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Risk

8/19/2008
03:34 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
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Securing A (Networked) Apple OS X 10.5 Install

Despite Apple's laggard attitude toward patching the underbelly of its flagship OS X software; the ability for attackers to crack the OS in seconds; or even the capability of security researchers to dedicate an entire

Despite Apple's laggard attitude toward patching the underbelly of its flagship OS X software; the ability for attackers to crack the OS in seconds; or even the capability of security researchers to dedicate an entire month to Mac OS security flaws, you really can attain a reasonable level of security on a Mac. You just need to know how.Now, when you combine Apple's lackluster attitude toward security with the dearth of enterprise grade security management tools, you really have a problem for anyone hoping to securely bring Macs into the corporate fold.

Earlier this summer, Apple published its Apple's Mac OS X Security Configuration for Version 10.5 Leopard guide. And anyone who is interested in keeping their standalone 10.5 installation secure should take a look. The 240-page PDF is a security tome aimed at the more technically inclined. That guide is available here if you're interested.

While the Mac OS X Security Configuration for Version 10.5 Leopard guide is good for securing standalone systems, a security guide published today by security firm Corsaire helps to better secure networked OS X 10.5 installs. But just like Apple's own security guide, this one also requires some technical acumen:

The reader should be familiar with using the Unix command line and editing plain text configuration files. Most of the operations require administrator access and Corsaire would recommend that each file be backed up before it is edited.

For anyone interested in OS X security, and especially admins tasked with securing networked Macs, this one is worth a read. It not only provides a solid overview of the new security features in OS X 10.5, but also is a good primer on hardening the OS, managing users, and how to log and audit security-related incidents.

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