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Defending The Net is dedicated to helping you secure your home, home office, or small business computers and technology. By sharing computer security information and promoting security awareness by writing articles on interesting and important topics, we hope to increase your understanding of computer security and the challenges we all face.

Are you concerned about virus infections? Learn more about viruses or locate virus protection that is right for you. Do you know the difference between viruses and spyware? Learn more about spyware, adware, and malware, or find a solution to protect your computer from spyware. Is the information on your computer confidential and private? Are you sure no one else can access your private information? Learn more about how to keep your information private. Do you want a simple to use all-in-one security solution for your computer? Select a security suite that will secure your computer.


My Identity Was Stolen Because Of Someone Else's Mistake

How often would you say you trust total strangers with some of your most confidential information? I think I can answer this question for just about everyone. The answer is, nearly everyday. To illustrate this, I recently made a list of people or organizations that I have provided the following information to;

  • My social security number;
  • Birth date;
  • Tax Identification number;
  • Bank account numbers;
  • Medical information;
  • Checking account number.
Read Entire Article Posted 06.04.06 About Author: Darren W. Miller

 

Defending The Net to Release Video On How Hackers Can Access Your Computer And What You Can Do To Prevent Them From Doing So

Picture of Hacker on Computer KeyboardDefending The Net is in the process of wrapping up production on a new video that shows how hackers can gain access to you PC at home and while you are on the road. The purpose of this video is not to instruct you on how to hack someone else's computer, its purpose is to provide you with real-world examples of why you should be concerned about computer security.

We will point out the basic mistakes most people make when setting up a new computer and the various ways hackers gain access to your system using exploits and how they take advantage of common configuration issues. For each method of unauthorized access we will show you how to prevent or defending against these breaches in security. The video is still in production and we plan to make it publicly available at the end of the month. Please check back regularly or signup for the newsletter and you will be automatically notified when the video is released.

Securing Your Data Posted 04.07.06 About Author: Darren W. Miller

A Step By Step Hacking Video - Updated News On Hacking Video April 7th, 2006

It appears the company that originally posted this step by step video on how to hack a PC has a new procedure in place in order for you to gain access to the video. The page is still there and you can access it via the link in the next section of this article but now you must register prior to accessing it.

The interesting thing is I registered an account a few days ago and never received any response or activation notice for my account. I'm not entirely sure why they decided to hide this video. Maybe the received to much pressure or e-mails regarding their blatant attempt to scare people and businesses into purchasing one of their products. There is no statement to this affect on the page.

Read Entire Article Posted 04.07.06 About Author: Darren W. Miller

Step Away From The Computer
Before You Have A Mental Meltdown

Picture of Danger Sign "Stressed Out"Just out of courtesy, I think I should tell you that the following article is about as far from my typical writings as I can get. Quite frankly, it is nothing more than a very tired technology guy ranting and raving. Maybe a little wining too.

My entire world is about technology; computers, data communication, wireless and wired Ethernet, PDA's, mobile devices, firewalls, security assessments, and on and on and on. I'm so addicted to technology and business that I have trouble deciding whether to read a technical manual or a good sci-fi / fantasy novel.

Read Entire Article Posted 03.25.06 About Author: Darren W. Miller

Finding Your MAC Address On Wired And Wireless
Network Cards

Picture of Windows IP & MAC InformationOver the past few weeks I have received quite a few e-mails about Ethernet cards, both wired and wireless, and more specifically, about Media Access Control (MAC) addresses.

I think the main reason I’ve received so many questions about Ethernet cards and MAC addresses is people trying to secure their home wireless networks and their desire to use MAC address filtering. This type of filtering in wireless networks can be configured to allow or deny specific computers to use or attach to the wireless network, based on the MAC address. Read The Entire Article

Securing Your Data Posted 03.18.06 About Author: Darren W. Miller

 

Trojans Outpace Viruses As Threats

According to leaders in the Anti-Virus industry, viruses are becoming less of a threat if you compare the numbers of virus infections to the number of Trojan Horse infections. In fact less than 1% of the new threats in 2005 were classified as viruses. Trojan Horses, typically distributed for profit in a malicious fashion, are gaining tremendous speed.

Threat 2004 2005
Trojan Horses 38% 42%
Bots 25% 26%
Backdoors 7% 11%
Dialers 9% 8%
Worms 6% 6%
Adware/Spyware 3% 2%
Viruses 2% 1%
Find A Solution For Trojan Horse Protection About Author: Darren W. Miller
Picture Of Numbers Being Encrypted

Is Data Encryption Really Secure

There are various types and methods of data encryption. Some of the most popular forms of data encryption include single file encryption, folder encryption, volume encryption, whole disk encryption, and of course email encryption.

