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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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
127 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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582 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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3answers
863 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. ...
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1answer
179 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 ...
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694 views

How does UEFI Secure Boot prevent “evil twin” spoofing attacks?

I've been learning about UEFI Secure Boot. It is designed to prevent malware from infecting the boot process and overwriting the bootloader. It has hardware-level protections to ensure that only a ...
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232 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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463 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 ...
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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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533 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?
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What does a MCSE need to learn to be proficient regarding *nix security?

I have a top notch Windows MCSE/MCSD (developer) who wants to broaden his skills with Linux security... but needs to update his skills from the Ultrix / Yellowpages days of 40 years ago. What ...
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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 ...
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952 views

How is hibernation supported, on machines with UEFI Secure Boot?

I've been learning about UEFI Secure Boot, which attempts to prevent "bootkits" by locking down the boot process so that only signed bootloaders and kernels can be loaded. Hibernation seems like a ...
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699 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 ...
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444 views

How to improve VPS security?

I’m using Linux based VPS hosting, and a firewall and mod_sec help to keep most hackers out. However, over the last couple of weeks I noticed several entries in mod_sec showing that an unknown domain ...
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1answer
317 views

Attacks against HIDS software running on the same machine

I am interested in the attacks that could be used to compromise or disable HIDS software such as Tripwire or Samhain. I understand that ideally checks should be run periodically and the database ...
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1answer
690 views

Security Risk of Disabling forceguest in non-AD Environment

Our application group is looking to deploy a product which requires that we disable forceguest in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa. We are running on a Novell network (I know, I ...
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3answers
87 views

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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3answers
662 views

Is Chrome in Metro Mode more secure than Chrome in Desktop Mode?

With Windows 8, Microsoft introduces the Metro Apps which run in a sandbox environment, and therefore should be more secure. I would be interested to know if this higher security that the metro apps ...
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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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2answers
885 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 ...
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5answers
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Secure mount options + partitioning on Ubuntu

What is the best solution for mount options/partitioning when having e.g.: an Ubuntu minimal install (11.04) for Desktop use? e.g.: put /tmp on different partition to give it mount options like: ...
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5answers
3k views

How secure are iPhone/Android/Windows 8 “PIN”/Pattern Lock features?

Most modern (and tablet-oriented) operating systems now offer alternative ways of logging on other than a strong password. For example, iPhones offer a 4-digit PIN, Android devices offer this and a ...
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5k 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.
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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 ...
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2answers
905 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 ...
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1answer
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At what criteria should an unpatched machine be considered hacked? [closed]

Since every machine connected to the Internet requires security patches, there is a window of time in which those updates have been released and those machines haven't yet been patched. It is ...
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212 views

One computer with multiple OSs in different drives

I use my personal computer for both programming work and gaming at my free time(and sometimes penetration testing) all these in different operating systems each. The problem is that I dont really ...
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Are files created in Chrome OS developer mode tracked by Google?

If I enable developer mode, then open a shell and create /some/directory/temp.txt, it is invisible to me through the Chrome Filesystem API. But does this mean that it's also invisible to Chrome OS ...
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700 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 ...
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1answer
121 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 ...
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1answer
103 views

Is there a GNU/Linux or BSD distribution dedicated to air-gapped computer?

I am currently in the process of setting up an air-gapped computer which will be dedicated to managing cryptographic key (including: generation of GPG key/subkey, management of a small CA, generation ...
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1answer
632 views

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
573 views

Does setting a firmware password add security if FileVault 2 is enabled?

On an up-to-date OS X computer with FileVault 2 (whole-disk encryption, minus the recovery partition), is any security gained by setting a firmware password, as well?
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OpenBSD-based LiveCD/LiveDVD - is it secure? is it offical?

Does the OpenBSD LiveCD/LiveDVD get deeply audited like the original OpenBSD? Is it an official "port"? Experiences with it?
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1answer
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How does binary code execution vulnerability work on a modern OS?

In a modern OS I think that: the .text section where binary assembled CPU instructions are stored cannot be modified the .data/.bss section is marked as no-execute so that the information there will ...
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0answers
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BSD encryption advantages [closed]

If someone who knows about the BSD project has a moment to answer this, I'm wondering a few things about the encryption used. It's more than what I'm finding in the docs and on Wiki/Google (even the ...
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2answers
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SUN Remote Procedure Call Port 111 [closed]

I have found on my machine port 111 is open. This is listed as RPC. I understand there are possible attacks on this port. How can my machine be attacked if port 111 is open? How can I secure this ...
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Tails like OS for Smartphones

In Jacob Applebaum's latest talk at the 30c3 conference, he advised all journalists to use Tails or similar OS for their laptops. Does anyone know of a similar OS or functionality for Smartphones? ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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1answer
135 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?
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2answers
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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. ...
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2answers
247 views

OBSD X11 as non-root?

If running X11 as root is not a very good idea, then can anyone mention a method/solution, how to still use a GUI, and not having X11 as root?
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2answers
437 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 ...
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1answer
155 views

Whitelisting applications in Windows7

Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 come with a security tool called Applocker. This allows admins to restrict applications to a specific white list which can be as granular as the individual application ...
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338 views

Is a monolithic kernel more secure than a microkernel for a small OS?

Upon building a kernel for a small CLI system what option is the best one? I don't know much about what microkernels can do so bear with me if I'm being ignorant: In one instance, there are ...
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2answers
146 views

Is bugged CPU mean “gameover” for whole Computer? [closed]

I'm looking for answer on such question. Imagine that CPU bugged on the factory simply like Blue Pill, but for the network's interconnections. How exactly firewall of OS could protect station ...
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4answers
830 views

If someone steals my laptop while I'm logged in, how can I protect my browser?

My question has its roots in an xkcd from this week: http://xkcd.com/1200/ Isn't this true and ironic? We place so much emphasis on browser security and OS security -- and rightly so -- yet if I ...
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1answer
674 views

What kind of hashing is generally used in log-in modules?

Do operating systems hash the log-in password? What hash function is used in Windows XP, 7, 8,Linux Ubuntu, Debian, MAC Lion OS X ,...? Where should I look to know these security considerations of an ...
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Could see image of previous session after restarting and switching OS

(I have GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows installed.) I played a game on Microsoft Windows, quit the game, restarted the PC, and selected GNU/Linux. On the login screen, the background image was ...