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Re: [vox] password stolen at linuxworld
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Re: [vox] password stolen at linuxworld

Yeah it usuallyl comes down to theory vs. implementation. Books on theory usually have a longer life span, but don't tell you much about how to protect your computer using the latest and greatest firewall rules. Books on implementation will tell you how to protect yourself using today's tools, but go out of style faster than the latest and greatest reality show. In security I think that's kinda the nature of the beast unfortunately. One outdated book I would recommend checking out is "Securing and Optimizing Linux" which can be found here(legally I hope):


It's outdated, but I really liked it because a lot of the time it would not only tell you what you should change to secure your system, but why you should change it and what's at risk if you don't. There's also complete pdf of the book floating around out there somewhere if you don't mind searching.
I'm actually a student in the graduate security program at Davis so if anyone has any questions about the program feel free to ask. I'm sure there are many people on this list who know much more about linux security and security in general than me, but I'd be happy to answer any questions about the program itself. I think in general many people would be suprised by how little practical security knowledge you actually get in the graduate program here. Most of what your taught is theory and any practical knowledge gained will be picked up in research or projects of your own choosing. I'm really not sure if this is typical of departments everywhere, but the longer I'm here, the more I believe that we are the rule rather than the exception, atleast among research institutions. -Adam

ME wrote:

A book?! :-o Heh. My fu is not that strong. Maybe when I am in the later
stages of an advanced degree?

One thing to point out with computer security and books:

You will often not find books that speak of popular issues in computer
security, which remain popular for very long. Obselesence in the computer
security world (exploit, measure, counter measure, counter-counter
measure) is a moving target. By the time such a book is written, it is
obsolete. :-/ (Such books are equitable to fad-based fiction that are
here today, popular for a while, and then later viewed with a
chronocentric perspective with statements like, "what was he/she

Better books in computer security have been written. They often take a
general approach. Such books are more like text-books. These books do not
cover specifics so much as they cover fundamentals. These books permit the
reader(s) to apply the fundamentals to their specific problem(s). Since
many of these books presently provide adequate to excellent computer
security information, it would be difficult to try to write YAB in this
area. (Think that whole, "ground of contention," thing as discussed in the

These kinds of things are best offered in seminar, presentation, or
dated-courses. Sometimes such work can be presented in white-papers online
so that the content can remain nearly as dynamic as changes in focus in
computer security, but vigilance is required.

Counter to all of the above... If such a book were written, I would
probably read it when it was new. (heh heh)


John Mark Walker said:

Speaking as the resident publisher on this list, I smell a book. Anybody
interested? Such as the person I'm responding to? :@)


On Sunday 10 August 2003 12:48, ME wrote:

Heh. :-)

I plan to eventually do a 2 or 3 part talk for NBLUG on System Security,
but I need to finish my degree first. (?Maybe 2005?)

Of course there are some problems:
#1: I sold my car to fund going back to school to finish my degree
#2: I am working and going to school full time, and don't have much time
#3: I will be applying to grad school around this time

I am looking at a few schools so far. If one of the schools is Davis, I
might be moving out there. (BTW, LUGOD is one of the bigger
reasons for including UC Davis at such an important point on my list.

Knowing that I may never get around to do this, if I eventually did it,
this is what I might do:

* Network Security : Sniffers, Protocols, Services
* System Security : Local access and priv escalation, hiding data,
kernel patches (their costs and benefits)
* Progamming security : How to write code to avoid race conditions,
over-runs, and bad assumptions

What I would like to do is take a "stock Linux install" and then
demonstrate how users might gain access to stuff they should not. Then
show counter-measures, and then counter-counter mesasures etc. (Meant to
show that security is an on-going issue, and to show "making something
secure" is a *limit* that we try to achieve, but not something we can
truely achieve.)

I figure three 1.5 hour presentations could provide enough of the basics
to help people start adding more security to their systems.

What the presentation would not be:
* A "how to secure *your* system. (general "your".)
* A demonstration of system hacking (only a few samples of cracking;
the "hacking" takes much more time with analysis and review.)
* A "see-all, do all, and end-all" to what is secure and what is not.

It would be more like, "These are some things you should really pay
attention to" but that does not mean "anything else is not important."

Who knows? Maybe I might become a local member to LUGOD some day... :-)
(I welcome any introductions to professors or students in the Advanced
degree programs for CS at Davis. I'd like to learn more about what
think about it.)


Bill Kendrick said:

On Sun, Aug 10, 2003 at 08:48:46AM -0700, ME wrote:

On some of my servers, I setup a special web page that was available


htaccess authenticated https that permitted me to open up a hole in


firewall rules for the IP address from which I was connecting.

Mike... I smell a talk. ;) Wanna do one at LUGOD on stuff like this?

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