Open Source Security Learning Resources
Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) is a cross-industry collaboration that brings together leaders to improve the security of open source software by building a broader community, targeted initiatives, and best practices. The OpenSSF brings together open source security initiatives under one foundation to accelerate work through cross-industry support. Along with the Core Infrastructure Initiative and the Open Source Security Coalition, and will include new working groups that address vulnerability disclosures, security tooling and more.
Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation (CC) is an international standard (ISO / IEC 15408) for computer security. It allows an objective evaluation to validate that a particular product satisfies a defined set of security requirements.
ISO 22301 is the international standard that provides a best-practice framework for implementing an optimised BCMS (business continuity management system).
ISO27001 is the international standard that describes the requirements for an ISMS (information security management system). The framework is designed to help organizations manage their security practices in one place, consistently and cost-effectively.
ISO 27701 specifies the requirements for a PIMS (privacy information management system) based on the requirements of ISO 27001. It is extended by a set of privacy-specific requirements, control objectives and controls. Companies that have implemented ISO 27001 will be able to use ISO 27701 to extend their security efforts to cover privacy management.
EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a privacy and data protection law that supersedes existing national data protection laws across the EU, bringing uniformity by introducing just one main data protection law for companies/organizations to comply with.
CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) is a data privacy law that took effect on January 1, 2020 in the State of California. It applies to businesses that collect California residents’ personal information, and its privacy requirements are similar to those of the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) is a global information security standard designed to prevent fraud through increased control of credit card data.
SOC 2 is an auditing procedure that ensures your service providers securely manage your data to protect the interests of your comapny/organization and the privacy of their clients.
NIST CSF is a voluntary framework primarily intended for critical infrastructure organizations to manage and mitigate cybersecurity risk based on existing best practice.
Landlock LSM(Linux Security Module) is a framework to create scoped access-control (sandboxing). Landlock is designed to be usable by unprivileged processes while following the system security policy enforced by other access control mechanisms (DAC, LSM, etc.).
Secure boot is a security standard developed by members of the PC industry to help make sure that a device boots(Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) BIOS) using only software(such as bootloaders, OS, UEFI drivers, and utilities) that is trusted by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).
Netdata is high-fidelity infrastructure monitoring and troubleshooting, real-time monitoring Agent collects thousands of metrics from systems, hardware, containers, and applications with zero configuration. It runs permanently on all your physical/virtual servers, containers, cloud deployments, and edge/IoT devices, and is perfectly safe to install on your systems mid-incident without any preparation.
Virtualization-based Security (VBS) is a hardware virtualization feature to create and isolate a secure region of memory from the normal operating system.
Hypervisor-Enforced Code Integrity (HVCI) is a mechanism whereby a hypervisor, such as Hyper-V, uses hardware virtualization to protect kernel-mode processes against the injection and execution of malicious or unverified code. Code integrity validation is performed in a secure environment that is resistant to attack from malicious software, and page permissions for kernel mode are set and maintained by the hypervisor.
eBPF is a technology that can run sandboxed programs in the Linux kernel without changing kernel source code or loading kernel modules. By making the Linux kernel programmable, infrastructure software can leverage existing layers, making them more intelligent and feature-rich without continuing to add additional layers of complexity to the system.
eBPF for Windows is an eBPF implementation that runs on top of Windows. eBPF is a well-known technology for providing programmability and agility, especially for extending an OS kernel, for use cases such as DoS protection and observability.
Coreboot is a replacement for your BIOS / UEFI with a strong focus on boot speed, security and flexibility. It is designed to boot your operating system as fast as possible without any compromise to security, with no back doors.
TianoCore is a community project supporting an open source implementation of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). EDK II is a modern, feature-rich, cross-platform firmware development environment for the UEFI and UEFI Platform Initialization (PI) specifications.
OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) is a free, open-source penetration testing tool being maintained under the umbrella of the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). ZAP is designed specifically for testing web applications and is both flexible and extensible. Great for pentesters, devs, QA, and CI/CD integration. At its core, ZAP is what is known as a “man-in-the-middle proxy.”
