Lock certain programs with password (ie Firefox)

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by Antifreeze, Sep 11, 2013.

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  1. Antifreeze

    Antifreeze Registered Member

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    If my laptop got stolen, the thief/recipient could change my Windows password in less than 2 minutes and log into my account. They could then fire up Firefox and have access to all my bookmarks, going through them systematically to see which websites I was still logged into. I want to stop them running Firefox completely.

    · I do not want to encrypt the whole drive/partion.
    · I do not want to manually decrypt/encypt selected directories every session.
    · I do not want to have to log in/out of websites on every single visit.

    Does anyone know of a way that I can be prompted with a password every time I run Firefox, and have the Firefox directories encrypt again automatically when Firefox is closed?

    Of course, ideally not just Firefox: other browsers, Skype, MMO games, Spotify, Picassa, Dropbox - any program where you generally maintain a persistent connection to an online webpage/service/account.

    Perhaps some parental control software could do this kind of thing?

    Thanks in advance for any ideas.
     
  2. Techwiz

    Techwiz Registered Member

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    Based on your response, I gather your more about convenience than security and privacy. So I'd recommend you move your sensitive/personal data to a portable drive or cloud service. As for the browser, you could run a portable version from a USB drive. I'd move your passwords to a password manager like KeePass or to a cloud service like LastPass. This way you can auto sign into everything. I'd suggest a live CD for the operating system, that way you don't have to worry too much about cleaning up memory. There are plenty of guides to walk you through. This is just one of many for Ubuntu. I'd suggest you do some research, experiment, and find an approach that's right for you.

    starting point:
    httx://www.howtogeek.com/howto/18410/how-to-browse-without-a-trace-with-an-ubuntu-live-cd/
     
  3. Antifreeze

    Antifreeze Registered Member

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    > I gather your more about convenience than security and privacy

    Absolutely... there's something like a 0.5% chance that my apartment will be broken into. I don't want to have to go through any laborious security routines every single day based on such a slim chance. Inputting one password every session to 'unlock' the selected programs/folders is enough inconvenience.

    However, if a thief did get into my Windows account and locked me out of all my accounts/services which have a persistent connection/login, the consequences would be dire.

    It's like, we all know there's a small chance of being injured in a car crash? But no-one wears helmets in their car; that would be like Trucrypting your hard drive. It's almost as effective and much more convenient to install airbags; that's the piece of software I'm looking for.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  4. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    Antifreeze, its a good question for sure and one Ive asked myself (about FF) .

    It is my thoughts though that you simply can't have your cake and eat it too. The amount of security/privacy you require is (unfortunately) going to require a corresponding amount of effort.

    As for skype, for private use I wouldn't trust it at all.
     
  5. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    "It's almost as effective and much more convenient to install airbags; that's the piece of software I'm looking for."

    There's the problem, you don't know what kind of software will do the job. So what if you can't run Firefox? The data is still on your hard drive. Even if access is denied, how will a thief that can crack your Windows password have trouble with some program that doesn't even encrypt? For example, anyone can easily bypass Windows altogether and whatever software locking implemented by directly accessing the HDD from a LiveCD or another computer.

    Here's the proper analogy, you're looking for a sticky pad to do a seat belt's job.
     
  6. Techwiz

    Techwiz Registered Member

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    The problem is that most security software is designed to protect you against remote attacks. Not to mention it operates at the application level. Once the attacker gains physical access, your pretty much limited to:
    - disabling or removing access ports and disk drives.
    - implementing layered access such as: multi-factor authentication and encryption.
    - managing traces in memory, as best you can.

    You've shot yourself in the foot by flat-out rejecting encryption. My solution address your concerns, but only at the most basic level. You are greatly disadvantages in this hypothetical scenario you've presented. When you get serious about security, I'd imagine more folks will be willing to help.

    Best Wishes,
    Tech Wiz
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  7. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    In terms of password typing, full disk encryption would be less complicated, just type it once per boot. However, I realize there could be other inconveniences to you from full disk encryption, so how about just encrypting a small partition or making an encrypted container that you auto-mount on login per correct password. Then put firefox portable in it and any other programs or data you wish to keep extra secure. There's a portable version of skype too which works just fine.

    You could also look into symlinks to map private data for certain programs from their AppData folder to your encrypted container or partition, although I haven't tried it (I played around with symlinks back in the day when I was mapping apps to a ram disk to try to make them run faster.)

    Other security measures you might be interested in:

    Prey Anti-Theft: Can be used to track your laptop or other mobile device if the thief is dumb enough to let it connect to the internet, and many thieves are that dumb.

    Predator: Lock/unlocks computer with USB flash drive so it's quick and convenient to lock it if you need to leave the computer for a bit but don't want to shut it down completely. This way even if it gets stolen while Windows is running (and hence your encrypted partition is mounted), the thief still couldn't get into it without the flash drive. The free version is fine, but the pro version has additional features, for example, it can send you email alerts if someone tries to access your computer and can even try to take webcam shots of them.

    edit: There are also verious application locking utilities, but as far as I know they just block an application like firefox from running without correct password rather than encrypting/decrypting its data, if you find one though please let us know.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  8. DenHeldert

    DenHeldert Registered Member

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    You could encrypt the drive/partition and set Windows to auto-logon...
    Passwords from Firefox can easily be dug up anyway without having to actually start the program.
    Stealing session-cookies (ofr your entire user profile) to have another instance of Firefox log on automatically is also a piece of cake...

    Besides the actual encryption process, which can take a while, (although you can interrupt it and resume at a later time) it is in my opinion the most convenient AND secure way of protecting all of your data.

    The only difference is that you type in your password before loading Windows instead of at the logon-screen.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
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