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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74
votes
6answers
45k views

Allow setuid on shell scripts

The setuid permission bit tells Linux to run a program with the effective user id of the owner instead of the executor: > cat setuid-test.c #include <stdio.h> #include <unistd.h> int ...
47
votes
2answers
1k views

Security implications of forgetting to quote a variable in bash/POSIX shells

If you've been following unix.stackexchange.com for a while, you should hopefully know by now that leaving a variable unquoted in list context (as in echo $var) in Bourne/POSIX shells (zsh being the ...
107
votes
9answers
10k views

The myths about malware in Unix / Linux

Is it possible for my Linux box to become infected with a malware? I haven't heard of it happening to anyone I know, and I've heard quite a few times that it isn't possible. Is that true? If so, ...
97
votes
2answers
17k views

When was the shellshock (CVE-2014-6271/7169) bug introduced, and what is the patch that fully fixes it?

Some context about the bug: CVE-2014-6271 Bash supports exporting not just shell variables, but also shell functions to other bash instances, via the process environment to (indirect) child ...
49
votes
2answers
12k views

Why is there a big delay after entering a wrong password?

I notice a weird (well, according to me) thing about passwords. For example, if I type an incorrect password during login, there will be a few seconds' delay before the system tells me so. When I try ...
89
votes
7answers
13k views

Which is the safest way to get root privileges: sudo, su or login?

I would like to have the root account in safety even if my unprivileged user is compromised. On Ubuntu you can only use sudo for "security reasons" by default. However I am not sure it is any safer ...
17
votes
4answers
56k views

SSH login with clear text password as a parameter?

I need to login to a user that I've created on a remote host running Ubuntu. I can't use an ssh key because the ssh login will happen from a bash script ran within a server that I wont have access to ...
14
votes
6answers
7k views

Can root/superuser read my read-protected files?

On shared unix hosting, if I have a file sensitive-data.txt and I issue: chmod 600 sensitive-data.txt Can root user still read my file? Specifically I'm wondering if it's safe to store my password ...
9
votes
1answer
794 views

Log every invocation of every SUID program?

I would like to have a log file that contains an entry for every time a user runs any suid program, containing the user name, the program and any command line arguments passed to it. Is there a ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Hide processes from other users based on groups (under Linux)?

Is it possible to configure process hiding for certain user groups under a linux system? For example: Users from group X should not see processes owned by users from group Y in ps/top or under /proc. ...
81
votes
3answers
19k views

How do I recover from the Heartbleed bug in OpenSSL?

CVE-2014-0160 a.k.a. Heartbleed is a vulnerability in OpenSSL. It looks scary. How do I determine whether I am affected? If I'm affected, what do I need to do? Apparently upgrading isn't enough.
37
votes
4answers
5k views

Is there any way to keep a command from being added to your history?

Is there any way to keep a command from being added to your history? I have a command that I want to keep out of my history file, and I really don't care to have it there when I search the history ...
53
votes
7answers
45k views

What's the difference between /sbin/nologin and /bin/false

Technically, unless pam is set up to check your shell with pam_shells neither of these can actually prevent your login, if you're not on the shell. On my system they are even different sizes, so I ...
14
votes
2answers
360 views

Security implications of running perl -ne '…' *

Apparently, running: perl -n -e 'some perl code' * Or find . ... -exec perl -n -e '...' {} + (same with -p instead of -n) Or perl -e 'some code using <>' * often found in one-liners ...
13
votes
11answers
1k views

Concern about logging in as root overrated?

For personal linux on my personal notebooks, I've usually set my environment to autologin as root even under X or lower runlevels. I've found my workflow is very pleasant and fast, without any ...
62
votes
20answers
9k views

Root access that can't change root password?

