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Linux Security HOWTO

Kevin Fenzi

Dave Wreski


v2.3, 22 January 2004

This document is a general overview of security issues that face the administrator of Linux systems. It covers general security philosophy and a number of specific examples of how to better secure your Linux system from intruders. Also included are pointers to security-related material and programs. Improvements, constructive criticism, additions and corrections are gratefully accepted. Please mail your feedback to both authors, with "Security HOWTO" in the subject.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
1.1. New Versions of this Document
1.2. Feedback
1.3. Disclaimer
1.4. Copyright Information
2. Overview
2.1. Why Do We Need Security?
2.2. How Secure Is Secure?
2.3. What Are You Trying to Protect?
2.4. Developing A Security Policy
2.5. Means of Securing Your Site
2.6. Organization of This Document
3. Physical Security
3.1. Computer locks
3.2. BIOS Security
3.3. Boot Loader Security
3.4. xlock and vlock
3.5. Security of local devices
3.6. Detecting Physical Security Compromises
4. Local Security
4.1. Creating New Accounts
4.2. Root Security
5. Files and File system Security
5.1. Umask Settings
5.2. File Permissions
5.3. Integrity Checking
5.4. Trojan Horses
6. Password Security and Encryption
6.1. PGP and Public-Key Cryptography
6.2. SSL, S-HTTP and S/MIME
6.3. Linux IPSEC Implementations
6.4. ssh (Secure Shell) and stelnet
6.5. PAM - Pluggable Authentication Modules
6.6. Cryptographic IP Encapsulation (CIPE)
6.7. Kerberos
6.8. Shadow Passwords.
6.9. "Crack" and "John the Ripper"
6.10. CFS - Cryptographic File System and TCFS - Transparent Cryptographic File System
6.11. X11, SVGA and display security
7. Kernel Security
7.1. 2.0 Kernel Compile Options
7.2. 2.2 Kernel Compile Options
7.3. Kernel Devices
8. Network Security
8.1. Packet Sniffers
8.2. System services and tcp_wrappers
8.3. Verify Your DNS Information
8.4. identd
8.5. Configuring and Securing the Postfix MTA
8.6. SATAN, ISS, and Other Network Scanners
8.7. sendmail, qmail and MTA's
8.8. Denial of Service Attacks
8.9. NFS (Network File System) Security.
8.10. NIS (Network Information Service) (formerly YP).
8.11. Firewalls
8.12. IP Chains - Linux Kernel 2.2.x Firewalling
8.13. Netfilter - Linux Kernel 2.4.x Firewalling
8.14. VPNs - Virtual Private Networks
9. Security Preparation (before you go on-line)
9.1. Make a Full Backup of Your Machine
9.2. Choosing a Good Backup Schedule
9.3. Testing your backups
9.4. Backup Your RPM or Debian File Database
9.5. Keep Track of Your System Accounting Data
9.6. Apply All New System Updates.
10. What To Do During and After a Breakin
10.1. Security Compromise Underway.
10.2. Security Compromise has already happened
11. Security Sources
11.1. LinuxSecurity.com References
11.2. FTP Sites
11.3. Web Sites
11.4. Mailing Lists
11.5. Books - Printed Reading Material
12. Glossary
13. Frequently Asked Questions
14. Conclusion
15. Acknowledgments