NST is a Linux distribution based on Fedora Linux. NST provides security toolkit for professionals and network administrator with a comprehensive set of Open Source Network Security Tools. All of the tools in Top 125 Network Security Tools are included inside NST Linux.
NST also comes with an advanced Web User Interface (WUI). We can say that NST Control Panel is in a web form. Another important thing is that NST can be used as a network security analysis validation.
Features of NST
- NST Web User Interface (WUI) as a system management for NST Linux
- A lot of monitoring tools such as Network Interface, Bandwidth Monitor, ntop, ntopng, bandwidthd, Nagios Core, Zabbix and more
- A lot of security tools such as Nmap, Nessus, Snort IDS, Hydra Console, ClamAV Virus Scanner, p0f OS Fingerprinting and more
- Database tools for MySQL and postgreSQL
- System tools such as Minicom Access Terminal Server, Remote System Command, File System Management and more
- Complete documentations, pre-built scripts and how-to’s
How to Use NST on Linux
First, we can read the information about how to download NST Linux and burning the ISO Image from NST webpage. Once it done, we can reboot our computer and start the installation.
Since NST Linux is based on Fedora Linux, NST Linux installation is not much different with Fedora Linux. So, this article will more cover about some features inside NST Linux that might be used in daily operation.
When the installation done, NST Linux has created a user with name NST User. You can login in with this user with no password.
NST is equipped with various tools. You can see them when you are accessing Application from Activities menu on the top left.
NST Web User Interface (WUI)
The tools that shown on the desktop only a small part of NST capabilities. The true power of NST Linux is the NST Web User Interface. The NST Web User Interface or NST WUI is some kind of control panel or system management for everything you want to do with NST. This feature can not be accessed unless you put a password for the existing user. To put or change the password, simply double click the icon Set the NST System Passwords. Then you will ask to fill the new password, or change the last password you have
Once the process succeed, you can access NST WUI. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser, and put the address : http://127.0.0.1/nstwui
You will be asked a login password like picture below.
But since it a web tool, then you can also access it via other machine. The difference is that you have to use https protocol if you access NST WUI via online.
NST Start Page
On NST WUI landing page you will see this information :
A Menu on the top left
NST IP Address and how long it have been running
NST Pro registration Code
NST WUI menu
Full NST WUI Landing Page
Sneak Peak of NST Linux
Bandwidthd is a network traffic probe that shows an overview of network usage. To enable this feature, we can go to menu Network > Monitors > bandwidthd UI.
Then choose the network interface that we want to monitor, configure the parameter and its subnet.
Then click Start bandwidthd button.
NST provide two different interface for this.
First is the original bandwidthd interface.
Second, the NST WUI bandwidthd interface, for real-time monitoring with graph.
Monitor CPU utilization
When we are running a lot of activities, we may want to know about our CPU Utilization. NST provide us a tool to do that.
This tool can be accessed via menu System > Processes > CPU Usage Monitor.
Just wait a few seconds to get the graph.
SSH to the server
When you need to do a remote activity via shell you can do it via web. NST Linux provide this function. Just go to menu System > Control Management > Run command
Then you will have SSH client on the web.
Launch X Window Application
With this feature, you can launch X Window application without remote to the server. The application graphical presentation will be redirected to the X Server on your client computer. But before doing this, you need to ensure that your X Server on your computer accept TCP connection. This because by default, in modern Linux distribution the X Server will reject any X Window connection from other host except from localhost.
In this article, we are using Zorin Linux 7 which based on Ubuntu as a client. Here are the steps :
1. Enable XDMCP
$ sudo vi /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf
Add these lines :
xserver-allow-tcp=true [XDMCPServer] enabled=true
2. Restart lightdm
$ sudo restart lightdm
Note : this command will restart your X Window. All open applications will be closed
3. Make sure that port 6000 is listening
Run netstat to to check it
$ netstat -an | grep -F 6000
4. Allow your computer to accept X Server connection
In this article, the NST Linux IP Address is : 192.168.0.105 and the client is 192.168.0.104. Run xhost command from the client side to add NST Linux server into the list of allowed host to make the connections.
$ xhost +192.168.0.105
Once the you have done the steps, you can try to launch X Window application from NST WUI. For example, we try to launch Wireshark application from the NST WUI. Go to menu X > Network Applications > Wireshark (Packet Capture).
Then Wireshark will pop-up.
The status (on probe) at the header tell us that it actually comes from the server but it rendered on the client side. If you run Microsoft Windows client, you can also do this if you run Cygwin/X on your Windows client.
This feature may be small but play important role. Why? Because every link on the web interface is equipped with quick explanation about what it is. Just put your mouse cursor at the top of a link. Here’s the sample :
Reboot or Shutdown the Server
NST WUI also allows server administrator to reboot or shutdown the server from the web. This example will show us if we want to reboot the server. Go to menu System > Control Management > Reboot.
Then when you press OK button, the server will reboot.
We found that NST Linux is equipped with useful tools for professional or network / security administrator. The features that discuss in this article only a little part of NST Linux power. With NST Web User Interface, you can do everything related to your server without leaving the web interface. From configuring services, SSH to the server without leaving the web interface and even launch desktop application via X Server. Another thing that will help you to use it, NST Linux has complete documentation and every link in the web interface has tooltip to explain about what it is.