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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

8
votes
3answers
4k views

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 ...
8
votes
4answers
302 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
8
votes
6answers
788 views

What is preventing the widespread common use of MAC-type systems?

Overall question what is preventing the uptake of MAC systems such as SELinux/AppArmor in corporate and desktop computing environments? Why don't you think it isn't already widespread? I do not ...
8
votes
1answer
179 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?
7
votes
6answers
256 views

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 ...
7
votes
4answers
635 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
732 views

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? ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

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 _). ...
7
votes
3answers
699 views

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?
7
votes
2answers
472 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
565 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

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?
6
votes
3answers
813 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ?
6
votes
3answers
171 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
843 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 ...
6
votes
8answers
3k views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
465 views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

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?
6
votes
2answers
181 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Where to download OpenBSD release ISO's over HTTPS?

OpenBSD claims to be highly secure. So why doesn't it allow downloading the release iso's over HTTPS? Or I'm missing something? Can someone please explain this to me?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
510 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?
5
votes
2answers
147 views

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 ...
5
votes
6answers
208 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
281 views

Securing data on laptop's hdd

I was wondering which is the best way to secure/encrypt data in the hard disk on a laptop that runs Ubuntu Oneiric? Setting LVM encryption? I am mostly concerned about having my laptop lost or what ...
5
votes
1answer
956 views

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?
5
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
331 views

Secure OS deployment

I want to deploy operating system images on quite a lot of clients. I know that the images must contain the latest security patches, as well as hotfixes (assuming they are tested and approved for the ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
635 views

Digital Forensics and Pentesting: what now?

So, i want to enter the security field, and i'm leaning towards security auditing, digital forensics, and reverse engineering. i'm in school right now, i'm studying x86 ASM, exploring Linux, and soon ...
5
votes
2answers
319 views

Patching Mechanism and security holes

Let me clarify two methods of patching softwares and then I will go straight to the question: I am using both MAC OS X and Windows and different mechanisms of these two famous operating systems in ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

How secure is the Windows 8 “Reset your PC” function?

Windows 8 has a feature to "Reset your PC" so that if someone needs to give their computer away, the recipient won't be able to recover data. How secure is it?
5
votes
2answers
335 views

How can I detect users that have requested AD Administrators to reuse an expired password?

There is a trend among companies I've worked at where administrators (or helpdesk folks) give a user a courtesy extension of the old expired password... rather than forcing the user to change it. ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Windows mandatory access control: How to remove “mandatory level” label from the file?

1) How to remove "mandatory level" label from the file? I have two files, for first icalcs return Mandatory Label\Medium Mandatory Level:(NW) for second icalcs doesn't return anything (that means ...
5
votes
4answers
736 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
125 views

OpenBSD, fbtab and X Window [closed]

The afterboot(8) man page of OpenBSD advises "You might wish to tighten up security more by editing /etc/fbtab as when installing X. " I would like to know what entries in /etc/fbtab would make sense ...
4
votes
4answers
698 views

Effects Of Encryption On Computer Systems

I am currently writing an essay and one part is a discussion about the effects of encryption on an Operating System/Computer/Infrastructure in general. However, I am struggling to see how a computer ...
4
votes
2answers
460 views

What is the background of the Reference Counter Overflow in Microsoft TCP/IP (MS11-083)?

How unique is this bug? Is there a more sophisticated and well-studied attempt behind? Is it accidence? The article below says "continouos stream to UDP". What stream? Just an hour stream of zeros? ...
4
votes
2answers
659 views

OpenBSD 32 or 64bit installer?

is the 64 bit or the 32 bit installer better? (not counting that if i have x>4 GByte RAM) - so i mean like is there any ASLR in OpenBSD? ...
4
votes
4answers
332 views

Data categorization: Critical or not

I need to provide two means for securing data within my application. First is using the Operating System sandboxing model (I am talking about Mobile Phones OS) and the second using the OpenSSL AES ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Security test lab setup [closed]

I want to setup a testing lab in my basement for penetration/vulnerability testing & offensive/defensive security skills. I believe I have all the equipment that I need, and if I'll need something ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
869 views

ASLR and how a program can actually call its functions

I'm studying protection techniques and I've got a doubt about how ASLR works for a program in a Windows environment. As far as I know ASLR works by randomizing part of the imagebase address when ...