HP OpenVMS Guide to System Security: OpenVMS Version 8.4 > Chapter 3 Using the System Responsibly
The operating system maintains information in your UAF record about the last time you logged in to your account. Your security administrator decides whether the system should display this information at login time. Sites with medium to high security requirements frequently display this information and ask users to check it for unusual or unexplained successful logins and unexplained failed logins.
If there is a report of an interactive or a noninteractive login at a time when you were not logged in, report it promptly to your security administrator. Also change your password. The security administrator can investigate further by using accounting files and audit logs.
If you receive a login failure message and cannot account for the failure, it is likely that someone has been trying to access your account unsuccessfully. Check your password to ensure that it adheres to all recommendations for password security described in “Guidelines for Protecting Your Password”. If not, change your password immediately.
If you expect to see a login failure message and it does not appear or if the count of failures is too low, change your password. Report either of these indications of login failure problems to your security administrator.
Once you review the situation and ensure that you have done everything possible to protect your files with standard protection codes and general ACLs (described in “Protecting Data”), you may conclude that security auditing is required.
To specify security auditing, you can add special access control entries (ACEs) to files you own or to which you have control access. Keep in mind, however, that the audit log file is a systemwide mechanism, so HP recommends that a site security administrator control the use of file auditing. Although you can add auditing ACEs to files over which you have control, the security administrator has to enable auditing of files on a system level.
For example, if user RWOODS and his security administrator agree that they must know when a highly confidential file, CONFIDREVIEW.MEM, is being accessed, RWOODS can add an entry to the existing ACL for the file CONFIDREVIEW.MEM, as follows:
After RWOODS adds the security-auditing entry, the security administrator enables file-access auditing so that access attempts are recorded. See “Auditing File Access” for more information on file-access auditing.
An access violation of one file frequently indicates access problems with other files. Therefore, the security administrator may need to monitor access to all key files having security-auditing ACEs. When undesired access is gained to key files, the security administrator must take immediate action.
A security administrator can direct the operating system to send an audit message to the system security audit log file or an alarm to terminals enabled as security operator terminals whenever security-relevant events occur. For example, the security administrator might identify one or more files for which write access is prohibited. An audit message can be sent to indicate attempted access to these files.
If you suspect intrusion attempts to your account, the security administrator may temporarily enable auditing for all file access. The security administrator can also enable auditing to monitor read access to your files to catch file browsers.
For example, assume you decide to audit the file CONFIDREVIEW.MEM, which has a security-auditing ACE (see “Adding Access Control Entries to Sensitive Files”). If user ABADGUY accesses CONFIDREVIEW.MEM and has delete access, the following audit record is written to the system security audit log file:
The auditing message reveals the name of the perpetrator, the method of access (successful deletion accomplished by using the program [SYSEXE]DELETE.EXE), time of access (7:21 a.m.), and the use of a privilege (SYSPRV) to gain access to the file. With this information, the security administrator can take action.
Note that the security audit message is written to the security audit log file every time any file is accessed and meets the conditions specified in the audit entry of the ACL for that file (see “Adding Access Control Entries to Sensitive Files”). Access to the file CONFIDREVIEW.MEM, as well as access to any file on the system that is protected with security auditing, prompts an audit record to be written to the security audit log file.