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CRN: Case Study -- VAR Uses Linux For Security

Aug 23, 1999, 19:07 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mitzi Waltz)

"The emergence of Linux as a mainstream OS option may be one of this year's most interesting industry news stories. But at International Transportation Specialists (ITS), an Omaha, Neb.-based trucking company, it is already a part of everyday life.

Paktronix Systems LLC, also of Omaha, sold ITS on a system featuring Linux-based firewalls, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) Web server and a Novell Inc. NetWare 5.0 server. The client's MIS team was thrilled with the results.

The reseller demonstrated that Linux has major security advantages over other flavors of Unix, said Pat Abernathy, vice president of information services at ITS. 'Linux allows us to customize some of the firewall functionality,' closing off such Unix security loopholes as denial of service attacks and crash attacks, he said."

"With Linux, said [Paktronix president Matthew] Marsh, 'we know exactly what security level exists within the OS. If you're trying to provide airtight network security, you cannot afford to be in the dark as to the exact mode of operation of the underlying OS.' With most other operating systems, he added, residual code, obscure patches and interfaces will not let programmers dig deep enough."

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