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Linux security, what needs doing


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#1 rp88

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 01:08 PM

Quite soon I'll be testing a live linux USB stick on my laptop, Before I do I wanted to know what security related things will I need to do to keep the linux OS "virus" free? I know linux is a lot tougher against malware than windows is, but I also know that it is not utterly immune, no computer can be.

I will be testing a live OS, not performing an install onto my hard-drive, but want to have a live OS on a USB with persistence so that it doesn't wipe everything I've done in it every time I shut it down.

I intend to test linux mint, thought I'm not sure which version of mint (any tips).

I have heard that linux systems do not need an antivirus but I don't know about whether other security tools are needed.

From what I have heard the main browsers which can run in linux are firefox and chrome, which run in linux with just the same vulnerabilities that they have on windows systems. I guess firefox in linux will need NoScript just as much as it does on windows.

I have heard that firefox on linux can run adobe flash player and chrome on linux has flash built in (just like chrome does on windows), and I've heard flash for linux is only available in old versions, what must be done to stay secure in this sense?

Does linux need any kind of scanning for viruses on USB sticks or cd and dvd discs if you plug a second USB into a machine (to copy files on and off) while running linux on it from a first USB. Or does anyhting need to be done to prevent linux from doing anything that might cause problems when you have a USB written with files by a windows machine, then plugged into a linux machine, then plugged back into a windows machine?

Is there anything I must do on a live linux machine ebfore connecting it to the internet?

Thank You

Edited by rp88, 27 May 2015 - 01:08 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

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#2 DeimosChaos

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 01:31 PM

I have heard that linux systems do not need an antivirus but I don't know about whether other security tools are needed. 

 

Is there anything I must do on a live linux machine ebfore connecting it to the internet?

 

The main thing you will want to do on any Linux system is enable the firewall. Ubuntu built systems you can do

sudo ufw enable

Or any Linux distro using ufw you can use the above command. There really isn't much of a threat of viruses on Linux. So no need to run any kind of AV. Of course there is always the vulnerabilities on browsers and applications, but you can't do much about that until the app gets patched.

 

I will be testing a live OS, not performing an install onto my hard-drive, but want to have a live OS on a USB with persistence so that it doesn't wipe everything I've done in it every time I shut it down.

 

 

You could go the route of testing it via a live USB... but honestly if you want to test it out, just run Linux in a VM. A bit easier to manage and it works very well. If you find you like Linux, you'll want to dual boot anyway.

 

I intend to test linux mint, thought I'm not sure which version of mint (any tips). 

 

 

Just go with the latest version. Currently Linux Mint 17.1.

 

I have heard that firefox on linux can run adobe flash player and chrome on linux has flash built in (just like chrome does on windows), and I've heard flash for linux is only available in old versions, what must be done to stay secure in this sense?

 

 

Again, not much you can do if flash, chrome, firefox, etc. has a vulnerability. You could just not use it til its patched.

 

Does linux need any kind of scanning for viruses on USB sticks or cd and dvd discs if you plug a second USB into a machine (to copy files on and off) while running linux on it from a first USB. Or does anyhting need to be done to prevent linux from doing anything that might cause problems when you have a USB written with files by a windows machine, then plugged into a linux machine, then plugged back into a windows machine?

 

 

If you are going to be plugging in the USB while running windows you might want to do a scan on it before hand. You would have to boot off a Live CD at that point, because I don't think you will be able to scan the USB while using it as the boot device (at least not thoroughly be able to scan it).


Edited by DeimosChaos, 27 May 2015 - 01:32 PM.

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#3 rp88

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 01:34 PM

Sorry forgot to mention, I will have WINE ON THIS LIVE SYSTEM (if that is possible with live systems). Does runnign wine (so I can run a few windows exe file programs within it, these are not browsers or programs which go online, they are purely desktop software, a 3d modelling program (sketchup 8) for example) mean extra security software is needed? Does running wine mean I am at risk from all the vulnerabilities which windows machines have? Or is wine only a potential problem for security IF it is used to run browsers and things which go nline, or things which are commonly exploited?
Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#4 rp88

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 01:36 PM

"Just go with the latest version. Currently Linux Mint 17.1."


Don't you get flavours of linux mint, things like "cinnamon", "rebecca", "MATE", "KDE", "xfce" ? All of them being different flavours of the latest version?


The firewall, is it enabled by default or must a user do this manually? When I first boot the live USB will the firewall be enabled automatically or is it something a user must enable for themselves?

Edited by rp88, 27 May 2015 - 01:39 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#5 DeimosChaos

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 01:49 PM

Sorry forgot to mention, I will have WINE ON THIS LIVE SYSTEM (if that is possible with live systems). Does runnign wine (so I can run a few windows exe file programs within it, these are not browsers or programs which go online, they are purely desktop software, a 3d modelling program (sketchup 8) for example) mean extra security software is needed? Does running wine mean I am at risk from all the vulnerabilities which windows machines have? Or is wine only a potential problem for security IF it is used to run browsers and things which go nline, or things which are commonly exploited?

 

I answered the Wine question in your other thread.

No running wine won't necessarily bring windows vulnerabilities over... but I am sure it could happen. Easy enough to take care of though, you wipe out wine and reinstall. So running wine is interesting... not everything works that well, and sometimes hardly at all, and can be a giant pain to even get working right. It also doesn't always look right as in graphics wise.

 

"Just go with the latest version. Currently Linux Mint 17.1."


Don't you get flavours of linux mint, things like "cinnamon", "rebecca", "MATE", "KDE", "xfce" ? All of them being different flavours of the latest version?


The firewall, is it enabled by default or must a user do this manually? When I first boot the live USB will the firewall be enabled automatically or is it something a user must enable for themselves?

 

The different flavors is just the different desktop environments. The version is the same thing but with different graphical user interfaces. You will have to enable the firewall no matter what.


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#6 NickAu

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 04:34 PM

Did we not cover all this here at least 2 or 3 times?

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/557763/some-questions-about-the-capabilities-of-linux-operating-systems/


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