J Wolfgang Goerlich's thoughts on Information Security
A prediction on cloud computing adoption

By wolfgang. 21 December 2009 09:21

I am making a prediction on how the small-medium business market will adopt cloud computing. That’s a risky business, predicting. But we are rolling into a new year, so the time feels right.

My premise is this: adoption of cloud computing will mirror the adoption of virtualization.

The first wave will be infrastructure: development, test environments, backup, disaster recovery. These are not your line-of-business apps. These are not tier 1 apps. These are the solutions that allow an IT team to cut their teeth and learn with minimal risk to the organization’s mission.

The second wave will be point solutions. These are IT solutions to business problems. Need a workflow app? Need a point-and-click reporting solution? Turn to the cloud. These can be considered tier 3, maybe even tier 2. Still, these are not line-of-business apps. These solutions allow an IT team to add value in the business with their cloud savvy knowledge.

This will inevitably lead to a wide range of technologies and vendors. Someone will call this cloud sprawl, and set of the third wave. Consolidation of existing solutions under one cohesive framework. At this point, the bumps will be smoothed over. The technology will be proven. IT teams and businesses will then seek to move tier 1 and line-of-business software to the cloud.

The time frame for this shift will be 3-5 years. My thought is this will play out like other game changing IT solutions. The pace will be set by the organization weighing cost savings against risk. The vanguard will be IT teams that progress thru the first and second waves, before the third wave comes and swamps the ship.

For IT teams, the trick is to build the in-house expertise and keeping cost competitiveness with public cloud solutions. For businesses, the trick is to ensure that IT solutions are proceeded with based on cost savings and value propositions, rather than based on hype. For everyone involved, this will be an interesting 3-5 years.

Tags:

Architecture

Matriux - Upgrade to 2.6.32-7 and install the GPL Hyper-V integration

By wolfgang. 14 December 2009 20:59

These steps will install Matriux into a Hyper-V vm (2008 or 2008 R2) and integrate the network and storage adapters.

Create a Hyper-V vm with the legacy network adapter and a 10 GB vhd.
Download Matriux and 
install onto the local vhd



Configure apt-get to download the Lucid (2.6.32-7) kernel.

 

sudo bash

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

 

# added by -JWG- for Hyper-V integration

# The Lucid repository contains the 2.6.32-7 kernel

deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid main

 

apt-get update

 

Install the kernel and then comment out the repositories.

 

apt-cache search linux-image-2.6.32

apt-get install linux-image-2.6.32-7-generic linux-headers-2.6.32-7-generic build-essential

 

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Comment out the #deb line

 

Validate the kernel after rebooting to ensure we are on 2.6.32-7.

 

uname -r

 

Enable the GPL integration components.

 

uname -r

sudo bash

cd /lib/modules/2.6.32-7-generic/kernel/drivers/staging/hv

insmod hv_vmbus.ko

insmod hv_blkvsc.ko

insmod hv_netvsc.ko

insmod hv_storvsc.ko

 

Add the modules to the startup file.

 

nano /etc/initramfs-tools/modules

 

# added by -JWG- for Hyper-V integration

hv_vmbus

hv_blkvscb

hv_netvsc

hv_storvsc

 

update-initramfs -u

reboot

 

 

Confirm that the modules are loaded. You will have full network and disk integration. The mouse integration (Inputvsc) is currently provided by Citrix Project Satori and has not yet been patched to 2.6.32-7.

 

lsmod | grep vsc

 

Tags:

Hyper-V | Security | Virtualization

Matriux - Downgrade to 2.6.18 and install Hyper-V's integration components

By wolfgang. 14 December 2009 20:55

These steps will install Matriux into a Hyper-V vm (2008 or 2008 R2) and integrate the mouse, network adapter, and storage adapter.

Create a Hyper-V vm with the legacy network adapter and a 10 GB vhd.
Download Matriux and install onto the local vhd
Download the 
Linux Integration components for Windows Server 2008 R2 (LinuxIC v2.iso).
Download the
Citrix Project Satori mouse driver (Inputvsc.iso)

Configure apt-get to download the previous version of the kernel, which includes first flushing and renewing the encryption keyring.

 

sudo bash

 

apt-key list

apt-key del 437D05B5

apt-key del FBB75451

 

apt-key list should now return an empty list.

 

Install the keyring

apt-get install debian-archive-keyring

 

Load the key for the ftp.us.debian.org and security.debian.org.

