Beginner Security Question

Jon Cavalier skyliner306 at
Mon Nov 17 16:42:21 PST 2003


after lots of research and configuration, i finally
have a freebsd box with a comfortable custom
interface, lots of multimedia bells and whistles, and
shortcuts to all of my most-used applications.

i'm still fumbling with text, in that i haven't found
a way to cut and paste from one terminal window to
another (i would welcome any suggestions as to how to
implement this, if it's even possible).  but for the
most part i can do everything i could do with my win
and mac machines before i started on this enlighting
bsd journey, quite reliably.

so now my question is, since i haven't really crossed
the next bridge which is to familiarize myself fully
with the security aspects of freebsd..

is this thing safe?

what i mean is, how does the security of a stock
freebsd 4.7 install and xfree86, using dhcp to access
the internet compare with say a stock windows or mac
computer?  i'd like to start enjoying mozilla, irc,
etc., but since i've used this machine for development
only, i'm curious how it stands up.  can i leave my
machine online while i go to work, without someone
easily popping in and planting a rootkit?  i'm already
aware of programs like tripwire, nessus, and nmap,
which came to me highly recommended, but i'm just not
there yet with the configuration.  i'm also behind a
basic $40 router firewall so i'm guessing that i
probably don't have much more to worry about than most
average pc users do (probably a lot LESS giving the
incessant patching i've had to do with my xp box).

i'd be grateful for any information or experiences you
can share.

thanks in advance,


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