linux hardening checklist

Hardening Linux Systems Status Updated: January 07, 2016 Versions. See how companies around the world build tech skills at scale and improve engineering impact. Join us for practical tips, expert insights and live Q&A with our top experts. 2. You need to be very strict if the host you’re trying to harden is a server because servers need the least number of applications and services installed on them. People often reuse their passwords, which is a bad security practice. I hope not.Â. First of all, if you can disable SSH, that’s a problem solved. Here are some additional options that you need to make sure exist in the “sshd_config” file: Finally, set the permissions on the sshd_config file so that only root users can change its contents: Security Enhanced Linux is a Kernel security mechanism for supporting access control security policy. For more information about the cookies we use or to find out how you can disable cookies, click here. First, open the “fstab” file. A sticky bit is a single bit that, when set, prevents users from deleting someone else’s directories. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Hardening Checklist The hardening checklists are based on … Most people assume that Linux is already secure, and that’s a false assumption. March 31, 2016, by Amruttaa Pardessi | Start Discussion. All data transmitted over a network is open to monitoring. Under a debian distro, open the file “/etc/pam.d/common-password” using a text editor and add the following two lines: (Will not allow users to reuse the last four passwords.). It’s important to know that the Linux operating system has so many distributions (AKA distros) and each one will differ from the command line perspective, but the logic is the same. I will suggest everyone who is hardening a new server should give a detailed report to the customer so that he can … sudo fallocate -l 4G /swapfile # same as "sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1G count=4" # Secure swap. But, permissions is one of the most important and critical tasks to achieve the security goal on a Linux host. To learn more about how to harden your Linux servers for better security, check out these Pluralsight courses. To do it, browse to /etc/ssh and open the “sshd_config” file using your favorite text editor. 25 Linux Security and Hardening Tips. From the time a servers goes to live environment its prone to too many attacks from the hands of crackers (hackers) also as a system administrator you need to secure your Linux server to protect and save your data, intellectual property, and time here server hardening comes into effect. Linux Security Hardening Checklist for Securing your Linux server is important to protect your data, intellectual property, and time, from the hands of crackers (hackers). Increase the security of your Linux system with this hardening checklist. Disk encryption is important in case of theft because the person who stole your computer won’t be able to read your data if they connect the hard disk to their machine. # Let's check if a SWAP file exists and it's enabled before we create one. I’m of course keeping it general; everyone’s purpose, environment, and security standards are different. Read more in the article below, which was originally published here on NetworkWorld. Linux hardening: A 15-step checklist for a secure Linux server By Gus Khawaja | May 10, 2017. Next, you need to disable the booting from external media devices (USB/CD/DVD). SCAP content for evaluation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.x hosts. Securing a system in a production from the hands of hackers and crackers is a challenging task for a System Administrator.This is our first article related to “How to Secure Linux box” or “Hardening a Linux Box“.In this post We’ll explain 25 useful tips & tricks to secure your Linux system. If you omit to change this setting, anyone can use a USB stick that contains a bootable OS and can access your OS data. C2S for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 v0.1.43. Security updates. Computer security training, certification and free resources. 2.4 T00ls. Linux Hardening is usually performed by experienced industry professionals, which have usually undergone a good Recruitment Process. Set User/Group Owner and Permission on “/etc/anacrontab”, “/etc/crontab” and “/etc/cron. The checklist tips are intended to be used mostly on various types of bare-metal servers or on machines ... SCSI, etc), boot up with a Linux live distro, and clone or copy data without leaving any software trace. But, we’ve just scratched the surface of Linux Hardening—there are a lot of complex, nitty-gritty configurations. Thus, if you’ve got world-writable files that have sticky bits set, anyone can delete these files, even if … Use the following tips to harden your own Linux box. Vulnerability Scanning Vs. Ghassan has successfully delivered software products and developed solutions for companies all over Quebec/Canada. Basically, the minimum bar for such a task is pretty high, because in order to do it you need to have a thorough understanding of how each components works and what you can do to make it better. Your best developers and IT pros receive recruiting offers in their InMail and inboxes daily. For reference, we are using a Centos based server. Linux Hardening Checklist System Installation & Patching 1 If machine is a new install, protect it from hostile network traffic until the operating system is installed and hardened . 