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Fundamentals of Linux Platform Security

Learn to Secure Linux Platforms

Merit Network is pleased to present Fundamentals of Linux Platform Security, a workshop on the essentials of securing Linux-based workstations and servers. The workshop will be taught via desktop interface during five evening sessions on October 15, 18, 22, 25, and 29, 2012. Class will be held from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. EDT each day.

This workshop is designed as an intensive, hands-on learning experience in how to assess and secure your Linux platform infrastructure using current open-source tools, techniques and best practices. The focus will be on studying current attack methodologies, examining your platform for vulnerabilities, presenting recommended solutions and best practices for mitigation, and assessing the effectiveness of the tools and methods used.

The workshop is based on ITS101, Theory and Practice of Campus Computer Security, a course offered to system administrators at the University of Michigan that ultimately trained over 120 staff in network and platform security essentials. Instructor Charles Antonelli developed and taught the U-M course and is pleased to present its key Linux platform security contents to a broader audience to benefit other organizations. The course was previously presented to Merit Member groups in 2009 and 2010. Charles updates the course material regularly with the latest attacks, defenses and tools.

The course will emphasize practical application of security principles and tools. It is appropriate for system administrators, advanced users, and others who need expertise in Linux platform security fundamentals and best practices. The course can serve either as a basic primer for novices or as a refresher course for experienced administrators.

Topics to be covered include:
  • Reconnaissance Tool Review
  • File Systems (Linux ext4, NFS/NFSv4, SMB/CIFS)
  • Authentication and Authorization
  • Introduction to SELinux
  • Logging Infrastructures
  • Viruses & Worms
  • Phishing, Pharming, Users & URLs
  • Two-factor Authentication: Case Studies
  • Arbitrary Code Execution: Threats & Countermeasures
  • Application Security (sshd, SSL, IPsec & VPNs)
  • Platform Security (TripWire & Bastille Unix)
  • Introduction to Forensics

Course Prerequisites

Students should possess a working knowledge of Linux or UNIX , internetworking fundamentals and the command line.

Computer Requirement

This online course will be taught using Merit WebConnect, a desktop learning environment. Students will need an Intel-based computer and a cable-modem network connection (or better) to participate. Your computer may run a Windows, Linux/UNIX, or Mac OS X operating system and should be loaded with VMware Player, Server, or Fusion as well as the class virtual laboratory environment, which will be available to you a week or so before the class begins.

About the instructor

Charles J. Antonelli is High Performance Computing Consultant in the Research Systems Group of LSAIT at the University of Michigan, where he is responsible for shared parallel cluster research and evangelization. Dr. Antonelli's recent efforts while in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at U-M include designing the real-time, parallel, automated data ingestion component of a novel data assimilation system for earth science data. At the Center for Information Technology Integration, he built NTAP, a secure distributed network testing and performance tool based on Globus and GARA, and developed and taught a hundred contact-hour security training course for campus administrators. Past work there includes the secure packet vault and the RDMA transport layer for NFSv4 projects. His research interests include cyberinfrastructure, networking, and security. He has taught courses in operating systems, distributed file systems and C++ programming in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, developed and taught advanced security training courses for Information Technology Security Services, and taught Database Application Design and Security in the Digital World in the School of Information, all at U-M. Dr. Antonelli received dual B.S.E. (cum laude) and the M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. He has been a Member of Technical staff at Bell Laboratories, where he worked on the No. 5 ESS.

Registration Details

Registration for the online workshop is $699 for attendees from Merit Member organizations; $749 for attendees from organizations affiliated with Great Plains Network, NJEDge.Net or NYSERNet; and $799 for other non-Members.
Register to Attend.
Registration may be canceled up to 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, September 28, 2012, minus a processing fee of $35. Refunds are not available after that date; substitutions are allowed if necessary.

Scholarships available

Scholarships are available for these classes through the Professional Learning scholarship program. Anyone from a Merit Member organization may apply for a scholarship, if funding to attend is not otherwise available through the organization. Scholarship applications must be received by Friday, September 14, 2012. We are grateful to the Merit Community Supporters for their contribution to the scholarship program.
Read more and apply.
For more information, please contact

Support for this event provided by the Merit Community Supporters: ADVA Optical Networking, Cisco Systems, Data Strategy and Juniper Networks

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