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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    1,893

    Default What\'s your computer telling the world?

    I have just installed the Panicware product recommended on the forum to stop pop ups appearing when surfing. Panicware advised me to install a spyware product that checks to see who was sending out info from my computer. Boy were they right!!
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://spybot.eon.net.au/index.php?lang=en&page=start>http://spybot.eon.net.au/index.php?lang=en&page=start</A>
    Check yours!!

    <hr width=100% size=1>

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    10,888

    Default Re: What\'s your computer telling the world?

    Indeed they are right and whats more, when you are on the web, they can see in to your computer. Given the fact that they can do this, any hacker can obtain info on you and if you have ever used credit cards on the web, they will find these details also. Its called "port scanning" and in any 1 hour internet session, you can be scanned 5 times or more.

    <hr width=100% size=1>Madoc Yacht Club
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.madocyachtclub.co.uk>http://www.madocyachtclub.co.uk</A>

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: What\'s your computer telling the world?

    Install a Firewall, I installed ZoneAlarm and inthe first hour it blocked approx 25 hits.
    ZoneAlarm is available free from:-
    http://www.zonelabs.com/store/conten...eeDownload.jsp

    <hr width=100% size=1>Brian
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/brunyard

  4. #4
    cliffdale is online now Registered User
    Location : Falmouth Cornwall
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    2,289

    Default Re: What\'s your computer telling the world?

    It blocked me from getting to this site, i had to un install it!

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    56,724

    Default Re: What\'s your computer telling the world?

    A firewall won't block you getting to a site. You do have to tell it which programs are OK (it's like training it), and with some, whether sites can install cookies. You'll have been given the option when you first used IE after installing ZoneAlarm. If you said no the first time, then you have to go into the program and unblock it.

    <hr width=100% size=1>Err, let me know if Depsol enters the forum, I'll go and hide

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    56,724

    Default Re: What\'s your computer telling the world?

    99.99% of 'hits' on your computer are actually quite innocuous. Usually just the website you are accessing chatting to your computer. There's a log program available which can analyse the hits and it will show that this is the case (though you have to have a little IT knowledge to interprete the results accurately.)

    <hr width=100% size=1>Err, let me know if Depsol enters the forum, I'll go and hide

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    264

    Default Re: What\'s your computer telling the world?

    A sensibly setup computer is not as vulnerable as that The port scans are looking for open ports to connect to usually web tools, email servers or ftp sites, and of course trojans. If these are not open then you're probably ok.

    The problem comes from the fact that most windows programs switch everything on by default and if you are also sharing stuff on a home network then you need to be more carefull ( the ports used by your home network may be vulnerable to the internet ) and personally I wouldn't use peer to peer (mp3 sites for eg) under any circumstances.

    A firewall on its own is not going to keep you safe if the network inside is not secured. Use PGP or similar to secure sensitive data and and be a bit street (net?) wise.

    Steve D

    <hr width=100% size=1>No. I was right the first time....
    No. I was right the first time....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: What\'s your computer telling the world?

    Most of the advice in this thread is good. There are several things you should do to protect yourself, although as mentioned by others, a lot of the port scanning which people see are not specifically targeted at you. Hackers select ranges of IP addresses and scan millions of them in sequence - then they analyse the results to see if anything looks interesting - they can tell if you're running web servers, FTP sites, SMTP mail servers and other open ports on your machine. They love finding SMTP mail relay servers which they can attempt to use to bounce spam off so it looks like it comes from someone else rather then them.

    What do you do to protect yourself?

    Install a firewall.
    ZoneAlarm is free and works well. It uses "stealth" protection, ie it just doesn't respond to the ping or scan so the hacker doesn't know that he is being practively blocked, he just can't get a response. You do have to teach ZoneAlarm about your habits and what you want to let through. This is where the system breaks down as human error can often allow something through which shouldn't - a firewall is inherantly safe, ie if it blocks all inbound and all outbound traffic. Of course, you can't do anything or go anywhere if it's all blocked so we tell it to allow certain traffic through - if we say "yes" to the wrong traffic we could allow the bad guys in, if we say "no", as you did, to safe traffic, you get blocked from going to great sites like YBW. Common sense has to prevail.
    Other firewalls like Norton and Black Ice have some more advanced features/reporting but they cost money.

    Security Patches
    Microsoft, bless them, constantly discover flaws in their applications which could allow a hacker to cause damage, but in fairness to them, the Windows Update service is easy to use, although some of the updates can be quite large so a boradband connection is desirable. Run it in the background all the time and let the service advise you when updates are available so you can download and install them. I also check manually EVERY WEEK and keep my machines bang up to date.

    Routers vs Modems
    If you are using ADSL or Cable, consider using a router rather than a cheap broadband modem. I use a router configured for Network Address Translation (NAT) - the outside world (incl Mr Nasty) can't even "see" my computer as it's real IP address is on the private side of the network and he can't route to it. (Out of interest, if you then run a firewall on your PC you will see all the port scanning stop). You do need to ensure that your router is secure, but by disabling the ICMP protocol (eg ping and tracert) and disallowing Public side inbound telnet (port 23) and HTTP (port 80) admin access, noone will be able to get onto you equipment!

    Anti Virus
    Install and more importantly, keep up to date, a decent quality AV product like Norton or Mcafee. I see loads of machines where the user thinks they are protected coz they have Norton, but they haven't run the Virus identity updates for 12 months - this is useless and will not protect you from new viruses. Updates are issued every week without fail (sometimes there even emergency updates for prolific viruses) - you should ensure you are right up with the latest version.

    Downloads/Self installers
    Be very careful what you download, from websites, peer-to-peer apps and emails. If you use common sense you should never have a problem but a lot of people naively allow programs onto their machines from people they don't know. But I bet they wouldn't let those people walk in the front door of their house if they knocked...!!!

    Anyway, sorry this is so long, but hope it helps.

    Matt

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    1,708

    Default Re: What\'s your computer telling the world?

    hi all
    this is an interesting ,if not somewhat disconcerting site, that deals with PC security have a look at what is available

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.grc.com>http://www.grc.com</A>

    regards
    julian

    <hr width=100% size=1>WHAT??? more petrol!!!

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