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Security Portal: OpenBSD - a secure alternative

Oct 27, 1999, 16:08 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kurt Seifried)

"So you want to build a firewall, but aren't quite sure what to use? You might want to consider OpenBSD, an secure offshoot of the BSD family. From the beginning OpenBSD's entire purpose has been to be a secure operating system. In order to achieve this, the OpenBSD founder (Theo de Raadt) started a code audit project, pretty much every single line of code in OpenBSD has been checked, and many problems were found, and fixed. In addition to this OpenBSD is based out of Canada, which allows for the inclusion of strong cryptography software with the OS. One prime example is the planned addition of OpenSSH, based off of SSH 1.2.12, in the next release of OpenBSD (2.7, this winter or so). OpenBSD also has a slightly better network stack then Linux (at least 2.2.x Linux), applications such as Network Flight Recorder, which take large volumes of data off of the network simply do not work well under most operating systems. Many of the commercial IDS systems use OpenBSD as their OS of choice."

"You can buy OpenBSD on CDROM, and this is probably a good choice for several reasons. One you are getting the OS on trusted media, you can verify the package signatures, and be sure that nothing strange has been done to the software. You also do not need to download OpenBSD, which depending on your network connection can be tricky (I'm lucky, my ISP has a 10 meg peer link to the UofA which hosts ftp.openbsd.org). Also by buying the OpenBSD CD's you are supporting their effort, which is a nice thing to do. Once you have OpenBSD you can boot off the CD, or create a bootable floppy disk and use this..."

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