Command Line – Tiger » Linux Magazine


The revived Tiger provides a comprehensive set of security audit and intrusion detection tools.

An application with a long history, Tiger [1] was first developed to help secure Unix systems on the Texas A&M University campus. It was released in 1994, around the same time that many other well-known classic security tools appeared, such as COPS, SATAN, and John the Ripper. Since then, the project has forked and ceased development, only to be revived in recent years as a convenient framework for modern security requirements on Unix-like operating systems.

Summarizing Tiger is a challenge. Basically, Tiger is a collection of Bourne shell scripts, C code, and data files. The Debian version includes 43 modules, seeming to cover every aspect of a Linux system imaginable, with the exception of kernels. From networks, Apache, and printers in external connections to boot managers, logs, configuration files, passwords, accounts, and groups in the system structure, Tiger analyzes them all in a variety of ways. Even missing patches, dormant users, and expired passwords are included. In all these areas, Tiger checks for configurations, duplications, inconsistencies, incorrect or vulnerable configurations, and unapplied patches, as well as security intrusions. Often, it draws on other security applications installed as dependencies. To give a full list of Tiger’s modules here is impractical, but its man page [2] provides a complete list, along with brief explanations of each. Given Tiger’s modular structure, it is possible still more will be added as computers evolve. For instance, new modules for AI seem likely in the future.

Tiger was originally written for Unix and then for Debian and Red Hat Linux. You get glimpses of the code’s age sometimes in such references as the name lilo.check, the module for all bootloader scripts named for the dominant bootloader around the turn of the century. However, today, Tiger is available in many other distributions. Although for greater security, you may prefer to download the latest release from the project’s website.


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