The Mega Guide to Hardening and Securing CentOS 7 – Part 2

Continuing the previous tutorial on how to secure CentOS 7, in this article we’ll discuss other security tips that will be presented on the below checklist. Requirements The Mega Guide To Harden and Secure...

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Continuing the previous tutorial on how to secure CentOS 7, in this article we’ll discuss other security tips that will be presented on the below checklist.

Hardening and Securing of CentOS 7 Server

Hardening and Securing of CentOS 7 Server


  1. The Mega Guide To Harden and Secure CentOS 7 – Part 1

21. Disable Useless SUID and SGID Commands

If the setuid and setgid bits are set on binary programs, these commands can run tasks with other user or group rights, such as root privileges which can expose seriously security issues.

Often, buffer overrun attacks can exploit such executables binaries to run unauthorized code with the rights of a root power user.

# find / -path /proc -prune -o -type f \( -perm -4000 -o -perm -2000 \) -exec ls -l {} \;

To unset the setuid bit execute the below command:

# chmod u-s /path/to/binary_file

To unset the setgid bit run the below command:

# chmod g-s /path/to/binary_file

22. Check for Unowned Files and Directories

Files or directories not owned by a valid account must be deleted or assigned with permissions from a user and group.

Issue the below command to list files or directories with no user and group.

# find / -nouser -o -nogroup -exec ls -l {} \;

23. List World-Writeable Files

Keeping word-writable file on the system can be dangerous due to the fact that anyone can modify them. Execute the below command in order to display word-writeable files, except Symlinks, which are always world-writeable.

# find / -path /proc -prune -o -perm -2 ! -type l –ls

24. Create Strong Passwords

Create a password of minimum of eight characters. The password must contain digits, special characters and uppercase letters. Use pwmake to generate a password of 128 bits from /dev/urandom file.

# pwmake 128

25. Apply Strong Password Policy

Force the system to use strong passwords by adding the below line in /etc/pam.d/passwd file.

password required retry=3

Adding the above line, the password entered cannot contain more than 3 characters in a monotonic sequence, such as abcd, and more than 3 identical consecutive characters, such as 1111.

To force users to use a password with a minimum length of 8 characters, including all classes of characters, strength-check for character sequences and consecutive characters add the following lines to the /etc/security/pwquality.conf file.

minlen = 8
minclass = 4
maxsequence = 3
maxrepeat = 3
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