Some thoughts about Security



  • How do we know when we being overly concerned with security?

    For example, I have about 25 different Linux servers at home. Each of them have a randomly generated 25 character passwords (with UPPERCASE, lowercase, numbers and special characters. Root is disabled over SSH. Firewall is enabled, and only needed ports are open - some even have SSH blocked so you have to have console access.

    In addition to all this, I also have a Edge Router X router. I only forward ports when needed, and I review at least once a week.

    If we assume the Edge Router X is secure and working correctly, isn't all this other security pointless and just adding complexity?

    Security Generic Image



  • No,.. I don't believe so. I am not great on security,.. but the more layers you have, the better you are. Yes it is a hassle. but if it protects you, then you are doing right.

    Going along the lines of something @scottalanmiller said, how much is your data worth... to YOU. If it is worth something, then it is worth that level of effort.

    Sadly as with anything, virtual or physical. If someone wants it bad enough all you can do is slow them down. I can secure a hard drive in a air tight container, encapsulate it in 4 inches of steel, 200 inches of concrete, then drop it in the deepest part of the ocean. If someone thinks it has value,.. they will try to retrieve it.



  • @gjacobse said:

    I can secure a hard drive in a air tight container, encapsulate it in 4 inches of steel, 200 inches of concrete, then drop it in the deepest part of the ocean. If someone thinks it has value,.. they will try to retrieve it.

    The funny thing is someone would that it has value, because of all the work you put into protecting it 🙂

    I guess that's my point here. This is my home server, it's not like I am protecting company information. How far is too far?



  • @anonymous said:

    I guess that's my point here. This is my home server, it's not like I am protecting company information. How far is too far?

    You have 25 servers for home?



  • I'm not sure there is ever "too much security." The more secure your systems are, the better.



  • @BRRABill said:

    You have 25 servers for home?

    25 VM's on one host 😉



  • @anonymous said:

    @BRRABill said:

    You have 25 servers for home?

    25 VM's on one host 😉

    You have 25 VMs for home? 😉



  • @BRRABill Yes 🙂



  • @anonymous said:

    The funny thing is someone would that it has value, because of all the work you put into protecting it 🙂

    While some people might think that because of your extreme protections it has value, the reality is that most hackers won't bother - they will move on to easier targets.

    Those who would be willing to go to nearly any length are probably doing so because they Know it's value, and that value is greater than the cost of them getting the data.



  • @gjacobse said:

    Going along the lines of something @scottalanmiller said, how much is your data worth... to YOU. If it is worth something, then it is worth that level of effort.

    Actually the guideline is "how much is it worth to someone else" and you need to make it cost more to hack then it is worth for them to have hacked.



  • @BRRABill said:

    @anonymous said:

    @BRRABill said:

    You have 25 servers for home?

    25 VM's on one host 😉

    You have 25 VMs for home? 😉

    that's not really an issue - he could have tons of gaming VMs, like Scott now has a MineCraft PE gaming VM.

    The bigger question is, what are you hosting to the internet?



  • @anonymous said:

    @gjacobse said:

    I can secure a hard drive in a air tight container, encapsulate it in 4 inches of steel, 200 inches of concrete, then drop it in the deepest part of the ocean. If someone thinks it has value,.. they will try to retrieve it.

    The funny thing is someone would that it has value, because of all the work you put into protecting it 🙂

    I guess that's my point here. This is my home server, it's not like I am protecting company information. How far is too far?

    Depends, is the value in learning about security practices? Or do you really feel that you are protecting something worthwhile?



  • @Dashrender said:

    that's not really an issue - he could have tons of gaming VMs, like Scott now has a MineCraft PE gaming VM.

    The bigger question is, what are you hosting to the internet?

    I'm just amazed to have that many servers for personal use. 🙂 Kudos!



  • @GlennBarley said:

    I'm not sure there is ever "too much security." The more secure your systems are, the better.

    I don't agree. That's the same logic that SMBs use to say "more availability is better", but we know that's far from true. Security, availability, performance, capacity - they all take time and money. They are only valuable as long as there is a return. Spending $100 to protect $10 doesn't make sense.



  • @BRRABill said:

    @Dashrender said:

    that's not really an issue - he could have tons of gaming VMs, like Scott now has a MineCraft PE gaming VM.

    The bigger question is, what are you hosting to the internet?

    I'm just amazed to have that many servers for personal use. 🙂 Kudos!

    Well think about building a lab. You want a storage device, jump box and logging kind of at a minimum. That's three.

    Now you want to test out a few OSes. You might have a VM for 2012 R2, 2016, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008, 2003 R2, CentOS 6, CentOS 7, Suse Leap, Suse Tumbleweed, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 15.10, Fedora 23, Arch Linux, Debian Jessie, FreePBX, FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly, Solaris, Windows 10 and Gentoo.

    That's 25 VMs without running any services, just having vanilla test platforms for different OSes!



