RE: XP box maintainance and lockdown

From: Jones, Steve (
Date: 12/31/03

  • Next message: Fernando Gont: "RE: Traces"
    To: "J. Yoon" <>
    Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 13:12:23 -0600

    It's always a good idea to rename the Administrator account. Try renaming
    your Administrator account to Guest(you'll also need to rename the original
    Guest account). I mean, who the hell would want access to the guest account
    anyway? ;)


    -----Original Message-----
    From: J. Yoon []
    Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2003 1:30 PM
    Subject: XP box maintainance and lockdown

    I'm doing a routine maintainance and locking down an XP box
    Please advise if there's anything I've missed.

    Preliminaries : run a simple disk cleanup, spyware scan, and a quick virus

    Hardware Drivers.
    - Update all Drivers for soundcard/diskcontrollers/videocards/usb/etc/...
    - Update BIOS and do a new flash if needed.
    - Update Router firmware

    Software Patches
    - download latest XP patches from
    - download latest virus definitions
    (I'm using 2 virus scanners, Grisoft AVG and Norton Antivirus

    - download latest updates for your IDS or software Firewall
    (such as Sygate Personal Firewall from

    (By the way, is there any significant benefit in using a software firewall
    if i already have a router.. other than it working like an IDS)?

    - latest updates for Ad-Aware
    (a spyware removal software from

    Scan / Fix
    (Unplug computer from internet at this point in time)
    - run a full system cleanup and get rid of all cookies/temp files/junk/ etc
    - run a full spyware scan using "deep scan"
    - run virus scan to check for ALL files with heuristics (and/or 'houndog')
    turned on,
    - run scandisk or diskdoctor of some sort
    - run a full defragmentation using defrag/speedisk/diskkeeper of some sort

    Account configuration
    - change all passwords so that it has a combination of upper/lowercase
    letters, numbers,
    and does not use any words from the dictionary from any language
    - create a user account for yourself and others
    so that you don't get in the habit of using the administrator account all
    the time.

    Router Configuration
    - take care of any license issues
    - disable all ports/services (so that we can enable services on a
    "need"-only basis)
    - Refer to history/log of applications that has been running
    to obtain protocol, local port, remote port, and IP address needed to grant
    - If additional security is needed, assign to mac address instead of IP

    For Sygate Personal Firewall only :
    - Enable intrusion detection, port scan detection, anti-mac spoofing,
    anti-ip spoofing
    - Enable driver level protection, OS fingerprint masquerading
    - configure so that it blocks all traffic when service not loaded
    - enable stealth mode browsing but disable this if too much problem seems to

    - Enable DLL authentitation and check automatically allow known DLL's
    - enable smart DNS, smart DHCP, and SmartNETBIOS
    - Automatically block attackers IP for.. a number of seconds
    - you may also want to set it so that it notifies you via email of any

    Browser Configuration
    - disable all scripting, java, flash, active-x, and plug-ins and enable only

    as needed
    - delete all existing cookies
    - disable 3rd-party cookies and/or set cookie policy according to privacy
    - configure popup window blocking feature if needed
    - use encryption when storing sensitive data
    - configure so that it warns you if you're entering/leaving unecrypted page
    - configure client certificate selection and CRL/OCSP (certificate status
    protocol) as needed

    Mail Configuration
    - set any POP/Mail clients to use encryption/ SSL so that passwords are not
    sent unencrypted
    - disable cookies in Mail and Newsgroups
    - disable defaut viewing of images as they can be used for tracking purposes

    by spammers
    - set a filter so that any email address that does not contain the @ "at
    sign" and . "dot" are automatically rejected.
    - you may also wish to set a filter so that if your own email address does
    not appear in the "To:" or "CC:" field, the email be considered as spam.

    Access Control
    - set and verify folders that need to have access restrictions
    - enable ecryption on private files if necessary

    Recovery Disk
    - make a boot disk from your Operating System
    - make a password recovery disk
    - make a virus boot disk as well
    now you have 3 ways to get back on your feet in case something happens

    - Run a port scanner such as Blue Globe Software, for example, offers a
    program called Port Scanner (
    Raw Logic Software's NetView Scanner (
    provides details about vulnerable ports and additional tools for detecting
    network clients that have Windows file and print sharing enabled
    I've heard that Nessus is also great. i suppose you can use others such as's NMAP
    ( and cotse but i don't know if they work on XP.

    - locate and backup private keys and additional configuration files
    - backup all the latest drivers you've downloaded so far
    - make a full backup to a removable storage

    Opt-Out / Proactive Privacy protection
    - goto and search for a link where you can tell them not

    to track or abuse your personal information
    - not posting private email or personal information when posting to online
    or mailing lists may also help
    - not sure if they are still in effect but the national donotcall registry
    might help reduce some unwanted spams

    Enjoy a special introductory offer for dial-up Internet access - limited
    time only!



  • Next message: Fernando Gont: "RE: Traces"

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