Linux Firewalls (2nd Edition)

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9780735710993: Linux Firewalls (2nd Edition)

An Internet-connected Linux machine is in a high-risk situation. This book details security steps that a home or small-to-mid-size, non-enterprise business might take to protect itself from potential remote attackers. As with the first edition, this book will provide a description of the need for security measures and solutions built upon the most up-to-date technology available. The content for the Second Edition has been updated to cover the 2.4 kernel, and additional chapters on VPNs, SSH, and Tripwires have been added.

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Review:

TCP/IP packet handling may seem crystal clear when you first hear about it, but after you've configured your Ethernet card's netmask address, the details become rather vague. You might find yourself asking--if you were a Danish prince--"What is a packet, if its chief good and market of its time be but to route and wrap?" If routing and wrapping were all packets did, we would all enjoy our ignorance blissfully. But packets--like men, as the prince learned--can be hollow carriers of ill will, and excluding the bad ones requires us to understand what they really truly are. At last.

Just how interesting packets turn out to be is revealed in Linux Firewalls, Robert L. Zeigler's sober, agile, and subtle text. Narrowing consideration to threats faced by small networks from external sources, Zeigler and his editors introduce security by delivering prerequisite tutorials on packet architecture and normal network-based client/server daemon-to-daemon communications. Nonthreatening daemon-to-daemon communication is part of the regular operation of a networked POSIX-compliant operating system (like Linux or Windows NT), but the incessant background chatter makes finding hostile intrusions a search for sometimes subtle irregularities in a high throughput environment.

In fact, bombardment of networks with useless packets can create diversions for more pernicious attacks. Distinguishing the good packets from the potentially hostile or merely useless packets requires levels of filtering criteria that depend on the specifics of the network environment. Zeigler sorts out all of these issues and outlines practical network administration strategies for packet filtering.

Linux Firewalls is a how-to for the home Linux box, including the creating and debugging firewall rules for home LANs and network interfaces. For larger LAN users, Zeigler describes intrusion logging; configurations based on varying levels of trust; and the how, why, and when of reporting intrusions to network authorities.

In the wrong hands, firewall reports are either hyped-up cloak-and-dagger sensationalism or monotonous treatises in bitwise accounting. Zeigler strikes a middle ground with a book fit for members of the Linux community who are curious about what is happening over their TCP/IP connections. These are folks who have the prowess to build kernel releases on their own but who aren't necessarily wonks at developing kernel or device driver sources. --Peter Leopold

About the Author:

Bob Ziegler graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an undergraduate degree in psychology, following near-completions in both German and philosophy. After taking educational and career trips in several directions, he decided to make his hobby his career and earned a master's degree in computer science, also from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Out of school, Bob became one of a team of two UNIX operating system developers working for a company developing a mini-supercomputer. He developed a multiprocessor version of BSD 4.3 UNIX as a side project to the team's ongoing uniprocessor development efforts. Since then, he has worked as a UNIX operating system kernel developer for R&D companies in the Boston area. The advent of Linux and consumer access to 24/7 Internet connectivity gave Bob the keys to a dream he'd had since 1982 -- to have his own UNIX server and LAN at home. What began as a pragmatic effort to make his system secure on the Internet quickly grew into a passion for the home UNIX user. He offers free, web-based Linux firewall design services to the public, as well as a popular firewall and LAN FAQ to help people quickly get their Linux systems set up securely. Bob most recently functioned as a firewall architect at Nokia, collaborating wiht several groups in Massachusetts, California, and Finland. Carl B. Constantine has workin the computer industry for many years. He's been a programmer, consultant, technical writer, troubleshooter, and anything else he could get his paws into. Carl lives in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife, Terry, and four children, Rebekah, 6, Emily, 4, Matthew, 2, and Joshua, 6 months. Carl is a programmer analyst/UNIX system administrator for the Department of Computer Science at the University of Victoria, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

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Ziegler, Robert
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