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Red Hat Linux Security & Optimisation [Paperback]

Mohammed J. Kabir

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Book Description

1 Dec 2001
Red Hat Linux Security and Optimization is a reference for power–users and administrators covering all security issues, including Filesystems Security, Securing root accounts and Firewalls. Other Security books talk about how to apply certain patches to fix a security problem –– but this book shows you how to secure all applications so that the chances for a security breach are automatically minimized. Application performance benchmarking will also be covered. This book introduces you to many application–specific performance and benchmarking techniques and shows you how to tune your computer as well as your networks. This book covers all the primary Red Hat Linux Applications such as Apache Web Server, WuFTP, FTP server, BIND DNS server, Sendmail SMTP server and focuses on how to enhance security for each of them. It also shows you how to secure NFS and Samba Server, as well as the Apache Web Server.

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From the Back Cover

Your Official Red Hat(r) Linux(r) Guide to Security and Optimization Reviewed and approved by the experts at Red Hat, this comprehensive guide delivers the know–how you need to improve the performance of your Red Hat Linux system–and protect it from attacks and break–ins. Red Hat Linux expert Mohammed Kabir starts by showing you how to tune the kernel and filesystems and optimize network services, from speeding up Web servers to boosting the performance of Samba. He then explains how to secure your Red Hat Linux system, offering hands–on techniques for network and Internet security as well as in–depth coverage of Linux firewalls and virtual private networks. Complete with security utilities and ready–to–run scripts on CD–ROM, this official Red Hat Linux guide is an indispensable resource. Proven Red Hat Linux Performance and Security Solutions
∗ Upgrade and configure your hardware to boost performance
∗ Customize the kernel and tune the filesystem for optimal results
∗ Use JFS and LVM to enhance the filesystem reliability and manageability
∗ Tweak Apache, Sendmail, Samba, and NFS servers for increased speed
∗ Protect against root compromises by enabling LIDS and Libsafe in the kernel
∗ Use PAM, OpenSSL, shadow passwords, OpenSSH, and xinetd to enhance network security
∗ Set up sensible security on Apache and reduce CGI and SSI risks
∗ Secure BIND, Sendmail, ProFTPD, Samba, and NFS servers
∗ Create a highly configurable packet filtering firewall to protect your network
∗ Build a secure virtual private network with FreeS/WAN
∗ Use port scanners, password crackers, and CGI scanners to locate vulnerabilities before the hackers do
Reviewed and Approved by the Experts at Red Hat CD–ROM Features Security tools, including cgichk.pl, gShield, IP Filter, John the Ripper, Lids, LSOF, Nessus, Netcat, Ngrep, Nmap, OpenSSH, OpenSSL, Postfix, SAINT trial version, SARA, Snort, Swatch, tcpdump, Tripwire Open Source Linux Edition, Vetescan, and Whisker Scripts from the book Plus a searchable e–version of the book www.redhat.com www.hungryminds.com

