Monday, October 31, 2016

Security auditing Oracle Linux with Lynis

When it comes to security it is good practice that you undertake auditing yourself. A large set of tools are available to do auditing on Linux systems. When running Oracle Linux and you have an Oracle oriented IT footprint you most likely have Oracle Enterprise Manager running within the overall IT footprint. It is good practice to ensure that the security compliancy framework is activated for all your Oracle Linux systems. This will ensure that  the security checks are done constantly and Oracle Enterprise Manager will inform you when something is configured incorrect. However, sometimes you want a second opinion and a second check on security.

One of the tools that is available as opensource is Lynis, provided by a company called CISOFY. Lynis is an open source security auditing tool. Used by system administrators, security professionals, and auditors, to evaluate the security defenses of their Linux and UNIX-based systems. It runs on the host itself, so it performs more extensive security scans than vulnerability scanners.

Installing Lynis:
The installation of Lynis is extremely easy, the code is available on github and can be retrieved with a git clone command as shown below:

[root@testbox09 tmp]#
[root@testbox09 tmp]# git clone
Initialized empty Git repository in /tmp/lynis/.git/
remote: Counting objects: 7092, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (125/125), done.
remote: Total 7092 (delta 75), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 6967
Receiving objects: 100% (7092/7092), 3.26 MiB | 1.99 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (5159/5159), done.
[root@testbox09 tmp]#
[root@testbox09 tmp]#

As soon as you have the Lynis code on your Oracle Linux instance it can be used.

Running Lynis:
To start the standard Lynis auditing run you can run the below command in the location you have downloaded the Lynis code from Github:

./lynis audit system -Q

This will result in an onscreen result however, the result is also stored in /var/log where the following files will be stored:

  • Test and debug information stored in /var/log/lynis.log
  • Report data stored in/var/log/lynis-report.dat

Below is an example of a Lynis run:
If you need a fast additional check to security auditing, Lynis, next to some other available tools, is a great starting point to see what best fits your need.

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