I'm not exactly sure about that to be honest. Each state seems to do something a little bit differently, I found a study guide though, so I'll probably start basing my decisions off that. Perl Manual has been added to the list of things to bring, good idea! Since we don't have a whole lot of details, I will give you the general lecture I give to all our sysadmins regarding their personal servers. 1. Don't use weak passwords. It maybe easy to type or remember, but it is game over if your super user account gets compromised. 2. Use privileged users/chroot for your tasks. There is no need to run everything as your super user. 3. Patch/update your system and services. Your best efforts can be thwarted by a buffer-overflow. 4. Always lock your system when your away, or log out when your done. Again, since I don't know the nature of this exercise, physical security may play a factor. 5. Turn off services you don't need. 6. Have a firewall with some form of brute force detection and port scan protection. (Like CSF with LFD) 7. Don't under estimate tools like arpping and tcpdump. 8. Depending on your resources, you may want to have a virtual system serve as a "Honey Pot". (Depends on the distro your using, try xen, kvm or openvz) 9. Make sure services are configured properly to accept connections from only trusted locations (this can be done via a firewall, but best to configure the service as well.) 10. Use SSL, either with the service, or with a SSL wrapper like Stunnel. This all is probably kids play for the people here, but we don't have a lot of details so I gave you some of the basic defensive measures. Oh and if you fear you were hit by an exploit/virus, run nod32 (linux beta version is free) and rkhunter. Best of Luck.