security

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Mount Truecrypt Container with cryptsetup

Truecrypt is a great multiplatform encryption tool; however, there have been numerous claims of it not being as secure as people think. There were so many claims that an IndieGoGo project was set up to fund a full (external) security audit of truecrypt (status: http://istruecryptauditedyet.com/). This, along with other concerns I have had with truecrypt caused me to look for an alternative, which lead me back to LUKS.

Safer Browsing with AdBlock Plus

This article provides more detail on what AdBlock Plus (ABP) is and how to use it. For a brief overview, see our Safe Browsing Tips article.

ABP is a firefox extension that provides the following featuers

  • Block annoying ads automatically, no distractions
  • Browse faster and safer
  • Fully customizable — you are in control
  • Easy to contribute, report issues when you see them

- https://adblockplus.org/en/

Safer Browsing with Ghostery

This article provides more detail on what Ghostery is and how to use it. For a brief overview, see our Safe Browsing Tips article.

Ghostery is a firefox extension that "identifies and allows you to block the 3rd parties (web bugs) that are hidden on the current page you're visiting." - http://www.ghostery.com/about. Generally speaking, ghostery blocks bad things on webpages for you.

Safer Browsing with NoScript

This article provides more detail on what NoScript is and how to use it. For a brief overview, see our Safe Browsing Tips article.

NoScript is a web browser extension that disables Javascript on a specific website. This is useful because Javascript is a common component used by hackers and/or people who want to get information from you that you do not want (e.g. hackers getting IP addresses, personal information, etc. or websites wanting to track you in unappropriate ways).

Safe Browsing Tips

This article is intended to be a brief, concise, guide for beginner and intermediate web users regarding safe browsing habits and tips. You may also want to check out the Private Web Browsing article as it does go hand-in-hand with safety.

Please note that nothing will make your browsing completely safe and secure. If your computer is connected to the internet and someone wants to get into your computer, given enough knowledge and time they can.

Building Your Open VPN Server (with OpenVPN)

Background

I need a VPN server of my own to can get into my home network when away from home. I happen to have a sheevaplug server which should handle running OpenVPN, put the two together and I get my own VPN Server! More background information:

Sheevaplug Info:

  • Model: Original Sheevaplug
  • Distro: Debian GNU/Linux 6.0
  • Kernel: 2.6.32-5-kirkwood #1 Mon Oct 3 16:55:04 UTC 2011 armv5tel GNU/Linux

Installation

A simple "sudo apt-get install openvpn" should do the trick.

Changing the Auto-Logout Timeout in SSH

The ssh "timed out waiting for input: auto-logout" messages is generated by ssh upon reaching a auto-logout after an inactivity time specified by the TMOUT environment variable. If this variable is not set your session will not be auto-logged out due to inactivity. If the environment variable is set, your session will be automatically closed/logged out after the amount of seconds specified by the TMOUT variable.

To see if your auto-logout variable is set and/or see what it is set to issue the following command:
 $ echo $TMOUT

Guide to Using Guarddog as a Firewall

UPDATE: guarddog is very outdated and requires pulling in too many dependencies, I recommend ipkungfu as a replacement.

I highly recommend using a local (or sometimes referred to as a 'soft-firewall') on any  personal computer, be it windows, mac, or linux. This guide provides a few basic concepts for using Guarddog as a local firewall.

Why Encrypt Your Home Directory?

I've had several people ask me why I go to the trouble of encrypting my Home directory (or SWAP/network drives, disks, etc.)? My first response is "Its really not difficult to do...so why not?". After thinking about the question a bit more I decide a more well-rounded answer could be construed.

Encrypt Home Directory Post Install

This article explains how to encrypt your entire home directory post-install/user creation. Most linux distros provide an easy to use interface that allows you to encrypt a user`s home directory during setup of the OS or during creation of a new user. I have recently come across a few distros (crunchbang and LMDE) which did not offer the option to encrypt the user`s home directory during install (or if it did I missed the option). In any case, I had an OS with a user whose Home directory was not encrypted and I wanted/needed it encrypted.