Home > Articles > Operating Systems, Server > Linux/UNIX/Open Source

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

FTP Security Issues

FTP has a number of security drawbacks, but you can overcome them in some cases. You can restrict an individual Linux user’s access to non-anonymous FTP, and you can change the configuration to not display the FTP server’s software version information, but unfortunately, though very convenient, FTP logins and data transfers are not encrypted.

The /etc/vsftpd.ftpusers File

For added security, you may restrict FTP access to certain users by adding them to the list of users in the /etc/vsftpd.ftpusers file. The VSFTPD package creates this file with a number of entries for privileged users that normally shouldn’t have FTP access. As FTP doesn’t encrypt passwords, thereby increasing the risk of data or passwords being compromised, it is a good idea to let these entries remain and add new entries for additional security.

Anonymous Upload

If you want remote users to write data to your FTP server, then you should create a write-only directory within /var/ftp/pub. This will allow your users to upload but not access other files uploaded by other users. The commands you need are:

[root@bigboy tmp]# mkdir /var/ftp/pub/upload
[root@bigboy tmp]# chmod 722 /var/ftp/pub/upload

FTP Greeting Banner

Change the default greeting banner in the vsftpd.conf file to make it harder for malicious users to determine the type of system you have. The directive in this file is:

ftpd_banner= New Banner Here

Using SCP as Secure Alternative to FTP

One of the disadvantages of FTP is that it does not encrypt your username and password. This could make your user account vulnerable to an unauthorized attack from a person eavesdropping on the network connection. Secure Copy (SCP) and Secure FTP (SFTP) provide encryption and could be considered as an alternative to FTP for trusted users. SCP does not support anonymous services, however, a feature that FTP does support.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account