Tag Archives: IPTables

Block and Unblock Ports on Your Firewall Quickly

Introduction

This blog just shares and explains the function of a script I created for *nux based systems that can be used to quickly block and unblock ports on your firewall. It works with both IPTables and FirewallD. It can also be easily configured to work with a cron and ran at key times.

There are several reasons why you might want to quickly block a port on your firewall.

  • Maybe you suspect someone is intruding or violating your system.
  • Maybe you want to leave your computer running (it’s crunching data for you), but for security reasons you want to close all of the ports when you’re not around (such as after work hours or over the weekend).

The Goods

At the present time, the script supports blocking inbound tcp and udp ports. It also supports blocking port ranges.
Simply copy this into a script file which I called blockport.sh (don’t forget to make it executable) and place it in your path:

#!/bin/sh
# Name: blockport.sh
# Author: Chris Caron <lead2gold@gmail.com>
# Date: Jul 17th, 2015
# Description: A simple script that blocks and unblocks outbound traffic
#              The intent is to set up a cron that will block stuff at night
#              and then unblock it in the morning every day preventing
#              any unnecessary things from making outbound requests.
#
# Dependencies: sed, logger, grep, and iptables
#
# This script must run as root!

SCRIPTNAME=$(basename $0)
IPTABLES_BIN=iptables
IPTABLES_PRINT=echo

# Set the command to what you want to actually do
# some scripts explicitly reference the above
IPTABLES=$IPTABLES_PRINT
IPTABLES=$IPTABLES_BIN

# Default Line Numbers (where inserts will take place
IPTABLES_OUTPUT_LINE=${IPTABLES_OUTPUT_LINE:=1}
IPTABLES_INPUT_LINE=${IPTABLES_INPUT_LINE:=1}

show_syntax () {
   echo "Syntax: \$> $SCRIPTNAME <Action> [Options]"
   echo "  Actions:"
   echo "     -l"
   echo "     --list                  List the ports blocked by this script."
   echo
   echo "     -bo PORT"
   echo "     --block-outbound=PORT   Blocks outbound ports (both udp and tcp). You can"
   echo "                              use space or comma to delimite multiple ports"
   echo "     -uo PORT"
   echo "     --unblock-outbound=PORT Unblocks outbound ports (both udp and tcp)"
   echo "                              previously blocked. You can use space or comma to"
   echo "                              delimit multiple ports"
   echo "     -bi PORT"
   echo "     --block-inbound=PORT    Blocks inbound ports (both udp and tcp). You can"
   echo "                              use space or comma to delimite multiple ports"
   echo "     -ui PORT"
   echo "     --unblock-inbound=PORT  Unblocks inbound ports (both udp and tcp)"
   echo "                              previously blocked. You can use space or comma to"
   echo "                              delimit multiple ports"
   echo ""
}

clean_ports(){
   # A Simple function that cleans up port ranges
   local PORTS=$(echo $1 | sed -e 's/[, \\/]\+/ /g' -e 's/[;-]\+/:/' \
             -e 's/[^:0-9 ]//g' -e 's/^[^0-9]\+//g' -e 's/[^0-9]\+$//g')
   [ -z "$PORTS" ] && return 1
   echo "$PORTS"
   return 0
}

indexes() {
   # Possible types are OUTPUT, INPUT, and FORWARD
   local TYPE=$1
   # A simple function that returns the index(es) of a iptable
   # entry (if it's blocked or not).
   local PORTS=$(clean_ports $2)
   [ $? -ne 0 ] && return 1

   local INDEXES=""
   # This magical line was constructed off of what i learned here:
   # http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/129087/grep-log-and-get-text-between-log-delimiters
   # It extracts the DROP lines we created in the OUTPUT Chain
   for PORT in $PORTS; do
      INDEX=$($IPTABLES_BIN -nL --line-numbers | \
         grep -zPo "(\n?Chain $TYPE [^\n]*\n)\K(.|\n)+?[^\n][^Cc](.|\n)+?(?=\nChain [^\n]*\n)" | \
                egrep 'DROP' | egrep '^[0-9]' | egrep " dpts?:$PORT[ \t]*\$" | \
                sed -e 's/^[ \t]*\([0-9]\+\)[^0-9].*/\1/g')
      INDEXES="$INDEXES $INDEX"
   done

   [ -z "$INDEXES" ] && return 1

   # Sort the INDEXES (largest # to smallest) because we want to
   # process the list backwards
   INDEXES=$(echo $INDEXES | tr -s '[:space:]' '\n' | sort -n -r | uniq)
   echo $INDEXES
   return 0
}

unblock() {
   # Possible types are OUTPUT, INPUT, and FORWARD
   local TYPE=$1
   # A simple function that returns the index(es) of a iptable
   # entry (if it's blocked or not).
   local PORTS=$2

   # Defaults
   [ -z "$TYPE" ] && TYPE=INPUT

   # Stores the indexes (if set)
   local INDEXES="$(indexes $TYPE $PORTS)"
   [ -z "$INDEXES" ] && return 0

   # Sort the INDEXES (largest # to smallest) because we want to
   # process the list backwards
   INDEXES=$(echo $INDEXES | tr -s '[:space:]' '\n' | sort -n -r | uniq)

   for INDEX in $INDEXES; do
      $IPTABLES -D $TYPE $INDEX
   done
   logger "INFO - blockport.sh: Unblocked $TYPE $PORTS"
   return 0
}

block(){
   # Possible types are OUTPUT, INPUT, and FORWARD
   local TYPE=$1
   # A simple function that returns the index(es) of a iptable
   # entry (if it's blocked or not).
   local PORTS=$(clean_ports $2)
   [ $? -ne 0 ] && return 1

   # Defaults
   [ -z "$TYPE" ] && TYPE=INPUT

   # If indexes already exist, then we don't have to do anything
   local INDEXES="$(indexes $TYPE $PORTS)"
   [ ! -z "$INDEXES" ] && return 0

   local LINE=$(eval "echo \$IPTABLES_${TYPE}_LINE")
   [ -z $LINE ] && LINE=1
   for PORT in $PORTS; do
      $IPTABLES -I $TYPE $LINE -p tcp -s 0/0 --destination-port $PORT -j DROP
      $IPTABLES -I $TYPE $LINE -p udp -s 0/0 --destination-port $PORT -j DROP
   done
   logger "INFO - blockport.sh: Blocked $TYPE $PORTS"
   return 0
}

list() {
   echo
   for TYPE in "INPUT" "OUTPUT" ; do
      echo "Listing $TYPE Ports Blocked:"
      $IPTABLES_BIN -nL --line-numbers | \
         grep -zPo "(\n?Chain $TYPE [^\n]*\n)\K(.|\n)+?[^\n][^Cc](.|\n)+?(?=\nChain [^\n]*\n)" | \
         egrep 'DROP' | egrep '^[0-9]' | egrep " dpts?:[0-9:]+[ \t]*\$"
      echo
   done
   return 0
}

##########################################################
##                          Main                        ##
##########################################################
PATH=/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin
if [ $(whoami) != "root" ]; then
   echo "Error: you must be root to execute this script."
fi

