Chapter 6. Security

As networks grow in size and diversity, security becomes one of the administrator's primary concerns. The features in EnlightenDSM's Security menu help ensure system and network integrity by auditing the following:

The features described in this chapter are part of the EnlightenDSM/Advanced product. A License Advisory window similar to the one shown on page 1-3 will appear if you attempt to access this menu with the Workgroup version.

Each of these security checks, except for Obvious Passwords, appends its findings to a security logfile, shown in Figure 6-1. You can use the Clear Log button to flush the logfile and the Print button to print the logfile as needed.

Vital Files

This program will check the system directories and their files for easily breachable write permissions. It checks the following files and directories:

  • /etc

  • /usr/adm

  • /usr/bin

  • /usr/etc

  • /usr/lib

  • /usr/local

  • /usr/spool

and creates a report listing any potential breaches it found.

Figure 6-1. Security Report—Vital files

Filesystem Devices

This program will check that the raw device name of each mounted filesystem is in order. It looks at:

  • The ownership of the device name (filesystem)

  • The user group ownership of the device name (filesystem)

  • Read and write permissions on the device name (filesystem)

and creates a report listing any potential problems it found.

Figure 6-2. Security Report—Filesystem devices

Boot and Shutdown Script Checks

This program will check the contents of all files in the /etc/rc*.d directories and the /etc/rc files for potential back doors that could be activated at boot or shutdown time. These files are executed at boot time to initialize/shut down the system.

All the start-up and shutdown files referenced within the boot and shutdown scripts are checked for:

  • The existence of the file

  • Write permissions on the file

  • Write permissions on the directory containing the file

and a report listing any problems found is then created. This process may be time-consuming when a large number of files is being checked.

Figure 6-3. Security Report—Boot and shutdown script checks

Crontab Contents

This program will check the contents of the crontab files for potential back doors via the cron utility. All executable programs referenced in the cron tables are checked for:

  • The existence of the file

  • Write permission on the file

  • Write permission on the directory containing the file

  • Crontab permissions on the file

and a report listing any problems found is then created.

Figure 6-4. Security Report—Crontab contents

Password File Integrity

This program will check the password file /etc/passwd for the following security breaches:

  • No blank lines in the file

  • Each entry has seven fields separated by colons (`:')

  • The username is alphanumeric

  • The user has a password

  • The Userid is numeric

  • If the Userid is 0, the login name is root

  • The Groupid is numeric and exists in the group file

  • The HOME directory of each entry exists

  • The starting SHELL of each entry exists

and creates a report listing any problems it found.

Figure 6-5. Security Report—Password file integrity

Group File Integrity

This program checks the group file /etc/group for the following security breaches:

  • No blank lines are in the file.

  • Each entry has four fields separated by colons (`:').

  • The groupname is alphanumeric.

  • The GID is numeric.

  • The user group does not have a password.

  • Check each group member to see if: the username is alphanumeric, they do not exist in duplicate within the group, and they are valid users in the /etc/passwd file.

A list report of any problems found is created.

Figure 6-6. Security Report—Group file integrity

User Home Directories

This program checks each user's HOME directory for the following potential problems:

  • Make sure each user has a home directory

  • Make sure the directory is not world writable

  • Checks start-up scripts for world write permission

  • Checks start-up scripts for group write permission

and creates a report listing any problems it found.

Figure 6-7. Security Report—User home directories

Attempted Break-ins

This program finds all the users who failed a second attempt to become superuser or some other user through the su command. It then creates a report listing any problems it found.

Figure 6-8. Security Report—Attempted break-ins

Obvious Passwords

One of the most frequent invasions of computer systems is not through a complex or back door trick, but through the front door via the login program. So, simple account passwords can be a high security risk.

Users frequently choose very simplistic passwords. While some systems have password programs to force some variation of simple passwords, the protection is usually minimal. You can use the Obvious Password security check to get a list of users with easily detectable passwords.

This program runs obvious password checks on:

  • The user's login name

  • The passwd file on the machine (hostname)

  • All words in the user's Realname, Phone number, and Office user account fields of the passwd file

after you fill in the relevant data fields in the Password Check Parameters window (Figure 6-9).

Figure 6-9. Password Check Parameters window

Since users have the ability to change their passwords at any time, you should run this security check frequently. Keeping a historical reference will also provide some insight into your own users' password habits.

Levels of Checking

There are three levels of Obvious Password Checking you can select, with level one being the lowest and each subsequent level encompassing the previous levels:

  1. Obvious Passwords

    Passwords that closely match the account name. Each user takes approximately 5 seconds to check.

