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Saru

Hacking - Is anyone really safe from it ?

25 posts in this topic

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

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[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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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.

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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

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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.

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Thanks for the advice guys.

:s8

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         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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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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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.

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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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Sounds painful.  :s2

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Yeah, what you are on the recieving end of Crosis (well my guess anyway) are port scanning software just like SaRuMaN said. To add to what he said port scanning software is in the arsenal of every script kiddie and they can be used to scan for open ports in the whole of the country in a matter of seconds. There are hundreds of these would be hackers and the majority will have set up there systems to automatically scan for vulnerable computers. This means you'll get hit by this A LOT. What firewall do you have? if it is giving you a pop up message everytime then you are scanned you should be able to turn the messages off so it doesn't get in the way of your surfing - redirecting those messages to a log file instead. If you want to take action against people doing this you can use an IP tracker (like Neotrace click here) to find out where they are coming from using the IP addresses logged in your log file. If they are coming from an ISP you can email them and ask them to do something about it. This may or may not work but it's worth a bash. Also, if you haven't already go to grc.com here and check out his guides on closing your ports so that they are no longer vulnerable. If you need any help just ask.

All those of you using Kazaa - read the article that i have linked in an above post and click the smilie :s8 to read an article on how to uninstall the spyware manually (hopefully) without diabling Kazaa.

I don't know if this works as i don't use kazaa but if anyone trys i'd like to hear the results!

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Dowdy - i've heard of people distrubuting hacked versions of anti-virus software which not only doesn't work properly, but also installs trojan software!

For real piece of mind, there download a free virus killer from one of companies that produce them or spend a little money and get a full version - it could save you a lot of money in the long run and home virus killing software isn't usually that expensive.

Also check out the link i gave in an earlier post on this thread for a free online virus checker.

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PS,

to answer your question i have "Black ice"

And this is the type of info i get. ;D

IP:

DNS:

Node:

NetBIOS:

Group:        

MAC:

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Haven't used black ice, but i heard that some versions allowed you to trace the IP much like Neotrace does (have you seen the movie "Sneakers" where they are making a phone call and watching themselves getting traced on a computer screen - Neotrace looks just like that!  :D )

To quote Homer

Neotrace is cool  8)

Yep, if you can find out who the owner of the originating node is (hopefully an ISP) then you can ask them to look into who is sending these packets out. ISPs have rules against port scanning and will usually ban offenders.

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Thanks for the advice PS,

just downloading an update of "black ice" but i might download Neotrace just cuz it looks cool  ;D

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PurpleStuart,

                 i doubt that it does install any virus or trojan programs because i had this torjan on my computer once (not from installing norton) and norton internet security stopped him from coming in which proved to me that it worked and if it was a secret trojan on there there would be nothing left on my computer - i got all of this cool stuff on my computer and if a hacker got in, there would be nothing left on my computer (or maybe they just haven't got around to me yet :s2).

in the world of paranoia, anything's possible

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Another article - click the alien :sc

- about Kazaa.

Dowdy, i didn't say yours did, only that i'd heard some reports of this happening.  And you're wrong in thinking they would neccassarily be nothing left of your computer - script kiddies use trojans on PCs mainly for Denial Of Service attacks. these attacks use hundreds of unsuspecting PC's to launch a massive amount of packets from all across the internet at one target to overload it so no one can use it. If they have installed zombies on your machine they don't want you to know about it so they don't trash your machine or do anything that might make you aware that they are there.

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Another good tip is to make sure you have a firewall which can detect trojans trying to communicate with someone. Some firewalls only stop incoming attacks, and not packets being sent by a malicious program on your computer.

I don't think Black ICE can detect trojans, but I'm not sure because it's a while since I used it. Norton Personal Firewall and ZoneAlarm do though.

Some trojans take the form of "keyloggers", which sit in the background and record everything you type into your computer, including passwords and account information. Then they send all that back to somewhere where the hacker can pick it up. If you do anything involving important account information on your computer, especially if you are entering credit card numbers and such, make sure you have full trojan detection in your firewall as well as in your Anti-Virus software.

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Spot on advice there, SaRuMaN.

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thanx again for the advice guys. ;D

looks like i have work to do. :s8

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