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Computer Lab in a Jail...
From: Brian H <binarynomad () gmail com>
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 00:36:29 -0700

I wanted to get some input from the security professionals point of view on my situation.

I've been contacted by a local county detention center (read: JAIL), to help with a computer lab that keeps getting 
pwned.  They keep having problems with MP3s, Porn, and Gang communication on these computers.  They say they keep 
trying to clean them up, but the next day everything is back.

I don't trust these computers one bit, I've already found an number of questionable programs/processes (that I've 
removed), and some trojans in the form of Adobe CS4 cracks that were placed on the hard drives.

My first objective is (scorched earth) to reinstall from scratch, but that is on hold while they find the install CD's 
and Keys.  I've been told these will not be available until later this week, but the first class of the new session 
will happen before that. 

So, in the meantime, I have to clean & lock these down as much as I can while letting the students still run the class 
programs and save their work somewhere.
        
Environment:
        - 20 Lab/Student machines, 1 instructor
        - Two (2h) classes per day, AM (beginner) and PM (advanced)
        - Windows Vista Home Basic, Dell Optiplex 360, 2GB RAM, 130GB HD
        - No server
        - Students on closed network, unless teacher plugs in uplink cable
        - Students used to drop off work over network to teacher's PC.
        - Teacher has filtered Internet access cable next to their PC
        - Classes cover basic Office Suite, Typing, and IC3 Certification.
        - Previous IT person had "flexible morals", did favors for inmates.

Ongoing problems:
        - Some malicious, computer savvy, felons
        - Gang messages hidden on the system to communicate to other members
        - Gang communication and file sharing across LAN in class
        - Porn and MP3 being spread between computers

Options:
        - Removing all non essential programs
        - Installing and using Microsoft SteadyState
        - Creating student profile, with standard permissions
        - Enabling parental controls on student profile, app limitations, etc.
        - Disabling network switch (in the class room)
        - Disabling NIC in BIOS
        - Password protect BIOS

Still trying to figure out how to let them save files, yet not leave messages for other students.  I'm considering 
getting 40x 2GB USB Flash Drives (one for each student of each class) so SteadyState can just nuke all changes between 
students.  Teacher would distribute and collect all drives before and at the end of class.

----
Brian H
binarynomad () gmail com
http://www.binarynomad.com

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