  2. Common Names

    Passwords matching proper names, a frequent choice of novice users. Each user takes several minutes to check.

  3. Common Words

    Passwords found in a common-use dictionary. Each user takes several minutes to check.

Who is Checked

Click the right arrows in the Password Check Parameters window for lists of the users, groups, and hosts on the system. You can use these to target specific users and/or groups for the checking process.

For the Users and Groups windows, you will be presented with the users and groups in the current system pool. Choosing a user or group will cause all occurrences of that user and/or group to be checked across the hosts in that system pool. For the Hosts window, selecting a host will check all users on that host.

Instead of using the above process, you may also choose to examine only specific targets by using the Additional Users field. Use the format hostname:username to specify these entries. The following example tests user johnf on host rome and all users on host paris.

Additional Users: rome:johnf paris:

Whichever method you use, when you are finished, click the Apply button. The time required to execute the testing process depends on the number of users to check and the level of checking. When this check is done, a list of users with obvious passwords appears in the form of the Configure Users window.

At this point, you could select a subset of the users and lock them out, obtain a list of their current processes, change their passwords, e-mail an “Obvious Password” letter to them, or even delete them.

What is Checked

All Options

EnlightenDSM will check each word in the generated list of potentially obvious passwords as follows:

  • As entered

  • In all lowercase letters

  • In all uppercase letters

  • Capitalized first letter, the rest in lowercase

Each of these checks will be performed on the actual word as well as its reverse. For example, `Mirror' will be checked as Mirror, rorriM, mirror, rorrim, MIRROR, RORRIM.

This program will also check for accounts with no password, empty passwords and other obvious passwords such as “secret”, “computer”, “hello”, etc.

The Common Names Option

The second level of password checking checks a list of 4000 names for possible matches. This list of names is found in the file $ENLIGHTEN/config/names. You may modify this file to fit your working environment.

Entries in the file are checked as is, from first to last, and any deviations such as capitalization or backwards spelling are not made. If you want these deviations to be checked, you need to add them sequentially as entries in the file.

Audit Log

The audit log utility is implemented in order to facilitate the monitoring of transactions performed with the use of our product. The log keeps track of the transaction performed, the time, the user, and other imperative information.

Here are two examples of why it is necessary:

Example 1

EnlightenDSM is deployed in a Help Desk environment where the Help Desk operators have access to user account information. A corporate computer user calls the Help Desk supervisor to complain that he has called into the Desk 3 times to have his password reset, but the password still is not reset. The Help Desk supervisor review the audit log and determines that Help Desk Operator #4 has attempted to reset the password 3 times. Furthermore, the audit log revealed that the Operator was resetting the password on the wrong machine. With this useful information, the Help Desk supervisor re-trains Operator #4 on the proper procedure of resetting a user password. Operator #4 then proceeds to successfully reset the password for the Help Desk caller.

Example 2

An NFS partition that contains the Engineering source code has been wiped cleaned. The only way this would be possible is via root access to the machine hosting the NFS partition. The company keeps the root password a closely guarded secret, so the only way the NFS partition could have been erase would be via EnlightenDSM. The System Administrator examines the audit log and discovers that a cronjob was created by disgruntled employee 5 days ago to perform the evil deed. The Administrator alerts the employees supervisor, and the supervisor takes the appropriate action.

Enabling and Disabling the Audit Log

By default, the Audit Log is disabled when EnlightenDSM is installed. The Audit Log is controlled by the AUDIT_LOG parameter in the params file on each Agent and GUI host.

The params file is located in the config sub-directory of the EnlightenDSM install directory. To enable Auditing for operations on a particular host, edit the AUDIT_LOG entry in the params file on that host to read:


You will have to restart the EnlightenDSM daemons and the GUI before the change will take effect. You can restart the daemons by executing

# <install-dir>/bin/start_enl_daemons -restart 

To disable the Audit Log, simple change the AUDIT_LOG entry to read:


0 and 1 are the only valid values for AUDIT_LOG. Any other value will disable the AUDIT_LOG.

EnlightenDSM can be used to enable the Audit Log on all the managed hosts via the GUI in a few mouse clicks. This is accomplished using the Custom command button. For an example on the use of this button, please see “View Files”.

Data Storage and Display

Audit information is logged to a centralized location, which is the Enterprise Management Database (EMD). Examples of the types of operations recorded in the audit log are: when a new pool is created, when a user's account is changed, and when a print job is deleted from the printer Queue.

The audit information may be accessed through a supplied command line utility. For information on the utility, see Appendix J, “EMD.”