[ISN] Book Review: "Windows NT Security", Rutstein

From: mea culpa (jerichot_private)
Date: Wed Jul 22 1998 - 16:45:52 PDT

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    Forwarded From: "Rob Slade" <rsladet_private>
    BKWNTSEC.RVW   980510
    "Windows NT Security", Charles B. Rutstein, 1997, 0-07-057833-8,
    %A   Charles B. Rutstein
    %C   300 Water Street, Whitby, Ontario   L1N 9B6
    %D   1997
    %G   0-07-057833-8
    %I   McGraw-Hill Ryerson/Osborne
    %O   U$34.95 800-565-5758 fax: 905-430-5020 louiseat_private
    %P   332 p.
    %T   "Windows NT Security"
    Windows NT provides a number of tools and functions for securing the
    system and workstation.  Security is also going to mean different things
    to different people and work environments.  This book will help users and
    new administrators make the system more secure, but there is much ground
    left uncovered. 
    Chapter one is a basic overview of the NT security architecture.  There
    are some, but relatively few, specifics.  The material also tends to give
    Microsoft the benefit of the doubt in a number of areas. For example, the
    fact that the source code for NT is not available is held in many quarters
    to be a potential security risk, since the system cannot be fully
    examined.  While nobody can deny Microsoft's right to withhold the source
    for business reasons, the author dismisses this security argument as
    "completely without merit."  The User Manager application is covered in
    chapter two.  While all functions are mentioned, not all implications are
    fully explained. While implying that it is the case, the author stops
    short of stating that if access rights are denied by one control they will
    not be granted because of others.  Coverage of file and file system
    security, in chapter three, is not very clear.  The material on viruses is
    technically sound, but not necessarily immediately helpful.  Event logs
    are discussed briefly in chapter four but probably deserve more space. 
    Chapter five not only looks at the Registry itself, but lists a number of
    keys to be set.  Again, the brief discussions do not provide full
    information on the implications of these choices. Although all the topics
    in chapter six do have to do with network security, they are otherwise
    rather randomly grouped.  Not all the sections even have to do with NT. 
    Also, there is, again, some not altogether justified promotion of
    Microsoft, and some questionable recommendations.  (The suggestion to
    rename the administrator account is fairly standard, but the renamed
    account may still be vulnerable to attack because of identification of the
    security ID.)  Chapter seven looks at RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive
    Disks) and UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supplies) and it is surprising that
    it doesn't mention backups.  Remote Access Service (RAS) is reviewed in
    chapter eight, but while recommendations are made the full significance of
    the advice is not given.  Generic advice on Internet service provision is
    given in chapter nine.  Not all of the guidance makes a lot of sense, such
    as the discussion of passwords in regard to anonymous ftp accounts. 
    The book does cover a lot more security ground than most general NT
    administration texts.  Some convoluted areas of NT security are explored
    to a certain extent, and there are a number of helpful pieces of
    information.  Security, however, is a complex undertaking, and requires a
    more thorough and rigorous background understanding than this book
    copyright Robert M. Slade, 1998   BKWNTSEC.RVW   980510
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