Linux Capabilities: Hardening Linux binaries by removing setuid

Linux Capabilities Hardening Linux binaries by removing setuid Normally Unix based systems use two kind of processes: privileged and unprivileged. The first category is usually used for administrative purposes, like starting and stopping other processes, tuning the kernel and opening sockets. Root permissions The command ping is a great example why even small programs needs root permissions. In a first glance you might consider this tool to be simple: send a package to a host and see if it responds. The […]

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Securing mount points on Linux

Securing mount points Mount points are defined in /etc/fstab. They link a particular disk pointer to the related device (disk, partition or virtual device). By default the mount options are not focused on security, which gives us a room to further improve hardening of the system. This hardening is especially important considering our most precious data is stored here. Via mount options we can apply additional security controls to protect our data. Mount points Let’s have a look at our […]

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Alternatives to Bastille Linux: system hardening with Lynis

System hardening with Lynis Many people used Bastille Linux to harden their Linux systems. Unfortunately the website of Bastille seems very outdated, including the tool. This resulted in people searching for a great alternative to replace this tool. We found the alternative by actually combining different solutions, being more powerful. Security automation is hot, so forget Bastille and do it the right way. Automatic hardening makes sense Most system administrators can’t keep up with the new technologies and security threats. […]

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How to solve Shellshock on Debian and Ubuntu

Protect against Shellshock For Debian and Ubuntu Shellshock is a serious software weakness, or vulnerability, in Bash. This shell is used on almost all Unix based systems, including Debian and Ubuntu. As it can be used without much efforts and remotely exploit systems, it has a maximum vulnerability score according to CVSS. Upgrade Bash First update the software repository with apt-get, using the update parameter. apt-get update && apt-get install –only-upgrade bash Your system should now have a newer version […]

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Protect against the BEAST attack in Nginx

Protect against the BEAST attack in Nginx   What is this BEAST? BEAST, or “Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS” is an attack against the cipher block chaining (CBC) method used with SSL/TLS. The weakness was discovered in 2002, but finally proven in 2011 by security researchers Thai Duong and Juliano Rizzo. With real proof of concept code, they showed it was no longer a theoretical attack. To successfully perform the BEAST attack, there are some conditions which needs to be met: Vulnerable version of […]

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Configure HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) for Apache and Nginx

HSTS configuration for Apache and Nginx HTTP Strict Transport Security (or HSTS) is a security capability to force web clients using HTTPS. The idea behind HSTS is that clients which always should communicate as safely as possible. At achieve this, the web server and web browser will prefer the HTTPS protocol instead of HTTP. Benefits The clear benefit of “forcing” a client to use HTTPS directly, is decreasing the risk of sharing any sensitive information via a protocol which can […]

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Do NOT use Linux hardening checklists for your servers

Do NOT use Linux hardening checklists for your servers Quality is an interesting word. It describes, well, the quality of something. Quality is just another word for how well can you repeat something. The goal is to get each time exactly the same result. Whenever it’s a physical product, or rolling out a new Linux system, you want great quality. One method to increase quality is using checklists. However we strongly advice against using Linux hardening checklists.. But checklists are […]

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Hardening Guides and Tools for Red Hat Linux (RHEL)

Hardening Guides and Tools for Red Hat Linux (RHEL) System hardening is an important part in securing computer networks. Each system should get the appropriate security measures to provide a minimum level of trust. In this post we have a look at some of the options when securing a Red Hat based system. This information applies to Red Hat Linux (RHEL), Fedora, CentOS, Scientific Linux and others. Red Hat Red Hat itself has a hardening guide for RHEL 4 and […]

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