IDA Pro(Interactive DisAssembler Professional) is a programmable and multi-processor disassembler combined with a local/remote debugger and along with a complete plugin programming environment. It’s a great tool for testing and discovering security vulnerabilities.
Ghidra is a software reverse engineering (SRE) framework developed by NSA’s Research Directorate for NSA’s cybersecurity mission. It helps analyze any malicious code and malware like viruses, and can give cybersecurity professionals a better understanding of potential vulnerabilities in their networks and systems.
Exploit Database is a CVE compliant archive of public exploits and corresponding vulnerable software, developed for use by penetration testers and vulnerability researchers. The goal is to serve the most comprehensive collection of exploits gathered through direct submissions, mailing lists, as well as other public sources, and present them.
Rapid7 Vulnerability & Exploit Database is a curated repository of vetted computer software exploits and exploitable vulnerabilities. Technical details for over 180,000 vulnerabilities and 4,000 exploits are available for security professionals and researchers to review. These vulnerabilities are utilized by our vulnerability management tool InsightVM.
InsightVM is a data-rich resource that can amplify the other solutions in your tech stack, from SIEMs and firewalls to ticketing systems. Only InsightVM integrates with 40+ other leading technologies, and with an open RESTful API, your vulnerability data makes your other tools more valuable.
Emissary is a P2P based data-driven workflow engine that runs in a heterogeneous possibly widely dispersed, multi-tiered P2P network of compute resources. Workflow itineraries are not pre-planned as in conventional workflow engines, but are discovered as more information is discovered about the data.
MADCert is a cross-platform tool that consists of a certificate generator, a file system certificate manager, and a command line interface for the purposes of testing.
BLESS(Bastion’s Lambda Ephemeral SSH Service) is an SSH Certificate Authority that runs as an AWS Lambda function and is used to sign SSH public keys.
Chaos Monkey is a resiliency tool that helps applications tolerate random instance failures. It is fully integrated with Spinnaker, the continuous delivery platform. Chaos Monkey will work with any backend that Spinnaker supports (AWS, Google Compute Engine, Azure, Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry).
Vuls is an agent-less vulnerability scanner for Linux, FreeBSD, Container, WordPress, Programming language libraries, Network devices.
SpiderFoot is an open source intelligence (OSINT) automation tool. It integrates with just about every data source available and utilises a range of methods for data analysis, making that data easy to navigate.
Lynis is a security auditing tool for Linux, macOS, and UNIX-based systems. Assists with compliance testing (HIPAA/ISO27001/PCI DSS) and system hardening. Agentless, and installation is optional.
Priam is a tool/process for backup/recovery, Token Management, and Centralized Configuration management for Cassandra.
Vector is an on-host performance monitoring framework which exposes hand picked high resolution metrics to every engineer’s browser.
SELinux is a security enhancement to Linux which allows users and administrators more control over access control. Access can be constrained on such variables as which users and applications can access which resources. These resources may take the form of files. Standard Linux access controls, such as file modes (-rwxr-xr-x) are modifiable by the user and the applications which the user runs. Conversely, SELinux access controls are determined by a policy loaded on the system which may not be changed by careless users or misbehaving applications.
AppArmor is an effective and easy-to-use Linux application security system. AppArmor proactively protects the operating system and applications from external or internal threats, even zero-day attacks, by enforcing good behavior and preventing both known and unknown application flaws from being exploited. AppArmor supplements the traditional Unix discretionary access control (DAC) model by providing mandatory access control (MAC). It has been included in the mainline Linux kernel since version 2.6.36 and its development has been supported by Canonical since 2009.
Control Groups(Cgroups) is a Linux kernel feature that allows you to allocate resources such as CPU time, system memory, network bandwidth, or any combination of these resources for user-defined groups of tasks (processes) running on a system.
EarlyOOM is a daemon for Linux that enables users to more quickly recover and regain control over their system in low-memory situations with heavy swap usage.
Libgcrypt is a general purpose cryptographic library originally based on code from GnuPG.
Kali Linux is an open source project that is maintained and funded by Offensive Security, a provider of world-class information security training and penetration testing services.