ACTION="x"
RETVAL=0
while : ; do
   case $1 in
      -l) list; exit 0 ;;
      --list) list; exit 0 ;;
      -bo) ACTION='bo';
           block "OUTPUT" $2;
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift; shift ;;
      --block-outbound) ACTION='bo';
           block "OUTPUT" $(echo $1 | sed -e 's/--block-outbound=//g' -e "s/'//g" -e 's/\"//g')
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift ;;
      -uo) ACTION='uo';
           unblock "OUTPUT" $2;
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift; shift ;;
      --unblock-outbound) ACTION='uo';
           unblock "OUTPUT" $(echo $1 | sed -e 's/--unblock-outbound=//g' -e "s/'//g" -e 's/\"//g')
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift ;;
      -bi) ACTION='bi';
           block "INPUT" $2;
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift; shift ;;
      --block-inbound) ACTION='bi';
           block "INPUT" $(echo $1 | sed -e 's/--block-inbound=//g' -e "s/'//g" -e 's/\"//g')
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift ;;
      -ui) ACTION='ui';
           unblock "INPUT" $2;
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift; shift ;;
      --unblock-inbound) ACTION='ui';
           unblock "INPUT" $(echo $1 | sed -e 's/--unblock-inbound=//g' -e "s/'//g" -e 's/\"//g')
           [ $? -ne 0 ] && RETVAL=1
           shift ;;
      -h) show_syntax ; exit 0 ;;
      --help) show_syntax ; exit 0 ;;
       *) if [ -z "$1" ]; then break; fi
          echo "[error] Invalid option '$1' specified; see --help (-h) for more info."
          exit 1
          ;;
   esac
done

if [ $ACTION == "x" ]; then
   show_syntax
   exit 1
fi

exit $RETVAL

Again, I state: this script must be ran as root (because it wraps IPTables). So stick sudo in front of it’s calls if running as a regular user (assuming you’re set up with sudoer’s privileges).

Syntax

Syntax: $> blockport.sh  [Options]
  Actions:
     -l
     --list                  List the ports blocked by this script.

     -bo PORT
     --block-outbound=PORT   Blocks outbound ports (both udp and tcp). You can
                              use space or comma to delimit multiple ports
     -uo PORT
     --unblock-outbound=PORT Unblocks outbound ports (both udp and tcp)
                              previously blocked. You can use space or comma to
                              delimit multiple ports
     -bi PORT
     --block-inbound=PORT    Blocks inbound ports (both udp and tcp). You can
                              use space or comma to delimit multiple ports
     -ui PORT
     --unblock-inbound=PORT  Unblocks inbound ports (both udp and tcp)
                              previously blocked. You can use space or comma to
                              delimit multiple ports

Demo

Here is a simple example that just blocks 2 ports. We can chain more than one port by placing a comma in between each one. It is also valid to keep using one switch after another (they’ll be executed in order).

# Here is how easy it is to use; first we'll block (inbound) ports 80 and 443
blockport.sh -bi 80,443

# This is also valid syntax:
#    blockport.sh -bi 80 -bi 443

# We know they're blocked now, but we can have a look anyway:
blockport.sh -l
# The output will look like this:
# Listing INPUT Ports Blocked:
# 1    DROP   udp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   udp dpt:443
# 2    DROP   tcp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   tcp dpt:443
# 3    DROP   udp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   udp dpt:80
# 4    DROP   tcp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   tcp dpt:80
#
# Listing OUTPUT Ports Blocked:
#

# We can reverse this by typing:
blockport.sh -ui 80,443

# This is also valid syntax:
# blockport.sh -ui 80 -ui 443

You can do ranges too; just use the colon (:) or hyphen (-). In the example below, we block a range of outgoing traffic from a system:

# Below blocks outbound ports 20, 21, and all ports (and including) 8000-8500.
blockport.sh -bo 20,21,8000-8500

# This is also valid syntax:
#    blockport.sh -bo 20 -bo 21 -bo 8000-8500

# We know they're blocked now, but we can have a look anyway:
blockport.sh -l
# The output will look like this:
# Listing INPUT Ports Blocked:
#
# Listing OUTPUT Ports Blocked:
# 1    DROP   udp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   udp dpts:8000:8500
# 2    DROP   tcp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   tcp dpts:8000:8500
# 3    DROP   udp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   udp dpt:21
# 4    DROP   tcp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   tcp dpt:21
# 5    DROP   udp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   udp dpt:20
# 6    DROP   tcp  --  0.0.0.0/0   0.0.0.0/0   tcp dpt:20

# We can reverse this by typing:
blockport.sh -uo 20,21,8000-8500

# This is also valid syntax:
# blockport.sh -uo 20 -uo 21 -uo 8000-8500

Note: You can only unblock what you block. Here is an example of what I mean:

# Blocking a range:
blockport.sh -bo 8000-8500

# You CAN NOT just unblock a port from it (this will not work):
blockport.sh -uo 8400

# Similarly, you can not block individual ports and then try to unblock them
# as a range:
blockport.sh -bo 20,21

# You CAN NOT just unblock this as a range (this will not work):
blockport.sh -uo 20-21

Caution
This script is intended to be an instant port blocker. It intentionally destroys any pre-established connections utilizing the port marked. Keep this in mind so that you don’t block yourself out of your own Server or VPS. Hence DON’T CLOSE PORT 22 unless you know what and why you’re doing it. You have been warned! 🙂

Use Cases
Suppose you want to deny access out of a server you host for your company after hours, you could create a cron like this:

# Block defined outbound ports at around 5:30pm every evening on Weekdays
# (Mon - Fri)
30 17 * * 1-5 /root/bin/blockport.sh -bo 80,443,22,21 &>/dev/null

# Unblock the defined ports every morning at 7am on Weekdays
# (Mon - Fri) keeping them blocked over the weekends
0 7 * * 1-5 /root/bin/blockport.sh -uo 80,443,22,20,21 &>/dev/null

Alternatively, maybe something looked bad in /var/log/messages or /var/log/audit/audit.log to you and you simply just want to immediately block the port.

Credit

If you like what you see and wish to copy and paste this HOWTO, please reference back to this blog post at the very least. It’s really all I ask.

Permanently Ban Those Caught By Fail2Ban

Introduction

Fail2ban is probably one of the best intrusive detection based tools an administrator can deploy onto their system. This is especially the case if your system is connected to the internet. If you aren’t already using it; consider reading my blog entry here that talks about it.

In this blog, I provide a scripted solution that will capture the current list of banned users from Fail2Ban and make their ban permanent. This allows us to limit the constant emails one might receive about the same people trying to compromise our system(s). For those who aren’t using the emailing portion of Fail2Ban; this script still greatly takes the load off of Fail2Ban because it no longer has to manage the constant repeat offenders. Our logs are less cluttered too.

The script will address several things:

  1. It will handle multiple attacks from people within the same Class C type netmask.
  2. It will allow for the permanent bans to stick even after your system is rebooted. Unlike Fail2Ban’s list of blocked perpetrators, which is lost if the system (or iptables) is restarted.
  3. It will enforce the use of iptable’s DROP directive instead of REJECT. This is a slightly more secure approach in handling those who aren’t ever allowed to come back.
  4. It will support the fact that over time, you may want to add and remove from this new ban list I keep speaking of. Basically you can re-run the steps outlined in this blog again (and again) and not lose the addresses you’ve already blocked.
  5. The script maintains a global list of addresses in a simple delimited format. You can then choose to share this list with other systems (or colleagues) to block the same unwanted users on these systems too.

Script Dependencies and Requirements

For this script to work, you can virtually use any Linux/FreeBSD/Unix operating system as long as you’re also using fail2ban in conjunction with iptables.

The script makes use of sed, and gawk to massage the data. These tools are common an available to all operating systems. But not all of them necessarily have them installed by default. Make sure you’ve got them before proceeding:

# Fedora / CentOS 4,5,6 / RedHat 4,5,6
yum -i install gawk sed

# Ubuntu / Debian
apt-get install gawk sed

The Goods

Without further ado, the below code is documented quite heavily so that you can just copy the sections into your terminal screen as the systems root user. Don’t try the next section until you’re done with the previous.

Although this code works for me, I still must caution you all the same: I will not be held liable for any loss, damage or expense as a result of the actions taken by my script. I’ve only used it without problem with CentOS 6.x. That said, the simplicity of it should make it work with any other *nux based OS as well.

