Understanding Linux for 312-38: Network Security Administrator Exam

This is a guest article by Shubra Sinha about Understanding Linux for 312-38: Network Security Administrator Exam. Linux, a free Unix-type operating system, was created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds, a student at the University of Helsinki. He started Linux by writing a kernel, which is the heart of the operating system. He created Linux with the assistance of developers around the world.

Linux has been released under GNU General Public License and its source code is available to everyone without any cost. Therefore, anyone can work on it, change it, or enhance it. Many companies and individuals have released their own versions of operating systems based on the Linux kernel. Basic services and device drivers used by all other programs are provided by the Linux kernel.


Some features of Linux are as follows:

  • Multi-user
  • Multitasking
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Hardware support
  • Networking connectivity
  • Network servers
  • Application support

Advantages of using the Linux operating system:

Following are the advantages of using the Linux operating system:



Cost and performance:

The Linux is free, so there is no need to pay for it, and it comes with all applications. Linux has a good speed and is almost free from viruses.

Resources:

The Linux operating system does not require heavy resources as compared to Windows operating systems.

Security:

Linux is more secure than Windows operating systems. In 2009, the Windows operating system was affected by 48000 viruses, whereas Linux was affected by only 40.

No Need of Defragmentation:

Linux uses different file systems, which do not require defragmentation.

Built-in Utilities:


Linux comes with dozens of utilities and software, which include games, messengers, photo managers, office automation software, CD burners, PDF applications, etc.


Loopholes in Linux Security

Following are the possible security loopholes in the Linux operating system:

  • Weak and Default Passwords: The first main reason of Linux hacking is using weak and default passwords. Users always choose a password that is easy to remember, but they often forget that it may be easy to crack.

Some examples of good passwords are as follows:


Password How to Remember it

Mrci5yo : My rusty computer is 5 years old.
Itmp?pri : Is this my pen? Please return it.

  • Open Network Ports: The open network ports are free invitations for malicious hackers. This is one of the major reasons of Linux hacking.
  • Old Software Versions: It is also one of the possible reasons of Linux hacking. It may be possible that an older version of the software has some vulnerability that can be easily exploited.
  • Insecure and Badly Configured Programs: All programs should be configured properly. Insecure and unverified programs may have a vulnerability that can be easily exploited.
  • Stale and Unnecessary Programs: As long as there are layoffs and employee terminations, there will be a need to erase any access that the employee had.
  • Server Ignorance: Check the Linux servers for any security hole and vulnerability regularly, otherwise this may become a cause of an attack.



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