Autonomic Network Analysis – Part 2

This is the second part in the Autonomic Network series. We have introduced previously in our first part the Autonomic Network (AN), took a look about the needed configuration to run it on Cisco gear and what is the expected communication flow. In this post, we will dive deeper to have a closer look on the packets and how they are composed. Cisco’s AN protocol is a proprietary one and as far as I know, the analysis provided here for the protocol is the first of its kind.

Before I begin the analysis, I would like to thank Marc Heuse for his contributions to the protocol analysis.

The AN protocol consists mainly of 3 phases:

  1. Channel Discovery
  2. Adjacency Discovery
  3. Secure Channel

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Autonomic Network Overview – Part 1

Good Evening,

This is a 3-part series which introduces and analyzes Cisco’s implementation for Autonomic Network. In the 1st part, the technology is introduced and we have an overview about communication flow. In the 2nd part, Cisco’s proprietary protocol is reverse engineered 😉 then finally in the 3rd part, multiple vulnerabilities will be disclosed for the first time. If you’re aware of the technology, you can skip directly to part 2 where the action begins! 

Autonomic Network is Cisco’s vision for the future of smart networks. Autonomic systems have the ability to self-manage themselves. In other words, autonomic systems are smart enough to configure and secure themselves, optimize the running processes and re-run the failed processes. Cisco engineers in collaboration with IETF defined the Autonomic Networks main components and features through multiple RFCs found in the ANIMA workgroup. Cisco has deployed the Autonomic Network capabilities on their systems since 2014 and multiple big companies started to integrate and make use of Autonomic Network features within their systems. Continue reading “Autonomic Network Overview – Part 1”

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