I[398]: w.x.y.z -> a.b.c.d (UDP) len=398 id=5495

UDP: 5060 -> 17973

eth1.10:o[398]: w.x.y.z -> a.b.c.d (UDP) len=398 id=5495

UDP: 5060 -> 17973

eth1.10:O[398]: w.x.y.z -> a.b.c.d (UDP) len=398 id=5495

UDP: 5060 -> 17973

As it can be seen the reply does not get translated back as it should to destination port 5060 and thus will not be accepted by the asterisk box.

To understand and be able to solve the current dilemma its imperative that we explore why the Checkpoint Firewall is behaving this way and preventing our Asterisk box from registering the SIP trunk.

The Stateful Inspection Technology implements all the necessary firewall capabilities at the network level. The FireWall-1 Inspection Module accesses and analyzes data derived from all communication layers. The FireWall-1 Security Server enables the system administrator to define a Security Policy on a per-user basis.

The Inspection Module is located between the Data Link (IP-Stack) and Network Layer (Device Driver). Authentication and Content Security are provided by a suite of FireWall-1 Security Servers, running at the application layers.

The Security Servers enforce Content Security and Authentication for a particular service. Defining a protocol type within an associated service invokes specific protocol handlers enabling a higher level of security by parsing the protocol, and a higher level of connectivity by tracking dynamic actions and these checks are mostly overridden by SmartDefense checks.

So to recap. As the data moves up the OSI layers, it can be intercepted by both the Security Servers and SmartDefense. In this particular case the protocol definition which invokes specific protocol handlers are modifying the reply SIP packets during translation using a random port and not the UDP 5060 asterisk is expecting.

Modifying the Protocol Type on the udp-sip service under the “Advance UDP Services Properties” from SIP_UDP to None will solve the issue.


Security Conferences

It is my intention next year to attend at least a couple of security conferences if not more.

Below is a list of the most established and ones I found attractive.


The largest information security conference on the East Coast is also the only security conference expressly assembling experts to challenge the status quo.

CSI thinks that we should forget about tweaking the status quo. We’re already well into a post-perimeter world but without a consensus on the strategic plan moving forward. It’s time to grapple with the issues and technologies that can radically alter the way security works-now, and in the months and years ahead.

Site Link


It’s the largest underground hacker convention in the world!

When: July 31 – August 2, 2009
Where: Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: $100 (USD) NB. It’s cash only. (free if you’re a full badge Black Hat attendee)

Site Link

Black Hat

The Black Hat Briefings are a series of highly technical information security conferences that bring together thought leaders from all facets of the infosec world – from the corporate and government sectors to academic and even underground researchers. The environment is strictly vendor-neutral and focused on the sharing of practical insights and timely, actionable knowledge. Black Hat remains the best and biggest event of its kind, unique in its ability to define tomorrow’s information security landscape.

When: Various
Where: Las Vegas, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Washington DC
Cost: Varies

Site Link


SecTor brings the world’s brightest (and darkest) minds together to identify, discuss, dissect and debate the latest digital threats facing corporations today. Unique to central Canada, SecTor provides an unmatched opportunity for IT Professionals to collaborate with their peers and learn from their mentors. Held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto, SecTor runs two full days. The event features Keynotes from North America’s most respected and trusted experts. Speakers are true security professionals with depth of understanding on topics that matter. SecTor is a must attend event for every IT Professional.

When: October 5-7, 2009
Where: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cost: Early Bird: $499, Standard: $749, Full: $999 (CDN)

Site Link


ShmooCon is an annual East coast hacker convention hell-bent on offering three days of an interesting atmosphere for demonstrating technology exploitation, inventive software & hardware solutions, and open discussions of critical infosec issues. The first day is a single track of speed talks, One Track Mind. The next two days, there are three tracks: Break It!, Build It!, and Bring It On!.

When: February 6-8, 2009
Where: Wardman Park Marriott, Washington DC, USA
Cost: From $100-$300

Site Link

Chaos Communication Congress

The Chaos Communication Congress is an international, five-day open-air event for hackers and associated life-forms. The Camp features two conference tracks with interesting lectures, a workshop-track and over 30 villages providing workshops and gettogethers covering a specific topic.

