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How do I disable anonymous FTP on an AIX Server

Posted on 2013-01-31
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Last Modified: 2013-02-01
A recent security scan revealed that one of our servers is allowing anonymous FTP. I've been asked to disable anonymous FTP. To my knowledge, the absence of an "ftp" or "anonymous" login effectively disables that functionality. Neither of those accounts exist on the server. So, I'm in the dark as to what's raising the red flag.
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Question by:babyb00mer
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by:woolmilkporc
ID: 38842852
Hi,

AIX has a means of configuring anonymous FTP apart from just creating the userids "ftp" and "anonymous".

The clue is in the file /etc/ftpaccess.ctl

The directives "useronly:" and "grouponly:" in that file define anonymous users.

There are more directives like "puseronly:" and "pgrouponly:" which define anonymous users that are password protected.

"allow:" and "deny:" restrict host access, and "readonly:" or "writeonly:" configure directory access.

Please check your system for the presence of that file!
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Author Comment

by:babyb00mer
ID: 38844410
This is the only record in the ftpaccess.ctl file:

pgrouponly: ftpguest

I documented the procedure for setting up anonymous users at our shop, but I didn't implement it on this particular server. I'm not sure why this would present a security problem.
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Expert Comment

by:woolmilkporc
ID: 38844435
Members of the group ftpguest can access your server via FTP, but only after having entered the respective user password.

I assume that the pure existence of ftpaccess.ctl is considered a security risk by your security scanner, without taking a closer look into it.

"pgrouponly" in ftpaccess.ctl includes chrooting the concerned FTP users to their home directories, by the way.
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Author Comment

by:babyb00mer
ID: 38844626
After inquiring further, I've determined that it's FTP in general that they're objecting to. For a more secure environment, they would prefer that we use sftp or scp.
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Accepted Solution

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woolmilkporc earned 500 total points
ID: 38844702
Well, might be a good idea.

Do you know how to disable FTP?

The easiest way is commenting out the line starting with "ftp" in /etc/inetd.conf and restarting inetd with "refresh -s inetd".

scp and sftp come with OpenSSH.
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