Chapter 2

Section: Part I:  Setting the Stage

Chapter 2. How to Use This Book


        How to Use This Book? Duh!

        Methods of Using This Book

        The Book's Parts

        This Book's Limitations

        Odds and Ends to Know About Maximum Security

        Cool Stuff on the CD-ROM

        Programming Languages


Section: Chapter 2.  How to Use This Book

How to Use This Book? Duh!

Most computer books have the infamous "How to Use This Book" chapter. If you're like me, you probably never read them. After all, the best way to use a book is to read it, so what more needs to be said? Well, you might be surprised.

This book is structured very differently from your average computer title. In fact, it's structured so differently that there really are different ways to use this book. This chapter, therefore, briefly discusses ways to maximize your usage of Maximum Security.

This Book's General Structure

Maximum Security contains more than 1,000 URLs or Internet addresses. These URLs house important security information, including the following:

        Freely available tools

        Commercial security tools

        White papers or technical reports

        Security advisories

        Source code for exploits

        Security patches

We designed Maximum Security this way to provide you with supplemental information. Thus, you're getting more than just hundreds of pages of my rhetoric. You're getting a roadmap to online sources of Internet security information.

The links take you places that maintain security information which is constantly being updated. Ideally, when you're finished, you will never buy another general Internet security book. Instead, you'll know where to find the very latest security information online. This book has also been designed to teach you underlying information security methodology. Although some of the material in this book will obviously be dated over time, the techniques this book teaches are not time critical.

For these reasons, Maximum Security has many advantages over its competitors. True, you can read Maximum Security cover to cover to gain a solid, basic understanding of Internet security. However, the book's real purpose is to provide you with

1.       Internet security tools

2.       A roadmap for securing your environment


Section: Chapter 2.  How to Use This Book

Methods of Using This Book

There are three basic ways to use this book:

        To learn the basics of information security

        To secure a computing environment

        For heavy-duty security research

Each approach is slightly different. Let's quickly cover these now.

Learning the Basics of Information Security

If you bought Maximum Security to learn the basics of information security, you can rejoice. The book is well suited to that purpose. To gain the maximum benefit, read the book cover to cover. If you encounter online references, it might be wise to stop reading the book, and download the referenced document. Not all the external references are pivotal to understanding information security principles, but they aren't superfluous either.

Information security is slowly moving from a black art to a more calculated science. However, the field is, for the most part, very young. Because of this, it is dotted with true experts and amazing phonies, with most people treading the middle ground. If you finish this book and truly grasp most of what has been discussed, you will be ahead of the curve no doubts about that. And, by the time you're done, the fourth edition of Maximum Security should be released. However, we would recommend against downloading source code unless you are already familiar with the basics of C, makefiles, compilers, and so on. Chances are, if you're entirely new to information security, you probably don't need even one-tenth of the programs mentioned in this book.

Using This Book to Secure a Computing Environment

If you've bought Maximum Security to secure a network, you'll really dig this third edition. You'll note that we've made a lot of additions in this revision that focus on corporate environments and attack strategies. When you spot the various Notes and Tips spread throughout the chapters don't skip them read them! Learn from our experiences and our mistakes! Although you will definitely benefit from reading the entire book, there are some parts that will be more relevant then others. Part II, "Security Concepts," is a must-read. Part IV, "The Defender's Toolkit," can be used for reference when you start evaluating and looking for tools to help you. Finally, Part VI, "Platforms and Security," is where you'll want to focus a lot of your time this is where you'll find a lot of the low-level guts of how to lock systems down.


You might spend some time downloading tools mentioned in this book. To save you some time, on the CD-ROM you'll find that many of the tools mentioned are linked into HTML pages. Load these into your browser and you'll be good to go.


Using This Book for Heavy-Duty Security Research

If you bought Maximum Security to do serious research, you'll want to take a completely different approach in reading it. The majority of the additional links, product, and vendor information is located at the ends of the chapters. This should allow people looking specifically for additional resources easier access to the information, while simultaneously removing the "yellow pages" feel of the older versions of this book.

