Tagged Questions

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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10
votes
6answers
10k views

Is my computer at risk of being hacked when using public Wi-Fi?

I'm sitting at a cafe, using their public Wi-Fi. I don't go on sensitive sites; I basically go to a music site and listen to a live stream, for which there's no login. I don't check my email or visit ...
20
votes
1answer
5k views

Mac OS X from an IT Security Practitioners' Perspective?

What does the Mac OS X offer that it has been recently attracting users with IT security focus? There are sites that specifically focus on "hacking" with OSX, such as machacking.net. Defcon has an ...
2
votes
6answers
219 views

What are possible approaches and arguments for securing corporate IT systems with most computers being portable?

I was employed as the only system administrator by a company where half of computers are portable ones being taken away for work at home, business trips, visits to clients, etc. having access to ...
4
votes
2answers
515 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?
1
vote
1answer
357 views

If password is changed on Active Directory, can I ensure that PC must be restarted before logon with new password

Basically, if I have a Windows computer connected to a domain, how can I ensure that if the password is changed on Active Directory that the computer must be restarted before the new password takes ...
4
votes
1answer
924 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
877 views

How does OS detection work in practice?

I was wondering how OS detection really works on Nmap. I know it is about to send different tcp probes to see how the target machine responds to them. But what kind of probes would distinguish a ...
5
votes
2answers
272 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
514 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
838 views

Backtrack Footprints

I have been hired to to penetration assessment (scanning,testing and so on) ( I am new to the industry and learned through Offsec pentration training.) While training, I have been doing most of my ...
2
votes
2answers
410 views

Apple Mac Security - What do I need to know?

As I've been working on Windows machines most of my life I know most of the best practices and apps to keep them secure. When it comes to security on Apple macs I'm clueless as to where to start.
6
votes
2answers
4k 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 _). ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

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 / ...
4
votes
2answers
658 views

Blackberry QNX / Playbook encryption details

Now that Blackberry received FIPS 140-2 certification for one of it's QNX devices, does anyone have technical specifics on how data is encrypted on both mobile phones or the Playbook tablet? I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
389 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
896 views

How to find the OS of the target machine

I am new to this field. Currently I am using Linux OS and my question is how can I find the OS of another machine to which I do not have a direct access. I am interested in any possibilities which ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Are auto-mounting hard drives a security issue?

Why are hard drives mounted by default in Windows OS, while they aren't in Linux OS? Is that a security issue? If your computer was hacked, can unmounted drives be considered clean?
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Where can I download vulnerable Windows OS images to practice penetration testing?

My objective is to learn and practice all the vulnerabilities and their exploitation on vulnerable OS.
6
votes
3answers
727 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
433 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? ...
3
votes
2answers
655 views

Can a virtual machine program view a host machine's connections?

I don't really know anything about computers. I need to run a virtual Windows machine inside an Ubuntu system. My current setup uses a stripped down version of Windows XP on VirtualBox. I intend to ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Wrapping system call (in reliable and secure way)

It there reliable method of "wrapping" system calls under Linux ? (Like LD_PRELOAD for wrapping shared library function calls.) Is there reliable, secure method of "wrapping" system calls (and, maybe ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

OS with encrypted RAM?

Are there any applications, JIT frameworks or operating systems that focus on encrypted virtual memory, or perhaps virtual machines that do something similar? I know there are processors (albeit old, ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Am I protected from USB autorun malware on Windows 7?

As far as I know, the autorun.inf problem (the possibility of automatically executing code when a USB stick is plugged in) was solved through Windows Updates for XP, and on 7 it is no longer possible ...
7
votes
1answer
3k 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?
2
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I recover encrypted files after system reinstallation

I had a file which contains images and videos, I was using the windows 7 ultimate and I had encrypted the file. Now I have copied that file to my hard disk and format that operating system and again. ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Can viruses actually inject their code in other processes?

Can a virus really inject its own code into a process so it stays on your computer permantly? The only way to actually remove it is to reinstall your OS. My question is how can it do that without ...
13
votes
1answer
762 views

Are there Linux rootkits circulating that directly modify the kernel (without modules)?

It has been said, over and over, that disabling dynamic kernel module loading on Linux increases security. I understand why people give this advice, but I've always assumed that a bad guy could ...
9
votes
8answers
705 views

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 ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Security of passwords remembered by Windows

Does Windows XP or Windows 7 encrypt saved passwords? I'm assuming that the user uses local password to logon. The user then uses his own computer to connect to server in work and sets the "remember ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

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, ...
8
votes
2answers
456 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I protect my computer from my potentially malicious colleagues?

So, I work in this small company (10 people) where we do stuff in programming, for various platforms. I started recently working there (2 months) right after I graduated. My work is not exactly ...
3
votes
2answers
749 views

Security logs on Linux, Solaris and Windows

As the company's security department, our system administrators ask us what they need to log for SIEM (Security Incident and Event Management). We don't have any prepared documents and are seeking ...
5
votes
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 ...
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
3answers
635 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?
2
votes
2answers
367 views

Security Risks Involved in Deploying Win Server 2008 on a Linux host

The Question: Are there any major security risks I should be concerned about, caused by installing Windows Server 2008 R2 onto a Linux Host in VirtualBox? I run an Ubuntu box, with a fully-secured ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

How can one gain additional privileges from being able to read kernel memory?

Given the ability to read (but not write) arbitrary kernel memory as an unprivileged user, what approaches might one take to gain additional privileges on the system? Ignoring the 'trivial' method of ...
6
votes
3answers
159 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
501 views

Sun ILOM / Out of band management security concerns

I would like to get some outside opinion on this if possible, although I do not know what to ask. Sun ILOM is an Out-of-band management system. I understand it is a separate OS on the box that is ...
4
votes
4answers
322 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

How does System Memory Dump work?

So there are so many pen-testing tools that perform a memory dump on the system. How exactly do they work - what exactly happens ?
8
votes
6answers
737 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Can Windows malware harm a Linux computer when it's executed with Wine?

I am an (Ubuntu) Linux user. Sometimes, I have to use Wine for running Windows executables. I would like to know if Windows malware (virus, trojan, worm,...), i.e. malware that was not intended to ...
4
votes
3answers
731 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. ...
6
votes
3answers
449 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
7k views

Linux command logging?

Recently someone broke into one of our linux servers as a non root user. An excerpt from .bash_history: [...] perl perl set +o history set +o history set +o history passwd sdfsdf passwd exit I ...
5
votes
2answers
541 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 ...