Posts Tagged ‘security issues’

How to install / add new root certificates on Debian, Ubuntu, Mint Linux

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Reading Time: 2 minutes

add-install-new-root-ca-certificates-to-debian-ubuntu-linux-howto

How to add / Installing a root/CA Certificate on Debian, Ubuntu, Mint Linux

 


 Because of various auditing failures and other security issues, the CAcert root certificate set is slowly disappearing from the Ubuntu and Debian ‘ca-certificates’ package.

That's really tricky because if you're a system administrator or have a bunch of programmers whose needs is to install a new set of root certificates for their freshly develped Application or you have to make a corporate certificates added to debian rootca, then the good news is it is quite easy to install new certificates to deb based distributions.

 

Given a CA certificate file foo.crt, follow these steps to install it on Debian / Ubuntu:

    Create a directory for extra CA certificates in /usr/share/ca-certificates:
 

 

    debian:~# mkdir /usr/share/ca-certificates/extra-certificates

 

    Copy the CA .crt file to this directory:
 

 

    debian:~# cp foo.crt /usr/share/ca-certificates/extra-certificates/foo.crt

 

    Let Debian / Ubuntu add the .crt file's path relative to /usr/share/ca-certificates to /etc/ca-certificates.conf (the file lists certificates that you wish to use or to ignore to be installed in /etc/ssl/certs)
 

 

    debian:~# dpkg-reconfigure ca-certificates

 

In case you want to include a .pem file to the list of trustable certificates on Debian / Ubuntu, it must first be converted to a .crt file first, you can do that with:
 

 

    debian:~# openssl x509 -in foo.pem -inform PEM -out foo.crt

 


Lets say you want to add some custom Root certificate for exapmle cacert.org

 

 

 

   debian:~# mkdir /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/cacert.org
   debian:~# cd /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/cacert.org
   debian:~# mkdir /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/cacert.org
   debian:~# wget -P /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/cacert.org http://www.cacert.org/certs/root.crt http://www.cacert.org/certs/class3.crt

 

 

 

Then once again update the ca certificates bundle

   debian:~# update-ca-certificates

 

Generating Static Source Code Auditing reports with Spike PHP Security Audit Tool

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Reading Time: 3 minutes
I’m conducting a PHP Audit on a server in relation to that one of the audit criterias I follow is a
Static PHP Source Code Auditing of the php files source code located physically on the Linux server.
Auditing a tons of source code manually is a kind of impossible task, therefore I needed a quick way to at least
partly automate or fully automate the PHP applications source code.
A quick search in Google pointed me to a php application tool – Spike Security Audit .
This small application PHP written app is quite handy. It is able to either check a certain php source code file for WARNINGS or ERRORS or do a complete security source code analysis of a bunch of PHP files in a directory including all the other php source files in subdirectories.

After executed the PHP Security Audit Tool generates a nice source code analysis report in html that can easily be later observed with some Browser.

The use of the tool is pretty straight forward, all you have to do is download it from Spikeforge – the project’s official webpage and unzip it e.g.


debian-server:~# wget http://developer.spikesource.com/frs/download.php/136/spike_phpSecAudit_0.27.zip
debian-server:~# unzip spike_phpSecAudit_0.27.zip

Then you have to invoke the run.php with the php cli, that you need to have installed first.
If you don’t have the php cli yet please install it with the command:


debian-server:~# apt-get install php5-cli

Now you have to execute the run.php script bundled with the spike php security audit program source code.


debian-server:~# php run.php

Please specify a source directory/file using –src option.

Usage run.php options

Options:
–src Root of the source directory tree or a file.
–exclude [Optional] A directory or file that needs to be excluded.
–format [Optional] Output format (html/text). Defaults to ‘html’.
–outdir [Optional] Report Directory. Defaults to ‘./style-report’.
–help Display this usage information.

As you can see the spike php security audit has only few command line options and they’re quite easily understandable.
However in my case I had to audit a couple of directories which contained source code.
I also wanted the generated reports to be cyclic, on let’s say per daily basis cause I wanted to have the PHP applicaiton analysis generated on a daily basis.
In that reason I decided to write a small shell script that would aid the usage of php spike audit, I’ve called the script code-analysis.sh

The usage of the Automation source code analysis script for PHP Spike Audit can be downloaded here
The script has a few configuration options that you might need to modify before you can put it to execute on a crontab.

This are:


# Specify your domain name on which php spike audit reports will be accessed
domain_name='yourdomainname.com';
# put here the location where phpspike run.php execute is located
spike_phpsec=/usr/local/spike_phpSecAudit_0.27/run.php;
# specify here which will be the directory where the php source code analysis reports will be stored by php spike
log_dir=/root/code-analysis/;
# in that part you have to specify the physical location of the php cli it's located by default in /usr/bin/php on Debian GNU Linux.
php_bin=/usr/bin/php;
# the directory below should be set to a directory where the reports that will be visible from the webserver will be stored
www_dir=/var/www/code-analysis;

# in the variables

directory[1]=’/home/source-code1/’; ..
directory[2]=”; ..