There is a ton of references to third-party tools, and we've borrowed on some of my experiences from running the Network Computing Magazine Chicago Lab to add additional commercial products. (Earlier editions didn't list as many of the commercial tools.)

Feed these URLs to a personal spider or a utility like WGET, and you can pull down every external source we've referenced. Enjoy.


Section: Chapter 2.  How to Use This Book

The Book's Parts

This section describes the book's various parts and the subjects treated in them.

Part I: "Setting the Stage"

Part I sets the stage and assists new readers in understanding the current climate in the information security scene. It also introduces some of the problems we face, and why we face them. Topics include the following:

        Why this book was written

        Why you need security

Part II: "Security Concepts"

Part II addresses the basics of information security, provides a roadmap for how to get started in cleaning up an environment, and provides some background on the Internet's early development. Topics include the following:

        Some of the pillars of information security strategies

        A brief tour of the underground

        A primer on TCP/IP

        Poor security on the Internet and the reasons for it

        Internet warfare as it relates to individuals and networks

        Definitions of hacking and cracking

        A brief look at who is vulnerable, and why

Part III: "Hacking 101: The Tricks of the Trade"

Part III examines the hacking scene in greater detail. It covers the contents of a hacker's toolbox. It familiarizes you with Internet munitions, or weapons. It covers the proliferation of such weapons, who creates them, who uses them, how they work, and how you can benefit from them. It also gives you a first-hand look at exploiting vulnerabilities, as well as drilling into some of the top problems the Net faced in 1999 and 2000. Some of the topics covered are:

        Use of exploit scripts

        The evolution of exploits and the "0-day" phenomena

        Spoofing and masking one's identity

        Dispelling some of the hacking folklore

Part IV: "The Defender's Toolkit"

Part IV examines the tools, utilities, and products used to defend your environment from hostile attacks. We examine the products and concepts of the following tools:


        Vulnerability assessment tools (scanners)

        Intrusion detection systems

        Logging and auditing tools

        Password crackers


Part V: "Virtual Weapons of Mass Destruction"

Part V deals with the nastiest software in the computing industry things that are used to destroy systems and networks. In this part, we examine

        Viruses and worms

        Denial of Service (DoS) tools

        Trojan horses

Part VI: "Platforms and Security"

Part VI deals with creating strategies to protect specific machines and operating systems from hostile activity. We examine issues involving the following platforms:

        Microsoft operating systems


        Novell NetWare

        Cisco's IOS



Part VII: "Bringing It All Together"

Part VII deals with taking all the previous sections and tying them together to formulate a comprehensive information security strategy. It also cover some topics in greater detail, including:

        Forming policies and procedures

        Network architecture considerations

        Application development issues

        Addressing internal security

        How to mine the crazy amount of information out there


Section: Chapter 2.  How to Use This Book

This Book's Limitations

This book is wide in scope but has several limitations. Before enumerating these shortcomings, we want to make an important point: Information security is a complex field. If you're charged with securing a network, relying solely on this book is a terrible mistake. No book has yet been written that can replace the experience, gut feeling, and basic savvy of a good system or network administrator. It is likely that no such book will ever be written. That settled, please allow us to point out this book's limitations in terms of timeliness and utility.


The first limitation of this book relates to timeliness.

The degree to which timeliness will affect the benefits you reap from this book depends on several factors. Many people don't use the latest and the greatest in software or hardware. Economic and administrative realities often preclude this. Thus, there are LANs with Internet connectivity that have workstations running Windows for Workgroups. Similarly, some folks are using SPARCstation 1s, running SunOS 4.1.3. Because older software and hardware exist, much of the material here will remain current. (Good examples are machines with fresh installs of an older operating system that has now been proven to contain numerous security bugs.)

Rest assured, however, that as of this writing, the information contained within this book was current. If you are unsure whether the information you need has changed, contact your vendor. With this said, however, the TECHNIQUES this book will teach you are without an expiration date. Although the holes we detail relating to Microsoft products in this book will eventually be a thing of the past, we're quite confident Microsoft will continue to provide us with new, even more elegant problems to overcome. The same goes for other vendors and software writers. The specifics will change quite a bit; the strategies will change very little. Learn the strategy, and the rest becomes footwork.


