Hardening the PAM framework

    Date25 Sep 2004
    4039
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    In yesterday's article we began looking at how PAM can securely authenticate Windows users. Today we'll check the PAM framework . . . In yesterday's article we began looking at how PAM can securely authenticate Windows users. Today we'll check the PAM framework, harden the basic services that we expect to authenticate to, and look at new PAM modules that might make our systems more secure.

    This article is excerpted from the recently published book Hardening Linux published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2004, with permission from McGraw-Hill.

    First make sure that /etc/pam.conf doesn't exist unless this is an old system running an older version of PAM.

    Next, make sure that /etc/pam.d exists, and contains PAM configuration files.

    The first user to log in at the console of a Linux box can get ownership of many hardware devices, depending on how PAM is configured. Traditionally, Unix systems let the superuser (root) own the hardware, but to make it easy for desktop users to access devices such as sound cards, CD drives, and the like, the first console user can be set up to have ownership of these devices. Ownership reverts to root when the console user logs out. The device list is in /etc/security/console.perms, and ownership is changed by the PAM module pam_console.so.

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