Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Feeling insecure?

If you have Windows XP, 2000 or NT, you should. I ran across this post last Friday: Dave's Chalkboard: ALERT!. It made me comment about how difficult the process is that is involved in securing yourself and how tough it is to get around the internet once you are secure. I wrote:

Me: "Are there any Ramifications of turning the DCOM off? What limitations will I have to deal with by turning on the software firewall? Right now I have a router between the cable modem and my computer...am I safe enough? Thanks."

Dave quickly responded with some great free information:

Dave: "Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) are a type of protocol that allows a program on one computer to execute a program on a server. So a developer could write a client program to call a procedure on a server somewhere with parameters, then the server would return the results to the client program.

It's possible that in an office environment it's being used, but for home users, it's not being used.

Software Firewalls can be a bit of a pain initially. They will pop up a dialog anytime a program trys to access the Internet. Once they have been trained, if a virus or trojan horse tries to communicate with the outside world, you will be informed. You can disable the port right then and there and the virus/trojan will be unable to talk.

Having a router between your computer and your cable modem will protect you from getting the virus so long as you are not the "DMZ" computer. If you haven't gone into the routers settings, your computer won't be in the "DMZ". A computer in the "DMZ" means that it is "outside" of the protection that the router supplies. The comptuer is as vulnerable as if it was connected to the Internet directly. "DMZ" means the same thing with routers as it does with the military, "DeMilitarized Zone".

Now having a router will not protect the Internet if you already have the virus and it is trying to spread itself. The Software Firewall will do that job.

Hope that helps."

No comments: