Questions tagged [operating-systems]

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 like to use one of the [windows], [linux] or [macos] tags.

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Should I worry about compromised firmware when reinstalling an OS?

I have a machine that I suspect to be compromised and am installing a new OS from a usb. I know that there have been cases of malware surviving this, and even BIOS-reflashing, and something about the ...
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3 answers
106 views

How file deletion works?

If deleting files just removes the references then why not just delete the actual files instead of just removing the references? Just removing the references leaves the file intact until it is ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How to harden a FOSS and gratis operating system?

I want to migrate from Windows to Ubuntu. I understand that Ubuntu's1 security model is a bit different than that of Windows but I don't aim to ask about this particular OS, rather, in general, what ...
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0 votes
2 answers
145 views

How to realistically de-google an Android smartphone?

Smartphones have the options to selectively disable tracking in the settings menu. By visiting this menu, you can manually disable each application from having permission to access your private data ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is it possible for malware to overwrite UEFI code when installing an operating system?

If the ISO file for an operating system is malicious, is it possible for it to overwrite UEFI code when booted (If secure boot is disabled)?
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1 answer
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What is it called when you only use a user account for a specific task in your OS?

I've noticed that people don't use a user account for a specific task; I keep thinking the concept is called a "service account" But it causes a lot of issues surrounding security; for ...
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18 votes
4 answers
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What is the frequency of open security bugs in an operating system with increasing age?

I am having a discussion with friends and my point is that the older a feature-frozen operating system is, the fewer security bugs are left unpatched and therefore the cost for the company to fix them ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Detect bruteforce attempts on Windows 10 (without event log)

I'm currently working on a software project as part of a course on Operating Systems Security and one of the features in my project is to detect bruteforce attacks on Windows hosts. I know that I can ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Child processes vs microservices for communication between components

This is a question for operating system security experts. We have an application using one platform/language, and it has to integrate with a library that uses another platform/language. There is no ...
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0 answers
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Does secure boot protect you from infected BIOS/firmware?

About secure boot, I've visited intel's website and they said: The feature defines an entirely new interface between operating system and firmware/BIOS. When enabled and fully configured, Secure Boot ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Why are mobile phones OS easily hackable (Pegaus & Co)

Every now and then, you here a story about misuses of mobile OS' spyware softwares, developed by technology firms which usually sell their products to governments or groups with similar power. You ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Where could we get CIS Hardening Scripts for AWS EC2?

CIS has published hardening standards for all operating systems of EC2 in AWS. CIS also provides hardened images as well but they're quite expensive at $130/year/instance. Is there a place where we ...
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1 answer
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How is re-encryption of a drive after a crash handled? [duplicate]

If you have full-disk (or a partition) encrypted, and your computer crashes, without the opportunity to re-encrypt the data (I'm assuming that happens with a graceful shutdown), isn't that a security ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Cross OS GPU based malware

I've been doing some research into GPU based malwares, and would like to know if there is a way to run them on a dual boot scenario with the code being executed only on one Operational System and be &...
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0 answers
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Can an OS implement Trusted Boot without TPM given Secure Boot?

Since Secure Boot authenticates software, the OS only needs to check hardware. The implementation I have in mind measures hardware and compares the result of the measurement to the value in an EFI ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Importance of OS security patches for devices only used in home network

(This question bugs me because I am not willing to upgrade for Windows 10) If we are talking about a device (i.e. a PC) in the following scenario: The device is located behind a router that is up-to-...
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18 votes
4 answers
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What are the risks of desktop personalization on Windows?

I've worked on places where the admins have disabled desktop personalization on Windows for settings like: changing desktop background and lock screen images local themes - no high contrast for ...
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10 votes
7 answers
6k views

Can you create a fake (malicious) Ubuntu iso

Recently I got into an exchange with someone on social media about the security of Linux versus OSX and Windows. I stated that it is possible (and probable) that someone could code a low level back ...
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1 vote
4 answers
600 views

Is Linux really not spying on us?

