Getting Started with the Linux Intrusion Detection System
For MySQL, we need to deny other applications' access to the mysql binary. We also need to restrict access to the mysql/var directory so that it's append=only, and allow read-only access for the mysqld dæmon to the mysql directory:
lidsconf -A -o /usr/local/mysql/var -j APPEND lidsconf -A -o /usr/local/mysql -j DENY lidsconf -A -s /usr/local/mysql/libexec/mysqld -o /usr/local/mysql -j READONLY lidsconf -A -s /usr/local/mysql/libexec/mysqld -o /usr/local/mysql/var -j WRITE
Bind needs a lot of capabilities to run:
lidsconf -A -s /usr/sbin/named -o CAP_NET_BIND_SERVICE 53 -j GRANT lidsconf -A -s /usr/sbin/named -o CAP_SETPCAP -j GRANT lidsconf -A -s /usr/sbin/named -o CAP_SYS_CHROOT -j GRANT lidsconf -A -s /usr/sbin/named -o CAP_SYS_RESOURCE -j GRANT lidsconf -A -s /usr/sbin/named -o CAP_SETUID -j GRANT lidsconf -A -s /usr/sbin/named -o CAP_SETGID -j GRANT
Login is the program that allows a user to log in to a GNU/Linux system:
lidsconf -A -s /bin/login -o /etc/shadow -j READONLY lidsconf -A -s /bin/login -o CAP_SETUID -j GRANT lidsconf -A -s /bin/login -o CAP_SETGID -j GRANT lidsconf -A -s /bin/login -o CAP_CHOWN -j GRANT lidsconf -A -s /bin/login -o CAP_FSETID -j GRANT
After having specified the previous commands, we need to seal the kernel, so that the system can take full advantage of LIDS. We add this line to rc.local:
Restart the machine to apply all the new access controls. With the previously mentioned access controls, you will not be able to run the X server as it uses raw I/O, but most servers don't run an X server anyway. If you really need it, add the following access control (this command assumes that your X server binary is located in /usr/X11R6/bin/startx):
lidsconf -A -s /usr/X11R6/bin/startx
As we can see, LIDS is a powerful addition to the Linux kernel, which can secure your system completely, even from the root user. LIDS is also very easy to use.
Irfan Habib is a software engineering student at the National University of Science and Technology in Pakistan. He has had great interest in Linux and open-source technology since high school—everything from embedded Linux development to Web services. He has been advocating GNU/Linux in Pakistan for the past two years and has written various articles in local magazines and newspapers on the subject.
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One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
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