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Then click the View tab and scroll all the way to the bottom of the Advanced Settings options and make sure there is no checkmark in the checkbox next to Use Simple File Sharing. XP Password Alert If you attempt to mark a file or folder as "Private" using a User Account that does not have a password assigned, Windows XP will alert you and offer you an opportunity to create a password. The alert says: You do not currently have a password on your User Account.

Even though you made this folder private, anyone can log in as you and access this folder. Do you want to create a password for yourself? You can add or remove the User Accounts and Security Groups defined for the file or folder you are configuring remember, it's easier to track and administer per- missions using Security Groups if you are dealing with more than just two or three users. For each User Account or Security Group, you can select either Allow or Deny for a variety of actions to customize the level of access granted.

You can choose to Allow or Deny Full Control which would give that User Account or Security Group the ability to do anything they want with the data, including modifying or deleting it entirely or even changing the permissions for other users. Full Control also grants the ability to perform all of the functions of the other file and folder permissions. Allows users to read the contents of the folder or file, including viewing the file attributes and permissions. This permis- sion also allows users to execute files or run executable files contained in the folder.

This permission allows users to view the files and subfolders in a folder in the case of Folder permissions. For file permis- sions, it grants the ability to read the file in question. Users can also view attributes of the file or folder including ownership, permissions, and attributes such as Read-only, Hidden, Archive, and System. The Write permission allows users to add new files to a folder or modify a file or document as the case may be.

The Folder permission allows users to also add sub- folders to the folder, alter attributes and view folder ownership and permissions. The File permission allows users to per- form similar actions on Files, including overwriting the file, altering the file attributes, and viewing file ownership and permissions. There are two items to note when you are setting permissions.

First, permissions can be inherited from parent directories. If you see checkmarks in the boxes but they are grayed out, meaning you can not change them, that is because they are inherited from somewhere else. If you click the Advanced button under the Permissions settings box, you can view or change the current setup and turn off the inheritance of permissions from parent folders.

On the Permissions tab of the Advanced box, you will see each of the User Accounts and Security Groups "with permissions on the object. Next to each it will display their Permission level, "where it was inherited from, and "what that permission level applies to.

At the bottom of this tab are two checkboxes. One is to select whether or not you wish to allow permissions from other directories to be inherited www. The second is whether or not you want the permissions from this object to be applied to the files and folders underneath it. The second item of note is in regards to selecting Deny for any of the permis- sion settings and "what the result "would be for a user. Deny overrides all other options. So, for example, let's assume Bob is a member of both the Administrators and Users groups.

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If the Administrators group has Full Control permission, while the Users group only has Read permission, Bob would have Full Control because he would get the cumulative total for both permissions. However, if you also add Bob's individual User Account and select Deny for Full Control, that selection "will over- ride his membership in the Administrators and the Users groups and Bob will be unable to access or perform any actions on that object. In the Advanced options discussed previously, there is also a tab called Effective Permissions.

This handy tool "will let you enter any User Account or Security Group and it will display for you what the net permissions are for that account on this par- ticular object. This way you can see the effect of different permissions and what level of access the user or group actually has.

You should try to use a designated folder or folders to house your personal and confidential files so that you can easily protect and back up that information rather than having to search all over your computer or protect individual files scattered about the hard drive. Warning Any drive or partition that you format using the FAT32 file system will not be able to provide file or folder security.

In order to secure your data and apply file and folder permissions as we have discussed here, you must use the NTFS file system. They aren't programs that will show up on the Start Bar at the bottom of the screen or programs in the sense that you would directly access or interact "with them. Windows services generally provide some functionality for the operating system or process actions and requests from other programs. To see a list of the services installed on your computer and whether or not they are currently enabled, you need to go into the Services Console. You can accomplish www.

You will see a number of services listed along "with a brief description of what the service does, its current status, its startup configuration, and what access level it logs in under see Figure 1. NET Runtime Optirn.. Started Automatic. Provides s Started Manual. NET State Serv.. Manual Networks.. Maintains li.. Started Automatic Networks.. Allows erro. Sites such as LabMice. For our purposes, we will just talk about the services that directly affect the security of your system.

Understanding zones sonicwall

In general, any service you don't have a need for should be disabled because they simply offer opportunities for someone to possibly exploit a vulnerability or security weakness in that service to gain access to your system. This service provides half of the www. This service does not affect Windows This is the other half of the UPnP func- tionality. Unless you intend to use NetMeeting on a regular basis, leaving this on simply provides a possible way for an attacker to gain access to your system. With rare exception there is no reason that you would want someone to be able to alter your Registry settings remotely.

If you leave this service on, you run the risk that an unauthorized user may change your Registry settings remotely. This service is a security concern from the standpoint that spam pushers have discovered they can use Net Send to transmit spam messages directly to your desktop rather than sending them through your e-mail. If you right-click any of the services in the Services Console, you can start and stop the service. However, stopping a service using this technique will only stop it temporarily.

