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 encrypt a USB to be used with MAC & Win

I would like to find out if it is possible to encrypt a USB flash drive (or only password protection) which could work with dual OS ( Mac & Windows ). Is there a free software that i could use to ...
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1answer
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Does stack (UNIX x86, x86-64, ARM) grow up or down, buffer overflow tutorials wrong explained?

when I read something about buffer overflows on the stack, the most or some tutorials show me examples about overwriting local variables (pointers) and then overwriting pointers in the global offset ...
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0answers
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Minimalistic operating system for enhancing ssh security?

As we know, although the SSH protocol is sound in theory, it can be compromised when the implementation is faulty or the underlying operating system is compromised in other ways that indirectly ...
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0answers
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Using Windows installers created in SCCM on a custom boot menu [migrated]

I'm wanting to place several Windows Installers on an external HD and have a custom boot menu on it so one of those builds can be selected. Each of these are Windows 7 builds which have been created ...
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2answers
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What is protection ring -1?

Due to the Lenovo firmware ThinkPwn bug I'm trying to understand privileges and rings. If the kernel is Ring 0 and SMM (System Management Mode) is Ring -2, what could be in between that is Ring -1?
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Can the instruction set be targeted directly?

Can malware directly manipulate the instruction set or is it restricted to the functions/services of the os/kernel?
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133 views

Is Qubes OS more secure than running a set of activity related VMs?

I'd like to skip the argument about Linux being more secure than Windows, and purely focus on the security boundaries between Host OS and VMs. Is Qubes OS theoretically more secure than say - Windows ...
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1answer
62 views

Ring 1 and Ring 2 Memory Protection Architecture

I have heard that Ring 1 and Ring 2 memory protections are basically no-longer used within modern systems. However, when I checked into things, all I found was that these rings are somehow associated ...
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1answer
167 views

How can I check if someone tampered with the CCTV footage or system?

Recently I was staying in a hotel and I had some very important belongings stolen there in the hotel which is definite. The problem is that no one entered my room after I left the room (2 times for ...
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1answer
80 views

How can an un-trusted device connected to the LAN network infect others operating systems?

I have a various devices on my LAN network (Linux, Windows, Android device..), sometimes i allow others to connect to my LAN through , it is not possible to verify the safety of their machines, Let's ...
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2answers
108 views

How could one say that older operating systems are more vulnerable?

Experiment conducted by me in Windows using Virtual Machine: I have collected all rogue security software that target a range of Windows versions and several latest malware (no older than a month) ...
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1answer
432 views

Why is Linux considered more secure than Windows? [closed]

Why is Linux considered more secure than Windows? Is there some sort of recent security report that proves it? I have come to believe that Linux has been safer so far, but now as we have Windows 10, ...
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2answers
85 views

Mac OS X vulnerabilities and not having the need for an antivirus?

I have just read news about Mac OS X vulnerabilities and wondered why would people say that you don't need an antivirus if you are using a Mac? There are vulnerabilities in other operating systems ...
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1answer
19 views

Are there any mechanisms to verify the correctness of a burned disc?

I was recently recommended a specific smartcard over on HardwareRecs.SE. As part of this, the answerer (our ursine overlord) stated that the cards in question don't offer a means to securely backup ...
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6answers
200 views

Relative merits and risks of encryption and OS security [closed]

There are many aspects to computer security and many threats to address: poisoned DNS, worms, trojans, viruses, rootkits, firmware malware, etc. One of the biggest software vulnerabilities is buffer ...
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1answer
62 views

Is there a way to create separate environments on your computer with no way of detection?

I would like to know if there is a way to create two different systems/environments on your PC (Windows OS) that you will enter each by different username and password. When someone enters your ...
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2answers
230 views

What information could be identified about a Virtual Machine which routed traffic via a VPN?

Background: I have a Virtual Machine which is running all it's traffic through a VPN (from within the Virtual Machine) so to obfuscate all web traffic. This Virtual Machine is running from within an ...
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1answer
188 views

Block OS fingerprinting without using iptables?

I have a Linux machine connected to a Windows 98 PC on port 104. Now I want to block the OS fingerprinting using nmap for the windows 98 PC. I tried using iptables (blocking that particular port) but ...
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2answers
26 views

Privilege escalation if the privileged ID is known

If I know the ID of a group, whose privilege is higher than mine, is it possible for me to execute programs using that group ID? If so, how do I do it? If not, why not? Will appreciate all answers.
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3answers
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Since when can't any program get MS-DOS and MS-Windows admin rights?

I'm certain that I read that in the 80s with 8-bit Intel processorn, any DOS program that was run with MS-DOS was run in administrative mode and could do anything that any C program could do. Now I'm ...
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1answer
2k views

Download an OS image via torrent [duplicate]

If you take the Ubuntu alternative download page for example, there, you have the possibility to download the OS also via torrent. Being a peer to peer where files are stored on anyone's machine got ...
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2answers
84 views

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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4answers
164 views

Isolated safe anonymous OS

I wonder about a setup where I can have a primary OS on my Laptop, but keep a second OS that is safe, anonymous, persistent and isolated (for sensivite data that may communicate with the outside world)...
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1answer
79 views

OS fingerprinting [closed]

I have been asked to write a small tool that detects the running OS on a victim device. The tool should be able to fingerprint Linux versus Android versus iOS. Extra credit for version info. It needs ...
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2answers
89 views

Access to system32 [closed]

Is there a way anyone can access the system32 folder on Windows without being logged in? If so, how would he do that and how to prevent it.
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3answers
60 views

Securing online SQL database and server [closed]

I am trying to build a big project but lack the knowledge of security of servers and SQL. So, please help me by telling what necessary steps should i take. Block all remote access :- I have heard ...
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1answer
58 views

Do I need to change my host OS to something like Tails if I already have Tails running in a VM if I want to be protected on the interenet?

