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Foundation :: Security Applications :: HOSTS

HOSTS

Host Oriented Security Test Suite

HOSTS Logo Moderators:
James Finegan
Total downloads from Open Channel to date: 133
source code available SOURCE CODE AVAILABLE

HOSTS currently provides the following capabilities:
  • Integrated authoritative references for applicable test steps.
  • Define pass/fail criteria/conditions.
  • Tag a given test step to a specific security requirement.
  • Perform security testing with minimal operational intrusion or disruption.
  • Add, modify, and remove test steps as requirements, operational environments, system services, and configurable options change.
  • Add new common task subprograms through the creation of new plugin modules.
  • Track anomalous files over time.
  • When applicable, link tests to appropriate sections with the Center for Internet Security's benchmark documentation.
The Host-Oriented Security Test Suite (HOSTS) is an interactive utility that automates many aspects of security testing performed within the Unix environment. The HOSTS utility empowers the tester to snapshot a candidate system to determine how securely the system has been configured. By using HOSTS as part of the security evaluation process, a level of consistency and repeatability in testing is readily and rapidly achieved. An additional benefit is a reduction in the probability for operator-induced errors, which can skew the test results. These benefits are achieved along with a reduction in both the amount of time and level-of-effort required to perform the actual testing. For example, utilization of HOSTS at one site reduced testing manpower needs by almost 70% (from 2 weeks to 3 days) while simultaneously increasing requirement coverage.

HOSTS can be used to create and maintain a security profile of a target system’s operating environment. It can be easily adapted for compliance evaluation against other security specification. The HOSTS utility has been written using Perl 5.005 and the Bourne shell. It has also been used under later versions of Perl. Test cases have been developed for exercising Sun Microsystems’ SunOS 5.8 (Solaris 8), Red Hat Linux 7.x, Red Hat Linux 8, and Red Hat's Advanced Server 2.1.

HOSTS can be used for both security baseline evaluation and operational compliance with the baseline. The utility is based on the premise that, in general, the majority of existing security vulnerabilities are the result of failing to configure a system properly. Consequently, the ability to test for the presence of these “improper configuration” vulnerabilities can be done in a logical and repeatable manner. Through the periodic execution of HOSTS, the Security Officer/System Administrator can monitor how well a given system complies with applicable security requirements and track how the system configuration changes over time.

HOSTS provides the Security Officer/System Administrator with the capability of enhancing a system’s security through the tightening of that system’s configuration. It also provides a measure of reassurance that security-related tasks function in accordance with expectations.




Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 by the Mitre Corporation
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