package management

Securing your Linux server is important to protect your data, intellectual property, and time, from the hands of crackers (hackers). The system administrator is responsible for security Linux box. In this first part of a Linux server security series, I will provide 20 hardening tips for default installation of Linux system.

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux v5.4 has been released and available via RHN for immediate update. The new version includes the kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) virtualization, next generation of developer features and tools including GCC 4.4, a new malloc(). Also included clustered, high-availability filesystem to support Microsoft Windows storage needs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

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BIND 9 is an implementation of the Domain Name System (DNS) protocols. named daemon is an Internet Domain Name Server for UNIX like operating systems. Dynamic update messages may be used to update records in a master zone on a nameserver. When named receives a specially crafted dynamic update message an internal assertion check is triggered which causes named to exit. An attacker which can send DNS requests to a nameserver can cause it to exit, thus creating a Denial of Service situation. configuring named to ignore dynamic updates is NOT sufficient to protect it from this vulnerability. This exploit is public. Please upgrade immediately.

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Don't tell anyone that I'm free

OpenSSH is the implementation of the SSH protocol. OpenSSH is recommended for remote login, making backups, remote file transfer via scp or sftp, and much more. SSH is perfect to keep confidentiality and integrity for data exchanged between two networks and systems. However, the main advantage is server authentication, through the use of public key cryptography. From time to time there are rumors about OpenSSH zero day exploit. Here are a few things you need to tweak in order to improve OpenSSH server security.

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Fedora Linux version 11 has been released and available for download ( jump to download link ). Fedora Linux is a community-based Linux distribution. Fedora is sponsored by Red Hat, Inc.

One of Fedora’s main objectives is not only to contain free and open source software, but also to be on the leading edge of such technologies. Fedora 11, codenamed “Leonidas”, was released on June 9, 2009. The features include ext4, a 20-second startup, and the latest GNOME, KDE and XFCE releases. Firefox 3.5 and Thunderbird 3’s latest pre-releases are available as well.

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The Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) is used for the error screen displayed by Microsoft Windows, after encountering a critical system. Linux / UNIX like operating system may get a kernel panic. It is just like BSoD. The BSoD and a kernel panic generated using a Machine Check Exception (MCE). MCE is nothing but feature of AMD / Intel 64 bit systems which is used to detect an unrecoverable hardware problem.

Program such mcelog decodes machine check events (hardware errors) on x86-64 machines running a 64-bit Linux kernel. It should be run regularly as a cron job on any x86-64 Linux system. This is useful for predicting server hardware failure before actual server crash.

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FreeBSD is just plain old good UNIX with rock solid networking stack. It is quite popular amongst hosting companies, ISPs, portals (such as Yahoo) and a few large financial institutions because of its reliability, robustness and performance.

A new version of the FreeBSD is scheduled for release next week (4-May-2009). A beta 2 was made available for download few weeks ago for final round of testing before the official launch.

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