The next time you reboot the computer, or the next time another ser- vice tries to call or interact "with the service, it "will restart. To disable a service so that it will not start again, right-click the service in the Services Console and select Properties. In the middle of the screen under the General tab is a drop-down box titled Startup Type. The drop-down box offers three choices: Automatic, Manual, and Disabled see Figure 1. OK Cancel Services configured for Automatic startup will be started each time you boot up the computer and the Windows operating system begins.

Services that are config- ured for Manual startup "will only start "when another program or service activates them or if you right-click the service and manually start it. Services that are disabled will be unable to start at all. To secure your operating system and protect it from easy access by hackers, I recommend that you disable all of the services mentioned previously, if they are not already disabled.

Hidden File Extensions Microsoft created the ability to hide known file extensions so that everyday users would not need to be bothered with too much technical stuff. It didn't take long for virus writers and developers of other malware to figure out that you can add more than one extension at the end of the file name and that the last one "will be hidden.

So a file like mynotes. One, an observant user might detect the fact that only the malicious file shows any file extension at all. Using the double file extension hides the true file extension, but it still shows a file extension which gives away the fact that something is different. Two, the hidden file extensions only work in Windows Explorer. If you view the files using the dir command at a command prompt window, it will show the complete file name, including both file extensions. Even with those caveats in mind, though, it is best to simply disable this feature so that any and all file extensions are readily visible.

Click the View tab and uncheck the box titled Hide extensions for known file types see Figure 1. All that was hidden shall now be revealed unto you, or at least the file exten- sions of the files on your computer system. The technology used in older monitors "was subject to having the image burned into the phosphorous permanently if the same image stayed on the screen for too long. The result of www. Companies sprang up for the sole purpose of developing new and creative screen savers to keep this from happening.

Basically the screen saver program moni- tors computer activity and if there is no activity for a predefined period of time, the screen saver kicks off sending swirling shapes, flying toasters, swimming fish, or just about anything you can imagine randomly bouncing around the screen so that no single image is left in one place long enough to burn the monitor. Meanwhile, all of your programs and files are kept running in the background just as you left them.

Over time, monitor technology has improved to the point that the screen saver is no longer truly needed to protect the monitor. However, screen savers have taken on a new, arguably more important role. Now "when you walk away to go to lunch for an hour the concern is not that your spreadsheet data will be burned into the phos- phorous, but that anyone walking by would be able to see your spreadsheet data. Worse yet, anyone walking by could sit at your computer and access any of your files, or files on other computers you have access to, or send e-mail on your behalf, or any number of other things.

The bottom line is that "walking away from your computer is a huge security risk. Thankfully, Windows offers an option to require a password to unlock the com- puter once the screen saver is started. If the user account being used does not have a password assigned, you will still see a message box stating that the system has been locked and that a password is needed. However, anyone can still get into the system by just hitting Enter if there is no password in place. To configure your screen saver in Windows, you can right-click anywhere on the desktop and select Properties.

Click the Screen Saver tab and check the box that says On resume, password protect. You can also set the amount of time you want the system to wait before auto- matically starting the screen saver. You should set it for a short enough time to pro- vide protection for your computer and your data should you leave your computer system, but long enough that the screen saver won't automatically start while you're trying to read your e-mail and become more of an annoyance than a benefit see Figure 1.

I Power OK Cancel Apply www. You learned about how Windows controls access to the system, and how User Accounts and Security Groups can be used, together with file and folder security, to restrict access and protect your system. You also gained some knowledge about Windows services and how to disable those you aren't using, as well as the danger of hidden file extensions and how they can be used against you. Lastly, you learned that the Screensaver is more than a frivolous toy to fill your screen while you're away. It can also be used as a security system for your computer. Armed with this basic knowledge of how to protect and secure the Windows XP operating system, you can proceed through the book and learn how to use other applications more securely.

People have passwords to access their bank account, pay utility bills online, check their investments, and even to log on to their MySpace. It is important that passwords be complex, or strong enough to provide adequate protection, and that they are managed properly. In this chapter you will learn about the basics of passwords. After reading this chapter, you'll know how to choose strong passwords, how to create passwords from phrases, how to crack passwords, and how to set passwords in a BIOS.

Password Power A password is just a shared secret code or word that proves to the computer or appli- cation that you are authorized access. Just as with Ali Baba's "Open, Sesame" or the secret knock children use to gain access to the neighborhood clubhouse, computer passwords enable users to "prove" that they are allowed to use a particular computer, a Web site, or their own bank account. Your passwords can be quite powerful. Consider what could happen if someone stole them from you.

WoW is so big that Virtual Gold from the game is actually bought and sold with real cash by other players. You may not think you need a strong password for a game, but compro- mised WoW accounts can be converted to cash by selling Virtual Gold and other items of value from the game to other players Passwords are used for a wide variety of access controls, including the computer operating system, different software programs, company networks, Web sites and more.

