Today, I would like to go over a few of the changes that I made to my laptop in order to improve upon its overall security configuration. It should be noted that the list of changes made is relatively small (from the default) and is based upon how I plan to actually use the system. As a result, you may need more or different changes than those listed here based upon your specific needs. With that said, let's get into the details.
Nevada by default enforces the settings specified by the Secure by Default project. As a result, there were no network services listening on my laptop for external connections (with the exception of Secure Shell). This is a great start and significantly simplifies getting a desktop or laptop secured and ready for the network. Since I generally do not permit inbound access to my laptop, I also disabled Secure Shell:
blackhole$ pfexec svcadm disable ssh
blackhole$ svcs ssh
STATE STIME FMRI
disabled 21:30:12 svc:/network/ssh:default
At this point, there are literally no local services listening that an external person could access. As there is a need, I will temporarily enable services such as SSH or perhaps VNC (x11vnc), but the default is to leave them in a disabled state until they are required.
Next, I configured IP Filter - the firewall software built into Solaris. I have been a huge fan of IP Filter for years and was absolutely thrilled to see it integrated into Solaris 10. The configuration that I use is based upon a version for laptops that was developed by Darren Moffat. To be completely honest, I have a few different firewall policies that are automatically installed based on the network profile that I have selected. This allows me, for example, to have one firewall policy when I am connected via Ethernet on my home network and a different one when I am travelling.
Before installing the firewall policy, I needed to configure the file /etc/ipf/pfil.ap. Since I am working from a Toshiba Tecra M2, I had to uncomment the entry for the e1000g driver and add an entry for the ath driver as follows:
# egrep "e1000g|ath" /etc/ipf/pfil.ap
e1000g -1 0 pfil
ath -1 0 pfil
Next, I installed Darren's firewall configuration, /etc/ipf/ipf.conf. I will not provide my
specific settings - leaving the firewall configuration as an exercise for the reader.
# IP Filter rules to be loaded during startup
# See ipf(4) manpage for more information on
# IP Filter rules syntax.
pass out quick all keep state keep frags
# Drop all NETBIOS traffic but don't log it.
block in quick from any to any port = 137 #netbios-ns
block in quick from any to any port = 138 #netbios-dgm
block in quick from any to any port = 139 #netbios-ssn
# Allow incoming IKE/IPsec
pass in quick proto udp from any to any port = ike
pass in quick proto udp from any to any port = 4500
pass in proto esp from any to any
# Allow ping
# pass in quick proto icmp from any to any icmp-type echo
# Allow routing info
# pass in quick proto udp from any to port = route
# pass in quick proto icmp from any to any icmp-type 9 # routeradvert
# pass in quick proto igmp from any to any
# Block and log everything else that comes in
block in log all
block in from any to 255.255.255.255
block in from any to 127.0.0.1/32
For the first time IP Filter configuration, there are a few other steps that I will not
cover here now. Check out the documentation for the specifics.
With this complete, I turned my attention inward for a few additional configuration changes. You can read more about them in the Solaris 10 Benchmark published by the Center for Internet Security.
First, I modified the /etc/security/policy.conf file to set my default crypt(3C) algorithm to Sun MD5:
