Chapter 14. Protecting Services and Server Applications
This chapter is about server applications and other servicesor, more specifically , what you can do to protect them. Generally speaking, we are much more interested in protecting server applications than we are user-side applications. There is a really simple reason for this: most of the attacks against user -side applications are annoyance attacks, worms, e-mail viruses, and so on. These are mostly aimed at causing destruction and mayhem by disrupting large numbers of users and possibly stealing their personal information one at a time. However, if what you want is massive destruction, loads of personal information, and huge financial, political, or spiritual gain, there is nothing like taking over a few servers and stealing all the data that all the people who use them have stored there.
We said this before, but we are not all that interested in user-side attacks. Those are largely based on (a) unpatched vulnerabilities and (b) users who will do exactly as they are told, even if it is a criminal telling them to do it.
Rather, a typical problem that interests us is someone who breaks into your network and adds himself to your payroll, after making off with all the information on the patents you were about to file. Those types of attacks almost always start and end with servers. Therefore, you must learn how to protect services and server applications.