IN THIS CHAPTER
Activating the FTP Server
Configuring the Default lukemftpd FTP Server
Setting Up Anonymous FTP
Replacing the Mac OS X FTP Server
Alternatives to FTP
One of the primary benefits of connecting computers together with a network is being able to use the network connection to move files between them. The FTP (File Transfer Protocol) service is an early and quite ubiquitous method designed to support this activity. Unfortunately, the protocol was invented during the more naive days of computer network development. And so in addition to the predictable security flaws that are due to bugs , it sports a plethora of intentional features that today we must struggle with to make secure. As you will see, these range from things that today we see as anachronistically optimistic design to features that were clearly a bad idea from day one.
Still, FTP, with all its inherent problems, isn't going away anytime soon. To work and play well in the networked world, FTP support is all but obligatory , and to be supported well, it needs to be secured. To secure it properly, an understanding of the protocol and its inherent vulnerabilities is required.