When I ask someone about Linux, people always say it's really safe and this OS doesn't collect your data and these are not spy operating systems. When I ask them "how?" they say, "...
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3 votes
0 answers
148 views

Process Injection and Process Isolation by OS

If the OS is responsible for ensuring that one process cannot access another process memory space, and the point of process isolation is to keep processes separate from one another, then how can a ...
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1 vote
0 answers
243 views

How to encrypt and hide a GNU/Linux operating system and create a decoy system?

My goal is to be protected against key disclosure laws and possible extortion. I know dm-crypt can be used to perform full disk encryption for GNU/Linux distros. However, it is not enough. I want to ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Does moving webAuthn API from browser to OS improves security of registration process?

Usually, for all types of authentications, we trust the registration process and assume there is no attack is happening Like in the case of FIDO2 registration. However, as the registration process is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
357 views

How should GNU/Linux noobs harden their dekstop OS?

I'm interested in using GNU/Linux for different reasons. Partly for freedom, privacy, and security. But also to force myself to learn Linux. One issue I’ve found is that desktop Linux seems to have ...
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1 vote
1 answer
138 views

How do memory resident viruses work?

Two part question: 1-How do memory resident viruses stay in memory after the program which loaded them is finalized? If all memory is automatically deallocated by the OS once a program is finished, ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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How to install Java 8 on Kali Nethunter [closed]

Guys I need to install jdk 8 for my programs to work better, many programs do not support the version higher than Java 8 so I want to install Java 8 to run better, I tried to install via apt-get, but ...
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0 votes
1 answer
175 views

Can the sandboxing technique prevent a buffer overflow attack?

Buffer overflow Attack: Sample Authorization void A( ) { int authorized; char name [128]; authorized = check credentials (...); /* the attacker is not authorized, so returns 0 */ printf ("...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Can the primary operating system be hacked when using another one on an external drive?

I have Kali Linux on an external flash drive that is 128GB. I would like to build a PC with my friend but I don't know which operating system to put on it. I want to be able to play games and I know ...
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2 votes
2 answers
120 views

Is it possible to determinate which functions a kernel module calls?

Trusting kernel drivers is bad. Is there something we can do to have at least an idea about what it does? For example, let's suppose an armv8a linux kernel. I'd search for all the syscalls, which ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the risk of using Windows Phone 8.1 now?

My friend uses Microsoft Phone 8.1 mobile for a tax accountancy firm. As it hasn't received security updates for five years I believe that is a significant information security risk. However, the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
171 views

Managing vulnerabilities in continuous delivery

When building my own Docker container, if I use a base image such as Debian 10.6 (stable) there are times when high vulnerabilities are found in the OS packages, that have not been fixed in this ...
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1 vote
1 answer
150 views

Wiping a hard drive before reinstallation

A few years ago, I left a new laptop at a sketchy computer shop to downgrade the OS to Windows 7. The experience was a disaster. My goal now is to install Cinnamon Linux on the laptop and remove ...
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1 vote
1 answer
235 views

Is the most (theoretically-) secure OS/distro something minimalistic like Gentoo or something security-focused like Qubes?

Assuming you only use mainstream software like Firefox, Thunderbird and Libreoffice, and update/upgrade every day and use strong passwords and encryption. I know this is probably a very basic and ...
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2 votes
1 answer
356 views

Understanding Secure Boot

I'm trying to understand the secure boot process of an OS but there are few points I can't wrap my head around. At a high level, afaik, secure boot ensures that the loaded OS is authenticated by its ...
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1 vote
0 answers
82 views

Publicly Available PCAP dumps that associate IP addresses with Operating System? [closed]

I am currently working on a machine learning module to detect Operating Systems based on existing packet traffic in pcap file format. So far, I have generated some traffic of popular Operating Systems ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What is difference running Linux by live USB vs. by VirtualBox?

