Related to security concerns specific to the Microsoft Windows operating system itself. For security of applications that happen to be running on Windows, please use [appsec]. For the X Window System, please use [x11].

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38
votes
5answers
45k views

What can an attacker do with Bluetooth and how should it be mitigated?

What are the security risks of Bluetooth and what technologies and best practices should be used to protect my device? What can an attacker do once a malicious device is paired with mine? ...
18
votes
4answers
15k views

Checklist on building an Offline Root & Intermediate Certificate Authority (CA)

Microsoft allows a CA to use Cryptography Next Generation (CNG) and advises of incompatibility issues for clients that do not support this suite. Here is an image of the default cryptography settings ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I prevent someone from accessing a Windows XP system via boot disk?

Apparently a computer system protected by a a login password, e.g. Windows XP, can be easily hacked by someone with physical access to it using methods like this one: ...
41
votes
6answers
130k views

Can I determine if my computer has a key logger installed?

A friend of mine just started a job at a security sensitive company. They've provided him with a laptop with Windows XP Professional installed. He's heard a rumor from other employees that the laptops ...
18
votes
2answers
97k views

How to figure out if someone has been using TeamViewer 8 to access my computer when I was not here?

I came to my computer today and have not been here since monday afternoon. I am using windows 7. There were some error messages showing even on the log in screen about memory violations done by ...
14
votes
4answers
942 views

Unknown malware, how to report it and whom to report it to?

I'm a professional Windows system administrator, but I've been caught off-guard (or maybe some malware writer has been very clever) and I caught some unknown malware on my home computer (Windows 7 x64 ...
6
votes
3answers
26k views

Windows 7 Password Hash Security

I recently came across a number of sources that suggest that cracking Windows user account passwords is easy by examining their password hashes. I understand that these hashes are stored in the SAM ...
162
votes
4answers
38k views

How does Windows 10 allow Microsoft to spy on you?

Windows 10 is perhaps the most Internet-connected and cloud-centric operating system released by Microsoft to date. This, of course, has caused many users to be concerned about how the OS respects ...
216
votes
7answers
42k views

What's the rationale behind Ctrl-Alt-Del for login

Why is Ctrl+Alt+Del required at login on certain Windows systems (I have not seen it elsewhere, but contradict me if I'm wrong) before the password can be typed in? From a usability point of view, ...
33
votes
3answers
28k views

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 ...
20
votes
1answer
6k views

GitHub's Bash Shell for Windows is vulnerable to Shellshock. Can it do any harm though?

After the news of the Shellshock vulnerability broke out, I remembered I had GitHub's version of a bash shell for Windows installed. Just to see if it also had the vulnerability, I executed: env ...
8
votes
7answers
5k views

Linux or Windows- the security issue [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Open Source vs Closed Source Systems Almost anyone who has grown up on Windows must have had the notion (that I had) of Linux being more secure than Windows- one of ...
10
votes
4answers
10k views

How can I enumerate all the saved RSA keys in the Microsoft CSP?

I have an application that is creating several keys and storing them in various stores (in this case the Machine store). How can I enumerate all the keys on a given Windows system? ...
7
votes
2answers
515 views

What features do you look for in an Enterprise Log Management solution?

This question is for IT Pros, and people who manage a company's infrastructure. Developers should see this related answer for tools geared for them. What are your requirements for such a Event Log ...
6
votes
1answer
11k views

Should the thumbprint be SHA2 in addition to the Signature Hash Algorithm?

I'm looking at a Windows PKI and see that the Thumbprint is SHA1, while the Signature is SHA2 (SHA256). Is this an acceptable configuration? Should I recommend that the client update to SHA2 for a ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

Windows hardening

Can anyone point me at some good resources on Windows hardening? From 2003 upwards.
15
votes
3answers
982 views

Starting with sandbox development

I am looking for some security related project in which I can contribute and also learn something. Since I am new with this stuff It will be better if that project is less complex and digestible for a ...
11
votes
2answers
599 views

How can I restrict what an application can do with my computer?

Often when I install applications on my computer, I realize that I need to trust the application because it can do what ever it want with my computer, e.g. accessing files, listen to my keyboard, ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Is disabling auto-run enough to protect against malicious code from removable media automatically infecting a machine?

If I block auto-run on a windows machine, is this enough to protect it from malicious code (assuming I don't run any files manually)? Or are there known vulnerabilities that may cause infection?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How to change default cipher in GnuPG on both Linux and Windows?

How can I change the default symmetric cipher used by GnuPG from CAST5 to another? I'm using GPG4Win on Windows, but would also be interested in a solution for Linux.
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Does Windows have a built-in password store?

What passwords are stored in Microsoft Windows? How can I know what password are saved in computer?
4
votes
3answers
425 views

Security of login-data saved in browsers

Most browsers provide an option to save login-data for later use. Suppose a Windows workstation is located in a well-protected corporate LAN and only a well-defined set of application can be launched ...
29
votes
6answers
11k views

How can normal files hide a virus?

How can normal files supported in the Windows operating system hide a virus? Sometimes opening a .txt , .jpg or .docx files leads to running a virus. How is this possible?
34
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I purge Windows of my private data when formatting the drive is not an option?

I'm changing my employer, and I'm about to leave my office computer. Due to internal regulations and my supervisor's orders, I'm unable to format the disk drive. I was hoping I would be able to do ...
33
votes
4answers
4k views

Is my data safe if, with an encrypted hard disk, I put Windows in “sleep” mode

Both my boot partition and my data partition are encrypted with TrueCrypt. My password is lengthy, so I find myself avoiding a reboot of my system whenever possible. When going to lunch (for ...
15
votes
6answers
20k views

How secure is NTFS encryption?

