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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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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360 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 ...
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754 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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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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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 ...
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1k 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 ...
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1k 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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152 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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639 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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992 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
188 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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763 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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248 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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545 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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5k 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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609 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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719 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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485 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
66 views

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
362 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
789 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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772 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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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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295 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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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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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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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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1answer
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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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1k 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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289 views

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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210 views

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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231 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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92 views

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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739 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
149 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
95 views

OS login password: How does it work?

I am making an application to create a password for a user. I am a bit baffled over how it all works though. Namely I want to be sure that my application will store the correct hash so the user can ...
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1answer
161 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
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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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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
633 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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398 views

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
195 views

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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126 views

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
3k views

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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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 ...