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[liberationtech] advice on securing a new computer

Julian Oliver julian at julianoliver.com
Mon Jan 28 03:16:07 PST 2013


..on Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 07:05:11PM -0800, Brad Beckett wrote:
> Here is a Free VPN service: http://www.vpnbook.com/
> 
> I've tested their PPTP connections out and they work well, don't know if
> you can trust them or not though so make sure you use https on all sites
> you login to.
> 
> Here's a video guide how to setup PPTP VPN connections in OS X:
> https://vimeo.com/15752843

PPTP is OK for situations whereby you need to set up and quickly tunnel out on
whatever platform you have at hand, assuming it isn't vital to keep what you're
doing away from prying eyes. In every other case you are better not to use PPTP
VPN connections as they can be 'cloud cracked' for a couple of hundred bucks,
maybe less (assuming a local attacker can capture network packets on your
network).

If you want to be absolutely sure no one on the wire can listen in, then PPTP is
/not/ what you want. What you want is an L2TP VPN service or, better, OpenVPN. 

Similarly, be careful which VPN provider you use. It's perfectly possible that
some VPN providers operating in countries may work for those countries, under
the juristiction they pay tax within. They may have reasons to be interested in
what you are doing (activism, diplomatic relations, corporate and governmental
communications, etc) and so provide access to that government if asked.

See the section 'VPN' in the CryptoParty handbook. This is all discussed,
complete with installation instructions for OS X:

    https://cryptoparty.org/wiki/CryptoPartyHandbook#Version_1.1

Cheers,

Julian

> 
> On Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 5:09 PM, Joseph Mornin <joseph at mornin.org> wrote:
> 
> > Apple publishes a security configuration guide for OS X:
> > https://ssl.apple.com/support/**security/guides/<https://ssl.apple.com/support/security/guides/>
> >
> > The NSA also publishes hardening tips: http://www.nsa.gov/ia/_files/**
> > factsheets/macosx_10_6_**hardeningtips.pdf<http://www.nsa.gov/ia/_files/factsheets/macosx_10_6_hardeningtips.pdf>
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Joe
> >
> > --
> > Joseph Mornin
> > http://www.mornin.org/
> >
> >
> > On 1/27/13 4:52 PM, sam de silva wrote:
> >
> >> Hi there,
> >>
> >> Are there any guides that tell me how to make a new computer secure, for
> >> both use and connecting and communicating via the net?
> >>
> >> My set up is as follows:
> >>
> >> - Macbook Pro, running Mac OS 10.6.8
> >>
> >> My requirements are as follows:
> >>
> >> - I am almost always connected to the net, and need fast access, and full
> >> web-browsing experience
> >> - I'd like to block apps from sending out / receiving data from the net
> >> - I'd like a secure cloud storage space for my own stuff and occasionally
> >> share with others
> >> - My workplace is Microsoft-based we have email via IMAP. I'd like to
> >> have the option to send encrypted (PGP) emails to others.
> >> - I'd like to secure the email that's stored on my laptop. I'd like to
> >> use Apple Mail as my client.
> >> - I travel often, and I'd prefer not to have my data fall in to the wrong
> >> hands.
> >>
> >> - I am not a geek, but can install my own applications and if guided
> >> properly can do terminal stuff
> >>
> >> ---
> >>
> >> Any feedback or direction appreciated.
> >>
> >> Best, Sam :-)
> >>
> >>
> >> ------------------------------**--
> >> Sam de Silva
> >> skype: samonthenet
> >> sam at media.com.au
> >> +61 412 238 041
> >>
> >> --
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> >> https://mailman.stanford.edu/**mailman/listinfo/**liberationtech<https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech>
> >>
> >>  --
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> >

> --
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-- 
Julian Oliver
http://julianoliver.com
http://criticalengineering.org



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