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Solaris NIS Security

(part 4 of the Solaris NIS mini-tutorial)

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There are a few precautions that can be taken to make NIS in Solaris more secure:

Securenets

Any remote user can issue an RPC call to ypserv and retrieve the contents of your NIS maps, provided the remote user knows NIS domainname. To prevent such unauthorized transactions, ypserv supports a feature called securenets which can be used to restrict access to a given set of hosts. At startup, ypserv will attempt to load /var/yp/securenets file that limits access to NIS services. If it exists after loading it, the server only answers queries/supplies maps to hosts and networks whose IP addresses exist in the file. The server must be able to access itself. Therefore the following entry should be present:

host 127.0.0.1

The following example describes a securenets file where:

host 127.0.0.1
255.255.255.0 50.10.1.0
host 50.10.12.1
host  50.10.14.1

After modification of the /var/yp/securenets file, you need to restart the ypserv and ypxfrd daemons:

# /usr/lib/netsvc/yp/ypstop && /usr/lib/netsvc/yp/ypstart

The passwd.adjunct File

The passwd.adjunct file prevents disclosing the encrypted passwords that normally form part of the output when viewing the NIS passwd maps to unauthoriaed users.

Encrypted passwords are normally hidden from the user in the /etc/shadow file. With the default NIS configuration, however, the encrypted password string is shown as part of the passwd maps. 

The following example shows that if  passwd.adjunct  file exists, then user passwd is hidden from view when viewing the /etc/passwd file:

# cat  /etc/passwd  | grep joeuser
joeuser:x:10001:10001::/export/home/joeuser:/bin/ksh

When the ypmatch command runs against the joeuser  account value in the passwd map, the following output appears:

# ypmatch -k joeuser passwd
joeuser: joeuser:LojyTdiQev5i2:10001:10001::/export/home/joeuser:/bin/ksh

The encrypted user password is included as part of the NIS passwd maps. To maintain the same security, the system configures the passwd.adjunct file. The passwd.adjunct file contains the account name preceded by ## in the password field. After that the ypcat or ypmatch commands, returns the password entry from the passwd.adjunct file, as follows:

# ypmatch -k joeuser passwd
 joeuser:##joeuser:10001:10001::/export/home/joeuser:/bin/ksh

To enable the passwd.adjunct file you need to configure configure C2 security features. See  http://sunsolve.sun.com for details.

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