Web Bugs

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W0TDH, Jun 12, 2002.

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  1. N0XAS

    N0XAS Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (kd5mpm @ July 24 2002,11:40)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">A hacker group known as the Cult of the Dead Cow has released a Windows 95/98 backdoor named 'Back Orifice' (BO).[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Umm, yeah, like four or five *years* ago.  Back Orifice and its many offshoots and similar programs are not something that will secretly creep past your antivirus and firewall systems and secretly invade your computer.  Just some quick tips that will eliminate 99.9% of problems associated with web &amp; email access:

    1.)  Buy and install a good antivirus program, one WITH an email scanning proxy.  I use Norton Antivirus, so I know how well it works; others may be better or worse.  Do your research homework.  The email proxy/scanner is a very important piece, though -- it also scans all incoming email BEFORE Lookout Depressed or whatever other brain-damaged email program you have ever sees it.  The antivirus program itself will scan memory, disk, new programs, etc.

    2.)  Subscribe to, dowload and install the updates for whatever antivirus you use.  If it's not up to date, it's useless.

    3.)  Install updates and service packs to Windows as they become available, especially security fixes.  Avoid the newest, latest versions of applications like Media Player and Outhouse Express unless it's a security fix.  New versions are often found to be riddled with security holes.

    4.)  Download and install Ad Aware.  This free program will clean up all those stupid little popup ad generators and web trackers you've been tricked into installing -- things like Gator and such crap.  I also use Norton Clean Sweep and Internet Sweep to periodically clean up old unused programs and remnants of whatever crap has been downloaded from various web sites.

    5.)  If you absolutely must run Windows, and I'm not saying you shouldn't, make sure you've shut off IIS, Personal Web Server, and other such nonsense that pretty much turns your system into -- well, picture your computer slinking around on a dark New Orleans streetcorner with red lights, accosting passersby and sailors...

    6.)  If you're using a cable modem or DSL, get a firewall/router like a Linksys or similar product.  If you can't afford that, look into personal firewall software like Norton or Black Ice.  If you're more technically inclined, install a Linux, BSD or Solaris system with ipf, Squid and Procmail to protect your Windows machines.

    7.)  Use some common sense.  Delete SPAM emails without even opening them.  Don't set your Internet Exploder security levels to their lowest settings.  Stay away from porno and scam web sites, they're usually pretty easy to pick out.  Don't click on banner ads -- EVER.  Especially those &quot;Your system is too slow&quot; ads and crap like that.  Don't install ANYTHING when prompted by IE, unless you know for absolute certain it's 100.0% safe...  and this includes things from Microsoft.  Don't assume anyone knows what's good for you but you.

    Don't take this as just more well-meaning advice from some techie wanna-be.  I have been running multiple Windows PCs behind a Linux firewall, attached to a publicly accessible cable modem connection, for four years now without one *SINGLE* incident of virus or Trojan infection.  This is with an entire family, including five kids ranging from 9 years old on up through college, all using the system for Web, email, gaming and every other thing imaginable.  My Linux system is running DNS, mail, web and remote access including Webmail and remote login,and always has been.  Never been hacked or cracked, not even a little bit, not even once.  My main family system was running a Windows NT load that was installed in 1999, and I just did an upgrade in place to Win2K.  That's over three years on the same installation of Windows, no virus, no hacks, no trojans.  In other words, I think I do know what I'm talking about.  

    Free advice, feel free to take it or leave it of course.

  2. KB9YFI

    KB9YFI Ham Member QRZ Page

    1-7 are all excellent advice. I am in 100% agreement here. I can't say it enough to keep your anti-virus software updated. It won't do any good if it's a couple of months behind and a new flock of virii sprout up from the minds of evil men.

    Jim - KB9YFI
  3. KB1GYQ

    KB1GYQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The real trick is to stay away from Micro$oft products if at all possible! They do make a few very nice virii writing toolkits, however.
  4. KB9YFI

    KB9YFI Ham Member QRZ Page

    And lastly if you are running a home business or have any important records keep that machine OFF the Internet. Get a second computer just for that purpose (you can write it off 100%) and never ever ever ever let it be exposed to the Internet. Get a good anti-virus program for that too. If you need to get files on it then download to your net machine and then hook up the business machine to your network AFTER you have disconnected your router from your ISP. Call me paranoid but the surfing machines we use at our home are expendable. I keep a backup of my important email files and bookmarks and other than that could care less if I had to reload the OS on this POS Emachine surfer. The business machine only gets hooked into the network after I pull the plug on the cable modem and only for a short time.

    Ha ha ha, my wife just got hit with a pop-up AUDIO ad that ran over 45 seconds... what a waste of bandwidth. The Internet is a junkyard. You need to watch your step.

    Jim - KB9YFI
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