I try out different Linux distros for my personal computers quite often. (Right now I'm running Manjaro on my laptop and Ubuntu on my personal workstation.) While hopping through various Linux distros per year, I observed that some distros have a better security posture by default than others. Good default security settings are important because a lot of users won't bother to improve security of their desktop OS by fiddling with settings or installing extra software.
So I decided to do some research and document the results within blog posts here. I will choose the distros based on their distrowatch ranking, starting with MX Linux. In this post I will define all the tests I run through, when reviewing the default settings of a vanilla install of the distros.
This post tries to summarize the key steps to take for an effective Privilege Access Management program. Segmenting Privileges in an Active Directory based IT infrastructure is a key defense strategy against automated as well as human operated Ransomware attacks.
Domain Admin group members have global privileges
IT staff has local Admin privileges on all workstations
The local Administrator account has the same password on many/all systems
Passwords of highly privileged accounts aren't rotated frequently
IT staff's normal user accounts have high privileges
The problem with the above is not that IT staff will misuse these privileges – The problem is rather that if one of the IT staffs' privileged accounts is compromised, adversary can laterally move very easily and quickly create a lot of damage (like encrypting all the systems they get access to).
Let's look into mitigating strategies for the above 5 Challenges!
The Fediverse is a vastly different place than Twitter. Functions like the Local Timeline and server announcements in Mastodon create communities that do feel way more like real communities than let's say #infosec Twitter.
Things are just more civilized on Mastodon.
However, there are users on Mastodon, who use cross-posting integrations to toot all their Twitter tweets to Mastodon. With that the following issues arise:
High frequency tweets flood the otherwise civilized Local Timeline of the user's home instance.
The Mastodon user account becomes more or less a Bot – You cannot interact with it because the actual human never logs into Mastodon to check notifications there.
For the above reasons I have decided to limit such user accounts on the two instances I'm responsible for going forward. Below is a description of the 'Limit' moderation action.
As a fellow #infosec practitioner I enjoy maturing the Cyber Security capabilities of the organization I work for. And as we make progress almost every day, I keep thinking about what the perfect state will be like and whether a state of perfection can ever be reached.
So, what does a perfect state of Cyber Security Operations look like?