About the Author

MOHAMMED J. KABIR is the founder and CEO of Evoknow, Inc., a company specializing in customer relationship management software development. His books include Red Hat Linux 7 Server, Red Hat Linux Administrator′s Handbook, Red Hat Linux Survival Guide, and Apache Server 2 Bible.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
RED HAT LINUX is a great operating system for extracting the last bit of performance from your computer system, whether it's a desktop unit or a massive corporate network. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contradictory, but a good start point 16 Mar 2002
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this book to help me learn more of the configuration options for my server and what they did. While this book presents the majority of options, it is contradictory in places and follows old school techniques.
For instance, in the chapter on Apache, the author tells you how to compile Perl into Apache. This is great, but the more preferred method to including things into Apache is to use a DSO so that you don't have to stop and recompile the server everytime you add something. Then it goes on to Squid. In my experience using Squid, it has run on port 3128 and the authoer mentions that, but as an afterthought and not until after he has already told you to run it on port 8080.
In addition, this book neatly seperates content on security and optimization. However, do not buy this book with the thought that it will show you how to build a server or setup your web services. This book is meant only as a resource for tuning your stuff and will not tell you how to install it. You really need to have a knowledge of Linux beforehand.
To put it plainly, buy this book as a corraborative resource or buy it and prepare to refer to other resources on the internet to get a second opinion. Buy this book if you are comfortable tinkering with things. Though, if you are running a Linux system, you had better be comfortable tinkering and not faint of heart or else you'll never get anything done!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but for immediate or better users 28 Jan 2003
By James Earl Shagford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I want to begin with whats good about the book. It does a good job of covering Linux security concepts, and centralizing them in a well laid out, easily referenced book. Others have pointed out that a lot of this information is available on the net for free, however without a reference like this they wouldn't know what they should be looking for. (How many folks know their BIND server should run in a chroot environment to even begin the research?).
Despite having Red Hat in its title, and being released as a redhat Press book, the book is surprisingly generic in its treatment. While that may be a welcome releif to Suse/Debian/etc users, its a bit annoying to redhat users who were expecting more specific help, and perhaps less conflicting help. Several of the security measures covered in the book have already been implemented in the default redhat install, except using different usernames, file paths, etc.
Some of this may be an artifact of the book not covering the latest release, but some have been around long enough to convince me the book was written to a far more generic audience originally then given a new title. Which isn't bad by itself, just not what a novice user would expect, and might not catch.
My final concern is that some of the implementation steps are just flat wrong. The section on running BIND in a chroot environment is one, it describes the process in 7 steps (only 6 are enumerated) and does not mention redhat's prefered method of passing the options to the daemon. However, since knowing that it should/can be done is half the battle in linux, the correct procedure can be found on the web.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving from Immediate to Advanced 11 Feb 2002
By Reginald McCord - Published on Amazon.com
'RH Linux Security and Optimization' is the perfect vechicle to upgrade your skill level and linux system expertise. From performance basics,network performance, security tools, firewalls, vpns and dealing with compromised systems; this book has all the information you will need to maintain both your corporate and personal linux networks.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 13 Feb 2002
By "jason24x" - Published on Amazon.com
I bought at local bookstore after reading the chapter on LIDS and I went to work next saturday and implemented LIDS using the latest 2.4 patches found at the LIDS.org site. It is owesome; no more root hacks! I also liked the LibSafe section.
It is an amazing book for someone who wants to learn more about security fast.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good RH reference Freely available info is just as good 27 Dec 2002
By Ben Rothke - Published on Amazon.com
A doctrine of the open source movement is that although the software is free, you have to pay for the support and documentation. While anyone can ..get the Red Hat Linux software for free, books on Linux or other open source topics will cost the reader money. But for readers who are willing to shell out [the money]for a book about Linux security, Red Hat Linux Security and Optimization is a good overview on the core concepts of Linux security and how to secure, optimize, and harden Red Hat.
The book is titled Red Hat Linux Security and Optimization, indicating that both topics are covered, but the bulk of this book (chapters 8 - 21) really deals with security topics. Only the first 7 chapters deal with system and network performance.
Part 1 of the book comprises three chapters on system performance. Issues such as performance basics and kernel tuning are discussed. It shows how users can compile and install their own custom kernel. Chapter 3 is on file system tuning and deals with standard issues such as determining which file system to use and the creation of volumes and partitions.
The three chapters of Part 2 (Network and Service Performance) detail the issues of network and server performance. Chapter 5 provides a good overview of tweaking Apache and the use of Squid.
Part 3, System Security, is the heart of the book. The author takes a bottom up approach to security, where he starts with kernel security and progresses to other topics such as file system security, network security, passwords, and more.
Part 4 details network security, from DNS and BIND, to SSL, FTP, and the other major networking protocols. Chapter 17 has a good synopsis of email and the vulnerabilities associated with open email gateways, and how to control mail relays so as not to be used as a spam clearinghouse.
The book finishes with Part 5, which comprises two chapters about Linux firewalls. It also includes information about VPNs, SSL tunnels, and assessment tools.
The enclosed CD-ROM has a lot of security software, including standard security tools such as John the Ripper, netcat, nessus, nmap, and more. Is also includes other software such as Tripwire, Saint, OpenSSH, OpenSSL, tcpdump, and more. Also included is an electronic version of the book. With the exception of the electronic copy of the book, everything on the CD-ROM is available free off the Net. It would have been nice if the book could have included a second CD-ROM with the Linux operating system software. Although the software can be downloaded from Red Hat, the nearly 1 GB of data can take quite a while to download, even with a broadband connection.
Red Hat Linux Security and Optimization is a straightforward book that details all of the rudiments of Linux functionality and security. While the book is written for Red Hat, the majority of the information can be applied to other flavors of Linux. Overall, Red Hat Linux Security and Optimization is a good option for readers who want a security reference book....
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