# Author: Chris Caron
# Date: Tue, Apr 7th, 2015
########################################
# Environment Variables
########################################
# YOU MUST CORRECTLY SET THESE OR THE REMAINING FUNCTIONS OF
# THIS CODE WILL NOT WORK CORRECTLY.
#
# THIS SCRIPT ASSUMES YOU ARE RUNNING AS 'root'
#
# Public Ethernet Device
# For my home system, i have this set to ppp0; You'll want to
# set this to the Ethernet device that harm can venture from.
# such as the internet.
PUBDEV=eth0

# The name of the iptables chain to manage the permanent bans
# within. The name doesn't matter so long that it doesn't
# collide with a chain you're already managing.
# Also, Do not change this value in the future because that
# will hinder the ability to upgrade/append new bans easily.
# It is doubtful that it's current set value will conflict
# with anything. Therefore just leave the name the way it is
# now:
FILTER=nuxref-perm-ban

# The script makes an effort to detect IP Addresses all
# coming from the same Class C type network.  Rather then
# have an entry per IP like fail2ban manages; we group
# them into 1 to speed the look-ups iptables preforms.
# You'll want to identify the minimum number of IP
# addresses matched within the same alike (Class C) network
# before this grouping takes place.
CLASSCGRP_MIN=2

# IP Tables configuration file read during your system
# startup.
IPTABLES_CFG=/etc/sysconfig/iptables

# IPTables Chain Index
# Identify where you want your ban list to be applied
# To reduce overhead, the banlist should be processed 'after'
# some core checks you do.  For example I have a series of other
# checks i do first such as allowing already established
# connections to pass through.  I didn't want the ban list
# being applied to these, so for my system, i set this to 11.
# Setting it to 1 is safe because it guarantees it's at least
# processed first on systems who don't actively maintain their
# own custom firewall list.
CHAINID=1

########################################
# Preparation
########################################

# First we built a massive sorted and unique list of
# already banned IP addresses.
# The below is clever enough to include previous content
# you've banned from before (if any exists):
(
   # carry over old master list
   iptables -L -n | awk "/Chain $FILTER/, $NF ~ /RETURN/" | 
    egrep DROP | sed -e 's/^[^0-9.]*([0-9]+.[0-9]+.[0-9]+).([0-9/]+).*/1 .2/g'
   # update master list with new data
   iptables -L -n | egrep REJECT | 
    sed -e 's/^[^0-9.]*([0-9]+.[0-9]+.[0-9]+).([0-9]+).*/1 .2/g'
) | sort -n | uniq > list
 
# Now we build a separate list (in memory) that will track
# all of the ip addresses that met our $CLASSCGRP_MIN flag.
CLASSC_LIST=$(cat list | cut -f1 -d' ' | uniq -c | 
    sed 's/^ *//g' | sort -n | 
    awk "int($1)>=$CLASSCGRP_MIN" | cut -f2 -d' ')
 
# We eliminate the duplicates already pulled into memory
# from the master list of IPs
for NW in $CLASSC_LIST; do sed -i -e "/^$NW /d" list; done

# Now we scan our list and repopulate them into our master
# list. We place these entries at the head of the file so
# that they'll be added to our iptable ban chain first.
for NW in $CLASSC_LIST; do sed -i "1s/^/$NW .0/24n/" list; done

# Using our list of banned IP addresses, we now generate
# the actual iptable entries (into a file called
# 'commands':
(
   # Creates the chain
   echo iptables -N $FILTER
 
   # Build List of Addresses using our list file
   while read line; do           
      IP=$(echo $line | tr -d '[:space:]')
      echo iptables -A $FILTER -s $IP -j DROP;
   done < list
 
   # Allow future iptable processing to continue 
   # after reading through this chain by appending
   # the RETURN action.
   echo iptables -A $FILTER -j RETURN
 
   # Add chain to INPUT
   echo iptables -t filter -I INPUT $CHAINID -i $PUBDEV -j $FILTER
) > commands

########################################
# IPTables (Temporary Instalment)
########################################

# Have a look at our commands if you want:
cat commands

# Apply these new rules now with the following command:
sh commands

# The commands generated in the 'commands' text file 
# are only temporary; they will be lost if your
# machine (or iptables) is ever restarted

########################################
# IPTables (Permanent Installation)
########################################
# Consider making a backup of your configuration in case you
# need to roll back
/bin/cp -f $IPTABLES_CFG $IPTABLES_CFG.backup

# Now we generate all of the commands needed to place
# into our iptables configuration file:
sed -e 's/^iptables[ ]*//g' commands | 
    egrep "^-A $FILTER -s " > commands-iptables
# Clean up old configuration
sed -i -e "/^:$FILTER -/d" "$IPTABLES_CFG"
sed -i -e "/^-A INPUT .* $FILTER$/d" "$IPTABLES_CFG"
sed -i -e "/^-A $FILTER -/d" "$IPTABLES_CFG"
 
# Now push all of our new ban entries into the iptables file
sed -i -e "/:OUTPUT .*/a:$FILTER - [0:0]" "$IPTABLES_CFG"
sed -i -e "/:$FILTER - .*/a-A INPUT -i $PUBDEV -j $FILTER" "$IPTABLES_CFG"
sed -i -e "/-A INPUT -i $PUBDEV -j $FILTER.*/r commands-iptables" "$IPTABLES_CFG"

# Now preform the following to reset all of the fail2ban
# jails you've got as well load your new permanent ban setup
service fail2ban stop
service iptables restart
service fail2ban start

# If you have a problem; just roll back your backup you
# created and rerun the 3 commands above again. You can
# have a look at the table with the following command:
iptables -L -n -v

########################################
# IPTables (Optional Tiding)
########################################
# the above will insert the banlist at the top
# The below will just correct this and move it
# clean entry(s) from INPUT
(
   while [ 1 -eq 1 ]; do
      ID=$(iptables -nL --line-numbers | 
           egrep "^[0-9]+[ t]+$FILTER " | 
           head -n 1 | 
           sed -e 's/^([0-9]+).*/1/g')
      [ -z "$ID" ] && break;
      iptables -D INPUT $ID
   done
   # Re insert at the correct $CHAINID
   iptables -t filter -I INPUT $CHAINID -i $PUBDEV -j $FILTER
)

# have another look if you want (if you tidied)
iptables -L -n -v

########################################
# Cleanup (Optional)
########################################
# Remove temporary files when your done; or save them if you
# want to port this data to another server:
rm -f list commands commands-iptables

You can undo and destroy the new entries an any time using the following:

# disassociate filter from INPUT
while [ 1 -eq 1 ]; do
   ID=$(iptables -nL --line-numbers | 
        egrep "^[0-9]+[ t]+$FILTER " | 
        head -n 1 | 
        sed -e 's/^([0-9]+).*/1/g')
   [ -z "$ID" ] && break;
   iptables -D INPUT $ID
done
# flush filter
iptables -F $FILTER
# remove filter
iptables -X $FILTER

Credit

This blog took some time to put together and test! If you like what you see and wish to copy and paste this HOWTO, please reference back to this blog post at the very least. It’s really all I ask.

Sources

There were not many sources used to make this entry. Most of it is just shell scripting knowledge I’ve adopted over the years mixed with some iptable commands. Here are some sources anyway that are applicable:

Configuring a Secure Mail Server on CentOS 6

Introduction

As you know, Mail Server tutorials are all over the internet. So if you stumbled upon mine, then you were like me trying to assemble one based on how others do it to save reading the manual. A mail server is NOT a walk through the park like some other servers are (such as Web, Database, etc). They can be very complicated to master; and frankly, when you’re short on time, it’s easier to just get one going right away. Don’t dismiss the need to learn how it works once you’ve set it up otherwise you may not know how to recover from a unexpected situation. But instead, learn about how it works (and how to further tweak it) after the deadlines have been met. Besides, your boss will be impressed when you show him your successful results sooner then later.

