Tag Archives: NTP

Why should I run own NTP Servers?

… since we all can use pool.ntp.org ? Easy answer: Many modern (security) techniques rely on accurate time. Certificate validation, two-factor authentication, backup auto-deletion, logs generation, and many more. Meanwhile we use an unauthenticated protocol (via stateless UDP) from unauthenticated sources (NTP pool) to rely on! Really?

TL;DR: If you want to operate a secure environment you should use your own on-site stratum 1 NTP servers along with authentication. This is the only way to eliminate time spoofing attacks from the outside. Don’t reduce your overall security to a stateless and unauthenticated (read: easy-to-spoof) network protocol!

If you are using couple of different NTP sources it might be not that easy for an attacker to spoof your time – though not unfeasible at all. And think about small routers with VPN endpoints and DNSSEC resolving enabled, or IoT devices such as cameras or door openers – they don’t even have a real-time clock with battery inside. They fully rely on NTP.

This is what this blogpost series is all about. Let’s dig into it. ;)

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My CCNP TSHOOT Lab: The Overall Picture

During the last few weeks I published a couple of blogposts concerning routing protocols such as BGP, OSPFv3, and EIGRP. (Use the “Cisco Router” tag on my blog to list all of them.) They are all part of my current Cisco lab that I am using for my CCNP TSHOOT exam preparation. While I depicted only the details of the routing protocols in those blogposts, I am showing my overall lab with all of its Cisco IOS configs here. Just to have the complete picture. There are a couple of not-yet-blogged configs such as VRRP, GLBP, NTP authentication, embedded event manager (EEM), or route-maps and distribute/prefix lists though.

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Basic Cisco Configuration

Following is a list of the most common Cisco device configuration commands that I am using when setting up a router or switch from scratch, such as hostname, username, logging, vty access, ntp, snmp, syslog. For a router I am also listing some basic layer 3 interface commands, while for a switch I am listing STP and VTP examples as well as the interface settings for access and trunk ports.

This is not a detailed best practice list which can be used completely without thinking about it, but a list with the most common configurations from which to pick out the once required for the current scenario. Kind of a template. Of course with IPv6 and legacy IP.

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CCNP SWITCH Lab show commands

Second post of this little series. While I was using my CCNP SWITCH lab for testing many different protocols, I “showed” and saved the output of those protocols as well. Refer to the lab overview of my last post in order to understand those outputs.

I basically saved them as a reference for myself in case I am interested in the information revealed by them. I won’t explain any details of the protocols nor the outputs here. Just many listings. Fly over them and reflect yourself whether you would understand anything. ;) Here we go:

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Wireshark Layer 2-3 pcap Analysis w/ Challenges (CCNP SWITCH)

While preparing for my CCNP SWITCH exam I built a laboratory with 4 switches, 3 routers and 2 workstations in order to test almost all layer 2/3 protocols that are related to network management traffic. And because “PCAP or it didn’t happen” I captured 22 of these protocols to further investigate them with Wireshark. Oh oh, I remember the good old times where I merely used unmanaged layer 2 switches. ;)

In this blogpost I am publishing the captured pcap file with all of these 22 protocols. I am further listing 46 CHALLENGES as an exercise for the reader. Feel free to download the pcap and to test your protocol skills with Wireshark! Use the comment section below for posting your answers.

Of course I am running my lab fully dual-stacked, i.e., with IPv6 and legacy IP. On some switches the SDM template must be changed to be IPv6 capable such as sdm prefer dual-ipv4-and-ipv6 default .

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