Compromising Extraneous Services

Popularity:

8

Simplicity:

5

Impact:

10

Risk Rating:

8

The more doors and windows a house contains, the more likely a burglar can find one open; the more network listening services running on a system, the more likely attackers can find a vulnerable one. Furthermore, some services (or doors) are more easily exploitable than others, whereas other services (or windows) have more transparent traffic that facilitates snooping more easily than others.

This is particularly true for Unix/Linux systems, as they are often installed, configured, and left running unattended and unmanaged for extended periods of time. They are highly reliable, not as prone to memory leaks as Windows systems, and are quite often forgotten about. As such, minimizing the services that are running is absolutely critical for lowering the attack profile and reducing the likelihood that a system can be compromised, especially through an unnecessary service.

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