Improved Methodology

One of the benefits of using the OSSTMM as a guideline for this book is having a proven security testing methodology at its core. In a book with an attack and defend style, the security methodology assures that the right tests are done to achieve a personalized kind of protection. This is necessary when test targets are customized and stochastic in nature, like with the variety of Linux system types and applications out there.

Having a solid methodology also means having a strong classification system. This book no longer attempts to focus on single exploits but rather classes of exploits. Exploit information and exploit code are available from so many sources, both commercially and free. Matching a system, application, or service to an exploit is a straightforward task. Therefore, securing against an exploit only requires knowing the exploit exists and how it works to create a patch. This is generally done by the vendors and developers. However securing against all exploits of that class may not be so straightforward as installing a patch. Furthermore, not everything can be patched as some applications will take advantage of specific versions of the system or other applications to function correctly. It is then more pragmatic to protect against the class of threat rather than one instance of it. This is also a form of future-proofing what is still unknown.

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