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Mac OS X Security Paperback – May 31, 2003

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From the Back Cover

Mac OS X now operates on a UNIX engine. As such it is much more powerful than previous operating systems. It is now a multitasking, multithreaded, multi-user, and multiprocessor system with enhanced interoperability with other systems. Along with that increased power comes increased security vulnerability. Part I introduces readers to the basics of OS X security. Part II addresses system security beginning at the client workstation level. This section addresses UNIX-specific information such as permissions, executables, and network protocols and the related security concerns. Part III covers network security. The chapters in this section will cover security for internet services, file sharing, and network protection systems. Part IV addresses enterprise security using a variety of tools (Kerberos, NetInfo, and Rendezvous) as well as workstation configurations to illustrate how OS X Server and OS X inter-operate. The final section addresses auditing and forensics and what to do when an OS X network is compromised. This section teaches readers to audit systems painlessly and effectively and how to investigate and handle incidents.

About the Author

Bruce Potter, Senior Software Security consultant at Cigital, Inc., is the founder of The Shmoo Group, an organization of security and cryptography professionals. He is also the founder and president of Capital Area Wireless Network, a nonprofit community wireless initiative based in Washington, DC. He has spoken at the Black Hat and DefCon conferences.

Preston Norvell is a long-standing member of the Shmoo group and the originator of, a Shmoo Group-sponsored organization specializing in Mac OS security. By day he is a Project and Security Engineer for Mercury Data Group.

Brian Wotring is an independent software engineer and founder of, an online database of file signatures. He is also the author of Osiris, a host integrity management application. An active member of The Shmoo Group, Brian has authored and ported many security related applications to Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders Press; 1 edition (May 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735713480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735713482
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,555,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Peter J Bartoli on June 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you're the owner of a Macintosh running OS X and security is either a concern or an interest, this book is a great reference.
It covers both the very basics in good layman's terms and identifies what is useful information to the average user, such as safely sharing a computer between many users, encrypting files, saving passwords, and how to prevent unauthorized use.
For system administrators and power users, it points out and describes the security considerations of using the more advanced features features of Mac OS X, including file sharing, NetInfo, the Apache web server, and the many networking features and protocols for which Mac OS X includes support.
In order to prevent and monitor for security incidents, the book contains a good description of monitoring an OS X system, and in the unfortunate case of such an incident happening, forensics tools are discussed as well.
In summary, "Mac OS X Security" is a comprehensive reference on the security features, functionality, and strengthening of Apple's new operating system with good information for OS X users of all levels of skill.
-Peter Bartoli
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Isaac Levy on August 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
The following review was originally made for the Lower East Side Mac Unix Users Group, (
I was heading out soon to my first 'DefCon Experience' this summer, so when I saw this Security book with a really ugly green-trippy cover on the LESMUUG bookshelf, I was immediately interested.
I'd read loads of security materials before, some good, some completely stupid. Good security is never an absolute, any experienced locksmith or network security admin knows this, so I'm wary of any resource which states 'Do this, and your safe' (except from the author of the resource).
This book met, and exceeded my base expectations, starting out expressing this very sentiment- and constantly refers to the idea that every feature (even just booting), carries with it consequences- some having greater chances of being compromised in some way.
That stated, every nuts-and-bolts section deals with the risks involved with a given system component, and gives best-practice real world examples. Noteworthy, is that the book rarely says 'do this', as this violates basic principles security, but instead explains how your system works in the context of securing your data, gives general conceptual workarounds, and assesses their general consequences.
Clear distinctions between Mac OSX, Darwin, and Mac OSX Server are clearly defined and referenced- and the information covered definitely applies to the future with 'Panther', (though some of the locations of various resources will likely change).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fabien on May 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
don't buy useless and not worth the money, good for stating a BBQ or for under a piece of furniture.
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