Closure of a previous question and new questions on system security apps...

Brian Lunergan ff809 at
Thu Jan 11 15:23:58 UTC 2007

Jeffrey F. Bloss wrote:
> Brian Lunergan wrote:
>> Now, as to questions on systems security apps. I'm running v5.10 and
>> have upgraded my Firefox to version 2. I've pulled in a debian
> Consider taking a look at Opera. In my opinion it's a more "mature"
> product, and if you're measuring your security applications by sheer
> numbers of vulnerabilities and their severity Opera can't be beat by
> any mainstream browser.

I had considered Opera but when I tried their windows edition a year or two back 
it didn't grab hold of my interest. Firefox may have its faults (as does all 
software) but at least it seems to show the same face on both platforms and it's 
a tool I have experience and a comfort level with. Unless there's something 
compellingly different about Opera for the linux platform I'll stay with the fox 
for the time being.

>> edition of the anti-virus program I've used for the last year or so
> Which one would that be? Sometimes you find that top of the line
> Windows software looses something in the translation. One "standard" on
> Linux boxen is ClamAV. Frisk (F-Prot) offers a free a Linux command line
> version also, that seems to maintain it's abilities across platforms.
> Clam is more email oriented, and even catches quite a few phishing
> attempts. F-Prot is... well, F-Prot. :) A good, solid scanner with
> frequent updates.

Actually, my choice for the moment is Avast from Alwil.

>> on my windows setup, and have a trio of likely candidates to
>> investigate for a firewall application. I'm looking for a good data
> You should already have a firewall installed, you just need to
> configure it. The reason it's not enabled by default is that Ubuntu
> leaves nothing listening at its defaults so there's really no reason
> for it. If you're talking about installing a front end to help you
> configure and manage netfilter/iptables that then fine, but don't waste
> time looking for something that won't be any better, and probably worse,
> than the stuff you have.

Ok, bad terminology on my part. I am new in the neighbourhood, so please do bear 
with me. I suspect the ones I'm looking ARE probably gui shells for the existing 
components. Firestarter (I think that's the right name, although some posts seem 
to suggest it's problematic in its functioning), Guarddog, and one other for 
which the name escapes me at the moment.

>> backup solution to cd-rw, and an anti-spam application along the
>> lines of the spampal program I've been using over on my windows setup.
> Spamassassin and Bogofilter are again, two "standards". Spamassassin is
> a little more feature rich, and a lot slower. It also requires a daemon
> be running in many/most implementations. Bogo is fast and lean, and
> seems to take to training a little easier. At least on this system.
> Either one should work after it learns its job, and as you say, nothing
> will catch 100%. For that reason I'd say Bogofilter unless you were
> running your own mail server. I run both. SA on my server and Bogo in my
> workstations. I still occasionally see spam, but I'm not as
> aggressive as some.

Hmm, since I'm not running a server setup it sounds like Bogofilter will be the 
one to look into. Thanks for the idea.

>> Having said all that I can just hear all those Linux purists on the
>> list getting ready to trot out the flames and put downs that I'm some
> Why would anyone do that when you're asking legitimate questions?
> Your sweeping generalization of people who prefer one environment to
> another as prone to "trotting out flames and put downs" on the other
> hand, certainly begs that caliber of reply. :-/

I was actually intending to counter a particular group of Linux supporters who 
seem to place almost religious faith in the security of their chosen tool and 
regard any suggestion such as I made as unneeded and approaching a sacrilegious 
act against Linux (it's a product of man, folks, and not a gift from god so it 
is by definition and belief an imperfect thing). If my imperfect turn of phrase 
spread the net too far my apologies to those who have a more pragmatic and 
thoughtful POV about the tools they use and might have been put out, miffed, or 
offended by what I suggested then and above.

Brian Lunergan
Nepean, Ontario

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