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BlueWolf's Howl

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February 16, 2003


nettroubletools.gif Oooops! 'Scuse me. Little piggie ate another book. It was delicious.

On first glance, the Network Troubleshooting Tools book looks like something I should already know. But like all O'Reilly books - it takes this topic and brings your knowledge to the next level.

If you're looking for info about Windows, this book grudgingly obliges you at the end of each chapter. But, like I've said before, the *network* equipment is not based on Windows. If you don't have a clue about Unix and Linux, don't bother with this book. If you DO have a clue about *nix, this book is very helpful.

I started reading this one as a "pleasure read" - and ended up finishing it before the books I'm *supposed to* read... I followed my instincts and discovered the reason while reading. There's a lot of information in this book about tools that could be misused against a network. I needed this information as a foundation for the security information that I'm studying.

And I'm glad I read it all the way through. I already know about tracert on Windows. And I know that you have to use traceroute on *nix and Cisco equipment. What I *didn't* know was that it uses a different protocol.

There are also ways to "Ping" using ICMP, TCP or UDP... I knew about using different size packets and that there were other "ping-like" tools. What I didn't know was that blocking ICMP was so ineffectual. [The most dangerous item in a circus is the safety net...] I thought that blocking ICMP would stop a number of attacks. And I put up with the inconvenience of not having that tool to use for troubleshooting because it was -helping- the network by defending against attacks. Well, I guess it was also keeping the elephants out of the trees. (When was the last time you saw an elephant in a tree? Never? See - it's working.)

Oh...and I also (finally) decided to register my 18 O'Reilly books on their web site. I didn't join any of their elists, but maybe I'll win a book or tshirt... Hey, the place can't be too bad - they have a weblogs section of the O'Reilly Network. With a good article on the Comments section of large sites (very worth reading).

Oh, pooh... I better get off their site before I slip into the time sink....

Posted by BlueWolf on February 16, 2003 01:39 PM