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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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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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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4answers
780 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 ...
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3answers
469 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 ...
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1answer
384 views

What steps do you take to keep both your computer and internet browsing secure?

I am thinking about your browser setup, antivirus protection, vpn, browsing best-practices and so on.
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4answers
241 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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311 views

How is UAC a security improvement?

What does User Account Control on Windows offer in terms of security? It's just an extra click to potentially run a virus.
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532 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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613 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 ...
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3answers
152 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 ...
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2answers
378 views

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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3answers
565 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?
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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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823 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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3answers
427 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 ...
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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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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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1answer
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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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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?
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4answers
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Monitoring system calls (in a reliable and secure way)

It there a reliable method of “monitoring” system calls under Linux? There is strace for example to monitor system calls and signals. Is there a way for a process to dodge out of strace? If yes, is ...
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2answers
419 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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132 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 ...
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6answers
203 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 ...
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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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1answer
783 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?
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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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2answers
297 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 ...
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2answers
435 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 ...
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262 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 ...
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2answers
155 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 ...
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2answers
277 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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
109 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 ...
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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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2answers
395 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? ...
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4answers
314 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
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2answers
716 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 ...
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2answers
264 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 ...
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2answers
452 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? ...
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1answer
781 views

Why does Windows 7 require a password hint during setup?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think Windows 7 is the only operating system out there that requires a hint for the first user created on the system (have not had a chance to check out Windows 8 ...
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3answers
124 views

OS Kernel Hashing

Has anyone had experience with or is aware of any products that hash the OS kernel? This would be used, ideally, for watching for system compromises, auditing, change management, etc. I am looking ...
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2answers
449 views

Added value of Windows Server 2008 over 2003 in terms of security

What is the added value of a Windows 2008 Server over Windows 2003 in terms of security? Does Windows Server 2008 has enhanced/new security features compared to 2003?
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4answers
1k 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
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3answers
646 views

SCADA Operating System & Security Exploits

So I have a basic question on the SCADA operating system, which the manufacturers do not disclose. From my experience I can see VxWorks running in some of them, and Windows or Linux in some of them. ...
4
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1answer
2k 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 ...
4
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1answer
157 views

Securing a Site: Diversity over Simplicity?

This question was derived from my off-topic questioning here: Does Centralisation Decrease the Probability but Increase the Damage of Exploits? Like before, I suspect this may be overly abstract as a ...
4
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1answer
191 views

iPad as a secure access terminal

I administer a number of linux servers (hosted on EC2 and linode) which provide VPN termination for thirty-odd users. I'm considering ditching my Macbook running OSX / Ubuntu in favour of setting up a ...
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1answer
3k views

Windows task manager can see all processes as non administrator without permission

On Windows Server 2008 R2 operating as a standard user, when I open Task Manager I can see all the processes from different users on the system. I have the option to click "Show all processes" which ...
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1answer
434 views

Does sandboxie “grab” all the system calls?

Sandboxie: http://www.sandboxie.com Does sandboxie "grab" all the system calls, e.g.: filesystem calls? Or it "grabs" all the low level calls from a process?