Content related to computer security., i.e. content about policies, mechanisms, etc. needed make sure data is not leaked or corrupted and services available in all circumstances.

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4answers
19k views

How to only install security updates on debian

Because of the Shell Shock bug I need to make updates on some of our machines. But I am not sure if all of the packages suggested in apt-get upgrade are OK for my system. In other words I am not sure ...
7
votes
9answers
902 views

How to prevent a process from writing files

I want to run a command on Linux in a way that it cannot create or open any files to write. It should still be able to read files as normal (so an empty chroot is not an option), and still be able to ...
7
votes
5answers
30k views

How can I monitor all outgoing requests/connections from my machine?

My machine is a server so I want to ignore connections being made to my server (e.g. when someone visits my website). I want to see only connections/requests being made by my server to other places. ...
7
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4answers
206 views

Where can I “hide” easter eggs for students learning about Linux security? [closed]

I feel like this isn't the best place to ask this (since there's no single right answer), but I can't think of a better place. If you have a better recommendation, could you please recommend it and I ...
7
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4answers
301 views

Which data should be excluded from log files , error messages etc. if posted online?

What data should one erase from log files, error messages etc., if posting them as a screenshot so as not to expose sensitive information? As I have little knowledge about this topic, I can vividly ...
7
votes
1answer
988 views

Is /dev/random data a psuedo-random AES cypher, and where does the entropy come from?

My current understanding of an entropy pool is that it gathers truly random bits of data at a slow rate. I'd like to know how Unix & Linux collect entropy, and how that entropy is used by ...
7
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5answers
1k views

Securing a Debian installation for general home usage

Debian comes with several harden packages, designed to make a computer more secure. My needs are very simple: word processing and Web browsing. I do not run any special servers, do not use SSH, ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How to stop users from Switching to Root user

I have disabled the root user login from Sshd.conf file so now no one can login using root user even if they know the password SOMEHOW. Now I have 3 users in server ROOT,EMERG and ORACLE. I want to ...
7
votes
1answer
836 views

Why root's default shell is configured differently with other normal user account's default shell?

As I know, root's default shell is configured csh and normal user's default shell is sh in FreeBSD. And in Ubuntu, root is dash, normal user is bash. (refer: What's the Ubuntu's default shell?) Why ...
7
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4answers
2k views

How to best encrypt and decrypt a directory via the command line or script?

I have a directory of text files under bazaar version control and keep a copy (a branch, actually) on each of my machines. I want to encrypt and unencrypt the directory via the command line. Ideally, ...
7
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1answer
5k views

What is the severity of the new bash exploit (shellshock)? [duplicate]

Alternate title: Should I be worried? I've been reading up about the remote bash exploit and was wondering how severe it is and if I should be worried, especially since a new exploit has been found ...
7
votes
2answers
281 views

With which user should I run web servers, redis & mongodb?

On this VPS there are three users: root, another_one, nobody. All webserver files, configs, &c. are owned by root. However, I'm in doubt for what regards running things. If I use root for the web ...
7
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3answers
644 views

Uncover sudoer user with root privileges which ran command X?

I'm the main sysadmin of a system. In the system there are 3 sudoers users with root's privileges. The system runs a script in background which check the hash of system's utilities to detect possible ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a way to deactivate Buffer overflow protection on my machine?

I want to do some experiments with buffer overflows on my various virtual machines, including (but not limited to) Debian 6, Ubuntu 12.04, Fedora 16, but every time I try to execute the buffer ...
7
votes
1answer
174 views

Is it normal to have a file called “shadow-” in the /etc directory?

I am noticing a lot of weird files appearing in my router and on my various filesystems. Files in weird places or files that have to do with security with a - sign after them. If I do ls -l ...
7
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5answers
739 views

how do I wipe a server that I don't have physical access to?

