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Linux System Security: The Administrator's Guide to Open Source Security Tools (Prentice Hall Series in Computer Networking and Distributed) Hardcover – 18 Sep 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 2 edition (18 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130470112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130470119
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 4.6 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,457,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Amazon Review

In their introduction, the authors of Linux System Security acknowledge that there's no magic bullet as far as security is concerned. Security-minded system administration is a process of constant revision. They promise, though, that "if you follow the procedures outlined in this book, you will certainly reduce your level of vulnerability". They deliver on that promise in spades. Using Red Hat Linux as their demonstration environment, the authors explain how to use a suite of publicly available tools to analyse, protect and monitor your machines and networks. They approach their subject from a practical standpoint, emphasising software and its use while referring the reader (with copious bibliographic notes) to more specialised works for more detailed information on cryptography, firewall configuration and other subjects.

Scott Mann and Ellen Mitchell have done excellent work in combining explanations of the "soft" aspects of security management with the particulars of using software. In a typical section, they explain how to acquire, install and run Crack, a password breaker. They first show how a bad guy would use Crack to gain unauthorised access to a machine over a network, then get into the "white hat" applications of the program as a security tool for pre-emptively weeding out weak passwords. More detailed coverage goes to tiger and Tripwire, a pair of powerful auditing and monitoring tools. Along with Maximum Linux Security (which covers more offensive and defensive weapons in less detail), this is one of the two best Linux security books you can own. --David Wall

Topics covered: Linux security practices and tools, as demonstrated under Red Hat Linux 5.2 and 6.0. Covered software and commands include Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM), OPIE, syslog, sudo, xinetd, Secure Shell (SSH), Crack, tiger, Tripwire, The Cryptographic Filesystem (TCFS), and ipchains. The authors discuss administrative policies and procedures along the way. --This text refers to the Textbook Binding edition.

From the Back Cover

Lock down your Linux system NOW!

  • Up-to-the-minute security techniques for your entire Linux environment!
  • NEW! In-depth coverage of Bastille, the breakthrough Linux lockdown tool!
  • NEW! Intrusion detection with network sniffers and port scanners
  • NEW! Complete coverage of the OpenSSH encryption suite
  • Firewalls, email, Web services, filesystems, applications, and more
  • Completely updated for RedHat 7.2

Now there's an up-to-the-minute, hands-on guide to using open source tools to protect any Linux system! Completely updated for the newest tools and distributions, Linux System Security, Second Edition covers virtually every facet of Linux security, from firewalls and intrusion detection to authentication and secure Web services. You'll master over a dozen crucial open source security tools, including sudo, portmap, xinetd, tiger, tripwire, ipchains, pam, crack, and more. Along the way, three long-time Linux sysadmins will show you the "gotchas," rules of thumb, and undocumented tricks it would take you years to learn on your own!

  • Preparing Linux systems for a production environment
  • Using Bastille to lock down Linux systems without unnecessarily compromising their functionality
  • Combatting Trojan horses, backdoors, password cracking, buffer overflows, spoofing, DoS, and more
  • OpenSSH: eliminating eavesdropping, connection hijacking, and other network-level attacks
  • Detecting intrusions with network sniffers and port scanners
  • Firewalls, email, Web services, filesystems, applications, and much more
  • Protecting mixed Linux/UNIX(r) environments
  • Includes a concise introduction to security policies

Want the benefits of Linux without the security risks? Get Linux System Security, Second Edition!

