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Whonix-Workstation Security Hardening

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Introduction[edit]

Whonix ™ is by no means a perfectly hardened system. Additional hardening measures are most welcome, but at the same time hardening by default is very difficult. Until the Whonix ™ project realizes a significant increase in resources or community assistance, extra measures will remain out of scope and hardening will be left to the upstream operating system. See Virtualization Platform for further details.

AppArmor[edit]

Learn more about AppArmor, which helps to protect against vulnerabilities by confining a program's file access based upon strict rule-sets. It is recommended to apply the available Whonix ™ AppArmor profiles to contain various applications which are run in Whonix-Gateway ™ (sys-whonix) and/or Whonix-Workstation ™ (anon-whonix), like Tor, Tor Browser, Thunderbird and others.

Multiple Tor Browser Instances and Workstations[edit]

Appropriate compartmentalization of user activities is important when different identities and/or additional software are in use. Multiple Tor Browser instances provide some separation of distinct identities, however this issue has not yet been fully solved by Tor Browser or Torbutton. A more secure method of compartmentalization is using Multiple Whonix-Workstation ™, which are easily created.

Multiple Tor Browser Instances[edit]

To better separate different contextual identities, consider starting multiple Tor Browser instances. Follow the steps in the Manually Downloading Tor Browser entry, except for minor changes that are necessary; for example Tor Browser must be extracted into a different folder.

This method is less secure than using multiple Whonix-Workstation ™s, which is outlined below.

Multiple Whonix-Workstation ™s[edit]

For tasks requiring different identities and/or additional software, it is recommended to utilize two or more Whonix-Workstation ™ VMs since different torified clients are isolated from each other. In this configuration, a Tor Browser exploit in one Whonix-Workstation ™ cannot simultaneously read the user's identity in another VM (for example, an IRC account). [1]

This method is less secure than using Tor Browser in a Qubes Whonix-Workstation ™ DisposableVM.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. This does not protect against the sudden loss of networking, which could reveal to the attacker that two activities / accounts suddenly going off-line are probably related.

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