First let me say sorry if I sound like a script kitty, because I am. Now on to my question. So I want to be protected on the internet when I go on the deep web, do banking etc. I use Tails to protect ...
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2answers
79 views

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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2answers
234 views

Wiping a computer of personal information while keeping the operating system intact

I have a unique situation but will try form this as a generally applicable Q&A: I must leave my Operating System intact, but completely wipe my information from the computer. How can I do this? ...
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1answer
80 views

Operating system encryption of a Virtual Machine

I am a MacBook Pro user but sometimes I need to manage very sensitive data on Windows Seven. I am running Windows Seven on a virtual machine using Parallels Desktop v10.2.1. This software already has (...
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4answers
7k views

Old OS memory space protection - was it really that bad?

In his book Security Engineering, Anderson really focuses on how in the 90s and early 2000s programs would need to access memory that wasn't their own, and programmers programmed with the assumption ...
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1answer
205 views

Can someone bruteforce my OSX? (Macbook)

Is it possible for someone to bruteforce or perform a dictionary attack on a Macbook? It's very easy to bypass security of a Windows box (Password Protection) , what is the difficulty level of ...
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4answers
1k views

When using multiple operating systems, can they affect each other?

Let's say I have two different OS on my PC, Windows 10 and Linux. It is well-known that Windows collects a significant amount of information and sends it to Microsoft's servers, but I wonder if it "...
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1answer
48 views

Who is the Mandatory Access Control Administrator

Would a mandatory access control implementation administered by a 'normal' user be discretionary since the user could change permissions as he sees fit? And if so, wouldn't root as a MAC admin, being ...
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1answer
832 views

OSX HomeBrew Security Risks

I've been trying to harden my OSX 10.11 computer and one of the guides suggested installing Homebrew to get updates to things such as OpenSSL. While updates are great, it seems like Apple should be ...
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0answers
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Virtual Machine Introspection for VirtualBox

Is possible use Virtual Machine Introspection (VMI) for monitoring system calls and internal system operations in Oracle VirtualBox machine (if I use Linux as quest system) in this time? I have read ...
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2answers
60 views

Does OpenBSD's security protect against identical vulns in other OSs?

I have been reading about OpenBSD and its more secure design. I was wondering therefore about the difference this makes to applications which can run on any number of OS. Lets take the example of a ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the most “out-of-the-box” secure OS for a home user? [closed]

This question will encompass several topics and may also include user opinion. Here is the question, and how I want you to qualify it: Question: What is the most "out-of-the-box" secure OS for a ...
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1answer
123 views

Where does the list of trusted content authorities come from when using a web browser?

I was asked "how do browsers know whether or not to trust the certificate from the server it's connecting to" and thought it was a pretty good question. After doing some googling I found two answers: ...
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9answers
10k views

Why don't OS's make keystrokes available to only the current app?

Seems like a relatively obvious way to prevent (software) keylogging would be to force only the current (in-focus) app to be able to receive keystrokes. There could be a way to make explicit ...
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0answers
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userWorkstations attribute in AD preventing users from logging into WebApp

For some of our users in AD, we have set userWorkstations attribute to restrict access to other machines. But this is preventing those users from logging into WebApplications (around 50+) protected ...
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2answers
63 views

Is it fundamentally possible to develop a (provenly) transparent computing system?

I recently asked a question regarding security obstacles of online voting via a web service, and one of the primary obstacles to doing this is the difficulty of proving that the program processing ...
2
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1answer
287 views

Security research on Operating system security measures, where to start?

I am researching on operating system security, And I don't know where to look for more information on this. I could find the following sources, but I need more guidance. Sources: Microkernel ...
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1answer
229 views

Are there any architectures currently out there that use hardware-enforced process isolation? What would it take to add that to x86?

First-time asker/commenter, long-time reader. As someone who's currently doing a lot of thinking & writing about measures that might foundationally improve computer security (ie., involving not ...
2
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1answer
140 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 ...
5
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3answers
5k views

Is Linux spying on its users? [closed]

If you install some kind of Linux distributions on your computer, is their a possibility that their owners may spy on you? For example, can Ubuntu, Kali or Arch linux send data to its owners on what ...
3
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2answers
186 views

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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2answers
220 views

Are the Microsoft Windows images found on the internet safe?

Microsoft has stopped offering the Windows images for download. It is now only possible to get the image if one has a key of a retail version of the corresponding OS. The question is now, whether the ...
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1answer
79 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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2answers
534 views

How is it possible that a text message can reboot an Apple device?

I was reading through my infosec newsfeed and found this article: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/27/iphone-crash-bug-text-imessage-ios It basically talks about a bug iOS has while ...