My trusty linux box at home needed to be reloaded. The hardware had run it’s course so I now have my linux system using a Dell Zino HD small formfactor PC. (DELL ZINO)
I do enjoy the process of reloading linux. I am currently using Ubuntu 9.10. The first thing I do after installing ubuntu is install SSH and set a few config changes (PermitRoot = no). SSH allows me to access the machine from anywhere. After that I add my favorite program DenyHosts. (DenyHosts)
DenyHosts is a security application that monitors the “/var/log/secure” log. If it sees suspicious activity it will add the IP address to the /etc/hosts.deny file.
This is a great simple security app that keeps bad people away.
It is worth a read to hear how DenyHosts was created and what motivated the developer to write the application (HackTale)
One feature that I recommend with deny hosts is that you turn on the email option. It is great to get a little email showing the ip and host (if possible) letting you know that your system is keeping itself secure.