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Old 04-21-2012, 06:54 AM   #1
Idealistic
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Just installed Ubuntu 11.10. A few question on security/backing up


I was wondering if it's possible to create a recovery Ubunutu 11.10 disk/USB for my laptop? 12.04 is being released soon and I want to prepare for the worst.


Also, Just a few other basic questions:

1) I'm well aware Ubuntu is relatively (relative to windows) impervious to spyware/viruses, is it at all necessary to install a firewall/anitvirus? If so, any suggestions?

2) I recieved a message on mozilla stating something along the lines of: "Although this page is encrypted, the information you have entered is to be sent over an unencrypted connection and could easily be read by a third party". I was wondering if it is anything to be concerned about. I was on google when it first appeared.

3) Is vuze safe on Ubuntu?

Last edited by Idealistic; 04-21-2012 at 06:55 AM.
 
Old 04-21-2012, 11:34 AM   #2
zakame
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There should be a "Startup Disk Creator" tool in 11.10, IIRC.

For antivirus, you could install clamav, though usually I use that to check incoming emails instead (as used in a public server,) but for day-to-day usage though, an anti-virus is just overkill; you're better off checking file permissions of files you get elsewhere and ensure that they're not executable, unless you want them to be.

The mozilla message is a standard warning; you're probably posting data to an HTTP-only target from an HTTPS form, hence the warning.
 
Old 04-21-2012, 11:51 AM   #3
Idealistic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zakame View Post
There should be a "Startup Disk Creator" tool in 11.10, IIRC.

For antivirus, you could install clamav, though usually I use that to check incoming emails instead (as used in a public server,) but for day-to-day usage though, an anti-virus is just overkill; you're better off checking file permissions of files you get elsewhere and ensure that they're not executable, unless you want them to be.

The mozilla message is a standard warning; you're probably posting data to an HTTP-only target from an HTTPS form, hence the warning.
Thanks for the feedback. I have a basic understanding if how a virus can manifest from foreign ".exe" files. However, how can malware be transmitted via email? Ofcourse, I know it can be, but is it only I open or install attached files in the email? It seems like I may not even need an anti-virus altoghter.
 
Old 04-21-2012, 12:43 PM   #4
btmiller
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An e-mail may contain a link to a file that downloads malware to your PC (using a browser exploit etc.) or the malicious program could be directly attached to the message. Generally, unless there's some bug or design flaw in your mail program, you would have to actively click the link or run the malicious code for it to do anything.

Generally, I find antivirus on Linux unnecessary, as most malware is written for Windows platforms and will not run on Linux (this is not universally true, however). Linux machines tend to be more vulnerable to being broken into via a vulnerability in some service running that's exposed to the Internet or through an account compromise (e.g. you run an SSH server open to the Internet and have a trivial password on one of your accounts, maybe even the root account). Therefore, general good ideas are:

1. Don't run unnecessary network services. For a simple home desktop that's not intended to be a server, all services should be disabled or, where that is not possible (e.g. CUPS), listening only on the local loopback interface.
2. Make sure accounts have strong passwords.
4. Protect and limit access to the root account. If you must run SSH, disable root logins.
5. Don't click on links or run programs in e-mail messages unless you are absolutely, 100% certain that the sender is trusted and the link is safe.
6. Using a firewall to limit traffic both to and from the system is never a bad idea.
 
Old 04-21-2012, 01:53 PM   #5
Idealistic
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Thanks for all the info. I have a very basic cryptographic understanding, but it seems like your probably at least a couple levels above me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by btmiller View Post
1. Don't run unnecessary network services. For a simple home desktop that's not intended to be a server, all services should be disabled or, where that is not possible (e.g. CUPS), listening only on the local loopback interface.
Are there any commands (or options I can tweak) to disable any unneeded network services? A better question may be which types of services should I avoid? Any typical example would be really helpful if you could provide one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by btmiller View Post
4. Protect and limit access to the root account. If you must run SSH, disable root logins.
I'm pretty sure Ubuntu comes with SSH but I've never manually ran it via the terminal. Does it function automatically whenever I access a server? Also, how would I disable root logins? **I probably wont end up using SSH very much anyways since the only activies I do at the moment involve word processing, p2p sharing, and youtube - none of which involve a server per se.

