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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How to disable Firewire in OpenBSD/Linux to prevent attacks through Firewire?

Since Firewire lacks security, allowing a plugged-in device to access host memory, it's a good thing to fully disable it. If we're not using the BIOS to disable the Firewire port then how could we do ...
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2answers
436 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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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 ...
5
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1answer
836 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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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?
4
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1answer
459 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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3answers
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How does the Windows “Secure Desktop” mode work?

Can anyone explain (or provide a link to a simple explanation) of what the Windows "Secure Desktop" mode is and how it works? I just heard about it in the KeePass documentation (KeePass - Enter ...
2
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2answers
213 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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1answer
296 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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3answers
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Is CentOS a good choice from a security perspective?

How secure is the CentOS Linux distribution? I noticed there were times when there were no up-to-date patches for some version of CentOS (e.g., 5.6). I read this on some mailing list that I can't ...
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3answers
2k views

Are passwords in memory?

I have an encrypted HDD (dm_crypt). That's why I store my passwords in a simple text file. I usually copy/paste the passwords from it. Ok! Q: If I open this text file then it goes into the memory. So ...
5
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2answers
273 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 ...
5
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2answers
297 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. ...
4
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1answer
552 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 ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Practical non-government uses of Biba, Bell-LaPadula, etc. models

For example, the Biba model is now hanging out in current versions of Windows. Things downloaded from the Internet are tagged as such. Internet (low) stuff can't alter user (medium) stuff which isn't ...
4
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2answers
508 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? ...
7
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4answers
4k views

OpenBSD vs. NetBSD security

If i search for the two words: OpenBSD and NetBSD on: http://www.exploit-db.com/ then i get 17 hits regarding security bugs on OpenBSD, and 8 hits regarding security bugs on NetBSD. So what are ...
4
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2answers
415 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
138 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
143 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 ...
2
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1answer
452 views

Is 2008 Server Core installation the most secure deployment?

In a Windows environment where security is more important than flexibility is Windows 2008 R2 Core Server installation the best option? How much more difficult is it to setup an environment with ...
5
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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 ...
17
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4answers
3k views

Windows hardening

Can anyone point me at some good resources on Windows hardening? From 2003 upwards.
11
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3answers
451 views

Given SSH access, what should I do to protect a server and monitor (dangerous) user actions?

Context: Small business, mostly a software house for web applications but also some desktop software. Many external collaborators, so a variety of outside users with access to the servers. Single ...
5
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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 ...
8
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1answer
174 views

What is your default umask set to?

What is your default umask set to? Did you run into any problem setting a stricter default umask?
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3answers
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Prevent acccess to the C drive on Windows systems

Is it possible to prevent regular users from accessing the C drive via Windows Explorer? they should be allowed to execute certain programs. This is to ensure that employees cannot steal or copy out ...
7
votes
3answers
608 views

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? ...
7
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4answers
845 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 ...
13
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5answers
554 views

What is the potential impact of the alleged OpenBSD IPSEC attack?

Recently there is a bit of concern over encryption back doors in IPsec and while the status of this has not been confirmed, I don't know what impact something like this might have. For instance, does ...
27
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1answer
6k views

iOS Encryption Details

Following on from this question Does anyone have any details/resources on the technical specifics of how apple implement encryption on their iOS 4.x series devices? The Apple marketing material here, ...
61
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9answers
10k views

Hardening Linux Server

We have already had questions on here about Hardening Apache, Hardening PHP and Securing SSH. To continue this trend I am interested in what steps people take to harden Linux servers. As in what ...
11
votes
3answers
462 views

What security requirements do you have for Domain Administrators?

With regard to managing a Windows network, what security polices and processes do you use? For example Do you require/support Smart Card Authentication? Restrict logins from a particular ...
4
votes
2answers
238 views

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 ...
16
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2answers
2k views

How secure is Keychain on OS X?

Keychain is a built-in app on OS X that stores all of the user credentials, and allows for one to keep encrypted notes in an easily accessible way. Does anyone know how secure Keychain is? I know ...
16
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3answers
998 views

Multi factor authentication on Ubuntu workstations, where to start?

Is it possible to have Ubuntu users log in with multi-factor authentication? I was thinking of a combination of pass(word|code) and smartcard (with screen locks when for example smart-card is removed) ...
5
votes
2answers
164 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 ...
7
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2answers
320 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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2answers
834 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 ...
5
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8answers
2k views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
262 views

What shell binary should I use for the root account on a Linux system?

Is there a security advantage to using a different shell for the root account, either a hardened shell program, or simply a shell binary stored in a non-standard location?
13
votes
4answers
371 views

Stop software updates after the system is “stable”?

Yesterday morning I had an OS class and we just started the part about OS security. When the professor was explaining what is a patch manager, he told us that a computer company he knows which deals ...
8
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1answer
401 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.
22
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10answers
3k views

Vulnerable OS's?

Which vulnerable OS's like for example DVL would you recommend for someone to use for the purpose of pentest/exploitation learning?
18
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1answer
600 views

Is it secure to connect to a remote Windows Server using Remote Desktop only?

I have a Windows Server that I login to from my home. I only use the pre-installed Remote Desktop. Is this a secure way to remote login or should I improve it in some way? If I should improve it, ...