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Securing Sun Cluster 3.0 Nodes

Building a secure system requires that entry points into the system be limited and restricted, in addition to limiting how authorized users obtain privileges. To effectively secure each node in a cluster, you must make changes to the Solaris OE software running on each node.

Properly securing the Sun Cluster 3.0 nodes requires the following:

  • "Installing Solaris OE and Sun Cluster Software"

  • "Adding Security Software"

  • "Installing Downloaded Software and Implementing Modifications"

Installing Solaris OE and Sun Cluster Software

At this point in the process, we assume that you have installed the appropriate Solaris OE, Solaris OE cluster on the cluster nodes, and the Sun Cluster 3.0 software. Also, we assume that you have configured the software.


Only continue on to installing the security software if the cluster is installed and running with the appropriate agents. (Refer to "Supported Agents" on page 4.)

Adding Security Software

The next stage in hardening Sun Cluster 3.0 nodes requires downloading and installing additional software security packages. This section covers the following tasks:

  • "To Install Solaris Security Toolkit Software"

  • "To Download Recommended and Security Patch Software"

  • "To Download FixModes Software"

  • "To Download OpenSSH Software"

  • "To Download MD5 Software"


Of the software described in this section, the Solaris Security Toolkit, Recommended and Security Patch Cluster, FixModes, and MD5 software are required. The use of OpenSSH, while strongly recommended, is not required. Instead of OpenSSH, you can substitute a commercial version of SSH, available from a variety of vendors. You must install an SSH product on the cluster nodes.

To Install Solaris Security Toolkit Software

The Solaris Security Toolkit version 0.3.6 software must be downloaded first, then installed on each of the nodes. Later, you'll use the Solaris Security Toolkit to automate installing other security software and implementing the Solaris OE modifications for hardening the system.

The primary function of the Solaris Security Toolkit software is to automate and simplify building secured Solaris OE systems based on the recommendations contained in this and other security-related Sun BluePrints OnLine articles.


The following instructions use filenames that are correct only for version 0.3.6 of the Solaris Security Toolkit software.

  1. Download the source file (SUNWjass-0.3.6.pkg.Z) from the following web site:

  2. Extract the source file into a directory on the server using the uncompress command:

    # uncompress SUNWjass-0.3.6.pkg.Z
  3. Install the Solaris Security Toolkit software on the server using the pkgadd command:

    # pkgadd -d SUNWjass-0.3.6.pkg SUNWjass

Executing this command creates the SUNWjass subdirectory in /opt. This subdirectory contains all Solaris Security Toolkit software directories and associated files. The script make-jass-pkg, included in Solaris Security Toolkit software releases since version 0.3, allows administrators to create custom packages using a different installation directory.

To Download Recommended and Security Patch Software

Patches are regularly released by Sun to provide Solaris OE fixes for performance, stability, functionality, and security. It is critical to the security of a system that the most up-to-date patch is installed. To ensure that the latest Solaris OE Recommended and Security Patch is installed, this section describes how to download the latest patch cluster and store them uncompressed in the /opt/SUNWjass/Patches directory on each node.

Downloading the latest patch cluster does not require a SunSolveSM program support contract.


Apply standard best practices to all patch installations. Before installing any patches, evaluate and test them on non-production systems or during scheduled maintenance windows.

  1. Download the latest patch from the SunSolve OnlineSM web site at:

  2. Click on the "Patches" link, at the top of the left navigation bar.

  3. Select the appropriate Solaris OE version in the Recommended Solaris Patch Clusters box.

    In our example, we select Solaris 8 OE.

  4. Select the best download option, either HTTP or FTP, with the associated radio button, then click Go.

    A Save As dialog box is displayed in your browser window.

  5. Save the file locally.

  6. Move the file securely to the node being hardened using the scp SSH command, the sftp SSH command, or the ftp command (if SSH is not yet installed).

