Monday, April 24, 2017

Breathtaking Artwork, Bots Made of Perl and IDS in the Cloud: Why You Should See My Talk at SOURCE 2017

So I'm giving a talk at SOURCE Boston 2017 on Wednesday,  April 26 in the 1:15 time slot. Here are the reasons you should come see my talk:

1. This is not a product pitch; this is a talk by and for practitioners. This is "pure" research and retrospective; no security product vendors had control or direction over the research it is based upon. No security product marketing marketing managers had editorial control over the content of the talk (the only downside is that you will be subjected to my breathtaking PowerPoint and art skillz.)

2. The rich data and real-world examples more than make up for any shortcomings in the artwork. We will see several varieties of exploit detonations captured by syscall events; we will examine some perl-based bots taken from real payloads and we will take a look at at the Romanian botnet they connect to.

3. Hunting in the Cloud. We will examine, and analyze, threat and attack detection examples from real-world public cloud environments while considering which kinds of threats, in the cloud, an IDS can and cannot see.

4. Real-world experience that can be taken away and put to use. We will review several years' experience doing intrusion detection in AWS and discuss the pros and cons of various design patterns in great detail. 

This is the full abstract:

Title: Engineering Challenges Doing Intrusion Detection in the Cloud

Conventional, specification-based intrusion detection paradigms, particularly around network intrusion detection, are not easily applied to the software defined network abstractions that power multi-tenant public clouds. While there are challenges, there are also opportunities to do a reboot on traditional network security monitoring and embrace new tactics. This talk contains the lessons learned during extensive research and implementation of various forms of intrusion detection and security monitoring in EC2 and AWS. The talk contains extensive data including comparative test results of IDS tools; examination of what works well and what does not; and a fun interactive portion on real-world cloud threat hunting with syscalls.

The general conclusion is that the difficulty associated with doing conventional network intrusion detection in the public clouds is an opportunity in disguise; an opportunity to experiment and reboot IDS to consider alternatives like behavioral detection including alternate data types like syscalls. When intrusion detection was postulated by Denning et. al. thirty years ago it was never intended to be limited to be limited to doing specification based pattern matching on network packet capture streams. In other words, the idea that we -must- have a network IDS simply because we've been doing network IDS for thirty years is sort of tautological.

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