Three Pre-Reviews

Three generous publishers sent me three books to review this week. The first is Osborne's Hacking Exposed: Web Applications, 2nd Ed by Joel Scambray, Mike Shema, and Caleb Sima. I reviewed the first edition four years ago and loved it. The first edition was 386 pages, and the second is 520. Although each book has 13 chapters, only a few have the same name. I expect the involvement of a new co-author and many contributors have made this book relevant and worth reading.

The second is No Starch's Nagios: System and Network Monitoring by Wolfgang Barth. I am looking forward to reading this book. I have never seriously tried to get Nagios working, but I plan to try while reading this book. System and network monitoring is a perfect complement to network security monitoring.

The third book was unexpected, but welcome. It's Syngress' Winternals Defragmentation, Recovery, and Administration Field Guide by a slew of authors. I wasn't planning to read this book because I do not use any commercial Winternals tools. However, I do use the free Sysinternals Windows tools. Many popular tools are covered in this new book.

Now that my first public Network Security Operations class has successfully concluded, I plan to find time again to read and review books.


Anonymous said…
I've used Nagios to monitor a small network before. Although the configuration sytax seemed a little overkill (think: harder than sendmail), the application monitoring is awesome. I had better results with Nagios than most shops have with Openview. Because the application checks use perl scripts, you can write anything, including security and log monitoring.
Anonymous said…
Although not as full featured as Nagios, we've been using sysmon in our NSM operation for years and we're very happy with it. Sysmon is simple, rock solid and reliable!
Scott said…
While I would not say Nagios has a syntax as bad sendmail (does ANYTHING come close to sendmail....not that I can think of). It is however quite easy to write custom scripts for Nagios (they simply have to return the right error code!). I look forward to your review of this.
JD said…
RYN: Did send out a message as requested, but no response yet. (Figure folks are starting summer vacations.)
Anonymous said…
My experience with nagios has been mixed. It took me a few hours to get set up and once it worked, it worked well. BUT, upgrading and keeping up with security patches can be problematic. Make sure you back up your config files. My experience was that when upgrading the RPMs on Fedora, the config files would all be moved to .rpmsave files and then nagios would no longer work properly. Renaming the .rpmsave files back to the regular .cfg files still created problems because there were new config file names and dependancies that were required.

This has happened twice to me since I've been using nagios (about 8 months). I finally got tired of adapting my config files to work with the latest version, so I just uninstalled nagios. My network is small enough such that if something goes down, I'll know about it fairly quickly.

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