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Old 11-30-2011, 11:02 PM   #1
mercfocus
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Do I need Security?


Reason I ask is that I just thought about how my desktop has been running two years now and I don't know what it has for security.

I want to put Linux on my laptop and I'm wondering what does it need for security?
 
Old 11-30-2011, 11:16 PM   #2
sundialsvcs
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On any computer, of any type, you should practice the "principle of least privilege." Otherwise known as: lock your doors, and leave your Superman suit out of sight at all times.

A digital computer, after all, is "merely a machine." It plays by simple yes/no rules. Instead of setting yourself up (and therefore, "any and every program that 'you' run, whether you know it or not") as (S)He Who Must Be Obeyed, do the opposite. Just like you do with your home and with your car and with your office if you have one.

Rogue programs (popularly known as "viruses" although there's no biology involved ...) are simply opportunists. They look for unlocked doors, open windows, and people who "must be obeyed." If the door is locked they just quit. (They aren't magical ... they can't go any farther.)

And by the way: it really doesn't matter what kind of computer it is. Linux, OS/X and Windows all have a built-in security model. Just waiting to be learned about and ... used.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 11-30-2011 at 11:18 PM.
 
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:02 AM   #3
rich_c
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Yes, you need 'security'. Here are a few basics which I put together as a web page some time ago. Hope it gives you a few ideas regarding what to look at.
 
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:49 PM   #4
salasi
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Hmmm, need? Except in exceptional circumstances, for example, if you are a three-letter agency, you don't need security, because no one will die if whatever security you have is breached. For most people, it would be massively inconvenient if your security was breached, so you should certainly want to have security.

It is unclear what your situation is, but, if you are behind a firewall, even the relatively primitive one in a consumer modem/router, it may not be necessary to have another one (although you could argue that this changes, if you use wireless, and the extra 'security', if that's what it is, is desirable, in case that the other firewall is defective).

It is necessary to keep your software up to date, if you want to stay secure. Obviously, you'll want to use your package manager to do that, as anything else presents an extra level of risk.

It is very desirable not to do stupid things; getting programs from untrusted sources and grabbing files in malware-prone formats, without checking, from untrusted sources counts as stupid here. Oh, and the keeping software up to date thing - the browser is a significant vector of attack, so it is particularly important to use a decent browser (old versions of Internet Exploder don't count, though, fortunately, that probably wasn't an option) and, if there are any add-ons that give you extra security information, you might as well add them.

You might want to give something like rkhunter an occasional pass. There is a danger of false positives, but, if you don't panic when you get a warning, this could be helpful.
 
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:12 PM   #5
John VV
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Quote:
Reason I ask is that I just thought about how my desktop has been running two years now and I don't know what it has for security.
i would guess NONE
your icon states xp 2003 ( ? service pack 2 ? ) .
then there have been NO updates installed for, at least, two years.
and no AV update ( xp shipped with a trial Norton AV ) in two years .

so i am guessing there is currently NO security .

please do some RESEARCH .
 
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:00 PM   #6
jefro
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Each year the OS's get more secure as the default install. You are secure to some extent. Even modern modems and routers provide a level and your ISP provides some. So from that point of view you are in a process of being secure.

If you just use this for internet then don't do anything. Just reload it once in a while with a new shiny distro.
 
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:18 PM   #7
mercfocus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
Each year the OS's get more secure as the default install. You are secure to some extent. Even modern modems and routers provide a level and your ISP provides some. So from that point of view you are in a process of being secure.

If you just use this for internet then don't do anything. Just reload it once in a while with a new shiny distro.
Here's another dumb newbie question: What is a "distro"?

I saw that somewher else in this forum. Now I have to know what it is.
 
