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ILO Security

News  iLO 3 -- HP engineering fiasco Recommended Links Command line interface ILO3 TCP ports Firmware upgrade
Initial setup Fiasco: some additional information Fiasco: some preliminary recommendations Rebooting the iLO "Remote Console - in use" Problem Serial console
Security

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Generally ILO should be connected to a separate, tightly controlled network segment that has no DHCP on it.

Security of ILO by-and-large depends on the firmware. Based on ILO overcomplexity, you safely can assume that it always contains critical bugs that permit unauthorized access to the system. In a way ILO is unsafe by definition and provide a "stable" backdoor to the system.

It is also far less understood in comparison with the server OS, both hardware and software are proprietary and as such it is an ideal target to attack.

Attacks similar to Stuxnet are definitely possible. So it generally all ILO network interfaces should be confined to a separate secure segment with minimal and tightly controlled access tot he "outside world" and "person-by-person, IP by IP" access permissions to each device.

Using the latest version of firmware is important from this point, but definitely does not provide reliable protection. Critical bugs in firmware are discovered by HP on amazingly consistent basis.

iLO uses 128-bit SSL encryption and the accompanying digital certificates to encrypt web pages (HTTP data) transmitted across the network. SSL encryption occurs whether the login is through directory services or a local account. SSL encryption ensures that all information and commands issued through the web pages are private. An integral part of SSL is a digital certificate. iLO creates its own self-signed certificate by default.

You should import a certificate from a third party Certificate Authority (CA) or from your organizationís internal CA or PKI instead of using the self-signed iLO certificate. That's a better way to secure SSL connection.

You can use iLOís digital certificate capabilities to prevent malicious attacks (such as Trojan horse attacks) where an impostor appears to be a trusted iLO web server. For example, if someone put a server that emulated iLO onto a corporate network, that server would not have a legitimate iLO certificate. If any user browsed to this emulated iLO device, the browser would flag the lack of a recognized certificate. You can configure the browser to reject a connection to any unrecognized certificates.

Login authentication begins after iLO establishes an SSL connection. iLO sends the user a login page that includes a unique session ID and a random session key. The unique session ID points to a session control block, a memory area where iLO stores all the session information for that user and that session. The session control block eliminates the need to re-authenticate the user credentials for every user request.

iLO time-stamps the session ID. It is valid only for the length of time defined by the SESSION_TIMEOUT parameter. You can set this parameter to 15, 30, 60, or 120 minutes. iLO 2 firmware after v1.30 supports an Infinite Inactivity Timeout request that extends sessions indefinitely.

The combination of the session ID and the session key prevents another authenticated connection from hijacking a session.

Figure 4 shows how the client browser generates a unique cookie (hp-iLO-Login) for authentication and authorization. The browser encodes both the username and the password using a base-64 hash function and incorporates it into the cookie. The cookie also includes the unique session ID and the random session key sent with the login page.

The cookie links the browser window to the appropriate session in the firmware. The firmware tracks browser logins as separate sessions listed in the Active Sessions section of the iLO Status page.


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