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I have a standalone Ubuntu 10.04 server (+ gnome) with a wireless 3G internet connection that is used to download data from an ftp server, process it, and then upload it again.

Remote administration is performed on the machine via ssh over a different port, with root logins disabled and an exclusive hosts.allow list for ssh only.

The data processed on this machine is somewhat sensitive.

My question is, what are the security concerns that I should address? Should I close down port 80 and other ports? As I also have to be mindful of internal users getting data out, is there a way to only allow ftp connections to the correct host? Should I disable access to usb ports etc? Should I be concerned about the 3G internet security?

Any help on the situation would be much appreciated! Thanks!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

SFTP instead of FTP would be a good start.

'somewhat sensitive' is fairly subjective. Some military computers do all processing in side an encrypted CPU, so it really depends on what level of security you are required to provide.

For example, are you required to be PCI-DSS compliant or compliant with any of the associated ISO standards?

As a general rule in hardening a server, you should disable/remove anything that isn't required for the role the server is performing. If you require it at a later date, have it activated then.

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This should get you thinking/on a path: – Dan McGrath Oct 12 '10 at 6:16
Thanks for the response Dan. Unfortunately sftp can't be done. As it is a standalone server, it does not need to be compliant with any standards etc. There seems to be some good stuff in your link, so I might work through some of those things. Definitely some interesting FACTS :) – JT.WK Oct 12 '10 at 10:09

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