Posts Tagged ‘SUDO’

Configuring SUDO for Effective Activity Monitoring Via Syslog

I have discussed in previous posts the importance of administrators using SUDO to provide individual accountability.  SUDO provides command-by-command accounting of actions performed by administrators, with logs sent as standard syslog events looking like this:

Feb  4 19:23:23 bsd sudo:    jerry : TTY=pts/0 ; PWD=/usr/home/jerry ; USER=root ; COMMAND=/bin/ps -x
Feb  4 19:23:34 bsd sudo:    jerry : TTY=pts/0 ; PWD=/usr/home/jerry ; USER=root ; COMMAND=/usr/bin/vi /etc/passwd
Feb  4 19:23:59 bsd sudo:    jerry : TTY=pts/0 ; PWD=/usr/home/jerry ; USER=root ; COMMAND=/usr/bin/tail -100 /var/log/messages

We can see pretty clearly all the actions I took above: the user “jerry” performed a number of actions, including one that is potentially concerning: vi /etc/passwd.  The action on /etc/passwd requires some investigation.

First, we need to be sure that an administrator can’t cover his tracks by deleting logs.  This is best accomplished by streaming the logs to a hardened syslog server, where the administrator doesn’t have the ability to delete logs.  Read more…

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by mutex - February 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Categories: Accountability, Compliance, Logging, Policy, Security   Tags:

Building A Program To Manage And Monitor Administrators

Monitoring the activities of privileged users or server administrators is becoming a common requirement in many organizations for a few reasons:

  • Compliance with legal or regulatory requirements, such as PCI, HIPAA, etc
  • Performing outsourcing services to clients who require controls to prevent the service provider’s employees from causing harm to the client.
  • A recent experience where a trusted employee performed some malicious action

In this realm of managing administrators, there are two primary objectives:

  1. Individual accountability
  2. Proactive monitoring of actions taken

Many administrators have the opinion that once you allow a person to act as root, all bets are off.  That is true to a large extent, and will require a fundamental change in thinking for some.  Controls need to be implemented to manage the actions of these privileged users in a manner that is commensurate with the risk of the system(s), applications and data being managed.  Read more…

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Categories: Compliance, Policy   Tags:

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