Privilege escalation detection system for gnu/linux
Ninja is a privilege escalation detection and prevention system for GNU/Linux hosts. While running, it will monitor process activity on the local host, and keep track of all processes running as root. If a process is spawned with UID or GID zero (root), ninja will log necessary information about this process, and optionally kill the process if it was spawned by an unauthorized user.
A "magic" group can be specified, allowing members of this group to run any setuid/setgid root executable.
Individual executables can be whitelisted. Ninja uses a fine grained whitelist that lets you whitelist executables on a group and/or user basis. This can be used to allow specific groups or individual users access to setuid/setgid root programs, such as su(1) and passwd(1).
Ninja requires a configuration file to run. For more information about the configuration, please refer to the "default.conf" file, located at "/usr/share/doc/ninja/examples/" in the source tree. There, all the available options are explained in detail.
The whitelist is a plain text file, containing new-line separated entries. Entries consists of three fields, separated by colons. The first field is the full path to the executable you wish to whitelist. The second field is a comma separated list of groups that should be granted access to the executable. The third field is a comma separated list of users.
The second or third field can be left empty. Please refer to the example whitlist located in "/usr/share/doc/ninja/examples/".
Remember that it is a good idea to whitelist programs such as passwd(1) and other regular setuid applications that users require access to.
The goal of this application is to be able to detect and stop local, and possibly also remote exploits. It is important to note that ninja cannot prevent attackers from running exploits, as a successful exploitation only will be detected AFTER the attacker has gained root. However, when ninja is running with a short scanning cycle, this detection happens nearly immediately. The security lies in the fact that we stop the attacker before he/she has time to do anything nasty to the system, and it gives us the opportunity to disable the attacker's shell access, and lock him/her out of the system.
In an ideal environment, ninja should be run together with kernel hardening systems such as grsecurity (www.grsecurity.net) as this will allow for some protection of the ninja process.
This is not a complete security system. Do not rely on it to keep your system safe.
Please let me know if you should stumble across any bugs or other weirdness. I greatly appreciate all bug reports, patches, ideas, suggestions and comments.
Ninja is released under the General Public License (GPL) version 2 or higher.
Tom Rune Flo <[email protected]>