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posted by janrinok on Thursday January 26 2023, @09:16PM   Printer-friendly
from the just-wait-and-see-how-long-it-takes-to-migrate-to-IPv8 dept.

NSA offers security guidelines for IPv6 migration:

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has published a guidance document for system administrators to help them mitigate potential security issues as their organizations transition to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

The prosaically named "IPv6 Security Guidance" [PDF] was compiled for admins inside the Department of Defense (DoD), but is likely to prove useful as a quick reference for anyone managing the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, which could turn out to be a more drawn-out experience than was originally anticipated.

"The Department of Defense will incrementally transition from IPv4 to IPv6 over the next few years and many DoD networks will be dual-stacked," NSA Cybersecurity Technical Director Neal Ziring said in a statement accompanying the publication of the document.

"It's important that DoD system admins use this guidance to identify and mitigate potential security issues as they roll out IPv6 support in their networks."

One of the recommendations is pretty basic: education. Successfully securing an IPv6 network requires, at a minimum, a fundamental knowledge of the differences between the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols and how they operate, the NSA says, so all network administrators should receive proper training.

It advises that security methods used in IPv4 networks will largely also be used with IPv6, but with adaptations to address where there are differences.

Security issues associated with an IPv6 implementation will generally surface in networks that are either new to IPv6 or in early phases of the transition. This is because such networks will lack maturity in IPv6 configuration as well as likely lacking experience in IPv6 by the admins.

Organizations running both IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously will have additional security risks, with further countermeasures needed to mitigate these due to the increased attack surface of having both IPv4 and IPv6, the document warns.

There are no massive revelations from the NSA, but advice that many admins are likely to be already aware of, such as the recommendation to assign IP addresses on the network via a DHCPv6 server instead of relying on stateless address auto-configuration (SLAAC).

The latter uses a self-assigned IPv6 address that incorporates the fixed MAC address from the NIC, leading to concerns that data traffic could be linked to a specific device and potentially an individual associated with that equipment. Whether this is a major concern to anyone outside of defense or government is another matter, of course.

The NSA also recommends avoiding the use of IPv6 tunneling, often used to transport IPv6 packets within IPv4 packets across existing network infrastructure, again to reduce the potential attack surface and lessen complexity. It advises that tunneling protocols may be allowed if they are required during a transition, but they should be limited to approved systems where their usage is well understood and where they are explicitly configured.


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Friday January 27 2023, @02:35PM

    by VLM (445) on Friday January 27 2023, @02:35PM (#1288913)

    It's interesting they suggest IPv6 training but don't provide any links.

    Hurricane Electric has run the "ipv6 sage" program since, I think, before the turn of the century and its still online at:

    https://ipv6.he.net/certification/ [he.net]

    "Back in the day" around the turn of the century they sent out pretty cool graphic tee shirts to the first "X" people who passed and I still have mine about two decades later. Still fits too, I'm pretty thin.

    "Back in the day" the ipv6 sage certification was a capture-the-flag type of experiment where you'd set up a AAAA record and ask them to check it then move on to the next step type of project, show me a domain with a valid ipv6 accessible MX record and SMTP port, then move on to the next question, etc. It was pretty cool for turn of the century. It was not exactly a sought after certification pretty sure I never got a job or contract off that LOL, but "everyone knows" that in a couple years ipv6 will be a big deal just like electric cars and fusion reactors.

    There security implications of IPv6 tend to be higher level than mere protocol exploits or whatever. So... most ipv4 devices have "a" ip address, but most ipv6 devices have a couple. So... if you do autoconfiguration based on the /56 your ISP gave you, every time your "WAN" address changes then literally every address on your LAN will also change. If you do autoconfiguration based on the /56 your ISP gave you, you probably don't do NAT, and some ipv4 legacy admins TOTALLY freak out about the concept of stateful firewalls being separated from address translation and will argue like morons that its theoretically impossible to have a stateful firewall that doesn't change addresses so you'll get infini-FUD about how ipv6 makes firewalls and security "impossible" which is pretty ignorant. At a personal level humans can yell four small numbers at each other all day quite successfully its easier than phone numbers IMHO so you can yell across a room "hey its 10.1.2.3" so ipv4 is "human", however most human's can't deal with yelling "2001:db8:3abc:4def:5012:6123:7456:89ab" across a room so human's can't "do" ipv6 in normal day to day life making sysadmin / netadmin configuration exciting. For awhile (as in a couple decades if you have the $$$$) you can buy ethernet switches with ipv4 filtering that will eat DHCP packets unless you permit it, which stops rando attackers from knocking out a LAN with a raspi on a bare ethernet port, bonus points if they knock out your ethernet management network so you can't even log into the switch to find it LOL; I don't know the state of the art WRT cheapass switches blocking ipv6 network configuration packets.

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