Facebook Google Plus Twitter LinkedIn YouTube RSS Menu Search Resource - BlogResource - WebinarResource - ReportResource - Eventicons_066 icons_067icons_068icons_069icons_070

Detecting Manually Compiled Network Daemons

Nessus plugin #33851 (Network daemons not managed by the package system) is a credentialed check that audits each of the server processes on the audited Linux system. If the running process is not part of a known system package, the plugin reports that the program is the result of a hand-compiled solution. Below is a screen shot of the plugin detecting a hand compiled httpd program:


Reportsmaller

Why should you avoid manually compiled programs on production systems?

System administrators sometimes argue that they prefer to use manually compiled programs rather than use a packaged version coming either from their OS vendor or their internal organization, as it gives them a better control of every compilation option, gcc optimization, etc... or just because they will claim they need a “newer” version of the daemon than what is provided by the Linux distribution they are using.

While this approach can make sense for a server running at home, the practice does not scale for the enterprise. Unless this is properly documented, using hand-compiled packages very often ties a given server to the administrator who compiled it, making him much harder to replace or second, makes that IT organization much less scalable.

Hand-compiling programs on production systems frequently opens the way to more hand-compiled packages. Due to the complex interdependencies of several open-source packages, installing the newest version of, say, a popular wiki, might involve compiling the newest version of PHP, which in turn will require the newest version of mysql-client, which may require upgrading several underlying libraries. This leads to a situation where upgrading the entire operating system becomes a daunting task, since Linux does always not guarantee backward binary compatibility. This leads the way to running production systems with outdated software years after they have been declared as "end of life" by their publisher. A full upgrade will inevitably lead to conflicts, where the system-provided Apache web server might compete with the locally compiled web server for port 80.

Good system administration practices dictate that one should deviate as little as possible from the environment provided by the operating-system vendor. While this might be frustrating sometimes, this approach guarantees you that a full-time security team will correct the security flaws found in the packages you use, that a full-time QA team made sure that your upgrade will be as painless as possible and it makes it much easier for your system administrators to recreate their environment on a clean system (without having to resort to copying / from one Linux system to another).

Finally, on commercially supported Linux distributions, hand-compiling several key programs may nullify the support contract.

For More Blog Posts Regarding Patch Auditing

The following previous blog posts deal with patch auditing:

Subscribe to the Tenable Blog

Subscribe
Try for Free Buy Now

Try Tenable.io

FREE FOR 30 DAYS

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy. Sign up now.

Buy Tenable.io

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy. Purchase your annual subscription today.

65 assets

$2,275

Buy Now

Try for Free Buy Now

Try Nessus Professional Free

FREE FOR 7 DAYS

Nessus® is the most comprehensive vulnerability scanner on the market today. Nessus Professional will help automate the vulnerability scanning process, save time in your compliance cycles and allow you to engage your IT team.

Buy Nessus Professional

Nessus® is the most comprehensive vulnerability scanner on the market today. Nessus Professional will help automate the vulnerability scanning process, save time in your compliance cycles and allow you to engage your IT team.

Buy a multi-year license and save. Add Advanced Support for access to phone, email, community and chat support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Full details here.

Try for Free Buy Now

Try Tenable.io Web Application Scanning

FREE FOR 30 DAYS

Enjoy full access to our latest web application scanning offering designed for modern applications as part of the Tenable.io platform. Safely scan your entire online portfolio for vulnerabilities with a high degree of accuracy without heavy manual effort or disruption to critical web applications. Sign up now.

Buy Tenable.io Web Application Scanning

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy. Purchase your annual subscription today.

5 FQDNs

$3,578

Buy Now

Try for Free Contact Sales

Try Tenable.io Container Security

FREE FOR 30 DAYS

Enjoy full access to the only container security offering integrated into a vulnerability management platform. Monitor container images for vulnerabilities, malware and policy violations. Integrate with continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) systems to support DevOps practices, strengthen security and support enterprise policy compliance.

Buy Tenable.io Container Security

Tenable.io Container Security seamlessly and securely enables DevOps processes by providing visibility into the security of container images – including vulnerabilities, malware and policy violations – through integration with the build process.

Learn More about Industrial Security

Get a Demo of Tenable.sc

Please fill out the form below with your contact information and a sales representative will contact you shortly to schedule a demo. You may also include a short comment (limited to 255 characters). Please note that fields with asterisks (*) are mandatory.

Try for Free Contact Sales

Try Tenable Lumin

FREE FOR 30 DAYS

Visualize and explore your Cyber Exposure, track risk reduction over time and benchmark against your peers with Tenable Lumin.

Buy Tenable Lumin

Contact a Sales Representative to see how Lumin can help you gain insight across your entire organization and manage cyber risk.