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LinuxPlanet: Protecting Your Linux System with FireStarter and Storm Firewall

Dec 01, 2000, 17:19 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Hall)

"Despite its relatively secure status when compared to some other operating systems, Linux is still somewhat problematic to deal with, especially as the userbase drifts more and more from experienced technical hands to hobbyists and less experienced users out to try something new. Considering the insecure way some distributions are still shipped, and the pervasive and obnoxious presence of homo scriptkiddeus on the net, there's a lot of room for simple, 'out of the box' security solutions on Linux."

"In the Windows world, there are several such shrinkwrap products that cost relatively little and provide a few bells and whistles. Linux, of course, has good firewalling functionality built-in or at least easily obtainable, and it will be better yet with the new kernel. At the same time, configuring that functionality is a bit daunting for new users."

"We took a look at a pair of GUI-based firewalling solutions for Linux: one a commercial offering from Stormix Technologies (Storm Firewall), and the other a free software project that integrates with the GNOME desktop (Firestarter). Both provide graphical front-ends to ipchains, taking some of the pain out of building tailor-made firewalls for home networks."

"It's always tempting to try to drum up a little interest with a false air of competition, but in this case it simply isn't appropriate: one is a tool that enables the harried network administrator or savvy (if deep-pocketed) home user to exercise fine-grained control of a full-fledged firewall, the other is a fast and easy way for a casual user (or network administrator with very simple needs) to toss up a fast firewall on a machine with little concern for the finer points of configuring things."

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