# you should configure the directories containing php source code to be audited by the php spike audit tool.

After you have prepared the code-analysis.sh script with your custom likings, you can now put it to be executed periodically
using crontab or some other unix system scheduler of choice.

To do that edit your root crontab.

crontab -u root -e

and put in it.

# code analysis results
05 3 * * * /usr/local/bin/code-analysis.sh >/dev/null 2>&1

Now hopefully you can edit your /etc/apache2/apache2.conf or your httpd.conf depending on your linux or unix architecture and make a Alias like:


Alias /code-analysis "/var/www/code-analysis"

Now your php source code analysis from the php spike audit tool will be generated daily.
You will be able to access them via web using http://yourdomain.com/code-analysis/

That way, you can review your php source code written or changed in your php applications on daily basis and you can a way easily track your coding mistakes, as well as track for possible security issues in your code.

For the sake of security I’ve also decided to protect the /code-analysis Apache directory with a password using the following .htaccess file:


AuthUserFile /var/www/code-analysis/.htpasswd
AuthGroupFile /dev/null
AuthName "Login to access PHP Source Code Analysis"
AuthType Basic

< Limit GET >
require valid-user
< /Limit >

If you decide to protect yours as well you have to also generate the .htpasswd file using the following command:


debian-server:~# htpasswd -c /var/www/code-analysis/.htpasswd admin

You will be asked for a password. The code-analysis.sh script will also take care to generate an html file for you including links to reports to all the php source code audited directories reports.

Now accessing http://yourdomain.com/code-analysis/ will give you shiny look to the php source applications generated reports .

Microsoft Windows most secure OS for 2014 ? – Short OS and Application Security report for 2014

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Reading Time: 3 minutes

windows-more-secure-OS-for-2014-than-Linux-and-Mac-OSX-and-iOS-operating-systems-short-security-report-2014

It is shocking news for me and probably to many that according to security specialists at National Vulnerability Database, at present moment for year 2014 Windows looks like more secure than both Apple's (iOS and Mac OS X) as well as to Linux.

Windows has been  bullied for its bad OS design and easier to breach Security compared to Linux, there was a constant hype also of Mac OS users claiming the invulnerability of their BSD based OS, but it seems security breach statistics given by  National Vulnerability Database security breach evaluation reports tell us security issues for 2014 Windows OSes while compared to other OS vulnerabilities in different operating systems such as Linux.

statistics-of-Operating-System-security-issues-vulnerabilities-for-2014-windows-most-secure-OS-2014-source-national-vulnerability-database
I will have to disappoint Apple Mac fans but in 2014 Mac OS X was found to be riddled with the greatest number of security problems147 in total, including 64 rated as high severity, and 67 as medium.

iOS's security was also ranked poor with 127 vulnerabilities including 32 high and 72 with a medium rating.

For comparison the latest Windows 8.1 had only 36 vulnerabilities, and its predecessors — Windows 8 and 7 — both had same number.
In Enterprise World (users) Windows Server 2007 and 2008 both have 38 vulnerabilities. Reported vulnerabilities were mainly of middle and high severity.

high-severity-vulnerabilities-graph-of-operating-systems-year-2014

Overall statistics also show there has been a huge increase in the number security vulnerabilities in the NVD security reports database.
In 2013 the number of all logged vulnerabilities were 4,794 while this jumped to 7,038 in y. 2014. The good news is lower percentage of all logged in security issues were rated of critical security importance.
It is mostly third party software not part of OS which contain security issues, 83% of all reported vulnerabilities were laying in 3rd party applications, only 13% percantage were OS specific and 4% hardware related.
Though overall statistics shows Microsoft products more secure than Apple Inc. Products and (Open Source) Linux, though still M$ Internet Explorer is the most insecure web browser, for 2014,  Internet Explorer had  242 vulnerabilities while Google Chrome had 124 security issues and the most secure browser rated for 2014 is (surprising for me) Mozilla Firefox.
It is important to say such statistics are not completely relevant because, for example you can rarely see a Linux desktop user infected with Malware but almost everyone around using Windows OS is malware infected, same goes for Mac OS users, there are plenty of vulnerabilities for Mac but overall security of Mac OS is better as I haven't still met Mac OS users with Viruses and Spyware but I fixed about (30!!) of Microsoft PCs and notebooks infected with various Viruses and badware throughout 2014. Also it should be considered that many securitty bugs are kept secret and actively exploited for a long time by blackhats like it happened recently with Heartbleed and ShellShock vulnerabilities
For those interested, below is a list of top vulnerable applications for 2014

security-issues-vulnerability-report-2012-2013-2014_graph_windows-most-secure-operating-system-for-2014

Joomla 1.5 fix news css problem partial text (article text not completely showing in Joomla – Category Blog Layout problem)

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Reading Time: 3 minutesjoomla-fix-weird-news-blog-article-text-incompletely-shown-category-blog-website-layout-problem

I’m still administrating some old archaic Joomla website built on top of Joomla 1.5. Recently there were some security issues with the website so I first tried using jupgrade (Upgrade Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 2.5) plugin to try to resolve the issues. As there were issues with the upgrade, because of used template was not available for Joomla 2.5, I decided to continue using Joomla 1.5 and applied the Joomla 1.5 Security Patch. I also had to disable a couple of unused joomla components and the contact form in order to prevent spammers of randomly spamming through the joomla … the Joomla Security Scanner was mostly useful in order to fix the Joomla security holes ..

