Jump to content United States-English
HP.com Home Products and Services Support and Drivers Solutions How to Buy
» Contact HP
More options
HP.com home
HP-UX System Administrator's Guide: Security Management: HP-UX 11i Version 3 > Chapter 1 Installing the HP-UX Operating Environment Securely

Preventing Security Breaches During the Boot Process


Technical documentation

Complete book in PDF
» Feedback
Content starts here

 » Table of Contents

 » Glossary

 » Index

Security breaches can occur during the boot sequence. The boot process can be interrupted, allowing an unauthorized person to access the system. If certain system files are altered incorrectly or maliciously before the reboot, the system can have problems during and after the reboot. Therefore, perform these preventative tasks:

  • Make sure the system and system console are physically secure and that only authorized users have access.

  • Enable the boot authentication feature to allow only specified users to boot the system to single user mode. See Section .

  • Make sure system files are write protected; some might need to be read protected.

Following is a summary of the boot sequence that occurs when you turn on or reset the computer. See HP-UX System Administrator's Guide: Routine Management Tasks for more information on the boot sequence.

  1. During booting, there is about a 10-second wait that allows you to override the automatic boot sequence. At this point, an intruder can interrupt the boot sequence and enter the system.

    You can gain root access when you interrupt the boot sequence by pressing any key. The ISL prompts you for a command. Entering the following command causes the system to be in single-user mode:

    ISL> hpux -is

    If you are not using boot authentication, a user can then log in as root with no password.

    Boot authentication allows only specified users to log in as root.

  2. If the boot sequence is not interrupted, the initialization process continues.

  3. HP-UX goes through its initialization process and begins normal operation, ready for login. At this point another security breach can occur if an intruder has already gained root access.

If an intruder interrupts the boot process, they have gained root access to the system and theoretically own the system. This ownership allows them to make changes to the system through a great number of mechanisms.

Printable version
Privacy statement Using this site means you accept its terms Feedback to webmaster
© 2008 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.