How can I secure my system?
Thread poster: Hellmut Kohlsdorf

Hellmut Kohlsdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:21
German to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 25, 2010

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen

I have a customer from a country that is believed by some to pursue spying of industrial secrets. I am a technical translator and I do everything I can to ensure the confidentiality of the documents of my customers. As such I am a bit worried about installing a license of a product on my computer.
My questions:
Is there a way to ensure via tools or by setting up Windows 7 Ultimate in such a way that I can be sure not get a troyan or similar onto my computer or to prevent it from disclusing information outside.
I know that i.e. I could have a second harddisk or a second computer with only this tool, but that is expensive and troublesome. But having signed multiple confidentiality agreements I am very sensitive to this topic!

Best regards

Hellmut


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:21
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Store your client information seperately Jan 25, 2010

hellmut1956 wrote:
Is there a way to ensure via tools or by setting up Windows 7 Ultimate in such a way that I can be sure not get a troyan or similar onto my computer or to prevent it from disclusing information outside.


No.

I am a technical translator and I do everything I can to ensure the confidentiality of the documents of my customers. As such I am a bit worried about installing a license of a product on my computer.


The only way to ensure that no program on your computer can transmit data from your computer without your consent is to put your data in a separate location where no program can find it unless you specifically grant access to it.

This would mean changing the way you work, and it means that woe betide you if you forget your master password. There are programs that create virtual, hidden disks on your hard drive where you can save all your information (also remember to save your mailboxes there), and which can only be accessed if unlocked by a password. Typically, such hidden disks can't be accessed by trojans, unless the trojan is inside one of your trusted programs.

But having said all of this, I think you should simply not install the program. Tell the client that you only install commercially available software, as a matter of principle.


 

ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 21:21
English to Arabic
+ ...
Just take necessary precautions Jan 25, 2010

What you need is a software/firewall (for instance, Comodo Firewall...and many others) http://www.firewallguide.com/freeware.htm that can control all outgoing/coming packets and alert you whenever a packet is in its destination. Further, it allows you to control your PC communication ports and protocols.

If you feel that you shall be stolen, so do not let your door open:

1. Encrypt your confidential files.
2. Lock your confidential files by complex password (can be unlocked via specialized software).
3. Get a secured laptop via fingerprint.
4. Secure your windows profile via a complex password.

After doing all above, I assure you that you will still be vulnerable as long as you are connected.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
IMO Jan 25, 2010

1) the system should be configured properly (BIOS password/ settings, services, autoruns, NTFS rights, group policy, minimum password length and strength etc) *because* by default there're too many 'open' or 'not explicitly closed' possibilities to ab/misuse in any M$;

2) even if you have a hardware router I would recommend using a good firewall (compatible with w7) just to monitor the outgoing connections; integrated M$ firewall is rather trashy (e.g. even Agnitum OutPost free is much better);

3) working in the Inet and with mappable/ removable disks is the main source of compromising any PC, so use a virtual space (e.g. SandBoxIE)

4) having a good updated AV is ok, but only properly configured good HIPS (pro-active protection) will make your system almost impenetrable for virii, trojans, keylogers and other malwares (you can try ThreatFire, GesWall and others)

5) crypting/ encoding... it's just a matter of time and bruteforce method. Certainly, you could take the external HDD home with you, but it's very delicate. So, if you really care about your data then why don't you have all your files in two flash sticks - one for working and one as a backup in a safe? Some of them even come with ciphering and keys. Also don't forget to CClean or WinTool your history data about recent docs)



*If someone really wants to get your data he will eventually get it, trust me. At least some guys could steal your PC with all files inside. Or more brutally- they can even put a knife to your throat: nobody likes pesting them. More trivial, recently a friend of mine asked me to recover his data lost 'by accident' and I easily could find a lot of 'deleted' sensitive files and tons of 'lost' files from a 4GB swap file... a piece of cake, just search the Inet for proper tools. And some of the files were 'lost' almost two years before!

Also there're a lot of bootable 'LIVE' CD/DVDs and flashes: one boots up from such a media and he doesn't leave any traces/ history, requires no HDD, there're some pre-installed software packages, including Open Office etc; but usually it's XP SP2 or 3. BTW, such media is often used for 'reset Admin password'-like featuresicon_wink.gif

Relax, you'd better consult an IT-security expert or a good admin. Anyway, usually it's a human factor to be the weak link- you. Take care)


 

Hellmut Kohlsdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:21
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just a some more data on my concern! Jan 25, 2010

Hi friends

My concern is a CAT tool from an agency in China. What let me get concerned was that I could not find anything about this software when using Google!
The name of the software is: "HSStudio7_PE_7.6.1"

I am already pretty careful by havind a dedicated HW for the firewall. The problem is that I do not know hoe to configure it, so I leave it as it was installed by some real experts some time ago. Those gentlem are not availble for me anymore!

The idea of using an encrypted virtual hard disk is probably the best way to go. On the other side if the bad guys are smart, and the experts in China are, tha they probably know how to get the passwort while I enter it.

The use of the software is mandatory for a large long lasting project! Such a request is not unusual and I have had it in the past. But then the software was known to me and to google!


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:21
French to German
+ ...
My reply to your concerns Jan 25, 2010

hellmut1956 wrote:

Hi friends

My concern is a CAT tool from an agency in China. What let me get concerned was that I could not find anything about this software when using Google!
The name of the software is: "HSStudio7_PE_7.6.1"


See http://tinyurl.com/Heartsome-reply

I cannot figure how and why you came to think that this TEnT may actually be and/or contain some kind of spyware! BTW, it is neither developed, nor released by an "agency".

PS:
1) The name you mention is the standard IT designation of the download package (in my case a .DMG file) for this TEnT, while "Heartsome Translation Studio" is the commercial one.
2) There was an update - which I downloaded this morning Jan 26, 2010 - from 7.6.1 to 7.6.2. I guess you will not find it by googling either.

[Edited at 2010-01-26 07:59 GMT]


 

NMR (X)
France
Local time: 20:21
French to Dutch
+ ...
Confidentiality Jan 26, 2010

ScottishWildCat wrote:

I cannot figure how and why you came to think that this TEnT may actually be and/or contain some kind of spyware! BTW, it is neither developed, nor released by an "agency".


As far as I understand it, the asker is worried about huge TMs publicly available on the internet, and especially about his own confidential information going into it. I share this concern. The only solution is to use the CAT-tool always locally, with one's own TMs or those given by the client, unless the client gives other instructions or permission to do something else.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:21
French to German
+ ...
2008 discussion on ProZ.com Jan 26, 2010

http://tinyurl.com/discussion2008proz

 


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