Principles of Incident Response and Disaster Recovery, 2nd Edition

Chapter 7 Incident Response: Response Strategies

Objectives

• Explain what an IR reaction strategy is and list general strategies that apply to all incidents

• Define incident containment and describe how it is applied to an incident

• List some of the more common categories of incidents that may occur

• Discuss the IR reaction strategies unique to each category of incident

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Introduction

• What do we do once we have detected an incident?

• IR reaction strategies – Procedures for regaining control of systems and

restoring operations to normalcy – Are at the heart of the IR plan and the CSIRT’s

operations • How the CSIRT responds to an incident relies in

part on its mission philosophy: – Protect and forget – Apprehend and prosecute

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IR Response Strategies

• Once the CSIRT has been notified and arrives “on scene ” – First: assess the situation – Second: begin asserting control and make positive

steps to regain control over the organization’s information assets

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IR Response Strategies (cont’d.)

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Response Preparation

• Prevention strategies – Using risk assessment to make informed decisions – Acquiring and maintaining good host security – Acquiring and maintaining good network security – Implementing comprehensive malware prevention – Thorough and ongoing training to raise user

awareness

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Incident Containment

• Containment strategies – Monitoring system and network activities – Disabling access to compromised systems that are

shared with other computers – Changing passwords or disabling accounts of

compromised systems – Disabling system services, if possible

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Incident Containment

• Containment strategies (cont’d.) – Disconnecting compromised systems (or networks)

from the local network – Temporarily shutting down compromised systems – Verifying that redundant systems and data have not

been compromised

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Incident Containment (cont’d.)

• Identifying the attacking hosts involves: – Verifying the IP address of the attacking system – Web-based research of the attacking host’s IP

address – Incident/attack database searches – Attacker back-channel and side-channel

communications

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Incident Eradication

• Many practitioners feel that a system, once compromised, can never be restored to a trusted state

• To prevent concurrent recurrence – Team must continuously monitor the assets

associated with the current incident and the remaining assets that may be susceptible to attack

– The organization’s monitoring teams should be on high alert, carefully examining communications and system activities

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Incident Recovery

• The reestablishment of the pre-incident status of all organizational systems

• Incident recovery involves: – Implementing the backup and recovery plans that

should already be in place before the attack • Difficult part of recovery

– The identification of data that may have been disclosed

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Incident Containment and Eradication Strategies for Specific Attacks

• CSIRT leader must determine appropriate response based on certain aspects of the incident – Type – Method of incursion – Current level of success – Current level of loss – Expected or projected level of loss – Target – Target’s level of classification and/or sensitivity – Any legal or regulatory impacts mandating a specific

response Principles of Incident Response and Disaster Recovery, 2nd Edition 13

Incident Containment and Eradication Strategies for Specific Attacks (cont’d.) • Containment strategy should include details about

how the organization will handle: – Theft or damage to assets – Whether to preserve evidence for potential criminal

prosecution – Service-level commitments and contract

requirements to customers – Allocation of necessary resources to activate

strategy – Graduated responses that may be necessary – Duration of containment efforts

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Handling Denial of Service (DoS) Incidents

• Denial-of-service (DoS) attack – Occurs when an attacker’s action prevents the

legitimate users of a system from using it • Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack

– The use of multiple systems to simultaneously attack a single target

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Handling Denial of Service (DoS) Incidents (cont’d.)

• Tasks to be performed before the DoS incident – Coordinating with service provider – Collaborating and coordinating with professional

response agencies – Implementation of prevention technologies – Monitoring resources – Coordinating the monitoring and analysis capabilities – Setting up logging and documentation – Configuring network devices to prevent DoS

incidents

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Handling Denial of Service (DoS) Incidents (cont’d.)

• Containment strategies during the DoS incident – Try to fix the source of the problem – Change the organization’s filtering strategy – Try to filter based on the characteristics of the attack – Engage upstream partners – Eliminate or relocate the target system

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Handling Denial of Service (DoS) Incidents (cont’d.)

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Handling Denial of Service (DoS) Incidents (cont’d.)

• After the DoS attack, the organization: – Should consider its overall philosophy of protect and

forget or apprehend and prosecute – Will want to collect evidence to see how the incident

occurred and to provide insight into how to avoid future recurrences

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Malware

• Designed to damage, destroy, or deny service to the target systems

• Common instances include: – Viruses and worms, Trojan horses, logic bombs,

back doors, and rootkits • Cookie

– Data kept by a Web site as a means of recording that a system has visited the site

• Tracking cookie – Collects valuable personal information, then sends it

along to the attacker Principles of Incident Response and Disaster Recovery, 2nd Edition 23

Malware (cont’d.)

• Before the malware incident : – Schedule awareness programs to inform users

about current malware issues – Keep up on vendor and IR agency postings and

bulletins – Implement appropriate IDPS – Conduct effective inventory and data organization – Implement and test data backup and recovery

programs

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Malware (cont’d.)

• To search for undetected infections during the malware incident – Scan internal systems to look for active service ports – Use updated scanning and cleanup tools promptly

and aggressively – Analyze logs from e-mail servers, firewalls, IDPSs,

and individual host log files for anomalous items – Give network and host intrusion systems access to

signature files that can indicate when certain behaviors have occurred

– Conduct periodic and ongoing audits Principles of Incident Response and Disaster Recovery, 2nd Edition 25

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Malware (cont’d.)