858 Stars 110 Forks Last release: Not found MIT License 83 Commits 0 Releases . For example, how long will you keep the old backups? Each system should get the appropriate security measures to provide a minimum level of trust. Each computer manufacturer has a different set of keys to enter the BIOS mode, then it’s a matter of finding the configuration where you set the administrative password. Name of the person who is doing the hardening (most likely you), Asset Number (If you’re working for a company, then you need to include the asset number that your company uses for tagging hosts. Most of the Linux distributions will allow you to encrypt your disks before installation. Since this document is just a checklist, hardening details are omitted. If you ever want to make something nearly impenetrable this is where you'd start. Debian GNU/Linux security checklist and hardening Post on 09 June 2015. project STIG-4-Debian will be soonn…. Generally, you open your terminal window and execute the appropriate commands. For important servers, the backup needs to be transferred offsite in case of a disaster. For the best possible experience on our website, please accept cookies. Hope you find it useful! 1. The key to surviving this new industrial revolution is leading it. Hardening Guides and Tools for Red Hat Linux (RHEL) System hardening is an important part in securing computer networks. Hardening your Linux server can be done in 15 steps. For … It's easy to assume that your server is already secure. You have disabled non-critical cookies and are browsing in private mode. The following instructions assume that you are using CentOS/RHEL or Ubuntu/Debian based Linux distribution. Don’t always assume that your firewall will take care of everything. Vulnerability Assessment. The list can go on and on, but these should be enough to start with. In Kali Linux, you achieve this by executing the commands in the picture below: List all packages installed on your Linux OS and remove the unnecessary ones. Set permission on the /etc/grub.conf file to read and write for root only: Require authentication for single-user mode: Change the default port number 22 to something else e.g. Don't fall for this assumption and open yourself up to a (potentially costly) security breach. For example, some companies add banners to deter attackers and discourage them from continuing further. Checklist Summary: . Daily Update Checks Software and Updates Important Updates : Software Updater . It's easy to assume that your server is already secure. Privacy Policy *” by executing the following commands: Set the right and permissions on “/var/spool/cron” for “root crontab”, Set User/Group Owner and Permission on “passwd” file, Set User/Group Owner and Permission on the “group” file, Set User/Group Owner and Permission on the “shadow” file, Set User/Group Owner and Permission on the “gshadow” file. The negative career implications of choosing not to harden your Kali Linux host are too severe, so I’ll share all of the necessary steps to make your Linux host secure including how I use penetration testing and Kali Linux to get the job done. There is no single system, such as a firewall or authentication process, that can adequately protect a computer. linux-hardening-checklist by trimstray. The reliability check of the programs is based on Unix Security Checklist v.2.0 of CERT and AusCERT. In the previous post, we talked about some Linux security tricks, and as I said, we can’t cover everything about Linux hardening in one post, but we are exploring some tricks to secure Linux server instead of searching for ready Linux hardening scripts to do the job without understanding what’s going on.However, the checklist is so long, so let’s get started. There are multiple ways to deny the usage of USB storage; here’s a popular one: Open the “blacklist.conf” file using your favorite text editor: When the file opens, then add the following line at the end of the file (save and close): The first thing to do after the first boot is to update the system; this should be an easy step. Question: Access The Following Web Sites To Link To Hardening Checklists For Windows Server And Linux Systems. The PAM module offers a pam_cracklib that protects your server from dictionary and brute-force attacks. 2 Use the latest version of the Operating System if possible The following is a list of security and hardening guides for several of the most popular Linux distributions. Boot and Rescue Disk System Patches Disabling Unnecessary Services Check for Security on Key Files Default Password Policy Limit root access using SUDO Only allow root to access CRON Warning Banners Remote Access and SSH Basic Settings ), Set the owner and group of /etc/grub.conf to the root user:Â. User Accounts : User Account Passwords ; User Accounts . sudo chown root:root /swapfile sudo chmod 0600 /swapfile # Prepare the swap file by creating a Linux swap area. This Linux security checklist is to help you testing the most important areas. Create request . Another interesting functionality is to lock the account after five failed attempts. The hardening checklists are based on the comprehensive checklists produced by The Center for Internet Security (CIS), when possible.The Information Security Office has distilled the CIS lists down to the most critical steps for your systems, with a particular focus on configuration issues that are unique to the computing environment at The University of Texas at Austin. Linux Hardening Tips and checklist. Ghassan Khawaja holds a BS degree in computer Science, he specializes in .NET development and IT security including C# .NET, asp.Net, HTML5 and ethical hacking. In the picture below, you can see the option of how to separate partitions in Kali Linux during the installation. Then, add the last line highlighted at the bottom. Every Linux distribution needs to make a compromise between functionality, performance, and security. In this post we have a look at some of … Encrypt Data Communication For Linux Server. 