    The scp command used to copy the file to a domain called scnode01 should appear similar to the following:

    % scp 8_Recommended.zip scnode01:/var/tmp
  7. Move the file to the /opt/SUNWjass/Patches directory and uncompress it.

    The following commands perform these tasks:

    # cd /opt/SUNWjass/Patches
    # mv /var/tmp/8_Recommended.zip .
    # unzip 8_Recommended.zip
    Archive: 8_Recommended.zip
      creating: 8_Recommended/
     inflating: 8_Recommended/CLUSTER_README 
     inflating: 8_Recommended/copyright 
     inflating: 8_Recommended/install_cluster 
    [. . .]

Later, using the Solaris Security Toolkit software, you'll install the patch after downloading all the other security packages.


If you do not place the Recommended and Security Patches software into the /opt/SUNWjass/Patches directory, a warning message displays when you execute the Solaris Security Toolkit software.

To Download FixModes Software

FixModes is a software package that tightens the default Solaris OE directory and file permissions. Tightening these permissions can significantly improve overall security. More restrictive permissions make it even more difficult for malicious users to gain privileges on a system.

  1. Download the FixModes precompiled binaries from:


    The FixModes software is distributed as a precompiled and compressed tar file formatted for SPARC_ based systems. The file name is FixModes.tar.Z.

  2. Save the file, FixModes.tar.Z, in the Solaris Security Toolkit software Packages directory in /opt/SUNWjass/Packages.


    Leave the file in its compressed state.

Later, using the Solaris Security Toolkit software, you'll install the FixModes software after downloading all the other security packages.

To Download OpenSSH Software

In any secured environment, the use of encryption in combination with strong authentication is required to protect user-interactive sessions. At a minimum, user interactive sessions must be encrypted.

The tool most commonly used to implement encryption SSH software, whether a commercial or open source (freeware) version. To implement all the security modifications performed by the Solaris Security Toolkit software and recommended in this article, you must implement a SSH software product.

The Solaris Security Toolkit software disables all non-encrypted user-interactive services and daemons on the system, in particular daemons such as in.rshd, in.telnetd, and in.ftpd. Access to the system can be gained with SSH similarly to what is provided by RSH, Telnet, and FTP.


If you choose to use an SSH product other than OpenSSH, install and configure it before or during a Solaris Security Toolkit run.

  • Obtain the following online article and use the instructions in the article for downloading the software.

    A Sun BluePrints OnLine article about how to compile and deploy OpenSSH titled Building and Deploying OpenSSH on the Solaris Operating Environment is available at:


    Later, using the Solaris Security Toolkit software, you'll install the OpenSSH software after downloading all the other security packages.


    Do not compile OpenSSH on the cluster nodes and do not install the compilers on the cluster. Use a separate Solaris OE system—running the same Solaris OE version, architecture, and mode (for example, Solaris 8 OE, sun4u, and 64-bit)—to compile OpenSSH. If you implement a commercial version of SSH, then no compiling is required.

To Download MD5 Software

The MD5 software validates MD5 digital fingerprints on the cluster. Validating the integrity of Solaris OE binaries provides a robust mechanism to detect system binaries that are altered or trojaned (hidden inside something that appears safe) by unauthorized users. By modifying system binaries, attackers provide themselves with back-door access onto a system; they hide their presence and cause systems to operate in unstable manners.

To install the MD5 program (Intel and SPARC architectures), follow these steps:

  1. Download the MD5 binaries from:


    The MD5 programs are distributed as a compressed tar file.

  2. Save the downloaded file, md5.tar.Z, to the Solaris Security Toolkit Packages directory in:



    Do not uncompress the tar archive.

    After the MD5 software has been saved to the /opt/SUNWjass/Packages directory, it is installed during the execution of the Solaris Security Toolkit software.

