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Project Part 3 Task 2

In: Computers and Technology

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Project Part 3 Task 2: Recommend a Software Management Plan
Scenario
The original task team at First World Bank Savings and Loan has concerns about the support and software management of the organization’s Linux-based infrastructure. The team wants you to recommend a software management plan keeping in mind the various servers and the cost.
Tasks
You need to: * Make a recommendation for a software management plan. Consider options available from the open source community and from vendors. If you select a vendor, specify the software it will support and how it will support. * Explain the need to install anti-virus software on Linux servers providing a rationale in support of your answer. * Summarize a plan for applying patches and security updates to the Linux system.
Submission Requirements
Format: Microsoft Word
Font: Arial, Size 12, Double-Space
Citation Style: Chicago Manual of Style
Length: 1–2 pages
Due By:Unit 9
Self-Assessment Checklist * I have recommended a suitable software management plan. * I have explained the need to install anti-virus software on Linux servers. * I have explained how to manage critical and noncritical security-related updates.
The recommendation for a software management plan is to use RPM. RPM is a software management tool originally created by Red Hat, and later GNU’ed and given to the public at http://www.rpm.org/. It forms the core of administration on most systems, since one of the major tasks for any administrator is installing and keeping software up to date. Various estimates place most of the blame for security break-ins on bad passwords, and old software with known vulnerabilities. This isn’t exactly surprising on would think, but while the average server contains 200-400 software packages on average, on begins to see why keeping software up to date can be a major task.
The main page for RPM leaves something-to-be-desired, but the book “Maximum RPM” on the other hand is really wonderful and freely available (http://www.rpm.org/). This book is suggested for any Red Hat administrator, and can say safely that it is required reading if you plan to build RPM packages. The basics of RPM are pretty self-explanatory; packages come in an rpm format, with a simple filename convention (package_name-package_version-rpm_build_version-architecture.rpm or nfs-server-2.2beta29-5.i386.rpm)
All computer systems can suffer from malware and viruses, including Linux. Thankfully, very few viruses exist for Linux, so users typically do not install antivirus software. It is still recommended that Linux users have antivirus software installed on Linux systems that are on a network or that have files being transferred to the device. Some users may argue that antivirus software uses up too much resource. Thankfully, low-footprint software exists for Linux. To better understand antivirus programs, it may be beneficial to understand malware itself.
In order to manage critical and noncritical security-related updates, there are some things that are recommended. The first of which is to turn off any unused services. Services which you don't enable can't be attacked from the outside. If you don't provide access to a service, it doesn't matter if there are any vulnerabilities in the daemon which would provide that service. So disable anything you don't need to use.
Some daemons are started when the system boots, and remain active as long as the system remains up. For these persistent daemons, you need to look at the initialization scripts or programs used to start services when the system boots. Other services are not started at boot time, but instead are managed by either inetd or xinetd. If your system is configured with inetd, look at /etc/inetd.conf, and remove, or simply prefix with a "#" character to make it a comment, any entry providing a service you don't need.
The second step would be where available, install IP filter or firewall rules. While restricting network access helps, it is no guarantee that you won't be attacked. If you allow itt-tech.edu, you can be attacked from another itt-tech.edu system. But restricting access to a smaller group of systems will reduce the number of attempts you see made against you.
You would configure IPtables or IPchains. You can use one of these to define whose IP addresses you will accept or reject. The rules can be different for incoming and outgoing packets. There are model configurations or scripts which can be installed on a Linux system to define the rules such that only packets originating inside the itt-tech.edu domain are accepted.
The next step involves installing ssh and tcpd. SSH (Secure Shell) is a protocol which supports logging into a remote system or executing commands on a remote system, using an encrypted communication between the two systems. Session encryption protects you from unscrupulous packet sniffers who may have access to one of the networks through which the packets between the two hosts may have to travel.

The tcp wrapper daemon, tcpd, comes as a part of recent Linux installations.
Finally you would need to configure hosts.allow and hosts.deny files for tcpd and sshd. Both ssh and the tcp wrapper tcpd use a pair of configuration files to define what hosts are allowed to make connections to specific TCP services on your machine. Use these to limit access to those services and prevent unwanted intrusion attempts.

References:
Johnson, D. (2014). RPM: Commands and Management. Retrieved from http://www.linux.org/threads/rpm-commands-and-management.5338/ Miscellaneous (2013). Does Linux Need Anti-Virus Software? Retrieved from http://www.futurehosting.com/blog/does-linux-need-anti-virus-software/

Morris, J. (2013). Overview of Linux Kernel Security Features. Retrieved from http://www.linux.com/learn/docs/727873-overview-of-linux-kernel-security- features/

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