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DOSUG 2015 - Assimilation Overview

Alan Robertson
September 01, 2015

DOSUG 2015 - Assimilation Overview

The statistics on system management are alarming – 30% of all break-ins come through systems people have lost track of, 90% of all organizations have failures of services they aren’t monitoring, 80% of all organizations are unable to keep their systems in compliance after getting them there initially, and 30% admit that they rarely start monitoring until after they have a problem, 30% of all systems are doing nothing useful, and admins of larger sites often don’t know the inter-dependencies between systems, services, and switches.

The Assimilation System Management Suite helps IT organizations manage and reduce complexity and transform security compliance from high drama to teachable moments.

More specifically, we accomplish this by creating a detailed graph database and driving audits, monitoring, and security policies from it in a way that scales like nothing else, and providing detailed data of what changed and what happened, and each piece relates to the other to help determine the root cause of an outage.

We find configurations that are inconsistent with security best practices within a few minutes of them being created. This allows rational, adult discussions to take place while everyone still remembers what was done, and why it was done – promoting learning and dramatically lowering stress compared to the typical way finding these issues by an auditor, or an intruder.

This talk will give a demo, and will cover the usage, architecture, and future of the Assimilation project.

Alan Robertson

September 01, 2015

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  1. Security Best Practices As Code Security Best Practices As Code

    #AssimProj @OSSAlanR http://assimproj.org/ Alan Robertson <[email protected]> Assimilation Systems Limited http://assimilationsystems.com
  2. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 2/46 Biography Biography • 35+

    years in IT/development – 10 years in system management (SysAdmin) • Founded Linux-HA project - led 1998-2007 – aka “Heartbeat” - now called Pacemaker • Founded Assimilation Project in 2010 • Founded Assimilation Systems Limited in 2013 • Alumnus of Bell Labs, SuSE, IBM
  3. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 3/46 Disturbing Trends... Disturbing Trends...

    • 30% of all break-ins come through “lost” systems (Verizon) • 90% have had failures of unmonitored services (Turnbull) • 80% are unable to keep systems in compliance (Verizon) • 30% start monitoring only after a problem (Turnbull) • 30% of all systems are doing nothing useful (Koomey) • Larger site admins often don’t know dependencies
  4. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 4/46 Assimilation Project Evolution Assimilation

    Project Evolution • Inspired by 2 million core computer (cyclops64) • Concerns for extreme scale • Topology aware monitoring • Topology discovery w/out security issues =►Discovery of everything!
  5. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 5/46 A 7-dimensional overview A

    7-dimensional overview 1.System Management Suite Overview 2.Basic Technology 3.Discovery and Monitoring Demo 4.Best Practice Analyses 5.“Toy” Best Practice Demo 6.Current Status 7.What You Need To Do!
  6. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 6/46 Why Why the Assimilation

    System the Assimilation System Management Suite? Management Suite? • Provides insight and details through a graph-model CMDB • Helps you understand and automate your environment – Reduce Errors – Speed up problem resolution • Reduces Manual Documentation • CMDB-driven configuration => near-zero configuration • Automates Monitoring • Enhances Security • Designed for Extreme Scale
  7. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 7/46 What's in the Suite?

    What's in the Suite? • Graph CMDB • Exception Monitoring • Security Discovery • Network Connections
  8. Complexity Complexity “Complexity is the enemy of reliability” • Complexity

    likely your single biggest problem – Near-zero configuration reduces complexity – Tight service integration reduces complexity – Accurate detailed view improves complexity management
  9. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 9/46 Highly Scalable Discovery-Driven Highly

    Scalable Discovery-Driven Automation Automation Continuous Discovery drives everything • Continuous extensible discovery (CMDB) – systems, switches, services, dependencies – zero network footprint discovery process • Extensible exception monitoring – more than 100K systems • Discovery Drives Best Practice Analyses – Initially concentrating on security • All data goes into central graph CMDB
  10. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 10/46 This all sounds unreasonable...

    This all sounds unreasonable... • Huge scalability without complexity? • Discovery without pings or port scans? Really?
  11. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 11/46 S Simple Scalability imple

    Scalability I can explain how we scale so your grandmother would understand... istockphoto ©bowdenimages
  12. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 12/46 Massive Scalability – Massive

    Scalability – or or “I see dead servers in “I see dead servers in O O(1) time” (1) time” • Adding systems does not increase the monitoring work on any system • Each server monitors 2 (or 4) neighbors • Each server monitors and discovers its own services • Ring repair and alerting is O(n) – but a very small amount of work Current Implementation
  13. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 13/46 Minimizing Network Footprint Minimizing

    Network Footprint (in our roadmap) (in our roadmap) • Support diagnosing switch issues • Minimize network traffic • Ideal for multi-site arrangements
  14. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 14/46 Service Monitoring based on

    HA Service Monitoring based on HA Technologies Technologies • Well-proven architecture: – reliable “no news is good news” • Implements Open Cluster Framework standard (LSB and others – Nagios coming!) • Each system monitors own services • Can also start, stop, migrate services
  15. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 15/46 How does discovery work?