You’re reading this blog because your needs were/are similar to what mine were:

  • You’re looking for an automated solution to installing a mail server with little effort because you’re on a tight deadline.
  • You want a central configuration point; you want everything to be easy to maintain after it’s all set up.
  • You want everything to just work the first time and you want to leave the figuring it out part to the end.
  • Package management and version control is incredibly important to you.

Here is what my tutorial will be focused on:

  • A Database Backend (PostgreSQL) giving you central configuration. This tutorial focuses on version 8.4 because that is what ships with CentOS and Red Hat. But most (if not all) of this tutorial should still work fine if you choose to use version 9.x of the database instead.
  • Spam Control (SpamAssasin v3.3.x, Amavisd-new v2.8, and Clam AntiVirus v0.98) gives you some spam and anti-virus control. I’ve been looking into DSPAM but haven’t implemented it yet. I figure I’ll make a part 2 to this blog once i get around to working with it and mastering it’s setup.
  • Dovecot Pigeonhole v2.0.x provides you a way of routing mail in the users inbox based on it’s content. You can key off of certain content within a received message and mark it as spam, or flag it as important because it was sent by a certain individual, etc. It basically gives you the ability to custom some of the post processing of a received message that passed through all the other checks (spam, anti-virus, etc).
  • Security Considered
  • Mail Delivery Agent (MDA) (DoveCot v2.0.x):
    • Secure POP3 (POP3S) Access
    • Secure IMAP (IMAPS) Access
    • WebMail (RoundCube) Access
Message Delivery Agent Configuration

MDA Configuration

  • Mail Transport Agent (MTA) (PostFix v2.6.x): Secure SMTP (SMTPS)
Mail Transport Agent

MTA Configuration

  • Web Based Administration (PostFixAdmin v2.3.6). Life is made easier when you don’t have to do very much once everything has been set up. Run your server like an ISP would:
    • Virtual Domain Administration: Add/Remove as many as you want
    • Unlimited Virtual Aliases (or restrict if you want) per domain
    • Unlimited Mailboxes (or restrict if you want) per domain
    • Administrative Delegation: Grant enough privileges to another administrator who only has rights to his/her domain you granted them access to.
    • Away on Vacation Support (automatic replies)
Central Configuration

Central Configuration

Please note the application versions identified above as this tutorial focuses specifically on only them. One big issue I found while researching how to set up a mail server was that the other tutorials I found didn’t really mention the software versions they were using. Hence, when I stumbled upon these old article(s) with new(er) software, it made for quite a painful experience when things didn’t work.

Please also note that other tutorials will imply that you setup one feature at a time. Then test it to see if it worked correctly before moving on to the next step. This is no doubt the proper way to do things. However, I’m just going to give it all to you at once. If you stick with the versions and packages I provide… If you follow my instructions, it will just work for you the first time. Debugging on your end will be a matter of tracing back to see what step you missed.

I tried to make this tutorial as cookie cutter(ish) as I could. Therefore you can literally just copy and paste what I share right to your shell prompt and the entire setup will be automated for you.

Hurdles

Just to let you know, I had many hurdles in order to pull this feat off. They were as follows:

  • postfix as shipped with CentOS and in the EPEL repository is not compiled with PostgreSQL support. I had to recompile this package as well just to enable this extra database support.
  • postfixadmin in the EPEL repository has qwirks I wasn’t happy with. I needed to fix a php error that kept coming up. I needed to adjust the database schema and permissions as well as fixing the Vacation Notification feature. I also did not want the mandatory MySQL dependency; so I removed that too.
  • perl Yes… that’s right, I had to patch perl :(. I had to recompile it due to a bug that I don’t belive was correctly addressed. In a nutshell, prior to my custom rebuild, perl-devel would haul in absolutely every development package including kernel headers and the GCC compiler. In the past the perl-devel package could be installed by itself providing us some tools spamassassin and amavisd-new depended on. You’re welcome to use the official version of perl over the one I recompiled; but be prepared to have a ton of compilation tools and source code in your production environment. This is not something I wanted at all. Interestingly enough; after the developers at RedHat said they wouldn’t tackle the issue of rolling their changes back, they seem to be entertaining this new guy’s request who’s asking for a similar alternative. So who knows, maybe newer versions of perl will accommodate mail servers again! 🙂
  • This blog itself was a massive hurdle. There are just so many configuration files and important points to account for that I found it easier to package my own rpm (nuxref-templates-mxserver) containing a series of configuration templates. The templates themselves took a while to construct in such a way that they could all be used together.

Installation

The following seven steps below will get you up and running.

Step 1 of 7: Setup Your Environment

This is the key to my entire blog; it’s going to make all of the remaining steps just work the first time for you. All; I repeat All of the steps below (after this one) assume that you’ve set this environment up. You will need to reset up your environment at least once before running through any of the remaining steps below or they will not work.

Make sure you hook up with my repository and then install all of the necessary packages:

# You'll need to be hooked up to my repository for
# the installation to be this simple. Make sure to
# visit: http://nuxref.com/nuxref-repository/

# You should use yum priorities (if you're not already) to
# eliminate version problems later, but if you intend on 
# just pointing to my repository and not the others, then you'll
# be fine.
yum install -y yum-plugin-priorities

################################################################
# Install our required products
################################################################
yum install -y 
       --enablerepo=nuxref 
       --enablerepo=nuxref-shared 
           postgresql-server postgresql 
           php-pgsql php-imap php-mcrypt php-mbstring  
           dovecot dovecot-pgsql dovecot-pigeonhole 
           clamav amavisd-new spamassassin 
           postfix postfix-perl-scripts 
           roundcubemail postfixadmin 
           nuxref-templates-mxserver

# Choose between NginX or Apache
## NginX Option (a) - This one is my preferred choice:
yum install -y 
       --enablerepo=nuxref 
       --enablerepo=nuxref-shared 
           nginx php-fpm

## Apache Option (b):
yum install -y 
       --enablerepo=nuxref 
       --enablerepo=nuxref-shared 
            httpd php

# Make sure your build of Postfix supports PostgreSQL
# execute the following to see: 
postconf -c /etc/postfix -m | 
   egrep -q '^pgsql$' && echo "Supported!" || 
      echo "Not Supported!"

# If it's not supported then you ran into the first of many
# problems I had. It also means you didn't haul in my version
# from the previous command.  This can happen if you already had
# postfix installed on your machine and it's of a newer version
# then what I'm hosting. Your options at this point is to either
# uninstall your copy of postfix and install mine or recompile 
# your version of postfix (but this time with PostgreSQL support).

# Setup Default Timezone for PHP. For a list of supported
# timezones you can visit here: http://ca1.php.net/timezones
TIMEZONE="America/Montreal"
sed -i -e "s|^[ t]*;*(date.timezone[ t]*=).*|1 $TIMEZONE|g" /etc/php.ini

################################################################
# Setup PostgreSQL (v8.4)
################################################################
# The commands below should all work fine on a PostgreSQL v9.x
# database too; but your mileage may vary as I've not personally
# tested it yet.

# Only init the database if you haven't already. This command
# could otherwise reset things and you'll loose everything.
# If your database is already setup and running, then you can
# skip this line
service postgresql initdb

# Now that the database is initialized, configure it to trust
# connections from 'this' server (localhost)
sed -i -e 's/^[ t]*(local|host)([ t]+.*)/#12/g' 
    /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf
cat << _EOF >> /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf
# Configure all local database access with trust permissions
local   all         all                               trust
host    all         all         127.0.0.1/32          trust
host    all         all         ::1/128               trust
_EOF

# Make sure PostgreSQL is configured to start up each time
# you start up your system
chkconfig --levels 345 postgresql on

# Start the database now too because we're going to need it
# very shortly in this tutorial
service postgresql start

To simplify your life, I’ve made the configuration of all the steps below reference a few global variables. The ones identified below are the only ones you’ll probably want to change. May I suggest you paste the below information in your favorite text editor (vi, emacs, etc) and adjust the variables to how you want them making it easier to paste them back to your terminal screen.

