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Posted April 3, 2004
Systematically understanding network access
A logically very systematic delineation of ways that your system could be attacked over the Internet. There are standard ways to access your computer like rlogin, telnet, ssh and ftp. But each implementation of these faces the risk that an error was made in its coding, which might then be found and exploited by a cracker. Plus, since the advent of the Web, there are Web services that have not checked for the stereotypical but very real case of buffer overflow in submitted input over the network. McNab describes all these, and more. But perhaps more usefully, his book is not a simple recital of implementation versions and associated known bugs and available patches. He tries instead to guide the reader into understanding the broad ideas in network access, and using a viewpoint of logically analysing for any weaknesses. Because any static listing of versions and bugs runs the risk of being obsoleted in a few years. He presents web sites that are good resources for patches or latest versions of key programs. If you are concerned about a specific program, try going straight to it in the book and seeing what advice he offers. For all the programs he mentions, some prior knowledge of their use would be handy. He gives a succinct description of each, but really he assumes you have already used it.
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