Vulnerabilities and Digital Signatures for OpenBSD Software Packages

Vulnerabilities and Digital Signatures Auditing OpenBSD Software Packages If you audit systems on a regular basis, you eventually will come across an OpenBSD system. OpenBSD is known for its heavy focus on security, resulting in an operating system with a low footprint and well-audited source code. While most operating systems are pretty secure, they quickly will introduce new security holes when installing external software components. Although OpenBSD does careful checks for packages they add, those might be containing still a […]

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Protect against ptrace of processes: kernel.yama.ptrace_scope

Protect against the usage of Ptrace Hardening the kernel with kernel.yama.ptrace_scope Ptrace is a great troubleshooting tool for developers to determine how a process functions. It can be used to find programming flaws, like memory leakage. On the other hand, the tool also be used by people with malicious intent. For example to debug a process as a non-privileged user and find the contents of application memory. Yama Linux has the ability to include Linux Security Modules, to provide additional […]

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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 Unfortunately the website of Bastille seems very outdated, including the tool.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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Yum plugins: Available plugins and built-in security support

Enhancing yum Determine available plugins and built-in security support To enhance the support in our auditing tool Lynis, we wanted to know if yum supports security related functions by using a plugin or having it as built-in functionality. Yum Yum, or Yellowdog Updater Modified, is a software management tool for Linux based systems. Usually it is used on systems running SuSE or Red Hat based (like RHEL, Fedora or CentOS). Plugins extend the functionality of yum, to improve its functionality. […]

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Protect Linux systems against SSLv3 Poodle vulnerability

What is the Poodle vulnerability ? The “Poodle” vulnerability is basicly an attack on the SSL 3.0 protocol. It is discovered in October 2014. The flaw is in the protocol itself (not implementation), which makes the issue applicable for all products using SSL 3.0. TLS 1.0 and later are considered safe against the attack. How does the attack work? While we won’t go into too much depth of encryption and ciphers, we will share some basics. When SSL 3.0 is […]

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Linux host discovery with Nmap

Linux host discovery Using Nmap Not everyone has the budget to buy an expensive software suite to do host discovery on the network. Fortunately there are some great open source alternatives. By combining the right tools we can discover hosts and filter the ones we are looking for. In this article we have the goal to determine what systems on our network are running Linux. Of course it is easy to swap out some pieces in the examples to do […]

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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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Are security hardening guides still useful?

Are security hardening guides still useful? This was the big question we asked ourselves recently, when reading a few of them. With Linux and other Unix systems being decently hardened by default, would it still make sense to invest a lot of time to harden your system? Hardening guides Years ago both Windows and Linux were easy targets. A lot of system software was installed by default and these services were targeted often by malicious people and scripts. Then hardening […]

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Audit SuSE with zypper: vulnerable packages

Audit (Open)SuSE with zypper: vulnerable packages Proper software management is an important part in keeping your system secured. Acting on time is important, especially when network services have discovered security vulnerabilities. Vulnerable packages Usually packages with known security vulnerabilities, get priority and updates are soon available. The risk in installing these packages is fairly low, as they don’t introduce new features. Instead, they fix the related security hole, which sometimes is nothing more than 1 single character! Check your system […]

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Audit SSH configurations: HashKnownHosts option

Audit SSH configurations: HashKnownHosts option How it works Each time the SSH client connects with a server, it will store a related signature (a key) of the server. This information is stored in a file names named known_hosts. The known_hosts file itself is available in the .ssh subdirectory of the related user (on the client). In the case the signature of the server changes, SSH will protect the user by notifying about this chance. Risk involved This configuration option is […]

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Difference between Lynis and Lynis Enterprise

Difference between Lynis and Lynis Enterprise People wonder about the main differences between Lynis and the Lynis Enterprise version. In this article we have a look on what both products are and how you can choose between the two. Lynis Lynis is a security auditing tool for Linux and Unix based systems. With its GPLv3 license it’s open source and freely available. The tool was first released in 2007 and has undergone a lot of development during the years. Lynis is […]

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Open source vulnerability scanner for Linux systems – Lynis

Open source vulnerability scanner for Linux There are several open source vulnerability scanners for Linux, like OpenVAS. While tools like these are powerful as well, we will have a look at Lynis, our auditing tool to detect vulnerabilities of Linux and Unix systems. Why is it different than others and how can it help you in securing your systems? Vulnerabilities Every piece of software will have sooner or later a vulnerability, a minor or major weakness which can be abused […]

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Auditing Linux: Software Packages and Managers

Auditing Linux: Software Packages and Managers No system can do its job without any installed software packages. However after installation of the system, or running it for a while, it often becomes unclear why some software was ever installed. This article looks at methods on auditing installed software, check for security updates and the related follow-up. Package managers To enable system administrators to properly manage software and upgrading them, Linux uses a package manager. This suite often consists of a […]

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