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SecurityFocus.com: Securing Linux Part II

Apr 29, 2000, 17:07 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dale Coddington)

"Part I of this article focused on basic methods to secure a default Linux installation. Aside from SSH, no additional software was installed on the machine to increase security. This article will examine some additional tools that can be installed to increase the overall security posture of a Linux system."

"Many kernel level modifications are available to help increase system security. Even if an attacker was to gain root access to a machine it would be difficult, if not impossible, to circumvent some of these security measures. Naturally, in order to take advantage of these tools you must be familiar with rebuilding a kernel. Typically the modifications come in the form of a patch to apply to the Linux source code. After applying the patch, a fresh kernel is then built. Kernel patches tend to favor more recent kernels."

"By default Linux does not log all TCP connections, but rather only connections to "well-known" ports, or those ports listed in the /etc/services file. In this day and age this is woefully inadequate. Linux does not include any means to log any additional ports besides those listed in /etc/services. However, there are tools that can be added to log any TCP connection to any port. Although extended logging mechanisms can make it easier to determine if a system is under attack, it can also make it more difficult at the same time by vastly increasing the amount of logs generated, and could even in some cases lead to a denial of service by overfilling the drive where logging takes place."

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