    How does discovery work? Nanoprobe scripts perform discovery • Each discovers one kind of information • Can take arguments from environment • Output JSON CMA stores Discovery Information • JSON stored in Neo4j database • CMA discovery plugins => graph nodes and relationships
  16. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 16/46 OS discovery JSON Snippet

    OS discovery JSON Snippet { "nodename": "alanr-1225B", "operating-system": "GNU/Linux", "machine": "x86_64", "processor": "x86_64", "hardware-platform": "x86_64", "kernel-name": "Linux", "kernel-release": "3.8.0-31-generic", "kernel-version": "#46-Ubuntu SMP ...", "Distributor ID": "Ubuntu", "Description": "Ubuntu 13.04", "Release": "13.04", "Codename": "raring" }
  17. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 17/46 "sshd": { "exe": "/usr/sbin/sshd",

    "cmdline": [ "/usr/sbin/sshd", "-D" ], "uid": "root", "gid": "root", "cwd": "/", "listenaddrs": { "": { "proto": "tcp", "addr": "", "port": 22 }, sshd sshd Service Service JSON Snippet JSON Snippet (from netstat and /proc) (from netstat and /proc)
  18. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 18/46 "ssh": { "exe": "/usr/sbin/ssh",

    "cmdline": [ "ssh", "servidor" ], "uid": "alanr", "gid": "alanr", "cwd": "/home/alanr/monitor/src", "clientaddrs": { "": { "proto": "tcp", "addr": "", "port": 22 }, ssh ssh Client Client JSON Snippet JSON Snippet (from netstat and /proc) (from netstat and /proc)
  19. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 20/46 Switch Discovery Graph Switch

    Discovery Graph from LLDP (or CDP) from LLDP (or CDP)
  20. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 21/46 Why a graph database?

    (Neo4j) Why a graph database? (Neo4j) • Humans describe systems as graphs • Dependency & Discovery information: graph • Speed of graph traversals depends on size of subgraph, not total graph size • Root cause queries  graph traversals – notoriously slow in relational databases • Visualization is Natural • Schema-less design: good for constantly changing heterogeneous environment • Graph Model === Object Model
  21. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 22/46 A Few Canned Queries

    A Few Canned Queries allipports get all port/ip/service/hosts allswitchports get switch connections crashed get crashed servers shutdown get gracefully shutdown servers downservices get nonworking services findip get system owning IP findmac get system owning MAC unknownips get unknown IP addresses unmonitored get unmonitored services
  22. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 23/46 B Best Practice Analyses

    est Practice Analyses This is next major capability • Triggered by Discovery Updates – Analysis occurs within seconds of change – No change => No analysis • We can analyze anything discovered • Expect to create alerts and reports • SIEM integration
  23. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 24/46 Sample Security Best Practices

    Sample Security Best Practices • Inappropriate services (telnet, etc) • Settings in /proc/sys/ • Security Patch Coverage – OS vendor (RedHat, SuSE, Canonical, etc) – Application (Oracle, IBM, WordPress, etc) • Other OS settings • Common Application Settings • Looking at best practices FYI: Sharing information (collaborating?) with Lynis project
  24. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 25/46 Other Sample Security Features

    Other Sample Security Features • Discovery of “forgotten” IP addresses • Monitoring of Open Ports and Services • Collection of network-facing app checksums • Nmon profiling of new MAC addresses • Checksum outliers analysis • Security Best Practice Analyses
  25. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 26/46 IT Best Practices Project

    IT Best Practices Project ITBestPractices.info • IT-Bestpractices GitHub project • Working on Linux Foundation Sponsorship • Apache 2 License (or similar) • Initial Sources – DISA STIGs – Lynis project – Individual contributions
  26. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 27/46 IT Best Practices Goals

    IT Best Practices Goals • Make Best Practice rules available in JSON – Curate mechanically-verifiable practices – Human-readable descriptions of issues and remedies – Multiple language support – Not limited to security best practices – Eventually available through a web server
  27. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 28/46 Sample short description Sample

    short description The system must limit the ability of processes to have simultaneous write and execute access to memory.
  28. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 29/46 Sample long description Sample

    long description ExecShield uses the segmentation feature on all x86 systems to prevent execution in memory higher than a certain address. It writes an address as a limit in the code segment descriptor, to control where code can be executed, on a per-process basis. When the kernel places a process's memory regions such as the stack and heap higher than this address, the hardware prevents execution in that address range.
  29. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 30/46 Sample Security Rule check

    Sample Security Rule check The status of the "kernel.exec-shield" kernel parameter can be queried by running the following command: $ sysctl kernel.exec-shield $ grep kernel.exec-shield /etc/sysctl.conf The output of the command should indicate a value of "1". If this value is not the default value, investigate how it could have been adjusted at runtime, and verify it is not set improperly in "/etc/sysctl.conf". If the correct value is not returned, this is a finding.
  30. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 31/46 Assimilation /proc/sys Rule Assimilation

