Install "cured" software on work computer
Current time: 09-20-2018, 01:41 PM
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Author: pssst
Last Post: Dell_Brett
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Install "cured" software on work computer
#1
Hello fellow colleagues,

How can we use software for testing purposes on work computers, can virtual machines be
the answer ?

What do you think of this issue ? regarding to what is happening to our today's freedoms. (see ACTA, SOPA, PIPA..)

Best regards,
Pssst, young engineer without money to spend (for now..) on software.

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#2
Hello. You can try using portable software. That is, if you find the software you are interested on, in portable format. If you don't, you can always make your own portable software, using specific software.
Some of this software offers you the option to leave no trace on the host computer, so that no local files are affected. For instance I use a portable software on a external hard disk. Only RAM is affected. Google: "how to make portable software." Is really not that hard for an engineer. The main idea is to install your software in a VM environment and then make the difference between the "before soft install" state and "after soft install" state. The portable software creation software automatically creates portable software from that. Sorry for bad english.
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#3
I would recommend you to use a password protected external drive (usually this is a software that mounts a drive image as virtual drive, but this could be done only if a valid password is entered).

Another option is hidden and password protected bootable partition. This is the smartest way, because your computer will boot using the "clean" partition, and you'll be out of suspects, except that if checked some portion of your hard-drive will be shown ar unpartitioned space.

Or, one of those fingerprint protected notebooks, which were banned in the European Union because of the high level of data protection (mostly HP models that were sold only outside EU). Make sure to use some difficult combination between several fingers.

Remember: Your pockets will be emptied, you will be forced to tell the password, or to put your fingers on a reader, and so on. All your e-mail passwords will be checked, your relatives will be ... well who knows...

This is "the true democracy in action". Cutesmile
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#4
I must add something to ynopum post. A good encryption software that can create an encrypted virtual drive (hdd) is truecrypt. But as ynopum said if you use encryption in case of a forensic, investigation, you'll have to provide the password, and you can't say you forgot it or don't know it. Truecrypt it's free and it's offering plausible deniability.
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Regarding the password I'm sorry to say but a ~1000$ desktop computer can crack a 8 letters+numbers password in less than a week. So you'll need a password stored in a file or as a file.
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There's a (expensive) technical solution that seems interesting for me: virtual/physical ram drive/disk.
Install all your private information on a drive in ram or a ram based storage device, so that when you'll cut the power everything will be gone, forever. It takes about 10min for ram to loose all data if it has no power so nobody can/could recover anything. OS+software could be installed on a ram storage device, in fact it will work faster than a mechanical hdd.
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Don't trust portable software, most of them leave traces in windows logs, pagefile, registry, hdd, and so one. And a virtual machine will leave traces, but very few.
An almost free virtual machine:
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You can use a virtual machine and store the virtual hdd on a fast and small memory stick, USB3.0, e.g. Kingstone DataTraveler Ultimate. Also encryption can be used for the memory stick.
In case of trouble unplug and hide the memory stick, unplug computer from power source.
Keep in mind that all running software goes in ram including virtual machine+software inside virtual machine. And parts of ram are stored in pagefile. So there are chances to get evidence of what software you're using. But less evidence to prove.

Tekla against piracy
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Just typing civilea.com in your browser can be found on your computer, on hdd in multiple places, in ram, in pagefile, and from your internet provider.
And the most important fact the guys that do computer forensic don't have to be smart geeks, there's specialized software that does most of the stuff for them. Those that make computer forensic software are real computer smart geeks and they know well all known hiding places Grin.
In my opinion encryption in not the way, as it makes people suspicious. Chained deceptions is the way will always make you appear innocent like a good politician Grin.
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#5
My 2 cents:

If you have the possibility do open the lateral cover of the desktop, an alternative could be create a mirror HD (preferentially using a small notebook HD - nowadays all are SATA). Use Norton Ghost (or similar) to create a 100% copy of your existing HD.

To use this clone, simply remove the cable SATA1 main hard drive and connect - plus unused power cable - to your new "external" hard drive, which may be released (without fixation) outside to the computer.

Now you have exactly a "clone" that runs absolutely as the original. Change the configuration of your e-mail to "keep messages in server" and now you can install any program, run it, save results, etc.

Simple turn off the computer, remove this HD, reconnect the cable in the original HD, boot the machine and absolutely no tracks of your activity or installed programs will appears!!

I use this procedure in my office with 2 externals HD:

- One for back-up purposes (in this case, I don't remove the cable of the inner HD and use a SATA2 cable to enable a SLAVE HD)

- Other to runs a alternative Operational System (I create a partition in this external HD and installed Windows 7 SO. - the MASTER runs XP)

Regards

Dell Brett

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