Livepatch: Linux kernel updates without rebooting

Last updated on June 28th, 2018If you run a Linux server, software patching is a task that will have to be performed on a regular basis. Although most programs can be auto-restarted with a tool like needrestart, there is one exception: the kernel. Wouldn’t it be a nice if we could update the kernel without the mandatory reboot? Here is livepatch, the feature of the Linux kernel that makes it possible. Let’s discover how it works and if you can […]

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How to secure a Linux system

Last updated on July 9th, 2018Every Linux system will benefit from more security, especially if it contains sensitive data. With so many resources available on the internet, one might think that securing Linux has become easy. We know it is not. Linux system hardening takes a good amount of understanding about how the Linux kernel works. It also requires a good understanding of the operating system principles. In this guide, we will help you to get this understanding and provide you […]

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The state of Linux security in 2017

Last updated on May 27th, 2018Linux security (2017 edition) The year is closing, so it is time to review Linux security. Like last year, we look at the state of Linux security. A collection of the finest moments. Did we forget something important? Let us know in the comments. This post will remain updated in the upcoming weeks. As this post may appear on HN, Reddit, Slashdot, and other high-traffic sites, this post is heavily cached. Comments may show up with some […]

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Linux security myths

Myth busting: Linux security As the author of Lynis, I have to run several Linux systems for testing Linux security defenses. And if you do something long enough, some get to see you as a Linux security expert. When that happens, you get asked questions. Surprisingly they are often related to some of the myths. Time to share a few I got asked. If you received this link from me directly, then most likely you asked one :) Linux systems […]

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The State of Linux Security

Last updated on May 27th, 2018Linux Security (2016) Introduction In the last 10 years, GNU/Linux achieved something some foreseen as almost impossible: powering both the smallest and biggest devices in the world, and everything in between. Only the desktop is not a conquered terrain yet. The year 2016 had an impact on the world. Both from a real life perspective, as digitally. Some people found their personal details leaked on the internet, others found their software being backdoored. Let’s have […]

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Understanding memory information on Linux systems

Last updated on July 3rd, 2018Every operating system needs memory to store program code segments and data. This is also true for Linux systems. The problem: there is a lot of information available regarding memory usage and its behavior. Let’s discover how Linux manages its memory and how we can gather memory information. After reading this guide, you will be able to: Show the total amount of memory Display all memory details Understand the details listed in /proc/meminfo Use tools like […]

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How to see the version of Oracle Linux

Last updated on June 24th, 2018Determine Oracle Linux version Oracle Linux is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. At first, it may be confusing to determine what specific operating system is running. This is because both have the /etc/redhat-release file. If that file exists, use the cat command to display the contents. Next step is to determine if there is a /etc/oracle-release file as well. If so, then you can be sure that Oracle Linux is running. cat /etc/oracle-release Sample output might […]

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Show vulnerable packages on Arch Linux with arch-audit

Last updated on September 26th, 2016Vulnerable Software Packages on Arch Linux Vulnerabilities happen and are usually fairly quickly fixed. This is also true for Arch Linux. This rolling distribution can be considered to be always up-to-date, as it uses the latest versions of software packages from the upstream. When there is an update, it doesn’t take long that it becomes available and can be installed with package manager pacman. One problem that remained was the inability to quickly test if you have […]

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Linux security guide: the extended version

Last updated on June 24th, 2018Feeling overwhelmed with the resources available to secure your Linux system? With this Linux security guide, we walk step-by-step through the options, tools, and resources. After reading this article, you will be able to make educated decisions about what Linux security defenses to implement for your systems. You will be introduced to the right tools that help you automate and test your improvements. Instead, related articles and resources will be available in the text. The goal is […]

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Difference between CentOS, Fedora, and RHEL

Last updated on May 19th, 2017Difference between CentOS, Fedora, and RHEL The biggest open source company is nowadays Red Hat. It is known for its contributions to many open source projects, including the Linux kernel itself. Less known is that Red Hat is involved in different Linux distributions, directly or indirectly. Fedora Fedora has received many updates and individual releases over the years. It is a playground for new functionality. Often new technology is found here. It can be compared […]

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The Most Influential Linux Security Blogs

Last updated on March 7th, 2017Linux Security Blogs Finding quality blogs about Linux security can be challenging. We made an effort to seek the best and most influential blogs on the internet. What makes it influential? It should have quality articles, regularly updated and tailored to Linux or UNIX security. The countless “How to” websites are skipped. Months of searching and reading resulted in a list of blogs, sorted by category. If you are interested in the developments on Linux […]

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How Linux Security Fails to be Simple

Linux Security Should be Simple, Right? Why that is not a reality, and we might never achieve it. Linux gained great popularity over the last 10 years, powering our servers and smartphones. With all the efforts put in creating more secure software, it seems installing security updates will remain a weekly task. Will this ever change? Security is Hard Properly securing a system means different things for different people. So let’s take the assumption that every system has a particular […]

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Increase kernel integrity with disabled Linux kernel modules loading

Last updated on October 7th, 2015Increasing Linux kernel integrity Disable loading kernel module on Linux systems The Linux kernel can be configured to disallow loading new kernel modules. This feature is especially useful for high secure systems, or if you care about securing your system to the fullest. In this article, we will have a look at the configuration of this option. At the same time allowing legitimate kernel modules to be loaded. Disable kernel modules Newer kernel modules have a […]

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Password Security with Linux /etc/shadow file

Last updated on September 21st, 2015Password Security on Linux Using the /etc/shadow file Linux systems use a password file to store accounts, commonly available as /etc/passwd. For additional safety measures, a shadow copy of this file is used which includes the passwords of your users. Or actually hashed password, for maximum security. An example of a password entry in /etc/shadow may look like this: user1:$6$6Y/fI1nx$zQJj6AH9asTNfhxV7NoVgxByJyE.rVKK6tKXiOGNCfWBsrTGY7wtC6Cep6co9eVNkRFrpK6koXs1NU3AZQF8v/:16092:0:99999:7::: For proper display, let’s split this up in several fields: user1 $6$6Y/fI1nx$zQJj6AH9asTNfhxV7NoVgxByJyE.rVKK6tK<truncated> 16092 0 99999 […]

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An Introduction Into Linux Security Modules

An Introduction Into Linux Security Modules Background Like normal kernel modules, security modules extend the basic functionality of the Linux kernel. The need for a modular structure was proposed when SELinux was being introduced. There was a little discussion to use modules or not, as SELinux was the only one being available. Some people proposed apply it as a kernel patch, but in the end Linux creator Torvalds, decided to make this type of functionality modular. The first security module […]

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