ZnO 11:24 16 Feb 2003

Is zoneAlarm the best way to stop hackers ?

  BBez 11:31 16 Feb 2003

wouldn't say it's unbreakable but any good firewall should keep you safe. Don't think proper "hackers" will bother too much about home PC users though as there's nothing worth having. Most break in attempts will be from Lamers and Script Kiddies using someones software to do the work for them...

  GANDALF <|:-)> 16:32 16 Feb 2003

Firewalls…….they are useful in stopping Trojans dialing out but to be honest, if someone wanted to put a dialer on a computer it would not be rocket science. There are at least 5 programmes that can by-pass firewalls, TooLeaky having the Gibsonmeisters’ grudgingly awarded seal of entry.

The Cult of the Dead Cows’ Back Orifice, cheekily named after Microsofts’ Back Office, could be put on a target computer if one was really trying and the firewall would still be asleep. However. like my computer, most home computers contain utter drivel which is important to the owner but naff all use to the great unwashed. Bank and credit card details can be culled much easier than rooting through turgid files on a home computer. Hacking is not about breaking into home computers, it is about getting onto networks using passwords.

A quick look at attrition.org, the cult of the dead cow.com and astalavista.com will give anyone an idea of what hacking is actually about (it is not all spotty scriptkidz - the Dead Cow staff's average age is over 40) rather than some of the hyped up nonsense that our papers like to blather on about.

Hacking a home computer, especially one with a 56k connection and different IP each time you log on, is difficult.......hacking is more about gaining network passwords (ask the 100 top secret American sites that a British hacker recently compromised) than getting onto a home users computer. Sorry to sound dismissive but like mine, home computers usually contain utter drivel which might be important to the owner but meaningless to the great unwashed ;-).

Credit card numbers can easily be obtained without the aggro of getting through a computer port (clue:....have a look outside a supermarket or ask any shop worker) and ask any Private Detective how easy it is to get bank details.

I use Outpost from click here but most firewalls (even the much slated XP) will 'protect' you from cursory 'attacks' but if someone REALLY wanted to gain access to your computer..........


  ZnO 16:46 16 Feb 2003


your explanation is very interesting, but i thought you kept the same IP address every time you logged on to the internet.

  Forum Editor 17:05 16 Feb 2003

each time - unless you run your own nameserver (which very few people do).

Every time you connect to your ISP you are dynamically allocated a new IP address which lasts for that session only. The IP is logged by the ISP and can be used to track your internet activities at any time in the future. That's partly the technology that's used to find paedophiles, and those who write viruses etc. Your time online is recorded. Each server you visit as you surf the net records your entry and exit times, and the pages you look at. These records, plus the ISP's IP logs can pinpoint an individual's movements very precisely.

If you disconnect and the connect again very rapidly there's a chance that you will get the same IP the second time - but it's rare with a busy ISP

  ZnO 17:12 16 Feb 2003

Forum Editor

Thank you for your reply, you've been a great help.


  canard 20:43 16 Feb 2003

Is it true that when on cable your ISP address stays the same for a week?

  VoG™ 20:46 16 Feb 2003

I'm on cable, 'puter on 24/7 and my IP never seems to change.

  silliw 21:35 16 Feb 2003

cable broadband - fixed IP address as long as the modem is left on
cable dial up - variable IP each time you dial up

  Shedender 21:44 16 Feb 2003

I didn't realise the IP address changed every time. That makes me feel better but as Gandalf says I don't think I've got anything on my PC that would interest anyone else.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 23:52 16 Feb 2003

Your IP addy will stay the same on cable as it is 'always on'. However, in theory, if you turn it off you should get a different IP addy.

If someone wanted to hack into a computer a static or variable IP address would be the least of their worries.;-))

Personally I would be more concerned about viruses although they are likely to be merely annoying rather than disastrous. Why hack into a home computer to view the latest garden design or soccer moms' league tables? As stated before there are much. much easier ways to blag credit card and bank account numbers.


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