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Book details of 'Open Source Security Tools : Practical Guide to Security Applications, A (Bruce Perens Open Source)'

Cover of Open Source Security Tools : Practical Guide to Security Applications, A (Bruce Perens Open Source)
TitleOpen Source Security Tools : Practical Guide to Security Applications, A (Bruce Perens Open Source)
Author(s)Tony Howlett
ISBN0321194438
LanguageEnglish
PublishedJuly 2004
PublisherPrentice Hall PTR
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Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
The tools listed in this book are for network security, almost without exception. The preface states that the book is intended primarily for systems administrators, although security professionals may find useful information as well. Howlett makes an effort to include items that have Windows versions, although only about a third do. He has also included tutorial materials on detailed aspects of the TCP/IP protocols that have a bearing on the operation of security software. Chapter one outlines the open source concept, starting with a fairly idealized scenario, but continuing with some history, advantages (and disadvantages), and a brief look at two of the major open source licences. The nominal topic of chapter two is operating systems, and so it is rather odd that most of the tools described are network utilities. However, the descriptions are better than are given in most reviews of software tools, and the details are clear for all who may read them. While chapter three does provide a quick overview of TCP/IP and filtering, it does not cover the full range of firewall types. The programs listed are comprehensively described in terms of installation and administration commands. Port scanning is covered in chapter four, and, again, while the programs are explained well, other details, such as the services that would need to be turned off to reduce the danger of open ports, are not. Much the same can be said about the discussion of vulnerability scanners, in chapter five. Chapter six looks at the most widely used network sniffers. The concepts behind, and examples of, both network- and host-based intrusion detection systems are given in chapter seven. Logging and audit data can accumulate quickly and overwhelm the administrator, so chapter eight reviews some common tools to present, analyse, and manage the information. Chapter nine lists a variety of encryption tools. Wireless tools, primarily for finding networks, are given in chapter ten. Forensic tools are examined in chapter eleven, but there may not be a sufficient distinction made between the network and data recovery tools. Chapter twelve finishes off with some more general discussion about open source software, and where to find it. There are some helpful appendices: well-known TCP/IP port numbers, and a large list of plug-ins for Nessus. The tutorial material could have had more depth and care, but there is no denying the value of the compilation (particularly with all the software included on the CD). copyright Robert M. Slade, 2004
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