The operating system is the software component that provides abstraction of physical hardware, and provides a generalized model for application software to execute without the need for specific hardware knowledge. Questions on the topic of operating system security should use this tag; you may also ...

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Is there any asymmetrically encrypted file system?

Is there a file system providing a directory where everybody can write, but only the directory owner can read the files? In theory it could be done by encrypting using the public key while writing, ...
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5answers
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How can I remotely wipe the contents of a Linux Laptop if its been stolen?

I am currently investigating using Linux Laptops for my development team. We currently run Windows. The one advantage that keeps coming up for Windows over Linux from a system administration / ...
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Battling Malware without spending money

Our environment consists of about 80 users running Windows 7. Previous to me showing up as a full time IT employee, the company had contracted an outsource IT solution. As part of their set up, they ...
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2answers
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Running proprietary software on Linux safely

As a summer project, I'm looking to prevent any piece of proprietary software like many games I run from have access to my personal files. After looking a lot at sandboxing, I've decided that anything ...
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4answers
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How to disable Firewire in OpenBSD/Linux to prevent attacks through Firewire?

Since Firewire lacks security, allowing a plugged-in device to access host memory, it's a good thing to fully disable it. If we're not using the BIOS to disable the Firewire port then how could we do ...
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1answer
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What shell binary should I use for the root account on a Linux system?

Is there a security advantage to using a different shell for the root account, either a hardened shell program, or simply a shell binary stored in a non-standard location?
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Do randomized PID bring more security?

What is the concrete advantage of using random PIDs instead of traditional sequential ones? Some times ago, I've read an article in the french magazine MISC (no. 74 - July/August, 2014) publishing a ...
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Browsing on a USB OS (Linux) safe from malware?

Let's say I have a computer. It's a personal computer - the one you'd typically find in homes. In this scenario, it's running Windows XP SP3, although it could run 7, Vista, etc. I have a USB drive ...
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How to manually check for rootkits on a server

Does anyone have a general step by step list on how to try discover rootkits on a Linux or Solaris server? I'm looking for to to manually find the rootkit, not by automated software. For example: ...
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Forensic research: What OS to use [closed]

I have been given an assignment from my school, in wich I have been given a Virtual image of a compromised system. The first thing I need to do is setup a environment to wich we can mount the image. I ...
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What prevents this exploit from working (unix SUID)?

If I have a user on a unix system where Im allowed to create new files, what prevents me from downloading an executable file onto that system which is already SUID'ed to root on a different system? ...
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Is CentOS a good choice from a security perspective?

How secure is the CentOS Linux distribution? I noticed there were times when there were no up-to-date patches for some version of CentOS (e.g., 5.6). I read this on some mailing list that I can't ...
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How to gain a shell?

I'm doing an exercise (exploit-exercises.com) that requires me to gain access to a shell running as another user. My question is this: I can create application that is guaranteed to be run by the ...
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1answer
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Where and how do operating systems save passwords for user accounts?

Where do operating systems (e.g. Windows) save their passwords? Do they store them in plain text? Do they use hardware modules such as TPM? Are these methods generally considered secure?
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Practical non-government uses of Biba, Bell-LaPadula, etc. models

For example, the Biba model is now hanging out in current versions of Windows. Things downloaded from the Internet are tagged as such. Internet (low) stuff can't alter user (medium) stuff which isn't ...
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4answers
390 views

Alternatives to the “open PC” security model

Today, PCs (laptops, desktops, etc.) generally work under what I'll call the "open PC" security model. Users have full, system administrator/developer-level access to their own machine. Users can ...
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1answer
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What steps do you take to keep both your computer and internet browsing secure? [closed]

I am thinking about your browser setup, antivirus protection, vpn, browsing best-practices and so on.
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1answer
261 views

What is your default umask set to?

What is your default umask set to? Did you run into any problem setting a stricter default umask?
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Does it matter which platform a file is scanned on for malware?

Different operating systems use different file types and file systems. Does it make a difference to a virus scan which system it is being run on and what type of malware it's looking for? I ask ...
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6answers
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Why shouldn't I run other applications on a Firewall?

If I want to use Ubuntu 11.04 as a Firewall in SOHO environment, then I just can't figure out what is the bad thing about installing GUI on it (e.g.: XFCE)? The only opened port to the world (wan ...
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4answers
682 views

Security of different OS

At my work we are given a computer to set up at home so if we ever feel like working from home we can do so. The thing is that whenever it comes to developing for java I always prefer using windows or ...
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3answers
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How effective is something like Deep Freeze against boot sector infections?

I work for an embedded system manufacturer and on our older generation systems, which are powered by Windows Embedded, a number of customers have been experiencing virus infections. Due to the real ...
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2answers
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How expensive is it to guess a 15 character password, and should I be worried?

I'm currently using AES encryption (at home) on GNU/Linux (one of LUKS AES-256 variants with xts) and on Windows 7 (Truecrypt) with a 15 characters password (alphanumeric lowercase only plus _). ...
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Remote return into libc attack

It is often shown that non-executable data segemnts are possible to bypass through return-to-libc attacks. It's evident on /bin/sh but is it also possible to invoke a remote shell?
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Verify Mac firmware is not hacked…how to do?

