InSpec DSL

InSpec is a run-time framework and rule language used to specify compliance, security, and policy requirements. It includes a collection of resources that help you write auditing controls quickly and easily. The syntax used by both open source and |chef compliance| auditing is the same. The open source |inspec resource| framework is compatible with |chef compliance|.

The InSpec DSL is a Ruby DSL for writing audit controls, which includes audit resources that you can invoke.

The following sections describe the syntax and show some simple examples of using the InSpec resources.

Syntax

The following resource tests |ssh| server configuration. For example, a simple control may described as:

describe sshd_config do
  its('Port') { should eq('22') }
end

In various use cases like implementing IT compliance across different departments, it becomes handy to extend the control with metadata. Each control may define an additional impact, title or desc. An example looks like:

control 'sshd-8' do
  impact 0.6
  title 'Server: Configure the service port'
  desc '
   Always specify which port the SSH server should listen to.
   Prevent unexpected settings.
  '
  tag 'ssh','sshd','openssh-server'
  tag cce: 'CCE-27072-8'
  ref 'NSA-RH6-STIG - Section 3.5.2.1', url: 'https://www.nsa.gov/ia/_files/os/redhat/rhel5-guide-i731.pdf'

  describe sshd_config do
   its('Port') { should eq('22') }
  end
end

where

  • 'sshd-8' is the name of the control
  • impact, title, and desc define metadata that fully describes the importance of the control, its purpose, with a succinct and complete description
  • impact is an float that measures the importance of the compliance results and must be a value between 0.0 and 1.0.
  • tag is optional meta-information with with key or key-value pairs
  • ref is a reference to an external document
  • describe is a block that contains at least one test. A control block must contain at least one describe block, but may contain as many as required
  • sshd_config is an InSpec resource. For the full list of InSpec resources, see InSpec resource documentation
  • its('Port') is the matcher; { should eq('22') } is the test. A describe block must contain at least one matcher, but may contain as many as required

Advanced concepts

With inspec it is possible to check if at least one of a collection of checks is true. For example: If a setting is configured in two different locations, you may want to test if either configuration A or configuration B have been set. This is accomplished via describe.one. It defines a block of tests with at least one valid check.

describe.one do
  describe ConfigurationA do
   its('setting_1') { should eq true }
  end

  describe ConfigurationB do
   its('setting_2') { should eq true }
  end
end

Examples

The following examples show simple compliance tests using a single control block.

Test System Event Log

The following test shows how to audit machines running Windows 2012 R2 that password complexity is enabled:

control 'windows-account-102' do
  impact 1.0
  title 'Windows Password Complexity is Enabled'
  desc 'Password must meet complexity requirement'
  describe security_policy do
    its('PasswordComplexity') { should eq 1 }
  end
end

Are PosgtreSQL passwords empty?

The following test shows how to audit machines running PostgreSQL to ensure that passwords are not empty.

control 'postgres-7' do
  impact 1.0
  title 'Don't allow empty passwords'
  describe postgres_session('user', 'pass').query("SELECT * FROM pg_shadow WHERE passwd IS NULL;") do
   its('output') { should eq('') }
  end
end

Are MySQL passwords in ENV?

The following test shows how to audit machines running MySQL to ensure that passwords are not stored in ENV:

control 'mysql-3' do
  impact 1.0
  title 'Do not store your MySQL password in your ENV'
  desc '
   Storing credentials in your ENV may easily expose
   them to an attacker. Prevent this at all costs.
  '
  describe command('env') do
   its('stdout') { should_not match(/^MYSQL_PWD=/) }
  end
end

Is /etc/ssh a Directory?

The following test shows how to audit machines to ensure that /etc/ssh is a directory:

control 'basic-1' do
  impact 1.0
  title '/etc/ssh should be a directory'
  desc '
   In order for OpenSSH to function correctly, its
   configuration path must be a folder.
  '
  describe file('/etc/ssh') do
   it { should be_directory }
  end
end

Is Apache running?

The following test shows how to audit machines to ensure that Apache is enabled and running:

control 'apache-1' do
  impact 0.3
  title 'Apache2 should be configured and running'
  describe service(apache.service) do
   it { should be_enabled }
   it { should be_running }
  end
end

Are insecure packages installed ?

The following test shows how to audit machines for insecure packages:

control 'cis-os-services-5.1.3' do
  impact 0.7
  title '5.1.3 Ensure rsh client is not installed'

  describe package('rsh') do
    it { should_not be_installed }
  end

  describe package('rsh-redone-client') do
    it { should_not be_installed }
  end
end

Test Windows Registry Keys

The following test shows how to audit machines to ensure Safe DLL Search Mode is enabled:

control 'windows-base-101' do
  impact 1.0
  title 'Safe DLL Search Mode is Enabled'
  desc '
    @link: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms682586(v=vs.85).aspx
  '
  describe registry_key('HKLM\\System\\CurrentControlSet\\Control\\Session Manager') do
    it { should exist }
    it { should_not have_property_value('SafeDllSearchMode', :type_dword, '0') }
  end
end

Exclude specific test

This shows how to allow skipping certain tests if conditions are not met, by using only_if. In this example the test will not be performed if redis-cli command does not exist, because for example package on remote host was not installed.

control 'nutcracker-connect-redis-001' do
  impact 1.0
  title 'Check if nutcracker can pass commands to redis'
  desc 'execute redis-cli set key command, to check connectivity of the service'

  only_if do
    command('redis-cli').exist?
  end

  describe command('redis-cli SET test_inspec "HELLO"') do
    its(:stdout) { should match(/OK/) }
  end
end

Mixing this with other conditionals (like checking existence of the files etc.) can help to test different test paths using inspec. This way you can skip certain tests which would 100% fail due to the way servers are prepared, but you know that the same test suites are reused later in different circumstances by different teams.

Additional metadata for controls

The following example illustrates various ways to add tags and references to control

control 'ssh-1' do
  impact 1.0

  title 'Allow only SSH Protocol 2'
  desc 'Only SSH protocol version 2 connections should be permitted.
        The default setting in /etc/ssh/sshd_config is correct, and can be
        verified by ensuring that the following line appears: Protocol 2'

  tag 'production','development'
  tag 'ssh','sshd','openssh-server'

  tag cce: 'CCE-27072-8'
  tag disa: 'RHEL-06-000227'

  tag remediation: 'stig_rhel6/recipes/sshd-config.rb'
  tag remediation: 'https://supermarket.chef.io/cookbooks/ssh-hardening'

  ref 'NSA-RH6-STIG - Section 3.5.2.1', url: 'https://www.nsa.gov/ia/_files/os/redhat/rhel5-guide-i731.pdf'
  ref 'http://people.redhat.com/swells/scap-security-guide/RHEL/6/output/ssg-centos6-guide-C2S.html'

  describe ssh_config do
    its ('Protocol') { should eq '2'}
  end
end