security handling in Debian
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You and your opponent have made the right point:
it currently takes big amounts of knowledge and work to reasonably secure a
Everyone agrees that the Debian package system is great. It saves sysadmins
Why not do something comparable for security configuration?
We tested OpenBSD. It has advantages (secure by default, up to date
manpages) and disadvantages (e. g. fewer and less comfortable configuration
tools). We used SuSE for 2 years and have recently opted for Debian. Why?
overall system administration time and expenses compared to system quality
(including security) and usability -- we optimize, not maximize
The paradigm shift I suggest is:
"secure by default" which means if someone wants more user ease and
convenience and wishes to trade in some security for it, he should be able
to choose to do so. But one should start with secure.
Motto: this and that
(not this or that)
On Thursday 01 February 2001 21:50, Alexander Hvostov wrote:
> I've proposed a secure by default configuration for new Debian
> installations on this list before. It drew harsh criticism from at least
> one person whose belief it was that those who lack the knowledge to secure
> their systems deserve to be rooted. Because of this attitude, and the
> fact that maintainers of several packages of questionable security (eg
> NFS) refuse to move their packages out of `standard' and into `optional'
> or `extra', I have my doubts that Debian will be secure by default anytime
> soon. If secure by default is what you want, you'll probably be better off
> with OpenBSD, where secure by default is their policy.
> PGP/GPG Fingerprint:
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> On Thu, 1 Feb 2001, A. L. Meyers wrote:
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> > On Thursday 01 February 2001 07:01, Daniel Jacobowitz wrote:
> > > On Wed, Jan 31, 2001 at 08:56:24AM +1100, Craig Small wrote:
> > > > G'day,
> > > > I'm writing this to express my frustration at the slowness Debian
> > > > seems to be afflicted with when it comes to letting people know
> > > > about our security vulnerabilities and fixes.
> > > >
> > > > We seem to be able to find, fix and upload fixed packages quite
> > > > quickly, however we are usually the last to let others know that
> > > > they should upgrade to the new packages, making our users
> > > > unnecessarily vulnerable.
> > >
> > > I beg your pardon? This isn't the general case at all. Your example
> > > is certainly accurate, but to my knowledge lprng is the only thing to
> > > slip through the cracks that way in a year. We're often behind with
> > > fixes in general, but when we post a fix the advisory generally goes
> > > out the same day!
> > >
> > > Dan
> > >
> > > /--------------------------------\ /--------------------------------\
> > >
> > > | Daniel Jacobowitz |__| SCS Class of 2002 |
> > > | Debian GNU/Linux Developer __ Carnegie Mellon University |
> > > | email@example.com | | firstname.lastname@example.org |
> > >
> > > \--------------------------------/ \--------------------------------/
> > Dear GNU/Debianites,
> > "errare humanum est"
> > Even the best are not perfect.
> > But security tracking is one of the areas where open source shines the
> > most.
> > Proprietary closed source systems can't even come remotely close to the
> > security auditing and security improvement controls implemented by open
> > source = open scrutiny.
> > With the security vulnerabilites of the internet, my hope is that there
> > will soon be a paradigm shift to: "secure by default".
> > Greetings,
> > Lucien
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