Red Hat Certified Security Specialist - RHCSS

An RHCSS certification may be earned by a Red Hat® Certified Engineer (RHCE®) who has demonstrated deeper capabilities in networking services security, directory services, authentication, and SELinux policy management. An IT professional who earns an RHCSS certification has met the security requirements for today's enterprise environment.


To become certified as an RHCSS, an RHCE has to demonstrate the following:

  • Use of cryptographic tools in Red Hat Enterprise Linux® that can secure network services, including DNS, SMTP, and POP/IMAP

  • File encryption using GPG to secure files

  • Providing more secure network file sharing using Kerberos and NFSv4

  • Configuration of a Kerberos realm

  • Configuration of Red Hat Directory Server to provide a centralized directory with access control

  • Configuration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux clients to authenticate using various mechanisms, including Kerberos, LDAP, and Microsoft Active Directory

  • Customizing the default SELinux Targeted Policy implemented in Red Hat Enterprise Linux to address functional issues and needs

  • Specifying particular SELinux policies and enforcing modes

  • Implementing custom SELinux policies



RHCSS consists of 3 Courses

1.Red Hat Enterprise Security Network Services (RHS333)

Course outline

The threat model and protection methods

·         Internet threat model and the attacker's plan

·         System security and service availability

·         An overview of protection mechanisms

Basic service security

·         SELinux

·         Host-based access control

·         Firewalls using Netfilter and iptables

·         TCP wrappers

·         xinetd and service limits


·         Overview of cryptographic techniques

·         Management of SSL certificates

·         Using GnuPG

Logging and NTP

·         Time synchronization with NTP

·         Logging: syslog and its weaknesses

·         Protecting log servers

BIND and DNS security

·         BIND vulnerabilities

·         DNS security: attacks on DNS

·         Access control lists

·         Transaction signatures

·         Restricting zone transfers and recursive queries

·         DNS topologies

·         Bogus servers and black holes

·         Views

·         Monitoring and logging

·         Dynamic DNS security

Network authentication: RPC, NIS, and Kerberos

·         Vulnerabilities

·         Network-managed users and account management

·         RPC and NIS security issues

·         Improving NIS security

·         Using Kerberos authentication

·         Debugging Kerberized services

·         Kerberos cross-realm trust

·         Kerberos encryption

Network File System

·         Overview of NFS versions 2, 3, and 4

·         Security in NFS versions 2 and 3

·         Improvements in security in NFS4

·         Troubleshooting NFS4

·         Client-side mount options


·         Vulnerabilities

·         Server configuration and the SSH protocols

·         Authentication and access control

·         Client-side security

·         Protecting private keys

·         Port-forwarding and X11-forwarding issues

Electronic mail with Sendmail

·         Vulnerabilities

·         Server topologies

·         Email encryption

·         Access control and STARTTLS

·         Anti-spam mechanisms


·         Vulnerabilities

·         Security and Postfix design

·         Configuring SASL/TLS


·         Vulnerabilities

·         The FTP protocol and FTP servers

·         Logging

·         Anonymous FTP

·         Access control

Apache security

·         Vulnerabilities

·         Access control

·         Authentication: files, passwords, Kerberos

·         Security implications of common configuration options

·         CGI security

·         Server-side includes

·         suEXEC

Intrusion detection and recovery

·         Intrusion risks

·         Security policy

·         Detecting possible intrusions

·         Monitoring network traffic and open ports

·         Detecting modified files

·         Investigating and verifying detected intrusions

·         Recovering from, reporting, and documenting intrusions



Red Hat Enterprise SELinux Policy Administration

Introduction to SELinux

Discretionary access control vs. mandatory access control

  • SELinux history and architecture overview
  • Elements of the SELinux security model: user identity and role; domain and type; sensitivity and categories; security context
  • SELinux Policy and Red Hat's targeted policy
  • Configuring policy with booleans
  • Archiving
  • Setting and displaying extended attributes

Using SELinux

  • Controlling SELinux
  • File contexts
  • Relabeling files and file systems
  • Mount options

The Red Hat® Targeted Policy

  • Identifying and toggling protected services
  • Apache security contexts and configuration booleans
  • Name service contexts and configuration booleans
  • NIS client contexts
  • Other services
  • File context for special directory trees
  • Troubleshooting and avc denial messages
  • SE troubleshooting and logging

Introduction to policies

  • Policy overview and organization
  • Compiling and loading the monolithic policy and policy modules
  • Policy type enforcement module syntax
  • Object classes
  • Domain transition

Policy utilities

  • Tools available for manipulating and analyzing policies: apol; seaudit and seaudit_report; checkpolicy; sepcut; sesearch; sestatus; audit2allow and audit2why; sealert; avcstat; seinfo; semanage and semodule; Man pages

User and role security

  • Role-based access control
  • Multicategory security
  • Defining a Security Administrator
  • Multilevel security
  • The strict policy
  • User identification and declaration
  • Role identification and declaration
  • Roles in use in transitions
  • Role dominance

Anatomy of a policy

  • Policy macros
  • Type attributes and aliases
  • Type transitions
  • When and how do files get labeled
  • restorecond
  • Customizable types

Manipulating policies

  • Installing and compiling policies
  • The policy language
  • Access vector
  • SELinux logs
  • Security Identifiers (SIDs)
  • File system labeling behavior
  • Context on network objects
  • Creating and using new booleans
  • Manipulating policy by example
  • Macros
  • Enableaudit


  • Best practices
  • Create file contexts, types, and typealiases
  • Edit and create network contexts
  • Edit and create domains

Red Hat Enterprise Directory Services and Authentication (RH423)

Manage and deploy directory services for Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems

Course outline

Introduction to directory services

·         What is a directory?

·         LDAP: models, schema, and attributes

·         Object classes

·         LDIF

The LDAP naming model

·         Directory information trees and Distinguished Names

·         X.500 and "Internet" naming suffixes

·         Planning the directory hierarchy

Red Hat Directory Server: basic configuration

·         Installation and setup of Red Hat® Directory Server

·         Using the Red Hat console

·         Using logging to monitor Red Hat Directory Server activity

·         Backing up and restoring the directory

·         Basic performance tuning with indexes

Searching and modifying the LDAP directory

·         Using command-line utilities to search the directory

·         Search filter syntax

·         Updating the directory

Red Hat Directory Server: authentication and security

·         Configuring TLS security

·         Using access control instructions (ACIs)

·         ACIs and the Red Hat console

Linux user authentication with NSS and PAM

·         Understanding authentication and authorization

·         Name service switch (NSS)

·         Advanced pluggable authentication modules (PAM) configuration

Centralized user authentication with LDAP

·         Central account management with LDAP

·         Using migration scripts to migrate existing data into an LDAP server

·         LDAP user authentication

Kerberos and LDAP

·         Introduction to Kerberos

·         Configuring the Kerberos key distribution center (KDC) and clients

·         Configuring LDAP to support Kerberos

Directory referrals and replication

·         Referrals and replication

·         Single master configuration

·         Multiple master configuration

·         Planning for directory server availability

Cross-platform centralized identity management

·         Synchronizing Red Hat Directory Server with Active Directory

·         Managing users with Winbind and LDAP

·         Mapping attributes between Linux® and Microsoft Windows

Red Hat Enterprise IPA

·         Understanding IPA

·         IPA requirements

·         Configuring IPA server

·         Configuring IPA clients