Are you safe?

  Gaz 25 19:42 29 Sep 2004

I'm not going to start a firewall debate about if we need one or not... but I am going to say that if ports are left open, the windows subsystem and TCP/IP stack can be contacted, and of course using remote cmd switch commands or some clever hacking software, you can set-up system shares remotely and view someones HDD.

It's also possible to run many of the commands you can from cmd prompt remotely. It does however apply to professional hackers that know a lot about ping/dos and tcp/ip.

I don't think script kiddies try that though, but it's cirtainly possible forr someone to break access into your computer firewall protected or not really - but a firewall will prevent further investigation because they might as well just be firing at a brick wall, they don't realise that there is a PC there where as if they do, there is point in getting in = for information.

Even for a snoop, even if you don't have anything to hide... its not nice.

Scary! For the time being my firewall is staying on, but just shows you what the Internet is becoming.

  watchful 20:28 29 Sep 2004

Yes. Firewalled, scanned,anti-spywared, pop-stopped and updated as and when! :o)

  VoG II 21:21 29 Sep 2004

Currently hiding behind hardware (router) firewall, software firewall, SpywareBlaster, SpywareGuard.

Also have Ad-aware and Spybot.

I'm still not confident that I won't catch a nasty and just hope that the likes of Nellie2 comes to my rescue if I get "done".

  Forum Editor 22:39 29 Sep 2004

just how many people do get 'done'. I obviously lead a charmed life, because in all the years I've spent working on and with the internet I haven't once been attacked in any way, shape or form.

I've had plenty of experience with attacks on corporate servers/networks of course, but that's a slightly different scenario. In this context big targets get shot at more often, and there's more chance of them being hit. That's the way of it.

Home users are different - they're like those tiny silver fish that you see forming vast shoals on the TV nature programs. They shaol like that to protect themselves - the chances of any single fish being picked off by a predator are statistically far less if they all stick together. So it is with single computer users on the internet - they have little to offer by way of reward for the effort, and the chances of a hacker (for instance) picking a single machine to attack are rens of millions to one - probably greater than the chances of anyone winning the lottery. It happens, but it's extremely unlikely.

Random 'infections' (for want of a better word) by downloaded nasties is a more likely scenario, but there's plenty that can be done to prevent it. The biggest weapon in the computer-user's armoury is commonsense and prudence - just don't go near warez sites, or use file-sharing servers to download illegal music, video or software files and you're well on the way to protecting yourself. Keep away from porn sites and you've removed another of the big risk areas. Top that off with a readily-available (and free) anti-virus program and a software firewall and you will be pretty well bomb-proof. Don't buy cheap and dodgy software from car-boot sales, or from Kevin in the pub, and you're more or less guaranteed a peaceful and uneventful computing life.

I find quite a few malicious files and viruses when I visit clients. Usually they're on machines owned by private clients, and a quick look at the cached list of sites they've visited and/or their cookie folder usually tells the story.

  watchful 08:19 30 Sep 2004

How did you know his name was Kevin? :o)

  CurlyWhirly 12:29 30 Sep 2004

Currently hiding behind hardware (router) firewall, software firewall, SpywareBlaster, SpywareGuard.

How come having a hardware (router) firewall and a software firewall don't cause a conflict?
Just curious!

  Gaz 25 13:12 30 Sep 2004

"How come having a hardware (router) firewall and a software firewall don't cause a conflict? Just curious!"

I'll take this one at a time..,

A stateful inspection hardware & software firewall will not conflict because all they simply do to the packets is add a signiture, just like on your e-mail.

Software firewall will add one, and then hardware firewall will add one, when the packet is returned both signitures are sent back, thus verified by both of the firewalls. Although this method can slow down your connection a tad, ping is just a few milliseconds longer - but it isnt really noticable. I use both as well.

A rule based firewall or firewall employing both stateful inspection and rules will just be blocking ports. Your router stops cnnections before they reach your PC on cirtain ports, but a software firewall will stop any internal communications that are suspicious, therefore preventing anyone if they get past the hardware firewall. It's unlikely this will affect system performance, and sure will increase security.

A lot of corporate networks use hardware and client based software firewalls these days.

A advantage of using software firewall is it prevents unauthorised outgoing communications as well, where as hardware has difficulty, it can only assume that a mail client is connecting on port 110 for example, where as software will tell you exactly what is.

  CurlyWhirly 20:45 30 Sep 2004

Thanks for the explanation Mate.

  Gaz 25 21:23 30 Sep 2004

No problemo...

Afterall thats what the forums are for!


  Dorsai 18:23 01 Oct 2004

I go with the defend thyself approach..

My car (before i got a bycycle instead) got broken into severel times. In had absolutly noting of value in it. It had no parcel-shelf, and an empty boot, and no glove box. It was 20-odd years old, and worth about £20 (the cost of petrol in it). Why would anyone bother to break into it? I dont know. but someone did, and did damamge in the process.....

So i assume some mindless fool will try the same with my PC, and trash it, just coz they can, not for any other reason.

"it is there, i can spoil it, so i will"

Thats why they call 'mindless vandelism' Mindless.

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