When: December 27th to 30th, 2008
Where: bcc Berliner Congress Center, Berlin, Germany
Cost: 130 € – 1500 €

Site Link


ToorCon is San Diego’s hacker conference bringing together the top security experts to present their new tricks of the trade and have fun in the sunny and beautiful city of San Diego.

When: September 2009
Where: San Diego, California, USA
Cost: From $120-$200

Site Link

HITB Security Conference

The main aim of our conferences is to enable the dissemination, discussion and sharing of network security information. Presented by respected members of both the mainstream network security arena as well as the underground or black hat community, this years conference promises to deliver a look at several new attack methods that have not been seen or discussed in public before.

When: Various
Where: Dubai, Malaysia
Cost: Varies

Site Link


PhreakNIC is an annual gathering in Nashville, TN, for hackers, makers, security professionals, and general technology enthusiasts. Hours upon hours of both informative and entertaining presentations are given by volunteers and many areas are set up with the intent of encouraging socialization.

When: October 2009
Where: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Cost: $25

Site Link


SANS provides intensive, immersion training designed to help you and your staff master the practical steps necessary for defending systems and networks against the most dangerous threats – the ones being actively exploited. The courses are full of important and immediately useful techniques that you can put to work as soon as you return to your offices. They were developed through a consensus process involving hundreds of administrators, security managers, and information security professionals, and address both security fundamentals and awareness, and the in-depth technical aspects of the most crucial areas of IT security.

When: Various
Where: Various
Cost: Varies

Site Link

Techno Security Conference

TheTrainingCo. is both new and old. As a corporation, it is the culmination of a dream that we have been sharing with people for the past decade. In that sense, it is new. We officially opened our doors in early 1999.
We are old in that the experiences of our senior staff are almost unmatched in their knowledge of the subjects being addressed at our conferences and speaking engagements. Every bit of that hard earned knowledge came as a result of years of highly specialized work and contact with thousands of people. Our two senior members alone bring more than one half of a century of pioneering efforts in the fields of Techno-Security and Cyber-Crime Prevention.

When: May 31 – June 3, 2009
Where: Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
Cost: $895

Site Link

CEIC Conference

CEIC offers lectures and hands-on labs delivered by industry-leading experts, which gives attendees the opportunity to learn the latest techniques and methodologies in computer forensics, eDiscovery, incident response and enterprise investigations.

When: May 17-20, 2009
Where: Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Universal Orlando, USA
Cost: $895

Site Link

IntrusionWorld Conference

The IntrusionWorld Conference & Expo is the forum for business and corporate executives, Industry, government, legal and academic experts that aim to present the state-of-the-art of the practice, emerging technologies in intrusion prevention. Peer-to-peer groups will help us understand the trends and confront the challenges inherent in today’s intrusion prevention technologies, products, systems implementation and risk management. Field practitioners will exchange best practices and lessons learned. Participants will share ideas and expand business and professional contacts during lunch roundtables, workshops, receptions and other activities.

When: May , 2009
Where: Baltimore, MD, USA
Cost: $875

Site Link

The Last Hope

We all knew these days would come. The Last HOPE is the seventh Hackers On Planet Earth conference.

When: July, 2009
Where: Hotel PennSylvania, New York, USA
Cost: $

Site Link

RSA Security Conference

In information security, you’re trained to expect the unexpected. Changes occur in a nanosecond. Stay on top by staying one step ahead — attend RSA® Conference 2008!
Join us for the most comprehensive forum in information security. Come learn about the latest trends and technologies, get access to new best practices, and gain insight into the practical and pragmatic perspectives on the most business critical issues facing you today.
Connect and collaborate. Build your professional network. And mingle with 17,000 of the industry’s best and brightest.

When: April 20-24, 2009
Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco, California, USA
Cost: From $1495 – $3295

Site Link

Info Security Canada

When it comes to your critical information – it’s not a question of if it’s at risk, it’s a question of when. Stay in front of the fast, ever changing information security curve, at Infosecurity Canada 2008, your first and best line of defense.

When: June, 2009
Where: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cost: TBD

Site Link