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Re: [PATCH 0/5] Build time disabling of auditd network listener

On 2012-09-11 09:12:25, Steve Grubb wrote:
> On Monday, September 10, 2012 11:39:10 AM Tyler Hicks wrote:
> > On 2012-08-01 00:00:19, Tyler Hicks wrote:
> > > Hello Steve - This is a patch set that allows --disable-listener to be
> > > passed to the configure script to disable the auditd network listener
> > > code at build time. The reasoning is that a large number of users do not
> > > need centralized audit logging and removing the network listening code
> > > from a root-owned auditd process is appealing from a security
> > > perspective.
> My thoughts are that if  tcp_listen_port is not set up, the callback is not 
> registered and none of the networking code comes into play. By configuration, 
> admins are able to reduce the attack surface. The real effect of the patch is 
> that it reduces binary image size.

I still see this as more than just reducing binary image size. I agree
about the tcp_listen_port configuration option, but eliminating
potential misconfiguration issues by removing the lesser used networking
code is a security win. 

> > > The existing implementation clearly does not initialize the listener when
> > > tcp_listen_port is undefined in auditd.conf, but I still think there is
> > > value in not having the listening code present in all auditd
> > > installations.
> > Hi Steve - Do you have any thoughts on this idea? Thanks!
> I was getting to this patch set. Are you planning to turn off networking for 
> Ubuntu? Just curious if the patch is going to be used rather than just be an 
> academic exercise. :-)   I don't see us turning it off any time soon.

Yes, we plan to use the patch. The idea is to have two auditd binary
packages - auditd and auditd-base (package names aren't set in stone at
this point). The auditd package would be the fully functional daemon,
with network listener support, and auditd-base would be built with
--disable-listener to provide a daemon with less of an attack surface.

The auditd-base package would promoted to "Main" and we'd encourage the
majority of users to use it, rather than auditd.


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