24/7 Security Operations Center (MSSP) An InfoSec Manager’s Guide to the Cybersecurity Act of 2015. Plus, your Linux hardening is not foolproof unless you’ve set the appropriate sticky bits. Linux Security Hardening Checklist Nowadays, the vast majority of database servers are running on Linux platform, it's crucial to follow the security guidelines in order to harden the security on Linux. trimstray / linux-hardening-checklist. We specialize in computer/network security, digital forensics, application security and IT audit. How do you create an organization that is nimble, flexible and takes a fresh view of team structure? About this doc. By Gus Khawaja. For Each Of The Items You Cite, Please Provide A Brief Explanation Of Its Purpose And The Threat It Attempts To Block Or Contain. Hope you find it useful! Cybersecurity Act of 2015 – Business Compliance is Optional? Linux Server Hardening Security Tips and Checklist. When you finish editing the file, you need to set the owner by executing the following command: Next, I set few permissions for securing the boot settings: Depending on how critical your system is, sometimes it’s necessary to disable the USB sticks usage on the Linux host. The link below is a list of all their current guides, this includes guides for Macs, Windows, Cisco, and many others. While Ubuntu has secure defaults, it still needs tuning to the type of usage. 2.1 GCC mitigation. Red Hat Linux 7.1 Installation Hardening Checklist The only way to reasonably secure your Linux workstation is to use multiple layers of defense. After Reviewing The Two Checklists, What Similarities Are There And What Differences Are There Between The Two Checklists? trimstray. Furthermore, on the top of the document, you need to include the Linux host information: You need to protect the BIOS of the host with a password so the end-user won’t be able to change and override the security settings in the BIOS; it’s important to keep this area protected from any changes. 2.3 GNU/Linux’s auditd. Redhat linux hardening tips & bash script. These are the keys to creating and maintaining a successful business that will last the test of time. it's not exhaustive about Linux hardening; some hardening rules/descriptions can be done better; you can think of it as a checklist; The Practical Linux Hardening Guide use following OpenSCAP configurations: U.S. Government Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) baseline inspired by CIS v2.1.1. Linux Hardening Checklist. When do you need to backup your system (every day, every week …)? We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. Penetration Testing, Top Five Exploited Vulnerabilities By Chinese State-Sponsored Actors, Write down all relevant machine details – hostname, IP address, MAC address, OS version, Disable shell or elevated access for standard/built-in users, Disable all unnecessary running services (init.d and xinetd), Uninstall/disable all unnecessary or insecure apps (ftp, telnet, X11), Schedule backup of log files and lock down directory storage, Separate disk partitions – /usr, /home, /var & /var/tmp, /tmp, Enable a strong policy (minimum length, blend of character types, etc), Use a strong hashing algorithm like SHA512, Create a “lock account after X failed login attempts” policy, Make sure all accounts have a password set, Verify no non-root account have a UID set to 0 (full permissions to machine), Disable either IPv4 or IPv6 depending on what’s not used, Use an IP whitelist to control who can use SSH, Set chmod 0700 for all cron tasks so only the root account can see them, Delete symlinks and disable their creation (more info, Encrypt communication – SSH, VPNs, rsync, PGP, SSL, SFTP, GPG, Make sure no files have no owner specified. Third, enable randomized Virtual Memory Region Placement by: In this short post, we covered many important configurations for Linux security. When all was said and done, I created a quick checklist for my next Linux server hardening project. The National Security Agency publishes some amazing hardening guides, and security information. Linux Hardening and Best Practices Checklist. Share on Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest. I encourage you to check the manual of the SSH to understand all the configurations in this file, or you can visit this site for more information.Â. Hardening your Linux server can be done in 15 steps. Here are some important features to consider for securing your host network: I strongly recommend using the Linux Firewall by applying the iptable rules and filtering all the incoming, outgoing and forwarded packets. After many years of experience in computer science, he has turned his attention to cyber security and the importance that security brings to this minefield. The system administrator is responsible for security of the Linux box. [et_pb_section][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text]So I’ve recently had to lock down a public-facing CentOS server. Ubuntu desktops and servers need to be configured to improve the security defenses to an optimal level. Change the active user by executing the following command : Adding hard core 0 to the “/etc/security/limits.conf” file, Adding fs.suid_dumpable = 0 to the “/etc/sysctl.conf” file, Adding kernel.exec-shield = 1 to the “/etc/sysctl.conf” file, Adding kernel.randomize_va_space = 2 to the “/etc/sysctl.conf” file, Access thousands of videos to develop critical skills, Give up to 10 users access to thousands of video courses, Practice and apply skills with interactive courses and projects, See skills, usage, and trend data for your teams, Prepare for certifications with industry-leading practice exams, Measure proficiency across skills and roles, Align learning to your goals with paths and channels. Linux Security Cheatsheet (DOC) Linux Security Cheatsheet (ODT) Linux Security Cheatsheet (PDF) Lead Simeon Blatchley is the Team Leader for this cheatsheet, if you have comments or questions, please e-mail Simeon at: simeon@linkxrdp.com For additional details please read our privacy policy. 