How to block in Windows10 Telemetry with pfsense





  • Thank God I already switched my machines to Linux.

    I've been contemplating that for 10+ years, but there was always a reliance on special software that I couldn't get for Linux.  Now that I don't do a lot of desktop stuff at home anymore, I'm thinking now might be the time to dump Win10 and go with Mint Cinnamon.



  • You can find equivalent programs under Linux for most of the daily tasks. No to little effort is required to switch over.
    There could be though very special industrial apps which were made for Windows-only, that's true. But for the regular home user, Linux is a perfect alternative.



  • I've been adminning Linux boxes for more than a decade so I'm generally aware of what's available.  For me, the showstoppers were always a decent money-management app (eg. Quicken, MS Money), a good Usenet browser (eg. Newsleecher, Forte Agent) and a decent RSS reader (eg. Feeddemon, QuiteRSS).  Nowadays I don't use a money app, Usenet indexers have removed the need for an NNTP browser, and there are several decent RSS readers for Linux.  I really should have thought of this 2 weeks ago before I spent a weekend doing the Windows 10 thing.



  • @KOM:

    A centralized solution would be best.  If you're going to go local, why not just use one of the many utils already out there?

    http://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10

    http://pxc-coding.com/portfolio/donotspy10/

    Do not use that, you cannot go back without using a " restore point".





  • Do not use that, you cannot go back without using a "  restore point".

    ShutUp10 will prompt you to let it create one before it applies its changes.  I didn't bother as I can't see any scenario where I would need to undo that stuff.



  • Please forgive me.  I'm a bit of a noob.  Do these look right?

    ![allow update.PNG](/public/imported_attachments/1/allow update.PNG)
    ![allow update.PNG_thumb](/public/imported_attachments/1/allow update.PNG_thumb)
    ![block telemetry.PNG](/public/imported_attachments/1/block telemetry.PNG)
    ![block telemetry.PNG_thumb](/public/imported_attachments/1/block telemetry.PNG_thumb)



  • yes it looks ok.



  • Your pass rule isn't required unless you've really locked down your LAN.  By default, LAN has full access out to everywhere.



  • yes it is required because other way update destinations will be blocked from Blocked rule that have these destinations included in case you don't want to allow update.



  • yes it is required because other way update destinations will be blocked from Blocked rule that have these destinations included in case you don't want to allow update.

    Huh?  Windows Update domains shouldn't be included in your telemetry alias.



  • some people want to block everyhing because MS can deliver an "security update" that will install telemetry and also use update hosts to get data from computer so this way is better, at least for me to have updates (allow only updates-block everything).



  • I still don't see how this is a good solution.  Are you literally whitelisting every destination address you want access to and blocking everything else on the Internet?  Because MS can spin up a zillion new domains on a whim.



  • MS can do whatever they want, but they must be able to make your computer to talk with any new domains ( and they can do this only with an allowed to install update ).
    If now you block the telemetry C&C servers, there is no other way your computer will know to talk with new domains until you will install that update.

    This is what we have for now, if we have another better way please elaborate ( except unplug the cable, stop using MS OS… ).



  • @n3by:

    yes it looks ok.

    It's not ok as per your description, because it's a pass rule, not a block rule.



  • @KOM:

    yes it is required because other way update destinations will be blocked from Blocked rule that have these destinations included in case you don't want to allow update.

    Huh?  Windows Update domains shouldn't be included in your telemetry alias.

    Which are the Windows Update domains, btw?

    I found these:

    windowsupdate.microsoft.com	 
    update.microsoft.com	 
    windowsupdate.com	 
    download.windowsupdate.com	 
    wustat.windows.com	 
    ntservicepack.microsoft.com	 
    

    Are there any others?



  • @robi:

    @n3by:

    yes it looks ok.

    It's not ok as per your description, because it's a pass rule, not a block rule.

    It's two rules.



  • Setup a WSUS server, whitelist that to talk to Microsoft, and block all clients?

    I'm torn between Linux and FreeBSD. Linux has better Steam support, but a lot of stuff is being done in FreeBSD to increase comparability. ZFS and Jails are very attractive, even on a desktop.


  • Banned

    Whenever I have the choice, M$-shyt has been replaced by opensuse or PC-BSD (the later has a steeper learning curve and is not so well supported, but is free of systemd). Big plus: you can both run with KDE desktop, which made it much easier to switch between these two, and btw the handling is not sooo far away from Windows xp/7…


  • Banned

    PS: Here

    http://techne.alaya.net/?p=12499

    you can find a long list of IPs and host names to block for Windows telemetry.