Can an expert please explain me which of following three methods working with an OS is technically considered more "secure" - and why (pros/cons)? Security I mean aspects like: -preventing any ...
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2 votes
1 answer
244 views

Security implications of using VM versus dual boot

I have my main computer and Windows installation that I use to work with (to me) important data. I keep this environment reasonably secure, however, I need a place with loosened restrictions. I ...
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0 votes
2 answers
381 views

How to get a Windows 10 complete memory dump on demand?

I was wondering what to do if by any chance I got infected with a Ransomware that could trick my AV suite, and my conclusion is that a complete memory dump would be the best option, as probably the ...
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0 votes
0 answers
148 views

Using nmap to detect realtime operating system

I would like to understand whether nmap can be used to detect the operating system type for realtime OS (Vxworks, threadx, free RTOS, etc.). Has anyone done similar work before? Or if you have any ...
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53 votes
7 answers
21k views

Can you hide your OS from programs? Can you trick a program into thinking you are on a different OS?

Is there a way or program to make another program think I am using a different system? For example, let's say currently I am on Windows 7 32-bit and I want the program to detect Windows 10 64-bit or ...
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4 votes
3 answers
231 views

Should operating system passwords be complex if full disk encryption is used that has a complex passphrase?

If a device uses full disk encryption such as LUKS, BitLocker (with a pin), Veracrypt and others and boots using a complex password, what is the need for complex passwords to log into the operating ...
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1 vote
1 answer
191 views

Is an OS more vulnerable while it is being updated?

Are there any additional attack vectors that apply when an OS is being updated? For example, would the services that are being updated be unstable? An OS is generally more secure after being updated, ...
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2 votes
3 answers
405 views

Would services or whole operating systems written in pure Python/Java be safer?

Many Windows and Linux services are written in C and/or C++. Due to that fact, they can be exploited in several ways due to the lack of memory security (buffer overflow, etc.). Are services written ...
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154 votes
14 answers
26k views

Why is the OS obfuscation defense against "It's a Unix system!" not widely implemented?

The Jurassic Park scene referenced in the title is infamous for how ludicrous it sounds to those who are tech literate. But it also illustrates what seems to me to be a glaringly huge hole in web ...
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2 votes
2 answers
273 views

FarCry 1 Server Security Risks?

Some friends and I want to play FarCry version 1.40 on PC over the internet on our own private server but we have some security concerns. Since the game was released 15 years ago and we'll be running ...
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1 vote
1 answer
338 views

Is there any method or tool other than nmap for the detection of an OS?

I wanted to know if there was any other way to detect the OS of a network (other than nmap) since nmap doesn't detect most versions of Windows 10 at all and identifies them as a different OS ...
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2 votes
1 answer
254 views

Access to foreign memory address

Modern operating systems like Windows 10 isolate memory addresses for processes so how is it possible that Cheat Engine can get these addressed and change their values? At this forum it has already ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
186 views

If my computer system is on, but none of my network connections are active, can someone work on hacking into my OS?

I thought I read that if my network connections, both wifi/ethernet, are NOT on, that if someone wanted to try and work on hacking my OS, that they would have to wait until the network connection is ...
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0 votes
1 answer
220 views

Blocking mimikatz on the OS level?

I want to know under which case would Mimikatz still run despite disabling WDigest? Whether wdigest is set to 1 or 0, mimikatz still worked. (tested on Windows 7, 8, 2012) Is there a better way to ...
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4 votes
2 answers
452 views

How can a VM handle a compromised host?

How can I protect a VM build e.g. with LinuxKit, if my host system is compromised? Are there methods available or am I always at the host's mercy? And is it possible to isolate what's going on inside ...
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2 votes
0 answers
133 views

Computer that can't upgrade beyond Windows 1803 - safe to use until when? [closed]

I have an old computer that can't (at least according to Windows Update) upgrade beyond Windows 1803. (Probably due to the manufacturer not releasing updates to drivers.) Until when will it be safe to ...
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