Jump to contentJump to page navigation: previous page [access key p]/next page [access key n]
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP2

Part II Local Security Edit source

10 Physical Security

Physical security should be one of the utmost concerns. Linux production servers should be in locked data centers where only people have access that have passed security checks. Depending on the environment and circumstances, you can also consider boot loader passwords.

11 Automatic Security Checks with seccheck

The seccheck SUSE Security Checker is a set of shell scripts designed to automatically check the local security of a system on a regular schedule, and emails reports to the root user, or any user as configured by the administrator.

12 Software Management

A very important step in securing a Linux system is to determine the primary function(s) or role(s) of the Linux server. Otherwise, it can be difficult to understand what needs to be secured and securing these Linux systems can prove ineffective. Therefore, it is critical to look at the default list…

13 File Management

Servers should have separate file systems for at least /, /boot, /usr, /var, /tmp, and /home. This prevents, for example, that logging space and temporary space under /var and /tmp fill up the root partition. Third-party applications should be on separate file systems as well, for example under /opt…

14 Encrypting Partitions and Files

Encrypting files, partitions, and entire disks prevents unauthorized access to your data and protects your confidential files and documents.

15 Storage Encryption for Hosted Applications with cryptctl

Databases and similar applications are often hosted on external servers that are serviced by third-party staff. Certain data center maintenance tasks require third-party staff to directly access affected systems. In such cases, privacy requirements necessitate disk encryption.

16 User Management

It is important that all system and vendor accounts that are not used for logins are locked. To get a list of unlocked accounts on your system, you can check for accounts that do not have an encrypted password string starting with ! or * in the /etc/shadow file. If you lock an account using passwd -…

17 Spectre/Meltdown Checker

spectre-meltdown-checker is a shell script to test if your system is vulnerable to the several speculative execution vulnerabilities that are in nearly all CPUs manufactured in the past 20 years. This is a hardware flaw that potentially allows an attacker to read all data on the system. On cloud computing services, where multiple virtual machines are on a single physical host, an attacker can gain access to all virtual machines. Fixing these vulnerabilities requires redesigning and replacing CPUs. Until this happens, there are several software patches that mitigate these vulnerabilities. If you have kept your SUSE systems updated, all of these patches should already be installed.

spectre-meltdown-checker generates a detailed report. It is impossible to guarantee that your system is secure, but it shows you which mitigations are in place, and potential vulnerabilities.

18 Configuring Security Settings with YaST

The YaST module Security Center and Hardening offers a central clearinghouse to configure security-related settings for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Use it to configure security aspects such as settings for the login procedure and for password creation, for boot permissions, user creation or for default file permissions. Launch it from the YaST control center by Security and Users › Security Center and Hardening. The Security Center dialog always starts with the Security Overview, and other configuration dialogs are available from the right pane.

19 Authorization with PolKit

PolKit (formerly known as PolicyKit) is an application framework that acts as a negotiator between the unprivileged user session and the privileged system context. Whenever a process from the user session tries to carry out an action in the system context, PolKit is queried. Based on its configuration—specified in a so-called policy—the answer could be yes, no, or needs authentication. Unlike classical privilege authorization programs such as sudo, PolKit does not grant root permissions to an entire session, but only to the action in question.

20 Access Control Lists in Linux

POSIX ACLs (access control lists) can be used as an expansion of the traditional permission concept for file system objects. With ACLs, permissions can be defined more flexibly than with the traditional permission concept.

21 Certificate Store

Certificates play an important role in the authentication of companies and individuals. Usually certificates are administered by the application itself. In some cases, it makes sense to share certificates between applications. The certificate store is a common ground for Firefox, Evolution, and NetworkManager. This chapter explains some details.

22 Intrusion Detection with AIDE

Securing your systems is a mandatory task for any mission-critical system administrator. Because it is impossible to always guarantee that the system is not compromised, it is very important to do extra checks regularly (for example with cron) to ensure that the system is still under your control. This is where AIDE, the Advanced Intrusion Detection Environment, comes into play.

Print this page