    After the MD5 binaries are installed, you can use them to verify the integrity of executables on the system through the Solaris Fingerprint Database. More information on the Solaris Fingerprint Database is available in the Sun BluePrints OnLine article titled The Solaris™ Fingerprint Database - A Security Tool for Solaris Software and Files:

  3. (Optional) Download and install Solaris Fingerprint Database Companion and Solaris Fingerprint Database Sidekick software from the SunSolve Online web site at:


    We strongly recommend that you install these optional tools and use them with the MD5 software. These tools simplify the process of validating system binaries against the database of MD5 checksums. Use these tools frequently to validate the integrity of the Solaris OE binaries and files on the cluster nodes.

    These tools are described in the same The Solaris™ Fingerprint Database - A Security Tool for Solaris Software and Files article mentioned previously.

  4. Installing Downloaded Software and Implementing Modifications

    Now that all software is downloaded and added to the correct directories, each of the Solaris OE images running on each of the Sun Cluster 3.0 nodes can be secured.

    The Solaris Security Toolkit version 0.3.6 provides a driver (suncluster30u3-secure.driver) for automating the installation of security software and Solaris OE modifications. The driver for the cluster nodes performs the following tasks:

    • Installs and executes the FixModes software to tighten filesystem permissions

    • Installs the MD5 software

    • Installs the Recommended and Security Patch software

    • Implements over 80 Solaris OE security modifications


      During the installation and modifications implemented in this section, all non-encrypted access mechanisms to the nodes—such as Telnet, RSH, and FTP—are disabled. The hardening steps do not disable console serial access over serial ports.


      Harden only one cluster node at a time. Before hardening the next node, verify that the hardened configuration functions properly in your environment.

    To Install Downloaded Software and Implement Modifications

    1. Disable the failover mode before hardening a node.

    2. On one node only, execute the suncluster30u3-secure.driver script as follows:

      # cd /opt/SUNWjass
      # ./jass-execute -d suncluster30u3-secure.driver
      ./jass-execute: NOTICE: Executing driver, 
      suncluster30u3-secure.driver: Driver started.

      By executing the suncluster30u3-secure.driver script, all of the security modifications included in the script are made on the system. The current release of this driver includes over 80 security modifications to the Solaris OE image running on each node of the cluster.


      The suncluster30u3-secure.driver automatically executes the FixModes program, which must be downloaded and filed in the correct directory as described previously, to tighten file system permissions on the system.

      When the Solaris Security Toolkit program executes the FixModes program, the following warning messages are displayed:

      Installing 'fix-modes' into ///opt/FixModes
      Executing 'fix-modes' from ///opt/FixModes.
      secure-modes: WARNING: Can't find required uid/gid smmsp
      secure-modes: WARNING: Can't find required uid/gid smmsp

      These are known warning messages from FixModes that can be safely ignored.

      To view the contents of the driver file and obtain information about the Solaris OE modifications, refer to the Solaris Security Toolkit documentation available either in the /opt/SUNWjass/Documentation directory or through the web at:


      For information about other scripts in the Solaris Security Toolkit software, refer to the Sun BluePrints OnLine article titled Solaris Security Toolkit - Internals: Updated for version 0.3.

    3. Verify that the node is hardened.

      Refer to "Verifying Node Hardening" on page 26 for procedure.

    4. Re-enable failover only after each node has been hardened, rebooted, and tested.

      This task keeps the cluster software from failing over to a hardened node before it has been fully hardened and before the hardened configuration has been validated.

    5. If you want to see the results of the run, review the run directory in /var/opt/SUNWjass/run.

      Each Solaris Security Toolkit software run creates a run directory in /var/opt/SUNWjass/run. The names of these directories are based on the date and time the run is initiated. In addition to displaying the output to the console, the Solaris Security Toolkit software creates a log file in the /var/opt/SUNWjass/run directory.


      Do not modify the contents of the /var/opt/SUNWjass/run directories under any circumstances. Modifying the files can corrupt the contents and cause unexpected errors when you use Solaris Security Toolkit software features such as undo.