# Identify the domain name of your server here
DOMAIN=nuxref.com
# Setup what you want to be your Administrative email account
# Note: This does 'NOT' have to be of the same domain even though
#       thats how I set it up to be. Don't worry if the email
#       address doesn't exist, because when you're all done
#       following this blog, you'll be able to create it!
ADMIN=hostmaster@$DOMAIN

# The following is only used for our SSL Key Generation
COUNTRY_CODE="7K"
PROV_STATE="Westerlands"
CITY="Lannisport"
SITE_NAME="NuxRef"

Now for the rest of the global configuration; There really should be no reason to change any of these values (but feel free to). It’s important that you paste the above information (tailored to your liking’s) as well as the below information below to your command line interface (CLI) of the server you wish to set up.

# PostgreSQL Database
PGHOST=localhost
PGPORT=5432
PGNAME=system_mail
# This is the Read Only access user (or very limited access)
PGROUSER=mailreader
PGROPASS=mailreader
# This is for administration
PGRWUSER=mailwriter
PGRWPASS=mailwriter

# VHost Mail Directory
VHOST_HOME=/var/mail/vhosts
VHOST_UID=5000
# No real reason to make them differ
# but define tis variable anyway for
# below configuration to work
VHOST_GID=$VHOST_UID

# RoundCube Configuration
MXHOST=$PGHOST
PGRQNAME=system_roundcube
PGRQUSER=roundcube_user
PGRQPASS=roundcube_pass

# This is where our templates get installed to make your life
# incredibly easy and the setup to be painless. These files are
# installed from the nuxref-templates-mxserver RPM package you
# installed above. If you do not have this RPM package then you
# must install it or this blog simply won't work for you.
# > yum install --enablerepo=nuxref nuxref-templates-mxserver
NUXREF_TEMPLATES=/usr/share/nuxref

Once all of this has been set you can proceed to do any of the below steps! Keep in mind that if you decide to change any of the variables above, you may need to redo every single step identified below.

Step 2 of 7: System Preparation

First off, Make sure you’ve set up your environment correctly (defined in Step 1 above) or you will have problems with the outcome of this step!
General:

# Create vmail user; this will be a secure user no one else has
# permissions to that we can lock and keep our mail private
# from any prying eyes of people who have or gain access to our
# server.
useradd -u $VHOST_UID -d /var/mail/vhosts -M -s /sbin/nologin vmail
mkdir -p  /var/mail/vhosts/
chown vmail.vmail /var/mail/vhosts/
chmod 700 /var/mail/vhosts/

# Create a clam user we can preform our anti-virus scans as
usermod -G amavis clam

# Fix ClamD Sock Reference
sed -i -e 's|/var/spool/amavisd/clamd.sock|/var/run/clamav/clamd.sock|g' /etc/amavisd/amavisd.conf

# Fix Amavis Directory Permission
chmod 1770 /var/spool/amavisd/tmp/
# Amavis Domain Configuration
sed -i -e '/NuxRef BulletProofing/d' 
       -e "s/(# $myhostname.*)/1n$myhostname = 'mail.$DOMAIN'; # NuxRef BulletProofing/g" /etc/amavisd/amavisd.conf
sed -i -e "s/^($mydomain[ t]*=[ t]*).*$/1'$DOMAIN';/g" /etc/amavisd/amavisd.conf

# Generate SSL Keys (if you don't have any already) that we
# will secure all our inbound and outbound mail as.
openssl req -nodes -new -x509 -days 730 -sha256 -newkey rsa:2048 
   -keyout /etc/pki/tls/private/$DOMAIN.key 
   -out /etc/pki/tls/certs/$DOMAIN.crt 
   -subj "/C=$COUNTRY_CODE/ST=$PROV_STATE/L=$CITY/O=$SITE_NAME/OU=IT/CN=$DOMAIN"

# Permissions; protect our Private Key
chmod 400 /etc/pki/tls/private/$DOMAIN.key

# Permissions; protect our Public Key
chmod 444 /etc/pki/tls/certs/$DOMAIN.crt

Create PostgreSQL Mail Database:

# Optionally Eliminate Reset Database.
/bin/su -c "/usr/bin/dropdb -h $PGHOST -p $PGPORT $PGNAME 2>&1" postgres &>/dev/null
/bin/su -c "/usr/bin/dropuser -h $PGHOST -p $PGPORT $PGRWUSER 2>&1" postgres &>/dev/null
/bin/su -c "/usr/bin/dropuser -h $PGHOST -p $PGPORT $PGROUSER 2>&1" postgres &>/dev/null

# Create Read/Write User (our Administrator)
echo "Enter the role password of '$PGRWPASS' when prompted"
/bin/su -c "/usr/bin/createuser -h $PGHOST -p $PGPORT -S -D -R $PGRWUSER -P 2>&1" postgres

# Create Read-Only User
echo "Enter the role password of '$PGROPASS' when prompted"
/bin/su -c "/usr/bin/createuser -h $PGHOST -p $PGPORT -S -D -R $PGROUSER -P 2>&1" postgres

# Create our Database and assign it our Administrator as it's owner
/bin/su -c "/usr/bin/createdb -h $PGHOST -p $PGPORT -O $PGRWUSER $PGNAME 2>&1" postgres 2>&1

# Secure and protect a temporary file to work with
touch /tmp/pgsql.postfix.schema.sql
chmod 640 /tmp/pgsql.postfix.schema.sql
chown root.postgres /tmp/pgsql.postfix.schema.sql

# the below seems big; but will work fine if you just copy and
# it as is right to your terminal: This will prepare the SQL
# statement needed to build your mail server's database backend
sed -e '/^--?/d' 
    -e "s/%PGROUSER%/$PGROUSER/g" 
    -e "s/%PGRWUSER%/$PGRWUSER/g" 
    -e "s/%DOMAIN%/$DOMAIN/g" 
        $NUXREF_TEMPLATES/pgsql.postfix.template.schema.sql > 
          /tmp/pgsql.postfix.schema.sql

# load DB
/bin/su -c "/usr/bin/psql -h $PGHOST -p $PGPORT -f /tmp/pgsql.postfix.schema.sql $PGNAME 2>&1" postgres 2>&1
# cleanup
/bin/rm -f /tmp/pgsql.postfix.schema.sql

Step 3 of 7: Setup our Mail Transfer Agent (MTA): Postfix

First off, Make sure you’ve set up your environment correctly (defined in Step 1 above) or you will have problems with the outcome of this step!