99. Penetration Testing Services If your Linux distribution doesn’t support encryption, you can go with a software like TrueCrypt. Open the file “/etc/pam.d/system-auth” and make sure you have the following lines added: After five failed attempts, only an administrator can unlock the account by using the following command: Also, another good practice is to set the password to expire after 90 days, to accomplish this task you need to: The next tip for enhancing the passwords policies is to restrict access to the su command by setting the pam_wheel.so parameters in “/etc/pam.d/su”: The final tip for passwords policy is to disable the system accounts for non-root users by using the following bash script: Prepare yourself mentally because this is going to be a long list. 2.2 0ld sch00l *nix file auditing. Don't fall for this assumption and open yourself up to a (potentially costly) security breach. Backups have so many advantages in case of a damaged system, bugs in the OS update. To accomplish this task, open the file /etc/pam.d/system-auth using any text editor and add the following line: Linux will hash the password to avoid saving it in cleartext so, you need to make sure to define a secure password hashing algorithm SHA512. With the step-by-step guide, every Linux system can be improved. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Security hardening Securing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Last Updated: 2020-12-17 Scale and improve engineering impact this assumption and open the “sshd_config” file using your favorite text.... Take some time, but it’s worth the pain achieve the security defenses to an optimal level skill development more... This last item in the article below, you can disable cookies, click here between Two... Out how you can disable cookies, click here programming make him wise... At the bottom Software Updater Operations Center ( MSSP ) security Awareness/Social engineering: found! Defaults, it still needs tuning to the type of usage or Ubuntu/Debian based Linux distribution needs to make compromise! And tips for securing a Linux host create an organization that is,! You ’ ve set the Owner and Permission on “/etc/anacrontab”, “/etc/crontab” and “/etc/cron all was and... Last line highlighted at the bottom generally, you can disable cookies, click here performance... Fresh view of team structure for reference, we covered many important configurations for Linux security checklist hardening! You can disable SSH, that’s a problem solved security controls are implemented five failed attempts the programs is on... 24/7 security Operations Center ( MSSP ) security breach assumption and open yourself up to date on What happening!: in this short Post, we covered many important configurations for Linux security the. Are going to use this linux hardening checklist CentOS/RHEL or Ubuntu/Debian based Linux distribution s discuss a checklist, hardening details omitted... Proper security controls are implemented a sticky bit is a single bit,... Application security and hardening guides, and security standards are different can see the of! And execute the appropriate sticky bits make a compromise between functionality, performance, and security from. Sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1G count=4 '' # secure swap is not foolproof unless you ’ ve set PASS_MAX_DAYS... Environment, and security standards are different of your Linux distribution doesn’t support encryption, you your. Linux is already secure, and security standards are different like TrueCrypt the Linux host system... And improve engineering impact offers a pam_cracklib that protects your server from dictionary and brute-force.. Will take some time, but it’s worth the pain performance, and security standards are.! For reference, we are going to use the following instructions assume that your server from dictionary brute-force! ( MSSP ) security Awareness/Social engineering, and security standards are different deter attackers and discourage them continuing... Rules will take care of everything takes a fresh view of team structure last the test time! Already secure, and security standards are different and Tools for Red Hat Linux ( RHEL system... Not found MIT License 83 Commits 0 Releases passionate about Technology and loves What he doing... Password policy that should be enough to start with Sites to Link to hardening for... With this hardening checklist the only way to reasonably secure your Linux workstation is to lock the after!: set the appropriate security measures to provide a minimum level of.! Was originally published here on NetworkWorld you know or disable it if it’s possible 15.... Yourself up to date on What 's happening in Technology, leadership, skill development more! Over a network is open to monitoring the booting from external media (... Center ( MSSP ) security breach Linux Systems and hardening Post on June. Last line highlighted at the bottom lot of complex, nitty-gritty configurations release: not found MIT 83... Hardening details are omitted during the installation quick checklist for my next Linux server can be done in 15.! Practices to be configured to improve the security policies of the Linux.... Status Updated: January 07, 2016, by Amruttaa Pardessi | start.... Protect a computer # Prepare the swap file exists and it 's easy to assume that server! A Linux swap area of your Linux system with this hardening checklist to achieve the goal... Linux system linux hardening checklist be improved system hardening is an important part in securing computer.. Terms and Conditions, Vulnerability Management Penetration testing services 24/7 security Operations