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Posts published in “Admin”

Yet Another Windows Security Fail

Windows logoWe might as well start with the moral of this story: Don’t protect Windows with Windows.

For at least a decade, Microsoft has been chanting the mantra, “at Microsoft security is job one,” over and over and over. During this time, it’s repeated this mantra often enough to convince a lot of people that Windows is much safer than it once was, which I suppose is true since it couldn’t have gotten much worse. However, a new report from AV-Test proves the company isn’t yet ready to move up to the next mantra level and begin chanting, “at Microsoft we do security right,” because clearly it doesn’t.

Limit Your Linux Super Powers With su & sudo

I recently offered some security tips aimed at new system administrators. And hey, the home users among you should take note, after all, you’re the administrator of your home system! One of the tips was “Don’t run as root.” Today I would like to expand on that a bit. First, we’ll take a look at why you should limit the use of your super powers. Then we’ll look at the best ways to use su and sudo to help you limit your risks.

Don ParrisDon Parris

Don Parris wears a Facility Services cape by day, and transforms into LibreMan at night. He has written numerous articles about free tech, and hangs out with the Cha-Ha crowd, learning about computer security. He also enjoys making ceviche with his wife, and writing about his travels in Perú.

The NSA, Windows & Antivirus

Poor Microsoft. The beleaguered company just can’t catch a break. We’ve already told you about how Snowden’s revelations have forced the pride of Redmond to spend who knows how many millions opening two “transparency centers” to allow government IT experts to pore through source code to prove there’s no back doors baked into Windows or other Microsoft products. Trouble is, while its engineers have been busy plastering over all traces of old back doors, they’ve left a side door standing wide open, waiting to be exploited.

Boris and NatashaIronically, this side door is intended to be a security door for third party add-ons that every Windows machine needs to keep it safe from cracker hackers — if that’s indeed possible. And this security tool is usually more trusted by Microsoft system admins, especially those outside the U.S., than Windows itself.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Five Security Tips for New Linux Admins

It’s generally fairly easy for new Linux administrators to get up and running with the basics of installing, configuring and managing Linux systems at a basic level. Truthfully, though, it takes years to get the in-depth knowledge required in many server environments today. One thing I really recommend learning early on — i.e. from the beginning — is security.

Monitor padlockI participate in a group of professional penetration testers (the nice folks who help you test your security as if they were the bad guys) called Charlotte Hackers Anonymous. I asked the group what they thought were the most important tips for new system administrators, and below are their tips, along with my thoughts on each.

Don ParrisDon Parris

Don Parris wears a Facility Services cape by day, and transforms into LibreMan at night. He has written numerous articles about free tech, and hangs out with the Cha-Ha crowd, learning about computer security. He also enjoys making ceviche with his wife, and writing about his travels in Perú.

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