    /proc/sys Rule Disallow executing code on writable pages “nist_V-38597”: {“rule”: “EQ($kernel.exec-shield, 1)”, “category”: “security” }
  31. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 32/46 Assimilation Networking Rule Assimilation

    Networking Rule Buffer bloat prevention “itbp-0001”: {“rule”: “IN($kernel.core.default_qdisc, fq_codel, codel)”, “category”: “networking” }
  32. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 33/46 D Discovery / Monitoring

    / Best iscovery / Monitoring / Best Practices Demo Practices Demo • Demonstrate basic capabilities – Discovery-driven monitoring configuration – Discovery-driven 'tripwire-like' checksums – Monitoring – failures / successes – Host down notification – Best Practices • No configuration was supplied – everything comes from discovery http://assimilationsystems.com/90_second_demo/
  33. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 34/46 Best Practices Demo Best

    Practices Demo • Demo is of code in our source tree
  34. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 35/46 Current Status Current Status

    • 1.0 (Independence Day) release out 4 July 2015 • Security is our next major emphasis • Great unit and system tests • Strongly encrypted communication • Quite a few discovery methods written • Extensible Automated Discovery Triggers • Discovery => Automatic Monitoring + Network-Facing Checksums • Compatible with Nagios remote monitoring agent API • REST + Command Line Queries
  35. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 36/46 Get Involved! Get Involved!

    • Trials! Early Adopters! • Contributors – Testers, Continuous Integration – Best practice experts – Designers – Developers (C, Python, Shell, PowerShell, JavaScript) – Porters (esp Windows) – Promoters, Publicists, Packagers, etc.
  36. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 37/46 Resistance Is Futile! Resistance

    Is Futile! These slides: bit.ly/DOSUG0915 Mailing List: bit.ly/AssimML @OSSAlanR #assimilation on irc.freenode.net Project Web Site: assimproj.org Company Web Site: assimilationsystems.com Download: assimilationsystems.com/download
  37. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 38/46 Risk Management/Mitigation Risk Management/Mitigation

    • Intrusions • Vulnerable Software • Licensed Software • Audit Risk • Outages • System management
  38. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 39/46 Monitoring Pros and Cons

    Monitoring Pros and Cons Pros Simple & Scalable Uniform work distribution No single point of failure Distinguishes switch vs host failure Easy on LAN, WAN Multi-tenant approach Cons Active agents Potential slowness at power-on
  39. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 40/46 Sixth Dimension: Sixth Dimension:

    Graph Schema Graph Schema Two Schema subgraphs • Client / server dependency • Switch interconnect
  40. First Dimension First Dimension: : Problems Addressed Problems Addressed •

    Discovering and maintaining documentation (CMDB) using continuous discovery – Services, Systems, Dependencies, Switches, Interconnects, Configuration • Monitoring and alerting: services, systems and compliance • Managing compliance • Mitigating risk
  41. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 44/46 Why Discovery? (DevOps) Why

    Discovery? (DevOps) • Documentation: incomplete, incorrect • Dependencies: unknown • Planning: Needs accurate data • Best Practices: Verification needs data • ITIL CMDB (Configuration Management Data Base) Our Discovery: continuous, low-profile
  42. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 45/46 Second Dimension: Second Dimension:

    Unique Powerful Features Unique Powerful Features 1. Continuous Discovery 2. Discovery: Zero network footprint 3. Centralized graph database 4. We know everything that changes 5. Discover and update dependency information 6. Discovery and monitoring tightly integrated – discovery drives automation
  43. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 46/46 (even more) Features... (even

    more) Features... 7. Discovery and monitoring easily extensible 8. Naturally scalable to > 100K systems 9. Minimal network load 10.Server failures distinguishable from switch failures 11.Best practice and vulnerability alerts 12.Multi-tenant support
  44. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 47/46 Third Dimension: Third Dimension:

    Fully distributed work Fully distributed work Two philosophical underpinnings 1. Monitoring and Discovery are fully distributed 2. Reliable “no news is good news” Only responses to changes are centralized
  45. © 2015 Assimilation Systems Limited 48/46 Sample /proc/sys Rules Sample

    /proc/sys Rules “BPC-00002-1”: {“rule”: “OR(EQ($kernel.core_uses_pid, 1), NE($kernel.core_pattern, ""))” “url”: “https://trello.com/c/6LOXeyDD” }, “BPC-00003-1”: {“rule”: “EQ($kernel.ctrl-alt-del, 0)”, “url”: “https://trello.com/c/aUmn4WFg”}, “BPC-00006-1”: {“rule”: “EQ($kernel.sysrq, 0)”, “url”: “https://trello.com/c/QSovxhup” },