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Radius Paperback – October 15, 2002

14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596003227 ISBN-10: 0596003226 Edition: 1st

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Radius + FreeRADIUS Beginner's Guide + LDAP System Administration
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There's far more to information security than usernames and passwords; it's not just a matter of letting legitimate users "in" and keeping bad guys "out." Users who have authority to use certain parts of a system may not be authorized to see everything, and businesses, for billing purposes, often want to track how long users spend in a system. The Remote Access Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) solves all of these engineering challenges, but you have to implement it correctly in order to achieve maximum benefit and keep your systems safe. RADIUS provides an architectural and technical guide to RADIUS implementation, enabling its readers to design RADIUS-secured systems properly and choose products wisely.

Jonathan Hassell's approach is to lay down a foundation of RADIUS protocol theory, then explain how to implement the protocol with a particular product (FreeRADIUS for Linux). He approaches both elements of his book with precision and detail, and provides plenty of tabular information for reference. He's also liberal with examples, which is a welcome trait if you're in a hurry to know how to format a radiusd.conf file or how to configure Cisco IOS to do RADIUS authentication. This is a comprehensive treatment of a complicated subject. --David Wall

Topics covered: How the RADIUS protocol provides authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA services), and how it fits with other elements of network design. The author covers the protocol in theory before digging into its implementation in FreeRADIUS for Linux and the integration of that package with several important networking products.

About the Author

Jonathan Hassell is a systems administrator, IT consultant, and industry author residing in Raleigh, NC. He has extensive experience in networking technologies and Internet connectivity and currently runs his own web hosting business, Enable Hosting. He is the author of "RADIUS" for O'Reilly and Associates and is a columnist for WindowsITSecurity.COM and Pinnacle's Linux AppDev newsletter. He has also worked with IBM to develop a tutorial on Apache web server optimization.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (October 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003227
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #782,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Cole Tjepkes on February 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Reading the other reviews of this book I was expecting it to be fantastic. I was disappointed. The book is well written and provides a good overview. However, I was hoping that I could use this book to take me through a fairly complex RADIUS implementation using FreeRADIUS and LDAP. It was not at all adequate in that regard. The configuration examples are sparse and not explained in detail. I was left with a lot of questions about how the RADIUS software actually implements the standard. How user files are parsed, how attribute matching is done, what is actually checked and returned. Things like that were not covered at all. This is a good introduction to RADIUS, but if you have a real project to do you are still going to have to spend a lot of time digging for more info on the web or in poorly written documentation that is available out there. I would call this the best RADIUS book because it is the ONLY RADIUS book.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
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The RFCs tend to be full of nitty gritty legalese, by the very nature of their being formal specifications. That is the reason one would want to read a book, such as this one, in the hope of gaining implementation and deployment perspective that may be lacking in the the RFCs. This book does not measure up.
It is poorly organized, is ridden with glaring errors, and does not explain key concepts well, if at all. If the author has brought any technical expertise on the subject matter to bear, it certainly does not show up. It looks and feels like a potpourri of hastily put together notes by a sysadmin technician; nothing more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Theodore Andreadis on October 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
To express my idea about this book, it is
enough to say this:

I printed and inserted in the book the 5-page
examples from RFC-2865 to understand what is
going on!

It is an awful book; it has not a single negotiation example;
There is not a single reference of real-world use. I kept
searching for overviews of advanced EAP schemes using
RADIUS as the final authenticator, hoped to see examples of
802.1X port authentication controlled by RADIUS, but there is
nothing there:
The only thing this book offers is alphabetically ordered
attributes copied from RFCs but printed in a nice font!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book may not be bad for someone looking for a brief overview of the RADIUS protocol (perhaps a manager), but is virtually useless for anything beyond that. The book is poorly organized, severly lacks detail, and has its share of errors. Technical readers should look elsewhere.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian Grossman on October 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a complete guide. The author explains the inner workings of RADIUS quite clearly. The practical suggestions on setting up freeradius, while basic, are very helpful; plus, it's the only book out there, and it's of typical O'Reilly quality. In closing, this book is very good, in-depth, and handy. I'd recommend it to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found this book a good reference to RADIUS. While some content is available in the RFCs, it's handy to have it compact and easy to read inside this book. The overview and guide to FreeRADIUS is good to have, especially considering the lack of available documentation from the project. I especially found the security chapter helpful, a candid discussion of where RADIUS fails.
While there could be more coverage in this book, I think it's a great one to have available. Recommended.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Durden on October 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
A very thorough and detailed -without fluff O'reilly book. Since Freeradius has no documentation, this was godsent. It only lacks a little when it comes to configuring Freeradius with other databases (Mysql is the example setup), but otherwise very thorough.
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