I have a Godaddy dedicated server that I would like to cancel. Before I do that I'd like to do a clean format on the server to make sure that the next person who gets the server isn't able to undelete ...
7
votes
2answers
236 views

Hibernate and security considerations

How do Linux and OSX handle sensitive memory pages (e.g. cryptographic keys) when running OS is suspended to disk? If the memory image written is encrypted, how are its keys handled?
7
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5answers
1k views

Read and confirm shell script before piping from curl to sh (curl -s [url] | sh)

Whenever I have to execute a shell script from the web curl -s [url] | sh, I first open url in my web browser to make sure the script isn't malicious and is safe to run. I remember seeing a command ...
7
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2answers
315 views

Can I get infected in this case if I run a live cd?

I recently got rid of a nasty trojan on Windows and want to migrate to Linux(Ubuntu). I want to run a Live CD so that I can format an SD card to put my brand new firmware on my router and format the ...
7
votes
1answer
575 views

Opening port 80 but remain secure

I have a standard installation of Ubuntu 10.04, and have installed the LAMP stack so I can do some web development locally. On my router I have opened port 80 so I can develop with external services ...
7
votes
2answers
763 views

LXC containers as a sandbox environment

I am currently starting a project evaluating untrusted programs (student assignments) in a secure sandbox environment. Main idea is to create a web app for GlassFish and Java wrapper around lxc-utils ...
7
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2answers
4k views

How to check, which limit was exceeded? (Process terminated because of ulimit. )

Let's assume process runs in ulimited environment : ( ulimit ... -v ... -t ... -x 0 ... ./program ) Program is terminated. There might be many reasons : memory/time/file limit exceeded ; just ...
7
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4answers
353 views

How can I safely give a shell to somebody?

I have a question about giving a shell account to somebody. How safe is it? He could read /etc. How can I give a secured shell account that will only restrict the user to some bins and his own home? ...
7
votes
1answer
245 views

Why is it a security problem to have /usr/sbin owned by bin?

The Sendmail Installation and Operation Guide (§1.3.1) asserts: For security reasons, /, /usr, and /usr/sbin should be owned by root, mode 07552[...] 2Some vendors ship them owned by bin; this ...
7
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4answers
1k views

How to set up two-factor authentication with OTP on FreeBSD?

I have a FreeBSD hosted server that I like to be able to get to from anywhere. Normally I use SSH publickey to log in, or if I don't have my SSH private key available then I might use regular password ...
7
votes
1answer
187 views

How to use /etc/fbtab in OpenBSD to secure X11?

OpenBSD's man page afterboot(8) suggests: "You might wish to tighten up security more by editing /etc/fbtab as when installing X." How might one do this? What lines when added to /etc/fbtab would ...
7
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0answers
3k views

OpenSSL Package Rebuild CentOS 6.4 [closed]

Rebuilding openssl with Elliptic Curves on CentOS 6.4 The strategy is: 1) Download the "official" CentOS source package (.src.rpm) 2) Modify the .spec file to enable elliptic curves. (change no-EC ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Debian: Which firewall for a newbie?

I have to install a firewall on my server (so without X Server). It's a debian lenny. If it is possible, I want to avoid the use of iptables. Is there a way to install/configure a firewall for a ...
6
votes
3answers
633 views

Is w command safe for users?

Some applications allow to pass password as an argument. For example: mysql --user=user_name --password=your_password db_name Is it safe? Besides the fact that typed password would be saved in bash ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Have I been hacked?

I run a dedicated server, where I noticed a high CPU usage recently, and checked the processes. It appears someone (mick account) was mining on my server. How is this possible? The process is below. I ...
6
votes
6answers
219 views

File protection in Unix

Is there a way to protect a file in such a way that even root cannot delete it or rewrite it after creating it? I have a file which is created by root under /var/log/ and I want to restrict all users ...
6
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3answers
254 views

Under what scenarios would I want to set a SUID bit?

I'm struggling to wrap my mind around the concept of SUID bits and why they're would be useful. For example, let's say I have a program: -rwsr-xr-x 1 root root 12364 Jan 12 2013 ...
6
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2answers
4k views

Write to a file without redirection?

I am writing a regular compiled application that needs to create a special file and write a magic cookie into it. I can’t write the file directly from the application, the system security model ...
6
votes
2answers
194 views

Is there any issue to put / as a home directory of root user from security point of view?

