Sysctl.conf hardening

The purpose of syctl hardening is to help prevent spoofing and dos attacks. This short guide will show what I have found to be a good configuration for the sysctl.conf configuration file. The most important of the variables listed below is the enabling of syn cookie protection. Only place the bottom two if you do not want your server to respond to ICMP echo, commonly referred to as ICMP ping or just ping requests.

Open /etc/sysctl.conf for editing in your favorite text editor:

pico -w /etc/sysctl.conf

And simply copy/paste this into the file replacing any existing values:

#Kernel sysctl configuration file for Red Hat Linux
#
# For binary values, 0 is disabled, 1 is enabled. See sysctl(8) and
# sysctl.conf(5) for more details.

# Disables packet forwarding
net.ipv4.ip_forward=0

# Disables IP source routing
net.ipv4.conf.all.accept_source_route = 0
net.ipv4.conf.lo.accept_source_route = 0
net.ipv4.conf.eth0.accept_source_route = 0
net.ipv4.conf.default.accept_source_route = 0

# Enable IP spoofing protection, turn on source route verification
net.ipv4.conf.all.rp_filter = 1
net.ipv4.conf.lo.rp_filter = 1
net.ipv4.conf.eth0.rp_filter = 1
net.ipv4.conf.default.rp_filter = 1

# Disable ICMP Redirect Acceptance
net.ipv4.conf.all.accept_redirects = 0
net.ipv4.conf.lo.accept_redirects = 0
net.ipv4.conf.eth0.accept_redirects = 0
net.ipv4.conf.default.accept_redirects = 0

# Enable Log Spoofed Packets, Source Routed Packets, Redirect Packets
net.ipv4.conf.all.log_martians = 0
net.ipv4.conf.lo.log_martians = 0
net.ipv4.conf.eth0.log_martians = 0

# Disables IP source routing
net.ipv4.conf.all.accept_source_route = 0
net.ipv4.conf.lo.accept_source_route = 0
net.ipv4.conf.eth0.accept_source_route = 0
net.ipv4.conf.default.accept_source_route = 0

# Enable IP spoofing protection, turn on source route verification
net.ipv4.conf.all.rp_filter = 1
net.ipv4.conf.lo.rp_filter = 1
net.ipv4.conf.eth0.rp_filter = 1
net.ipv4.conf.default.rp_filter = 1

# Disable ICMP Redirect Acceptance
net.ipv4.conf.all.accept_redirects = 0
net.ipv4.conf.lo.accept_redirects = 0
net.ipv4.conf.eth0.accept_redirects = 0
net.ipv4.conf.default.accept_redirects = 0

# Disables the magic-sysrq key
kernel.sysrq = 0

# Decrease the time default value for tcp_fin_timeout connection
net.ipv4.tcp_fin_timeout = 15

# Decrease the time default value for tcp_keepalive_time connection
net.ipv4.tcp_keepalive_time = 1800

# Turn off the tcp_window_scaling
net.ipv4.tcp_window_scaling = 0

# Turn off the tcp_sack
net.ipv4.tcp_sack = 0

# Turn off the tcp_timestamps
net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps = 0

# Enable TCP SYN Cookie Protection
net.ipv4.tcp_syncookies = 1

# Enable ignoring broadcasts request
net.ipv4.icmp_echo_ignore_broadcasts = 1

# Enable bad error message Protection
net.ipv4.icmp_ignore_bogus_error_responses = 1

# Log Spoofed Packets, Source Routed Packets, Redirect Packets
net.ipv4.conf.all.log_martians = 1

# Increases the size of the socket queue (effectively, q0).
net.ipv4.tcp_max_syn_backlog = 1024

# Increase the tcp-time-wait buckets pool size
net.ipv4.tcp_max_tw_buckets = 1440000

# Allowed local port range
net.ipv4.ip_local_port_range = 16384 65536

After you make the changes to the file you need to run

/sbin/sysctl -p 

and

sysctl -w net.ipv4.route.flush=1

to enable the changes without a reboot.

Notes
– Make sure that eth0 is your primary interface. If it is not replace eth0 with eth1 in the code below.
– Make sure you have backup of your original syctl.conf file before making any changes
– These settings might be old (outdated) or wrong for your system setup. Use them at your own risk!

Links
– This article was taken from http://www.eth0.us/sysctl
– The rules were taken from: http://ipsysctl-tutorial.frozentux.net/ipsysctl-tutorial.html

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Tags: sysctl conf, accept_source_route, net ipv4 conf all rp_filter, sysctl hardening, net ipv4 conf default rp_filter, Sysctl confhardening|GeekTipsnTricks, sysctl conf hardening, sysctl log martians
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