TOR virtualprivacymachine

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Scoobs, Sep 29, 2005.

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  1. Scoobs

    Scoobs Registered Member

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    Anyone seen this before? (For anybody who doesn't want to follow the link, it's a Linux OS, Firefox and TOR all on a flashdrive that you can supposedly run on any PC for instant secure anonymous surfing)

    Looks fairly interesting. Never used Linux before but I may invest and learn a bit to see if privoxy can't be included as well.

    What do people think?
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2005
  2. Scoobs

    Scoobs Registered Member

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    Just e-mailed them and they say it comes with Privoxy included. (Replied in under an hour) Is this too good to be true? Can anyone tell me what implications this may have on security of the PC used?

    Could this system be set up to work a bit like a sandbox with no changes being made to the PC, only to the pendrive?
     
  3. telluride

    telluride Guest

    Ya, but all those programs are free, so why would you want to pay for them? I think you can download that stuff and run it off a bootable cd, which would be more secure that a flash drive too. :)
     
  4. Scoobs

    Scoobs Registered Member

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    Cheers for the reply telluride. As a newb, it still appeals to me because it's all set up already.

    Why would a bootable CD be more secure?

    Also could you use the drive like a "sandbox"? Presumably this would mean protecting the programs already on there. Can you partition a pendrive?
     
  5. webmedic

    webmedic Registered Member

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    just curious how much info you can get into here a
    here goes.

    The cdrom may be more secure since you can not write to it but will require a system with at least 256 megs of ram to run ""well"". They may run with less but you really would not want to.

    Running from a usb drive in theory may be less secure since you can write to it but how often do you hear about a virus infecting linux? Even in that case it would only effect the user account on the usb drive itself. With the things built into that usb drive I would say it would be almost impossible to get an infection to begin with. It would be very easy for them to put dansgurdian on it and then filter everything coming though with comething like clamav.

    My only problem with the usb drive is that they have a limited life span and are only good for so many write cycles. So running an os off of one would not bode well for the life span of the usb drive since you get many more write cycles. Who knows though maybe they run it from ram just like the bootable cdroms which could be a good option and offer the same security as a cdrom in theory.
     
  6. Scoobs

    Scoobs Registered Member

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    Excellent. Cheers WebMedic. That's definitely food for thought. Had read about the limited write cycles of USBs (Would this be covered by the "5 year gaurantees offered by some USB manufacturers?) I'm not too worried about this, because surely you can copy it to another (inexpensive) flash drive (and I intend to make a backup if I order it).

    From virtualprivacymachine's website the OS is run from RAM.

    So you recommend dansgurdian and clamav? I will have a look.

    That's exactly what I wanted to know - In this case it does work like a "sandbox". So if I run it in a restricted account, will it mean an end to any infection woes?
     
  7. webmedic

    webmedic Registered Member

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    just curious how much info you can get into here a
    well if it runs from ram then it will relieve the write cycles to the usb drive but will require more ram as does the bootable cdrom. I assume that they also enable other things when run from the usb like saving personal files to the usb and stuff like that.

    The issue with adding dansguardian and clamav is that like any other thing like it it will slow down your web browser as every single file passed through it will be scanned for virus and also if this thing boots and runs from ram then it is more or less like booting from an iso image most likely. In such a case you wont be able to actually modify anything about the running os. You will only be able to possibly modify user account settings and such since those are most likely saved to the usb drive for the next time you boot into it.

    This is all theoretically anyway and it is not like you are thinking since linux does not have any real or widespread virus. They basically don't exist. There is a few but not in any way or sense like those under windows and since almost all the virus target windows specifically any sites your are going to would not be hosting linux virii. Spyware is way more widespread now than virus and linux has no spyware that is known to exist.

    As for being a sandbox yes it would be and depending on how it is set up you may not even be able to access your local file system on the local computer which would make you system completely secure. Even if this was not the case they would have to write a virus that specifically targets this one linux distro to get at your os and that is not likely as there are not enough users using it.
     
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