SNMP for Mac Download

Set Up and Use SNMPv3 on OS X

When it comes to SNMP for Mac Download your network and devices on your network, the 800-pound protocol gorilla is the Simple Network Management Protocol or SNMP. The name is, in my opinion, a pattern of lies - the way SNMP works is absolutely simple, but setting it to the opposite is the opposite.

Still, when it comes to controlling your network, SNMP offers a relatively low bandwidth way to see what it is. You can control traffic, server up or down status, status of RAID devices, SANs, how your cooling system works, how it does your power, how many users are in each of your wireless access points, and more.

There are many tools available to use the SNMP's feature set in Mac OS X, including Nagios, Cacti, LanSurveyor, Lithium, and Intermapper. Setup varies from dead to simple to complex, and the price varies from thousands to thousands of dollars. However, they all use SNMP. And this leads to a problem: Security.

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See, SNMP is not encrypted - at least the versions of the protocol were 1 and 2. Both versions send any information about your network in plain text, allowing people who are armed with a packet listener to read them. For example, one of my servers has data in an SNMPv2 package during the test probe:
  • data: get-response (2)
  • Get answer
  • Request ID: 240098041
  • Error condition: noError (0)
  • error directory: 0
  • Variable Link Count: 1 item
  • 1.3.6.1.2.1.1.3.0: 85515481
  • Object Name: 1.3.6.1.2.1.1.3.0 (iso.3.6.1.2.1.1.3.0)
  • Value (Timeticks): 85515481

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This is the time during which a particular server remains in hundreds of seconds of a second. Now, this is not so valuable for an attacker, but the specific operating system version for your servers, the firmware version for your wireless access points, which operations on the server are running, forward. 

This type of information, when taken together, is not something you don't want an attacker to have, it can give a detailed view of your network and its main components. The only thing you could do before SNMPv3 was to restrict your SNMP usage to the back of a firewall or through a VPN and hope for the best. If someone knew what to look for and what to look for, he could have accumulated a lot of information in a very short time.

Obviously, appropriate physical and access security are part of the answer here, but why not encrypt the protocol? So you're encrypting other sensitive data. You don't give credit card information on websites that don't use SSL, do you? (At least I hope you don't want to.) Then why not add an extra layer to the security of SNMP and not encrypt it?

The folks behind SNMP accepted and came up with SNMPv3. This version of SNMP is based on multiple IETF RFCs, in particular RFC 3413 from RFC 3411; In 2004, it became the gel present state gel of SNMP. The biggest changes in SNMPv3 include authentication and data transmission. There was no encryption anywhere on SNMP versions 1 and 2. This means that you should have a password, that is, a "community string", so it is not securely stored or forwarded. If we look at the package above, we can see the community string straight through the day:

Simple Network Management Protocol

  • Version: v2c (1)
  • community: bynkii
  • data: get-response (2)
  • Get answer
  • Request ID: 240098041
  • Error condition: noError (0)
  • error directory: 0
  • Variable Link Count: 1 item
  • 1.3.6.1.2.1.1.3.0: 85515481
  • Object Name: 1.3.6.1.2.1.1.3.0 (iso.3.6.1.2.1.1.3.0)
  • Value (Timeticks): 85515481

The community string used here is bynkii. (For those interested, I used Wireshark for package shots. A great tool.) So even if I choose a good password, anyone with a packet sniffer and a good text editor can find it. Therefore, SNMPv3 encrypts this by encrypting the passwords with the flavors of MD5 or SHA (in particular the HMA-MD5-96 or HMAC-SHA-96, which is the recommended choice, SHA). In addition, SNMPv3 traffic can also be encrypted with the DES encryption algorithm in SNMP for Mac Download.

What are the consequences? Let's look at an SNMPv3 package:

Simple Network Management Protocol
msgSample: snmpv3 (3)
msgglobaldat to
of the article: 530815
msgMaxSize: 65507
msgFlags: 07
.... .1 .. = Reportable: Set
.... ..one. = Encrypted: Set
... ... 1 = Authenticated: Set
msgSecurityModel: USM (3)
msgAuthoritativeEngineID: 80001F8880BBEF113416410E48
1 ... .... = Engine ID Compliance: RFC3411 (SNMPv3)
Engine Corporate ID: net-snmp (8072)
Motor ID Format: Reserved / Company-specific (128): Net-SNMP Random
Engine ID Data: BBEF1134
Engine ID Data: Creating Time: 22 Apr 2008 15:48:38
msgAuthoritativeEngineBoots: 14
msgAuthoritativeEngineTime: 856044
msgUserName: snmpadmin
msgauthenticationpar Game

The user ID and password (in fact, SNMPv1 and SNMPv2 have no user IDs) are encrypted and the traffic itself is encrypted. Although it is not perfect - and still not publicly posted over the internet - it has become much more useless for an attacker. That's the idea.

But that's just the background. How about installing SNMPv3 and using it in Mac OS X? Don't be afraid, good reader: this part of the story is on us. But there are some warnings. I won't go into the basics of SNMP installation and use to prevent this from becoming an epic-length article. Instead, I'll refer to an article I wrote earlier covering earlier the SNMP basics and installation. 

It does not include SNMPv3, but it addresses SNMPv1 and v2 very well. This is important because the way you use SNMP is not radically different between versions, and there are still many devices that do not support SNMPv3 at all. Therefore, in order to make better use of SNMP, you will need to be comfortable with older versions in SNMP for Mac Download.

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