Using Tools to Monitor Security

Crackers — are people who, for purposes or to amuse themselves, like to break into other people’s computers — to steal information-are a clever bunch. If there is any vulnerability in a system, they will find it. Fortunately, the Linux development community is quick to find potential exploits and to find ways of slamming shut the door before crackers can enter. Fortunately, too, Red Hat is diligent in making available new, patched versions of packages in which potential exploits have been found. So your first and best security tool is making sure that whenever a security advisory is issued, you download and install the repaired package. This line of defense can be annoying, but it is nothing compared to rebuilding a compromised system.

And as good as the bug trackers are, sometimes their job is reactive. Preventing the use of your machine for bad purposes and guarding against intrusion are, in the end, your responsibility alone. Again, Red Hat Linux equips you with tools to detect and deal with unauthorized access of many kinds. In later posts, you’ll learn how to install and configure these tools and how to make sense of the warnings they provide. If your machine is connected to the Internet, you will be amazed at the number of attempts that are made to break into your machine.

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