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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3answers
564 views

Why is konsole reading /etc/passwd?

In relation to this question: While observing the behavior of fatrace, I notice something which concerns me. Here are the first few lines of output of the command "fatrace|grep konsole" ...
8
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9answers
1k 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 ...
8
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2answers
171 views

Why is the ability to definine functions in an enviromental variable not a security risk in itself?

As I understand it, generally it is considered safe to let anyone provide information that will be stored in an environmental variable. The shellshock vulnerability is an issue here because it means ...
8
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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 ...
8
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3answers
9k views

How can I track who SSH'es into my linux machine?

I'm running Ubuntu 10.04. Is there a way I can get a daily report of who has logged onto the box, what time, and even - this may be asking too much - a report of the commands they used? This is a ...
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6answers
3k views

When does the Puppy linux security model make sense?

I have just spent a few hours playing with Puppy linux, which has some very nice features, but there are some things about its approach to security (at least the default settings) that worry me: It ...
8
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2answers
15k views

Effect of entries in /etc/securetty

By default on RHEL 5.5 I have [deuberger@saleen trunk]$ sudo cat /etc/securetty console vc/1 vc/2 vc/3 vc/4 vc/5 vc/6 vc/7 vc/8 vc/9 vc/10 vc/11 tty1 tty2 tty3 tty4 tty5 tty6 tty7 tty8 tty9 tty10 ...
8
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1answer
174 views

Does ssh-agent store my passphrase?

Is it possible to determine the passphrases of private keys added to ssh-agent? I'm thinking along the lines of someone with root privileges trying to find out my passphrase after I have added the ...
8
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3answers
4k views

How to make a folder private?

I'm using Ubuntu with several users and I want to make folders viewable just for a specific user. Any idea how to do it?
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2answers
8k views

How to apply the fix for CVE-2014-6271 bash vulnerability on cygwin?

I would like to find out how do I apply the fix for this vulnerability on cygwin. I am running the CYGWIN_NT-6.1 MYHOSTNAME 1.7.30(0.272/5/3) 2014-05-23 10:36 x86_64 Cygwin of cygwin on Windows 7. ...
8
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2answers
395 views

How can I create a hard to kill process

I want to create a program that will be difficult to stop (even for the administrator) once it is started (with root privileges). Once started the process should continue to start itself at startup ...
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2answers
4k 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 ...
8
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2answers
1k 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 ...
8
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5answers
2k 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 ...
8
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2answers
5k 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 ...
8
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2answers
149 views

Signing/Checksumming the kernel to prevent/detect manipulation

All my partitions are encrypted (/ and /home), but the /boot partition has to remain unencrypted and is open for manipulation. I was thinking about hashing the kernel on bootup and checking the result ...
8
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1answer
355 views

Encrypted Booting

I want to boot the Linux from the /boot partition, and also want to encrypt this /boot partition. [ AFAIK, Grub is unable to find the kernel and initrd from an truecrypted partition or cryptsetup ...
8
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1answer
199 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 ...
8
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0answers
4k 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 ...
7
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7answers
1k views

Is there a way to store Firefox passwords in a local encrypted database in Linux?

I want Firefox to "remember" my passwords so I don't have to type them in; unfortunately, the built-in password manager stores them in plain text, which is too high a security risk. I'd like to find a ...
7
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4answers
23k 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 ...
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4answers
227 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
310 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
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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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
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1answer
900 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 ...
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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
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2answers
414 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
votes
3answers
748 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
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1answer
4k 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
187 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
864 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
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2answers
239 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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2answers
329 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
626 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
4answers
8k 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 ...
7
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4answers
358 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
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1answer
251 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 ...
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votes
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
3k views

Linux: LUKS and multiple hard drives

I have a Debian Linux system (amd64) installed on a RAID-1 system encrypted device (LVM on LUKS) and will have a RAID-6 of >=4 disks where I'll put my data (LUKS and maybe LVM). I think the basic ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Are there any GUI's for Linux that doesn't use X11?

Are there any GUI's for Linux that doesn't use X11? Since X has very poor security :O e.g.: Ubuntu, Fedora - what else are there? Goal: having a Desktop Environment without X. - what are the ...
6
votes
4answers
5k 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
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3answers
651 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 ...
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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
255 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
votes
3answers
310 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
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2answers
206 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
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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 ...