      The files stored in the /var/opt/SUNWjass/run directory track modifications performed on the system and enable the jass-execute undo feature. You can undo a run, or series of runs, with the jass-execute -u command. For example, on a system where two separate Solaris Security Toolkit runs are performed, you could undo them by using the following command:

      # pwd
      # ./jass-execute -u
      Please select from one of these backups to restore to
      1. September 25, 2001 at 06:28:12 (/var/opt/SUNWjass/run/20010925062812)
      2. April 10, 2001 at 19:04:36 (/var/opt/SUNWjass/run/20010410190436)
      3. Restore from all of them
      Choice? 3
      ./jass-execute: NOTICE: Restoring to previous run 
      undo.driver: Driver started.

      Refer to the Solaris Security Toolkit documentation for details on the capabilities and options available in the jass-execute command.

    Sample Results

    Based on our qualified configuration, we see the following noncluster services remain running on a hardened node:

    # ps -ef | grep -v cluster
    root 0   0  0 Oct 25 ? 0:01 sched
    root 1   0  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /etc/init -
    root 2   0  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 pageout
    root 3   0  0 Oct 25 ? 4:41 fsflush
    root 466  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/lib/saf/sac -t 300
    root 65  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:01 /usr/lib/sysevent/syseventd
    root 67  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/lib/sysevent/syseventconfd
    root 77  1  0 Oct 25 ? 8:22 devfsadmd
    root 265 1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/lib/netsvc/yp/ypbind /                  
    root 252    0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/sbin/rpcbind
    root 167  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/sbin/in.rdisc -s
    root 469  466 0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/lib/saf/ttymon
    root 255  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/sbin/keyserv -d
    root 394  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/lib/utmpd
    root 274  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/sbin/inetd -s -t
    root 318  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/lib/inet/xntpd
    root 285  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/sbin/syslogd -t
    root 327  274 0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 rpc.metad
    root 396  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/sbin/nscd
    root 373  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/sbin/cron
    root 391  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/sbin/vold
    root 470  1  0 Oct 25 ? 0:00 /usr/lib/sendmail -q15m
    root 1060 1  0 13:54:45 ? 0:00 /opt/OBSDssh/sbin/prngd \                 
         --cmdfile /etc/prngd.conf \                   
         -seedfile /var/spool/prngd/p
    root 1086 1   1 13:55:00 ? 0:00 /opt/OBSDssh/sbin/sshd

    The preceding listing of services may not exactly match your environment. We made several configuration modifications on this node after the operating system was installed. These modifications include the configuration of xntp and NIS, and the installation of OpenSSH.

    The following output was generated by Nmap, a popular freeware security scanning tool:

    # nmap -p 1-65535
    Starting nmap V. 2.53 by fyodor@insecure.org 
    (http://www.insecure.org/nmap/ )
    Port    State    Service
    22/tcp   open    ssh           
    111/tcp  open    sunrpc         
    8059/tcp  open    unknown         
    8060/tcp  open    unknown         
    32785/tcp open    unknown         
    32786/tcp open    sometimes-rpc25     
    32787/tcp open    sometimes-rpc27     
    32788/tcp open    unknown         
    32789/tcp open    unknown         
    32790/tcp open    unknown         
    32791/tcp open    unknown         
    32804/tcp open    unknown         
    32806/tcp open    unknown         
    32811/tcp open    unknown         
    32821/tcp open    unknown         
    Nmap run completed -- 1 IP address (1 host up) 
    scanned in 211 seconds

    Ports 8059 and 8060 are Sun Cluster 3.0 software-specific ports that accept only connections from other cluster nodes. When a connection request from a noncluster node is received, the following message is logged to syslog:

    Oct 30 14:00:52 phys-sps-1 cl_runtime: WARNING: Received a connect request from a node not configured in the cluster. Nodeid 0 ipaddr 0x8194b556


    Monitor log files for these types of messages so that appropriate action can be taken when unauthorized access attempts are made against a cluster.

    Cluster nodes are added based on the authentication method defined in the Sun Cluster 3.0 software configuration. We recommend that you use the strongest possible method of authentication. The available options are described in "Node Authentication Options" on page 14.

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