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Now you want to test out a few OSes. You might have a VM for 2012 R2, 2016, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008, 2003 R2, CentOS 6, CentOS 7, Suse Leap, Suse Tumbleweed, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 15.10, Fedora 23, Arch Linux, Debian Jessie, FreePBX, FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly, Solaris, Windows 10 and Gentoo.

    That is "a few" OSes?

    Hey, to each their own. I have a hard time just managing my Xbox One.



  • It's not many, really. All mainstream ones that you might want to have access to to test something or see how it installs or whatever. More than I test, but not many more. I don't test Arch or DragonFly, for example. But if you are testing appliances like FreeNAS and NAS4Free those will add up quickly too!



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Well think about building a lab. You want a storage device, jump box and logging kind of at a minimum. That's three.

    I don't have a storage device or logging yet. What do you recommend? And what do you mean by a storage device? Like for shared /home?



  • Yeah, like a shared NFS or SMB for Windows. Or even ownCloud and stuff like that.

    Logging... ELK. Can't beat it.



  • @BRRABill said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    Now you want to test out a few OSes. You might have a VM for 2012 R2, 2016, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008, 2003 R2, CentOS 6, CentOS 7, Suse Leap, Suse Tumbleweed, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 15.10, Fedora 23, Arch Linux, Debian Jessie, FreePBX, FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly, Solaris, Windows 10 and Gentoo.

    That is "a few" OSes?

    Hey, to each their own. I have a hard time just managing my Xbox One.

    Oh, that's just a start. Much easier to manage today that it was "back in the day" as well! Over the whole Y2K thing I was interning, and had setup a computer to multi-boot Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, OS/2, OS/2 Warp, Red Hat 4, and I'm not sure how many different x86 compatible machine control things. I was ECSTATIC when that new thing called VirtualBox came around. Just thinking about what, and how easily, we can do things today compared to back then can make my head spin.

    Edit: I forgot NT3.5, 4.0 and Windows 2000 as well.



  • @scottalanmiller What about monitoring?



  • @anonymous said:

    @scottalanmiller What about monitoring?

    Zabbix!



  • @dafyre How hard is it to install for a noob like me?



  • @anonymous said:

    @dafyre How hard is it to install for a noob like me?

    It takes a little bit of work to get it going, but it's not too bad. They have packages available at http://www.zabbix.com/download.php

    Documentation is at that link too... just download the docs for whichever Distro you are using. I'll be happy to help if you hit any snags.



  • @dafyre Thanks!



  • @Dashrender said:

    @anonymous said:

    The funny thing is someone would that it has value, because of all the work you put into protecting it 🙂

    While some people might think that because of your extreme protections it has value, the reality is that most hackers won't bother - they will move on to easier targets.

    Those who would be willing to go to nearly any length are probably doing so because they Know it's value, and that value is greater than the cost of them getting the data.

    How about the port forwarding a customer of mine had for RDP, FTP, SMTP, HTTP, and HTTPS to their exchange server? Sounds like an easy target.... Makes sense why I saw 10,000 sessions coming from Russia and Poland IP's through their router to the exchange server.



  • @quicky2g said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @anonymous said:

    The funny thing is someone would that it has value, because of all the work you put into protecting it 🙂

    While some people might think that because of your extreme protections it has value, the reality is that most hackers won't bother - they will move on to easier targets.

    Those who would be willing to go to nearly any length are probably doing so because they Know it's value, and that value is greater than the cost of them getting the data.

    How about the port forwarding a customer of mine had for RDP, FTP, SMTP, HTTP, and HTTPS to their exchange server? Sounds like an easy target.... Makes sense why I saw 10,000 sessions coming from Russia and Poland IP's through their router to the exchange server.

    cough it got hacked cough



  • @anonymous said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    Well think about building a lab. You want a storage device, jump box and logging kind of at a minimum. That's three.

    I don't have a storage device or logging yet. What do you recommend? And what do you mean by a storage device? Like for shared /home?

    I do so much with syslog at home it's ridiculous. syslog-ng to MySQL database with custom written PHP front-end. Works like a charm. Have been using it for a few customers too. 0 cost to me or my company and way better than all those crappy Kiwi imitators logging to a flat text file with minimal searching. Try logging 10 ASA's to Kiwi for a week then searching for inbound/outbound connections for a single IP....not going to happen.



  • @anonymous said:

    @dafyre How hard is it to install for a noob like me?

    @Lakshmana set it up.



  • @quicky2g said:

    @anonymous said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    Well think about building a lab. You want a storage device, jump box and logging kind of at a minimum. That's three.

    I don't have a storage device or logging yet. What do you recommend? And what do you mean by a storage device? Like for shared /home?

    I do so much with syslog at home it's ridiculous. syslog-ng to MySQL database with custom written PHP front-end. Works like a charm. Have been using it for a few customers too. 0 cost to me or my company and way better than all those crappy Kiwi imitators logging to a flat text file with minimal searching. Try logging 10 ASA's to Kiwi for a week then searching for inbound/outbound connections for a single IP....not going to happen.

    Yeah, can't imagine ever using Kiwi. What made you decide to not use ELK but to write something custom?


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