Although this book contains practical examples, it's not a how-to for cracking Internet servers. True, we provide many examples of how cracking is done and even utilities with which to accomplish that task, but this book will not make the reader a master hacker or cracker. There is no substitute for experience, and this book cannot provide that.

What this book can provide is a strong background in Internet security. A reader with little prior knowledge of the subject will come away with enough information to crack or secure their network.


Section: Chapter 2.  How to Use This Book

Odds and Ends to Know About Maximum Security

Here are a few notes on this book:

        Links and home pages. The first edition provided readers direct links to many files, often bypassing the home pages of vendors. In this edition, we've done things a little differently. If a vendor requires that you register prior to downloading their tool, we provide the registration URL. This is only fair.

        About all those products. There are hundreds of products mentioned in this book, but we're not affiliated with any of them. If a product is mentioned, it's here purely because it's useful.

        Mistakes and such. If you find that your product has been mentioned and the information was incorrectly reported, please contact this book's Associate Publisher. In addition, we would personally like to know, so please drop us a line at


Section: Chapter 2.  How to Use This Book

Cool Stuff on the CD-ROM

The CD-ROM has some special tools and information, including:

        A list of all URLs from this book (just click and go)

        Bastille a utility to tighten security on Linux and Unix machines

        Nmap a port scanner

        Snort an open source network intrusion detection system

        OpenSSH a free implementation of the SSH suite of network connectivity tools

        OpenSSL an open source toolkit implementing the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL v2/v3) and Transport Layer Security (TLS v1) protocols

These things should get you started right away.

Unfortunately, this approach of placing things on CD-ROM has its disadvantages. For example, you will need many additional tools to reap the maximum benefit from this book:

        A Web browser

        An FTP client

        Archiving utilities

        Document readers

        A compiler (if you want to compile source code)

In the next few sections, prior to discussing various methods of using this book, I'd like to provide locations where you can obtain these tools for free.

FTP Clients

Although you can download most of the files mentioned in this book via a Web browser, it might be wise to have an FTP client on hand. Table 2.1 provides locations for FTP clients for most operating systems.

Table 2.1. FTP Clients for Various Operating Systems










Gibbon FTP






Archive File Formats

If you're lucky, you have a 1.5Mbps or faster connection to the Internet. Sadly, many users don't. Instead, many folks still surf using a 28.8 or 56k modem connection, and at that speed, the Internet is pathetically slow. When Webmasters provide files for download, they generally compress them, and by doing so reduce the file size. The smaller the file, the quicker it will download. These compressed files are referred to as archives, or archived files.

Archives are created using compression packages. Unfortunately, there is no universally used compression format. Therefore, files compressed on a Macintosh might be difficult to decompress on an IBM-PC compatible. Because many online references in this book are archived files, you must obtain tools that can uncompress all archive formats. Table 2.2 provides locations for various archiving tools.

Table 2.2. Popular Archive Utilities



Description and Location



Winzip decompresses the following archive formats: ARC, ARJ, BinHex, gzip, LZH, MIME, TAR, UNIX compress, and Uuencode. Winzip is therefore the industry-standard archive utility on the Windows platform. It is available at



Zip98Plus handles the following archive formats: ARC, ARJ, ARJSFX, CAB, GZIP, LHA, LHASFX, RAR, TAR, ZIP, ZIPSFX, and ZOO. Zip98Plus is available at



StuffIt decompresses the following archive formats: ARC, Arj, BinHex, gzip, Macbinary, StuffIt, Uuencoded, and ZIP. StuffIt is available at

Text File Formats and Document Readers

When compiling this edition, we tried to favor sites that offer documents in HTML (which is a fairly universal format). However, that wasn't always possible. Thankfully, many site authors are now providing their documents in PDF, a document format invented by Adobe. PDF is architecture-neutral and to read a PDF document, all you need is the free PDF reader for your platform.


