Hacking: Diagnosis and Prevention
Firewalls and keeping abreast of updates
4. Open door policy:
A good firewall will protect you from inbound attacks, while also monitoring the applications running on your PC when they make outbound connections to remote systems. (Trojan horse programs, spyware and other malware that sneaks onto your PC often employ your internet link to connect clandestinely to remote servers.) Windows XP's firewall only monitors inbound connections, offering no protection from malware already on your PC. The latest versions of Sygate Personal Firewall or Zonealarm are effective. If you have a broadband internet connection, you may also wish to use a hardware based firewall in conjunction with a software version. Many cable and DSL modems and routers-wireless routers included-have a firewall that you can configure from your PC. Because these hardware firewalls are external to your system, they can't monitor which apps are opening outbound connections, so in reality they can't replace a software firewall running on your PC. Shields Up - https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2
If you would like to see how well your firewall stands up against the nasties on the www, you can go and get yourself tested at some of the links below. Ultimately you need to have all ports blocked, stealthed or non-responsive to the tests. Some of the more reliable firewall testing sites on the web are:
Sygate Security Check - http://scan.sygatetech.com/
PC Flank - http://www.pcflank.com/
The Windows XP firewall is a very simple product. It provides basic protection in an effective and user-friendly manner, but it has a distinct lack of options, especially when it comes to adding extra security. About the only option that you might want to consider setting is to turn on logging, which is disabled by default.
Go to start - control panel - network and Internet connections - network connections then right click on your Internet connection (which should be at the top of the page) and select properties. Now go to the advanced tab and click on the settings button.
Choose the security logging tab and enable the log for dropped packets and successful connections. Note the default location of the log at c:windowspfirewall.log. You can open this file with notepad to view recent failed and successful attempts to access your firewall.
# You need to patch to protect!!!
Most PC's become infected when files and apps sneak in via your web connection. To avoid future breaches, first ensure your browser abd email client are as secure as possible. Common techniques for compromising computers include spoofing a web address (passing off a dangerous site as one that is more respectable) or exploiting loopholes in Internet Explorer's security to pass protected information to sites that are not secure.
1. Detecting Trojans:
Install the latest Windows patches and fixes - that means SP2 if you're running XP. And remember, SP2 does not protect you from all future security flaws so you will still have to update your PC regularly with patches and security fixes. After you have installed SP2, go to Start-Windows Update to access the site: you will be prompted to download a new interface that, among other things, simplifies the process of installing critical security fixes.
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