We are having a little problem on a server. We want that some users should be able to do e.g. sudo and become root, but with the restriction that the user can't change root password. That is, a ...
18
votes
4answers
7k views

Block Particular Command in Linux for Specific user

How to block command, let say mkdir for specific user ? What I did just created read-only function and store in users profile ~/.bashrc /bin/mkdir() { echo "mkdir command not allow for you" ...
17
votes
2answers
5k views

What to use to harden Linux box? Apparmor, SELinux, grsecurity, SMACK, chroot?

I am planning to go back to Linux as a Desktop machine. I would like to make it more secure. And try a few hardening techniques, especially since I plan to get my own server. What would be a good, ...
19
votes
3answers
6k views

Why does the 'bin' user need a login shell?

During an audit of /var/log/auth.log on one of my public webservers, I found this: Jan 10 03:38:11 Bucksnort sshd[3571]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure; logname= uid=0 euid=0 ...
18
votes
6answers
19k views

How do I recursively shred an entire directory tree?

I have a directory tree that I would like to shred with the Linux 'shred' utility. Unfortunately, shred has no -R option for recursive shredding. How can I shred an entire directory tree ...
17
votes
3answers
8k views

How can I determine if someone's SSH key contains an empty passphrase?

Some of my Linux & FreeBSD systems have dozens of users. Staff will use these "ssh gateway" nodes to SSH into other internal servers. We're concerned that some of these people use an unencrypted ...
11
votes
5answers
960 views

Monitoring activity on my computer.

So recently I found that someone has been using my computer without consent, browsing folders, etc.... I could change all my passwords straight away, but I'm curious as the what the intruding party ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

How to get Oracle java 7 to work with setcap cap_net_bind_service+ep

I am trying to grant the java executable the right to open ports below 1024 on Linux. Here is the setup /home/test/java contains the Oracle Server JRE 7.0.25 CentOS 6.4 Here is what getcap ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

I don't want other users see my processes in ps aux. I have root. It's Debian. How to use grsec?

I installed 'linux-patch-grsecurity2' and it has some sort of interface. ~$ sudo gradm2 gradm 2.1.14 grsecurity administration program Usage: gradm [option] ... Examples: gradm -P ...
5
votes
1answer
312 views

Automated ssh login with passphrase?

Logging onto a machine over ssh typically requires a password to be entered before access is granted. Alternatively, a key/certificate (without a passphrase) can be installed onto the remote machine ...
2
votes
1answer
402 views

Debian unstable chroot security issues

This page describes how you can use the debootstrap utility to install a base Debian unstable/sid system on an existing Linux machine. The new install is accessible using chroot. When doing this, ...
25
votes
2answers
60k views

What user should apache and PHP be running as? What permissions should /var/www files have?

I just spun up an Ubuntu 11.10 box and then ran apt-get install apache2 php5 to install apache2 and PHP 5 on the box. Now it is functioning as a "web server" and it loads the "It Works!" page. Now I'm ...
32
votes
5answers
8k views

Does /usr/sbin/nologin as a login shell serve a security purpose?

In my /etc/passwd file, I can see that the www-data user used by Apache, as well as all sorts of system users, have either /usr/sbin/nologin or /bin/false as their login shell. For example, here is a ...
13
votes
4answers
467 views

Books/Guides for Securing a Server [closed]

I have a website idea I want to build and launch, and I'm thinking of getting a small VPS to host it (I like Linode for their price, and they seem to be widely recommended). The problem is that I'm ...
13
votes
2answers
465 views

How can I be sure that a directory or file is actually deleted?

I know that most files, when deleted, aren't actually removed from the disk, and can be recovered later. How can I ensure that a directory I had deleted will actually be removed from the disk? Are ...
9
votes
5answers
6k views

Shell Script mktemp, what's the best method to create temporary named pipe?

I'm aware its best to create temporary files with mktemp, but what about named pipes? I have an idea, I'm sure it would work, but I would really like an expert opinion. I prefer things to be as ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Why shouldn't someone use passwords in the command line?

