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Mac OS X: Maximum Security
     

Mac OS X: Maximum Security

by John Ray, William C. Ray, Will C. Ray
 

While Mac OS X is becoming more and more stable with each release, its UNIX/BSD underpinnings have security implications that ordinary Mac users have never before been faced with. Mac OS X can be used as both a powerful Internet server, or, in the wrong hands, a very powerful attack launch point.

Yet most Mac OS X books are generally quite simplistic — with

Overview

While Mac OS X is becoming more and more stable with each release, its UNIX/BSD underpinnings have security implications that ordinary Mac users have never before been faced with. Mac OS X can be used as both a powerful Internet server, or, in the wrong hands, a very powerful attack launch point.

Yet most Mac OS X books are generally quite simplistic — with the exception of the author's Mac OS X Unleashed, the first book to address OS X's underlying BSD subsystem.

Maximum Mac OS X Security takes a similar UNIX-oriented approach, going into significantly greater depth on OS X security topics:

  • Setup basics, including Airport and network topology security.
  • User administration and resource management with NetInfo.
  • Types of attacks, how attacks work, and how to stop them.
  • Network service security, such as e-mail, Web, and file sharing.
  • Intrusion prevention and detection, and hands-on detection tools.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
“Classic Mac” users didn’t worry much about security. Sure, old Macs were insecure, but they also lacked the features hackers needed to get at them. With OS X, though, you’re in the real world. Wake up, smell the coffee, then read Mac OS X Maximum Security.

John and William Ray cover all the Mac security risks and solutions you hoped never to worry about. Tools exist to improve the Mac OS X’s decent out-of-the-box security. You just have to learn how to use them. But above all, you have to develop an instinct for security. This book helps with the tools and the instincts.

You’ll review each vulnerability that afflicts systems like yours: attacks against data and passwords; malware; eavesdropping; impersonation, and the rest. Then, the Rays turn to securing specific OS X resources.

You’ll walk through customizing user accounts through the NetInfo database and User Templates directories. You’ll turn off unneeded Mac OS X network services (fortunately, many are automatically disabled at installation). Using TCP wrappers, you’ll restrict access to TCP services. (This requires some configuration, but the Rays explain the gory details.)

There are chapters on securing mail servers (too often left insecure); FTP; remote access; the Apache web server; and Samba file sharing. The Rays briefly introduce Mac OS X firewalls (Apple’s simple, bundled GUI firewall and command line tools). There’s even coverage of intrusion detection.

No matter who you are, your Mac and your data deserve protection. This book will help you protect them -- and yourself. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780672323812
Publisher:
Sams
Publication date:
05/13/2003
Series:
Maximum Security Series
Pages:
747
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.05(h) x 1.75(d)

Meet the Author

John Ray is an award-winning developer and technology consultant with more than 17 years of programming and network administration experience. He has worked on projects for the FCC, The Ohio State University, Xerox, and the State of Florida, as well as serving as IT Director for a Columbus, Ohio¿based design and application development company. John currently serves as Senior System Developer/Engineer for The Ohio State University Extension and provides network security and intrusion detection services for clients across the state and country. His first experience in security was an experimental attempt to crack a major telecom company. Although he was successful, the resulting attention from individuals in trench coats made him swear off working on the "wrong side" of the keyboard forever.

John has written or contributed to more than 12 titles currently in print, including Mac OS X Unleashed and Maximum Linux Security.

Dr. William Ray is a mathematician turned computer scientist turned biophysicist who has gravitated to the field of bioinformatics for its interesting synergy of logic, hard science, and human-computer-interface issues. A longtime Macintosh and Unix enthusiast, Will has owned Macs since 1985, and has worked with Unix since 1987. Prior to switching his professional focus to the biological sciences, Will spent five years as a Unix programmer developing experimental interfaces to online database systems. He left this position when his desktop workstation was cracked, then used to attack other businesses' computers. The incompetence of his employer's system administrators resulted in his being accused of perpetrating the attacks, and a series of visits from the men in trenchcoats, nice suits, and dark glasses for him as well. As a result, Will has developed an enduring disgust for employers, system administrators, and users who don't take system security, and their responsibilities with respect to it, seriously.

Shortly after migrating to biophysics, Will developed a Macintosh and Unix-based computational biology/graphics laboratory and training center for The Ohio State University's College of Biological Sciences. At the facility, which he managed for five years, Will introduced hundreds of students and faculty to Unix, and provided training and assistance in the development of productive computing skills on the paired Macintosh and Unix platforms.

Will is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Columbus Children's Research Institute, Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and the Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, where he is studying tools that work at the interface between humans, computers, and information, and working to build a core computational research and training facility for his institute.

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