Part IV Securing Your Web Site in .NET

Encoding PDF-417 2d barcode in .NET Part IV Securing Your Web Site
Part IV Securing Your Web Site
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Compare contents: Vandals often substitute, modify, and damage files on the systems to which they gain access In order to regain illegal access to the system, they often modify system programs so that the programs appear to function normally, but include back doors for the vandals Vandals also modify system log files to remove traces of their activities Vandals may even create new files on your systems To avoid this, therefore, it s a good idea to compare the attributes and contents of files and directories to the authoritative copy If you have created cryptographic checksums for files, you can compare the checksums of the current and authentic copy to determine if any difference exists You should look into Tripwire at wwwtripwirecom for details on how to keep contents safe using checksums Use MD5 to verify the integrity of file contents: The MD5 program generates a unique, 128-bit cryptographic message-digest value derived from the contents of a file This value is considered a highly reliable fingerprint that can be used to verify the integrity of the file s contents If even a single bit value in the file is modified, the MD5 checksum for the file will change Forgery of a file in a way that causes MD5 to generate the same result as that for the original file, is considered difficult A set of MD5 checksums for critical system, application, and data files provides a compact way of storing information for use in periodic integrity checks of those files If any changes cannot be attributed to authorized activity, you should consider your system compromised and take prompt actions In case the change is found to be valid, re-create your authoritative copy and checksum
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Details for the MD5 cryptographic-checksum program are provided in RFC 1321 Source code and additional information are available at wwwfaqsorg/rfcs/ rfc1321html
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A sensible security configuration for Apache
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Sensible (that is, less paranoid) security configurations for Apache use a dedicated non-privileged user and group for Apache, a well-defined directory structure of the Web documents and log files, and appropriate file and directory permissions that only allow the Web server to read and/or write to files and directories This configuration also disables access to everything by default and enables access to resources (such as directories) only by explicit rules The details of this configuration are discussed in the following sections
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Use a dedicated user and group for Apache
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Apache can be run as a standalone, or as an inetd daemon-run service If you choose to run Apache as an inetd service, you do not have to worry about the User and Group directives If you run Apache as a standalone server, however, make sure that you create a dedicated user and group for Apache Do not use the
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18 Web Security
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nobody user or the nogroup group, especially if your system has already defined these It is likely that there are other services or other places where your system is using them This might lead to administrative headaches Instead, create a fresh new user and group for Apache, and use them with the directives mentioned
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When you use a dedicated user and group for Apache, permission-specific administration of your Web content becomes simple All you need to do is ensure that only the Apache user has read access to the Web content If you need to create a directory to which some CGI scripts might write data, you need only enable write permissions for only the Apache user
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Use a safe directory structure
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In most Apache installations, there are four main directories: 1 ServerRoot-specified directory where server configuration (conf subdirectory) and binary files (bin subdirectory) and other serverspecific files are stored 2 DocumentRoot-specified directory where your Web site contents, such as HTML pages, Java Scripts, and images, are stored 3 ScriptAlias-specified directory where your CGI scripts are stored 4 CustomLog- or ErrorLog-specified directory where access and error log files are stored You can specify a different directory for each of these directives but keeping a single log directory for all the log files is likely to be more manageable in the long run I recommend that you use a directory structure in which each of the four primary directories is independent of the others In other words, none of the above directories are subdirectories of another directory ServerRoot should point to a directory that can only be accessed by the root user The DocumentRoot directory needs to be accessible to user(s) who maintain your Web site and to the Apache user or group (specified by using the User and Group directives in httpdconf file) The ScriptAlias-specified script directory should only be accessible to script developer(s) and Apache user or group The CustomLog- or ErrorLogspecified directory should only be accessible by the root user Not even the Apache user or group should have access to the log directory An example of such a directory structure is shown below
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