Shutting out intruders with AppArmor


Article from Issue 69/2006

When an attacker succeeds in infecting a victim’s system, the attacker inherits the victim’s privileges. App Armor beats the attack by reducing the potential victim’s privileges to a minimum.

Novell views AppArmor [1] as an easily configurable but effective protection system for Linux. According to the vendor, AppArmor competes with SE Linux, which has been part of the Suse distribution for quite a while now, although lacking the policies needed to run it. Whereas SE Linux is comparatively difficult to configure, but implements comprehensive MACs (Mandatory Access Control), AppArmor focuses on restricting the scope of individual applications. The Task It is an unfortunate fact that many programs suffer from bugs, and web applications are particularly badly hit. Most software is not coded by security specialists, though it may be publicly accessible via the web, and this makes it an easy target for attackers. If an attacker finds a programming error in an application, they can typically exploit the error, thus gaining access to the target system.

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