Security and Systems Management Newsletter for the IBM i             October 23, 2013 - Vol 3, Issue 38
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Feature Article

IBM i Intrusion Detection System - The Built-In IDS

By Dan Riehl -

How do you know if someone is scanning your IP ports for vulnerabilities? Or how do you know if you're being attacked by denial of service attacks like a SYN Flood or Smurf attack?

The IBM i Intrusion Detection System (IDS) alerts you when an attack against the system is in progress. In most cases, you have no other way to monitor for these intrusion events. With IBM i version 6.1 and 7.1, you can have the IDS up and running in a few minutes. IBM i Navigator for Windows provides an IDS Setup Wizard, which makes setting up the IDS a very simple process. On my system, I had it up and running in about 30 minutes—25 of those were spent reading the documentation and the On-Line help text.

Why do I need an Intrusion Detection System?

An IBM i connected to any network should be running the IDS. Some may say they're protected behind a corporate firewall and therefore are immune to these types of attacks. But attacks also come from inside your network, and as far as outside attacks, do you want to bet the security and availability of your System that the firewalls can reject ALL unwanted traffic?

Each host system needs to be the final arbiter of who and what has access to the system resources. You cannot disregard the security of the IBM i simply because you have a firewall. In most cases, it's the IBM i in your data center that manages and protects the critical company jewels. It's the system that stores the very sensitive data that you must protect. Setting up the IDS on your IBM i just makes sense.

When an attack occurs, instant notification of the attack can be sent to a message queue as well as via email to several email addresses you stipulate. When you see an incoming attack, you can then take preventative actions to stop the attack or prevent the attacker from getting to you again. As prevention, you can set packet filtering rules within IBM i Navigator and adjust firewall rules as needed. The IDS is a detection system; it, alone, cannot prevent an attack.

In addition to monitoring for attacks, the IDS also detects if the IBM i is being used as the attacker of another system. You would certainly want to know if someone is launching an attack from within your system.

IBM i 6.1 and 7.1 Differences from 5.4

Since OS/400 V5R4M0, IBM i has included the IDS that monitors network activity for numerous types of attacks. Under V5R4M0, setting up the IDS is a difficult and frustrating exercise. But as of IBM i 6.1, and the introduction of the IDS Setup Wizard, configuring the IDS has become a very simple process. The dependency on the Quality of Service (QoS) Server in V5R4M0 has been removed. The QoS server integration was my biggest stumbling block in that older implementation. I just could not get it to work.

The remainder of this article will focus on the IDS in IBM i 6.1 and 7.1. If you're still at 5.4, you can configure the IDS using the instructions in the IBM Redbook IBM i5/OS Intrusion Detection System at

Configuring the IDS for IBM i 6.1 and 7.1

Running the IDS requires that you set up the System Security Audit Journal QAUDJRN and that the system value QAUDCTL contains the value *AUDLVL. When you start the IDS through the IBM i Navigator option, the value *ATNEVT is automatically added to the system value QAUDLVL, or QAUDLVL2. This specifies that the system is to audit the Intrusion Events, referred to as Attention Events.

Read More

In This Issue

Featured Article - Intrusion Detection

Carsten's Security Code - Control The IDS

Industry News and Calendar

Security Resources

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Security News for IBM i

Raz-Lee Security Announces Software Support for IPv6
Raz-Lee Security, a leading supplier of information security solutions for the IBM i, has announced full support for IPv6 in their iSecurity products:

  • Firewall - Network Security
  • Audit - QAUDJRN and security status monitoring
  • AP-Journal - DB audit and Application security
The Press Release from Raz-Lee

Live Security Related Webcasts and Training for IBM i

October Events

2013 IBM Power Systems Technical University at Enterprise2013
Sponsored by IBM - (ed. This is the newest name for the IBM Technical Conference)
Orlando, FL, October 21-25
More Information and Register to Attend

Building Effective Security Dashboards
Live Webcast - Presented by PowerTech
Wednesday, October 23 1:00pm CDT
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COMMON Presents - Comprehensive IBM i Security
Extended Live Webinar with Carol Woodbury, Dan Riehl,
Patrick Townsend, Terry Ford, Patrick Botz and Robin Tatam.

    October 24, 2013 • 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm CDT
    October 31, 2013 • 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm CDT
    November 7, 2013 • 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm CST
    November 14, 2013 • 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm CST
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November Events

Managing Privileges and Auditing Users on the IBM i
Live Webcast - Presented by Help/Systems and SOSY
Tuesday, November 5 1:00pm GMT(London)
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Defining and Determining Risk to Data on IBM i
with Carol Woodbury

Live Webcast - Presented by Skyview Partners
Thursday, November 7 10:00am CST
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Carsten's Security Code for IBM i

CL Command to Manage the IBM i Intrusion Detection System

Downloadable Source code included!

By Carsten Flensburg

In this current issue of the SecureMyi Security Newsletter, Dan Riehl presents an article on the Intrusion Detection System for IBM i.

As I was doing additional research on the IDS(Intrusion Detection System) topic, I came across the "Control Intrusion Detection and Prevention API". This API(Application Programming Interface) is provided by IBM to allow you to perform some vital IDS management routines.

I've wrapped the API up in a new CL command CTLIDS(Control Intrusion Detection System), giving me direct, green-screen access to the IDS functions supported by the API.

Here is the command prompt display.

                                   Control IDS(CTLIDS)                             
 Type choices, press Enter.                                                    
 Option . . . . . . . . . . . . .   *STATUS           *ACTIVATE, *DEACTIVATE...    

By pressing F1=Help during the prompt display, the Help Text explains the use of the command, the restrictions and additional information on the IDS. Listed here are selected snippets of the online Help Text.

The Control Intrusion Detection and Prevention (CTLIDS) command is used to control the Intrusion Detection System (IDS).

It can be used to activate, deactivate, recycle (deactivate and reactivate) the IDS or retrieve the status (active or inactive) of the IDS, and it is provided as an interface to the code that processes the IDS policy file.

Note: TCP/IP Connectivity Utilities for i5/OS must be installed in order to use this command.


You must have *IOSYSCFG special authority to run the command.

The Option (OPTION) Parameter

Specifies the requested function.

             Activate the Intrusion Detection System (IDS).
             Deactivate the Intrusion Detection System (IDS).
             Recycle the Intrusion Detection System (IDS).
             Retrieve the status of the Intrusion Detection System (IDS).                        
             The current status is returned in an informational message sent                     
             to the job running the CTLIDS command.

In addition to controlling IDS, the CTLIDS command also verifies that TCP/IP is active and operational.

The Source code that comprises the CTLIDS command is listed here.

SEC101      RPGLE       Control Intrusion Detection Services - CPP      
SEC101H     PNLGRP      Control Intrusion Detection Services - Help     
SEC101M     CLP         Control Intrusion Detection Services - Build cmd
SEC101X     CMD         Control Intrusion Detection Services            
Download a zip file containing all of the source code.

Additional Resources:

Control Intrusion Detection and Prevention (QTOQIDSC, QtoqIDSControl) API for IBM I 6.1

IBM Info Center - Complete coverage of IDS for IBM I 7.1

Powertech - 2013 Security Study

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