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Maximum Mac OS X Security Paperback – May 23, 2003

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

While Mac OS X is becoming more and more stable with each release, its UNIX/BSD underpinnings have security implications that ordinary Mac users have never before been faced with. Mac OS X can be used as both a powerful Internet server, or, in the wrong hands, a very powerful attack launch point.

Yet most Mac OS X books are generally quite simplistic -- with the exception of the author's Mac OS X Unleashed, the first book to address OS X's underlying BSD subsystem.

Maximum Mac OS X Security takes a similar UNIX-oriented approach, going into significantly greater depth on OS X security topics:

  • Setup basics, including Airport and network topology security.
  • User administration and resource management with NetInfo.
  • Types of attacks, how attacks work, and how to stop them.
  • Network service security, such as e-mail, Web, and file sharing.
  • Intrusion prevention and detection, and hands-on detection tools.

About the Author

John Ray is an award-winning developer and technology consultant with more than 17 years of programming and network administration experience. He has worked on projects for the FCC, The Ohio State University, Xerox, and the State of Florida, as well as serving as IT Director for a Columbus, Ohio¿based design and application development company. John currently serves as Senior System Developer/Engineer for The Ohio State University Extension and provides network security and intrusion detection services for clients across the state and country. His first experience in security was an experimental attempt to crack a major telecom company. Although he was successful, the resulting attention from individuals in trench coats made him swear off working on the "wrong side" of the keyboard forever.

John has written or contributed to more than 12 titles currently in print, including Mac OS X Unleashed and Maximum Linux Security.

Dr. William Ray is a mathematician turned computer scientist turned biophysicist who has gravitated to the field of bioinformatics for its interesting synergy of logic, hard science, and human-computer-interface issues. A longtime Macintosh and Unix enthusiast, Will has owned Macs since 1985, and has worked with Unix since 1987. Prior to switching his professional focus to the biological sciences, Will spent five years as a Unix programmer developing experimental interfaces to online database systems. He left this position when his desktop workstation was cracked, then used to attack other businesses' computers. The incompetence of his employer's system administrators resulted in his being accused of perpetrating the attacks, and a series of visits from the men in trenchcoats, nice suits, and dark glasses for him as well. As a result, Will has developed an enduring disgust for employers, system administrators, and users who don't take system security, and their responsibilities with respect to it, seriously.

Shortly after migrating to biophysics, Will developed a Macintosh and Unix-based computational biology/graphics laboratory and training center for The Ohio State University's College of Biological Sciences. At the facility, which he managed for five years, Will introduced hundreds of students and faculty to Unix, and provided training and assistance in the development of productive computing skills on the paired Macintosh and Unix platforms.

Will is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Columbus Children's Research Institute, Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and the Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, where he is studying tools that work at the interface between humans, computers, and information, and working to build a core computational research and training facility for his institute.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Sams; First Printing edition (May 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672323818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672323812
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,202,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Williams on April 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Security has long been a concern for Unix administrators who find themselves connected to the sometimes dark and dirty world of the Internet. With the advent of personal operating systems with file sharing, remote login and built-in web servers, and the spread of broadband networks with their always-on connectivity, it should now be a concern for everyone.
It really didn't concern me until one day when I was checking the logs on my Mac OS X box while developing a web app and discovered dozens of entries from all over the globe probing my box to see if it was an insecure IIS server. I then decided I needed to pay attention to security alerts and the help of a book like Macintosh OS X Maximum Security to help me understand and fix any holes.
The Good
The book is divided into four sections. Part 1 is about learning to think about security, covering such topics as physical security and protection from your users and bad guys. Part II, `Vulnerabilities and Exposures,' covers the various sorts of attack such as password attacks, trojans and worms, sniffers and spoofing. Part III, `Specific Mac OS X Resources and How To Secure Them,' covers just that, the various servers such as FTP, mail, Apache and SSH and how to go about making them safe. The final part covers attack prevention, detection, reaction and recovery with topics such as firewalls, alarm systems, logs and disaster planning.
Macintosh OS X Maximum Security is a large, extremely comprehensive volume. For the average person who wants to protect a small home network the information it provides is probably overkill. To make matters worse, the style is fairly verbose, particularly in the first section.
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Format: Paperback
review originally for the Lower East Side Mac Unix Users Group,
If you like scary stories, lucid mindbending complexity, and epic tales of freaky proportion, this one's for you; (and it makes a terrific reference book to boot).
Enter a world where your arp tables are poisoned, zombie daemon processes run unnoticed by root-kitted servers, IP addresses are merely ghosts of the servers they say they are- you are not entering the twilight zone, you are entering the internet. Muahahahaahahaha. Ahem<cough>.
Experience Level: Basic UNIX/OSX understanding, an acrobatic and open mind required- (i.e. if you were able to follow the Matrix movies without skipping a beat, you'll be fine with this book).
The general conceptual Tone of the book is great, as it doesn't ever assume that ANYTHING is bulletproof, like some foolhardy security texts and whitepapers can blindly promise.
A while back, I gave a very positive review for lesmuug.org, of 'Mac OS X Security' (Published by New Riders).
This book, 'Mac OS X, Maximum Security', (Published by SAMS) as a great extension/companion to that book.
'Mac OS X, Maximum Security', weighs in at over 2 inches thick, and as much as it provides a great overview to running secure and trusted systems, it goes into WAY more depth than the New Riders book; which can be good and bad- if your trying to get a general overview of secure systems, this book may be overwhelming.
Throughout reading this SAMS book, I found myself digging back into the New Riders book, to refresh my mind on general topics. Then my brain could better scale into the horrifying detail in this 'Maximum' book.
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By MJ on January 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this expecting it to be informative, but instead it's just chit chat about Mac security. Not for the power user.
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