Pi-hole is a DNS sinkhole that protects your devices from unwanted content, without installing any client-side software, intended for use on a private network. It is designed for use on embedded devices with network capability, such as the Raspberry Pi, but it can be used on other machines running Linux and cloud implementations.
Aircrack-ng is a network software suite consisting of a detector, packet sniffer, WEP and WPA/WPA2-PSK cracker and analysis tool for 802.11 wireless LANs. It works with any wireless network interface controller whose driver supports raw monitoring mode and can sniff 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g traffic.
Burp Suite is a leading range of cybersecurity tools.
KernelCI is a community-based open source distributed test automation system focused on upstream kernel development. The primary goal of KernelCI is to use an open testing philosophy to ensure the quality, stability and long-term maintenance of the Linux kernel.
Continuous Kernel Integration project helps find bugs in kernel patches before they are commited to an upstram kernel tree. We are team of kernel developers, kernel testers, and automation engineers.
Cilium uses eBPF to accelerate getting data in and out of L7 proxies such as Envoy, enabling efficient visibility into API protocols like HTTP, gRPC, and Kafka.
Hubble is a Network, Service & Security Observability for Kubernetes using eBPF.
Istio is an open platform to connect, manage, and secure microservices. Istio’s control plane provides an abstraction layer over the underlying cluster management platform, such as Kubernetes and Mesos.
Certgen is a convenience tool to generate and store certificates for Hubble Relay mTLS.
Scapy is a python-based interactive packet manipulation program & library.
syzkaller is an unsupervised, coverage-guided kernel fuzzer.
SchedViz is a tool for gathering and visualizing kernel scheduling traces on Linux machines.
oss-fuzz aims to make common open source software more secure and stable by combining modern fuzzing techniques with scalable, distributed execution.
OSSEC is a free, open-source host-based intrusion detection system. It performs log analysis, integrity checking, Windows registry monitoring, rootkit detection, time-based alerting, and active response.
Metasploit Project is a computer security project that provides information about security vulnerabilities and aids in penetration testing and IDS signature development.
Wfuzz was created to facilitate the task in web applications assessments and it is based on a simple concept: it replaces any reference to the FUZZ keyword by the value of a given payload.
Nmap is a security scanner used to discover hosts and services on a computer network, thus building a “map” of the network.
Patchwork is a web-based patch tracking system designed to facilitate the contribution and management of contributions to an open-source project.
pfSense is a free and open source firewall and router that also features unified threat management, load balancing, multi WAN, and more.
Snowpatch is a continuous integration tool for projects using a patch-based, mailing-list-centric git workflow. This workflow is used by a number of well-known open source projects such as the Linux kernel.
Snort is an open-source, free and lightweight network intrusion detection system (NIDS) software for Linux and Windows to detect emerging threats.
Wireshark is a free and open-source packet analyzer. It is used for network troubleshooting, analysis, software and communications protocol development, and education.
OpenSCAP is U.S. standard maintained by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It provides multiple tools to assist administrators and auditors with assessment, measurement, and enforcement of security baselines. OpenSCAP maintains great flexibility and interoperability by reducing the costs of performing security audits. Whether you want to evaluate DISA STIGs, NIST‘s USGCB, or Red Hat’s Security Response Team’s content, all are supported by OpenSCAP.
Tink is a multi-language, cross-platform, open source library that provides cryptographic APIs that are secure, easy to use correctly, and harder to misuse.
OWASP is an online community, produces freely-available articles, methodologies, documentation, tools, and technologies in the field of web application security.
Open Vulnerability and Assessment Language is a community effort to standardize how to assess and report upon the machine state of computer systems. OVAL includes a language to encode system details, and community repositories of content. Tools and services that use OVAL provide enterprises with accurate, consistent, and actionable information to improve their security.
ClamAV is an open source antivirus engine for detecting trojans, viruses, malware & other malicious threats.
Networking Learning Resources
• Connection: In networking, a connection refers to pieces of related information that are transferred through a network. This generally infers that a connection is built before the data transfer (by following the procedures laid out in a protocol) and then is deconstructed at the at the end of the data transfer. • Packet: A packet is, generally speaking, the most basic unit that is transferred over a network. When communicating over a network, packets are the envelopes that carry your data (in pieces) from one end point to the other.
