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Security Cloud Networking Hardware

IPMI Protocol Vulnerabilities Have Long Shelf Life 62

msm1267 (2804139) writes "If enterprises are indeed moving services off premises and into the cloud, there are four letters those companies' IT organizations should be aware of: IPMI. Short for Intelligent Platform Management Interface, these tiny computers live as an embedded Linux system attached to the motherboards of big servers from vendors such as IBM, Dell and HP. IPMI is used by a Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) to manage Out-of-Band communication, essentially giving admins remote control over servers and devices, including memory, networking capabilities and storage. This is particularly useful for hosting providers and cloud services providers who must manage gear and data in varied locations.

Noted researchers Dan Farmer, creator of the SATAN vulnerability scanner, and HD Moore, creator of Metasploit, have been collaborating on research into the vulnerabilities present in IPMI and BMCs and the picture keeps getting uglier. Last July, Farmer and Moore published some research on the issue based upon work Farmer was doing under a DARPA Cyber Fast Track Grant that uncovered a host of vulnerabilities, and Internet-wide scans for the IPMI protocol conducted by Moore. Farmer released a paper called 'Sold Down the River,' in which he chastises big hardware vendors for ignoring security vulnerabilities and poor configurations that are trivial to find and exploit."
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IPMI Protocol Vulnerabilities Have Long Shelf Life

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  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @12:10PM (#47190401)
    Every enterprise I've worked for that uses IPMI (BMC, ALOM/ILOM, etc.) has put it on their intranet, not the internet - and as often as not, an especially inaccessible corner of the intranet.

    Y'know, TCP/IP is inherently insecure. In fact, there's no effective built-in security there. IPMI itself is not secure because the security should not be implemented there; any more than network security should not be implemented in TCP/IP. Since this is a server related issue, IPMI implementers and users are presumed to understand this. Workstation users need not concern themselves with this. What sane workstation user will pay the extra money to get hardware with RAC technology?

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra