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RE: Secure host newbie
From: "Shawn Jackson" <sjackson () horizonusa com>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 08:45:35 -0800

I'll have to update kernels, for sure, I have no choice right 
now over 
RH 7.3...

The 2.6 Kernel has SELinux extensions and slew of other security
enhancements in it. Though I have heard on the SELinux extensions
causing trouble on some systems I can't say first hand. I'd google it to
see if there are any problems with using the 2.6 kernel on a RH 7.3 box.
I do remember a friend upgrading one of his SuSE test server to 2.6 and
it being a pain.

I'll take this in consideration, though I really was thinking 
on reading 
some documents before even thinking of doing anything.  The 
first thing 
I read is about iptables, I already know much about it (I've played a 
lot with it in the past) and I just need a good refreshment.  
Then I'll 
look into Apache, PHP and MySQL in depth...  And so on...

System security is a crucial part, don't get me wrong, but if you focus
too much on security you won't focus enough on configuring your system
correct in the 'non-security' arena. You general system configuration,
and your service configuration is extremely important, no matter how
much security you have, if you don't configure your services correctly
you're still in trouble.

I also don't know if anyone mentioned it but you should still have
anti-virus. A number of people think that just because they run Linux
they don't need AV, I'd beg to differ. http://www.nod32.com is a good,
and very cost effective scanner.

Use Nessus to test your box from the outside. Run Nagios to keep tabs on
your services, processor usage and disk space. 

You mentioned that you would program your own IDS, I'd sway away from
that and use http://www.tripwire.org/ or another host based IDS
solution, why re-invent the wheel when perfectly good (free or low cost)
solutions exist out there.

Red Hat Tripwire IDS Doc. (This is for 9.0 but a 7.3 should exist)
http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux/RHL-9-Manual/security-guide/s1-
ids-host.html.


Good luck and make sure to take a break from the reading once and a
while.

Shawn Jackson
Systems Administrator
Horizon USA
1190 Trademark Dr #107
Reno NV 89521

www.horizonusa.com
Email: sjackson () horizonusa com
Phone: (775) 858-2338
       (800) 325-1199 x338

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