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Port Fowarding Security Issues

Posted on 2004-04-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
OK Gents,

I have only allocated this question as 50 points because to experts this may be a very easy question.
If it proves otherwise I will up the points.

The Scenario:
I am running an number applications on IIS on my server.
I want to access these applications from the internet.
I opened a port on my firewall, eg: 2770 and set my IIS to listen to that port.
When I connect to my server from home using the IP address and port no I can connect no problem.

I have also read a bit about setting up SSL on IIS and am fairly confident I can set it up on my server, using either a genuine cert or dummy/internal cert (Does not need to be trusted as only  staff members will be accessing it)

As well as this the individual applications all have a log on feature and use cookies and sessions for security.

So the plan as it stands is to create a main page in the IIS Home Directory Containing links to each application.

The security I plan to have is:
1. SSL
2. Log In/Cookies
3. IIS Configuration

But I am worried about opening up the port like this, are there any blatant security issues I am not taking into consideration here?
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Question by:gerryjc
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8 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:IceRaven
ID: 10876179
Hi gerryjc,

When you open a port on your firewall you are opening up your private network to attack from the internet, there are various forms of attack, DoS or script for example.  You would need to take precautions against all types of attacks that can occur to IIS, no matter what port you open.  There are entire books devoted to the topic of preventing attack to IIS servers.  You made a good start by using a Non-Standard port. I am not an expert an IIS security. But I don't believe there is a difference between a blatant security issue and a security issue.  You must look for and find as many possible attacks as you can and find the solutions.  Use google and have a search, have a read for an hour or so, you will probably pick up tips about urlscan and patching etc.  It is an ongoing process.

Cheers,
IceRaven
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:matalyn1016
ID: 10876199
From the quick research I did there are no known exploits for port 2770 - http://www.iss.net/security_center/advice/Exploits/Ports/default.htm

If you are using Windows Authentication to access the site and have enabled SSL you should be fine.

As always though, there are new threats added daily and every precaution should be taken to place as many locked doors as needed to deter and evade possible attacks.

Hope this helps.
0
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Tim Holman
ID: 10876392
SSL is better than bog-standard HTTP, so you'll be making a security enhancement by moving to this model.
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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
ma14dmin earned 25 total points
ID: 10879881
regarding matalyn1016's answer as soon as you connect port 2770 to iis you open it up to all the iis security problems (i.e. it will have the same problems as port 80). If your IIS is upto date with all the latest patches then this isnt a major issue but you do have to stay up to date with current IIS security issues.
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:matalyn1016
ID: 10880335
YES!! :-)
0
 
LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:Droby10
Droby10 earned 25 total points
ID: 10889390
have to agree with ma14dmin.  and i'll take it a step farther.  if this is an application that is to be used by employees, then don't rely on an application layer authentication for this function - in opening this up at a network and pre-auth application level, you allow anyone to query compromise the entire premise of the entire logon mechanism/let alone control of the box.  you might consider the following:

---
close the port publicly, setup ipsec/pptp (depending on which serves your needs best) for remote connectivy into the service environment, make allowances for the users authorized to use those services, in this way you aren't throwing your IIS box out there to be had, publicly....authentication comes first.  you might also look into tls rather than ssl, it provides greater support for things like client-side authentication, which comes in handy for accountability practices.
---

from a purely public point of view, the port used isn't really an issue: it's not terrible advice to follow, but it's not a significant deterent, and your time is better served focusing on other areas for security.  for instance, you mention making use of a dummy cert...bad, bad, bad idea if this is public, because your own users pose your worst threat, unknowingly.  unless you are monitoring activity per user/session and have restricted user logins to a single session (which you should be doing anyway) - then this kind of user account compromise will likely go undetected.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Rainer Meller
ID: 15738727
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
Split: ma14dmin{http:#10879881} & Droby10{http:#10889390}

Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

Tolomir
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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