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Building Internet Firewalls

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A.5 Response Teams and Other Organizations

These organizations are particularly helpful if you experience a break-in or any kind of security incident at your site. They are also sources of useful general information about Internet security and incident response.



From the Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center's ( CERT-CC ) Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQ ) document:

The CERT Coordination Center is the organization that grew from the computer emergency response team formed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ( DARPA ) in November 1988 in response to the needs exhibited during the Internet worm incident. The CERT-CC charter is to work with the Internet community to facilitate its response to computer security events involving Internet hosts; to take proactive steps to raise the community's awareness of computer security issues; and to conduct research targeted at improving the security of existing systems.

CERT-CC products and services include 24-hour technical assistance for responding to computer security incidents, product vulnerability assistance, technical documents, and seminars. In addition, the team maintains a number of mailing lists (including one for CERT-CC advisories) and provides an anonymous FTP server: info.cert.org , where security-related documents, past CERT-CC advisories, and tools are archived.

The CERT-CC FAQ , and other information about CERT-CC are available from info.cert.org via anonymous FTP .

You can contact CERT-CC :

  • By telephone: +1 412 268-7090 (24 hours a day, seven days a week)

  • By email:



From the FIRST WWW page:

This coalition, the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams ( FIRST ), brings together a variety of computer security incident response teams from government, commercial, and academic organizations. FIRST aims to foster cooperation and coordination in incident prevention, to prompt rapid reaction to incidents, and to promote information sharing among members and the community at large. Currently FIRST has more than 40 members.

If you're not sure if you are served by an incident response team, contact FIRST ; they can probably tell you. You can contact FIRST :



From the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology CSRC WWW page:

You are currently accessing the NIST Computer Security Resource Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse is a National Performance Review ( NPR ) action. The Clearinghouse project at NIST is on-going; its goals are to

  • Unify computer security-related information

  • Ensure the information is complete and accurate

  • Make the information easily searchable and convenient to obtain

  • Keep the information current

  • Make the Clearinghouse self-documenting; a model for how to do it

The main focus is on crisis response information; information on computer security-related threats, vulnerabilities, and solutions. At the same time, the Clearinghouse strives to be a general index to computer security information on a broad variety of subjects, including general risks, privacy, legal issues, viruses, assurance, policy, and training.

A.5.4 USENIX Association


From the USENIX WWW page:

Since 1975 the USENIX Association has brought together the community of engineers, scientists, and technicians working on the cutting edge of the computing world. The USENIX Conferences and Technical Workshops have become the essential meeting grounds for the presentation and discussion of the most advanced information on the developments of all aspects of computing systems.

USENIX and its members are dedicated to:

  • problem-solving with a practical bias

  • Fostering innovation and research that works

  • Communicating rapidly the results of both research and innovation

  • Providing a neutral forum for the exercise of critical thought and the airing of technical issues

USENIX serves its members and supports professional and technical development through a variety of on-going activities, including:

  • Annual technical conference.

  • Frequent specific-topic conferences and symposia.

  • A highly regarded tutorial program covering a wide range of topics, introductory through advanced.

  • Numerous publications, including a book series, in cooperation with The MIT Press, on advanced computing systems; proceedings from USENIX symposia and conferences; the quarterly journal Computing Systems ; and the biweekly newsletter.

  • Participation in various ANSI, IEEE and ISO standards efforts.

  • Sponsorship of local and special technical groups relevant to the UNIX environment. The chartering of the System Administrators Guild as a Special Technical Group within USENIX is the most recent.

  • comp.org.usenix , the association's newsgroup.

USENIX sponsors a variety of conferences and symposia, many of which are related to or touch on network and system security. The proceedings of past events are also available. You can contact USENIX :

A.5.5 System Administrators Guild ( SAGE )


From the SAGE WWW page:

SAGE stands for the Systems Administrators Guild (don't ask what happened to the E). It is a subgroup of the USENIX Association. SAGE is devoted to the Advancement of System Administration as a distinct profession, within the realm of computer science but with similarities to facilities management and other service industries.

SAGE answers the widely felt need for an organization dedicated to advancing the profession of systems administration. SAGE brings together system administrators to:

  • Recruit talented individuals to the profession

  • Share technical problems and solutions

  • Establish standards of professional excellence while providing recognition for those who attain them

  • Promote work that advances the state-of-the-art or propagates knowledge of good practice in the profession

SAGE cosponsors the annual LISA and SANS conferences. For more information about SAGE , contact the USENIX office: