TIME-3120 - Reliability of NTP servers

(Time)

This information is provided as part of the Lynis community project. It is related to Lynis control TIME-3120 and should be considered as-is and without guarantees. Any advice and commands should be tested before implementing them in production environments.

Description

Lynis tests if the used NTP server candidates are reliable enough to be used. If items show up with a dash or minus, they are unreliable and should be checked or replaced. The NTP configuration and time synchronization in particular, is important for systems. It helps with properly logging the actual time, which is needed for many services. Having the right time is also important for accounting purposes and forensics.

How to solve

Determine the list of peers with ntpq -p and check for the servers with a dash or minus sign. If these servers keep showing up, check their availability or any firewall rules which might obstruct synchronization from occurring between those systems and the target system.

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Lynis is a technical security auditing tool for Unix flavors like Linux, macOS, AIX, Solaris, and *BSD. It is open source software and free to use. Typical usage include system hardening, compliance testing, and vulnerability scanning. The project has an active community, including development via GitHub.

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