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From Fredrik Widlund <fredrik.widl...@qbrick.com>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Removing or overwriting "Server" header field.
Date Thu, 25 Jan 2007 00:19:12 GMT
The argument you are using is a general one, saying security doesn't 
come from obscurity. While this is meaningful in a broad sense, in real 
life scenarios obscurity often improves already existing security. The 
problem is that all but a few mistake one for the other and that this 
misunderstanding in turn leads to security problems.

The less information you reveal of a system, the more difficult it is to 
mount attacks. This is true for script-kiddies and sophisticated hackers 
alike so try to avoid leaving fingerprints if you can. Trying to blindly 
exploit a found problem in an unknown application on an unknown platform 
can be near impossible. Being able to deduce the OS, analyze the 
application code, and replicate the system can make even a one-shot-only 
attempt trivial.

Nothing will make your "sophisticated hackers" more happy than 
discovering a non-standard open-source attack surface. In the absolute 
majority of the cases these are not audited or mature, and will break 
when you pick them apart. Not being able to fingerprint them makes it a 
totally different problem.

I'm guessing you won't accept me saying this since you claim a greater 
understanding in the matter than you should, so I'll just say this once 
and then stay out of the discussion.

Kind regards,
Fredrik Widlund

Joshua Slive skrev:
> On 1/24/07, Richard de Vries <richard_devries@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>> I have modsecurity running on my apache instances, and
>> I often see all kinds of IIS exploits hitting my box.
>> This then gives me time to look thru my various apache
>> and firewall logs, and take some corrective measures
>> like for instance slapping some IPTables rules on the
>> box to block that IP.
>
> Have you looked at some of the previous threads on this topic?  I'm 
> guessing no.
>
> Have you ever investigated how many people who DO NOT hide their
> apache Server identity also get hit by huge quantities of IIS attacks?
> The number is close to 100% from my observations.
>
> Here's the trick: There are basically two types of "crackers" you need
> to worry about, script-kiddies, and sophisticated hackers.  The first
> type will try every possible exploit on every server they can find;
> they rarely if ever bother to look at the Server header or anything
> else.  The latter type can easily figure out what kind of server
> you're running very unobtrusively whether or not you display the
> Server header.  So in neither case will hiding the Server header buy
> you anything at all.
>
> Your argument seems to be that there may be a small number of crackers
> in between those two groups that might be delayed by a few minutes if
> you hide your Server header.  I don't see any evidence that such
> crackers actually exist.  And even if they did, your time would be
> much better spent worrying about real security issues than putting a
> tiny roadblock in their way.
>
> Joshua.
>
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