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Mac® Security Bible by Joe Kissell

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Chapter 19. Using Logs

IN THIS CHAPTER

Understanding the security information that logs can reveal

Making sure your logs contain the right data

Locating logs on your disk

Understanding the special console and system logs

Viewing logs' contents

Figuring out what to look for in logs

As you use your Mac, Mac OS X itself and many third-party programs silently keep records about nearly everything that happens — especially errors and other unexpected behavior. All this information is stored in log files, which at first glance may appear to be hopelessly boring lists of numbers and technical minutiae. But when you're trying to figure out why some problem has occurred, logs can be your best friend. They may tell you who's been accessing your computer, which program was used when, which Internet servers have been contacted recently, and all sorts of other facts that can help you discover when and why your Mac was misused (whether by a program or a person). Needless to say, logs are useful for many other reasons too, such as tracking down crashes and misbehaving software, but in this chapter, I concentrate on exploring what logs can tell you about your Mac's security.

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