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Old 01-25-2007, 08:19 PM   #1
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'Simple' Linux Security?

Maybe I'm crazy, but I've been trying to make my new linux system more secure. This is a home computer connected through a router, and I want to add an antivirus and firewall to it.

I'm doing this in my small amounts of spare time. But every single thing I've found seems to involve so much tinkering and study that I simply can't afford to do at the moment.

Are there any options for linux security that aren't a complete nightmare?
Old 01-25-2007, 08:54 PM   #2
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Welcome to LQ!

What distro are you using? If you put this in your profile, it makes it easier to help you.

I wouldn't bother about an antivirus - there are not really any Linux virii.

As for a firewall, Linux has the excellent IPTables firewall built in to the Kernel, but you need to configure it. I suggest a program such as Firestarter or Guarddog (more complex than Firestarter, but also more flexible) to configure IPTables. Both of these are a GUI frontend that creates a script to be run at boot time that sets the IPTables rules.

Having said that, if your Router does NAT - ie your computers IP address is, then the NAT is a "natural firewall". Using IPTables in this case is a good idea, but not essential.

I hope this helps
Old 01-26-2007, 01:47 PM   #3
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I'll shuffle this post across to the Security forum where it might
get better exposure.

And while we're on the topic: you could help us in helping
you by telling us your distribution - that will make it easier
since many distros have specific tools or scripts to harden
a system. One set of scripts that works for quite a few
distros is bastille.


Last edited by Tinkster; 01-26-2007 at 01:49 PM.
Old 01-26-2007, 03:03 PM   #4
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As stated, behind a router a firewall doesn't do much good, most simple Linux firewalls are just state based, which, the router should do for you. The only real use would be to prevent outgoing connections, but as stated, get a IPTables GUI if you want one.

Anti virus, use ClamAV the only real use for it tho is to check files before passing them off to Windows.

Dazuko can be used to automatically check files for virus on file access, requires a virus scanner like ClamAV, as well a bit of tinkering, its more advanced then you might want at this time.

Better security requires kernel patching, and tinkering, which sounds like more work then you want to do. Also, if you want scanners, get a rootkit scanner like rootkit hunter to look for those pesky tools crackers leave on your system so they can get back in.

Other projects for more advanced security (kernel patching and other low level tinkering required): SELinux, RSBAC, and Pax. SELinux requires the most work i think, but there are lots of prexisting configurations for it, Pax helps protect against exploitations of programs (which is probably how someone will get in your system if your behind a firewall), RSBAC provides lots of security options, mainly filesystem based, but also authentication wise (it can prevent programs from becoming other users (which is how you change users with "su" or the like) and provides NSS and PAM modules to replace /etc/[passwd, shadow, group] (NSS is used to provide services to the C library, like storing group information, user information, basically any configuration the C library has), PAM is used to authenticate users in Linux for loging in.

-=These are more or less incompatible with each other, no point in using more then one of these=- - a all-in one kernel security option, includes Pax so no need to worry about it

Anyways, more information about what you want/need (the above should help if your just poking around to see what there is)


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