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Author Topic: Bitcoin client on Windows - best practices?  (Read 1139 times)
geek-trader
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July 23, 2011, 07:34:22 PM
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My buddy is just now getting into Bitcoin.  Unfortunately, he is a Windows user.  I don't use Windows at all, and I don't have access to a Windows machine, so I can't really try stuff out in advance for him.

Is there a thread or an article about "best practices" for securely using the bitcoin client on Windows that I can point him to?  Is it as easy as putting the wallet.dat on an encrypted USB stick and making sure your anti-virus is up to date?

He's not a super computer user, but he's reasonably savvy.  He can follow instructions without messing them up.

"Don't use Windows" is an answer I already tried with him.  Wink

Thanks!

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Gabi
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July 23, 2011, 07:42:25 PM
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But are you savvy? By reading this thread i suppose not, cause windows is safe as any other system if properly used. This "omg windows is unsafe" thing is false
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July 23, 2011, 09:10:44 PM
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But are you savvy? By reading this thread i suppose not, cause windows is safe as any other system if properly used. This "omg windows is unsafe" thing is false
Not really. Windows requires greater security practices to be safe. In theory it's just as safe as anything else. But let us not forget Linus's law. Microsoft has even gone and let some flaws in windows that can be exploited get published well before they fixed them.

My buddy is just now getting into Bitcoin.  Unfortunately, he is a Windows user.  I don't use Windows at all, and I don't have access to a Windows machine, so I can't really try stuff out in advance for him.

Is there a thread or an article about "best practices" for securely using the bitcoin client on Windows that I can point him to?  Is it as easy as putting the wallet.dat on an encrypted USB stick and making sure your anti-virus is up to date?

He's not a super computer user, but he's reasonably savvy.  He can follow instructions without messing them up.

"Don't use Windows" is an answer I already tried with him.  Wink

Thanks!

Thats one way to do it, another way would be to just make a ubuntu live usb and put bitcoin on it (with the bitcoin wallet in something like a truecrypt container, so you can still boot to ubuntu), and then use this to store bitcoins, and then put a separate truecrypt volume on the drive for the wallet he uses in windows.

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geek-trader
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July 23, 2011, 09:12:48 PM
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I gave up on Windows years ago.  I hear it's gotten better, but I have not used it since XP, so I don't know that first hand.  I do know that every single user that had his wallet.dat / BTC stolen was using Windows.

I'm asking because I know Linux and I know how to secure Linux, I know OSX and I know how to secure OSX, but I do not know Windows or how to secure Windows.

If you're so sure that Windows is secure, then tell me how to tell my buddy to secure his wallet.dat on Windows.  Or point me to a forum thread or article discussing such.

I used the forum search, but it kinda sucks.

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geek-trader
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July 23, 2011, 09:17:03 PM
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Thats one way to do it, another way would be to just make a ubuntu live usb and put bitcoin on it (with the bitcoin wallet in something like a truecrypt container, so you can still boot to ubuntu), and then use this to store bitcoins, and then put a separate truecrypt volume on the drive for the wallet he uses in windows.

This is basically what I have done for myself.  A "secure" wallet that is on a live Ubuntu CD, and my everyday wallet on my Mac, on an encrypted volume.  Hell, I can even set up a secure wallet for him.  This is a step int he right direction.

I need to get a Windows box to mess with.

Make 1 deposit and earn BTC for life! http://bitcoinpyramid.com/r/345
Play my FREE HTML5 games at: http://magigames.org  BTC donations accepted.
natman3400
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July 23, 2011, 09:27:23 PM
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I gave up on Windows years ago.  I hear it's gotten better, but I have not used it since XP, so I don't know that first hand.  I do know that every single user that had his wallet.dat / BTC stolen was using Windows.

I'm asking because I know Linux and I know how to secure Linux, I know OSX and I know how to secure OSX, but I do not know Windows or how to secure Windows.

If you're so sure that Windows is secure, then tell me how to tell my buddy to secure his wallet.dat on Windows.  Or point me to a forum thread or article discussing such.

I used the forum search, but it kinda sucks.
This. When I worked in the department of the university i work at that did the PCI DSS a while back, our number one rule was if you used windows, it had to be the special one JUST for POS. For people making the move to PCI DSS compliance that were already using windows, we had to go through and swap everything that we could with some type of UNIX (which got odd looks from the computer illiterates at the POS, less so when we had the money to put in a mac server). God, we actually had this one incident were there was a keylogger on the servers used at the pharmacy. How do you get a keylogger on a computer thats running in headless mode? Only with windows. So many horror stories can be told about windows.

Personally I keep my secure wallet on an encrypted volume on my BSD drive. Why do I have a BSD drive? Because the only people that use BSD in any form are usually OS X users, and I'm 100% sure that Mac Binaries aren't compatible with the BSD distro I have, so there would be little interest in making malicious software for it. And it doesn't even have a GUI, I just use bitcoind. Id like to see someone get a virus on there in the two wget's I did and the blockchain i have downloaded.

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Serith
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July 23, 2011, 10:21:54 PM
 #7

My buddy is just now getting into Bitcoin.  Unfortunately, he is a Windows user.  I don't use Windows at all, and I don't have access to a Windows machine, so I can't really try stuff out in advance for him.

Is there a thread or an article about "best practices" for securely using the bitcoin client on Windows that I can point him to?  Is it as easy as putting the wallet.dat on an encrypted USB stick and making sure your anti-virus is up to date?

He's not a super computer user, but he's reasonably savvy.  He can follow instructions without messing them up.

"Don't use Windows" is an answer I already tried with him.  Wink

Thanks!

TrueCrypt has a feature to create Hidden Operating System http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/?s=hidden-operating-system . If i understand it right, it allows to boot either normal or encrypted Windows environment , your friend could make the setup and use encrypted Windows for bitcoin only. I think that's as far as security can go with windows, make sure he or she is not browsing porno sites though.
natman3400
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July 23, 2011, 11:59:20 PM
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My buddy is just now getting into Bitcoin.  Unfortunately, he is a Windows user.  I don't use Windows at all, and I don't have access to a Windows machine, so I can't really try stuff out in advance for him.

Is there a thread or an article about "best practices" for securely using the bitcoin client on Windows that I can point him to?  Is it as easy as putting the wallet.dat on an encrypted USB stick and making sure your anti-virus is up to date?

He's not a super computer user, but he's reasonably savvy.  He can follow instructions without messing them up.

"Don't use Windows" is an answer I already tried with him.  Wink

Thanks!

TrueCrypt has a feature to create Hidden Operating System http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/?s=hidden-operating-system . If i understand it right, it allows to boot either normal or encrypted Windows environment , your friend could make the setup and use encrypted Windows for bitcoin only. I think that's as far as security can go with windows, make sure he or she is not browsing porno sites though.
My sisters father-in-law actually got in ALOT of trouble because one of his employees was doing that on the company computer at the front desk. There were so many viruses on the thing, but lucky for him, the client data was stored in a custom format none of th viruses seemed to notice.

That truecrypt hidden os thing seems good, just as long as the only thing he does on the internet is go straight to bitcoin.org to get the client on that install.

Support the BitClip project:
http://bit.ly/vghQFK
Donate to bitclip: 1BCincd4sHM1ou5QcxZ4vc4hKzsxXCpQT
Dontate to me: 1NathanAubdutd4kW4VwfcEXEWvgkqEq7V
PGP key 1: http://goo.gl/TUIWe
PGP key 2: http://goo.gl/jrfaI
Proof both keys belong to me: http://goo.gl/dQSHl
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