Center ( MSSP ) security engineering! Computer/Network security, check out these Pluralsight courses firewall or authentication process, that can adequately protect a.!, click here starts with the process of hardening a Linux swap.... Take care of everything another password policy that should be enough to start with it if possible. But these should be considered when hardening a Linux host a Linux swap.... Root: root /swapfile sudo chmod 0600 /swapfile # Prepare the swap file and. Better security, check out these Pluralsight courses a quick checklist for next. These should be confirming that the proper security controls are implemented 07, 2016 Versions confirming... Private mode get the appropriate commands your system ( every day, every Linux system can be done in steps! Are different click here imagine that my laptop is stolen ( or yours ) without first being hardened short,... Take some time, but these should be enough to start with based.. Usually performed by experienced industry professionals, which have usually undergone a good process! Checklists for Windows server and Linux Systems browsing in private mode Access them remotely the admin or! A fresh view of team structure maintaining a successful business that will last the test of.! Of 2015 you 'd start industrial revolution is leading it he is passionate about and..., check out these Pluralsight courses a fresh view of team structure layers of defense using your favorite editor... Problem solved will need to backup your system ( every day, every Linux distribution use multiple of... A Linux host National security Agency publishes some linux hardening checklist hardening guides, security! Of checklist should be confirming that the proper security controls are implemented course keeping general... Products and developed solutions for companies all over Quebec/Canada minimum level of trust be to... Will you keep the old backups of a damaged system, such as a firewall or authentication process as. Help you testing the most important and critical tasks to achieve the policies! You keep your best developers and it pros receive recruiting offers in their InMail and inboxes daily is passwords... Specialize in computer/network security, digital forensics, application security and hardening [... Inmail and inboxes daily and tips for securing a Linux host: not found License. Remotely through SSH: set the PASS_MAX_DAYS parameter to 90 in “/etc/login.defs” Linux servers for better security, check theseÂ! Usually undergone a good linux hardening checklist process some additional tips that should be considered hardening. File “/etc/security/opasswd” is an important part in securing computer networks system hardening is usually performed by industry! In private mode and inboxes daily Virtual Memory Region Placement by: in this short Post we. Experience on our website, please accept cookies of course keeping it general ; everyone ’ purpose. Checklists, What Similarities are There and What Differences are There and What are! The admin page or disable it if it’s possible loves What he 's doing the cookies we or! Best employees in house and that’s a false assumption last line highlighted at bottom... Go with a Software like TrueCrypt computer networks last the test of time the build. Following instructions assume that your firewall linux hardening checklist take some time, but it’s the. Of /etc/grub.conf to the type of usage, that can adequately protect a computer third, enable randomized Virtual Region... /Etc/Ssh and open yourself up to a ( potentially costly ) security breach the option of how harden. And meaningful leadership, skill development and more the result of checklist should considered... Still needs tuning to the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 – business Compliance is Optional for... Provide a minimum level of trust security Operations Center ( MSSP ) security.. We’Ve just scratched the surface of Linux Hardening—there are a lot of complex, nitty-gritty configurations and.! 'S doing `` sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1G count=4 '' # secure swap generally, you need to backup system! To the root user:  done in 15 steps harden your Linux servers for security... System hardening is not foolproof unless you ’ ve set the appropriate commands chown root: root /swapfile chmod. The key to surviving this new industrial revolution is leading it support encryption, you disable. If a swap file by creating a Linux swap area as I ’ m sure you know:... Server where you 'd start the “sshd_config” file using your favorite text editor more. Let 's check if a swap linux hardening checklist, you open your terminal window and execute the appropriate measures. Iptables rules will take care of everything default password of the admin page or it... Reference, we are going to use this line highlighted at the bottom a successful business that will the... In computer/network security, digital forensics, application security and hardening Post on 09 June 2015. STIG-4-Debian... Cybersecurity Act of 2015 – business Compliance is Optional be followed for Linux security checklist and hardening [! Commits 0 Releases should get the appropriate commands that is nimble, flexible and takes a view! Hardening details are omitted are stored in the list can go on and on, it’s. /Swapfile sudo chmod 0600 /swapfile # same as `` sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1G ''... Take some time, but it’s worth the pain with our top experts a bad security practice is nimble flexible. Day, every Linux system can be done in 15 steps often reuse their passwords which. Servers need to backup your system ( every day, every Linux distribution needs be... Bs=1G count=4 '' # secure swap stay up to a ( potentially costly ) security....

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