PDF stands for Portable Document Format. After years of research, Adobe developed PDF to satisfy the need for a universal typesetting technique. PostScript preceded PDF and was very powerful. However, some PostScript documents require a PostScript printer. PDF remedies this problem.


You might be wondering why all technical reports and white papers aren't written in ASCII. After all, ASCII is a universally recognized standard, and easily readable on any platform. The reason is this: You cannot embed graphs, sketches, or photographs in ASCII text documents. Because many technical reports have diagrams (often of network topology), ASCII is poorly suited for this task.

You might also wonder why all technical reports or white papers aren't written in HTML (especially because anyone on the Internet can read HTML). There are several reasons. First, although HTML specifications have made great progress in recent years, most HTML packages don't adhere strictly to those standards, nor do they force HTML authors to do so. HTML doesn't always look the same from platform to platform, or even from browser to browser. Also and this is a major factor writing a document in HTML can require knowledge of HTML tags. Technical report authors might not have time to learn about these tags. True, WYSIWYG HTML editors exist, but even using these takes more time than simply writing out a document in your favorite word processor. (Some advances have been made with export filters. For example, PageMaker and Microsoft Word both let you export documents to HTML. Again, these filters aren't perfect, and there's no guarantee that the document will come out precisely as it was designed.)

You must be prepared to accommodate different file formats. That is easier than it sounds. Most commercial word processor manufacturers are aware of this situation. Therefore, they make readers available to the public. Readers are programs that will read a document written in this or that format. (For example, Adobe makes a PDF reader, and Microsoft makes a Word reader.) Readers are generally free. Table 2.3 provides a list of locations for popular word-processing readers.

Table 2.3. Readers for Popular Word-Processing Formats


Description and Location

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat Reader decodes PDF files. Acrobat Reader is available for DOS, Windows, Windows 95, Windows NT, UNIX, Macintosh, and OS/2. You can get it at


GSView is a utility that reads PostScript and GhostScript files (*.PS). GSView is available for OS/2, Windows, Windows 3.11, Windows NT, and Windows NT. Get it at

PowerPoint Viewer

PowerPoint Viewer is for viewing presentations generated in Microsoft PowerPoint (*.PPT). The PowerPoint Viewer for Windows 95 is available at PowerPoint Viewer for Windows NT is available at


Section: Chapter 2.  How to Use This Book

Programming Languages

Many links in this book lead you to source code. Source code is raw programming code that when compiled or interpreted constitutes a functional computer program. To capitalize on the source code you encounter, you will need the proper compiler or interpreter. These tools and their locations are listed in Table 2.4.

Table 2.4. Compilers and Interpreters


Description and Location

C and C++

C and C++ are popular computer programming languages commonly used for network programming. Many programs available from links in this book are written in C or C++. You can obtain a freeware C/C++ compiler from the Free Software Foundation. They provide two compilers, one for UNIX and one for DOS. The UNIX version can be downloaded from The DOS version can be downloaded from


The Practical Extraction and Report Language (Perl) is a popular programming language used in network programming. Perl programs can run on multiple platforms, although they are most commonly run on UNIX, Macintosh, and Windows NT. Many of the programs mentioned in this book require a Perl interpreter to function correctly. Perl is free (generally) and is available at


Java is a versatile programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. Some of the programs mentioned in this book require a Java runtime environment to function correctly. Java is free, and you can get it at


JavaScript is a programming language embedded within Netscape Navigator and Netscape Communicator. JavaScript is sometimes used to generate malicious code (or legitimate security applications). JavaScript can be found in most recent versions of popular Web browsers (Netscape Communicator or Internet Explorer).


VBScript is a scripting language developed by Microsoft Corporation. Its purpose is to manipulate Web browser environments. VBScript and VBScript documentation are available for free at


Section: Chapter 2.  How to Use This Book


That's it. This book was overhauled something fierce, but we believe only for the better.Have fun.


Enterprises - Maximum Security
We Only Played Home Games: Wacky, Raunchy, Humorous Stories of Sports and Other Events in Michigans
ISBN: 0000053155
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2001
Pages: 38 © 2008-2017.
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