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Oh, God-- What To Do Now?

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Ron, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Ron

    Lou Marco Guest

    Sure, if you need more information for the incident report. Otherwise
    send the poor thing to the Great CPU in the Sky and break out the distribution
    How do you know rootkit #19 isn't laughing at you while it gets ready
    to ftp your Quickbooks files to a porn site operator in Asia?
    I've never seen a black swan, either. That's how I know they're
    all white.
    Lou Marco, Apr 20, 2011
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  2. Ron

    Ryan P. Guest

    Given the proper level of security paranoia, its not really that

    The vast majority of viruses and other malware are caught by opening
    email attachments willy-nilly and visiting infected websites.

    An up-to-date malware monitor and antivirus program, not using
    Internet Explorer, and never running as an Administrator on your system
    for casual use is a great start.
    Ryan P., Apr 20, 2011
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  3. Ron

    Ron Guest

    Have you ever *used* NT?

    Ron, Apr 22, 2011
  4. Ron

    dg Guest

    I keep an old Blue & White Power Mac I've added USB 2.0 to, and a USB
    drive case, for just such occasions. Intel Macs are vulnerable to CPU
    microcode exploits, same as any other i386-based system. It doesn't
    have Java, or anything else, just the operating system. I copy off any
    desired pictures, documents, etc., then delete all partitions, re-
    partition, and format with a secure wipe (eight-way-rewrite, which
    will generally kill a failing drive... saves trouble in the long run,
    I think). Then put it back in the Windows machine it came from and re-

    If you're using a Windows machine and boot disks, 'cause you haven't
    got a Power Mac (G3, G4, G5) sitting around nor access to one, don't
    forget fdsk /mbr before reloading, and zero/secure erase that drive!
    dg, Apr 22, 2011
  5. Ron

    Lou Marco Guest


    Does system programming (Garbage collection routines for commercial
    database systems) on 3.1 and 3.5 count? How about a decade of managing
    networks just filled with the cantankerous little beasts?

    Not only have I used NT,but I've used its spiritual and algorithmic
    ancestor, the late great VMS. Now *that* was an operating system.
    Lou Marco, Apr 25, 2011
  6. Ron

    Lou Marco Guest

    Think so? Look up the latest Adobe and image processing exploits,
    check into some of the sql injection attacks that hijack trusted servers,
    or think about what you can do with a hidden frame and a bit of Javascript.
    How do you run 2K or XP and not be administrator? Well, I suppose
    you could simply never install anything. Or change a setting. Or backup a
    Lou Marco, Apr 25, 2011
  7. Ron

    Ryan P. Guest

    There are lots of ways to get bad things on your computer, I'm not
    disputing that one bit.
    That's why most people don't do it. Proper security policy would
    involve you logging out of your regular user account, and logging on as
    an administrator, doing what you need to do, and then logging off and
    back on to your user account.

    Yes, its annoying to have to switch accounts in order to change screen
    resolution or install (or uninstall) anything, but its far more secure.
    Ryan P., Apr 29, 2011
  8. Ron

    Joel Koltner Guest

    You can use "run as" to eliminate most -- if not all -- of this hassle.
    One can also spend a lot of time messing around with group policy to tweak
    exactly what various classes of users can and can't do. Indeed, I believe
    that by default even "Power Users" can change the screen resolution and --
    usually -- install and remove software.

    Joel Koltner, May 2, 2011
  9. Proper security includes not causing so much pain that your
    policies drive users to non-compliance. If security prevents work from
    being done 50% of your users will not do any work, and the other 50% will
    ignore policy. 100% of the security team will have monster.com as their
    home page.

    Windows security is not proper security because to maintain good
    posture requires that you dispense with getting anything useful done.
    (I'm talking about consumer desktops here. They're actually very good on
    the server side.) Any organization that deliberately chooses to annoy and
    antagonize users to convince 3rd party developers to use a different file
    system layout needs to get their glass navels polished.
    It's much LESS secure because people will not perform actions required
    for adequate security (such as software updates) and because people will work
    around the roadblock by exploiting ways to elevate their priveleges or
    disregard permissions.

    Perfect security causes 0 pain to legitimate users and 100% pain
    to intruders. You're suggesting that a guard dog that bites everybody is
    OK because you can always throw steaks at it until you can sneak by.


    I once worked for an agency that would not allow their computers to
    connect to any network but one they'd vetted, would not allow you to change
    settings on their computers, required staff members to travel extensively,
    and required staff members to use electronic systems to work and communicate
    while traveling. See the problem? Was this good security or not?
    the wharf rat, May 3, 2011
  10. Depends how it was implemented. The company I contracted for as a
    customer support engineer had the same restrictions, pretty much.
    Storage on the laptops was whole-disk encrypted requiring two-part token
    authentication and trusted user login to access any data. The OS on all
    desktops and laptops was locked down to only accept authenticated
    network connections with the company intranet; any attempt to connect a
    laptop to the internet was barred whether via a modem (including 3G
    cellular modems) or broadband. WiFi was disabled with prejudice (the
    WiFi adaptors were removed by the engineers before the machines were
    issued) and the USB ports disabled for mass storage devices such as
    thumb drives and printers etc., leaving only support for HIDs such as
    mice and keyboards and USB charging for phones etc.

    It's not too difficult to keep machines like that secure. You do have
    to be firm with the sort of user who wants Facebook and Angry Birds on
    company equipment, pointing out that there's nothing preventing them
    doing what they like with their own laptop. It's just that they're not
    going to get it on the machine supplied by their employer.
    Robert Sneddon, May 5, 2011
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