How secure is the data in a encrypted NTFS folder on Windows (XP, 7)? (The encryption option under file|folder -> properties -> advanced -> encrypt.) If the user uses a decent password, can this ...
13
votes
3answers
54k views

How do you discover what permissions an AD group has, if you have no documentation?

You just got hired at company A and the old administrator is no longer there. Requests start coming through for adding users to the internet restrict group. When you look at the groups none of the ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the privacy and security implications of Windows Telemetry

There have been quite a few news stories relating to the use of "Telemetry" in Windows 10 (and also now Windows 7/8) with suggestions that users would want to disable or remove these updates due to ...
22
votes
4answers
8k views

How secure is Windows 8's Picture Password login?

The final Windows 8 build has been released to manufacturing. One of the new features of Windows 8 is "Picture Password", where the end user logs on to Windows by clicking a specific pattern on the ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

Why aren't applications sandboxed in Windows?

Sandboxing seem to be a way to restrict what an application can do. Today, I don't have much control of what my applications do with my computer. It feels more secure to use JavaScript based web ...
50
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the risk if I accidently type my password into a username field (Windows logon)?

I'm used to logging into my personal Mac which is a password-only field (like waking from sleep mode). Sometimes I have to use a Windows network on which I have an account, but of course I have to ...
10
votes
2answers
441 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.
15
votes
2answers
499 views

How much of a problem is it that Windows “hides” some of the trusted root CA certs?

Based on information on this page, Windows actually trusts many more root CA certificates than what are displayed when a user launches certmgr.msc and navigates to Trusted Root Certification ...
12
votes
5answers
7k views

How can I decrypt data with Java, without hard-coding the key?

I hope this is not a chicken-egg problem or reinventing the wheel but here goes. I have a Java application that needs to access a password protected file (actually during the application startup). The ...
10
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
862 views

In Visual Studio, what are the risks of simply opening an untrusted project? What are the mitigations?

I'm looking at the source code of some potentially hostile code. As usual, VS 2012 is giving me the security warning: "You should only open projects from a trustworthy source" ... "ask me for every ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Can you extract memory contents from a hibernated Windows machine?

In a recent discussion about hardware hacks, attacks surrounding Windows hibernate popped up. I am not entirely convinced that it would be viable to get stuff out of the memory saved to disk. When ...
3
votes
1answer
301 views

Security of Windows Screen Saver Password

How secure is the Windows screensaver password? Seeing that screen saver passwords are used in the corporate world, is there any way of bypassing the screen saver after it is already running? Could a ...
11
votes
2answers
169 views

Does Centralisation Decrease the Probability but Increase the Damage of Exploits?

This question is, perhaps, a tad too abstract for a Q&A site. But it's been playing on my mind for a while, so I'm throwing it out there. Modern systems seem to be increasingly centralised. An ...
9
votes
3answers
513 views

Is denying write access an effective way to stop ransomware?

I'm looking for ways to defend against ransomware. As part of this strategy I've come up with the idea to block myself from writing to as many locations (and files) as possible. It may be assumed ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible to catch a virus on my LAN without clicking on anything?

My unpatched PC running Windows is connected to a network which contains other "infected" computers, can I get infected by viruses without any interaction on my part?
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Man-in-the-middle Blue Coat proxy SSL or what?

I have just discovered that my workplace has enabled some new features in the Blue Coat network proxy. It seems like all HTTPS certificates in Chrome on Windows are being issued by this internal ...
6
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
190 views

How do I protect my passwords from WebBrowserPassView?

I just got shocked with what can be achieved with WebBrowserPassView. It basically shows every password I've saved in my browser (Chrome). I guess other users on my PC could get my passwords that ...
4
votes
3answers
429 views

Security of a Windows XP system after April 8th when running the latest Firefox or Chrome

As we all know, Microsoft stops developing security patches for Windows XP very soon. If a bug in the kernel was to be found that would allow an attacker to take control by, say, sending a specially ...
3
votes
1answer
564 views

Hardening ciphersuites on Windows Server 2012 R2

I'm currently in the process of compiling a Ciphersuite policy to be used on all of our new WS 12 & IIS 8.5 web servers. In the past I've always manually applied the registry keys into SChannel ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Dealing with untrusted administrators in a Windows domain

I'm providing consultation to a company, where they have domain-joined Windows workstations. One basic requirement is that they don't want anyone (including the an administrator) to be able to login ...
1
vote
1answer
718 views

How do I convert a GPG certificate to a CRT certificate that can be imported into Windows Certificate Manager?

I have a GPG certificate from someone used for email -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- Version: GnuPG/MacGPG2 v2.0.14 (Darwin) I would like to import that into Windows Certificate Manager So ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How can IA-5(1)(b) be enforced on Windows systems?

Note: I've also posted a question for this issue on non-Windows systems. In NIST SP 800-53 Rev. 3, IA-5 is the control addressing "Authenticator Management". The requirements in this control include ...
5
votes
2answers
594 views

A SW system constructed with Microsoft CNG can be FIPS 140-2 Level 2 Compliant?

We have to design and construct a system that signs files with sensible data, like evidences/proofs. The sign process is simple, basically calculate MD5 of the file content and encrypt the MD5 result ...