Packets have a header portion that contains information about the packet including the source and destination, timestamps, network hops. The main portion of a packet contains the actual data being transferred. It is sometimes called the body or the payload.
• Network Interface: A network interface can refer to any kind of software interface to networking hardware. For instance, if you have two network cards in your computer, you can control and configure each network interface associated with them individually.
A network interface may be associated with a physical device, or it may be a representation of a virtual interface. The “loop-back” device, which is a virtual interface to the local machine, is an example of this.
• LAN: LAN stands for "local area network". It refers to a network or a portion of a network that is not publicly accessible to the greater internet. A home or office network is an example of a LAN. • WAN: WAN stands for "wide area network". It means a network that is much more extensive than a LAN. While WAN is the relevant term to use to describe large, dispersed networks in general, it is usually meant to mean the internet, as a whole.
If an interface is connected to the WAN, it is generally assumed that it is reachable through the internet.
• Protocol: A protocol is a set of rules and standards that basically define a language that devices can use to communicate. There are a great number of protocols in use extensively in networking, and they are often implemented in different layers.
Some low level protocols are TCP, UDP, IP, and ICMP. Some familiar examples of application layer protocols, built on these lower protocols, are HTTP (for accessing web content), SSH, TLS/SSL, and FTP.
• Port: A port is an address on a single machine that can be tied to a specific piece of software. It is not a physical interface or location, but it allows your server to be able to communicate using more than one application. • Firewall: A firewall is a program that decides whether traffic coming into a server or going out should be allowed. A firewall usually works by creating rules for which type of traffic is acceptable on which ports. Generally, firewalls block ports that are not used by a specific application on a server. • NAT: Network address translation is a way to translate requests that are incoming into a routing server to the relevant devices or servers that it knows about in the LAN. This is usually implemented in physical LANs as a way to route requests through one IP address to the necessary backend servers. • VPN: Virtual private network is a means of connecting separate LANs through the internet, while maintaining privacy. This is used as a means of connecting remote systems as if they were on a local network, often for security reasons.
While networking is often discussed in terms of topology in a horizontal way, between hosts, its implementation is layered in a vertical fashion throughout a computer or network. This means is that there are multiple technologies and protocols that are built on top of each other in order for communication to function more easily. Each successive, higher layer abstracts the raw data a little bit more, and makes it simpler to use for applications and users. It also allows you to leverage lower layers in new ways without having to invest the time and energy to develop the protocols and applications that handle those types of traffic. As data is sent out of one machine, it begins at the top of the stack and filters downwards. At the lowest level, actual transmission to another machine takes place. At this point, the data travels back up through the layers of the other computer. Each layer has the ability to add its own "wrapper" around the data that it receives from the adjacent layer, which will help the layers that come after decide what to do with the data when it is passed off. One method of talking about the different layers of network communication is the OSI model. OSI stands for Open Systems Interconnect.This model defines seven separate layers. The layers in this model are: • Application: The application layer is the layer that the users and user-applications most often interact with. Network communication is discussed in terms of availability of resources, partners to communicate with, and data synchronization. • Presentation: The presentation layer is responsible for mapping resources and creating context. It is used to translate lower level networking data into data that applications expect to see. • Session: The session layer is a connection handler. It creates, maintains, and destroys connections between nodes in a persistent way. • Transport: The transport layer is responsible for handing the layers above it a reliable connection. In this context, reliable refers to the ability to verify that a piece of data was received intact at the other end of the connection. This layer can resend information that has been dropped or corrupted and can acknowledge the receipt of data to remote computers. • Network: The network layer is used to route data between different nodes on the network. It uses addresses to be able to tell which computer to send information to. This layer can also break apart larger messages into smaller chunks to be reassembled on the opposite end. • Data Link: This layer is implemented as a method of establishing and maintaining reliable links between different nodes or devices on a network using existing physical connections. • Physical: The physical layer is responsible for handling the actual physical devices that are used to make a connection. This layer involves the bare software that manages physical connections as well as the hardware itself (like Ethernet).
