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I am a Catholic priest in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I have played with a couple distros on the path to trying to figure out other OS's, all this while I was figuring out a Hackintosh.
In other words, I know just enough to be dangerous playing around with a computer.
Yesterday I had a discussion with one of the library workers at the Tulsa City/County jail.
They are preparing for a required transition to all-computer GED testing, and these computers will have to be internet connected.
While the computers will be locked away when not in use, there is still concern about possible security issues. It is NOT desirable for it to be even remotely possible for inmates to be able to send email in ANY way. This could be genuinely dangerous for any number of people. . . detention officers, witnesses, family members who have filed orders of protection, etc.
I suggested that they ought to look into getting help in designing a specialized Linux distro . . .call it "JailHouse Linux."
This distro would:
----ONLY permit access to selected sites needed for GED testing.
----Lock out ANY usage of USB memory sticks or any other memory devices.
---Lock out ALL possibility of email access.
(Could the bios be modified to set an alarm on ANY other distro booting, or freeze out any user who attempts such a thing? Could ALL usb ports be locked from anything but kb and mouse?)
I am sure there are other ideas that have not occurred to me.
When I heard they were considering Windows, I just shuddered.
A couple of years ago, I bet the chaplain that I could break into his "secure" office computer, and access his hard drives, which contained some very sensitive information. I came in with a disc labelled "Christmas Music," sat down at the desk computer (within easy reach of all volunteers, and unmonitored), and rebooted the machine into Ubuntu, and started reading to him from his confidential files.
They need some help in thinking about security, and I would be the situation is similer at other jails and prisons.
I am sure the distro would need a keylogger, wouldn't it?
I'd say absolutely not. The less a machine contains the less one has to be responsible for, harden, check, maintain, etc.
Originally Posted by RobDye
Thoughts? Comments? People you could refer me to?
My first reflex would be to check who is responsible for maintaining security and operating the library. Find out who and you find out their policies.
Originally Posted by RobDye
ONLY permit access to selected sites needed for GED testing.
That would IMHO be the easiest approach to start with: basically a dumb "thin client"-like computer in kiosk-mode (OS, no desktop: just a browser) whose 'net connection goes via a central server that just blocks and logs anything that isn't white listed. No matter what eSATA, Firewire, USB, CDROM, DVD or whatever else device they mount or boot from it wouldn't get a network connection anyway.