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Hacking - Is anyone really safe from it ?


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#1    Saru

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Posted 14 April 2002 - 12:09 AM

Here's an interesting article about the problem of cybercrime and hackers, from CNN.com :

Your bank account has been cleaned out. The project you have been working on for the past six months has vanished. Your e-mails have been infected with a virus that has copied itself to all the people you have ever exchanged e-mails with. You try to make a call but your mobile phone's address book has been deleted remotely.

Then things start to get really bad.

The computer system protecting your house no longer recognises you because the data containing your retina scan has been stolen. Now you are barred from your home, so you alert the police, but they are very keen to talk to you about your recent credit card purchase in Panama.

It sounds like technophobe's worst nightmare, but it could be reality.

For the rest of the article, check out this site:
http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/ptech/04/12/hack.dangers/index.html


#2    Loonboy

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Posted 14 April 2002 - 12:58 PM

[blue]Well I'm okay because... my computer is so archaic that a hacker would have to get out his Spectrum Basic manual to get into my system.....

:s03[/blue]


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The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears. – Minquass


#3    PurpleStuart

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Posted 14 April 2002 - 02:23 PM

LB: Most hackers started off using those, so that won't be much protection.

My advice to everyone here - most of which you already know i'm sure -

Never make a credit card purchace on the net if there is no small padlock on the bottom right of your browser.

Always use a firewall. Especially if you have an always-on broadband (ADSL/Cable). the best software firewall can be found at Zonelabs and it's free. What makes this firewall especially good is that it doesn't just stop things coming in it also stops programs installed on your computer connecting to the internet without your knowledge. The main way that hackers gain access to anothers computer is by use of trojans, a type of program that by hook or by crook gets installed on your system (by you directly, by a virus as part of it's payload, by installing another piece of software which has been altered by a hacker to include installing the trojan as well etc).
When it is installed it waits until your connected to the net and connects itself to tell the hacker that its there. once installed the hacker has complete control on your computer and can actually stop you from using it. This firewall detects programs trying to connect to net and asks for permission in each case, so if you don't recognise it you can stop it.
But it isn't just Hacker's tools that do this. If you have (for example) got Realplayer installed on your machine, everytime you connect to the www it quietly connects too and sends out consumer information out to Real - websites you've visited amout of time you are on the net etc which also slows your internet connection down - and that aint the only one either: if you use Kazaa then you have a company called Brilliant using your computer for storing adverts on a peer to peer network for advertising (think napster but just adverts using your computer to power it!) click here for more info on that.

Install a virus checker - if you don't have one (or can't afford one) then there is a free online one here. Scan all files you download.

If you want to know more about the subject visit grc.com which can guide you through how to make your computer more secure.
To see how secure your computer is use the "Probe My Ports"  and "Shields Up" links. The guy who runs this site is viewed as a little paranoid, but i don't think he's tooo far off the mark.

All in all the best defense is not to be seen - if a hacker or script kiddie can't see you he can't attack you - but remember no protection in the world can stop against a determined hack by the best hackers - but you must have something they really want for them to do this so the chances that any one of us would face something like that is extremely unlikely.

If any of you need any help with the above then tell me and i'll be glad to help you out.

never take me too seriously

#4    Saru

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Posted 14 April 2002 - 02:41 PM

Another good tip for avoiding viruses and trojans, is Never run E-Mail attachments unless you know exactly who they are from and you can trust that person. E-Mail viruses come in many different forms, some with Visual Basic executable attachments renamed to look like document files and images.

One of the most common ones I keep getting sent says "Hi, I've sent you this to get your advice", with a harmless looking attachment. Run a virus check on it and it turns out to be a trojan.

If you have Norton Anti-Virus, switch on the E-Mail checking feature and it will pick up most E-Mail viruses as they come in. And always remember to keep your virus definitions up to date - new viruses are coming out all the time, so you must keep all your virus checking software up to date.

:se


#5    PurpleStuart

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Posted 14 April 2002 - 03:06 PM

To add to what SaRuMaN said: even if you do know and trust who sent you the attachment, still scan it first as most viruses spread via email will seem to be from someone who has your email address (eg friends or family). What has happened is that their computer has been infected with a virus and as you are in their address book it has been sent on to you.

