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Difference between revisions of "EGI CSIRT:Security challenges"

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Ideas for improvements:
Ideas for improvements:

   1. Clearly state duties, don't provide background knowledge to tested people
   1. Try to clearly state duties, try to not provide background knowledge aobut SSC to tested people

   2. Incident coordinator delegates tasks
   2. Incident coordinator delegates tasks

Revision as of 12:53, 31 May 2011

| Mission | Members | Contacts
| Incident handling | Alerts | Monitoring | Security challenges | Procedures | Dissemination

Security challenges: what is it about ?

The goal of security drills, is to investigate whether sufficient information is available to be able conduct an audit trace as part of an incident response, and to ensure that appropriate communications channels are available.

EGI-CSIRT action on this thematic is at two points:
- development of drills framework. They are available for egi sites; this is to help them verify their security maturity.
- challenges at egi levels. Some wide level security challenge campaign are organized; this contributes to security at project level.

For further informations, you can contact ssc-monitor(at) .

Security challenges: what is expecting from sites ?

What is important to bear in mind ?

The sites contacted for a challenge are asked to follow the normal security incident response procedure, and react as if the incident was real, with the two following exceptions:

      1. No sanctions must be applied against the Virtual
         Organization (VO) that was used to submit the job.

      2. All "multi-destination" alerts must be addressed to
         the e-mail list which has been designated for the test:


         DO NOT use:

         for Security Service Challenges. Instead, insert the
         originally intended "multi-destination" address(es) in
         the body of your message.

Information to be gathered at the sites

For an initial response and first directions answers to the following questions might be useful.

- Are there any other suspicious connections open? If so to which IPs

- Is network monitoring data (e.g. netflows) available?
- Does the process belong to a batch job or an interactive login?

- From where was the login/job submission done?

- In case it is a Grid-Job, the following questions are important:
   -To which VO is the user/certificate affiliated?

   - Which grid-certificates (DN) are involved in this test-incident?
   # Example: DN-1: CN=John Doe, O=<SomeInstitute>,O=<Something>, ..."

- Since when were the jobs running?
# Example: YYYY:MM:DD hh:mm

The sites should provide the security teams asap with this information at latest within one working day. The time needed to pass this information to EGI-CSIRT by replying to the alarm mail will be measured and evaluated. Replying to the alarm mail will automatically use the above sketched RTIR system.

What is the normal security incident response procedure?

Following is site checklist for normal incident response procedure.

           In case of doubt please contact: ssc-monitor(at)


           In case of doubt please contact: ssc-monitor(at)

More informations about EGI security procedures ( flowchart, formal document, forensic howto ... ) can be found here :

Please also visit our Forensic Howto wiki pages. If you want to contribute, just send your input to egi-csirt-team(at)

Evaluation - Report generation

We distinguish between

1) Measurable per site operations (with target times):

  1. initial feedback: 4h
  2. found malicious job/processes/stop them: 4h
  3. ban problematic certificate: 8h
  4. contain the malicious binary and sent it to the incident-coordinator: 24h

These will be measured by the ssc-monitor and the points the sites get are calculated according to the formula stated on the wiki page. Times are relative to the alarm to the site, we try to make sure that the alarms will be send during office-hours (09:00 - 18:00, local time). The target times might change, will be in the final version on the wiki page.

2) Collaborative investigations: Since we want to achieve cross site communication, and possibly collaboration on the "malware" forensics the evaluation schema has changed accordingly. I..e Network forensics are needed, but we don't measure this, since due to the overall SSC set-up, most of this information should already be available to the "more western" sites relative to the initially alarmed sites.

ban/unban of the pilot-job-submitter DN is based on local policies. It will not be measured, but a statement on the decision, whether to ban/unban the pilot-job-submitter or not, is expected.

Security challenge: how is it operated ?

Participating sites

# Format GOC-Name PANDA-Name NGI-NAME VO)
Taiwan-LCG2             ANALY_TAIWAN    APAC atlas
Australia-ATLAS         ANALY_AUSTRALIA APAC atlas
CA-SCINET-T2            ANALY_SCINET    ROC-CA atlas
TRIUMF-LCG2             ANALY_TRIUMF    ROC-CA atlas
CERN-PROD               ANALY_CERN  CERN atlas
CYFRONET-LCG2           ANALY_CYF   PL  atlas
praguelcg2              ANALY_FZU   CZ  atlas
DESY-HH                 ANALY_DESY-HH   DE atlas
FZK-LCG2                ANALY_FZK   DE atlas
GoeGrid                 ANALY_GOEGRID   DE atlas
HEPHY-UIBK              ANALY_HEPHY-UIBK    DE atlas
TUDresden-ZIH           ANALY_DRESDEN   DE atlas
UAM-LCG2                ANALY_UAM   SPAIN   atlas
pic                     ANALY_PIC   SPAIN   atlas
IFAE                    ANALY_IFAE  SPAIN   atlas
IFIC-LCG2               ANALY_IFIC  SPAIN   atlas
csTCDie                 ANALY_CSTCDIE IE atlas
IL-TAU-HEP              ANALY_IL-TAU-HEP IL atlas
INFN-ROMA1              ANALY_INFN-ROMA1    Italy atlas
INFN-T1                 ANALY_INFN-T1   Italy atlas
SARA-MATRIX             ANALY_SARA  NL atlas
LIP-Coimbra             ANALY_LIP-Coimbra P atlas
LIP-Lisbon              ANALY_LIP-Lisbon    P atlas
ITEP                    ANALY_ITEP RU atlas
JINR-LCG2               ANALY_JINR  RU atlas
RRC-KI                  ANALY_RRC-KI    RU atlas
RU-Protvino-IHEP        ANALY_IHEP  RU atlas
ru-PNPI                 ANALY_PNPI  RU atlas
ARC-SITE-SI    SI   atlas
ARC-SITE-CH       CH  atlas
ARC-SITE-liu-SE    SE atlas
ARC-SITE-umu-SE SE  atlas
IN2P3-LPSC              ANALY_LPSC  F   atlas


