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Byte.com: The Firewall Masquerade

Jul 19, 1999, 14:24 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Trevor Marshall)

"Whenever you connect to the Internet, you are establishing a two-way connection between yourself and millions of other computer users. No matter what type of computer you use, there are always potential security holes in the operating system or application code, configurations, etc., that might allow others to compromise your data integrity. But when you implement a firewall, you make it very difficult for anybody to hack into your system and crack it."

"A firewall gives you increased safety. In a car, for example, the Firewall protects the occupants from the engine compartment. An Internet Firewall protects the browsing computer(s) from prying eyes on the network itself. It allows you to freely browse the servers on the Internet while making it very difficult for anybody to look back at your computer through the network connection."

"Firewalls can be implemented with varying levels of security. With Linux you can implement as much, or as little, security as you need because there is a very wide range of firewall software available. The most complex of these provide an almost impenetrable level of security, but Linux also has a very simple technique called 'masquerading' built right into the kernel itself that offers a level of protection that is good enough to deter all but the most concerted cracking attack."

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