So far so good this Joomla solved security but just recently I was asked to add a new article the Joomla News section – (the news section is configure to serve as a mini site blog as there are only few articles added every few months). For my surprise all of a sudden the new joomla article text started displaying text and pictures partially. The weirdly looking newly added news looked very much like some kind of template or css problem. I tried debugging the html code but unfortunately my knowledge in CSS is not so much, so as a next step I tried to temper some settings from Joomla Administrator in hope that this would resolve the text which was appearing from article used to be cut even though the text I’ve placed in artcle seemed correctly formatted. I finally pissed off trying to solve the news section layout problem so looked online too see if anyone else didn’t stick out to same error and I stumbled on Joomla’s forum explaining the Category Blog Layout Problem

The solution to the Joomla incomplete text showing in article is – To go to Joomla administrator menus:

1. Menus -> Main Menu -> (Click on Menu Item(s) – Edit Menu Item(s)) button
2. Click on News (section)
In Parameters section (on the botton right) of screen you will see #Leading set to some low number for example it will be something like 8 or 9. The whole issue in my case was that I was trying to add more than 8 articles and I had a Leading set to 8 and in order to add more articles and keep proper leading I had to raise it to more. To prevent recent leading errors, I’ve raised the Leading to 100 like shown in below screenshot
joomla-blog-layout-basic-parameters-screenshot-fix-joomla-news-cut-text-problem-screenshot

After raising to some high number click Apply and you’re done your problem is solved 🙂
For those curious what the above settings from screenshot mean:

# Leading Articles -> This refers to the number of articles that are to be shown to the full width
# Intro Articles -> This refers to the number of articles that are not to be shown to full width
# Columns -> This refers to the number of columns in which the articles will be shown that are identified as #Intro. If #Intro is zero this setting has no effect
# Links -> Number of articles that are to be shown as links. The number of articles should exceed #leading + #Intro

N.B. Solving this issue took me quite a long time and it caused me a lot of attempts to resolve it. I tried creating the article from scratch, making copy from an old article etc. I even messed few of the news articles one time so badly that I had to recreate them from scratch, before doing any changes to obsolete joomlas always make database and file content backup otherwise you will end up like me in situation loosing 10 hours of your time ..

The bitter experiences once again with Joomla convinced me when I have time I have to migrate this Joomla CMS to WordPress. My so far experience with Joomla prooved to me just for one time the time and nerves spend to learn joomla and built a multi-lingual website with it as well as to administer it with joomla obscure and hard to cryptic interfaces and multiple security issues., makes this CMS completely unworthy to study or use, its hardness to upgrade from release to release, besides its much slow and its less plugins if compared to WordPress makes wordpress much better (and easier to build use platform than Joomla).
So if you happen to be in doubt where to use Joomla or a WordPress to build a new company / community website or a blog my humbe advise is – choose WordPress!

Few sshd server Security Tips that will improve your server security

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Reading Time: < 1 minute
On each and every newly installed Linux or FreeBSD server. I’m always very cautious about three configuration directives for the ssh server.
This are X11Forwarding , Protocol and PermitRootLogin

One needs to be very watchful about this three ones, as tuning the right values surely prevents the server from many of the security issues that might rise up with the SSH server.

Many Linuxes like Debian and Ubuntu comes with X11Forwarding yes e.g. (X11Forwarding) enabled by default, this is an useless option in most of the cases as the servers I do administrate does not run a X environment.

Some older Linux distributions I have dealt with has the ssh Protocol 1 enabled by default and therefore, whether I do inherit an old server I have to start administrating the first thing I do is to check if the /etc/ssh/sshd_config‘s Protocol 1 option is enabled and if it is enabled I disable it.

PermitRootLogin is also an option which I often turn off as logging in via remote ssh is potentially dangerous as root password might get sniffed.

In overall the 3 sshd option’s I do check out in /etc/sshd/sshd_config on each newly installed Linux server are:

X11Forwarding yes
PermitRootLogin yes
Protocol 1

I always change this three options in my /etc/sshd/sshd_config
to:

X11Forwarding no
PermitRootLogin no
Protocol 2

One other options sshd server options which is good to be tuned is:

LoginGraceTime 120

Decreasing it to:

LoginGraceTime 60

is generally a good idea.

Of course after the changes I do restart the ssh daemon in order for the new configuration to take place:

linux:~# /etc/init.d/sshd restart
...