  • Banned

    …just for the record:

    I uninstalled on Win 7 pro 64/32 (various computers) the following KBs:

    97 1033
    290 2907
    295 2664
    299 0214
    302 1917
    302 2345
    303 5583
    304 4374
    305 0265
    306 2345
    306 5987
    306 8708
    307 5249
    307 5851
    308 0149
    308 3325

    and in addition I set up a block rule with loggin for an alias containing all the IPs and host names listed here

    http://techne.alaya.net/?p=12499

    As you might expect, the firewall log is full of blocked "MS telemetry" this morning.


  • Banned

    …just to add:

    Had my PC-BSD 10 PC up today for updating. Really amazing, I found in the firewall logs repeated access of this computer to an IP blocked for MS Telemetry.

    WHAT has PC-BSD with MS-Telemetry in common? Or is it more correctly NSA telemetry featured by Microshyte?

    I'm surprised!

    ![BSD to MS 07.12.2015.JPG](/public/imported_attachments/1/BSD to MS 07.12.2015.JPG)
    ![BSD to MS 07.12.2015.JPG_thumb](/public/imported_attachments/1/BSD to MS 07.12.2015.JPG_thumb)



  • That IP address is a-msedge.net and it takes you to Bing.


  • Banned

    So basically you think it's Firefox? But I have no Bing (removed it from search options in Firefox), I use no Bing, I've never been there in my whole live… Firefox was running in PRIVATE mode all the time btw...

    So: why does my OS/Browser try to contact OVER AND OVER AGAIN something I've never asked to contact? Things are not really getting better at this point...



  • No idea.


  • Banned

    …sometimes I really think about starting a 24/7 wireshark session on all networks... storage space is so cheap nowadays. How about an integration into pfSense?



  • How about an integration into pfSense?

    pfSense already has a Capture Packet function.  You want Wireshark??


  • Banned

    But is 24/7 feasible on an embedded nano? Not really, I guess. Maybe I set up a Linux machine and start copying the whole internet traffic…

    But overall: This story really frustrates me...



  • Wireshark is just a GUI to pcap data, you wouldn't run that on the firewall given it has no X and will never have X. You can feed Wireshark over SSH, or run tcpdump on the firewall dumping to disk if you have plenty of disk space.

    It's extremely unlikely PCBSD is communicating with anything to do with Microsoft. Whatever telemetry blocking list you have is way over-blocking I expect. It also seems to block critical portions of Windows update, which is likely the bulk of the attempts you're seeing.


  • Banned

    @cmb:

    Whatever telemetry blocking list you have is way over-blocking I expect. It also seems to block critical portions of Windows update, which is likely the bulk of the attempts you're seeing.

    Yes. Things like HPHosts that block this without thinking break Windows updates.


  • Banned

    Nope, Windows update just works fine on the Win-machines in the network, no problem at all.

    But please, it's the local IP of my PC-BSD 10 running on an old Dell Precision 670, no question about that. No Windows involved. No software other than Firefox was running a the time of the blockings in the firewall log. And the log is FULL of these blocks.

    I REALLY have no idea what is going on here…



  • And you're sure that this PC-BSD box isn't running a browser that is trying to talk to Bing, for whatever reason?  Otherwise, I really can't see a *BSD distro needing to talk to Microsoft for anything.


  • Banned

    What could make Firefox with No-script in private mode make talk to Bing, except using Bing, is this the question? Honestly, I don't know!



  • Perhaps it's a beacon or something on some page you were on that it talking to Bing?  Some other plugin you're running?  I have no idea either, just wild guesses.


  • Banned

    … no further plugins, except Cipherfox... ;-)


  • Banned

    …btw, I did it in the past, with 2 bridged network adapters catch whole internet traffic with wireshark. Is it better to do it on the WAN or on the LAN interface of the pfSense?

    On the WAN side the local IP the traffic is comming from should gone, right?



  • Full of blocks to where? What IP(s)? PCBSD runs from a CDN, which might also host any number of other completely unrelated things. Doubt if Microsoft is among those as I believe they use akamai, but knowing list maintainers' penchant for over-blocking, it wouldn't be surprising if they blocked an entire CDN.


  • Banned

    The specific IP in the post above, same IP again and again.



  • :-\Hi,

    I tried to follow these instructions but pfsense is not allowing me to save these hosts as an alias or under any other type. Here is a snapshot of what I am doing https://imgur.com/XpW9uI8

    I would also like to block incoming tor exit nodes and I dont see any easy way to add the hundreds of IP's, does anyone know how that can be done on the command line?

    Can you kindly tell me the correct way to do this or how I can do it on the command line?

    Thanks!


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