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View Poll Results: Do you secure your Desktop/Workstation?
Yes - extremely minmal securing 1 6.67%
Yes - minimal securing 6 40.00%
Yes - as well as I can 7 46.67%
No - don't care to 0 0%
No - don't need to / Linux is secure by default 0 0%
No - other 1 6.67%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-18-2007, 11:18 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2007
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 337

Rep: Reputation: 30
Do you secure your Desktop/Workstation?

Assuming said Desktop/Workstation has WAN access.

Minimal Securing (around the lines of):

-> BIOS + Boot Loader password
-> Well thought partitioning scheme + "proper" fstab options
-> shadow + md5 password (enabled by default in many popular distributions)
-> Subscribed to security mailing lists where available
-> Apply security updates often
-> Configure, where needed and appliable (auth related):
   * /etc/issue
   * /etc/securetty
   * /etc/login.defs
   * /etc/security/*
   * /etc/pam.d/*
-> Network related:
   * firewall
   * arp poisoning
   * /etc/sysctl.conf
   * /etc/hosts.*
-> Kernel patches
-> Integrity checks
-> Intrusion detection system
-> Limits (/etc/security/limits.conf // quotas)
-> SUID/SGID cleaning
-> Rootkit checking
-> Logging (syslog.conf + log analysis software)
(and others, but nothing "special" (i.e. custom kernel modules and such))

Last edited by reverse; 11-18-2007 at 11:29 AM.
Old 11-18-2007, 11:49 AM   #2
hacker supreme
Registered: Oct 2006
Location: As far away from my username as possible
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 259
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 30
I leave my box running pretty much 24/7, (Barring powercuts. ) I wouldn't do that if I wasn't confident that is was secure.

The box is behind a hardware firewall and NAT, it has it's own firewall running (which only lets in SSH), and SELinux also running on 'Enforcing'.
I could do better to secure it by shutting down some of the services I don't use frequently (or at all).
Whenever I leave it, I lock the screen, and my password is a string of random characters. (As is the root password. No, it's not the same characters). Yes I remember mine, I just have to learn the root password for the few times I use it.
I have enabled shadow passwords and keep fairly up to date.
The BIOS and GRUB do not have passwords, however.

I feel I'm better protected than the average user, however I do think I could do more to better protect myself.

Now, big question. Have I missed the point here?
Old 11-18-2007, 06:10 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: FreeBSD 9.1, Kubuntu 12.10
Posts: 3,078

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
No mention of encryption? Every user-writable area on my computer is encrypted (that is, other than distro files and most config files.) I keep the keys on a USB drive that rarely leaves my sight. That way if the computer is stolen or if I decide to lock off an area no one can access that information. I have both my swap and /tmp encrypted using new random keys every time the system starts up.

By default, xsaver seems like a poor way to secure your workstation. You can ctrl+alt+backspace out of it and have a perfectly good shell at your disposal. For that reason, I set 'alias startx="exec setsid startx"' so 1) a ctrl+alt+backspace returns to a login prompt, 2) so do ctrl+alt+F[1-6].

I generally MAC filter my wireless and if I'm leaving my computer for more than a few minutes I'll turn the wireless card off. If the desktop is on and I'm not actually using the internet I'll turn the modem off.

PS I guess most of my "securing" efforts go into my end of the computer instead of the WAN end.

Last edited by ta0kira; 11-18-2007 at 06:19 PM.
Old 11-19-2007, 05:00 AM   #4
Senior Member
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Out
Posts: 3,307

Rep: Reputation: 55
Interesting thread!
Mine is something like this (minimal securing)

-> Well thought partitioning scheme + "proper" fstab options
-> shadow + md5 password (enabled by default in many popular distributions)
-> Subscribed to security mailing lists where available
-> Automatic Applying security updates every day
-> Integrity checks every 3h
-> SUID/SGID cleaning every 3h
-> Rootkit checking every 3h
-> Logging (syslog.conf + log analysis software)
-> Passwords changed every month
-> Check of opened ports to the outside. Nothing should be available to the outside.
-> Encrypt all my data (dm-crypt)
-> Remove unneeded software

It's a trade off between laziness and paranoia..
Old 11-19-2007, 05:36 AM   #5
Registered: May 2003
Location: Wageningen, the Netherlands
Distribution: OS X & FreeBSD
Posts: 488

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
On my laptop, the root partition and RAM are encrypted using LUKS. But the rest is standard stuff, probably like most default GNU/Linux installations.
Old 11-19-2007, 06:26 AM   #6
Registered: Apr 2007
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 337

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Sorry, I forgot to mention encryption - encrypted files (partitions/directories); mail & general communications should be included in "minimal". Anonymizing your system on the internet in general could be included I guess (i.e. tor+privoxy and the like, I believe the Gentoo Wiki has a somewhat lengthy article on anonymizing systems).


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