Linux Internet Security Software System
Linux network security should be a paramount concern, especially if you plan on turning your system into a server box or if you have an “always on” broadband connection.
Depending on the various kinds of network services you plan on running—ftp, http, ssh etc.—you should always run the most current and stable release versions of your network services. Running an outdated version of a network service is a good way to get your Linux box exploited.
Fortifying your System
The cornerstone to Linux internet security is to disable any services you don't need. Having apache (httpd) load up at boot time when you don't plan on running a website is an incredible waste of resources, and if you don't plan on allowing remote shell access to your box, disabling SSH is a good idea.
Red Hat makes it very easy to disable services you don't need. Run this command at the shell:
liquidbinary@arrakis:~$ chkconfig --list | grep on
You should see all your enabled network services listed. Disable any services that shouldn't be running. For example, let's say you don't want NFS—network file system—to load up; run this command at the shell to disable NFS:
liquidbinary@arrakis:~$ chkconfig nfs off
Consider every network service you want to run, disabling any unnecessary services; this is a step in the right direction toward securing your Linux box.
Linux Security: the Easy Way
Linux security doesn't have to be an arcane, complex exercise. Running a firewall service can alleviate a lot of the hassle attributed with securing your system by hand. Unless you desire a “hard knocks” security experience by tweaking out security with nothing more than the “iptables” man pages to guide you and a shell, then an out-of-the-box Linux firewall can be just what you need.
A popular Linux firewall is “Firestarter”; it's free, easy-to-configure, and presents a graphical interface for non-shell users. Firestarter allows you to define rules that regulate inbound and outbound traffic, similar to ZoneAlarm, a popular Windows firewall application.
Firestarter doesn't substitute simplicity for control. If you want to get your hands dirty, Firestarter allows you get down at the kernel level, tweaking out and fine-tuning network security features at your whim.
Give your Linux computer the hardening it needs with a Security Software System when it goes live on the internet. You can find more information as well as Linux download packages for the Firestarter firewall here:
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