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Old 11-11-2003, 12:09 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: Debian sid
Posts: 69

Rep: Reputation: 15
need recommendations on security...

okay, i have my linux box running 2 services, sshd and vsftpd on their default ports. i compiled iptables in my kernel, i'm about to set up my firewall to block everything not on these two ports,

now here's the question: how do i know if my system is suseptable to a buffer overflow? basically, i have a good idea of how to set up a system (diable services, keep up to date, run a firewall) but, how would i try to break into my own system? does anyone have any recommended reading. what are ways to stop buffer overflows?

disclaimer: this is just my personal box, nothing mission critical or holding sensitive info.
Old 11-11-2003, 12:17 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Distribution: Gentoo Unstable (what a misnomer)
Posts: 380

Rep: Reputation: 30

Well if you want to try and break into your own box
you can

a) search for a known exploit for the
software you are running

b) get the source
code to the programs you are running and look for
mistakes that could lead to a buffer overflow or other
exploitable mistake.

This article will help you craft your own exploits:

Other things to do are subscribe to security mailing lists

Read stuff like this:
If you aren't following the advice there see why you didn't
and see if you can do something you shouldn't be able to.
If you can, see what that lets you do. Play around.
If you learn to think like an

Just do everyone a favor, if you do find an exploitable flaw
send a patch to the project.

Last edited by LogicG8; 11-11-2003 at 12:36 PM.
Old 11-11-2003, 02:09 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2002
Location: Stuttgart (Germany)
Distribution: Debian/GNU Linux
Posts: 1,467

Rep: Reputation: 46
You should secure your services. For vsftpd and SSH you will get useful in-depth knowledge at my website (
Old 11-11-2003, 08:22 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: Debian sid
Posts: 69

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
thanks, i bookmarked all links, i'll start taking a look this weekend (got exams this week).


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