Improving the security of open UNIX platforms

    Date27 Sep 2001
    3796
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    This article takes a look at a little shell application that uses an innovative approach to increasing open UNIX security. A step-by-step analysis of the code is provided. The author's areas of expertise are in Web programming and cutting-edge network security development.. . . This article takes a look at a little shell application that uses an innovative approach to increasing open UNIX security. A step-by-step analysis of the code is provided. The author's areas of expertise are in Web programming and cutting-edge network security development.

    A malicious user crippling a system and getting superuser rights is a nightmare for any system administrator. In defense of open UNIX platforms, the following small shell application we're going to look at will put another brick into the open UNIX security barrier.

    The open UNIX operating systems FreeBSD and Linux Mandrake both have integrated shell security systems. The FreeBSD program is located in /etc/security. The Mandrake Security Package for Linux can be found in /usr/share/msec. These standard tools are similar in functionality, but they limit the file system integrity control to files with SUID and SGID flags. But Mandrake calculates MD5 file checksums differently from FreeBSD.

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