The TCP/IP model, more commonly known as the Internet protocol suite, is another layering model that is simpler and has been widely adopted.It defines the four separate layers, some of which overlap with the OSI model:
• Application: In this model, the application layer is responsible for creating and transmitting user data between applications. The applications can be on remote systems, and should appear to operate as if locally to the end user.
The communication takes place between peers network.
• Transport: The transport layer is responsible for communication between processes. This level of networking utilizes ports to address different services. It can build up unreliable or reliable connections depending on the type of protocol used. • Internet: The internet layer is used to transport data from node to node in a network. This layer is aware of the endpoints of the connections, but does not worry about the actual connection needed to get from one place to another. IP addresses are defined in this layer as a way of reaching remote systems in an addressable manner. • Link: The link layer implements the actual topology of the local network that allows the internet layer to present an addressable interface. It establishes connections between neighboring nodes to send data.
Interfaces are networking communication points for your computer. Each interface is associated with a physical or virtual networking device. Typically, your server will have one configurable network interface for each Ethernet or wireless internet card you have. In addition, it will define a virtual network interface called the “loopback” or localhost interface. This is used as an interface to connect applications and processes on a single computer to other applications and processes. You can see this referenced as the “lo” interface in many tools.
Networking works by piggybacks on a number of different protocols on top of each other. In this way, one piece of data can be transmitted using multiple protocols encapsulated within one another.
Media access control is a communications protocol that is used to distinguish specific devices. Each device is supposed to get a unique MAC address during the manufacturing process that differentiates it from every other device on the internet. Addressing hardware by the MAC address allows you to reference a device by a unique value even when the software on top may change the name for that specific device during operation. Media access control is one of the only protocols from the link layer that you are likely to interact with on a regular basis.
The IP protocol is one of the fundamental protocols that allow the internet to work. IP addresses are unique on each network and they allow machines to address each other across a network. It is implemented on the internet layer in the IP/TCP model. Networks can be linked together, but traffic must be routed when crossing network boundaries. This protocol assumes an unreliable network and multiple paths to the same destination that it can dynamically change between. There are a number of different implementations of the protocol. The most common implementation today is IPv4, although IPv6 is growing in popularity as an alternative due to the scarcity of IPv4 addresses available and improvements in the protocols capabilities.
ICMP: internet control message protocol is used to send messages between devices to indicate the availability or error conditions. These packets are used in a variety of network diagnostic tools, such as ping and traceroute. Usually ICMP packets are transmitted when a packet of a different kind meets some kind of a problem. Basically, they are used as a feedback mechanism for network communications.
TCP: Transmission control protocol is implemented in the transport layer of the IP/TCP model and is used to establish reliable connections. TCP is one of the protocols that encapsulates data into packets. It then transfers these to the remote end of the connection using the methods available on the lower layers. On the other end, it can check for errors, request certain pieces to be resent, and reassemble the information into one logical piece to send to the application layer. The protocol builds up a connection prior to data transfer using a system called a three-way handshake. This is a way for the two ends of the communication to acknowledge the request and agree upon a method of ensuring data reliability. After the data has been sent, the connection is torn down using a similar four-way handshake. TCP is the protocol of choice for many of the most popular uses for the internet, including WWW, FTP, SSH, and email. It is safe to say that the internet we know today would not be here without TCP.
UDP: User datagram protocol is a popular companion protocol to TCP and is also implemented in the transport layer. The fundamental difference between UDP and TCP is that UDP offers unreliable data transfer. It does not verify that data has been received on the other end of the connection. This might sound like a bad thing, and for many purposes, it is. However, it is also extremely important for some functions. It’s not required to wait for confirmation that the data was received and forced to resend data, UDP is much faster than TCP. It does not establish a connection with the remote host, it simply fires off the data to that host and doesn’t care if it is accepted or not. Since UDP is a simple transaction, it is useful for simple communications like querying for network resources. It also doesn’t maintain a state, which makes it great for transmitting data from one machine to many real-time clients. This makes it ideal for VOIP, games, and other applications that cannot afford delays.
