Recently, I took a look at Lynis, an open source system and security auditing tool. The tool is a local scanning tool for Linux and is pretty popular.
Here is the description from their site:
Lynis is an auditing tool for Unix/Linux. It performs a security scan and determines the hardening state of the machine. Any detected security issues will be provided in the form of a suggestion or warning. Beside security related information it will also scan for general system information, installed packages and possible configuration errors.
This software aims in assisting automated auditing, hardening, software patch management, vulnerability and malware scanning of Unix/Linux based systems. It can be run without prior installation, so inclusion on read only storage is possible (USB stick, cd/dvd).
Lynis assists auditors in performing Basel II, GLBA, HIPAA, PCI DSS and SOx (Sarbanes-Oxley) compliance audits.
Security specialists, penetration testers, system auditors, system/network managers.
Examples of audit tests:
– Available authentication methods
– Expired SSL certificates
– Outdated software
– User accounts without password
– Incorrect file permissions
– Configuration errors
– Firewall auditing
As you can see, it has a wide range of capabilities. It is a pretty handy tool and the reporting is pretty basic, but very useful.
Our testing went well, and overall, we were pleased at the level of detail the tool provides. We wouldn’t use it as our only Linux auditing tool, but is a very handy tool for the toolbox. The runs were of adequate speed and when we tweaked out the configs with common errors, the tool was quick to flag them.
Overall, we would give it a “not too shabby”. 🙂 The advice is still a bit technical for basic users, but then, do you want basic users administering a production box anyway? For true admins, the tool is perfectly adequate at telling them what to do and how to go about doing it, when it comes to hardening their systems.
Give Lynis a try and let me know what you think. You can give me feedback, kudos or insults on Twitter (@lbhuston). As always, thanks for reading!