Do You Blame Users For IT Security?

Posted on in Categories Linux, Linux desktop, Security, Sys admin, UNIX, Windows, windows vista last updated March 12, 2009

An interesting article published by security guru Bruce Schneier:

Blaming the victim is common in IT: users are to blame because they don’t patch their systems, choose lousy passwords, fall for phishing attacks, and so on. But, while users are, and will continue to be, a major source of security problems, focusing on them is an unhelpful way to think.

=> Blaming the user is easy – but it’s better to bypass them altogether

Penetration testing – security password auditing for UNIX / Linux systems

Posted on in Categories Linux, Monitoring, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Security, UNIX last updated March 17, 2006

If you just want to see how secure your network is or you would like to audit your own network, and to determine the insecurity of cleartext network protocols then you need to use sniffer programs. There are tons of Network protocol analyzer for Unix and Linux exist that allows examination of data from a live network, or from a capture file on disk For example Ethereal is one of such a program.

However, if you just interested in a password related auditing then nothing can beat dsniff program. It is simple and easy to use. dsniff capture passwords through http, ftp, smtp, pop3, telnet and many other cleartext protocols. dsniff includes various sniffing utilities for penetration testing.

Step # 1: Install dsniff

Install dsniff under Debian / Ubuntu Linux:
# apt-get install dsniff
If you are using FreeBSD then you can install it using ports or binary package:
# pkg_add -r dsniff
On the other hand, use ports collection:
># cd /usr/ports/security/dsniff
# make; make install; make clean

Step # 2: Start dsniff

dsniff automatically detects and minimally parses each application protocol, only saving the interesting bits, and uses Berkeley DB as its output file format, only logging unique authentication attempts. Login as a root user and type dsniff command:
# dsniff
For example, if user use ftp, telnet, or other cleartext protocol then you can capture passwords:

03/16/06 23:34:02 udp -> router.161 (snmp)
[version 1]

03/16/06 23:36:10 tcp -> (ftp)
USER rocky
PASS myF&6z#*

Depend upon this audit report:

  • You can block cleartext port
  • Educate your user and ask them to use secure version of each of these protocols