SecureDrop On-Site Training Schedule

Who is This For?

While SecureDrop is open source and available for anyone to install and set up, Freedom of the Press Foundation provides paid support contracts to assist with the initial setup of the system, as well as training and ongoing technical support.

If you are considering a paid contract for your organization, the following will provide you with an idea of the typical on-site installation and training timeline.

Day 1: Install

Installing SecureDrop

Installation may be started by admins ahead of schedule to save on-site time.

Time: 6+ hours

Participants: SecureDrop Admins

Format: For assisted installs, in-person or hybrid-remote (FPF remote, admins in-person)

Day 2: Admin and Digital Security Training

Admin Training

Time: 4+ hours

Participants: SecureDrop Admins

Format: In-person or hybrid-remote (FPF remote, admins in-person)

  • Check access to previously created Tails USB

  • Updating Tails

  • Setup KeePassXC manager (one for Secure Viewing Station, one for Admin Workstation)

  • Setting up SSH aliases for the Admin Workstation if needed

  • Go over common OSSEC alerts for security updates and daily reports

  • Adding/removing SecureDrop users

  • Backups

  • Disk space monitoring

  • Changing passphrases (for FDE, persistent volumes, 2FA, KeePassXC managers…)

  • Enabling logging for troubleshooting

  • Sending logs to FPF support team

  • Preparing Journalist Workstation drives

  • Updating SecureDrop

    • Unattended upgrades

    • Upgrades that require admin intervention

  • Distribute important info:

Digital Security 101

Time: 2 hours

Participants: Journalists to be onboarded to SecureDrop, admins, OSSEC alert recipients and anyone else interested

Format: In-person or remote

  • Risk assessment and threat modeling

  • Account security fundamentals

    • Passphrases and Password Managers

    • Two-factor authentication (2FA)

  • Phishing prevention

  • Web browser security

  • IP address privacy, VPNs and Tor

  • Secure communication tools for colleagues and sources

  • Q & A

Day 3: Journalist Training and Onboarding

Journalist Training, Part 1

Time: 2.5 hours

Participants: Journalists to be onboarded to SecureDrop, admins, OSSEC alert recipients and anyone else interested

Format: In-person or remote

  • Introduction to Tails and its features

  • Importance of the Landing Page security

  • Demo of source submission process

  • Demo of journalist’s processes for checking the Journalist Interface

  • Demo of journalist’s processes for replies

  • Demo working with submissions on the Secure Viewing Station

  • Secure-deleting and difference between wipe and erase free space on Tails, and when to use each

  • Discuss scrubbing submitted documents prior to publication

    • Using MAT (Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit)

    • Converting files to more benign formats

    • What to do for unsupported formats

  • Options for distributing with other news organizations

  • Show example of an OSSEC alert, briefly cover what it does

  • Overview of onion names

  • Physical security of servers and Secure Viewing Station

  • How to securely publicize the organization’s Source Interface Tor URL

  • Distribute important info:

  • Link to security audits

  • Q & A

Journalist Training, Part 2

Time: 1+ hours, depending on the number of journalists being onboarded

Participants: Journalists to be onboarded to SecureDrop, admins

Format: In-person or hybrid-remote (FPF remote, journalists and admins in-person)

  • Check access to previously created Tails USB drives

  • Create SecureDrop accounts for individual journalists

  • Setup KeePassXC for Journalist Workstation drive

  • Disaster recovery for 2FA and password manager

  • Updating Tails

  • If needed, process for distributing the Submission Private Key to a remote journalist’s air-gapped Secure Viewing Station

  • Do complete journalist process walk through once, and repeat for each individual journalist being onboarded