8.7. Securing NFS
NFS is suitable for transparent sharing of entire file systems with a large number of known hosts. However, with ease-of-use comes a variety of potential security problems. To minimize NFS security risks and protect data on the server, consider the following sections when exporting NFS file systems on a server or mounting them on a client.
8.7.1. NFS Security with AUTH_SYS and Export Controls
Traditionally, NFS has given two options in order to control access to exported files.
First, the server restricts which hosts are allowed to mount which file systems either by IP address or by host name.
Second, the server enforces file system permissions for users on NFS clients in the same way it does local users. Traditionally it does this using
AUTH_UNIX) which relies on the client to state the UID and GID's of the user. Be aware that this means a malicious or misconfigured client can easily get this wrong and allow a user access to files that it should not.
To limit the potential risks, administrators often allow read-only access or squash user permissions to a common user and group ID. Unfortunately, these solutions prevent the NFS share from being used in the way it was originally intended.
Additionally, if an attacker gains control of the DNS server used by the system exporting the NFS file system, the system associated with a particular hostname or fully qualified domain name can be pointed to an unauthorized machine. At this point, the unauthorized machine is the system permitted to mount the NFS share, since no username or password information is exchanged to provide additional security for the NFS mount.
Wildcards should be used sparingly when exporting directories through NFS, as it is possible for the scope of the wildcard to encompass more systems than intended.
It is also possible to restrict access to the
rpcbind service with TCP wrappers. Creating rules with
iptablescan also limit access to ports used by
For more information on securing NFS and
rpcbind, refer to
8.7.2. NFS Security with
NFSv4 revolutionized NFS security by mandating the implementation of RPCSEC_GSS and the Kerberos version 5 GSS-API mechanism. However, RPCSEC_GSS and the Kerberos mechanism are also available for all versions of NFS. In FIPS mode, only FIPS-approved algorithms can be used.
Unlike AUTH_SYS, with the RPCSEC_GSS Kerberos mechanism, the server does not depend on the client to correctly represent which user is accessing the file. Instead, cryptography is used to authenticate users to the server, which prevents a malicious client from impersonating a user without having that user's Kerberos credentials. Using the RPCSEC_GSS Kerberos mechanism is the most straightforward way to secure mounts because after configuring Kerberos, no additional setup is needed.
Before configuring an NFSv4 Kerberos-aware server, you need to install and configure a Kerberos Key Distribution Centre (KDC). Kerberos is a network authentication system that allows clients and servers to authenticate to each other by using symmetric encryption and a trusted third party, the KDC. Red Hat recommends using Identity Management (IdM) for setting up Kerberos.
Procedure 8.3. Configuring an NFS Server and Client for IdM to Use RPCSEC_GSS
For instructions, see the Adding and Editing Service Entries and Keytabs and Setting up a Kerberos-aware NFS Server sections in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Linux Domain Identity, Authentication, and Policy Guide.
- Create the
nfs/hostname.domain@REALMprincipal on the NFS server side.
- Create the
host/hostname.domain@REALMprincipal on both the server and the client side.
NoteThe hostname must be identical to the NFS server hostname.
- Add the corresponding keys to keytabs for the client and server.
- On the server side, use the
sec=option to enable the wanted security flavors. To enable all security flavors as well as non-cryptographic mounts:
/export *(sec=sys:krb5:krb5i:krb5p)Valid security flavors to use with the
sys: no cryptographic protection, the default
krb5: authentication only
krb5i: integrity protection
krb5p: privacy protection
- On the client side, add
sec=krb5p, depending on the setup) to the mount options:
# mount -o sec=krb5 server:/export /mntFor information on how to configure a NFS client, see the Setting up a Kerberos-aware NFS Client section in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Linux Domain Identity, Authentication, and Policy Guide.
- Although Red Hat recommends using IdM, Active Directory (AD) Kerberos servers are also supported. For details, see the following Red Hat Knowledgebase article: How to set up NFS using Kerberos authentication on RHEL 7 using SSSD and Active Directory.
- If you need to write files as root on the Kerberos-secured NFS share and keep root ownership on these files, see https://access.redhat.com/articles/4040141. Note that this configuration is not recommended.
- For more information on NFS client configuration, see the exports(5) and nfs(5) manual pages, and Section 8.4, “Common NFS Mount Options”.
- For further information on the
RPCSEC_GSSframework, including how
rpc.gssdinter-operate, see the GSSD flow description.
184.108.40.206. NFS Security with NFSv4
NFSv4 includes ACL support based on the Microsoft Windows NT model, not the POSIX model, because of the Microsoft Windows NT model's features and wide deployment.
Another important security feature of NFSv4 is the removal of the use of the
MOUNTprotocol for mounting file systems. The
MOUNTprotocol presented a security risk because of the way the protocol processed file handles.
8.7.3. File Permissions
Once the NFS file system is mounted as either read or read and write by a remote host, the only protection each shared file has is its permissions. If two users that share the same user ID value mount the same NFS file system, they can modify each others' files. Additionally, anyone logged in as root on the client system can use the
su -command to access any files with the NFS share.
By default, access control lists (ACLs) are supported by NFS under Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat recommends that this feature is kept enabled.
By default, NFS uses root squashing when exporting a file system. This sets the user ID of anyone accessing the NFS share as the root user on their local machine to
nobody. Root squashing is controlled by the default option
root_squash; for more information about this option, refer to Section 8.6.1, “The
/etc/exportsConfiguration File”. If possible, never disable root squashing.
When exporting an NFS share as read-only, consider using the
all_squashoption. This option makes every user accessing the exported file system take the user ID of the