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Need help securing a web/email server

Posted on 2002-03-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
I was planning on hosting my own websites and email server here at home. Question is what do I do to secure the web/email server? What precautions should I do so that it won't be hacked? Also, if I make my server into a web/email server...should I not leave personal and important files on that particular server? You know, in case a hacker breaks in and takes my personal files.
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Question by:Sith_Lord
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Housenet
ID: 6846094
-Install an inexpensive nat device (nexland, linksys).This will let you secure the server by allowing only say tcp ports 80 for web, & 25-110 for email.
-Configure the email to not allow relaying of email. This is important because there are thousands of seedy script kiddies wanting to spam their junk mail through your server.
-If you're going to use Nt & IIS to host your websites, make sure the server has all the security related critical updates, & service pack. Apply the IIS lockdown wizard utility. This will stop 99% of known vunerabilities related to obtaining unauthorized access through port 80. It also logs the activity of people attempting to use the exploits against your server to file with a urlscan filter.
-Im not specifically recommeding Nt & IIS, it just happens to be the area Im most familiar with. If you decide to use unix-linux you'd simply have to research the known security issues with the web server daemon used.
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Author Comment

by:Sith_Lord
ID: 6846226
Ok...before I grade you. I got this DSL router with NAT http://www.speedstream.com/products.html#wired  What do you think about this? Is this sufficient? And can you please answer the last part of my question. "Also, if I make
my server into a web/email server...should I not leave personal and important files on that particular
server? You know, in case a hacker breaks in and takes my personal files."
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Housenet
ID: 6846265
-I checked & yes speedstream does exactly what I mentioned.. Its as simple as picking the predefinded incoming protocol to the private ip address of the server.
-If you configure the server as I described, your server would be secure & it would highly unlikley that someone would get your files. I personally would store the files on a machine not hosting internet services & not in a shared folder.
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Author Comment

by:Sith_Lord
ID: 6846307
Ok man! Your very close to getting a A+++++!! LOL, There are documents,music files, picture files etc etc that I share with my 2 brothers and my father...including me. So that's a total of 4 workstations plus the server. So what your saying is that I should have just ONE server for the file sharing and ANOTHER SERVER for web/email server??? But if thats the case and all computers are networked...can't a hacker ( that is if he manages to break in ) just find his way to the file server and take those files?
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:SunBow
ID: 6847766
IMO separate eMail And web from each other. Separate PCs. Upgrade to the hilt with all patches. Offline. Before plugging in. No firewall or A/V can be complete defense if OS not patched with all the bandaids.
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Expert Comment

by:SunBow
ID: 6847771
How's it spelled? Oxymoron: IIS security.
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Accepted Solution

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Housenet earned 100 total points
ID: 6849248
Sith_Lord here's the thing & I cant stress this enough...If you apply the patches I described & test with the tools I descibed it would be extreemly dificult to get a file from your server...
-Where & how you store your files is a personal decision. Judge for yourself what the impact of a personal file falling into the hands of a professional hacker would be.. I personally would never save credit card info or anything a hacker could maliciously use against me on a computer connected to the internet full-time. Since I dont have files like this, I wouldnt care if the NSA copied everything personal off my web server..
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Author Comment

by:Sith_Lord
ID: 6849404
Hey man! Thanks for the help!
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