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Thread: How to Secure Firefox

  1. #1
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    Thumbs down How to Secure Firefox

    How to Secure Firefox



    Intro: What we are going to do is secure Firefox by blocking cookies and Java, then adding only trusted sites via a "White List" (White list = exceptions).

    bodhi.zazen: Updated 1/12/1010

    Contents:
    1. Adblock.
    2. Cookies.
    3. Customize Google.
    4. Java/Flash (NoScript).
    5. Phishing.
    6. Secure private data.
    7. Write an Apparmor Profile.
    8. Using Firefox, ie how to generate white lists.


    Appendix:
    • Surf Anonymously ~ Privoxy/TOR
    • Other Privacy issues



    Adblock

    We have three options here, Hosts file, Firefox extensions, or proxy servers.

    1. Hosts file. I prefer a hosts file as it protects more then just Firefox.

      Here is how I do a hosts file : http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=241460#2

      Direct link to hosts file
    2. Firefox extension : Adblock Plus
    3. Proxy servers. Proxy servers may be used to increase privacy as well (see TOR) and come in several flavors, caching and non-caching. In general, caching is not needed as Firefox uses it's own cache. Configuration of each and every proxy server and configuring a firewall so that a proxy as "transparent" is beyond this post (transparent means you have configured your network so that users do not have to manually configure Firefox and in general involve a hardware firewall + a squid server).

      As an example See here

      IMHO, for single user desktops, I advise Adblock Plus.
      IMHO, in a multi user environment or on a LAN, I advise a proxy server.
      1. Privoxy is a very popular option.
        Code:
        sudo apt-get install privoxy
        Privoxy is fast, light, and has adblocking "built in". See "bfilter" below for how to configure Firefox to use a proxy.
      2. Bfilter. As of Ubuntu 9.10 bfilter is no longer supported in the ubuntu repositories. You may still install bfilter using Autopackage. Autopackage installs the bfilter-gui.

        Bfilter runs on windows as well (portable, nice when you are using a guest computer).

        Bfilter is easy to install and configure.
        Code:
        sudo apt-get install bfilter
        To configure, open Firefox preferences -> Advanced tab -> Network tab -> now click the "settings" box. Use 127.0.0.1 port 8080 as a proxy (see screen shot)

        [IMG]http://***************/img/config.ff.bfilter.png[/IMG]
      3. Squid. Squid can be used for adblocking and has several advanced features. See also DansGuardian.



    If you need a few pointers on Dansguardian or configuring an invisible proxy, see also :

    How to transparent proxy

    Web content filtering made easy


    Cookies

    Go to your Firefox menu -> Preferences -> Privacy Tab

    UNSELECT "Accept cookies from sites"

    All cookies are now blocked.

    Flash manages cookies directly. To manage flash cookies : http://www.macromedia.com/support/do...manager02.html

    ~ Thanks benny bronx


    Javascript/Flash

    Javascript/Flash are a cross platform programing languages commonly used on the web. They add functionality, but also allow browser hijacks.

    Install NoScript

    To configure, right click on the NoScript icon (lower right) and select options.


    Optimize Google

    That's right, google is feeding you adds

    Install this extension.

    Optimize Google

    Then :

    Tools -> Optimize Google Options

    Go through each category on the Left and tic off "Remove Adds" (and anything else you might like).

    Another great extension (IMO) is googleefree . This is not really an extension, it is a google search bar that excludes Expert Exchange (that annoying service you have to join to see solutions).


    Phishing

    Phishing is, in a nut shell, spoofing a web site or an attempt to fool users to divulge personal information.

    Wikipedia Phishing

    There are several Firefox extensions to consider, Web of Trust is one example.

    Web of Trust


    Secure Private Data

    1. Go to your Firefox menu -> Preferences -> Security Tab

      Set a "Master Password". This will protect others from displaying your passwords. If you have a sensitive password like to the Ubuntu Forums or your Bank, BEST NOT TO STORE IT AT ALL.

      Hey, while you are there, check out the password strength meter.
    2. Install SafeHistory.

      Safe History functionality is built into Firefox 3.5.x and is configured under Options -> Privacy tab -> use custom settings (select this option from the pull down menu).

      You may also configure Firefox , in about:config, to disable the use of an offline cache.

      browser.cache.offline.capacity 0
      browser.cache.offline.enable false
    3. Install SafeCache to be safer against CSRF attacks.
    4. As of Firefox 3.5 there is an option for Private browsing


    ~ Thanks FaBi3ttO


    How to Whitelist

    OK, now you will likely find Firefox somewhat restrictive. The goal here is to allow "normal" functioning. In order to log into forums or your banking sites we need to allow Cookies and Java. We will do this ONLY for specific sites we trust via white lists.

