System Administration Guide: IP Services

Security Considerations for ipsecinit.conf and ipsecconf

Use extreme caution if transmitting a copy of the ipsecinit.conf file over a network. An adversary can read a network-mounted file as the file is being read. If, for example, the /etc/inet/ipsecinit.conf file is accessed or is copied from an NFS-mounted file system, an adversary can change the policy that is contained in the file.

Ensure that you set up IPsec policies before starting any communications, because existing connections might be affected by the addition of new policy entries. Similarly, do not change policies in the middle of a communication.

Specifically, IPsec policy cannot be changed for SCTP, TCP, or UDP sockets on which a connect() or accept() function call has been issued. A socket whose policy cannot be changed is called a latched socket. New policy entries do not protect sockets that are already latched. For more information, see the connect(3SOCKET) and accept(3SOCKET) man pages.

Protect your naming system. If the following two conditions are met, then your host names are no longer trustworthy:

Security weaknesses often arise from the misapplication of tools, not from the actual tools. You should be cautious when using the ipsecconf command. Use a console or other hard-connected TTY for the safest mode of operation.