I have a late model Mac computer. I allowed someone to plug in a USB drive, and my network activity changed afterwards. Normally, Little Snitch will report every app that uses the internet. Every ...
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1answer
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OSX HomeBrew Security Risks

I've been trying to harden my OSX 10.11 computer and one of the guides suggested installing Homebrew to get updates to things such as OpenSSL. While updates are great, it seems like Apple should be ...
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How to hack a Win95 machine?

While playing with old operating systems, I came across that there are no remote code execution exploits available for Win95 machines, running just file share (no IIS or anything else). Win95 neither ...
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4answers
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Is dual-booting an OS more or less secure than running a virtual machine?

I run two operating systems on two separate disk partitions on the same physical machine (a modern MacBook Pro). In order to isolate them from each other, I've taken the following steps: Configured ...
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3answers
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Is it safe to attach a potentially malicious hard drive to a Solaris machine?

We bring in hard drives from un-trusted sources and would like to ensure that they will not contain any harmful content. What kind of risk is there for Solaris? As in, if Solaris is running, and I ...
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5answers
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Suggested reading list: OS exploits

In computer security, my areas of interest include x86 processors, binary exploitation and reverse engineering. I'm also interested in the certain aspects of the minix and the linux kernel(memory ...
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8answers
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Retrieving OSx Keychain passwords

I have a computer forensics style osx login.keychain file that I am trying to find the passwords from. I have a very weak mac which I used crowbarkc on to try and brute force but the horsepower is ...
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4answers
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Is online banking more secure on iOS than a desktop computer?

Does Apple's iOS provide a more secure environment for online commerce (banking or shopping) than Windows or Mac OS X? Since the only software that can run on iOS must be vetted by Apple, the ...
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2answers
893 views

How effective is the Mac Open Firmware password protection?

I have used Mac's Open Firmware password protection before and I've always wondered how effective it actually is at protecting my stuff. [assuming a good password] Would does the firmware password ...
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2answers
872 views

How nmap guesses the operating system?

nmap has the capability to guess the operating system with the option -O. I was highly surprised that it can find the correct kernel or service pack. * How nmap guesses the operating system? * What ...
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3answers
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Virtualization as a layer of security for desktop computers?

Given the amount of 3rd party plugins required to browse the web, I've been compelled to virtualize my online habits to gain an additional layer of security. There is of course some obvious drawbacks:...
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3answers
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What differences are there between built-in Administrator and other Administrators?

Are there any significant differences in the rights, privileges, permissions, or other powers held by the built-in Administrator account, and those held by non-built-in Administrator accounts?
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1answer
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What are the security implications of enabling WINRM on all domain members?

As Powershell becomes more and more popular, it appears that using WINRM may end up being a better option than using PSEXEC from SysInternals for remote management. Given that WINRM is disabled by ...
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2answers
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How is the password prompt going to protect me from ruining my computer?

On Unix based systems, I'm often prompted to enter my password before installing or running a program. Why does this protect me? If I'm running a kiosk, I understand that a password might prevent ...
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1answer
198 views

Are the Trends of Type II Hypervisors and Newer Applications a Security Issue?

It seems that every time I have a new 'binge' at using the likes of VirtualBox or VMWare (the Type II version), they've introduced even more high-level features, often ones that remove layers between ...
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1answer
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Hardware encrypted external HDDs

I'm planning to buy an external HDD with hardware encryption, namingly the WD My Passport Ultra 2TB. On the WD website the information about the encryption is sadly scarce so I'm asking here. How ...
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1answer
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How do I apply a security baseline to Windows 2008 R2?

I've setup a Windows 2008 R2 server with an Active Directory Domain Services role. I would like to apply the Specialized Security – Limited Functionality (SSLF) security baseline to it, but am unsure ...
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3answers
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Is Linux spying on its users? [closed]

If you install some kind of Linux distributions on your computer, is their a possibility that their owners may spy on you? For example, can Ubuntu, Kali or Arch linux send data to its owners on what ...
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2answers
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What does “sandboxing” mean for Chrome OS? [duplicate]

I read about Chrome OS in the security section, and I was wondering what the meaning of "sandboxing" that they keep mentioning is. Is this sandboxing like Selinux or Apparmor ?
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2answers
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How do I know my tools aren't compromised? [closed]

After reading different articles, most notably/concerningly: If the NSA has been hacking everything, how has nobody seen them coming? Ken Thompson's Hack (more the concept than specifics) I am ...
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2answers
635 views

OSes that are mathematically proven to be 100% (or 99%) secure?

Are there any? What are their names? Are they publicly available/downloadable/installable?
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2answers
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Monitoring a specific application for creation or modification of files

I don't know if I'm looking for a file integrity monitoring software here. Basically let's say we have firefox or chromium, let's say the user is watching a youtube video, then we'll find that video ...
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6answers
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Is it useful to determine the name of the server software while doing a penetration test?

Getting the name of the server software through netcat or curl or any other method, is really useful? I mean, OS fingerprinting is useful in order to tailor an attack. For example with regard to OS ...
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3answers
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Designing a Sandbox for Windows

I am thinking about the design for a sandbox, which is able to execute arbitrary unmodified, untrusted binaries. The goal is to implement an application Unlike something like e.g. Google Chrome's ...
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1answer
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Does Fedora 15 still use suid bits?

I heard that Fedora 15 will not use suid bits. Is that true? Is the suid bit a security design bug?
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Can UNIX Domain Sockets be locked by user ID?

If I created a folder /tmp/me with permissions 700, and started a process under me that starts a listen socket under /tmp/me/socket. I currently assume that a connection to that socket originated ...