Advanced Plus Security Kongo's Computer Security Config 2024

Last updated
Feb 17, 2024
How it's used?
For home and private use
Operating system
Windows 11
On-device encryption
BitLocker Device Encryption for Windows
Log-in security
    • Basic account password (insecure)
Security updates
Allow security updates and latest features
Update channels
Allow stable updates only
User Access Control
Always notify
Smart App Control
On
Network firewall
Enabled
About WiFi router
- Speedport Smart 4
- Firewalla Blue +
Real-time security
Deep Instinct Endpoint Protection
Firewall security
Microsoft Defender Firewall
About custom security

Hardening tools:
- Firewall Hardening (blocking outbound connections of LOLBins)
- Run by SmartScreen (forces SmartScreen to scan files of choice)

- STOP/DJVU Ransomware Vaccine (immunizes system against this type of ransomware)
- O&O ShutUp10 (recommended settings)
- O&O AppBuster (removed unecessary Windows 11 apps)
- Windows Sandbox



System settings:
- Microsoft Defender running in sandbox (inactive)
- Reputation Based Protections (all modules enabled)
- Smart App Control enabled

- Data Execution Prevention set to AlwaysOn
- Core Isolation: Memory Integrity enabled
-
Kernel-mode Hardware-enforced Stack Protection enabled
- Secure Boot enabled
- Drives encrypted via TPM (BitLocker)
- Windows Update Delivery Optimization disabled
- AutoPlay disabled
- Network Discovery disabled (Public Firewall profile)
- PowerShell --> Constrained Language Mode
- Hide extensions for known file types --> disabled
- Show hidden files --> enabled

- Virtualization enabled (allows Application Sandboxing)
- Custom Exploit Protection Settings for Firefox:
Code:
Block low integrity images - ON
Block remote images - ON
Block untrusted fonts - ON
Control flow guard (CFG) - ON
Data execution prevention (DEP) - ON + Enable thunk emulation - CHECKED
Disable extension points - ON
Force randomization for images (Mandatory ASLR) - ON + Do not allow stripped images - CHECKED
Randomize memory allocations (Bottom-up ASLR) - ON
Validate exception chains (SEHOP) - ON
Validate handle usage - ON
Validate heap integrity - ON
Validate image dependency integrity - ON

Thanks to @oldschool for sharing! :)

ㅤㅤㅤHardware Firewall (Firewalla Blue Plus):
- Active Protect (Strict)
- Ad Block (Strict)
- OISD blocklist enabled in Firewalla
- New Device Quarantine (restricted internet access for newly connected devices)

- Geo-IP Filtering (blocking connections from and to Russian + Chinese IPs)
- Unbound DNS enabled for all devices
‎‎‎ㅤ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎
Periodic malware scanners
Norton Power Eraser, X-Sec and AdwCleaner
Malware sample testing
I do participate in malware testing. See details about my testing environment below.
Environment for malware testing
‎‎‎ㅤㅤㅤ
VMware Workstation Player + Mullvad VPN on host machine while connected to the guest network.

Online Malware Analysis Platforms that I use:


- FileScan.iO
- Intenzer Analyze
- Hybrid Analysis
- VirusTotal
- Sophos Intelix
- Valkyrie
- ANY.RUN
-
Triage
- Kaspersky Threat Intelligence Portal
-
Docguard.iO
- PolySwarm
- Yomi
- Neiki.Dev
- ThreatZone
- UnpacMe


--> Currently I am barely testing
Browser(s) and extensions

Mozilla Firefox v. 122.0.1

Extensions:
- AdGuard Extension (AdGuard Base filter + AdGuard Tracking filter)
-
Netcraft

- FastForward (Bypassing trackers, blocking IP-loggers and Crowd Bypass enabled)
- Bitwarden (2FA enabled)


Browser privacy and security settings:
- Tracking protection: Strict (enables Total Cookie Protection)
- Enable secure DNS using: Max Protection
- HTTPS-only-mode enabled
- DuckDuckGo set as search engine
- Pocket disabled
- Sending DNT-requests disabled (enabling makes you more identifiable and barely gives any advantage on most sites.)
- Clearing browsing data on exit
- Search suggestions disabled
- Websites overview disabled
- Blocking incoming location, camera and microphone requests
- AutoPlay for audio and video disabled
- Firefox telemetry disabled (also in about:config)
- Blocking pop-ups
- Warn when websites try to install addons enabled
- Protection against fraudulent content and dangerous software enabled



about:config tweaks:
- network.dns.echconfig.enabled =
true
- network.dns.use_https_rr_as_altsvc = true
- fission.autostart = true (enabled by default in Firefox 94+)
- pdfjs.enableScripting =
false
- network.IDN_show_punycode = true
- toolkit.telemetry.enabled = false
- toolkit.telemetry.server (URL removed)
- toolkit.telemetry.unified =
false
- security.ssl.require_safe_negotiation = true
- network.trr.mode = 3 (NextDNS)

ㅤㅤ
Secure DNS

- NextDNS with DoH + OISD blocklist (Firefox exclusively)
- Unbound DNS (Network-wide)


