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Linux Advisory Watch: May 19th 2006 Print E-mail
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Source: Contributors - Posted by Benjamin D. Thomas   
Linux Advisory Watch This week, advisories were releaed for Mozilla Firefox, webcalendar, phpLDAPadmin, and awstats.

Thank you for reading the weekly security newsletter. The purpose of this document is to provide our readers with a quick summary of each week's most relevant Linux security headlines.

EnGarde Secure Linux: Why not give it a try?

EnGarde Secure Linux is a Linux server distribution that is geared toward providing a open source platform that is highly secure by default as well as easy to administer. EnGarde Secure Linux includes a select group of open source packages configured to provide maximum security for tasks such as serving dynamic websites, high availability mail transport, network intrusion detection, and more. The Community edition of EnGarde Secure Linux is completely free and open source, and online security and application updates are also freely available with GDSN registration.

Packet Sniffers

One of the most common ways intruders gain access to more systems on your network is by employing a packet sniffer on a already compromised host. This "sniffer" just listens on the Ethernet port for things like passwd and login and su in the packet stream and then logs the traffic after that. This way, attackers gain passwords for systems they are not even attempting to break into. Clear-text passwords are very vulnerable to this attack.

Example: Host A has been compromised. Attacker installs a sniffer. Sniffer picks up admin logging into Host B from Host C. It gets the admins personal password as they login to B. Then, the admin does a su to fix a problem. They now have the root password for Host B. Later the admin lets someone telnet from his account to Host Z on another site. Now the attacker has a password/login on Host Z.

In this day and age, the attacker doesn't even need to compromise a system to do this: they could also bring a laptop or pc into a building and tap into your net.

Using ssh or other encrypted password methods thwarts this attack. Things like APOP for POP accounts also prevents this attack. (Normal POP logins are very vulnerable to this, as is anything that sends clear-text passwords over the network.)

From the Linux Security HowTo by Dave Wreski: Feature Extras:

EnGarde Secure Linux v3.0.6 Now Available - Guardian Digital is happy to announce the release of EnGarde Secure Community 3.0.6 (Version 3.0, Release 6). This release includes several bug fixes and feature enhancements to the Guardian Digital WebTool and the SELinux policy, several updated packages, and a couple of new packages available for installation.

Linux File & Directory Permissions Mistakes - One common mistake Linux administrators make is having file and directory permissions that are far too liberal and allow access beyond that which is needed for proper system operations. A full explanation of unix file permissions is beyond the scope of this article, so I'll assume you are familiar with the usage of such tools as chmod, chown, and chgrp. If you'd like a refresher, one is available right here on

Take advantage of our Linux Security discussion list! This mailing list is for general security-related questions and comments. To subscribe send an e-mail to with "subscribe" as the subject.

  Debian: New Mozilla Firefox packages fix arbitrary code execution
  11th, May, 2006

Updated package.
  Debian: New webcalendar packages fix information leak
  15th, May, 2006

Updated package.
  Debian: New phpLDAPadmin packages fix cross-site scripting
  15th, May, 2006

Several cross-site scripting vulnerabilities have been discovered in phpLDAPadmin, a web based interface for administering LDAP servers, that allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML.
  Debian: New awstats packages fix arbitrary command execution
  18th, May, 2006

Updated package.

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