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I heard that hosting a minecraft server (public) is super super secure. Like, you'd need a government hacker to hack into it (I'm not talking about client-hacking) to gain access to your system.

In order for other players to play on your server, you have to give others your public IP. Many times I've heard that that is a big no-no. I would really like to host a minecraft server but I'm currently in a network of other computers that shouldn't be tampered with (or, hacked in to from the minecraft server). How would I be able to highly prevent, or completely stop someone gaining access to my system or a network of systems?

I can accept that if there is no solution is the answer, than that's okay as well. I am currently using a macintosh computer.

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If you just want to play with a small set group of people, I would suggest hamachi. –  John the Green Aug 11 '11 at 20:05
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You give people your public IP every time you visit a website. It's a common myth that there's anything dangerous about it. –  user56 Aug 11 '11 at 20:09
    
Updated question with OS. –  alexy13 Aug 11 '11 at 20:12
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2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

You can take a look at mineOS, a small Linux distro that runs only a minecraft server. Put that on a dedicated machine or in a virtual one and set your router to forward the standard port (25565) so that machine's IP. Even if the (virtual) server is compromised it is virtually impossible to break out and cause harm to your remaining network - assuming your network is not setup without any password protection or authentication mechanism of course. If you want to be even more safe, set up a DMZ.

Alternatively, set up a LAN server that cannot be accessed from the internet and offer a VPN connection to those you want to allow access. This is less secure but probably easier to setup.

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Hmm, very cool idea. –  Matthew Read Aug 11 '11 at 20:09
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There's a Minecraft Linux? Wow... –  Cyclops Aug 12 '11 at 13:42
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MineOS on a $30 Raspberry Pi. A cheap linux server isolated from the home network. –  user23392 Apr 6 '12 at 18:44
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I highly doubt the Minecraft server is that secure, especially since it's Java from what I understand. That said:

  1. Install a good firewall. I recommend Comodo for Windows.
  2. Enable all the security features you can on the firewall, like Defense+ for Comodo. Note that some features may decrease network performance, which may be undesirable.
  3. Block all ports except the ones used by the Minecraft server.
  4. Set the Minecraft server to be the only executable allowed to access the internet (on those specific ports) or, if it's a .jar being run by Java, allow javaw.exe
  5. You may want an antivirus, just in case; I currently run Microsoft Security Essentials, though I don't know that I would recommend it (its protective capabilities have not yet been tested on my machine).
  6. For things like Windows settings, check out this MSDN article (pretty technical).

That should be enough to stop most hackers. Hackers prefer easy targets, so if you don't make someone angry they'll have no reason to target you :P

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Sorry I forgot to add in my original question, my computer is a mac. –  alexy13 Aug 11 '11 at 20:12
    
very good suggestions, though for a machine that is accessed from the internet the best choice is probably a dedicated (at least virtual) machine, but I won't go advocating windows vs linux vs bsd security here... @Alexy13 If you choose this (probably quicker to setup) solution, make at least sure that the server does not run with as an admin account and no sensitive data is on this machine. –  Zommuter Aug 11 '11 at 20:13
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@Tobias Yep. I misread one of Alexy13's previous questions and didn't realize they used a Mac. You could combine both of our ideas though -- run the virtual server on a secured Windows PC. Comodo even has a sandboxing feature, so even if there were a bug tailored to exploit virtual servers it would likely fail. –  Matthew Read Aug 11 '11 at 20:16
    
@Matthew good point (I didn't know about OSX as well, Mine OS was just what I wanted to try soon myself...) –  Zommuter Aug 11 '11 at 20:22
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