Network technologies and trends


May 9, 2013  10:47 PM

What is the error “Signature Auto Update Fails with Error HTTP connection failed [1, 110] “ in Cisco IPS sensors?

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

 

Recently, I configured our Cisco IPS Sensors modules SSM-40 installed in the Cisco ASA 5540 and Cisco IPS 4270 sensor to auto update the signature behind our Blue Coat Proxy SG, upon configuration, I discovered that the auto updates failed. When I tried to know status by using Cisco IOS command.

 “show statistics host” I discovered the auto updates failed, and the command was giving the following errors

IPS#show statistics host

Auto Update Statistics

lastDirectoryReadAttempt = 19:31:09 CST Thu May 9 2013

= Read directory: https://198.133.219.25//cgi-bin/front.x/ida/locator/locator.pl

= Error: AutoUpdate exception: HTTP connection failed [1,110]   <–

lastDownloadAttempt = 19:08:10 CST Thu May 9 2013

lastInstallAttempt = 19:08:44 CST Thu May 9 2013

nextAttempt = 19:35:00 CST Thu May 9 2013

These errors generally observed in IPS sensors running 7.0(7) and 7.0(8) due to a bug “CSCub08230”. In order to overcome this problem available work around is either to download the signature update package manually from Cisco.com and apply the updates manually to the IPS sensors or to upgrade the Cisco IPS sensors to latest  update of 7.2.

The strange thing is that the IPS Sensors were communicating with the Cisco Servers they could be able to connect bypass the proxy servers as shown in my below capture.

IPS capture

However, they failed to update signature simply because the initial connection to the locator service is performed using the HTTPS connection, and the once sensor is authenticated by the digital certificate provided by the server. The connection is switched over to HTTP for the auto-update process. This changer over from HTTPS to HTTP is failing due to the bug “CSCub08230

Hence, temporarily I was forced to revert my configuration and allow IPS sensors to communicate directly with Cisco servers bypassing our bluecoat proxy server.

May 6, 2013  4:59 AM

How to preserve encapsulation across SPAN?

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

While any one of you are trying to analyze a SPAN or RSPAN traffic you may notice that certain layer 2 frames are missing. Usually SPAN/RSPAN ignores layer 2 traffic like CDP, spanning-tree BPUDs, VTP, DTP and PagP frames.  However, these traffic types can be forwarded along with the normal SPAN traffic if the “encapsulation replicate” Cisco IOS command is configured in a Cisco Catalyst Switch.

The below example shows how to enable this feature

CiscoSwitch(config)# monitor session 1 source interface g0/1

CiscoSwitch(config)# monitor session 1 destination interface g0/2 encapsulation replicate


September 11, 2012  5:01 AM

How To Configure a Cisco ASA 5540 firewall for Video Conferencing for Polycom device?

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

 

Recently we were asked to configure the Polycom device to have video conferencing with external world. Our Polycom device is behind a Cisco ASA 5540 firewall as shown in the below network layout.

In order to permit H.323 video conferencing you need to follow the following steps

 

Step 1

 

Define static NAT rules

 

In the above example we will create a NAT rule for the external IP address 192.168.0.3 to the internal IP address 10.0.0.2 (assigned to Polycom device) using the following Cisco IOS command in ASA firewall.

static (inside,outside) 192.168.0.3 10.0.0.2 netmask 255.255.255.255

 

Step 2

 Create an access list to allow access to polycom device from external network, we need to allow the following ports tcp/udp to enable to video conferencing and apply the same to outside interface

H323 -udp

1720 – tcp

3230 3285 – tcp

 

access-list Outside_In remark Allow traffic going to polycom device

access-list Outside_In extended permit udp any host 192.168.0.3 eq 1720

access-list Outside_In extended permit tcp any host 192.168.0.3 eq h323

access-list Outside_In extended permit udp any host 192.168.0.3 range 3230 3285

access-list Outside_In extended permit tcp any host 192.168.0.3 range 3230 3243

 

access-group Outside_In in interface outside

 

 

Step 3

Create the Access list which will allow traffic to traverse the ASA firewall from Internal to External network, repeat the steps above, but ensure the Interface: is set to inside as shown below.

access-list Inside_In remark Allow Traffic form polycom device to outside

access-list Inside_In extended permit udp host 10.0.0.2 any range 3230 3285

access-list Inside_In extended permit tcp any host 10.0.0.2 eq h323

access-list Inside_In extended permit tcp host 10.0.0.2 any range 3230 3242

access-group Inside_In in interface inside

By following the above three steps you can enable video conference to any polycom device behind the ASA firewall.


