Machine for Secure Banking?

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I'd like to do online banking without having my
identity stolen.  What are my options?

I thought I'd just boot a live linux on my laptop
and use that.  Problem is that the live linuxes
that I've found don't support all my laptop hardware.
Biggest problem is the networking.
If I install it on a computer, I can load drivers
and make it work, but I'm back in the soup
never knowing what malware got installed on my machine
when I wasn't looking.

I don't have the skills to buld a custom linux
distribution.  Are there SIMPLE tools to help?

I'm afraid to leave the mainstream linux distributions.
Who knows what evil lurks on a live CD assembled
by a college hacker team.

Alternative strategy?

Thanks, mike

Re: Machine for Secure Banking?

On Tue, 26 Aug 2008 18:45:19 -0700, mike wrote:
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And which live cds have you tried.

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Guess I do not understand. You boot linux, you go right to the bank's url.
Do your transactions, exit, boot windows.
Where did the malware come from. The bank?

If you are going to run just linux and not a dual boot with windows.
Then it should be no problem either.

I have created separate accounts for each Internet activity.
Example: One for browsing and one for banking.

I click a desktop shortcut, it logs into the account, and runs
firefox index.html

When I exit firefox, files are deleted and a pristine set is put back
in place.

index.html has my banks url as a link. That prevents me from mistyping

In my browsing account index.html has my most used links to hold down
the mistyping.

I also have install NoScript Add On to block possible malware via
java*. I installed privoxy to block ads which may contain java* malware.

Installed an intrusion detection Environment system (aids) to tell me
about new/change files.

I also set my dns servers to the free
servers to further reduce possible problem sites. / /

Also, added my modem's ip addy to privoxy's user action file to block
possible modem cracks from a malware infected site.

Re: Machine for Secure Banking?

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It's mostly out of your control - don't choose one of these banks:


Re: Machine for Secure Banking?

On Wed, 27 Aug 2008 02:26:20 +0000 (UTC), Chris McDonald wrote:
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Heheh, then there is

In the words of a Citibank executive, “Stealing from our customers is
a business decision, not a legal decision.” The same executive later
said that the sweep program could not be stopped because it would
reduce the executive bonus pool, Brown charged.

California: Citibank Stole $14 Million from its Customers

Saw three separate articles, bank executive selling ID info and
two programmers selling data.

Then there is the criminals cracking into check/credit clearing houses
to get the Brick and mortar user info.

Seen articles where the call center employees overseas were selling
ID info.

Re: Machine for Secure Banking?

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They are just the ones who got found out.


Re: Machine for Secure Banking?

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Wireless, I presume?  Why not simply use wired networking when doing
your banking?  (It's been a long time since I've seen a Linux that did
not support a machine's wired networking).

Note that even if your home network is entirely wireless, your wireless
router probably has ethernet ports on the back, and if you are using a
laptop, you can just carry it to the router, and plug in there.

If your router doesn't have any ethernet ports, you could even
temporarily plug your laptop into your DSL or cable modem's ethernet
port, in place of your wireless router.  That would temporarily disable
internet access from your home network, so this might be a problem if
there are others in your household--you'd need to at least coordinate
your online banking with them.

--Tim Smith

Re: Machine for Secure Banking?

mike wrote:
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I'd take a look at some of the newer live CDs.  There has been a lot of
recent progress in the support of wireless chipsets and the tools to
configure them.

I know for sure that Fedora has put a lot of work into NetworkManager to
help autoconfigure your wireless settings, and also includes a lot of
wireless networking drivers which used to require out of tree support
(through something like NDISWrapper).

You'd probably get a better answer to this by asking in the support
forums of your favourite live distro, and telling them which wireless
network hardware you have.  I suspect you'll be able to make this work
fairly easily.


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