[thelist] Networks, webservers, file servers, etc.

Mark Groen evolt at markgroen.com
Tue May 2 22:14:08 CDT 2006

On Wed, 2006-05-03 at 11:54 +1000, Ken Schaefer wrote:
> This is probably anathema to various people on the list, but I'm going to
> disagree with what people have said before.
> Do not install your own firewall on an old PC (at least, not to start off
> with).
> Get some experience *first* before you start branching off into more complex
> things. Otherwise you'll be forever running around trying to work out whether
> the problem is in the OS, your applications, your LAN configuration or just
> how you've configured your various protocols.
> If you have a NAT router, then just use that for the time being.
> My suggestion to get started?
> Pick an OS. My suggestion is whatever you are most familiar with, but you can
> pick anything.
> Get a book on managing a network with that OS. Read it

I agree with Ken. Administering public facing web servers, (especially
if you are virtual hosting with multiple users), can mean a lot of
blood, sweat and tears for even experienced admins when under attack.
And you will get hit, *guaranteed*. I've seen some amazing kits/scripts
planted surreptitiously by a user, security is a 24 hour a day job. 

Even if it's just you on your own throw-away boxen, until you are
confident and sure it is under control, be prepared to lose it. The
WRT54G is a good router, but you can still be compromised, (you have to
leave at least one port open), and it should not be a substitute for a
properly configured web server and the operating system it is running



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