a bit off-topic policy question

Alan DeKok aland at deployingradius.com
Mon Jan 8 22:03:37 CET 2007

Matt Ashfield wrote:
> The issue we have is when running the Radius server in debug mode with full
> log-level, we see the cilent's username and password in clear-text as it
> attempts to bind to the LDAP server.

  That is really the whole purpose of debug mode.  You see the users
password not only there, but in the attributes when the RADIUS request
is printed out, too.

  Debugging mode has little purpose without that information.

> Certainly we could change the debug
> mode level to not see this, but the fact that the ability to see that is
> available is troubling. I'm sure many others on this list use FreeRadius and
> I'm wondering what sort of policies you have in place to address this
> security risk. Anyone with high-level access to the box could certainly
> login, make a change to the debug level and capture sensitive login
> information.

  I'm not sure where the problem is.  Administrators of the radius
server can log in and edit the RADIUS server configuration?  Is this
really what you're worried about?

  The short answer is that anyone who can write to the servers
configuration, or even read the shared secrets in the "clients" file can
snoop on the passwords.  There's no way to prevent that without also
preventing the server from running.

  Most of the problem can be solved by ensuring that only selected users
have read access to the configuration files.  Obviously, "root" has
access, and at most one other user, say "radius-admin", with group
"radiusd".  The files should be owned by "radius-admin", writable by
that user.  The files should be in group "radiusd", and readable (but
NOT writable) by that group.  No on else should have read or write
access to the configuration files.  And the server should run as user
"radiusd", group "radiusd".

  This is covered in my book in more detail.

  Alan DeKok.
  http://deployingradius.com       - The web site of the book
  http://deployingradius.com/blog/ - The blog

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