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Old 04-16-2002, 09:16 PM   #1
Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Carlsbad
Distribution: LFS 4.0 (
Posts: 44

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Question messages file and other log files on NFS share

I just inherited a server room of about 20 linux servers... all very old, all very open to exploits, all needing to be VERY carefully updated 'cause of app dependencies. The boxes keep getting hacked and the hackers keep deleting everything in /var/log. I'm guessing they're using SSH exploits among on other things. Half the time I only know what happened cause they didn't delete their .bash_history behind them.

As stated above, I have to be very careful about upgrading packages so as not to break existing apps. In the meantime, I want to NFS mount volumes from a very secure box for /var/log so I can back them up hourly from a central point.

Here's my question: assuming that a local /var/log exists when the system starts up and files are written... specifically /var/log/messages, what happens when the network starts up and fs's are mounted and I now have /var/log as a mount of another servers NFS export. Specifically how will the 'messages' and other files that are presently being written to handle being in a new location without the services writing to them being stopped and restarted?

I'm open to ideas or alternative suggestions.

Thanks in advance,
Old 04-16-2002, 10:19 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Montreal
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 7

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first of all, if they aren't "smart" enough to delete their .bash_history , I would think they would most probably be script kiddies.. and crackers with nothing else to do with their time : )

Anyways, instead of getting yourself all confused with NFS, I would try using the remote loghost system with Syslog, which is probably running on those machines.

First you should label all the machines with their hostnames. Then, install syslog (if some form of it isnt already there).
Now, designate a secure server as the "loghost".
add its hostname to the file /etc/hosts on each server
Then on each of the other servers, find the files called /etc/syslog.conf
In those files, add a line like one of these:
*.* @apple (for all messages to be sent to the loghost "apple")
OR kern.* @apple (for kernel messages to be sent... )
Etc... just do a search for syslog loghost on google.
now, start syslog on the loghost with the flag to accept remote logs...
i forget what that is, but just type "man syslogd" or "man syslog" for it...

any questions, just ask away!

-- good luck


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