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Data Security Viruses, Firewalls and Safe computing


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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 19th October, 2012, 03:50 PM
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Doesn't Linux have some security protocols to protect me from this?
  • Linux Firewall
  • my limited access profile
  • SELinux

My assumption was based upon all the Winblows malware and viruses that exist today. I deal with them on a regular basis. I've read several places that Wine is vulnerable to those Winblows malware and viruses since it runs the same services and registry as Winblows.

I know there is always a way to maliciously hack into anyone's Operating System if you know how and have the patience to do it.

Someone would have to REALLY want to get on my machine because I don't have much to offer. Not a lot of personal information, some photos and some game keys.... thats about it.
Maybe they could hi-jack my machine for a Denial of Service attack, but then I turn my computer off every night...

Lets get down to the nitty-gritty...
Is Linux Desktop more secure than Winblows desktop on a regular day to day home use basis?
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 19th October, 2012, 05:45 PM
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"security through obscurity"

You got me thinking again A.! I'm sorry!

At first glance it seems to me that this should work! No body knows me, I'm safe.

So why doesn't it? I think it's because Predators are always seeking out the obscure. Your friends may not be able to find you, but the predator will never stop looking. the Predatorr MUST find you to live.

Once your found, your finished...

How long before Linux virus protection becomes a way of life?
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 19th October, 2012, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booman View Post
Doesn't Linux have some security protocols to protect me from this?
  • Linux Firewall
  • my limited access profile
  • SELinux
When it's on your host, it's too late for the firewall to do anything. The firewall can't protect you against things that your web browser has pulled in - which was what this was about originally. That's why web browser attacks are prized in certain segments - it's a good way to compromise a machine.

Your limited access profile can help to prevent something getting root, yes - but it has access to anything that your profile has access to, including your data, and the ability to invoke other programs such as gksudo (are you sure that any *sudo prompt you've seen is actually from the system? are you sure your path hasn't been changed to invoke a modified *sudo?) It also doesn't protect you from kernel exploits.

SELinux - only helps if you've actually configured SELinux to protect your system. If you can download a random program off the internet and execute it without having to change the configuration of SELinux then SELinux isn't really protecting your system. SELinux isn't an install and forget tool - it requires maintenance every time code on your system changes.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 19th October, 2012, 07:10 PM
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It "sounds" like there's nothing quite so nice as a good back up....sigh
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 19th October, 2012, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aedan View Post
When it's on your host, it's too late for the firewall to do anything. The firewall can't protect you against things that your web browser has pulled in - which was what this was about originally. That's why web browser attacks are prized in certain segments - it's a good way to compromise a machine.

Your limited access profile can help to prevent something getting root, yes - but it has access to anything that your profile has access to, including your data, and the ability to invoke other programs such as gksudo (are you sure that any *sudo prompt you've seen is actually from the system? are you sure your path hasn't been changed to invoke a modified *sudo?) It also doesn't protect you from kernel exploits.

SELinux - only helps if you've actually configured SELinux to protect your system. If you can download a random program off the internet and execute it without having to change the configuration of SELinux then SELinux isn't really protecting your system. SELinux isn't an install and forget tool - it requires maintenance every time code on your system changes.
Very educational Aedan!
Thanks for taking the time to explain security risks.
Now I'm interested in making sure SELinux is really doing its job.
Because I know a LOT of Wine, Winetricks and PlayOnLinux downloaded files just automatically RUN and INSTALL after downloading them.
No questions asked...
Time for some research on Wine and security
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 19th October, 2012, 07:33 PM
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I just thought of something else...
Would a real-time anti malware/virus scanner help?
Wouldn't it protect my browser from loading malicious software as it loads?
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 19th October, 2012, 07:39 PM
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You won't like SElinux Boo. Aedan wasn't kidding about maintenance and living with SE. It stops you at every turn, you will spend your life punching in your password...

I've tried it three times, always ends in tears...It just naturally sees me as the enemy and takes away all my files!

But you have a big jump on me as far as knowledge base so you may be able to make that dog heel.":O}
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 19th October, 2012, 08:01 PM
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I remember something about SELinux now...
Just like the User Account Control in Winblows.... totally annoying.
Maybe there is a way to configure it to question Wine installs only.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 20th October, 2012, 12:38 AM
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Good thinking!
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 21st October, 2012, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booman View Post
I remember something about SELinux now...
Just like the User Account Control in Winblows.... totally annoying.
Maybe there is a way to configure it to question Wine installs only.
SELinux on user systems is pretty much configured to let the user mostly do whatever they want. The reason for this is because the problem space is just too large.

Think about it: we all like being able to click on a link in our browser that requires some client on our computer in order to render (play a movie, listen to an audio file, open a spreadsheet, hell, even run flash content, and you're running a client application on the computer). All of that 'point and click' interaction requires the we browser to be able to launch and control those other applications. Having a movie player rendered inside your browser window is still requiring that same interaction.

That's ALL a security risk, and requires permissions to run, which means the browser has to have permissions to do that.

Now consider all of the web browsers out there: on Linux we've got Opera, Chrome, and Linux, just to name a few. Then consider the movie players, audio players, office applications, etc.

In the SELinux world, every one of these is a security domain, and every one of these has to have permissions to interact with the other security domains in specified ways. And every system has the files in slightly different locations, which is one of the aspects of the security domain.

Just keeping up with all of this is a herculean task. And that doesn't consider the situations that arise when people install applications to non-standard locations. Then there's the issue of where the user-created files for all of these applications get stored.

I LIKE SELinux, but it's really only usable in a tightly controlled environment. For the average desktop system having it enabled means that you can really only protect a very small portion of the system, or you have to severely curtail the functionality of the system.
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 21st October, 2012, 07:47 PM
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I feel feel I should represent user awareness in all of this. This because I am a user and found that I had no awareness of how to control SELinux in any way! It controlled me from the get go! I never got a hold on how to get it to leave me and my personal files alone. One day I'd be Admin and had access, the next day I was out in the cold wondering why I couldn't access the file I just created.

Trying to figure out how to give me permission to open them.

I was perhaps never quite so lost and frustrated as when in SELinux

But I just love it as a concept, which is why overt the years I've tried it three times.

But I just couldn't understand what it was doing or why most of the time.

Users need to understand SE to use it imho. For me there wasn't any learning curve, I never was able to learn much of anything...because I kept getting locked out! LOL
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 22nd October, 2012, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booman View Post
Wouldn't it protect my browser from loading malicious software as it loads?
That depends if you consider Steam or your games to be malicious software really. The best way of defending against this issue is not to have the browser invoke Steam, and not to use the Steam browser on anything but the Steam website.

It's all a bit of a partitioning problem really - how do you protect your system from itself?
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 23rd October, 2012, 06:43 PM
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I didn't even realize we COULD browse other sites than Steam games.
There really isn't an address bar and the search engine only searches steampowered.com
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