Archives pour la catégorie ‘Sécurité’

Mass-blocking IP addresses with ipset

15/04/2019 Aucun commentaire

Using ipset to block many IP addresses

I was sponsoring an upload of ipset to Debian the other day. This reminded me of ipset, a very cool program as I am going to show. It makes administering related netfilter (that is: firewall) rules easy along with a good performance. This is achieved by changing how rules match in iptables. Traditionally, an iptables rule matches a single network identity, for example a single IP address or a single network only. With ipsets you can operate on a bunch of (otherwise unrelated) addresses at once easily. If you happen to need bulk actions in your firewall, for example you want to blacklist a long list of IP addresses at once, you will love IP sets. I promise.

Drawbacks of netfilter

IP sets do exist for a longer time, however they made it into the upstream Linux kernel as of version 2.6.39. That means Debian Wheezy will support it as is; for Debian Squeeze you can either use a backported kernel or compile yourself the module shipped in the ipset-source package. In any case you additionally need the command line utilities named ipset. Thus, install that package before you can start. Having that said, Squeeze users should note the ipset syntax I am demonstrating below slightly differs from the syntax supported by the Squeeze utilities. The big picture remains the same, though.

IP utils do not conflict with iptables, but extend it in a useful way. You can combine both as you like. In fact, you still need iptables to turn IP sets into something really useful. Nonetheless you will be hitting iptables‘ limitation soon if you exceed a certain number of rules. You can combine as many conditions within a filter rule as you like, however you can only specify a single pattern for each condition. You figure, this does not scale very well if a pattern to match against does not follow a very tight definition such as a CIDR pattern.

This means you can happily filter whole network blocks such as (which translates to 255 hosts) in iptables, but there is no way to specify a particular not specially connected set of IP addresses within this range if it cannot be expressed with a CIDR prefix. For example, there is no way to block, say,, and in a single statement only. You really need to declare three rules which only differ by the IP address. Pretend, you want to prevent these three addresses from accessing your host. You would probably do something like this:

iptables -A INPUT -s -p TCP -j REJECT
iptables -A INPUT -s -p TCP -j REJECT
iptables -A INPUT -s -p TCP -j REJECT

Alternatively you could do

iptables -A INPUT -s -p TCP -j REJECT

but this would block 251 unrelated hosts, too. Not a good deal I’d say. Now, while the former alternative is annoying, what’s the problem with it? The problem is: It does not scale. Netfilter rules work like a fall-through trapdoor. This means whenever a packet enters the system, it passes through several chains and in each of these chains, netfilter checks all rules until either one rule matches or there are no rules left. In the latter case the default action applies. In netfilter terminology a chain determines when an interception to the regular packet flow occurs. In the example above the specified chain is INPUT, which applies to any incoming packet.

In the end this means every single packet which is sent to your host needs to be checked whether it matches the patterns specified in every rule of yours. And believe me, in a server setup, there are lots of packets flowing to your machine. Consider for example a single HTTP requests, which requires at very least four packets sent from a client machine to your web server. Thus, each of these packets is passing through your rules in your INPUT chain as a bare minimum, before it is eventually accepted or discarded.

This requires a substantial computing overhead for every rule you are adding to your system. This isn’t so much of a problem if you haven’t many rules (for some values of “many” as I am going to show). However, you may end up in a situation where you end up with a large rule set. For example, if you suffer from a DDoS attack, you may be tempted to block drone clients in your firewall (German; Apache2. Likewise: for Lighttpd). In such a situation you will need to add thousands of rules easily.

Being under attack, the performance of your server is poor already. However, by adding many rules to your firewall you are actually further increasing computing overhead for every request significantly. To illustrate my point, I’ve made some benchmarks. Below you find the response times of a HTTP web server while doing sequential requests for a single file of 10 KiB in size. I am explaining my measurement method in detail further below. For now, look the graph. It shows the average response time of an Apache 2 web server, divided into four parts:

  • connect time: this is the time passed by until the server completed the initial TCP handshake
  • send time: this is the time passed by which I needed to reliably send a HTTP request over the established TCP connection reliably (that means: one packet sent and waiting for acknowledged by the server)
  • first byte: this is time passed by until the server sent the first byte from the corresponding HTTP response
  • response complete: this is time passed by until the server sent all of the remaining bytes of the corresponding HTTP response (remaining HTTP header + 10 KiB of payload)


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How to secure SSH login with one-time passwords on Linux

13/04/2019 Aucun commentaire

As someone says, security is a not a product, but a process. While SSH protocol itself is cryptographically secure by design, someone can wreak havoc on your SSH service if it is not administered properly, be it weak passwords, compromised keys or outdated SSH client.