Old 12-01-2011, 10:25 PM   #8
mercfocus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich_c View Post
Yes, you need 'security'. Here are a few basics which I put together as a web page some time ago. Hope it gives you a few ideas regarding what to look at.
That's good stuff. This weekend, after doing the Xmas tree family thing, I'm going to try that website in your webpage because I have been curious about what it looks like to the outside world. This computer is an HP with Linux Ubuntu (opens w/ a purple screen) someone gave me to replace a $2000 Dell XPS P-O-S that overheated. I was having problems with it since the first week I got it. It had XP Pro on it.

This Linux HP I have now so far has given me no problems in two years. I'm wanting to change my laptop to Linux, but I still don't know about that yet. I have another thread about it on here.

Thank you.
 
Old 12-01-2011, 10:32 PM   #9
akuthia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercfocus View Post
Here's another dumb newbie question: What is a "distro"?

I saw that somewher else in this forum. Now I have to know what it is.
distro = shard hand for "distribution"
 
Old 12-01-2011, 10:32 PM   #10
mercfocus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John VV View Post
i would guess NONE
your icon states xp 2003 ( ? service pack 2 ? ) .
then there have been NO updates installed for, at least, two years.
and no AV update ( xp shipped with a trial Norton AV ) in two years .

so i am guessing there is currently NO security .

please do some RESEARCH .
What I'm asking about is my desktop w/ Linux on it.

My laptop has XP service pack 3 and it originally came with Mcafee (3 years) back in 2006. I've been using Panda for the last 2 years, but I'm sick of having this $50 bill for security every year right around Christmas time (car registrations and everything else). That's why I was wondering about security for Linux. I'm seriously considering changing my laptop to it.
Both my computers are fully up to date. My Panda just expired, but I'm running this free trial of Malwarebytes. I might just get that for it anyway if changing OSs is going to be any kind of real problem.
 
Old 12-01-2011, 10:35 PM   #11
mercfocus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akuthia View Post
distro = shard hand for "distribution"
So distribution is like the latest version. Like "Ubuntu 8.4" and "10.0" or whatever the numbers were?

Just trying to see if I got this right.
 
Old 12-01-2011, 10:37 PM   #12
amurista
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I Just wonder how to put security on my Linux PC because i want to put it to that i don't have any problems or anything that can harm to my PC. o yea and how much the new Linux Pc (Microtel PC features SuSE OS and OpenOffice suite). Thanks
 
Old 12-01-2011, 11:02 PM   #13
akuthia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercfocus View Post
So distribution is like the latest version. Like "Ubuntu 8.4" and "10.0" or whatever the numbers were?

Just trying to see if I got this right.
Nah, in my experience it's version agnostic, so a distro would be "ubuntu" or "fedora" or "slackware"
 
Old 12-02-2011, 12:35 AM   #14
jdkaye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercfocus View Post
So distribution is like the latest version. Like "Ubuntu 8.4" and "10.0" or whatever the numbers were?

Just trying to see if I got this right.
No, not really. Wiki is your friend. Here's an excerpt from the entry for "Linux Distributions"
Quote:
A Linux distribution is a member of the family of Unix-like operating systems built on top of the Linux kernel. Such distributions (often called distros for short) are operating systems including a large collection of software applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, media players, and database applications. These operating systems consist of the Linux kernel and, usually, a set of libraries and utilities from the GNU Project, with graphics support from the X Window System. Distributions optimized for size may not contain X and tend to use more compact alternatives to the GNU utilities, such as BusyBox, uClibc, or dietlibc. There are currently over six hundred Linux distributions. Over three hundred of those are in active development, constantly being revised and improved.
Get it?
jdk
 
Old 12-02-2011, 01:30 AM   #15
EDDY1
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Quote:
My laptop has XP service pack 3 and it originally came with Mcafee (3 years) back in 2006. I've been using Panda for the last 2 years, but I'm sick of having this $50 bill for security every year right around Christmas time (car registrations and everything else)
As far as wins xp you can get avg free edition, although on my debian installation I used it for over a year with no protection & installed selinux & have no idea if I really need it or what changes I need to make to it.
 
  


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