Adding an Endace card to Symantec’s DLP

I decided to publish this hack as I could not find an iota of information about getting an Endace card working With Symantec’s DLP (previously Vontu) on RedHat.

After you’ve installed the module for your Endace card, you recycle your sensor and are confronted with the following error message:

Endace DAG driver is not available
Packet Capture was unable to activate Endace device support. Please see PacketCapture.log for more information.

A look at /var/log/Vontu/debug/PacketCapture.log yields:

ERROR PacketDriverFactory - Driver Dag is unavailable: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory [PacketDriverFactory.cpp(423)]

do an


You will notice you just compiled a version more recent than As it turns out, Symantec DLP v11.0 does NOT know how to use the generic nor the latest you just compiled. I’ve tried many tricks mostly with symlinks and I just couldn’t get it to use

Hold on to your pants as I explain the unholy hack that made it work:

edit /opt/Vontu/Protect/lib/native/ , this is a binary file so using a hex editor is a good idea although vi works fine. Also, do respect placement very carefully, you will be changing 1 character and 1 character only.

search for and replace its 3 by a 4.

Recycle your server again and it should be happy about life ūüôā

2-factor authentication & writing PAM modules for Ubuntu



The problem

Passwords are often seen as a weak link in the security of today’s I.T. infrastructures. And justifiably so:

  • re-usability, which we’re all guilty of, guarantees that credentials compromised on a system can be leveraged on many others. And given the world we live in, password re-use is inevitable, we just have too many accounts in too many places.
  • plain text protocols are still used to transmit credentials, and the result is that they are exposed to network sniffing. This is worsened by the increase in wireless usage which broadcasts information. Telnet, FTP, HTTP come to mind but they aren’t the only ones.
  • lack of encryption on storage is a flaw that too often makes it way into architecture design. How many databases have we heard about getting hacked & dumped? How many have we not heard about?
  • password simplicity & patterns are also factors weakening us against bruteforce attacks.

So far, the main counter measure we’ve see out there is complexity enforcement. Sometimes IP restriction, or triggering warnings on geographic inconsistencies (Gmail, Facebook). But these barely help alleviate problem.

A solution

One hot solution that is making its way into critical systems (banks, sensitive servers) is Multi-factor authentication, and by “multi” we’ll stick to 2-factor authentication (2FA) because, well 3 factor authentication might be getting a little cumbersome :). The goal is to have more than one mean of establishing identity. And as much as possible, the means have to be distinct in order to reduce the chances of having both mechanisms compromised.

Let’s see how to implement 2FA on an Ubuntu server for SSH. Ubuntu uses PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules) for SSH authentication among other things. PAM’s name speaks for itself, it’s comprised of many modules that can be added or removed as necessary. And it is pretty easy to write your own module and add it to SSH authentication. After PAM is done with the regular password authentication it already does for SSH, we’ll get it to send an email/SMS with a randomly generated code valid only for this authentication. The user will need access to email/cell phone on top of valid credentials to get in.


Let’s do an ls on /lib/security, this is where the pam modules reside in Ubuntu.

Let’s go ahead and create our custom module. First, be very careful, we’re messing with authentication and you risk locking yourself out. A good idea is to keep a couple of sessions open just in case. Go ahead and download the source for our new module.

Take a look at the code, you’ll see that PAM expect things to be laid out in a certain way. That’s fine, all we care about is where to write our custom code. In our case it starts at line 35. As you can see, the module takes 2 parameters, a URL and the size of the code to generate. The URL will be called and passed a code & username. It is this web service that will be in charge of dispatching the code to the user. This step could be done in the module itself but here we have in mind a centrally managed service in charge of dispatching codes to multiple users.

Deploying the code is done as follows:

gcc -fPIC -lcurl -c 2ndfactor.c
ld -lcurl -x --shared -o /lib/security/ 2ndfactor.o

If you got errors, you probably need to first:

apt-get update
apt-get install build-essential libpam0g-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev

Do an ls on /lib/security again and you should see our new module, yay!