A framework has been developped to automate the operation of EGI security challenges.

The release of may 2011 contains: the panda framework for job submission, a prototype of the new EGI-CSIRT ticketing system based on RTIR.

The test malware is not intrusive, it does not try to get elevated priviledges.

More informations about the framework are given at security drills framework.

Post processing, clean up

As part of the incident handling, Grid authorizations may have been withdrawn from the DN that was used to submit the job. When the incident response procedure is complete, the test operator will explicitly request restoration of any such authorizations to their original state.


When the challenge has been completed on a representative number of Sites, the test operator will ask for de-briefing input from the participating Sites. Material submitted will be used to edit a report. The report will be circulated to the contributors for comments before being presented to the EGI-CSIRT.


Please all NGI Security Officers participating in SSC5 put your comments here. Comments from NGI Security Officer as well as from site point of view both kindly welcome. Please indicate:

  • what kind of problems you have encountered, what problems sites had,
  • ideas to solve mentioned problems (of course if you have, not obligatory field :) ),
  • whether procedure and broadcasted information were clear enough for you and for sites,
  • which parts of SSC sites liked and consider useful and which they don't and why?,
  • if you think that situation during SSC5 run revealed some weakness of our procedure, please show where,
  • tips from sites, how to do what, maybe we can build later extend tutorial for dealing with incidents,
  • what questions appeared from sites, maybe we can add some more info on wiki pages/templates/procedure to make it even more clear,
  • and all other stuff, which you believe can help us improve our work.

If you see a problem, but someone else has mentioned it, please write it as well, this will show the scope.

NGI: XY Security Officer: Name (Template)

Problems encountered and ideas for solutions:

  1. Problem One - and solution for it
  2. Problem Two - no idea how to solve it

Ideas for improvements:

  1. Let's do this in a different way, such as...

Other comments:

  • comment

NGI: NL Security Officer: Sven Gabriel

NGI: DE Security Officer: Ursula Epting

Problems encountered and ideas for solutions:

  1. Roles/levels were mixed up (EGI-CSIRT/NGI/site)- ex. NGI/Site-sec.officers had background knowledge 
     if also member of EGI-CSIRT, not easy to decide which knowledge can be used to solve the incident, 
     which not. This was communicated in the chat room, but did not reach all people.
     For the real case of course everything would be used, but had been unfair in the test as sites will be compared.
  2. Tasks of NGI-sec.officer for their sites was unclear
  3. To many goals of SSC5 - test sites, test RTIR, test chat, test CSIRT-Team. SSC5 consumed a lot of 
     manpower at each site, it would be regrettable if evaluation can't be done right, because to many 
     things were tested at the same time.
  4. Flood of information in general, additionally many mails arrived three times at my mailbox via different information routes. 

Ideas for improvements:

  1. Try to clearly state duties, try to not provide background knowledge aobut SSC to tested people
  2. Incident coordinator delegates tasks
  3. Isolate tests for sites from the other (CSIRT internal) ones to have meaningful results for the sites.
  4. Separate recipients lists, avoid overlap.

Other comments:

   * exercise still useful!

NGI: PL Security Officer: Adam Smutnicki

NGI: UK Security Officer: MingChao

NGI: GRNET Security Officer: Christos Triantafylldis

Problems encountered and ideas for solutions:

  1. Investigation ownerships

It appears that whenever someone tried to steal an investigation it got the whole incident and all the investigation. This is not the foreseen reaction. This was solved by adding a new custom-field (Security Officer) to store the responsible security officer for each investigation. This also solved the issue of having 2 people responsible for one investigation i.e. in Italy's case.

  1. Mail flow

There are many mails that were repeating the same information (from other source). Ideally only the responsible people for each investigation should get these mails while everyone should only get the updates at the incident ticket.

  1. Single view of the status of all investigation

To ease the investigation follow-up i created a dashboard ( to have an overview of the current situation. It would be nice if such views could be created in a less manual way

Ideas for improvements:

  1. It would be nice to be able to communicate information to all involved contacts but also keep information at a central point for EGI CSIRT needs. I would propose to use the incident ticket for this were replies should go to every contact (like broadcast but only to sites/services that are involved) and comments to store the internal information that EGI CSIRT has before releasing them

Other comments:

  • I think this time we have achieved the target of having each person with one role in the whole procedure (with exception of Leif and Ursula who also had the site hat). In future i think we should also distinguish the infrastructure that is used (i.e. it appears like our RTIR, the main communication channel, was co-hosted with the intruder)

NGI: IE Security Officer: David O'Callaghan