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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

NSA Issues Security guide for keeping Mac OSX Secure




In case you don't know, the NSA is one of the largest alphabet soup "secret" government agencies in the US lovingly nicknamed "No Such Agency" by its spooky residents. It has a budget that is considerably larger than Britain's entire defense budget put together. The NSA dwarfs the CIA in terms of both size (number of people) and budget. And they are in charge of running what is known as the "Echelon System" - which is a global network of sattelites and relay stations that allow the NSA to record in real time every phone call, every instant message, and email sent via the airwaves or via the internet.

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is America’s cryptologic organization. It coordinates, directs, and performs highly specialized activities to protect U.S. government information systems and produce foreign signals intelligence information. A high technology organization, NSA is on the frontiers of communications and data processing. It is also one of the most important centers of foreign language analysis and research within the government.

The NSA has released a guide on how to make Mac OSX secure, and its definately worth the read.

The National Security Agency (NSA) has published an internal guide for System Administrators to keep their Macs secure within their organization. The 171 page document, titled "Mac OS X - Security Configuration For Version 10.4 or Later Second Edition" (PDF) is a free download from the government agency featuring helpful tips for keeping Macs secure.

The document keys in on several of the major security enhancements found in Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) including:

Access control lists
Secure instant messaging
Software update server
Certificate management
Smart cards as keychains
Secure erase
VPN service is now Kerberized
Firewall enhancements
Antivirus and antispam


While mostly aimed at Mac system administrators the document is a must read for anyone who is responsibility for the security of more than one Mac. Individual Mac users can probably learn a thing or two from it as well.

Download Mac OSX Security Guide

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