HTTP: Hypertext transfer protocol is a protocol defined in the application layer that forms the basis for communication on the web. HTTP defines a number of functions that tell the remote system what you are requesting. For instance, GET, POST, and DELETE all interact with the requested data in a different way.
JSON Web Token (JWT) is a compact URL-safe means of representing claims to be transferred between two parties. The claims in a JWT are encoded as a JSON object that is digitally signed using JSON Web Signature (JWS).
OAuth 2.0 is an open source authorization framework that enables applications to obtain limited access to user accounts on an HTTP service, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter GitHub, and DigitalOcean. It works by delegating user authentication to the service that hosts the user account, and authorizing third-party applications to access the user account.
FTP: File transfer protocol is in the application layer and provides a way of transferring complete files from one host to another. It is inherently insecure, so it is not recommended for any externally facing network unless it is implemented as a public, download-only resource.
DNS: Domain name system is an application layer protocol used to provide a human-friendly naming mechanism for internet resources. It is what ties a domain name to an IP address and allows you to access sites by name in your browser.
SSH: Secure shell is an encrypted protocol implemented in the application layer that can be used to communicate with a remote server in a secure way. Many additional technologies are built around this protocol because of its end-to-end encryption and ubiquity. There are many other protocols that we haven’t covered that are equally important. However, this should give you a good overview of some of the fundamental technologies that make the internet and networking possible.
KVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V). It consists of a loadable kernel module, kvm.ko, that provides the core virtualization infrastructure and a processor specific module, kvm-intel.ko or kvm-amd.ko.
QEMU is a fast processor emulator using a portable dynamic translator. QEMU emulates a full system, including a processor and various peripherals. It can be used to launch a different Operating System without rebooting the PC or to debug system code.
Hyper-V enables running virtualized computer systems on top of a physical host. These virtualized systems can be used and managed just as if they were physical computer systems, however they exist in virtualized and isolated environment. Special software called a hypervisor manages access between the virtual systems and the physical hardware resources. Virtualization enables quick deployment of computer systems, a way to quickly restore systems to a previously known good state, and the ability to migrate systems between physical hosts.
VirtManager is a graphical tool for managing virtual machines via libvirt. Most usage is with QEMU/KVM virtual machines, but Xen and libvirt LXC containers are well supported. Common operations for any libvirt driver should work.
oVirt is an open-source distributed virtualization solution, designed to manage your entire enterprise infrastructure. oVirt uses the trusted KVM hypervisor and is built upon several other community projects, including libvirt, Gluster, PatternFly, and Ansible.Founded by Red Hat as a community project on which Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is based allowing for centralized management of virtual machines, compute, storage and networking resources, from an easy-to-use web-based front-end with platform independent access.
Xen is focused on advancing virtualization in a number of different commercial and open source applications, including server virtualization, Infrastructure as a Services (IaaS), desktop virtualization, security applications, embedded and hardware appliances, and automotive/aviation.
Ganeti is a virtual machine cluster management tool built on top of existing virtualization technologies such as Xen or KVM and other open source software. Once installed, the tool assumes management of the virtual instances (Xen DomU).
Packer is an open source tool for creating identical machine images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration. Packer is lightweight, runs on every major operating system, and is highly performant, creating machine images for multiple platforms in parallel. Packer does not replace configuration management like Chef or Puppet. In fact, when building images, Packer is able to use tools like Chef or Puppet to install software onto the image.
Vagrant is a tool for building and managing virtual machine environments in a single workflow. With an easy-to-use workflow and focus on automation, Vagrant lowers development environment setup time, increases production parity, and makes the “works on my machine” excuse a relic of the past. It provides easy to configure, reproducible, and portable work environments built on top of industry-standard technology and controlled by a single consistent workflow to help maximize the productivity and flexibility of you and your team.
VMware Workstation is a hosted hypervisor that runs on x64 versions of Windows and Linux operating systems; it enables users to set up virtual machines on a single physical machine, and use them simultaneously along with the actual machine.
The Open Source Security Guide Patterns is a github repository by Michael Royal