 

cd /home/tiger/.gnupg/

mv gpg.conf gpg.con~

 

gpg --keyserver wwwkeys.eu.pgp.net --recv 9AA38DCD55BE302B

gpg --list-keys 9AA38DCD55BE302B

gpg --export 9AA38DCD55BE302B > 9AA38DCD55BE302B.gpg

apt-key add ./9AA38DCD55BE302B.gpg

apt-key list

 

Add the repositories to the end of the sources list, and update the apt list.

 

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

 

# Repository for older kernel versions

# added by -JWG- for Hyper-V integration

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian etch main

deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security etch/updates main

 

cd /usr/src/

apt-get update

 

Install the kernel and then comment out the repositories.

 

apt-cache search linux-image-2.6.18

apt-get install linux-image-2.6.18-6-amd64 linux-headers-2.6.18-6-amd64 build-essential

 

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Comment out the two #deb lines.

 

Modify the menu.lst file so it defaults to the 2.6.18-6 and reboot.

 

nano /boot/grub/menu.lst

default 2

reboot

 

Validate the kernel after rebooting to ensure we are on 2.6.18-6.

 

uname -r

Insert the LinuxIC v2.iso disk, copy locally, and install the drivers.

 

sudo bash

 

mkdir /opt/linux_ic

cd /opt/linux_ic

cp -R /media/CDROM/* /opt/linux_ic/

./setup.pl drivers

cat drvinstalls.err

 

The only error should be "make: udevcontrol: command not found" and "make: *** [install] Error 127". These simply indicate that we will need to manually add the services to the init modules file.

 

Insert the Inputsvc.iso disk.

 

mkdir /opt/inputvsc

cd /opt/inputvsc

cp -R /media/CDROM/* /opt/inputvsc/

./setup.pl drivers

cat drvinstall.err

 

Again, the only errors should be related to the modules. Edit that file now.

 

nano /etc/initramfs-tools/modules

 

# added by -JWG- for Hyper-V integration

netvsc

blkvsc

storvsc

inputvsc

 

update-initramfs -u

reboot

 

Confirm that the modules are loaded. Then it is play time.

 

lsmod | grep vsc

Tags:

Hyper-V | Security | Virtualization

Matriux - Penetration Testing from Hyper-V

By wolfgang. 13 December 2009 20:18

Matriux is a vulnerability assessment / penetration testing Linux distribution. The team's beta release was the beginning of this month, and I have been playing around with the distro for the past couple weeks. What can I say? I am a sucker for Latin motto's ("Aut viam inveniam aut faciam" or "I shall find a way or make one") and for cleanly laid out VA/PT toolsets.

The bonus, for those running Hyper-V, is that Matriux is a Kubuntu based and comes with the Jaunty kernel (2.6.28-13-generic). Setting up a Hyper-V security appliance is as simple as creating a vm, using the legacy network adapter, skipping the hard drive, and booting off the downloadable ISO. Matriux works right out of the box within Hyper-V.

You can compare this to the Slax VA/PT distros, which do not support the network adapter. Often times, these distros do not even support the mouse. Using the Matriux Live CD in Hyper-V is a breeze. For an environment to support a demo or an occassional vulnerability assessment, you cannot ask for more.

If you are doing regular assessments, there are a couple limitations with Hyper-V. The legacy network adapter performs at 100 Mbps (significantly slower than the 10 Gbps speed of the standard network adapter.) The Live ISO is read-only, too. The mouse integration is present, but it is not the seamless integration one is used with Windows vms. Oh, and the mouse integration does not work when connected to Hyper-V over RDP. To get full functionality, you will need to install Matriux into a vhd and install the Hyper-V integration components.

The Jaunty kernel does not support integration. You have two options: (1) downgrade Matriux's kernel to 2.6.18 and install Hyper-V's integration components; or (2) upgrade Matriux to the Lucid kernel (2.6.32-7) and enable the Hyper-V GPL code. Option (2) provides faster performance and is in-line with the Matriux planned Beta 2, but it does not support the full mouse integration.

Detailed steps for both options are in the links above. For those who want to skip to the chase and simply try out Matriux under Hyper-V, I have done the steps for you. You can download the security appliance from SimWitty's website. Enjoy!

Matriux beta (0.9.4) with 2.6.18-6 kernel
Matriux beta (0.9.4) with 2-6-32-7 kernel

Thank you to the Matriux team for a smooth, well done security distribution beta. Thanks goes, too, to Tom Houghtby for providing the Linux knowledge and guidance that made the integration possible.

jwg

Tags:

Hyper-V | Operations Security | Security | Virtualization

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