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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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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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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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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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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How to secure shared user on build server?

We have a CI server which is installed as the builduser and all tasks are executed as that respective user at the OS level. We have many teams sharing the build server which means the build user and ...
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How does a firewall software intercept network communication?

I have a basic idea of what a software-based packet filter does, and I'm not sure if it's entirely accurate. Basically, a packet filter is a loadable kernel module that is inserted into the network ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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292 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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Major differences between Kali and SecurityOnion

Curious about the major differences between Kali Linux and SecurityOnion. Do you think it would be easy or useful to replicate what has been done with SecurityOnion on Kali? Why is there such a ...
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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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261 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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695 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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662 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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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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779 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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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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186 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
307 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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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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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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Is there such thing as an OS “internal firewall”

I was wondering if there is such thing as an OS "internal firewall". If it exists, it must be under a different name. I am looking for a way to control which applications can talk to which other ...
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1answer
383 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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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319 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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Is it possible to browse/access the files on a computer's hard drive by booting from an OS installed in a flash drive?

I have installed Tails in an USB flashdrive and then booted my macbook with it. I noticed that Tails was capable of seeing my macbook's hard drive. Out of curiosity I tried to browse it. ...
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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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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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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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Security model for datacenters

I have several datacentres and now I want to plan security for it, so it's resilient to external attacks. I need to make a security model which will cover my web servers, auth servers, log servers, ...
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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 ...