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Linux Newbie Wishlist

Here is a list of features/utilities that we would like to have in our Linux newbie-administrated home computer, but which are not included on RedHat or Mandrake distribution CDs. If you know how to setup/perform these tasks (newbie way), let us know. Write to us if you have other important and simple project idea.

Linux security watchdog (for a newbies workstation)

The idea is to give a newbie Linux user (who uses a short-duration network connections) an immediate feedback when somebody from the outside shows an interest in her local machine. A GUI window would pop up when (configurable, defaults to all conditions) somobody else than the user herself tries (warning) or succeeds (alarm) in one of:
- telnet login
- ftp connection
- execution of a program by a remote user
- accessing local web server
- port scan
- ping (even "rejected" ping)
- etc.
A dream utility would beep (once on warning, three times on alarm) and raise the utility window whenever a new message scrolls in the window. It would log all the warnings and alarms into a file, and automatically show/log all the relevant (and possibly perishable) information: time, remote user ip address, traceroute output, etc.  A button "SHUT DOWN ALL NETWORK CONNECTIONS NOW" could be considered as a part of the window.

Please don't advice that Linux newbies should not allow any network services. We already know that, but running without network is not fun. Send a pointer to a "watchdog" code instead :))

Date:  Fri, 6 Jul 2001 15:02:15 -0400
From:  Kenny Drobnack <kenny@jumpline.com>
Hi! Not sure how up-to-date you keep your web site, but I actually kind of like the Linux security watchdog idea.  I think most of it could be accomplished if you packed pmfirewall with a decent default config file and made it so it would be enabled on boot up.  Then use the gnome logview program or something similar to make sure nothing bad happens.  This would do everything except the beeping and the "SHUT DOWN THE NETWORK NOW" button.  Check on freshmeat, I'd actually be surprised if someone hasn't written, or at least started writing something like this.
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