Samba Logging for Audit Trails

Audit trails are a network security requirement for both Northrop Grumman and its customers. A small modification to Samba enabled the company's sysadmins to create the needed audit trails.
Future Work

Some of the current problems mentioned above, such as displaying a more meaningful error message when users fail to update their passwords and a more exact method of determining when users have logged off the network, need to be addressed. Additional features, such as user lockout after five consecutive unsuccessful login attempts and preventing the user from reusing the five previous passwords, also should be added. Using LDAP for both Linux and Windows clients is worth investigating as well.

Conclusion

Samba provides a reasonable alternative to using Windows 2000 servers on a network to manage Windows clients. The primary advantage of Samba over Windows is the ability to modify the Samba source code to create a system tailored for a specific computing need. It also offers network administrators the ability to troubleshoot the network at the source code level. None of this is possible when using proprietary software, a huge drawback in configuring and debugging services on a network. All of these factors add up to large cost savings in both licensing fees and network administration time.

Edward Kablaoui (eskablaoui@yahoo.com) currently is a software engineer at Northrop Grumman. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Nancy.

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