Disable SSLv3 in Lighttpd to protect against POODLE attack

Disable SSLv3 in Lighttpd Protecting against the POODLE attack The POODLE attack has entered the news a few times now. The issue behind the POODLE attack is serious, as it abuses a weakness in the protocol, not the implementation. This means the only proper fix is abandoning the SSLv3 protocol and use the newer TLS protocols. Disable SSLv2 and SSLv3 Lighttpd commonly has its configuration settings stored in /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf. Open this file and add the following two statements, to disable […]

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Finding setuid binaries on Linux and BSD

Finding setuid binaries for Linux and BSD systems Why setuid? Binaries with the setuid bit enabled, are being executed as if they were running under the context of the root user. This enables normal (non-privileged) users to use special privileges, like opening sockets. While this seems unnecessary for a normal user, it is actually needed for simple commands like ping. Finding files with setuid bit To discover all files with the setuid bit, we can use the find command. Depending […]

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How to check if your Arch Linux system needs a reboot

Arch Linux reboots How to check if a reboot is needed By default Arch will install the kernel in /boot with the name vmlinuz-linux. To determine if the system is running the latest kernel, we can compare the running kernel and the one on disk. Running kernel One way to determine the running kernel is with the uname command. By default installed and with the -r parameter it will provide the kernel release version. [root@archlinux ~]# uname -r 3.17.4-1-ARCH Kernel […]

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Perform NetBSD security audit with pkg_admin

Perform NetBSD security audit Security audit of NetBSD software packages with pkg_admin NetBSD is especially known for it’s diverse platforms it can run on. What is less known is the ability to audit the installed packages. In this article we have a look on how to audit NetBSD and ensure the file integrity of your packages. Performing a security audit is easy, as long as you use the right tool! Packages When using packages, their metadata will be installed in […]

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Exporting nftables rules and configuration

Exporting nftables rules The usage of nftables will slowly grow in the upcoming years, with the goal to become the successor of iptables. Where iptables rules are harder to parse, nftables comes by default with an exporting facility. Exports formats include JSON and XML. Command syntax When using the command line utility nft for the first time, it looks a little bit unfriendly to the user. No suggestions on what to do, nor clear help on often used commands. To […]

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Finding boot logs in systemd journals

Finding boot logs in systemd journals Systemd used a binary log to store information about specific events. These events include the boot sequence and the related output. In this article we have a look at finding our boot logs in systemd journals. Binary logging When using systemd, boot data is stored in journals, a binary format. There is big benefit of saving boot data in a binary format: log information of each boot can be stored separately, linked to other […]

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Alternative for netstat: ss tool

Alternative for netstat System administrators and security professionals searching for listening ports on a server, are definitely familiar with the netstat command. However, newer distributions do not have the tool default installed anymore. Time to start using ss besides our beloved netstat command. ss Socket statistics, or ss for short, is an easy replacement command for netstat. One way to use it, is with parameters ss -aut -a: show listening and non-listening sockets -u: show UDP -t: show TCP [root@archlinux […]

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Linux capabilities 101

Security of Linux systems and applications can be greatly improved by using hardening measures. One of these measures is called Linux capabilities. Capabilities are supported by the kernel for some while now. Using capabilities we can strengthen applications and containers. Unfortunately, this powerful tool is still underutilized. Time to change that! This article helps to understand and apply them. What are Linux capabilities? Normally the root user (or any ID with UID of 0) gets a special treatment when running processes. […]

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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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Auditing systemd: solving failed units with systemctl

Auditing systemd Solving failed units with systemctl Systemd is an alternative service manager to the more traditional init system. To ensure the system is healthy, failed units should be investigated on a regular basis. Sooner or later a unit might fail and showing up the systemctl listing. In this article we have a look at how to solve it. Why do services fail? During the start of the system, enabled services are started and queued to be executed. Most processes […]

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Filtering ARP traffic with Linux arptables

Filtering ARP traffic with Linux arptables Most Linux system administrators will be familiar with iptables on Linux. Less known is the arptables utility, which controls filtering arp packets. Installation The arptables utility is easy to set-up, as the main functionality is already implemented in the Linux kernel. Just install the arptables package on your favorite Linux distribution. Red Hat / CentOS / Fedora yum install arptables Debian / Ubuntu apt-get install arptables Configuration example To show the effect of filtering […]

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How to clear the ARP cache on Linux?

There are several reasons when you might need to clear your ARP cache. There are two common ways on Linux systems, typically using the arp or ip utility. Depending on your Linux distribution and the availability, we suggest using the ip tool. Clearing cache with ip Newer Linux distributions have the ip utility. The ip tool has a more advanced way to clear out the full ARP cache. ip -s -s neigh flush all The first -s will provide a […]

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Using xattrs or Extended Attributes on Linux

What are extended attributes? Extended attributes or xattrs, are an extensible mechanism to store metadata on a filesystem. Metadata is a collection of information or data points about a particular object. If we would compare this article, the metadata contains the title, author, description, language, Twitter image, etc. Normally the file system can only store a limited set of information about files. Typically this is the filename, ownership, file permissions, and dates. By using extended attributes, we can describe more properties of the […]

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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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PCI DSS (v3) Linux: No write access to shared system binaries (A.1.2.c)

No write access to shared system binaries A.1.2.c Verify that an entity’s users do not have write access to shared system binaries Shared system binaries should be protected, as they form the basis of your system. PCI compliance (A.1.2.c) demands that users do not have write access to shared systems binaries. The only exception is of course the root user, so software upgrades are still possible. Paths for system binaries Depending on the distribution used there are several directories which […]

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