Difference between revisions of "Security monitoring solution Zabbix"

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[[File:ZabbixpasswordPlaintext.png|thumb|center| Zabbix Enable LDAP]]
[[File:ZabbixpasswordPlaintext.png|thumb|center| Zabbix Enable LDAP]]
[[File:ZabbixpasswordPlaintext2.png|thumb|center| Zabbix LDAP passwords saved as a plain text]]
[[File:ZabbixpasswordPlaintext2.png|thumb|center| Zabbix LDAP passwords saved as a plain text]]
Downright dangerous, system administrator need  to be aware when enable the  LDAP in Zabbix server.

Revision as of 13:33, 31 May 2018

Zabbix monitoring system

Author: Mohanad Aly

Cyber Security Engineering (C21)

Page Created: 06 May 2017

‎Last modified: ‎06 May 2017


This article introduces the Monitoring application called Zabbix.


Monitoring is the process of keep tracking of system resources.

Monitoring is the process of observing and checking the progress or quality of something over a period of time; keep under systematic review.[1] Monitoring cannot be achieved without logging. That is the reason integrated solutions combine the two processes. Monitoring is used to:

  • Check performance
  • Detect if something worth noticing happened
  • Prevent something to happen
  • Detect whether a system is under attack and that is the most important part for the cyber security

Zabbix Monitoring system

Zabbix is an Open Source, high-level enterprise software designed to monitor and keep track of networks, servers and applications in real time. Build in a server-client model, Zabbix can collect different type of data than are used to create historical graphics and output performance or load trends of the monitored targets.

Zabbix is based on the following components:

Software Version Comments
Apache 1.3.12 or later
PHP 5.0 or later
PHP modules: php-gd GD 2.0 or later PHP GD module must support PNG images.
PHP TrueType support with-ttf
PHP bc support php-bcmath, --enable-bcmath
PHP XML support php-xml or php5-dom, if provided as a separate package by the distributor
PHP session support php-session, if provided as a separate package by the distributor
PHP socket support php-net-socket, --enable-sockets. Required for user script support.
PHP multibyte support php-mbstring, --enable-mbstring
IBM DB2 ibm_db2 Required if IBM DB2 is used as Zabbix back end database.
MySQL php-mysql 3.22 or later Required if MySQL is used as Zabbix back end database.
Oracle oci8 Required if Oracle is used as Zabbix back-end database.
PostgreSQL php-pgsql 7.0.2 or later if Zabbix < 1.8.9, 7.4 or later if Zabbix >= 1.8.9 Required if PostgreSQL is used as Zabbix back-end database. Consider using PostgreSQL 8.x or later for much better performance. It is suggested to use at least PostgreSQL 8.3, performance which introduced much better VACUUM.
SQLite php-sqlite3 3.3.5 or later Required if SQLite is used as Zabbix back-end database.

The main advantages of Zabbix

  • Open-source
  • Customized Dashboards
  • Ease of Use
  • Monitor everything
  • Network Security
  • Performance
  • Agentless Monitoring
  • Hardware Monitoring

Why monitoring is important for cyber security

  • First thing is important for the cyber security professional is the CIA (Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability)What is CIA, and to get to the standards we need to implement the tools that provides the security for our data and servers that hosting the data.
  • Second system administrator need tools to react when something happened to the server, so system administrator need real time checks to make sure that everything is working in order.
  • Third Monitoring tools alerts should be readable for the administrator and fast, when something happened to the server or the service the monitoring tool should send the alerts in the exact time to give the administrator the time to fix it.
  • Fourth the attacks and threats which is more difficult to the system administrator to figure out what is going in the server, and the monitoring tools should has the detection solution for the common attacks.
  • Fifth the debugging, when system have error the monitor tool should have a readable debugging..

Setting up Zabbix

In the following tutorial, Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit distribution will be used LTS.


Ubuntu Linux machine, sudo access and some Linux beginner skills are needed.

This tutorial describes the commands and configuration to make the services work together Zabbix.

  • It is important to have the latest package lists to update them to get info on the newest versions of packages and their dependencies. So we need to run the following command to update them:

Command sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade

Installing the prerequisites

  • The server has the ability to check standard networking services (HTTP, FTP, SMTP, IMAP etc) without the need to install extra software on the monitored hosts.

Begin with the commands: sudo apt install mysql-server

wget http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/3.2/ubuntu/pool/main/z/zabbix-release/zabbix-release_3.2-1+xenial_all.deb

dpkg -i zabbix-release_3.2-1+xenial_all.deb

apt update

apt install zabbix-server-mysql zabbix-frontend-php zabbix-agent zabbix-get zabbix-sender snmp snmpd snmp-mibs-downloader php7.0-bcmath php7.0-xml php7.0-mbstring

mysql -u root -p your password

create database zabbix character set utf8 collate utf8_bin;

grant all privileges on zabbix.* to zabbix@localhost identified by 'zabbix';


cd /usr/share/doc/zabbix-server-mysql/

zcat create.sql.gz | mysql -u root -p zabbix

mysql -u root -p your password

show databases;

use zabbix;

show tables;


cd /etc/zabbix/

  • And copy evenhandler directory to the nagios directory:

timedatectl list-timezones Or timedatectl

nano apache.conf

nano zabbix_server.conf

service apache2 restart

service zabbix-server restart

cd nagios-plugins-2.1.2/

service zabbis-server status


  • Open your web browser and YOURIPADDRESS/zabbix
Zabbix monitoring system


Before start to install the Zabbbix-agent update the machine apt update

Zabbix-Agent is easy to install, just one command and it installed into the machine. apt install zabbix-agent