    1. Cookies - Firefox options -> Privacy tab

      Copy the Ubuntu url from your browser : http://ubuntuforums.org/

      Go to "Cookies" -> click the "Exceptions" button -> paste ubuntu url -> click "Allow for session"

      For secure sites like Banking you will need to allow multiple url (https), usually one from the home page, then one from the log in page, and sometimes from the next page as well. So if you are having problems, keep adding url to the white list.
    2. Java - Right click on the NoScript icon -> Allow Ubuntu.com


    Repeat these steps until you have added your sites and have the functionality you need.


    Use Apparmor Profile

    As of Ubuntu 9.10 there is now a profile for Firefox. It is disabled by default, to enable it use the command :

    Code:
    sudo aa-enforce /etc/apparmor.d/usr.bin.firefox-3.5
    The default profile may be a bit too permissive in allowing access to home directories so I advise you review it.

    Firefox profiles for older versions of Ubuntu can be found here

    Apparmor is beyond this thread, but see these two threads :

    [all variants] Introduction to AppArmor - Ubuntu Forums

    Share your AppArmor Profiles


    How to Surf Anonymously ~ Privoxy/TOR

    Privoxy / TOR can significantly increase your privacy, but at a cost of reduced speed. Please note however, that these services DO NOT offer complete anonymity.

    Ubuntu wiki TOR

    http://wiki.noreply.org/noreply/TheO...er/TorOnDebian

    If you use TOR and have the capacity, consider contributing a TOR server (a few more servers would speed things up for everyone).

    http://en.linuxreviews.org/HOWTO_setup_a_Tor-server

    Tor is not the only option, there are other privacy proxies available to a google search.

    Privacy

    Privacy is a separate but related issue and I added a page on my blog to get you stared:

    Internet Privacy



    Peace be with you,

    bodhi.zazen
    Last edited by bodhi.zazen; January 6th, 2011 at 08:25 PM.
    There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.
    --Prince Gautama Siddharta

    #ubuntuforums web interface

  2. #2
    nikoPSK is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    Re: How to Secure Firefox

    very nice. I like it. There a bunch of speed tweaks as well I'm planning on writing about.

  3. #3
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    Re: How to Secure Firefox

    great post bodhi, sure is going to be helpful around here! Especially the "Secure Private data" part. really helpful

    regards,
    limac
    Last edited by limac; January 19th, 2008 at 01:19 AM.
    Think carefully before just copying and pasting the commands your are advised into your terminal and clicking Enter, for more information about which ones not to use see this: http://ubuntuforums.org/announcement.php?f=73

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    Smile Re: How to Secure Firefox

    Really good post.
    I also use SafeCache
    to be safer against CSRF attacks.

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    Re: How to Secure Firefox

    Quote Originally Posted by FaBi3ttO View Post
    Really good post.
    I also use SafeCache
    to be safer against CSRF attacks.
    Thanks I will add that link to the list.
    There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.
    --Prince Gautama Siddharta

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  6. #6
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    Re: How to Secure Firefox

    all safe cache does is disable cache - it makes it where each time u download something u'll have to re-download it..

    as for others

    u can also

    about:config
    find:

    A: network.http.sendRefererHeader > set this to 0 to disable referell - note some sites may require it - but few sites do - if u get probs, just reset it, and keep the tab open, do what u need and re-set it to 0. What this does is keep sites from knowing what sites u last visited.

    B: network.http.sendSecureXSiteReferrer > set to false

    C: network.jar.open-unsafe-types > make sure this is set to false

    D: Download Contrle de scripts from the add-on site, this allows easier acces to only allow certain pop-ups, clicks, etc.. in other words certain pop-up types, go into prefs of the program and set the following:

    Under allow scripts to - uncheck all,

    go to the popups tab

    Under allowed events only the following should be: click. dblclick, submit

    Then press ok.

    E: in about:config find browser.preferences.advanced.selectedTabIndex > set this to 2

    Determines which tab in the Advanced section of the preferences is visible.
    0 (default): General
    1: Update
    2: Security
    Last edited by nowshining; January 29th, 2008 at 04:02 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Re: How to Secure Firefox

    Thanks nowshining , keep the tips coming
    There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.
    --Prince Gautama Siddharta

    #ubuntuforums web interface

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    Re: How to Secure Firefox

    I especially liked the Tor part, i had been wondering how to use Tor for a while but never really bothered to look for info on how to do it

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  9. #9
    nikoPSK is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    Re: How to Secure Firefox

    Quote Originally Posted by SOULRiDER View Post
    I especially liked the Tor part, i had been wondering how to use Tor for a while but never really bothered to look for info on how to do it
    using tor seems a bit over the edge, but I guess that's how bad some things are... :[

  10. #10
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    Re: How to Secure Firefox

    Concerning master passwords, how do you rate the FireFox Add-On, Password Maker, the one with the LotR-esque catchphrase "one password to rule them all"?

    It claims to be uncrackable, but I'm sceptical about such claims.

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