making linux mint felicia most secure

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making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby zenddnez on Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:00 pm

i want to make my linux mint most secure

So i would like to know which utilities should i install

eg: browsers,
security uitilities
etc


I know linux is alredy very secure but i would really like good help here
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Re: making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby Husse on Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:30 am

Well if you are connected directly to the internet (not behind a router or a modem) you might want to enable the firewall
I recommend against connecting this way - always use a (home) router of some kind -with a changed password :)
In Firefox get the NoSript addon
Javascript can be dangerous on Linux too as it's executed within the browser
That's it - and if you are really paranoid you might use an antivirus program
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Re: making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby rbanavara on Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:16 pm

Husse, does this mean (harmful) java scripts are a threat to Linux?

my Impression is, when you are living in a safe house, as long as you dont keep your doors open, you should be fine. similarly, as long as you have proper firewall and strong password, you should not worry about attackers. I can go on to any site and click on any potentially harmful link (I know this may not be 100% safe, but the damage may not be severe).
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Re: making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby Husse on Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:15 pm

The javascripts are not a threat to Linux but to you :)
Because of the safe nature of Linux the scripts are stopped in Linux proper - but within the browser they can (and must) work and it is perfectly possible to write a keylogger in javascript and - still in javascript - have it send it's findings somewhere.....
Not much you can do about it and very hard to stop in a firewall - it would (rightly) assume you started the communication and let it pass
Can't see any difference between Linux or Windows in this respect (and probably Mac too but I know too little there)
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Re: making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby Decemberdoom on Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:19 pm

You could look into using TOR. It's slow, but much more secure than your average proxy network, and when setup to work with socks4a, it is pretty much impossible for anyone to spy on what you do.
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Re: making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby AK Dave on Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:21 pm

zenddnez wrote:i want to make my linux mint most secure


I cannot give you, nor can anyone else provide, and intelligent response to this question unless you define what you mean by "secure". Secure from what intrusion, secure from what attacks, secure from what vectors?
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Re: making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby rbanavara on Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:03 pm

Husse, ture... nowadays with a complete OS (sort of?) running in browser, everything could be possible. Also key logging never came to my mind. Was only thinking of virus damaging my disk / files OR some windows like malware running on my machine (both of which are impossible in linux). I should think before I click on a link now onwards.
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Re: making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby zenddnez on Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:42 pm

AK Dave wrote:
zenddnez wrote:i want to make my linux mint most secure


I cannot give you, nor can anyone else provide, and intelligent response to this question unless you define what you mean by "secure". Secure from what intrusion, secure from what attacks, secure from what vectors?




I am talking about surfing the net ,running programs from the net and also on the pc without any internet connection
I am looking for a way that if something goes wrong i can rollback to a previous state of my operating system where all software whether affected or not especially affected are only rolled back to their previous state with all the files wheteher they were deleted or not back to their original state.
I want to know wheteher my computer is transfering data between any pc and if that data is coming is it proper and in which way will it affect my pc

I mean i will get various people using my pc

i want it to load properly ,i want it to create a detailed log of whatever it does
and if some site or person or computer is accessing my computer for whichever reason i want to create a log

i mean even if there is a program which even i have allowed which is logging my keys i want a log

I would really like to know which softwares are available for the various problems mentioned above
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Re: making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby AK Dave on Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:23 pm

So lets break it all down:

zenddnez wrote:I am talking about surfing the net


Firefox and its clones are good, but not perfect, but there is little virus threat to linux. Unless you're pathologically stupid, you should run into no trouble using Firefox. There are plugins available to block annoyances like popups. Flash is theoretically a potential threat, if you're pathologically stupid, so you decide if you need to block flash or if you can restrict yourself enough to not download flash video from places you wouldn't tell your grandmother about.

The "potential threat" that exists is that Flash can be written to include a trojan. Java too. And that trojan doesn't need root access to be a nice keylogger or to siphon unencrypted data off your drive, like email passwords or credit card information you type into your bank's website. It doesn't need root access to redirect you to a fake website. So your system may be secure, but your data may not.

Assuming you're pathologically stupid. I'm convinced that it takes this level of stupidity to allow stuff like this to make it to your computer in the first place. The first line of security, the first line of defense, is common sense.

