Ubuntu Security Questions

Robert Parker rlp1938 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 22 17:07:37 UTC 2009

I attend a weekly computer users group. About 90% of the group time is
spent discussing Windows problems, mostly malware produced by
manufacturers other than Microsoft but occasionally problems with MS
DRM which refuses to accept that the lucky winners of Vista on brand
new boxes from large brand name manufacturers are using legal copies
of the OS. About 20% of the group are Macistas and a few of us use
Linux. Over time the Win users have become aware that there are
alternatives to Windows. After the first meeting each week we split 3
ways, those who want to talk Linux/Foss,  those who want to talk Mac
and those who don't care and so just leave. Well last week one Win guy
stood up during the first half and said that if you have to do all the
stuff we were talking about to protect the system could we not use
something better.

The outcome was that during the Linux meet we had double the numbers,
the extras being Win users who are now very interested in migrating. I
got asked a few questions about security that I just have not thought
much about for some years since I have been a Linux user since
Mandrake 8.x days. I did have a Win 98 partition but after a year or
so of never needing to boot it I dumped the thing. Also I am now a
'buntu user again after a prolonged absence, 2 years w/o computer at
all + internet cafe, and 1 year since using Xandros as supplied on a
eeepc 701. I now have eeebuntu on that and am very happy with it. Also
the local Linuxen are *buntu types and I have started to support these
users to some extent. I expect that support demand will increase in
the very near future. So to the questions:

1. As installed does a Ubuntu box allow login from the net or is that
disabled by default?
2. Do you experienced users recommend running the Bastille script and
if so what would you disable that is presently enabled?
3. What about the rootkit stuff Chkrootkit and RKhunter iirc?
4. Is there any way to compile that rk stuff and install it on RO
media like a cdrom or maybe SD card switched RO after install?
5. Is the above worth while anyway?
6. Any other comments you think might be worth while.

NB We are talking about desktop users, so server issues as such are not there.

Whilst discussing root kits. Anyone ever heard of one landing on a
'buntu desktop box?

In a world without walls who needs Windows (or Gates)? Try Linux instead!

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