################################################################
# Configure Postfix (MTA)
################################################################
# Create backup of configuration files
[ ! -f /etc/postfix/main.cf.orig ] && 
   cp /etc/postfix/main.cf /etc/postfix/main.cf.orig
[ ! -f /etc/postfix/master.cf.orig ] && 
   cp /etc/postfix/master.cf /etc/postfix/master.cf.orig

# Directory to store our configuration in
[ ! -d /etc/postfix/pgsql ] && 
    mkdir -p /etc/postfix/pgsql

# Secure this new directory since it will contain passwords
# information
chmod 750 /etc/postfix/pgsql
chown root.postfix /etc/postfix/pgsql

# Now using our templates, build our SQL files:
for FILE in relay_domains.cf 
            transport_maps.cf 
            virtual_alias_maps.cf 
            virtual_domains_maps.cf 
            virtual_mailbox_limit_maps.cf 
            virtual_mailbox_maps.cf
do
    sed -e "/^#?/d" 
        -e "s/%PGROUSER%/$PGROUSER/g" 
        -e "s/%PGROPASS%/$PGROPASS/g" 
        -e "s/%PGHOST%/$PGHOST/g" 
        -e "s/%PGNAME%/$PGNAME/g" 
            $NUXREF_TEMPLATES/pgsql.postfix.template.$FILE > 
                /etc/postfix/pgsql/$FILE
done

# main.cf
sed -e "/^#?/d" 
    -e "s/%DOMAIN%/$DOMAIN/g" 
    -e "s|%VHOST_HOME%|$VHOST_HOME|g" 
    -e "s/%VHOST_UID%/$VHOST_UID/g" 
    -e "s/%VHOST_GID%/$VHOST_GID/g" 
        $NUXREF_TEMPLATES/pgsql.postfix.template.main.cf > 
            /etc/postfix/main.cf

# master.cf
cat $NUXREF_TEMPLATES/pgsql.postfix.template.master.cf > 
   /etc/postfix/master.cf

# Run the newaliases command to generate /etc/aliases.db
newaliases

# Vacation Support
echo "autoreply.$DOMAIN vacation:" > /etc/postfix/transport
postmap /etc/postfix/transport

# Update to latest Spam Assassin Rules/Filters
sa-update
# Update to latest Antivirus
freshclam

# Setup Auto-Cron Entries (so future antivirus updates
# can just be automatic).
sed -i -e '//etc/cron.hourly/d' /etc/crontab
sed -i -e '//etc/cron.daily/d' /etc/crontab
sed -i -e '//etc/cron.weekly/d' /etc/crontab
sed -i -e '//etc/cron.monthly/d' /etc/crontab
cat << _EOF >> /etc/crontab
  01 * * * * root run-parts /etc/cron.hourly 
  02 4 * * * root run-parts /etc/cron.daily 
  22 4 * * 0 root run-parts /etc/cron.weekly 
  42 4 1 * * root run-parts /etc/cron.monthly
_EOF

# Enable our Services On Reboot
chkconfig --levels 345 spamassassin on
chkconfig --levels 345 clamd on
chkconfig --levels 345 clamd.amavisd on
chkconfig --levels 345 amavisd on
chkconfig --levels 345 postfix on

# Start all of our other services if they aren't already
service spamassassin start
service clamd start
service amavisd start
service clamd.amavisd start

# Restart our postfix service to on our new configuration
service postfix restart

Step 4 of 7: Setup our Mail Delivery Agent (MDA): Dovecot

First off, Make sure you’ve set up your environment correctly (defined in Step 1 above) or you will have problems with the outcome of this step!

################################################################
# Configure Dovecot (MDA)
################################################################
# Create backup of configuration files
[ ! -f /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf.orig ] && 
   cp /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf.orig

# dovcot.conf
sed -e "/^#?/d" 
    -e "s/%DOMAIN%/$DOMAIN/g" 
    -e "s|%VHOST_HOME%|$VHOST_HOME|g" 
    -e "s/%VHOST_UID%/$VHOST_UID/g" 
    -e "s/%VHOST_GID%/$VHOST_GID/g" 
        $NUXREF_TEMPLATES/pgsql.dovecot.template.dovecot.conf > 
            /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf

# Create our Sieve Directories
[ ! -d /var/lib/sieve/users ] && 
   mkdir -p /var/lib/sieve/users
[ ! -d /var/lib/sieve/before.d ] && 
   mkdir -p /var/lib/sieve/before.d
[ ! -d /var/lib/sieve/after.d ] && 
   mkdir -p /var/lib/sieve/after.d
chown -R vmail.vmail /var/lib/sieve
chmod 750 /var/lib/sieve

# Dovecot PostgreSQL Configuration
for FILE in dovecot-sql.conf 
            dovecot-dict-user-quota.conf 
            dovecot-dict-domain-quota.conf
do
   sed -e "/^#?/d" 
       -e "s|%VHOST_HOME%|$VHOST_HOME|g" 
       -e "s/%VHOST_UID%/$VHOST_UID/g" 
       -e "s/%VHOST_GID%/$VHOST_GID/g" 
       -e "s/%PGROUSER%/$PGROUSER/g" 
       -e "s/%PGROPASS%/$PGROPASS/g" 
       -e "s/%PGHOST%/$PGHOST/g" 
       -e "s/%PGNAME%/$PGNAME/g" 
           $NUXREF_TEMPLATES/pgsql.dovecot.template.$FILE > 
               /etc/dovecot/$FILE
   # permissions
   chmod 640 /etc/dovecot/$FILE
   chown root.dovecot /etc/dovecot/$FILE
done

# Warning Message when mailbox is almost full
sed -e "/^#?/d" 
    -e "s/%DOMAIN%/$DOMAIN/g" 
        $NUXREF_TEMPLATES/pgsql.dovecot.template.mail-warning.sh > 
            /usr/libexec/dovecot/mail-warning.sh

# Make Script Executable
chmod 755 /usr/libexec/dovecot/mail-warning.sh

# Ensure Dovecot starts after each system reboot:
chkconfig --levels 345 dovecot on

# Start Dovecot (otherwise restart it if it's already running)
service dovecot status && service dovecot restart || service dovecot start

Step 5 of 7: Setup Postfix Admin

First off, Make sure you’ve set up your environment correctly (defined in Step 1 above) or you will have problems with the outcome of this step!

################################################################
# Configure PostfixAdmin
################################################################
sed -e "/^//?/d" 
    -e "s/%DOMAIN%/$DOMAIN/g" 
    -e "s/%ADMIN%/$ADMIN/g" 
    -e "s/%PGHOST%/$PGHOST/g" 
    -e "s/%PGNAME%/$PGNAME/g" 
    -e "s/%PGRWUSER%/$PGRWUSER/g" 
    -e "s/%PGRWPASS%/$PGRWPASS/g" 
        $NUXREF_TEMPLATES/pgsql.postfixadmin.template.config.local.php > 
            /etc/postfixadmin/config.local.php

# Protect file since it contains passwords
chmod 640 /etc/postfixadmin/config.local.php
chown root.apache /etc/postfixadmin/config.local.php

# Vacation Auto-respond Support
sed -e "/^#?/d" 
    -e "s/%DOMAIN%/$DOMAIN/g" 
    -e "s/%PGROUSER%/$PGROUSER/g" 
    -e "s/%PGROPASS%/$PGROPASS/g" 
    -e "s/%PGHOST%/$PGHOST/g" 
    -e "s/%PGNAME%/$PGNAME/g" 
        $NUXREF_TEMPLATES/pgsql.postfixadmin.template.vacation.conf > 
            /etc/postfixadmin/vacation.conf

# Protect file since it contains passwords
chmod 640 /etc/postfixadmin/vacation.conf
chown root.vacation /etc/postfixadmin/vacation.conf

# Log Rotation
cat << _EOF > /etc/logrotate.d/postfix-vacation
/var/log/vacation.log {
        missingok
        notifempty
        create 644 vacation root
}
_EOF

Now you can setup NginX to host your administration; in the below example, I set up https://postfixadmin.<your.domain>/ to go to the postfixadmin page.

# Create dummy favicon.ico for now (silences some log entries)
touch /usr/share/postfixadmin/favicon.ico

# PostfixAdmin NginX Configuration
sed -e "/^#?/d" 
    -e "s/%DOMAIN%/$DOMAIN/g" 
        $NUXREF_TEMPLATES/nginx.postfixadmin.template.conf > 
            /etc/nginx/conf.d/postfixadmin.conf

# You may have to bump php-fpm to be safe (if it's not already running)
service php-fpm status 2>/dev/null && service php-fpm restart || service php-fpm start
# make sure it starts on every reboot too:
chkconfig php-fpm --level 345 on
# Restart NginX if it's not already
service nginx status 2>/dev/null && service nginx restart || service nginx start
chkconfig nginx --level 345 on

Once you’re complete that, you’re now ready to access the administrator interface and set up a new account. Simply visit https://postfixadmin.<your.domain>/setup.php. The templates I provided will set the system password to admin. You’ll need to always enter this value prior to creating an account below.
PostfixAdmin Setup
Once you’re done creating an account, just change the setup.php script to read-only as a security precaution. You can preform every other action you’ll ever need using the account you already created.

