Linux webhosting Question...

  Gaz 25 19:35 06 Dec 2004


I'm attempting to try out linux for webhosting, I'll be using Mandrake 10 for this as RedHat is currently not available for free download.

I stress that this will not be used publicly for long periods of time, it's part of a couse I'm doing.

I know how to install apache, php and mysql but the problem is: Securing it.

How can I ensure that rootkits cannot be installed?

Whats the best *nix antivirus?

And, how best set the perms and CHMOD or user groups in Mandrake for apache to run smoothly?

If you can refer to any articles/books/websites that would be great! I've heard of Bastile, that's supposed to secure it up.

Also, can you help me with ProFTPd, I can't get it to work at all, the user perms don't work correctly and the user root is always bash folder, and if I change it I get access denied.

Confused there, and the config isn't easy either. Is there any *nix software other than the expensive Cpanel that can help me control this?

Thanks in advance,

  Taran 22:00 06 Dec 2004

Get your hands on a copy of 'Hardening Apache' by Tony Mobily click here

It's the only title I'd suggest being worth the money to buy and the time to read.

It's been a while since I last fooled with Mandrake. One of the things you have to keep in mind is that although there are common areas between distributions, there are also some very real peculiarities between some of them.

You've asked some huge questions in one, so here are some ideas for you:


Most rootkits mimic the creation dates and file sizes of the original system binaries. Rather cleverly (you have to admit) they do this while replacing them with infected versions.

Sysadmins sometimes calculate the cryptographic checksums of vital files and store this information in a safe location, such as on a CD which cannot be overwritten.

The best way to lock things down without going into a huge and very boring discussion of the various possibilities involved is to use Tripwire click here

Tripwire automates the process of checking file checksums and has lots of options for live monitoring, alerts and so on.

Antivirus software:

NOD32 is my overall favourite for all platforms. F-Prot and F-Secure are worth a look. Any web search will return several worthy alternatives.

I don't understand your question on CHMOD for users/groups to 'allow Apache to run smoothly'. That's not how things work and a re-read of the documentation for both Apache and Mandrake should serve as a good starting point.


Not sure why you'd want to set this one up to begin with.

Would you mind letting me in on your course ?

No offense intended, but you seem to be wrestling with some of the more horrific aspects of server admin without as firm a grasp of the fundamentals as you might have. I hope that didn't come over as an intensional insult because that's not what it is meant to be. With a better grasp of some of the more basic elements of Linux web server configuration many of your questions would become redundant. As a lecturer I don't like the idea that you might be in at the deep end without sufficient preparation.

  Gaz 25 22:12 06 Dec 2004

As I said, this will never be released into the open and will only be used in a private LAN.

However, it must be secure.

I'm doing MCSE, Cisco and Security+, Network+, Unix/Linux qualification.

Some of the modules are based upson server administration, we are also learning about security in the Security +, but not primarily on Unix server, just Unix or *nix in general and apache is not covered whereas ISS is.


  Gaz 25 23:00 07 Dec 2004

In your opinion (having experiance in webservers for a longer time than myself) is the best firewall for use on a Windows server?

I have been looking at Kerio Server Firewall, but IMHO it's majorly expensive for a single server.


  Forum Editor 01:39 08 Dec 2004

If you are looking for a gateway firewall that sits between your Internet connection and other servers you need a hardware firewall appliance such as a SonicWall SOHO3
click here you're just interested in protecting your IIS installation, take a look at SecureIIS
click here or Entercept by McAfee
click here

  Gaz 25 10:55 08 Dec 2004

Thanks, I am already running a corporate defence hardware firewall, and because I'm running apache, I need a windows firewall such as KeroServerFirewall but at not such an extreame cost.

Agnitum or Symantec seem to make good alternatives, but they don't include application hardening like Kerio's expensive firewall.

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