I always eager to learn more, especially about computers. I'd really appreciate any feedback when/e u get the chance.

Last edited by Idealistic; 04-21-2012 at 02:32 PM.
 
Old 04-21-2012, 04:05 PM   #6
TobiSGD
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The OpenSSH client that comes pre-installed with Ubuntu is not a security risk, since iut is not a server and therefore not listening on any port of your machine. I think btmiller is talking about SSH servers (I have one on any of my machines) here.
If you only have one machine it doesn't make much sense to install a SSH server, so looking at use cases you gave this part doesn't apply to you.
 
Old 04-21-2012, 08:31 PM   #7
TroN-0074
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However if you have a multi platform network a home and you are constantly sharing files with Microsoft OSes or if you are dual booting that file that you downloaded from a torrent site and did nothing to your Linux partition it might compromise your Microsoft half or your Hard drive, so be careful when moving files around partitions or computers.

By the way Trasmission is the torrent client pre installed in a gnome base Gnu-Linux distro it is pretty good and you dont have to install Vuze.

Good luck to you!
 
Old 04-21-2012, 09:20 PM   #8
btmiller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idealistic View Post
Thanks for all the info. I have a very basic cryptographic understanding, but it seems like your probably at least a couple levels above me.



Are there any commands (or options I can tweak) to disable any unneeded network services? A better question may be which types of services should I avoid? Any typical example would be really helpful if you could provide one.
Don't feel bad; I work professionally as a Linux sysadmin, but the basics are really not so hard. I'd suggest running netstat to see what is listening on your ports. Once you know what (if anything) you want to allow to listen and what should be disabled. For example: "netstat -pan" will show you open network connections; you can grep for "LISTEN" to see what is listening. If you're not sure what a service is, google it or ask here. Running "ps aux" will also show you the processes running on your machine, and you can try to disable anything you don't need.

Quote:
I'm pretty sure Ubuntu comes with SSH but I've never manually ran it via the terminal. Does it function automatically whenever I access a server? Also, how would I disable root logins? **I probably wont end up using SSH very much anyways since the only activies I do at the moment involve word processing, p2p sharing, and youtube - none of which involve a server per se.

I always eager to learn more, especially about computers. I'd really appreciate any feedback when/e u get the chance.
Running SSH as a client allows you to remote login into other systems. If you run an SSH server on your machine, valid users can login remotely to it. Sounds like you're on a home network and not the Internet, so you probably don't have much to worry about it, and you're on Ubuntu so root is disabled by default.

One other tip is to disable guest logins if using LightDM as a Window manager (I don't know why they're allowed by default; it's basic security that every user should have a user name and password). You can edit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf to disable it ... I think the magiv incantation is:

allow_guest = false

But you might want to check this on Google.

If you run some basic searches for terms like "Linux system security" or "Hardening a Linux system", you can find some pretty good information.
 
Old 04-23-2012, 03:12 PM   #9
Idealistic
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Excellent. I ended up disabling the guest login since I really have no use for it. I'm also going to give Transmission a go and see I prefer it to vuze. Based on the info provided, it seems I should fine security wise for now.

Thanks again.

Last edited by Idealistic; 04-23-2012 at 03:13 PM.
 
Old 04-23-2012, 09:20 PM   #10
chrism01
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For safer websurfing I recommend the add-ons 'https everywhere' https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere, noscript (& optionally flashblock) if you are using Mozilla Firefox.
You can get the latter 2 via the add-ons tool inside FF.
There are plenty more, but should do as a start.
 
  


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