As far as SSH authentication is concerned, public key authentication is in general considered more secure than password authentication. However, key authentication is actually not desirable or even less secure if you are logging in from a public or shared computer, where things like stealth keylogger or memory scraper can always a possibility. If you cannot trust the local computer, it is better to use something else. This is when « one-time passwords » come in handy. As the name implies, each one-time password is for single-use only. Such disposable passwords can be safely used in untrusted environments as they cannot be re-used even when they are stolen.

One way to generate disposable passwords is via Google Authenticator. In this tutorial, I am going to demonstrate another way to create one-time passwords for SSH login: OTPW, a one-time password login package. Unlike Google Authenticator, you do not rely on any third party for one-time password generation and verification.

What is OTPW?

OTPW consists of one-time password generator and PAM-integrated verification routines. In OTPW, one-time passwords are generated apriori with the generator, and carried by a user securely (e.g., printed in a paper sheet). Cryptographic hash of the generated passwords are then stored in the SSH server host. When a user logs in with a one-time password, OTPW’s PAM module verifies the password, and invalidates it to prevent re-use.

Step One: Install and Configure OTPW on Linux

Debian, Ubuntu or Linux Mint:

Install OTPW packages with aptget.

$ sudo apt-get install libpam-otpw otpw-bin

Open a PAM configuration file for SSH (/etc/pam.d/sshd) with a text editor, and comment out the following line (to disable password authentication).

#@include common-auth

and add the following two lines (to enable one-time password authentication):

auth       required
session    optional


Fedora or CentOS/RHEL:

OTPW is not available as a prebuilt package on Red Hat based systems. So let’s install OTPW by building it from the source.

First, install prerequites:

$ sudo yum git gcc pam-devel
$ git clone
$ cd otpw

Open Makefile with a text editor, and edit a line that starts with « PAMLIB= » as follows.

On 64-bit system:


On 32-bit system:


Compile and install it. Note that installation will automatically restart an SSH server. So be ready to be disconnected if you are on an SSH connection.

$ make
$ sudo make install

Now you need to update SELinux policy since /usr/sbin/sshd tries to write to user’s home directory, which is not allowed by default SELinux policy. The following commands will do. If you are not using SELinux, skip this step.

$ sudo grep sshd /var/log/audit/audit.log | audit2allow -M mypol
$ sudo semodule -i mypol.pp

Next, open a PAM configuration file for SSH (/etc/pam.d/sshd) with a text editor, and comment out the following line (to disable password authentication).

#auth       substack     password-auth

and add the following two lines (to enable one-time password authentication):

auth       required
session    optional

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How to run iptables automatically after reboot on Debian

13/04/2019 Aucun commentaire

reboot iptablesIf you have customized iptables rules, and would like to load the customized iptables rules persistently across reboots on Debian, you can leverage if-up.d scripts that are located in /etc/network/if-up.d. On Debian, any script that is marked as executable and placed in /etc/network/if-up.d gets executed when a network interface is brought up.

In order to run iptables automatically after reboot on Debian, do the following.

First, customize iptables as you wish, and then save the current iptables rule-set using iptables-save command.

$ sudo iptables-save > /etc/firewall.conf

The above command will dump the current iptables rule set into /etc/firewall.conf file which iptables-restore command can later use to restore the same rule set.

Now create the following if-up.d script called iptables that restores the saved iptables rule set.

$ sudo vi /etc/network/if-up.d/iptables
iptables-restore < /etc/firewall.conf
$ sudo chmod  x /etc/network/if-up.d/iptables

Alternatively, you can add « iptables-restore < /etc/firewall.conf » command to /etc/rc.local, which gets executed at the end of system boot-up.

Source: Xmodulo

Sécuriser son serveur Linux

12/04/2019 Aucun commentaire

Sécuriser Linux

securiser linuxCe guide va vous apprendre à sécuriser un serveur et donc vous initier aux thématiques de la sécurité informatique. En quoi est-ce important ? Par définition, un serveur est ouvert sur le monde, un minimum de sécurité est donc intéressant afin de se prémunir des attaques les plus simplistes.

La marche à suivre sera donc la suivante :

  • présentation des failles ;

  • présentation des outils pour y pallier.

Bien entendu, je ne fais pas un cours complet de sécurité informatique, ce tutoriel est une initiation. Pour faire simple, c’est un peu comme fermer les volets la nuit.

Point de vue matériel, voilà ce qu’il vous faudra :

  • un serveur embarquant une distribution xBuntu ou Debian (pour les autres distribs, le principe sera le même, mais les commandes risquent d’être différentes) ;

  • un accès root (en ssh par exemple) et une console.

Tout le tutoriel se passe en ligne de commande afin de pouvoir être accessible à tous. Comme il faudra éditer des fichiers, veuillez vous assurer d’avoir un éditeur de fichier en ligne de commande (j’utiliserai personnellement nano qui est très simple).

C’est parti !