August 31, 2012  1:27 PM

Data Center Security Policies and Procedures – part5

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

This will be my last series on Data Center Security Policies and Procedures, I will be covering the Exception Reporting and Requesting Access to the Data Center

 

  1. 1.     Exception Reporting

All infractions of the Data Center Physical Security Policies and Procedures shall been reported to the ITKE*.  If warranted (e.g., emergency, imminent danger, etc.).

When an unauthorized individual is found in the DataCenterit must be reported immediately to the responsible ITKE* member.  If this occurs during the evening hours, IT call center or ITKE* senior staff should be contacted.  The unauthorized individual should be escorted from theDataCenter and a full written report should be immediately submitted to ITKE*.

  1. 2.     Requesting Access to the Data Center

Departments / Projects that have computer equipment in the DataCentermay request access to the DataCenter.  The individuals designated by the requesting department/project will be granted access once ITKE* authorized them.  To initiate authorization for access, the manager of the department/project requesting access should direct a request to the ITKE* .  Upon approval by the Head of ITKE*, the person will fill the Datacenter Access Request Form and be provided with a copy of the ITKE* Data Center Access Policies and Procedures document.  A person’s department must notify the ITKE* as soon as possible so that the person’s access to the Data Center can be removed.  This is extremely important in cases where the employee was terminated for cause.  ITKE* – reserves the right not to allow entrance to the Data Centre if the Data Centre already has too many companies performing works.

 

RESPONSIBILITY

  1. It is the responsibility of the ITKE*, End-user Departments, contractors/ vendors/representative to ensure implementation of this IPP.
  2. Respective department heads are responsible for ensuring adherence to the provisions of this IPP.
  3. Audit and Follow-Up Administration will monitor compliance to the provisions stipulated herein.

I hope the policies covered in these series of article will help you out to draft an effective Data Center policy.

*ITKE is used just as reference which can be replaced by your organization or department name


August 31, 2012  1:15 PM

Data Center Security Policies and Procedures – part4

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

In my previous article we overlooked the security policy for Data Center doors and Security System for Data Centers. In this article let’s looks at the following

1.       Periodic Review and Termination / Revocation Access

2.       Access Control Log

 

 1.       Periodic Review and Termination / Revocation Access

Periodic (at least annual) reviews will be performed of those with any level of access to the Data Center.  ITKE* will perform these reviews.  If an individual no longer requires Data Center access, it will be terminate by Removing name from the ITKE* staff Access List.  The results of periodic reviews will be reported to the Head of ITKE*.  The report will include an updated list of those allowed access to the Data Center.

2.       Access Control Log

The Data Center Access Control Log must be properly maintained at all times.

The Log is maintained by ITKE* staff Access.  All individuals with ITKE* staff Access to the Data Center are responsible for maintaining this log. The following procedures must be followed:

  • Each time an individual with Contractors Access to the Data Center is admitted to the area, he must properly log in on the Access Control Log at the time of entrance.  The person admitting the visitor must countersign and fill out the appropriate section of the form.

 

  • Each time an individual with Contractors Access leaves the area, he must properly log out on the Access Control Log at the time he leaves (even if only for a short time). The person with ITKE* staff Access to the area who allows the visitor to leave must fill out the “Log Out” section of the Access Control Log.  The Representatives and the accompanying persons must wear their staff ID cards and our visitor cards within the ITKE* – Data Centre.

*ITKE is used just as reference which can be replaced by your organization or department name


August 17, 2012  7:49 AM

Data Center Security Policies and Procedures – part3

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

 

Well it’s been a long time you saw any update from my side on Data Center policies, in my previous article I was taking about the types of access can be provided to Data Center, let continue our journey with two things

1)      Data Center Doors

2)      Security System for Data Centers.

1.       Data Center Doors

All doors to the Data Center MUST remain locked at all times and may only be temporarily opened for periods NOT to exceed that minimally necessary in order to:

  • Allow officially approved and logged entrance and exit of authorized individuals
  • Permit the transfer of supplies/equipment as directly supervised by a person with ITKE* staff Access to the area
  • Prop opens a door to the Data Center ONLY if it is necessary to increase Air flow into the Data Center in the case on an air conditioning failure. In this case, staff personnel with ITKE* staff Access MUST be present and limit access to the Data Center.

2.       Security System

Access control system provides the normal mechanism for control of access to the Data Center. These mechanisms are employed at the Data Center doors. The permission to access to datacenter MUST be sign from ITKE* directors. Customer MUST provide ITKE*with at least (1) one working day prior notice via e-mail any time it intends to access the ITKE*,Data Centre. Customer MUST provide ITKE*,with at least (3) three working days prior notice any time it requires onsite technical support at the ITKE* Data Centre or it intends to move-in or move-out any Customer Equipment. The Representatives and the accompanying persons MUST keep its licensed area as well as ITKE* Data Centre clean and tidy at all times. The Representatives and the accompanying persons agree to adhere to and abide by all security and safety measures established by ITKE*.