Desktop VPN
Mullvad VPN with WireGuard protocol
Password manager
Bitwarden Premium
Maintenance tools
PatchMyPC, RuckZuck, UpdateHub, HiBit Uninstaller and Windows built in tools for cleaning and optimization
File and Photo backup
backup to external drive when necessary
Active subscriptions
    • Google One Standard 200GB
System recovery
Aomei Backupper
Risk factors
    • Browsing to popular websites
    • Browsing to unknown / untrusted / shady sites
    • Opening email attachments
    • Buying from online stores, entering banks card details
    • Downloading software and files from reputable sites
    • Sharing and receiving files and torrents
    • Gaming
    • Streaming audio/video content from shady sites
    • Downloading malware samples
Computer specs
GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 360 TI
CPU: Intel I5 12600K
RAM: 16 GB DDR4-3200 Crucial
Hard disks: 500 GB Samsung 970 EVO Plus + 1 TB Western Digital Blue
Notable changes
- Updated for year 2023
What I'm looking for?

Looking for minimum feedback.

simmerskool

Level 30
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
1,988
Strange. It's working perfectly fine for me. Did you download it from here?

Yes, not blaming the app, probably user snafu. Will try again a little later tonight. will update. thanks.
 

Kongo

Level 35
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Feb 25, 2017
2,448
- decided to go with Netcraft instead of SafeToOpen.

From my personal experience SafeToOpen's performance is really good, but considering the outdated version on Firefox in comparison to the Chrome version, I don't feel comfortable running it at the moment.
 

Kongo

Level 35
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Feb 25, 2017
2,448
Do you keep it on default settings or make changes? I never used it before.
Screenshot 2023-11-27 170510.png


Those are my settings right now. Basically I activated all the recommended settings. Wonder why they are not active by default tho.
If you decide to give it a try too, then make sure to give it access to your data on all sites under "permissions" in order to make it work correctly (Firefox).
 
F

ForgottenSeer 100397

@Kongo, Do you truly need a phishing extension? Modern browsers are effective in combating phishing attacks. Have you ever come across a phishing website or failed to recognize one? What's the point of adding an extension that may expand the attack surface but offers little extra protection, particularly for advanced users like yourself?
 

silversurfer

Level 85
Verified
Honorary Member
Top Poster
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Well-known
Aug 17, 2014
9,959
@Kongo, Do you truly need a phishing extension? Modern browsers are effective in combating phishing attacks. Have you ever come across a phishing website or failed to recognize one? What's the point of adding an extension that may expand the attack surface but offers little extra protection, particularly for advanced users like yourself?

Netcraft does offer more than phishing protection, for me personally it's useful to inform about websites data... What's that site running? | Netcraft
In my VM while testing malware, Netcraft was sometimes effective to detect and block malicious Java Scripts, additional the following:

n#1.png

 
F

ForgottenSeer 100397

Netcraft does offer more than phishing protection, for me personally it's useful to inform about websites data... What's that site running? | Netcraft
In my VM while testing malware, Netcraft was sometimes effective to detect and block malicious Java Scripts, additional the following:
I comprehend Netcraft's offerings. Netcraft blocks certain elements while testing malicious domains. Have any of you advanced users ever encountered or failed to recognize a phishing website during regular browsing? Have such extensions been beneficial enough for advanced users like yourself in regular browsing to justify their presence on your system?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jonny Quest

Level 13
Mar 2, 2023
637
I comprehend Netcraft's offerings. Netcraft blocks certain elements while testing malicious domains. Have any of you advanced users ever encountered or failed to recognize a phishing website during regular browsing? Have such extensions been beneficial enough in regular browsing to justify their presence on your system?
And what about a mid-tier user as myself, how much (many add-ons) is too much, and will it hinder F-Secure's web browsing filter from being efficient with Brave's, Brave search, Chrome's filters, and then my adding SafeToOpen over the weekend. That was exactly what was on my mind, when is it overkill, or will it diminish the effectiveness of onboard AV filtering/antiphishing capabilities? And as you mentioned above, creating more attack surface?
 
Last edited:
F

ForgottenSeer 100397

And what about a mid-tier user as myself, how much (many add-ons) is too much, and will it hinder F-Secure's web browsing filter from being efficient with Brave's, Brave search, Chrome's filters, and then my adding SafeToOpen over the weekend. That was exactly what was on my mind, when is it overkill, or will it diminish the effectiveness of onboard AV filtering/antiphishing capabilities? And as you mentioned above, creating more attack surface?
I have experience managing many average or click-happy users over the years. For real-time protection, I installed an ad blocker and an effective security suite. They never experienced malware or phishing issues. A combination of effective security, an ad blocker, and browser built-in security is sufficient, which is what I use and recommend to users I manage.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Kongo

Level 35
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Feb 25, 2017
2,448
Hardening? whh light mabye ;)
Not necessary with Deep Instinct as it already has malicious script protection included.

@Kongo, Do you truly need a phishing extension? Modern browsers are effective in combating phishing attacks. Have you ever come across a phishing website or failed to recognize one? What's the point of adding an extension that may expand the attack surface but offers little extra protection, particularly for advanced users like yourself?
Definitely a valid point, as NextDNS blocks the NRDs that often are associated with phishing attacks. Still phishing is the only way where you can possibly get me with my guard down when i'm not focused. So i'd rather be on the safe side. And as @silversurfer mentioned, phishing protection is just one feature of Netcraft.
 

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