Now let’s edit /etc/pam.d/sshd, this is the file that describes which PAM modules take care of ssh authentication, account & session handling. But we only care about authentication here. The top of the file looks like:

# PAM configuration for the Secure Shell service

# Read environment variables from /etc/environment and
# /etc/security/pam_env.conf.
auth       required # [1]
# In Debian 4.0 (etch), locale-related environment variables were moved to
# /etc/default/locale, so read that as well.
auth       required envfile=/etc/default/locale

# Standard Un*x authentication.
@include common-auth

The common-auth is probably what takes care of the regular password prompt so we’ll add our module call after this line as such:

auth       required base_url= code_size=5

The line is pretty self descriptive: this is an authentication module that is required (not optional), here’s its name and the parameters to give it.

send_code.php can be as simple as:

<?php mail( "{$_GET['username']}", "{$_GET['code']}" ) ; ?>

Or a complex as you can make it for a managed, multi-user, multi-server environment.

Lastly, edit /etc/ssd/sshd_config and change ChallengeResponseAuthentication to yes. Do a quick

/etc/init.d/ssh restart

for the change to take effect.

That’s it! try and ssh in, the code will be dispatched and you will be prompted for it after the usual password. This was tested on Ubuntu 10.04 32b / Ubuntu 10.04.2 64b / Ubuntu 11.04 64b / Ubuntu 12.04 64b.

A few disadvantages of this 2FA implementation worth mentioning
  • more steps required to get in
  • doesn’t support non TTY based applications
  • relying on external services (web service, message delivery), thus adding points of failure. Implementing a fail-safe is to be considered.
  • SSH handles key authentication on its own, meaning a successful key auth does not go through PAM and thus does not get a chance to do the 2nd factor. You might want to disable key authentication in sshd’s config.

Tripwiring your linux box

Privilege escalation, trojan’ed SSH daemons, key loggers… While the focus is still mostly on MS platforms, Unix boxes aren’t free of exploits. As they are made popular by Macs and ever more approachable distributions like Ubuntu, they become more of a focus. The large share of the server market they represent is a considerable source of information that is mouth-watering to hackers.

A good tool in the fight against ever evolving malware is Tripwire (the open source version cause we’re cheap). It takes the signature of key files on your systems (configuration, binaries) and checks them regularly for changes. Its major strength is the fact that no matter what exploit was used to compromise a certain binary, if this binary is infected, tripwire will go off. Modern antivirus softwares look for specific signatures of known infections, and there are so many of them that they only look for the ones that are thought to be in the wild at any given time. They also are in reactive mode against 0days and usually take a few days to adjust. Their behavioral analysis methods are based on heuristics and generate too many false positives to be worthwhile.

Tripwire doesn’t care what the infection is, it just goes off if something changed. This is simple and efficient. Now it should only be one piece of a comprehensive security policy.

In this article we’ll look at getting it installed and going on Ubuntu in a matter of minutes. You’ll want to be root for all this.


First, get the package:

aptitude install tripwire

It’ll ask you for the passphrases used to secure itself.

You’ll end up with these config files in /etc/tripwire:


Edit /etc/tripwire/twpol.txt to define which areas to keep an eye on, a pretty ok default is provided but needs some tweaking for Ubuntu and personal preference. I’d publish mine but hey, that’d be pretty stupid. Just keep in mind that you can use an exclamation mark “!” to negate a line, let’s say you want it to look at /etc but not /etc/shadow (user will want to change passwords in most cases) you’ll have a rule that looks like that:

/etc        -> $(SEC_BIN) ;
! /etc/passwd ;


When you’re done, run:

twadmin --create-polfile -S /etc/tripwire/site.key /etc/tripwire/twpol.txt

This will create the secured policy file based on the text file you just edited.


The config file (/etc/tripwire/twcfg.txt) can be edited too but the defaults are nice too. When done run:

twadmin --create-cfgfile -S /etc/tripwire/site.key /etc/tripwire/twcfg.txt

Again, this creates it secured equivalent.


Make sure that the created file are only readable/writable by root

chmod 600 /etc/tripwire/tw.cfg /etc/tripwire/tw.pol

Good practice dictates that you also should be removing plain text configuration files but you’ll want to keep them around for a little while, as you tweak your original config.


Finally, you can initialize the database with:

tripwire --init

What this does is take a snapshot of everything you’ve specified in the policy file. If any of it changes, you’ll be notified.


The following will run the check for changes manually.

tripwire --check

When you installed the package with aptitude, /etc/cron.daily/tripwire was automatically created to have this run everyday, root will received a mail report every day.


If you want to make a change to the base config:

edit /etc/tripwire/twpol.txt
twadmin --create-polfile -S /etc/tripwire/site.key /etc/tripwire/twpol.txt
tripwire --init

If you want to update the base config, for example to acknowledge changes that happened on the box:

tripwire --update --twrfile /var/lib/tripwire/report/<hostname>-<date>-<hour>.twr