User need to go to the configuration folder to start edit the agent config file cd /etc/zabbix

Start to edit the file to make the correct configuration to send all the checks to Zabbix-server nano -c zabbix_agentd.conf

Checking the configuration file

  • Uncomment line 43
  • If user need to enable the debugging mode uncomment line 57
  • Enable the remote command uncomment line 73
  • Enable the log remote command uncomment line 82
  • Server IP address line 95
  • Listen-port 10050 uncomment line 103
  • Enable the server-active uncomment line 136
  • Hostname depends on the user configuration

Enable the encryption Front-end Web

SSL support actually comes standard in the Ubuntu 16.04 Apache package. We simply need to enable it to take advantage of SSL on our system.

Enable the module by typing:

sudo a2enmod ssl

Creating a subdirectory within Apache's configuration hierarchy to place the certificate files that we will be making

sudo mkdir /etc/apache2/ssl

Now that we have a location to place our key and certificate, we can create them both in one step by typing

sudo openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.key -out /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.crt

Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:EE
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:Harjumaa
Locality Name (eg, city) []:Tallinn
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]: Incorporated Company
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:Head
Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name) []: domain.com
Email Address []:

Please enter the following 'extra' attributes
to be sent with your certificate request
A challenge password []:
An optional company name []:
  • openssl: This is the basic command line tool provided by OpenSSL to create and manage certificates, keys, signing requests, etc.
  • req: This specifies a subcommand for X.509 certificate signing request (CSR) management. X.509 is a public key infrastructure standard that SSL adheres to for its key and certificate managment. Since we are wanting to create a new X.509 certificate, this is what we want.
  • -x509: This option specifies that we want to make a self-signed certificate file instead of generating a certificate request.
  • -nodes: This option tells OpenSSL that we do not wish to secure our key file with a passphrase. Having a password protected key file would get in the way of Apache starting automatically as we would have to enter the password every time the service restarts.
  • -days 365: This specifies that the certificate we are creating will be valid for one year.
  • -newkey rsa:2048: This option will create the certificate request and a new private key at the same time. This is necessary since we didn't create a private key in advance. The rsa:2048 tells OpenSSL to generate an RSA key that is 2048 bits long.
  • -keyout: This parameter names the output file for the private key file that is being created.
  • -out: This option names the output file for the certificate that we are generating.

Open the file with root privileges now: sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl.conf

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
    <VirtualHost _default_:443>
        ServerAdmin admin@example.com
        ServerName your_domain.com
        ServerAlias www.your_domain.com
        DocumentRoot /var/www/html
        ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
        CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
        SSLEngine on
---->   SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.crt
---->   SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.key
        <FilesMatch "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php)$">
                        SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
        <Directory /usr/lib/cgi-bin>
                        SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
        BrowserMatch "MSIE [2-6]" \
                        nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
                        downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0
        BrowserMatch "MSIE [17-9]" ssl-unclean-shutdown

SSL-enabled virtual host sudo a2ensite default-ssl.conf

Restart Apache to load our new virtual host file service apache2 restart

Test the configuration by visiting the server's domain name or public IP address after specifying the https:// protocol, like this:


This to solve the problem to enable the ssl nano 000-default.conf

# Special virtulhost only for redirecting
<VirtualHost *:80>
        Redirect "/" "https://Zabbix-server/"

Security VS Vulnerabilities

The following information about the solution vulnerabilities and how to avoid them.

First of all Securing the database necessary. Starting with the issue Zabbix server using MySQL database and using MD5 hash. The first step is to use the strong password because the hash can be cracked by effortless way.

Zabbix MySQL database

Setting the password for the administrator user

update zabbix.users set passwd=md5('verystrongpassword') where alias='Admin';

Zabbix setting the password

Zabbix password hash cracked

Avoiding the issue by using strong complex password and administrator must update it every week

update zabbix.users set passwd=md5('VeryComplexp@ss0rd') where alias='Admin';

The attacker will not be able to obtain the password or even to crack it.

Another issue could cause a problem that when the solution administrator will enable the LDAP authentication the password will be saved in the Zabbix database as a plain text

Zabbix Enable LDAP

Zabbix LDAP passwords saved as a plain text

Downright dangerous, system administrator need to be aware when enable the LDAP in Zabbix server.


Zabbix is an open source application for monitoring a system. Zabbix has been widely used because of the ease of configuration. Zabbix also in support by various plugins. Look here for more information zabbix-main-documentation.

See also

Zabbix installation by Cyber-Tect-Tips

1- Zabbix-Server-Installation

2- Zabbix-Agent

Security part

1- LDAP authentication

2- Reset the password


1- System monitoring

2- CIA

3- Zabbix-Information

4- Cyber-Tech-Tips

5- Requirements table reference