COAST Security Archive Logo Searching the Archive


The COAST Security Archive contains several thousand tools and documents in all aspects of security. Searching and finding information in the archive isn't always easy. To make the job easier, COAST provides several searching mechanisms in a variety of flavors. Unfortunately, not all of the are equivalent. You might want to try two or three of these.

If you are just browsing and want to get a quick look at what we have to offer, jump to the category index.

The Security Archive is built upon a tree structure that aims at reducing the searching time one must spend to get to an object. A short explanation of the theory behind the classification system is available.

Searching the Subject Index

The archive keeps a subset of the documents and tools indexed on a database that can be accessed through a variety of methods. It is important that we mention here that not all the documents and tools in the archive are indexed. However, at more than one thousand titles, it is a good starting point.

The index is implemented on a client/server architecture that allows network access to the index database using the TCP/IP protocol, and a variety of clients are available for accessing the server. At this point these clients can be obtained by sending e-mail to

The index database is periodically converted to WWW pages that can be searched by pointing and clicking. Two principal starting points are available. The Subject Index classifies tools and documents by a subject hierarchy developed from a computer security classification developed at COAST. The Author Index classifies tools by their authors. Please note that the author index is activated only for some authors.

Searching the Entire Archive

By far, the most powerful searching mechanism is browsing by navigating the ftp archive. Unfortunately, it is also the most time consuming. A better method is browsing the archive using the COAST Security Archive Gopher Server. This server provides access to a keyword searching engine. These automatically gather information that can be searched by keyword. The limitation with this searching method is that a great deal of the material of the ftp archive is in formats that these tools cannot understand (i.e. DOS .zip file, Macintosh .hqx files, UNIX .tar files, etc.).


O Built by Mark Crosbie and Ivan Krsul.

Security Archive Page Security Archive Homepage.

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Last Modified: 17 March, 1995. (COAST Security Archive)