Play Machine Online Again with Xen 4.0

My SE Linux Play Machine [1] has been offline for almost a month (it went offline late May 30 and has just gone online again). It’s the sort of downtime that can happen when you use Debian/Unstable.

For a while I’ve been using a HP E-PC (a SFF desktop system with 256M of RAM and […]

New SE Linux Policy for Squeeze

I have just uploaded refpolicy version 0.2.20100524-1 to Unstable. This policy is not well tested (a SE Linux policy package ending in “-1” is not something that tends to work well for all people) and in particular lacks testing for Desktop environments. But for servers it should work reasonably well.

I expect to have a […]

Can you run SE Linux on a Xen Guest?

I was asked “Can you run SELinux on a XEN guest without any problem?“. In a generic sense the answer is of course YES, Xen allows you to run Linux kernels with all the usual range of features and SE Linux isn’t a particularly difficult feature to enable. I do most of my SE Linux […]

Should Passwords Expire?

It’s widely regarded that passwords should be changed regularly. The Australian government declared last week the “National Cyber Security Awareness Week” [1] and has published a list of tips for online security which includes “Get a stronger password and change it at least twice a year“.

Can a Password be Semi-Public?

Generally I think of […]

Defense in Depth and Sudo

My blog post about logging in as root and whether sudo provides any benefit [1] got some interest on Redit. In the Reddit comments on my post [2] there are a lot of strange things. One interesting comment was to suggest that logging in as non-root provided “defense in depth”.

The NSA is credited with […]

Logging Shell Commands

In response to my previous post about logging in directly as root [1] it was suggested that using sudo is the only way to log the commands that are entered as root. One reason for doing this is if you don’t trust the people who are granted root access and you want to log all […]

Securely Killing Processes

Joey Hess wrote on Debian-devel about the problem of init scripts not doing adequate checks before using the data from a PID file under /var/run to determine which process to kill [1]. Unfortunately that still doesn’t quite solve the problem, there is still the issue of a race condition causing a process to die while […]

Can SE Linux Implement Traditional Unix Users and Groups?

I was asked by email whether SE Linux could implement traditional Unix users and groups.

The Strictly Literal Answer to that Question

The core of the SE Linux access control is the domain-type model where every process has a domain and every object that a process can access (including other processes) has a type. Domains […]

Logging in as Root

Martin Meredith wrote a blog post about logging in as root and the people who so strongly advocate against it [1]. The question is whether you should ssh directly to the root account on a remote server or whether you should ssh to a non-root account and use sudo or su to gain administrative privileges.


UBAC and SE Linux in Debian

A recent development in SE Linux policy is the concept of UBAC (User Based Access Control) which prevents SE Linux users (identitied) from accessing each other’s files.

SE Linux user identities may map 1:1 to Unix users (as was required in the early versions of SE Linux), you might have unique identities for special users […]