• Response strategies for malware outbreaks include: – Filtering e-mail based on subject, attachment type

using malware signatures, or other criteria – Blocking known attackers – Interrupting some services – Severing networks from the Internet or each other – Engaging the users – Disrupting service

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Malware (cont’d.)

• After the malware incident – System should be constantly monitored to prevent

re-infection – Distribute warnings that a particular malware

incident has occurred and that it was successfully handled

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Unauthorized Access

• Attempts by insiders to escalate privileges and access information and other assets for which they do not explicitly have authorization

• Some examples of UA – Gaining unauthorized administrative control of any

server or service – Gaining unauthorized access to any network or

computing resource – Defacing or unauthorized modification of any public-

facing information service

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Unauthorized Access (cont’d.)

• Before the UA incident – Placing a common central log server in a more

highly protected area of the network will certainly assist in post-event analyses

– Implementing an effective password policy and having both a complete and usable management policy as well as technology-enforced password requirements is critical

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Unauthorized Access (cont’d.)

• During the UA incident – NIST recommends the following containment

strategies • Isolate • Disable • Block • Disable • Lockdown

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Unauthorized Access (cont’d.)

• After the UA incident – The task of identifying the avenue of attack and

closing any still-open repeat mechanisms begins – The organization must identify the extent of the

damage and look for any residual effects – The CSIRT should always presume that if a critical

information asset was accessed, the data stored within it is compromised

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Inappropriate Use

• IU incidents – Predominantly characterized as a violation of policy

rather than an effort to abuse existing systems • The following can be considered IU incidents

– Inappropriate and/or unauthorized software or services

– Organizational resources used for personal reasons – Organizational resources used to harass coworkers – Restricted company information and other assets

stored in external sites

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Inappropriate Use (cont’d.)

• Before the IU incident – For a policy to become enforceable, it must meet the

following five criteria • Dissemination (distribution) • Review (reading) • Comprehension (understanding) • Compliance (agreement) • Uniform enforcement

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Inappropriate Use (cont’d.)

• During the IU incident – Level of authority an individual manager has

• Important thing to consider when investigating a potential IU incident

– Clear policies must be in place that discuss the level of direct investigation the CSIRT may undertake

– The organization should clearly define the circumstances under which the CSIRT and/or management may investigate the interior of a piece of organization equipment

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Inappropriate Use (cont’d.)

• After the IU incident – The CSIRT will typically turn copies of all

documentation over to management for administrative handling, then monitor the offending systems for possible recurrences

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Hybrid or Multicomponent Incidents

• Many incidents begin with one type of event, then transition to another

• Timeliness is a factor in prioritizing the response • Key recommendations for handling hybrid incidents

– Use software to support incident management – Prioritize each incident component as it arises – Contain each incident, then scan for others

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Automated IR Response Systems

• The CSIRT must document and preserve every action, file, event, and item of potential evidentiary value

• Automated IR systems to facilitate IR documentation are available through a number of vendors

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Summary

• IR reaction strategies – Plans for regaining control of systems and restoring

operations to normality in the event of an incident • Once the CSIRT is active, the first task that must

occur is an assessment of the situation • Some prevention strategies include:

– Risk assessment – Acquiring and maintaining good host security – Acquiring and maintaining good network security

• It is imperative to contain a confirmed incident Principles of Incident Response and Disaster Recovery, 2nd Edition 51

Summary (cont’d.)

• Incident recovery – The reestablishment of the pre-incident status of all

organizational systems • The selection of the appropriate reaction strategy is

an exercise in risk assessment • Denial of service (DoS)

– Occurs when an attacker’s action prevents the legitimate users of a system or network from using it

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  • Principles of �Incident Response and Disaster Recovery, 2nd Edition
  • Objectives
  • Introduction
  • IR Response Strategies
  • IR Response Strategies (cont’d.)
  • Response Preparation
  • Incident Containment
  • Incident Containment
  • Slide Number 9
  • Incident Containment (cont’d.)
  • Incident Eradication
  • Incident Recovery
  • Incident Containment and Eradication Strategies for Specific Attacks
  • Incident Containment and Eradication�Strategies for Specific Attacks (cont’d.)
  • Handling Denial of Service (DoS) Incidents
  • Handling Denial of Service (DoS) Incidents (cont’d.)
  • Handling Denial of Service (DoS) Incidents (cont’d.)
  • Handling Denial of Service (DoS) Incidents (cont’d.)
  • Slide Number 19
  • Handling Denial of Service (DoS) Incidents (cont’d.)
  • Slide Number 21
  • Slide Number 22
  • Malware
  • Malware (cont’d.)
  • Malware (cont’d.)
  • Slide Number 26
  • Slide Number 27
  • Slide Number 28
  • Malware (cont’d.)
  • Malware (cont’d.)
  • Unauthorized Access
  • Slide Number 32
  • Unauthorized Access (cont’d.)
  • Slide Number 34
  • Unauthorized Access (cont’d.)
  • Slide Number 36
  • Slide Number 37
  • Slide Number 38
  • Unauthorized Access (cont’d.)
  • Slide Number 40
  • Inappropriate Use
  • Inappropriate Use (cont’d.)
  • Inappropriate Use (cont’d.)
  • Slide Number 44
  • Slide Number 45
  • Inappropriate Use (cont’d.)
  • Slide Number 47
  • Hybrid or Multicomponent Incidents
  • Slide Number 49
  • Automated IR Response Systems
  • Summary
  • Summary (cont’d.)