I’ll never have to connect to my servers from the console, and I’ll never need a password authenticated sudo command, thus I don’t need any password based authtication. I’ll always connect through ssh with keys, thus I can lock the passwords for both the root account and the named account.


Previous steps

Existing variables

We need only the username (UN) which is already defined.

Reload the variables

We need to load the named username defined in the configuration file during the Sudo Installation and Configuration post. Ensure that the configuration variables are loaded in the environment.

source /root/config.env

Lock root password

Lock direct root connections from the console but also with su. This will also prevent any single or recovery boot from the console or KVM… This is completely optional and potentially dangerous in case or severe system issue. The only option will be to use console or KVM and to add a boot parameter such as init=/bin/sh, and you’ll need to perfectly master what you are doing.

passwd -l root

Attention, this completely blocks any console login for root and with root password, including “single boot” or “boot failure recovery (fsck failures)”.

Lock user password

Now, I can open direct passwordless connections to the named user and to the root user, thus I can lock the named user password to defeat brute-force attacks, if there is one. For server only, never do that on workstations, you would not be able to connect from the console or from the graphical greeter !

[ ! -z "${UN}" ] && passwd -l ${UN}

EMail alert

I found this trick on tutoriels-video 1, in French, and liked it. It automatically sends an email alert when someone connects to the server.

cat << EOF >> /etc/bash.bashrc
echo \`who\` \`date\` | mail -s "shell connection on \`hostname\`" root
  1. https://www.tutoriels-video.fr/securiser-son-serveur-dedie-avec-iptables-fail2ban-et-rkhunter/