The Representatives and the accompanying persons MUST refrain from doing the following:

  • Engage in any activity that is in violation of the laws or aids or assists any criminal activity while at ITKE* property or in connection with the Data Centre Services;
  • Misuse or abuse any ITKE*’s property or equipment or third party equipment;
  • Make any unauthorized use of or interfere with any property or equipment of any other customer;
  • Harass any individual, including ITKE* personnel and representatives of other customers;
  •  Use of any photographic, video, film or such other device that produces, reproduces, retains or transmits images within the premises and the licensed space.

*ITKE is used just as reference which can be replaced by your organization or department name.


August 14, 2012  7:09 AM

How to enable special http inspection for Cisco ASA firewall

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

 

We had a special request from one of our clinicians; he was trying to access one of the health care portal with the URL http://apps.xxx.xx.sa:2000/. While he was trying to access the same portal from his office it was not accessible, whereas the same portal can accessed from any other location except our office.

While troubleshooting this issue we thought may be our Bluecoat proxy SG was blocking the port 2000 but that was not the case. We were facing the same problem even with static NAT from our ASA 5540 firewall.

One thing was sure the ASA 5540 firewall was blocking the access to the URL http://apps.xxx.xx.sa:2000/. We reviewed all our access list still nothing was wrong with that.  We thought might be some policy map is blocking the access, when we disabled the default policy-map as shown below

policy-map global_policy

 class inspection_default

  inspect dns migrated_dns_map_1

  inspect ftp

  inspect h323 h225

  inspect h323 ras

  inspect netbios

  inspect rsh

  inspect rtsp

  inspect skinny 

  inspect sqlnet

  inspect sunrpc

  inspect tftp

  inspect sip 

  inspect xdmcp

  inspect esmtp

sec/FW01-MB-IE-001(config)# policy-map global_policy

sec/FW01-MB-IE-001(config-pmap)# no class inspection_default

 

The url started working. Now one thing was sure, the problem lies with policy map. We cannot disable the default policy-map which Cisco configured by default in all ASA or PIX firewall, after reading the following documents from Cisco Systems

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/security/asa/asa72/configuration/guide/inspect.html

 

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/security/asa/asa82/configuration/guide/inspect_overview.html

It was clear certain HTTP traffic need a special handling. When we enabled the default policy-map and added a command “inspect http”  as shown below the url can be accessed from our internal LAN.

 sec/FW01-MB-IE-001(config)# policy-map global_policy

sec/FW01-MB-IE-001(config-pmap)#  class inspection_default

sec/FW01-MB-IE-001(config-pmap-c)# inspect http

 


August 10, 2012  10:46 AM

HP releases a new software management platform

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

HP releases a new software management platform known as HP Automated Network Management (ANM) 9.2, which aim to improve the network security, automations and availability. The newly released software is a unified network-management platform which designed with an aim of improving control over network devices, changes in network, increase visibility into performance.

The  HP Automated Network Management (ANM) 9.2 is comprised of the following products:

 

1.  HP Network Node Manager i 9.0 software (NNMi 9), which delivers the common console for unified fault, performance and configuration

2.  HP iSPIs for Performance (Metrics, Traffic, Quality Assurance), which monitor and ensure performance

3.  HP iSPI Network Engineering Toolset (NET), which automates common operator tasks, and provides trap analytics and map export

4.  HP Network Automation, which handles network change and configuration management, and ensures compliance

The HP Automated Network Management (ANM) 9.2 is also capable of automating changes, configuration, compliance, cloud lifecycle and day to day routine network administrative tasks. The ANM 9.2 can be integrated with HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC) in more enhanced way which results in providing single-solution management and visibility of heterogeneous networked devices with automated configuration of network tasks.

Key benefits of HP Automated Network Management (ANM) are as follows

  • Single tool for complete control of the network infrastructure
  • Improved network availability with a multi-tenant network management solution
  • Common view and context for security and network issues
  • Increased operator productivity and efficiency, reduced MTTR
  • Manage more customers, departments or sites at lower cost

 


August 8, 2012  2:42 PM

What is the error “BUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD” in Cisco 6500 Series Switch? – part 2

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

As mentioned in my previous post the error “BUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD, Jun  7 16:47:27.446: %EARL_L2_ASIC-DFC9-4-DBUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error” means that the EARL L2 ASIC detected an invalid header on DBus, and it could be a faulty Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series 8-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Module.