################################################################
# Disable Future System Administrator Creation
################################################################
chmod 600 /usr/share/postfixadmin/setup.php

# later on, you can re-enable the setup.php file to create a new
# account in the distant future by just typing:
#
# chmod 644 /usr/share/postfixadmin/setup.php
#

You can simply access https://postfixadmin.<your.domain>/ now (without the setup.php) and login using the new administrator you created.

Step 6 of 7: Setup Roundcube

First off, Make sure you’ve set up your environment correctly (defined in Step 1 above) or you will have problems with the outcome of this step!

################################################################
# Configure RoundCube Mailer
################################################################
# RoundCube NginX Configuration
sed -e "/^#?/d" 
    -e "s/%DOMAIN%/$DOMAIN/g" 
        $NUXREF_TEMPLATES/nginx.roundcubemail.template.conf > 
            /etc/nginx/conf.d/roundcubemail.conf

# Optionally Eliminate Reset RoundCube Database
/bin/su -c "/usr/bin/dropdb -h  $PGHOST -p $PGPORT $PGRQNAME 2>&1" postgres &>/dev/null
/bin/su -c "/usr/bin/dropuser -h $PGHOST -p $PGPORT $PGRQUSER 2>&1" postgres &>/dev/null

# Create RoundCube Admistrator User
echo "Enter the role password of '$PGRQPASS' when prompted"
/bin/su -c "/usr/bin/createuser -h $PGHOST -p $PGPORT -S -D -R $PGRQUSER -P 2>&1" postgres 2>&1

# Create our Database and assign it our Administrator as it's owner
/bin/su -c "/usr/bin/createdb -h $PGHOST -p $PGPORT -O $PGRQUSER $PGRQNAME 2>&1" postgres 2>&1
/usr/bin/psql -h $PGHOST -p $PGPORT -U $PGRQUSER $PGRQNAME -f /usr/share/doc/roundcubemail-0.9.5/SQL/postgres.initial.sql

# Configure Roundmail
sed -i -e "s|(^[ t]*$rcmail_config[[']db_dsnw['"]][ t]*=).*$|1 'pgsql://$PGRQUSER:$PGRQPASS@$PGHOST/$PGRQNAME';|g" /etc/roundcubemail/db.inc.php
sed -i -e "s|(^[ t]*$rcmail_config[[']default_host['"]][ t]*=).*$|1 'ssl://$MXHOST:993';|g" /etc/roundcubemail/main.inc.php
sed -i -e "s|(^[ t]*$rcmail_config[[']smtp_server['"]][ t]*=).*$|1 'tls://$MXHOST';|g" /etc/roundcubemail/main.inc.php
sed -i -e "s|(^[ t]*$rcmail_config[[']smtp_user['"]][ t]*=).*$|1 '%u';|g" /etc/roundcubemail/main.inc.php
sed -i -e "s|(^[ t]*$rcmail_config[[']smtp_pass['"]][ t]*=).*$|1 '%p';|g" /etc/roundcubemail/main.inc.php

# Some extra Roundmail options I preferred:
sed -i -e "s|(^[ t]*$rcmail_config[[']identities_level['"]][ t]*=).*$|1 3;|g" /etc/roundcubemail/main.inc.php
sed -i -e "s|(^[ t]*$rcmail_config[[']quota_zero_as_unlimited['"]][ t]*=).*$|1 true;|g" /etc/roundcubemail/main.inc.php
sed -i -e "s|(^[ t]*$rcmail_config[[']htmleditor['"]][ t]*=).*$|1 1;|g" /etc/roundcubemail/main.inc.php
sed -i -e "s|(^[ t]*$rcmail_config[[']preview_pane['"]][ t]*=).*$|1 true;|g" /etc/roundcubemail/main.inc.php

# You may have to bump php-fpm to be safe (if it's not already running)
service php-fpm status 2>/dev/null && service php-fpm restart || service php-fpm start
# make sure it starts on every reboot too:
chkconfig php-fpm --level 345 on
# Restart NginX if it's not already
service nginx status 2>/dev/null && service nginx restart || service nginx start
chkconfig nginx --level 345 on

You can simply access https://roundcube.<your.domain>/ now and access any mailboxes you configured. Just remember to tell your users that they must specify their full email address as their username.

Each mailbox you create using PostfixAdmin you’ll be able to access with your Roundcube webpage.

Step 7 of 7: Security

If you aren’t familiar with Fail2Ban; now would be an excellent time to learn about it. I wrote a blog about securing your CentOS system a while back and encourage you to read it. At the very least, read the section on Fail2Ban. The below explains how you can protect yourself from brute force.

# Monitor for multiple failed SASL Logins into postfix
cat << _EOF > /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/postfix-sasl.conf
[Definition]
failregex = (?i): warning: [-._w]+[<HOST>]: SASL (?:LOGIN|PLAIN|(?:CRAM|DIGEST)-MD5) authentication failed(: [A-Za-z0-9+/ ]*)?$
ignoreregex =
_EOF
# Monitor for multiple failed postfixadmin logins
cat << _EOF > /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/postfixadmin-auth.conf
[Definition]
failregex = ^<HOST> -.*POST.*login.php HTTP[^ t]+ 500$
ignoreregex =
_EOF

# Now in /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf you will want the following:
cat << _EOF >> /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf
[dovecot-iptables]
enabled  = true
filter   = dovecot
backend  = polling
action   = iptables[name=dovecot, port=110,143,993,995, protocol=tcp]
           sendmail-whois[name=dovecot, dest=root, sender=fail2ban@$DOMAIN]
logpath  = /var/log/mail.log

[sasl-iptables]
enabled  = true
filter   = postfix-sasl
backend  = polling
action   = iptables[name=sasl, port=25,587, protocol=tcp]
           sendmail-whois[name=sasl, dest=root, sender=fail2ban@$DOMAIN]
logpath  = /var/log/mail.log

[roundcube-iptables]
enabled  = true
filter   = roundcube-auth
backend  = polling
action   = iptables[name=RoundCube, port="http,https"]
           sendmail-whois[name=RoundCube, dest=root, sender=fail2ban@$DOMAIN]
logpath  = /var/log/roundcubemail/errors

[pfixadmadmin-iptables]
enabled  = true
filter   = postfixadmin-auth
backend  = polling
action   = iptables[name=PostfixAdmin, port="http,https"]
           sendmail-whois[name=PostfixAdmin, dest=root, sender=fail2ban@$DOMAIN]
logpath  = /var/log/nginx/postfixadmin.access.log
_EOF

You will want to additionally add the following to your iptables /etc/sysconfig/iptables:

#---------------------------------------------------------------
# Web Traffic (for PostfixAdmin and RoundCube)
#---------------------------------------------------------------
# Allow non-encrypted port so we can redirect these users to the
# encrypted version.  It's just a nicer effect to support
# redirection
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 443 -j ACCEPT

#---------------------------------------------------------------
# SMTP /Message Transfer Agent Communication
#---------------------------------------------------------------
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 465 -j ACCEPT

#---------------------------------------------------------------
# IMAP 
#---------------------------------------------------------------
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 993 -j ACCEPT

#---------------------------------------------------------------
# POP3
#---------------------------------------------------------------
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 995 -j ACCEPT

Useful Commands When Running Your Mail Server

  • doveconf -a: Display Dovecot configuration
  • postconf -n: Display Postfix configuration
  • postqueue -p: Display mail queue information

Sometimes when first playing with quotas, you may or may not want to recalculate them against a user. This can be done as follows:

#  Recalculate a specific users quota
doveadm quota recalc -u foobar@your.domain.com

# Or you can do this and recalculate ALL user quotas
doveadm quota recalc -A

# You will also want to run the following command if you decide
# to recalculate someone (or all) in your database:
# UPDATE domain_quota SET bytes=sq.sb, messages=sq.sm 
#   FROM (SELECT 'your.domain.com',
#           sum(bytes) as sb, sum(messages) as sm from quota2 WHERE
#            username like '%@your.domain.com') AS sq 
#   WHERE domain = 'your.domain.com';

Note: If you delete a mailbox for a specified domain, remember to manually remove: /var/mail/vhosts/domain/user

So… That’s it? Now I’m done?