# The Solaris default is the traditional UNIX algorithm. This is not
# listed in crypt.conf(4) since it is internal to libc. The reserved
# name __unix__ is used to refer to it.
This is useful for a variety of reasons most notibly because it would freak out any script kiddy running stock
versions of Crack and john in an attack to guess passwords. In their stock
configurations (just download, compile and run), neither of these tools can successfully deal with the Sun MD5
password format. See the crypt_sunmd5(5) manual page:
This module is designed to make it difficult to crack pass-
words that use brute force attacks based on high speed MD5
implementations that use code inlining, unrolled loops, and
Moving on, I enabled the following coreadm configuration:
global core file pattern: /var/core/core_%n_%f_%u_%g_%t_%p
global core file content: default
init core file pattern: core
init core file content: default
global core dumps: enabled
per-process core dumps: disabled
global setid core dumps: enabled
per-process setid core dumps: disabled
global core dump logging: enabled
This is nice in that the system will notify me (via syslog) of core dumps:
Sep 5 15:01:16 blackhole genunix: [ID 603404 kern.notice] NOTICE: core_log: sleep core dumped: /var/core/core_blackhole_sleep_101_101_1157482876_5691
and will store the core files in a protected directory, /var/core:
$ ls -ld /var/core
drwx------ 2 root root 512 Sep 3 21:13 /var/core
Moving along, I also set the following parameters:
# grep "noexec_user_stack" /etc/system
set noexec_user_stack = 1
set noexec_user_stack_log = 1
# grep nfs_portmon /etc/system
set nfssrv:nfs_portmon = 1
# grep TCP_STRONG_ISS= /etc/default/inetinit
These are typical changes and are discussed in older Sun BluePrints as well as the CIS Benchmark. Next, I also created the loginlog file:
# ls -l /var/adm/loginlog
-rw------- 1 root sys 0 Sep 3 21:16 /var/adm/loginlog
and enabled debug logging in syslog:
# grep '\*.debug' /etc/syslog.conf
Be sure to create the /var/adm/debug file before restarting syslog. In addition, I also disabled login access on the laptop's serial ports:
# pmadm -d -p zsmon -s ttya
# pmadm -d -p zsmon -s ttyb
After installing a few basic warning banners in the typical places (see the CIS guide), I also changed root
's home directory, converted root
to be a Solaris role
, and assigned the rights to assume root
to only my local account:
$ getent passwd root
$ grep "\^root:" /etc/user_attr
Lastly, using the normal methods, I also enabled and configured Solaris auditing and BART so that I can keep
tabs on what is going on. Of course, this is also in addition to BIOS and GRUB security changes that I will
not cover in this post.
Is this all you need to do? Well, unfortunately - it depends. There are certainly lots of other things that
I could do.
For example, I could disable rhosts authentication for the rsh and rlogin services. Recall however that each of those services is (1) disabled by default and (2) subject to the firewall policy in place. So, to successfully exploit this path, an attacker would need to change both of these settings - which require administrative privileges - enough to add rhosts entries back into /etc/pam.conf. So for me, it was about maximizing security while minimizing change. In this specific case, changes to those states or configuration files would be detected by BART and Solaris Auditing. Similarly, there is not much point (except as a reminder) for me to enable
password aging, history or complexity rules when I am the only user on the system (and the system does not accept
remote incoming connections - except in very limited cases).
You get the point... For another perspective, check out how John Clingan approached this problem.
My longer term hope is that we can further reduce the changes required out of the box by making many of the most common settings default Solaris values. That way, everyone could benefit from a stronger out of the box installation posture. SBD was a great step forward down this path. Let's look at a few examples of RFEs that are outstanding right now:
Would you like to see these implemented? If so, let us know! If you have a valid Solaris support contract, you can also contact support to have you added as a customer call record for one or more of these RFEs. Just as important - are there other security changes that you would like to see made by default in future versions of Solaris! If so, be sure to tell us! File bugs or RFEs! Talk with us! and (if you are so included) participate and help us make the changes!
Before I sign off, you may be wondering why not just use the Solaris Security Toolkit and be done with it? Certainly, I could have used the (currently unreleased) version that supports SBD and implemented these changes. In fact, most companies may want to go that route since SBD alone (as demonstrated above) covers just part of the problem space. The reason however is simple. I wanted to demonstrate what it would take for you to quickly and easily secure a new OpenSolaris or Nevada laptop from an out of the box state. All too often the tools and guides make people think that it is harder than it really is. Certainly, the Toolkit is essential for building repeatable, auditable configurations, but in the case of my one off - the time difference to implement is negligible.