LinuxSecurity.com: Interview with Frank van Vliet

[ Thanks to Benjamin
D. Thomas
for this link. ]

“Frank van Vliet is the author of AuditFile, many security
advisories, and recently pointed out configuration errors on
We thought our readers would be interested in an
interview with Frank van Vilet because of the recent paper he and
Peter van Dijk released outlining the steps they took to compromise
apache.org. Their paper does not point out any new vulnerabilities,
it merely shows how simple configuration errors can leave a system
susceptible to attack. In this interview Frank explains how he
audits a systems security, major pitfalls administrators fall into,
and how he attempts to uncover bugs. We believe that everyone can
learn something from this interview. Note: Frank uses the alias

LinuxSecurity: When and how did you gain
interest in security? How did you gain your security knowledge?

Frank: When I finally switched from Windows to
Linux, I spent a lot of time studying the Linux kernel source. When
I finished that one I knew C enough to start coding on my own. I
started working on my first security project called Auditfile. A
kernel patch making it possible to restrict file access per process
or per binary. This enabled me to run my apache webserver only
allowing it to read default libraries (/lib/*, /usr/lib/*), read
its configuration files, htdocs (wwwroot) directory, and only
allowing it to write to logfiles with no further access. At the
same time I took over control of the security focused group RooT66
http://root66.nl.eu.org and I joined ShellOracle
http://www.shelloracle.org. I spent hours reading various texts and
joined Buffer0verfl0w security http://b0f.freebsd.lublin.pl I also
got involved with projects like SecNet http://irc.secnet.org (not
finished when writing this). I have done some freelance security
jobs for small webhosters”


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