Lock Down Your Computer Like The NSA

Lock Down Your Computer Like The NSA

Want to secure your computer with the same techniques used by the US National Security Agency? Turns out the NSA has published guides for securing Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris operating systems using methods that “are currently being used throughout the government and by numerous entities as a security baseline for their systems”.

It being a government organisation, you’d expect the guides to be somewhat opaque or confusing, but the free PDFs, like Security Highlights of Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6 Hardening Tips, are actually well written primers to system security. They’ve put together several different security guides for each operating system, so put on your tin foil hats and hit up the main page to see how you stack up. For a few more easily digestible security tips, check out these low-hassle ways to secure your computer.

Security Configuration Guides [NSA.gov via Hacker News]


  • *Equips Tin Foil Hat*

    What motivation would the NSA have to do this? I imagine they’d like vunrable computers so they can spy on everyone easier. If all computers suddenly start trasnmitting their information in high strength encryption and were invunrable to unauthorised access wouldn’t they all be out of a job.

    I’ll give them a read but my first thought was that these tips probably inadvertently open your computer up to NSA spying. Which would make this a pretty clever tactic as the people who are looking to keep their data private are more likely to be people NSA want to watch.

    It’s like telling your enemy’s army where to place their tanks for the best defense. You’d be crazy not to tell them to create a weakness that you can exploit.
    “Don’t bother defending the northern front, it’s too cold, no one will attack from their.” … *Marches army through northern front*

    • Yeah, except the NSA is also tasked with creating security guidelines for the government, and as much as they love being able to spy, I suspect being able to protect their own networks/computers is just as important O.o

    • How does that make any sense. The guides don’t even explain anything other than built in security in the operating system. Company’s using encryption would use AES government quality encryption which even the government can’t crack. Read before you write.

    • There’s nothing stopping you running any or all of the techniques past your own information sources before implementing them. It’s unlikely that every single IT security expert in the industry is somehow in the NSA’s pocket.

  • NSA spying with Windows? Everyone already knows all keyboards sold in the US have built in hardware keyloggers that transmit all keystrokes wirelessly to fake cell phone towers positioned throughout all major cities, and along all highways. From here the information is sent via satellite to the Mars military base where the data storage facility for all secret US information is made up of arrays of yottabyte hard drives.

    Windows 7 is just not even in the picture.

  • Trust me – the NSA uses far more sophisticated techniques to protect their high security computers. And yes, they can easily by-pass normal firewalls and other consumer grade protections. Read James Bamford’s books or GCHQ and you will find the signal spies routinely make certain they can read approved systems, including the old DES and the current AES. They fight hard to keep the key lengths down to where the public is protected against everybody but them.

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