The Windows XP operating system has the ability to perform file and folder encryption. There are 3rd party tools, like PGP Desktop, which can perform whole disk, logical disk, file, and e-mail encryption.................Read The Entire Article

Securing Your Data Posted 02.28.06 About Author: Darren W. Miller

What Are Survivable Computer Systems

Picture Of A Computer Being Carried Away On A StretcherA computer system, which may be made up of multiple individual systems and components, designed to provide mission critical services must be able to perform in a consistent and timely manner under various operating conditions. It must be able to meet its goals and objectives whether it is in a state of normal operation or under some sort of stress or in a hostile environment. A discussion on survivable computer systems can be a very complex and far reaching one. However, in this article we will touch on just a few of the basics.................Read The Entire Article

Securing Your Data Posted 02.28.06 About Author: Darren W. Miller

IRS Phishing SCAMIRS Logo Picture

It never ceases to amaze me what extreme measures evil people will take to scam someone. Amongst all the normal e-mail scams and Phishing like e-bay, AOL, the various banks, and get rich quick schemes, now people with malicious intent are using tax time as a platform for Phishing. This site is based may be based in Asia and collecting personal information about you. Most likely to commit identity theft and much more.

The e-mail contains the following information in an attempt to have you visit a site that appears to be located in Asia. It even contains real images from www.irs.gov and looks quite official. Quite often, these sort of Phishing e-mails are poorly written, but not this one. It is short, and to the point. It asks for your social security number, credit or debit card, even your ATM PIN #.

To view a screenshot of the site you can click here. This is only a .jpg image file and will not take you to the live site.

---------------------------IRS PHISHING SCAM--------------------------

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $63.80. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days in order to process it.

A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.

To access the form for your tax refund, please click here

Regards,
Internal Revenue Service

---------------------------IRS PHISHING SCAM--------------------------

Securing Your Data Posted 03.12.06 About Author: Darren W. Miller

XCACLS And Other Permissions Security Recovery Tools

This article is about several tools that can save a Windows administrators you know what in the event of a large scale permissions security problem.

ntfs hard drive - XCACLS and permissions security toolsHere is a fictional scenario we can use to illustrate the use of the XCACLS tool. We need to move or copy 50GB worth of data that is comprised of several thousand directories containing hundreds of thousands of small files from one storage system to another. These systems happen to part of a Windows 2000 Domain and permissions are quite granular in definition. We start the replication of that data using a favorite replication or synchronization tool and walk away for the evening. When we return the next day, everything has copied and all looks well. That is until you try to access the data. ................Read The Entire Article

Securing Your Data Posted 02.13.06 About Author: Darren W. Miller

Is That Your Check Book Driving Away

This is an article about people throwing away their home computers with all their financial and banking information on them and easily accessible. A very simple first step to Identity Theft - Picture of Computer In Trash Canfinancial and identity theft and it happens all the time. Computer Disposal and Identity Theft go hand in hand.

Since Hurricane Wilma, our city has stepped up bulk trash pickup to every month. Bulk pickup is when you can put out pretty much anything; dressers, vacuum cleaners, and of course computers. Early in the morning on each bulk pickup day people come around with pickup trucks to see what they can grab prior to the city trucks showing up. ................
Read The Entire Article

Securing Your Data Posted 02.05.06 About Author: Darren W. Miller

Worm_Grew.A: Threat, Hype, Or Dud?

Biohazard Image - Worm_Grew.A VirusThe 3rd has come and gone. What has been the real effect or impact of the “WORM_GREW.A (Also know as Nyxem, BlackMal, MyWife, and so on)” virus? For weeks there has been tons of warnings, in the news, print, e-zines, you name the forum and it has been a discussion topic. Current information indicates that the WORM_GREW.A virus has not caused mass destruction as promised or suspected. I’m sure some of those 600,000 or so suspected infected computers were impacted, but who really knows at this point.
...............Read The Entire Article

Trojan Horse Removal Posted 02.05.06 About Author: Darren W. Miller

Congratulations, Leslie Guymer
The January Winner Of Our iPod Shuffle Giveaway

On January 15th, 2006, Defending The Net randomly picked the winner of our Apple iPod Shuffle giveaway. Leslie Guymer signed up for our free computer security newsletter and was automatically entered into our giveaway.

Do to the success of this promotion, we have decided to continue and the next drawing will be on March 15th, 2006, for everyone who is a current newsletter subscriber.

Signup for our Free Newsletter Watch For Additional Promotions In the Future!

