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ModSecurity Handbook

I finally broke down and bought a new bean bag chair. I had one of the older Sumo lounge models and I loved it, but the newer sway couple model is much more conducive to sitting down and doing work or reading a book. So, with an uber-comfy chair as a prerequisite, that is promptly the first thing I did. I’ve been meaning to find the time to sit down and read the ModSecurity Handbook by Ivan Ristic - the primary developer on the project. And is there any surprise? It’s really good.

Ivan has written an O’Reilly book in the past, so his approach to writing is very methodological. For instance, I’m always the skeptic about tools that add latency, and that’s one of the very first things he addresses - alleviating a lot of those questions in my mind, having not played with it much in a few years. He goes through a lot of the attack scenarios, the configuration, tactics and on and on. It’s very thorough. Of course it leaves you with a big question mark at the end - so what’s the future of mod_security really going to be? Hopefully just as bright in the future.

One of the things I particularly liked was that Ivan went through and explained how mod_security was never designed to be a panacea and it was intentionally designed to be a more straight-forward tool, solving things that he knew it could solve, without wasting time developing a tool to be everything to everyone. I like that it wasn’t trying to be something it’s not. It’s really refreshing to hear an author tell you why things were built the way they are, and even more refreshing when you agree with those decisions. It gives you a lot of insights into the development process. Anyway, it was a good book read while sitting on a comfy chair (I recommend both). Sometimes the simplest things in life are worth writing about. If you use mod_security or are looking for a good free solution you should check out Ivan’s book.

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