Why do people fear writing passwords in the command line? The history file is located in ~/.history, so it's available only to the user who executed the commands (and root).
12
votes
7answers
7k views

What's the best way to format a HDD in Linux in order to leave no trace?

I'm running Debian and need a way to format the entire hdd in order to not leave any trace on it because I want to donate it to a friend. So what will be the best way in order to format it? If I ...
8
votes
3answers
19k views

How to “close” open ports?

A few days ago I started to care a lot about my data security, I end up nmaping myself with: nmap 127.0.0.1 Surprise, surprise, I have lots of active services listen to localhost: $ nmap 127.0.0.1 ...
28
votes
4answers
1k views

Execution of possibly harmful program on Linux

I'm writing a program that will test programs written by students. I'm afraid that I can't trust them and I need to make sure that it won't end up badly for the computer running it. I was thinking ...
14
votes
3answers
7k views

How should one set up full-disk encryption on OpenBSD?

Is there a preferred method to set up full-disk encryption under OpenBSD, similar to dm-crypt under Linux? I'm looking for full-disk encryption, as if someone were to steal my notebook they could ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

Ghost Vulnerability - CVE-2015-0235

Does the Ghost Vulnerability require access (as in being a logged in user) to the effected OS in question? Can someone clarify the 'remote attacker that is able to make an application call'? I only ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I encrypt git on my server?

Heres the closest I've gotten: I installed gitolite in the /Private folder using ecryptfs-utils (sudo apt-get install ecryptfs-utils adduser git ecryptfs-setup-private then the rest was configuring ...
8
votes
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
260 views

Security Implications of using unsanitized data in Shell Arithmetic evaluation

In a comment to a recent question, St├ęphane Chazelas mentions that there are security implications to double parentheses arithmetic such as: x=$((1-$x)) on most shells. My Google skills seem to be ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Preventing access to TTY when X is killed

Assume I start an X server manually from a virtual console /dev/tty1 with xinit or startx, with the line id:3:initdefault: set in /etc/inittab. The X server gets run and put on another virtual ...
2
votes
2answers
664 views

Is a -rw-rw-rw- file really inaccessible inside a drwxrwx— directory?

Say I have a directory with these permissions: drwxrwx--- Inside this directory, a file with these permissions: -rw-rw-rw- Is the file readable/writable by everyone or not ? If not, how secure ...
2
votes
4answers
800 views

How to guarantee the integrity of an OS?

In information security, integrity means that data cannot be modified undetectably. This answer raised my interest, of course, I want to guarantee the integrity of my OS, outlined here. ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Why change default ssh port?

I've noticed lot of admins change default ssh port. Is there any rational reason to do so?
14
votes
4answers
462 views

What specific vulnerabilities am I creating by disabling the sudo password?

Here are some instructions on how to disable your sudo password. These carry the following warning If you disable the sudo password for your account, you will seriously compromise the security of ...
10
votes
1answer
129 views

D-Bus authentication and authorization

I'm trying to set up remote access to D-Bus, and I don't understand how authentication and authorization are (not) working. I have a D-Bus server listening on an abstract socket. $ echo ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

How does ps know to hide passwords?

Witness: $ ps f PID TTY STAT TIME COMMAND 31509 pts/3 Ss 0:01 -bash 27266 pts/3 S+ 0:00 \_ mysql -uroot -p 25210 pts/10 Ss+ 0:00 /bin/bash 24444 pts/4 Ss 0:00 ...
9
votes
1answer
661 views

How can I limit ssh *remote* port forwarding?

I need to limit which ports can be remotely 'ssh -R' forwarded by an user. I know about permitopen option on authorized_keys, but as it says on man page it only limits local 'ssh -L' port forwarding ...
8
votes
2answers
176 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
378 views

SSH to untrusted machine

If I SSH to a remote server, is it be possible for the admins of that machine to use my SSH session to send data back down the connection and do something to my local PC? I use DSA keys and do not ...