Assuming your end-users don't have common sense, you can force it upon them by a couple of simple methods. You can use your router, or your firewall, or a proxy server, to blacklist unsavory portions of the internet. Or you can blacklist everything and whitelist only that which you want to allow. Or you can use a DNS service to do this for you. Or you can run a "net nanny" on your firewall to monitor where your users visit and then selectively blacklist sites to prevent future access.

running programs from the net and also on the pc without any internet connection


Not sure what "running programs from the net" means to you, but to me this means Java. This means programs, like games, that run in the browser and are loaded as-need across the internet. This is seperate from software available on the internet which can be downloaded, but which then runs locally on your own computer. Which, technically, Java does also. And Java apps can be saved to disc and run locally also. So there is some overlap.

Simple security: only install trustworthy applications from trustworthy repositories using apt-get.

When you start downloading random debs from random websites and installing them, you might find something doesn't work right afterwards.

I am looking for a way that if something goes wrong i can rollback to a previous state of my operating system


You might look into creating and updating regular backups of your system.

One method is to use remastersys to build an installable DVD iso of your entire install so that if needed you can just plop in the dvd, reboot, reinstall, and be back to where you were.

where all software whether affected or not especially affected are only rolled back to their previous state with all the files wheteher they were deleted or not back to their original state.


yes, thats called a "backup"

I want to know wheteher my computer is transfering data between any pc


This is easy to monitor in a variety of ways. I trust conky to give me good stats, and I'll crosscheck that by comparing conky with my router's log and my firewall's log.

I mean i will get various people using my pc


Anyone who has physical access to a direct console login is a security threat. Vett them or elimate them.

I suggest that what you really need/want is CONTROL. Your issues go beyond ordinary linux install issues, and dive straight into the deep end of system administration. Okay:

1. If they have direct physical access to your hardware, you have a security risk. Remove this risk with physical security. Put your computer in a locked closet and allow individual users to access ONLY a thinclient that boots off of the server. Or alternatively, a shell client that boots on its own but then launches a virtual machine off of a remote server, and applications are sandboxed into the virtual machine instead of being run locally. Or both: they netboot a thinclient, which then launches a VM, and the applications are in the VM. Regardless, you have maximal control over access to your hardware AND you can immediately re-image any user back to a pre-set snapshot point.

2. You need to look seriously at how you're connected to the internet. You need a secure firewall on a seperate computer or appliance which is in between your incoming bandwidth (DSL or cable) and the router. A real firewall. All traffic goes through it, and THEN to the router. A secure router. And from there gets switched out. If you're serious, you run TWO firewalls and put a web proxy server in between them.

3. Encryption is not necessary if people cannot get physical access to your hardware. But if they can, then that data needs to be encrypted. To wit, your offsite backups need to be strongly encrypted. A serious vector that must be considered is a hack that corrupts a backup, which when restored rootkits your system. How serious? As a heart attack. Why? Because a backup is useless if you never test its ability to restore. So periodically you need to restore a backup to test the data integrity. A backup which has been rootkitted will rootkit your system when you restore it. Solution: security AND integrity. I propose strong encryption of the offsite backups.
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Re: making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby alexian on Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:07 am

I use "firestarter" for my firewall. Whatever you use for a firewall, you'll want to verify that its doing what it should be doing. There are a number of tests that you can run here:
https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2

The site is called "Shields Up!" and it helps to analyze any potential way that hackers could see you. Helps identify where your firewal is *not* protecting your computer.
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Re: making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby Husse on Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:52 pm

Two comments - the NoScript plugin for Firefox is invaluable - it eliminates (well...) the threats AK Dave is talking about
Checking against something like Shields up is most likely not testing your firewall at all - it will be testing the firewall of the router/modem you connect with
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Re: making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby zenddnez on Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:16 pm

what would be the best software to keep a log of everything on my pc including
1.keystroke
2.clicks
3.data being sent through internet
4.data being received through internet
5.and if i run an application on my pc what changes were made by it


I find this as a way to learn the inner workings of the pc
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Re: making linux mint felicia most secure

Postby AK Dave on Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:22 pm

Most of this is already done for you.

In your home directory there is a file called:
.bash-history

You can also check this file:
/var/log/message

Synaptic logs a history file:
> File > History

You can also check:
/var/log/dpkg.log
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