Linux Server Security (Hack and Defend) [PDF]

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Linux Security

Who Should Read This Book

This book was written for mid-level admins, software hackers, and other IT professionals. It is, however, hopefully, written in such a way that anyone who is curious will be able to quickly discern which sections are suitable for those interested in security but don’t necessarily have a strong understanding of the Linux command line. The aim is that some readers will go on to research a specific chapter’s subject matter in greater detail to help bolster their knowledge on that subject further, while other areas will be of less interest to their needs and potentially used for reference at a later date.

In other words, there is no difference in the levels of experience required on a per-chapter basis, although those chapters that focus more heavily on the command line may require a greater effort for a novice.

How This Book Is Organized

The chapters contained within this book can be read in any order and are a collection of security topics that have interested the author on his journey as an Internet user over the years.

The topics vary from the theory of past, current, and future attacks, to the mitigation and defense from a variety of online attacks, all the way to empowering readers to perform maliciously
attacks themselves (in the hope they will learn how to defend against such attacks).

By separating the various topics into chapters, the subjects can be referenced and returned to in the future to allow the reader to recount the content in greater detail. The content of each chapters is as follows:

Chapter 1: Invisibility Cloak:

If an attacker can’t see your server and isn’t aware of its existence, then there isn’t an attack vector to exploit in the first place. We discuss and demonstrate how to continue using services in production but without the unwelcome attention of attackers.

Chapter 2: Digitally Fingerprint Your Files:

There are a number of ways of keeping an eye on the integrity of your server’s file systems to ensure attackers haven’t gained access. In this chapter, we look at both a manual method and an automated tool that checks for rootkits.

Chapter 3: Twenty-First-Century Netcat:

Steeped in history, the modern-day version of Netcat, thanks to its multitude of advanced features, has become a hacker’s tool of choice. Learn how to spot if such a tool is being used against your servers and additionally how to utilize its industry-leading functionality.

Chapter 4: Denying Service:

Only a handful of the world’s largest Internet infrastructure providers can withstand the devastating effects of a full-fledged, high-capacity Distributed Denial of Service attack. In this chapter, we discuss the topic in detail and even comment on an entire country losing Internet connectivity for three weeks due to such an attack.

Chapter 5: Nping:

Knowing which services a host is running is only half the battle. This extension of the powerful Nmap security tool allows you to check just that on any host and also, craft custom packets with unique payloads.

Chapter 6: Logging Reconnoiters:

Although certain probes executed against your server might seem harmless enough, there is little doubt that being aware of how they work helps you secure your server further. We examine several facets of an attacker reconnoitering your server’s vulnerable points.

Chapter 7: Nmap’s Prodigious NSE:

Many users will have used Nmap for simple port scans, but few know that the security tool includes the ability to exploit remote machines too. We explore just some of the many possibilities starting with the plethora of scripts that Nmap ships with by default.

Chapter 8: Malware Detection:

A sometimes entirely silent threat that has plagued Windows systems for years comes in the form of illegitimately installed software. The damage that can be done to a system by malware ranges from annoying pop-up windows to full-fledged online banking compromises. In this chapter, we learn how to deploy a sophisticated, frequently updated anti-malware solution on Linux.

Chapter 9: Password Cracking with Hashcat:

Technical professionals might be alarmed to discover that one password-cracking tool all but guarantees that it can crack a hashed password. This means that if access to your hashed password is gained illegitimately, then it’s just a matter of time before an attacker can see your password in plain text. This chapter walks you through the process, step by step.

Chapter 10: SQL Injection Attacks:

In one prominent survey, SQL injection attacks were listed as the most prevalent online attack. Despite the fact that this type of attack dates back to the late 1990s, even today a frighteningly large number of such attacks successfully exploit websites belonging to enterprises and key online services through poor programming practices. This chapter offers some useful historical information along with step-bystep instructions on how to identify and exploit vulnerable online services.


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