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Help Net Security: A Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux 8 [Book Review]

Mar 14, 2003, 09:00 (20 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mirko Zorz)


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"The book starts with an overview of GNU/Linux and its many features. Sobell provides a lot of information dedicated to novice users: logging in and out, using the documentation, basic utilities, etc. The author makes a security recommandation when writing about passwords. He underlines the importance of using passwords, protecting them, choosing the right type of password and using the passwd utility.

"We learn about the many GNU/Linux utilities that you can use to work with files, obtain system and user information, communicate with other users, use e-mail, and so on. When discussing utilities that can help you to obtain user and system information, the author mentiones who, finger and w. He notes that if you're concerned about security you might want to disable finger, since it can give out information that might be of help to an intruder.

"The GNU/Linux filesystem is covered with a lot of information including: directories, filenames, pathnames and links. This overview touches security concerns as Sobell introduces security permissions. He explains how executable files that are setuid work and advises never to write setuid shell scripts since there are several techniques that can be used to subvert them. The author explains what the shell is and covers the command line, standard input and standard output, redirection, pipes, special characters, and more..."

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