Firefox portable help? Please?

This is a discussion on Firefox portable help? Please? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I've installed it on my thumbdrive. Now I'm wondering what, if anything, I need to do to make sure that there is no trace of ...

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Thread: Firefox portable help? Please?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Firefox portable help? Please?

    I've installed it on my thumbdrive. Now I'm wondering what, if anything, I need to do to make sure that there is no trace of my browsing activity on the computer being used. Anyone?
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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure the portable version is configured to leave all its temporary files on the thumbdrive, but you could always add the Stealther extension. There is also another extension (I can't remember the name, sorry) that triggers on exit to clear all histories, cache, cookies, &c... You might also look at SecureBrowse.
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    No history on the host. However if the network segment is being monitored they will still have everything and it will be tied to that computer. IOW if you are using portable to surf at work they will still have it all, then they just need to figure out who was using a particular computer at a particular time. Same with TBird Portable. Nothing on the host, but not immune from network monitoring. Also if your company runs a keylogger you are equally busted.

    Just depends on how serious they are about keeping track of network usage. I receive a URL report on all my people. The IT director deals with anything suspicious immediately.
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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I understand. Perhaps I'll just have to spring for sprint wireless internet and use my notebook...
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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    I've installed it on my thumbdrive. Now I'm wondering what, if anything, I need to do to make sure that there is no trace of my browsing activity on the computer being used. Anyone?
    Uh, er, where are you going where you don't others to know? Is this work?

    I have worked with computers for a while and learned that there are a lot of places that browsing history leaves tracks. To try and delete them all and be sure they are all gone is a Herculean effort. Even if you delete the trace files, they are really not deleted and someone could easily figure out where you have gone. Your best bet is to use a separate computer, but if you are on their network they can snoop and figure out where you are going anyways. Just wait until you get home.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    I understand. Perhaps I'll just have to spring for sprint wireless internet and use my notebook...
    From your past posts I assumed you wanted to plug into your work machine, which is why I wanted to make sure you knew a network monitor will still tag you. You will need a separate machine with it's own connection to the Internet outside of theirs to stay off their monitors.

    I use Sprint Broadband and I often get better speeds than my "hardline". YMMV I am in a built up suburban area with lots of service options and I'm very near a Sprint tower.
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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Work? Who said work? This was just uhhh, hypothetical...

    Really, appreciate the advice. The notebook computer is my personal machine, so as you said, sprint broadband to go with it and that's as invisible as it's gonna get, I suppose.
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    The IT guy at work is aware I have Portable Apps and that I use it but since our computer is one giving the least amount of trouble because I try to keep the rest of our guys from messing it up and doing some basic maintenance regularly, he "ignores" the fact that I might not be using the computer for purely business purposes. The things they worry the most is Bandwith usage, the possibility of infection (virus, trojans, etc) and violations of the law (Child porn, hacking, etc.)
    Scott made a great point. I know he knows I check this forum because he told me so obviously the traffic is being monitored. But It also happens that I am one of the few who uses the least bandwith and about 4/5 of my usage is work related with an occasional quick visit to Youtube when a forum member posts a link.

    The point is, be careful what you browse, don't be blatant about it and don't abuse it. And to be 100% sure, go wirless like you said.
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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    you can also use a "proxy server". Google it. Basically you type in the address and go to the proxy's site, and then do all your net stuff through the proxy. The idea is that people will only be able to track you as far as the proxy. They are so slow though.

    never assume anything online is secure...

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    From your past posts I assumed you wanted to plug into your work machine, which is why I wanted to make sure you knew a network monitor will still tag you. You will need a separate machine with it's own connection to the Internet outside of theirs to stay off their monitors.

    I use Sprint Broadband and I often get better speeds than my "hardline". YMMV I am in a built up suburban area with lots of service options and I'm very near a Sprint tower.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    Work? Who said work? This was just uhhh, hypothetical...

    Really, appreciate the advice. The notebook computer is my personal machine, so as you said, sprint broadband to go with it and that's as invisible as it's gonna get, I suppose.
    Agreed. You need some sort of external network access. I use a system here that effectively replaced the FBI's Carnivore system for monitoring the traffic in and out of here. It gets EVERYTHING. Not only do I just capture the individual packet data, but the system has the capability to rebuild and replay the data. So in effect I can take the recorded info, and piece it together and actually SEE what you saw on your screen as you did what you did.

    And yes we've canned folks for doing what they thought was safe on our network. One of the funny ones was a particularly poundagely inclined person snapping pics of herself in various forms of undress with a cell camera from our bathrooms and then IM'ing them to a person across our network. Not the brightest bulb on the tree.
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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I was gonna ask why you didn't keep her on for the entertainment, but then I caught this part:

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    I was gonna ask why you didn't keep her on for the entertainment, but then I caught this part:
    Yeah it was more horror flick than porn.

    ...at least I know enough to keep my barrel on while in the office
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
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    Quote Originally Posted by packinnova View Post
    Agreed. You need some sort of external network access. I use a system here that effectively replaced the FBI's Carnivore system for monitoring the traffic in and out of here. It gets EVERYTHING. Not only do I just capture the individual packet data, but the system has the capability to rebuild and replay the data. So in effect I can take the recorded info, and piece it together and actually SEE what you saw on your screen as you did what you did.
    The FBI started using this after Carnivore was canned. Ethereal

    Since they charge now most folks have migrated to Wireshark

    I use Wireshark to playback VoIP calls. I also sometimes catch emails and such from clients like TBird and others. I have numerous email and password pairs and I could be so mean, but I don't do that sort of thing.
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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    The FBI started using this after Carnivore was canned. Ethereal

    Since they charge now most folks have migrated to Wireshark

    I use Wireshark to playback VoIP calls. I also sometimes catch emails and such from clients like TBird and others. I have numerous email and password pairs and I could be so mean, but I don't do that sort of thing.
    It's more than just ethereal. The app that replaced it(even after they renamed it due to the public pressure which seemed to be more about the name than anything else -carnivore sounds so scary you know) was from a company called Niksun. Basically Niksun runs an entire server setup running their own linux kernel using libpcap for the packet capturing. Libpcap is what tcpdump is built on and both Ethereal and Wireshark use tcpdump do their packet capturing. The Niksun apps go above and beyond though, by taking that packet data and analysing EVERYTHING. They give you the capability to reconstruct data, replay attacks etc... just like you were watching it real time on the screens. They've also integrated an extremely fine-tuned Snort(less false positives among other things) so you can have your real-time intrusion detection.

    I suppose I should sort of get ...so without further adue: There's one other tidbit of info you may want to consider about running those "portable" apps built for thumb/flash/whatever drives. Those drives effectively "wear out" after so many writes. I think last I heard it was somewhere around 10,000 writes. Now, that sounds like a lot, UNTIL...you start running apps from or against them. All the writing that's going on in the background that you don't see adds up fast. I've managed to kill 4 so far myself (a 512mb, 1gb, 2gb, and an 8gb - and the 8gb one was only a month old).

    Those drives were really only designed to handle everyday file copying tasks. The nature of flash drives prevents them from functioning properly over a certain limit.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

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