Yes and No… My blog pretty much hands over a working mail server with little to no extra configuration needed on your part. But to properly accept mail from other people around the world, you will need:

  1. This mail server (ideally) must be accessible to the internet via a static IP address. This means that if you’re hosting this at home, the IP address your ISP provides you may not work (Dynamic IP vs Static IP). That said; a lot of ISPs can offer you a static IP if you don’t already have one for little (to no) extra cost.
  2. Your own domain name (if you don’t have an official one already) because you can’t have an email@your.domain.com if your.domain.com isn’t publicly recognized.
  3. A Mail Exchange (MX) Record that points to your new mail server by via it’s accessible IP on the internet. This is the only way the outside world will be able to send mail back to you; this step is not required if the only thing you’re doing is sending email out.

    Most Domain Registars allow you to set your own MX record (GoDaddy.com, NameCheap.com) which can simply be entered right from their webpage with little to no effort. If you’re paying someone else to host your websites for the domain you own, then most likely they have the MX record already pointing to them. You may need to open a support ticket (or call them) and tell them you want the MX record changed to point back to your own server instead or forward it.

Please keep in mind that there are risks involved with running your own mail server. You can get yourself temporarily (or permantenly) blacklisted if you’re not careful. Once you’re blacklisted, you’ll have a very hard time getting other mail servers on the internet to accept your emails for delivery. Blacklisting occurs when mail servers (which you will now be interacting with) detect abuse. In most cases, the mail server administrator (this is YOU) won’t even know you’re abusing other peoples servers. The abuse will start under your nose from emails that originated from your system by those you given mailboxes too. In fact, once your domain is blacklisted; it can be a pain in the @$$ to get de-listed later. A Blacklisted domain’s emails usually never reaches their intended recipient. Instead, they are immediately flagged as spam and sent to the deleted items (by the remote server). The configuration I provided considers most of the cases, but you still need to consider:

  • Don’t create mailboxes for people that you know intend to use it for derogatory purposes or for the intentions of spamming others. Hence; don’t allow users to send out hundreds of thousands of emails a day to a massive distribution on a regular bases even if it’s meaningful mail. Consider that the same stuff that you don’t like in your inbox is the same stuff that nobody else likes in theirs either. 🙂
  • Don’t allow your mail server to relay mail from untrusted sources. Hence; make sure you only allow users you create accounts for to send mail from your server.
  • Throttle all outbound mail delivery to each of their relay locations. With respect to the first point, even if you have to send massive amounts of mail from your system on a regular basis, do it in small batches. This way you won’t overwhelm the remote servers accepting your mail you want delivered.

If you followed my blog and are using the settings I put in place, then you’re already configured for the last 2 options above. The first option is governed by your own decisions.

No system is bulletproof; disaster can always strike when you’re least expecting it. To cover yourself, always consider backups of the following:

  • Your PostgreSQL Database: This is where all of your mail configuration is for both your MTA and MDA. You definitely do not want to lose this. May I suggest you reference my other blog entry here where I wrote a really simple backup/restore tool for a PostgreSQL database.
  • /etc/postfixadmin/*: Your Postfix Admin flat file configuration allowing you to centrally manage everything via a webpage.
  • /etc/postfix/*: Your Postfix flat file configuration which defines the core of your MTA. It’s configuration allows you to centrally manage everything else through the Postfix Administration website.
  • /etc/roundcube/*: Your Roundcube flat file configuration which allowing users to check their mail via a webpage you host.
  • /etc/dovecot/*: Your Dovecot flat file configuration which defines the core of your MDA. It’s configuration allows you to centrally manage everything through the Postfix Administration website.
  • /var/mail/vhosts/*: All of your user’s mailboxes are defined here. This is a vast storage of unread and read mail that resides on your server.

Oct 20th, 2014 Security Update: Handles The Poodle SSLv3 Exploit
Last week a security exploit was found specifically targeting web hosting making use of the SSLv3 (see here for details) protocol. Previously, the NginX templates (residing in nuxref-templates-mxserver version 1.0.1 or less) I provided did not protect you from this vulnerability. As a result; earlier readers of this blog entry may be susceptible to a man-in-the-middle attack. I just recently posted an update to the nuxref-templates-mxserver (v1.0.2) which will automatically cover any new bloggers building a mail server. For the previous readers, you just need to make 2 changes to correct yourself of this exploit:

  1. Open up /etc/nginx/conf.d/roundcubemail.conf and /etc/nginx/conf.d/postfixadmin.conf and change this:
       ssl_ciphers HIGH:!ADH:!MD5;
       ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
       ssl_protocols SSLv3;
       ssl_session_cache shared:SSL:1m;
       ssl_session_timeout 15m;
    

    to this:

       ssl_session_timeout  5m;
       ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
       ssl_ciphers 'ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:DHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-DSS-AES128-GCM-SHA256:kEDH+AESGCM:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA256:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-SHA256:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-SHA:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA384:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-SHA:DHE-RSA-AES128-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES128-SHA:DHE-DSS-AES128-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA256:DHE-DSS-AES256-SHA:DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA:AES128-GCM-SHA256:AES256-GCM-SHA384:AES128:AES256:AES:DES-CBC3-SHA:HIGH:!aNULL:!eNULL:!EXPORT:!DES:!RC4:!MD5:!PSK';
       ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
       ssl_session_cache  builtin:1000  shared:SSL:10m;
    

    This information was based on a great blog entry on securing your NginX configuration found here.

  2. Finally you will want to reload your NginX configuration so it takes on the new updates you applied:
    # Reload NginX
    service nginx reload
    

What about Apache?

Apache is a perfectly fine alternative solution as well! I simply chose NginX because it is much more lightweight approach. In fact, PostfixAdmin and RoundCube mail already come with Apache configuration out of the box located in /etc/httpd/conf.d/. Thus, if you simply start up your Apache instance (service httpd start), you will be hosting its services right away. Please keep in mind that the default (Apache) configuration does not come with all the SSL and added security I provided with the NginX templates. Perhaps later on, I will update the template rpm to include an Apache secure setup as well.

Credit

This blog took me a very (,very) long time to put together and test! The repository hosting alone now accommodates all my blog entries up to this date. If you like what you see and wish to copy and paste this HOWTO, please reference back to this blog post at the very least. It’s really all I ask.

Repository

This blog required me to set up my own repository of which I was thinking that some people might want me to continue to maintain. Such as fetching and applying the latest security updates after testing them first for the continued promise of stability. Personally, I believe I may be setting up a new can of worms for myself by offering this service because bandwidth costs money and updates cost time. But I’ll share it publicly and see how things go anyway.

If you’d like me to continue to monitor and apply updates as well as hosting the repository for long terms, please consider donating or offering a mirror server to help me out! This would would be greatly appreciated!

Sources

This blog could not have been made possible without the tons of resources that I used. Some of these resources including other peoples blogs too which I picked and chose approaches they took.

Software Resources