Trojan Horse Delivered In Automatic Update

Image Of Trojan HorseThis is a fictional article, or you could say it is one mans prediction of a “worse case scenario”. Because of the field I’m in, I maintain a personal list of my top 10 “worse case scenarios”. Every time I perform a security assessment I run into something new or identify a situation that is ripe for a potential vulnerability. I think we could all agree that no respectable or ethical company would intentionally deliver a malicious piece of code as part of a helpful update solution. However, the reality is that human beings are behind technology and human beings are unpredictable and fallible
...............Read The Entire Article

Trojan Horse Removal Posted 02.01.06 About Author: Darren W. Miller

Video On How To Hack A PC

I sat in my office for about thirty minutes trying to decide if I was going to write this article. I finally came to the conclusion that I would since this information is already freely available on the Internet, and in fact, was posted as part of a government article

This video, part of a sales and marketing strategy (Or, maybe just public awareness and education) to sell a product called Fiberlink Extend360, literally walks you through the steps you need to take to hack a PC on a wireless network. Not only is it demonstrated in video, it is fully narrated..............

Read More (01.16.06) About Author: Darren W. Miller

Hacking With The Google Search Engine

Hackers and security experts use various custom and open source tools to complete their tasks. In fact, one of the tools they use you probably use every time you browse the web, the Google Search Engine.

I remember the first time I used the Google Search Engine years ago. I was amazed at how quickly it fulfilled my search request.  Google's huge index of systems / information and it's ability to perform complex searches have evolved over the years. When we performed security assessments and penetration test, we regularly use Google to locate information that organizations typically want to keep private and confidential...............

Read More (01.14.06) About Author: Darren W. Miller

Recent Computer Security Articles & Article Archives

Date Article

June 4th, 2006 My Identity Was Stolen Because Of Someone Else's Mistake
April 15th, 2006 Step Away From The Computer Before You Have A Mental Meltdown!
April 1st, 2006 Finding Your MAC Address Wired And Wireless Network Cards
March 3rd, 2006 What Are Survivable Computer Systems
Feb 25th, 2006 Is Data Encryption Really Secure
Feb 19th, 2006 Why Easy To Use Software Is Putting You At Risk
Feb 15th, 2006 XCACLS and Other Permissions Security Recovery Tools
Feb 10th, 2006 Is That Your Check Book Driving Away
Feb 5th, 2006 Worm_Grew.A: Threat, Hype, or Dud
Feb 1st, 2006 Trojan Horse Delivered In Automatic Update
Jan 29th, 2006 10 Things To Do For A Healthy & Secure PC
Jan 16th, 2006 Video On How To Hack A PC
Jan 14th, 2006 Hacking With The Google Search Engine
Jan 11th, 2006 Check Your Credit Report Regularly
Jan 5th, 2006 Is Your Mobile Device Secure
Dec 28th 2005 Why Do I Still Get Viruses
Dec 19th 2005 Why Network Documentation Is So Important
Nov 29th 2005 Cracking Passwords
Nov 21st 2005 WinXp Routing-Staying Online During Hurricane Wilma
Nov 8th 2005 Virtual Machines - Rapid Security Tool Deployment
Nov 1st 2005 Thanks From Texas For Help With Auto-Dialer Virus
Nov 1st 2005 The Auto-Dialer Virus Strikes Again
July 4th 2005 Darknet's - The Black Holes Of The Internet
June 29th 2005 How To Buy The Right Computer
June 16th 2005 Vote "No Confidence" In SSL
June 14th 2005 How Will Your Network Be Compromised
June 8th 2005 Throwing Away You Computer, Money, & Identity
June 7th 2005 Receiving Stolen Goods Online
June 2nd 2005 Tips For Maintaining Client Relationships
May 31st 2005 Phishing: An Interesting Twist To A Common Scam
May 24th 2005 Crack The Code: That's A Direct Challenge
May 24th 2005 The Technical Coalition Against Dumbness
May 19th 2005 YAWNA: Yet Another Wireless Networking Article
May 18th 2005 SPAM: Stupid People Annoying Me
May 16th 2005 Install It Right & Sleep Good At Night
May 5th 2005 How To Give Away Your Personal Information
May 3rd 2005 How A Security Specialist Fell Victim To Attack
April 26th 2005 Anti-Spam Technology May One Day Help Save Lives
April 19th 2005 The Dangers Of Ad-Hoc Wireless Networking
April 12th 2005 Hacking SMTP Mail Gateways
April 5th 2005 The Risk Of Electronic Fraud & Identity Theft
March 28th 2005 Hacked: Who Else Is Using Your Computer?
March 22nd 2005 Steganography: Your Eyes Do Deceive You
March 15th, 2005 Social Engineering: You Have Been A Victim
Feb 21st, 2005 Dialing Up A Scam: Avoiding The Auto-Dialer Virus
Feb 5th, 2005 Your Next Virus Is Just A Phone Call Away
Jan 5th, 2005 Beware The Online Charity Scam


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