Prentice Hall Series on Computer Networking and Distributed Systems, Radia Perlman, Series Advisor

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By A Customer on 11 Aug. 2000
Format: Textbook Binding
This is probably the best book you can get in Linux security. You can hardly go wrong with this book as there are plenty of examples. Though this book was written for Linux, It's suitable for Unix environments as well.
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Format: Textbook Binding
This book has got to be in the top 5 of great references on linux security. The book details
how to install and how to configure, and how to work the security application being discussed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wide Breadth of Practical In-Depth Information 23 April 2000
By Howard Holm - Published on
Format: Textbook Binding
This is the best of the books I've seen on Linux system security. It focuses almost exclusively on freely available tools, and therefore should appeal to those poorly funded installations that use Linux because of its low cost. The authors cover many tools in the detail needed to obtain, install, and use them in an intelligent way. I was very impressed with the scope of coverage, from system policies to the use and configuration of crack, and everything in between. Although not everything within that scope can be covered in complete detail, the book also includes many useful references for additional information.
Among my few complaints would be that the authors tended to present the tools within the context of a network utilizing firewalls, a DMZ, and limited service servers. In practice many installations will not be so well constructed. In fairness, the utility of the information presented was usually unaffected by the assumed architecture. Although the presentation is relatively distribution neutral, the examples and specifics referred almost exclusively to RPM based RedHat 5 and 6. I would have been interested in seeing parallel details for Debian based distributions, if for nothing else than to gain a sense of the differences that might be encountered based on packaging.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Thorough 2 Feb. 2000
By William Klemm - Published on
Format: Textbook Binding
Among the many other books on the shelves with similar titles, this book spans the gamut of security. No one book can claim to be "The Book" on Linux/Unix security, but this one is an essential for library of the budding "sys-admin." Aside, from the detailed instructions for plugging security holes, Mann and Mitchell explain how and why it works. I found this book very helpful.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best book on open source security tools 20 July 2000
By kievite - Published on
Format: Textbook Binding
Actually all tools described are not Linux specific and can be used for any Unix including FreeBSD and Solaris.
The authors seems to know the subject and really used tools that they are writing about. For several popular tools the book provides some useful info that is difficult to find elsewhere. Pretty decent typography, although it's a little bit too academic and does not use icons on margins that IMHO simplify reading. 
As for the classic open security tools, the book covers PAM(36 pages), Sudo(20 pages), TCP Wrappers(24 pages), SSH(55 pages), Tripwire(24 pages), CFS and TCFS (30 pages), and ipchains.
From the first reading it looks like the chapters are *not* a rehash of existing online documentation. In addition to the chapters about classic open source security tools I like chapters about logs: a chapter on syslog (Ch.8) and a chapter on log file management (Ch.17). 
Now about weaknesses. The chapter on Tiger is rather weak. Moreover regrettably Tiger is a legacy tool, but actually information is not completely useless -- it's not difficult to switch to another tool after one understands how Tiger works. Actually Perl is superior for writing Unix vulnerability scanners in comparison with shell. May be hardening scripts like Bastille would be a better choice for this chapter in the second edition of the book.
Book is incomplete in a sense that neither Snort (or any similar intrusion detection tool), nor open source network scanners (Saint, Sara, etc.) are covered.
Of course there are some typos, but generally not that many. But what is really bad is that the Prentice Hall book page currently is pretty basic with no errata or additional links. The authors do not provide a WEB site for the book.
This book can probably be used for studying Unix security at universities along with somewhat outdated Practical Unix and Internet Security and this combination can somewhat compensate deficiencies of the latter (non tool oriented descriptive approach).
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stand-out Book 6 April 2000
By Tim Crothers - Published on
Format: Textbook Binding
I read most every security book that is released and this one is so exceptional in quality that I felt impelled to add a review. It covers all aspects of Linux security and has tons of practical tools and techniques for achieving security. All of the techniques and installations are well-explained and very detailed. Excellent book!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - what a killer book! 1 Oct. 2000
By Mark Wolfgang - Published on
Format: Textbook Binding
This book is incredibly thorough, and up to date. For example, Red Hat Linux 7 has just come out, and does now has xinetd as a replacement for inetd. Well, you guessed it, this book has about 27 pages on xinetd!
Want info on ipchains? This book has at least 50 pages on the subject!
I could go on and on about this book it is so good!
This book is written by experienced people, not just an author who was assigned another book to write.
You will not regret buying this book!
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