Filtrer le trafic via le firewall


Le firewall (pare-feu en français) est l’élément indispensable pour sécuriser son serveur. Il va en effet filtrer tout le trafic en n’autorisant que les échanges permis par l’administrateur. Sans firewall correctement réglé, tous les trafics sont plus ou moins permis (c’est-à-dire qu’un attaquant peut faire ce qu’il veut chez vous) et ce genre de faille est détectable par un simple scan de ports.

Or, le noyau Linux offre déjà un pare-feu à l’utilisateur, qu’il est possible de configurer via le logiciel iptables (normalement contenu dans /sbin/iptables). S’il n’est pas installé :

apt-get install iptables

Nous allons maintenant détailler le fonctionnement d’un firewall – relativement simple. Un firewall analyse tout le trafic et vérifie si chaque paquet échangé respecte bien ses règles (critères de filtrage). Donc, il suffit de spécifier de bonnes règles pour interdire tout trafic superflu.

Les critères peuvent être divers (filtrer les ports, les protocoles, les adresses IP, etc). De base, nous allons spécifier nos règles sur les ports. Bien entendu, il faut être le plus strict possible quant au choix des règles ; c’est pourquoi, par défaut, tout firewall se règle en premier lieu en bloquant tout, absolument tout. Ensuite, nous allons « ouvrir » (autoriser le trafic) certains ports que nous voulons utiliser (par exemple pour un serveur web, nous allons ouvrir le port 80 afin que le site web soit accessible).

Déclaration des règles

Filtrage intégral

Suit la marche à suivre pour créer les règles :

1. Créons le script :

nano /etc/init.d/firewall

Et on y écrit : #!/bin/sh

2. On efface les règles précédentes pour partir sur de bonnes bases :

iptables -t filter -F
iptables -t filter -X

3. On bloque par défaut tout le trafic (si vous êtes en ssh, bien entendu, n’exécutez pas encore le script !) :

iptables -t filter -P INPUT DROP
iptables -t filter -P FORWARD DROP
iptables -t filter -P OUTPUT DROP

4. On ne ferme pas les connexions déjà établies :

iptables -A INPUT -m state --state RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -m state --state RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Nous indiquons avec les paramètres -m et --state de ne pas fermer les connexions qui sont déjà établies.

5. On autorise le loopback (on ne va pas se bloquer nous-mêmes !)

iptables -t filter -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
iptables -t filter -A OUTPUT -o lo -j ACCEPT

Note : lo signifie localhost (le serveur lui-même).

Tout est bloqué, il ne nous reste plus qu’à ouvrir les ports utilisés.

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Prevent DDoS with iptables

09/04/2019 Aucun commentaire

Iptables against DDoS

Using iptables to fight DDoS attacks.

After a recent conversation on the Ubuntu Forums I wanted to post an example of using iptables.

Of course there are several types of DOS attacks , in this post I will demonstrating the use if iptables to limit the traffic on port 80.

The goal is to keep your web server “responsive” to legitimate traffic, but to throttle back on excessive (potential DOS) traffic.

In this demonstration iptables is configured :

  1. The default policy is ACCEPT (to prevent lockout in the event of flushing the rules with iptables -F).
  2. “Legitimate” traffic is then allowed. In this example I am allowing traffic only on port 80.
  3. All other traffic is then blocked at the end of the INPUT chain (the final rule in the INPUT chain is to DROP all traffic).

The rules I will demonstrate are as follows:

First rule : Limit NEW traffic on port 80

sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -m state --state NEW -m limit --limit 50/minute --limit-burst 200 -j ACCEPT

Lets break that rule down into intelligible chunks.

-p tcp --dport 80 => Specifies traffic on port 80 (Normally Apache, but as you can see here I am using nginx).

-m state NEW => This rule applies to NEW connections.

-m limit --limit 50/minute --limit-burst 200 -j ACCEPT =>This is the essence of preventing DOS.

  • --limit-burst” is a bit confusing, but in a nutshell 200 new connections (packets really) are allowed before the limit of 50 NEW connections (packets) per minute is applied.

For a more technical review of this rule, see this netfilet page. Scroll down to a bit to the “limit” section.

Second rule – Limit established traffic

This rule applies to RELATED and ESTABLISHED all traffic on all ports, but is very liberal (and thus should not affect traffic on port 22 or DNS).

If you understood the above rule, you should understand this one as well.

sudo iptables -A INPUT -m state --state RELATED,ESTABLISHED -m limit --limit 50/second --limit-burst 50 -j ACCEPT

In summary, 50 ESTABLISHED (and/or RELATED) connections (packets really) are allowed before the limit of 50 ESTABLISHED (and/or RELATED) connections (packets) per second is applied.

Do not let that rule fool you, although it seems very open, it does put some limits on your connections.

Test it for yourself, try using the first rule with and without the second rule.

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