Is there any issue to put / as a home directory of root user from security point of view instead of /root
6
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2answers
1k views

Should I be backing up my SSH host keys?

In my automated backups, I'm not sure if I should be doing this. If the hard drive fails or if I wipe the hard disk and start over, what will be the effect of starting with a new SSH host key to my ...
6
votes
9answers
12k views

How do I write a test for system login?

I've written a Python CGI script that invokes bash commands, and it needs to test for a successful login on the host. How do I write a test for that? For example, could I create a bash script that ...
6
votes
2answers
610 views

Why did SDF switch from NetBSD to Linux?

I personally don't have much experience, but I was reading about SDF, and at one point the article mentions that SDF migrated to Linux in 1997, but due to the large number of malicious attacks it ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Iptables: matching outgoing traffic with conntrack and owner. Works with strange drops

In my iptables script I have been experimenting with writing as finely grained rules as possible. I limit which users are allowed to use which services, partly for security and partly as a learning ...
6
votes
2answers
817 views

I/O-overhead of dm-encrypted device?

What would be the Read-/Write-overhead when using dm-crypt (LUKS) as full disk-encryption (including root partition) on a Linux-Desktop (Ubuntu)? I plan to stack it like so: LUKS > LVM > ext4 The CPU ...
6
votes
3answers
419 views

Why are web servers traditionally started as superuser?

Thinking about a future web server setup, it struck me that for some reason web servers usually start as root and then drop certain rights (setuid) for the worker processes. In addition there is often ...
6
votes
1answer
717 views

Security of an encrypted (dm-crypt & LUKS) Ubuntu 12.04 installed by somebody else?

Suppose I want an Ubuntu setup (let it be 12.04) with full disk encryption. Ubuntu offers this as an option during installation. Suppose also that I have somebody (e.g. my vendor) else set this up ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

SSH authentication: either SSH keys or one time password

I have an Ubuntu 10.04 Linux server that I normally ssh into (from my home machine) using ssh key authentication. However, sometimes I need to ssh remotely from potentially insecure machines (like ...
6
votes
2answers
251 views

Lock some accounts during some time periods

Is it possible to lock some accounts in order to be accessible only during specific time periods? For instance the account joe should only be accessible during office hours.
6
votes
1answer
594 views

Are Debian- and RedHat-style repositories compromised by Heartbleed OpenSSL bug?

The Heartbleed exploit (CVE-2014-0160) makes SSL connections using OpenSSL vulnerable to private key leakage. Does it mean that official update channels in RHEL/CentOS/etc. and Debian/Ubuntu shall be ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

rkhunter warns me about root.rules

I run : :~$ sudo rkhunter --checkall --report-warnings-only One of the warnings I've got : Warning: Suspicious file types found in /dev: /dev/.udev/rules.d/root.rules: ASCII text and ...
6
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1answer
221 views

Does fail2ban offer any additional protection to SSH if password login is already turned off?

I’m setting up a Debian VPS on Linode to use as a public web server, and I’m following their security suggestions. The last suggestion they make is to install fail2ban, to avoid dictionary attacks on ...
6
votes
2answers
398 views

Can a user brute-force a directory listing without having read permission on the directory?

I noticed that when a user is working in a directory to which he does not have read permission that using cd produces different error messages, depending on whether or not a subdirectory exists: $ ls ...
6
votes
1answer
532 views

/etc/passwd sql with bash access

I just got a CentOS VPS and was reviewing the passwd file and saw this: mysql:x:498:499:MySQL server:/var/lib/mysql:/bin/bash Is bash necessary for mysql?
6
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2answers
905 views

Optimize performance for encrypted disk

Recently I tried to copy 200GB to a 1TB external / USB2 / encrypted disk and it took 36 hours. The same copy when the disk was not encrypted took no longer than 1 hour. I am using dm-crypt (LUKS) ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

Fail2ban block with IPtables doesn't work on Debian Lenny. [moved ssh port]

I've recently decided to do some security maintenance. I saw my logs, and there were some tries against my SSH server. At first, I moved away the SSH port from the default 22. After it, I read ...