TCP Wrapper Integration

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See Also See Also: Integration Overview, External Commands, Passive Checks


TCP Wrappers

This document explains how to easily generate alerts in Nagios for connection attempts that are rejected by TCP wrappers. For example, if an unauthorized host attempts to connect to your SSH server, you can receive an alert in Nagios that contains the name of the host that was rejected. If you implement this on your Linux/Unix boxes, you'll be surprised how many port scans you can detect across your network.

These directions assume:

  1. You are already familiar with passive checks and how they work.
  2. You are already familiar with volatile services and how they work.
  3. The host which you are generating alerts for (i.e. the host you are using TCP wrappers on) is a remote host (called firestorm in this example). If you want to generate alerts on the same host that Nagios is running you will need to make a few modifications to the examples I provide.
  4. You have installed the NSCA daemon on your monitoring server and the NSCA client (send_nsca) on the remote machine that you are generating TCP wrapper alerts from.

Defining A Service

If you haven't done so already, create a host definition for the remote host (firestorm).

Next, define a service in one of your object configuration files for the TCP wrapper alerts on host firestorm. The service definition might look something like this:

define service{
	host_name                       firestorm
	service_description             TCP Wrappers
	is_volatile                     1
	active_checks_enabled		0
	passive_checks_enabled		1
	max_check_attempts              1
	check_command                   check_none

There are some important things to note about the above service definition:

  1. The volatile option enabled. We want this option enabled because we want a notification to be generated for every alert that comes in.
  2. Active checks of the service as disabled, while passive checks are enabled. This means that the service will never be actively checked by Nagios - all alert information will have to be received passively from an external source.
  3. The max_check_attempts value is set to 1. This guarantees you will get a notification when the first alert is generated.

Configuring TCP Wrappers

Now you're going to have to modify the /etc/hosts.deny file on firestorm. In order to have the TCP wrappers send an alert to the monitoring host whenever a connection attempt is denied, you'll have to add a line similiar to the following:

ALL: ALL: RFC931: twist (/usr/local/nagios/libexec/eventhandlers/handle_tcp_wrapper %h %d) &

This line assumes that there is a script called handle_tcp_wrapper in the /usr/local/nagios/libexec/eventhandlers/ directory on firestorm. We'll write that script next.

Writing The Script

The last thing you need to do is write the handle_tcp_wrapper script on firestorm that will send the alert back to the Nagios server. It might look something like this:

/usr/local/nagios/libexec/eventhandlers/submit_check_result firestorm "TCP Wrappers" 2 "Denied $2-$1" > /dev/null 2> /dev/null

Notice that the handle_tcp_wrapper script calls the submit_check_result script to actually send the alert back to the monitoring host. Assuming your Nagios server is called monitor, the submit check_result script might look like this:

# Arguments
#	$1 = name of host in service definition
#	$2 = name/description of service in service definition
#	$3 = return code
#	$4 = output
/bin/echo -e "$1\t$2\t$3\t$4\n" | /usr/local/nagios/bin/send_nsca monitor -c /usr/local/nagios/etc/send_nsca.cfg

Finishing Up

You've now configured everything you need to, so all you have to do is restart the inetd process on firestorm and restart Nagios on your monitoring server. That's it! When the TCP wrappers on firestorm deny a connection attempt, you should be getting alerts in Nagios. The plugin output for the alert will look something like the following: