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Building Secure Servers with Linux

by Michael D. Bauer

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Book Description
Linux consistently turns up high in the list of popular Internet servers, whether it's for the Web, anonymous FTP, or general services like DNS and routing mail. But security is uppermost on the mind of anyone providing such a service. Any server experiences casual probe attempts dozens of time a day, and serious break-in attempts with some frequency as well. As the cost of broadband and other high-speed Internet connectivity has gone down, and its availability has increased, more Linux users are providing or considering providing Internet services such as HTTP, Anonymous FTP, etc., to the world at large. At the same time, some important, powerful, and popular Open Source tools have emerged and rapidly matured--some of which rival expensive commercial equivalents--making Linux a particularly appropriate platform for providing secure Internet services. Building Secure Servers with Linux will help you master the principles of reliable system and network security by combining practical advice with a firm knowledge of the technical tools needed to ensure security. The book focuses on the most common use of Linux--as a hub offering services to an organization or the larger Internet--and shows readers how to harden their hosts against attacks. Author Mick Bauer, a security consultant, network architect, and lead author of the popular Paranoid Penguin column in Linux Journal, carefully outlines the security risks, defines precautions that can minimize those risks, and offers recipes for robust security. The book does not cover firewalls, but covers the more common situation where an organization protects its hub using other systems as firewalls, often proprietary firewalls. The book includes:
  • Precise directions for securing common services, including the Web, mail, DNS, and file transfer.
  • Ancillary tasks, such as hardening Linux, using SSH and certificates for tunneling, and using iptables for firewalling.
  • Basic installation of intrusion detection tools.
Writing for Linux users with little security expertise, the author explains security concepts and techniques in clear language, beginning with the fundamentals. Building Secure Servers with Linux provides a unique balance of "big picture" principles that transcend specific software packages and version numbers, and very clear procedures on securing some of those software packages. An all-inclusive resource for Linux users who wish to harden their systems, the book covers general security as well as key services such as DNS, the Apache Web server, mail, file transfer, and secure shell. With this book in hand, you'll have everything you need to ensure robust security of your Linux system.

From the Author
In response to Reviewer: Charles Dallas from Boise, Idaho.

While a few of the many tools covered in my book do have X11 interfaces, these constitute a very small percentage of software packages my book covers. Furthermore, where applicable I do explain how to run them from the command line. Obviously, installing X11 on any server should be avoided, and my book states this repeatedly.



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