Third party security tools

Third party security tools
By John P. Mulligan

Sometimes, looking outside your existing Solaris system to augment security may be a good idea. This tip, excerpted from Solaris 8 Essential Reference

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by John P. Mulligan, published by New Riders, explains some of the top third part security tools available on the Web.

Some third party tools may provide similar or better security. Some of these security tools (mostly freeware) to consider are provided in the following sections with a short synopsis.


The Computer Oracle and Password System (COPS) is a proactive security tool for UNIX systems. It checks the local system for common security flaws and weaknesses, and then reports them. Suggestions are given for fixing the problems, or the problems can be automatically fixed.

Internet Security Scanner (ISS)

Much like COPS, this is a proactive security tool that attempts to "crack" the system. This tool can, however, be used to check remote systems. In many ways, this is similar to the SATAN tool that was released (and gained much media hype). New versions of the ISS security tools have a very nice graphical user interface.

TAMU Tiger

The TAMU Tiger scripts from Texas A&M University are Perl scripts that perform security checks on UNIX systems. It works, in many ways, like COPS. The scripts are extremely easy to use and configure. Tiger is a good security check to run on a regular basis.


The Tripwire program creates digital signatures of selected and important files, routinely checking the signatures against new checksums. If a difference is found, it means that an intruder has changes one of the files and the system administrator is notified. This program might not be necessary for most systems, but it does increase the security of the system.

For more information on Solaris 8 Essential Reference, click here.

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This was first published in June 2001

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