You might be reading this thinking that what is the point of having emails at all when you can't even trust the ones that seem to be coming from friends - but don't worry as most viruses are easy to spot:

The easiest way to spot a virus email is by the message text - as a lot are viruses that have been originally written by someone who knows what he is doing but subsequently altered by a 12yr old who thinks the virus is 'his' just because he altered the message text.
This means that most viruses have emails which are badly spelt or in broken english and then proport to be from someone you know!
If you get an out of character email from someone you know, treat that email with caution - if your dad is an english proffessor and you get an email from him saying
"Look at this sexxy screen saver!!!
Its verrrrrrrrrrrryyyyy funnny ;-) ;-)
hope you like it"

you know the attachment is a virus.

A large amount of viruses are like this and so are very easy to spot before they do any harm.

never take me too seriously

#6    Tommy

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Posted 14 April 2002 - 08:39 PM

Thanks for the advice guys.

:s8

"Superstition created all the gods and angels, all the devils and ghosts, all the witches, demons and goblins, gave us all the augurs, soothsayers and prophets, filled the heavens with signs and wonders, broke the chain of cause and effect, and wrote the history of man in miracles and lies" ~ Robert Green Ingersoll

#7    SpaceyKC

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 06:28 AM

         Yes,  much appreciated!  I have Norton Anti-Virus,  but I didn't know there is an e-mail checker.  I'll have to check that out.  


         

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#8    Dowdy

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 01:41 PM

here's what i did to protect myself from viruses:

1. download Morpheus (since that's crap now, download KaZaA)
2. click on the search tab
3. type in "norton"
4. download every single norton program that you see there.
5. install it once it's downloaded
6. update the software (it's free)

you are now virus/trojan free. you can update it free for 1 year.


enjoy  :s2

THE PAOMNNEHAL PWEOR OF THE HMUAN MNID Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg. Can you? ;)

#9    Saru

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 01:55 PM

Just to add to Dowdy's suggestion - if your using Kazaa, download Ad-Aware, which is a program that removes the "Spyware" from Kazaa. Kazaa was recently banned from the download.com network because it contained software that spies on what your doing and sends it back to them, which download.com deemed was Trojan-like activity. Ad-Aware removes the spyware, though the FTP site that offers it is busy rather a lot.

:so


#10    Tommy

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 07:06 PM

I downloaded KaZaA a while ago, after Morpheus stopped working, and also got Adaware, however, KaZaA doesn't work if you delete all the spyware!  :s8 So I've just reinstalled it, and left it.  

I want Morpheus 2 to come out!  :sg

Tommy

"Superstition created all the gods and angels, all the devils and ghosts, all the witches, demons and goblins, gave us all the augurs, soothsayers and prophets, filled the heavens with signs and wonders, broke the chain of cause and effect, and wrote the history of man in miracles and lies" ~ Robert Green Ingersoll

#11    Saru

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 07:14 PM

Yeah I liked Moprheus a lot better too.  :)

I tried the Morpheus Preview Edition but it wasn't very good - I couldn't find anything I was after, and nothing would download for me.

Hopefully the full version of their second incarnation will be up to the standards of the first one.

:sj


#12    crosis

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 08:50 PM

Someone out there hates me coz lately i have been getting between 100-200 hits on my firewall per night.
I had to turn off my pc last week as it was getting stupid.

any ideas  :sr :st

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#13    Saru

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 09:17 PM

Crosis,

Most firewall hits/alerts are not people trying to hack into your computer - a lot of firewalls seem to be set off by almost anything. Any packet coming in or out that it doesn't recognise is considered a threat, which results in a lot of alerts. This is especially true for firewalls that are programmed to only allow certain applications to access the internet.

I get a lot of alerts on my firewall aswell. Some people trying to find computers to hack do searches of random IP addresses looking for vulnerabilities. This is one cause of these alerts - but in most cases it's unlikely that theres someone at the other end trying to get into your hard disk.


#14    crosis

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 09:31 PM

thanx for the post SaRuMaN,

i've tried turning the sensitivity down a couple of weeks ago but its still happening and i'm really starting to get angry.I know a lot of it is innocent but a lot of what i'm getting is not.
At times i wish i could reach down the phone line and @:&*~#@ @>><$%* "@#~ %?@#@ with a red hot poker :si

:sk

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#15    Saru

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 09:44 PM

Sounds painful.  :s2





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