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Linux Journal: Responding to a Security Incident

Mar 14, 2001, 23:24 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jose Nazario)

"By now, nearly everyone who has been using Linux for some time and had their system connected to the Internet has seen attempts to compromise their security. The question that often comes up is what to do about it. Unless it's a financial or safety issue, it's probably going to get laughed at by the legal authorities, but it's worth reporting."

"I spend a good chunk of my time on mailing lists and organizations concerned with monitoring hacker activity. Such lists are the INCIDENTS list from SecurityFocus.com and the SANS GIAC effort, providing a daily update of hacker activities from various parties around the world. Often, the question of the value of reporting an incident is debated. I routinely counsel people to report most incidents they see. What this does for the ISP is help them gather information about a set of independently correlated data about a nefarious customer or a compromised machine on their network. Just don't expect much to be done about it. Most ISPs don't react and aren't very neighborly. Some of us in the business routinely block entire networks from connecting to our networks based on their patterns of allowing unseemly activity to continue."

"We'll not go into detecting incidents, but we will define them as port probes, port scans, denial of service (DoS) attempts and unauthorized access attempts. Each of these warrants investigation, some more than others. Combining intrusion detection software with log analysis (which you should be doing anyhow), these events should stand out."

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