Mstation Book Reviews
Valid RSS pre Dec 04 reviews are here

Sat, 03 Feb 2007

Network Security Hacks

Network Security Hacks - Tips and Tools for Protecting Your Privacy,
Second Edition
Andrew Lockhart

Maybe you've heard of chroot() but don't really know what it's for, you've tried tinkering with nmap or Nessus but never really knew what you were looking at. Network Security Hacks will tell you a bit about these and get you started.

Think of the Network Security Hacks as a set of 125 jumping-off points in the world of network security. It's not intended to be a comprehensive reference, and it shouldn't be your security bible. The subtitle is a little misleading for what is essentially a book for sysadmins. There are seven "user-level" hacks under the Privacy and Anonymity chapter dealing with anti-phishing plugins for Internet Explorer and ways to encrypt email but not much else my Dad could use.

What this book is, though, is a nice set of short and reasonably easy to implement steps for hardening a Linux, BSD or Windows server on a network, keeping out the bad guys and making sure your more inquisitive users don't have too much freedom to "explore".

At the lower end of the admin experience scale, there's hacks for securing Unix and Windows hosts and managing permissions, encrypting services, managing firewalls and secure tunnels, and an optimistically (though nicely-caveated) short section on recovery and response at the end. At the more advanced end, you'll find out how to do things like create a static ARP tables or use TLS-enabled SMTP with sendmail.

The emphasis is on Unix but there are plenty of hacks for Windows. These generally involve installing third-party applications which do lots of the things Unix people take for granted. There's no religious war here though, both "sides" are presented fairly though the ratio of Unix to Windows hacks should tell the astute reader which one is going to make your life easier.

Whether you're running a file server on a Linux box in the cupboard or are managing the corporate intranet, you'll find something in this book. Not all the hacks will be useful for everyone of course, but dipping into it may well

reveal a useful hack or two. (Ciaron Linstead)

[] permanent link