Initially I removed the defective module out of the chassis and firmly reinserted the module in the slot to ensure the module is well seated in the slot.

After reinserting the module it worked well and when I checked logs with the IOS command “ Show module” the module was passing all the test and no error was detected.

SL02-MB-1256-005#                  show module

Mod Ports Card Type                              Model              Serial No.

— —– ————————————– —————— ———–

1    1  Application Control Engine Module      ACE20-MOD-K9       XXXXXXXXXXX

7    2  Supervisor Engine 720 (Active)         WS-SUP720-3B       XXXXXXXXXXX

9    8  CEF720 8 port 10GE with DFC            WS-X6708-10GE      XXXXXXXXXXX

11   10  WiSM WLAN Service Module               WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9   XXXXXXXXXXX

13   10  WiSM WLAN Service Module               WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9   XXXXXXXXXXX

 

Mod  Sub-Module                  Model              Serial       Hw     Status

—- ————————— —————— ———– ——- ——-

7  Policy Feature Card 3       WS-F6K-PFC3B       XXXXXXXXXXX  1.0    Ok

7  MSFC3 Daughterboard         WS-SUP720          XXXXXXXXXXX  2.1    Ok

9  Distributed Forwarding Card WS-F6700-DFC3C     XXXXXXXXXXX  1.4    Ok

11  Centralized Forwarding Card WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9-D XXXXXXXXXXX  2.2    Ok

13  Centralized Forwarding Card WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9-D XXXXXXXXXXX  2.2    Ok

 

Mod  Online Diag Status

—- ——————-

1  Pass

7  Pass

9  Pass

11  Pass

13  Pass

SL02-MB-1256-005#

After a week when I again checked the module the error reappeared. Since we had a valid Smartnet contract with Cisco we opened a TAC case with Cisco, an RMA was created and the defective module was replaced. I would siege this opportunity to emphasize the importance of having valid smartnet contracts with Cisco System is very handy and proves to be a worth investment.


June 11, 2012  5:04 AM

What is the error “BUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD” in Cisco 6500 Series Switch? – part 1

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

We have plenty of Cisco Catalyst 6500 E Series Switches, recently an error appeared in the one of Cisco Catalyst 6513 Switch. When I checked the log I found the following error.

SL02-MB-1256-005#show log

Log Buffer (8192 bytes):

BUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD

Jun  7 16:47:27.446: %EARL_L2_ASIC-DFC9-4-DBUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD

Jun  7 16:48:28.582: %EARL_L2_ASIC-DFC9-4-DBUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD

Jun  7 16:49:28.971: %EARL_L2_ASIC-DFC9-4-DBUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD

Jun  7 16:50:29.723: %EARL_L2_ASIC-DFC9-4-DBUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD

Immediately I checked the status of modules and figured out the following

SL02-MB-1256-005#                  show module

Mod Ports Card Type                              Model              Serial No.

— —– ————————————– —————— ———–

1    1  Application Control Engine Module      ACE20-MOD-K9       XXXXXXXXXXX

7    2  Supervisor Engine 720 (Active)         WS-SUP720-3B       XXXXXXXXXXX

9    8  CEF720 8 port 10GE with DFC            WS-X6708-10GE      XXXXXXXXXXX

11   10  WiSM WLAN Service Module               WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9   XXXXXXXXXXX

13   10  WiSM WLAN Service Module               WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9   XXXXXXXXXXX


Mod  Sub-Module                  Model              Serial       Hw     Status

—- ————————— —————— ———– ——- ——-

7  Policy Feature Card 3       WS-F6K-PFC3B       XXXXXXXXXXX  1.0    Ok

7  MSFC3 Daughterboard         WS-SUP720          XXXXXXXXXXX  2.1    Ok

9  Distributed Forwarding Card WS-F6700-DFC3C     XXXXXXXXXXX  1.4    Ok

11  Centralized Forwarding Card WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9-D XXXXXXXXXXX  2.2    Ok

13  Centralized Forwarding Card WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9-D XXXXXXXXXXX  2.2    Ok


Mod  Online Diag Status

—- ——————-

1  Pass

7  Pass

9  Minor Error

11  Pass

13  Pass

SL02-MB-1256-005#

From the above log it’s quite evident the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series 8-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Module inserted in the slot is no 9 is defective.

The error “BUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD, Jun  7 16:47:27.446: %EARL_L2_ASIC-DFC9-4-DBUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error” means that the EARL L2 ASIC detected an invalid header on DBus, and it could be a faulty Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series 8-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Module.

In my next post I will update you the initial action plan I followed before contacting the Cisco TAC.


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