There are also different types of passwords used in other areas of your life such as PIN numbers for your bank ATM card, access codes to check your voicemail, and the code to open your garage door, to name a few. These are all different forms of passwords and it is important that you create passwords that are difficult for others to guess and that you keep them secret. The trick is to make each password unique and original enough that unautho- rized parties won't be able to guess it or figure out "what it is, while making it some- thing that you can remember.

If you can't remember your own password it won't do you much good. RSA Security, provider of various authentication and identification technologies, conducted a survey of users in late that shows how insecure passwords can be. Almost half of those have more than 13 passwords to manage. This survey highlights some of the issues that still plague computer security. Users are inundated with usernames and passwords and many of them choose pass- words that are easy to determine or guess because they are trying to select passwords that will also be easy for them to remember.

Many users will also resort to recording their usernames and passwords some- where — either on sticky notes on their monitor or on a scratch pad in their desk drawer or in a planner that they carry "with them. Recording the passwords in a place that they can refer to might make it easier on the user, but it "will also make it that much easier on any would-be attacker who might come into possession of this list.

Although your life might be easier if the lock on your house, the lock on your car, the lock on your desk at work, and the lock on your locker at the gym could all be opened with the same key, if that one key fell into the wrong hands they would be able to open all of those locks as well. The same is true for your passwords. The online store where you purchased new ink cartridges for your printer may not guard their customer database with quite the same level of protection that your bank will. Some applications or Web sites may be less secure than others and you never know if your password is being stored in an encrypted form in a secure location or if it is just saved as plain text in an Excel spreadsheet somewhere.

Brief Tips on Password Care The analogy that compares passwords to underwear has been used in numerous security awareness campaigns, particularly at colleges and universities. Your purchase history might reveal your bank name. The attacker might go to the bank Web site on a whim and try to log on using the same password. Now they have access to all your money. They can also view your recent www. If you use the same password at all these sites and locations, an attacker gaining access to your password at one location would hold the key to the entire kingdom.

You can use some discretion when it comes to password diversity. You might have one password that you use for all sites and applications that have no confidential or sensitive information such as your bank account number or credit card number or social security number. Your account on an online recipe site or the one you use to access message boards about golfing probably don't need to have exceptionally strong passwords nor would it be the end of the world if one password could get into all of those sites and applications.

However, any site where your personal, confidential, or financial information may be stored in your profile or in a database should receive more attention on your part to take the extra time to give them unique passwords. Selecting Strong Passwords So what's a person to do? You can't even remember what you had for dinner last night or "what time your son's soccer practice is. How are you going to remember what your password is? The first thing that most users try is to simply use a word that is familiar to them.

Many users "will choose things like their own name, their children's names, or the name of a pet. Going back to the key analogy — if your password is like your key to unlock your computer, then choosing a password based on easily obtainable personal facts is like locking your door and placing the key under the doormat. It is better than nothing, but not by much. Through simple research or just conversation over coffee, an attacker can pick up personal information about you such as your spouse's name, children's names, birth dates, and more.

It is important that you choose a strong password. What makes a password strong? Length is one factor. Another is to use a variety of character types. Passwords are generally case sensitive, so "password" is different from "Password. When you create a password in Windows XP, you are also asked to enter a word or phrase see Figure 2. If you have issues remembering your password, Windows XP can display the hint to try to trigger your memory so www. Figure 2. One trick is to substitute numbers or special characters that look similar to letters.

This is common in hacker lingo where "elite" becomes "t" and "hacker" becomes "h4x0r". Using this method it is pos- sible to still choose a password that might be easy for you to remember, but writing it in a creative way using a variety of character types that will make it harder to guess or crack. You can also take a phrase or sentence and boil it down to an acronym of sorts.

For instance, you might find it easy to remember the phrase, "My birthday is on June You can also visit www. If you can't come up with a good phrase or password on your own, you can use a tool like the Secure Password Generator on the winguides. The Secure Password Generator see Figure 2. You can also tell it to create up to 50 passwords at one time and then select the one you prefer from the list in case you are concerned that "winguides.

Regislry M e choni c. To create a password please choose from the options below and click "Generate Password s " or click here to use the 3 SSL secured version of the generator. Subscribers can also download a version below to use nn any Windows computer. The simplest and the fastest — assuming that your password is a word that might be found in a dictionary — is called the Dictionary Attack. The Dictionary Attack tries every word in the dictionary until it finds the right one for the username trying to be accessed.

The Brute Force Attack will try literally every possible combination sequentially until it finds the right combination to authenticate the username trying to be accessed. The Brute Force Attack will attempt to use lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters until it eventually stumbles onto the correct password. The third method is called a Hybrid Attack. Many users will choose a password that is in fact a dictionary word, but add a special character or number at the end.

For instance, they might use "passwordl" instead of "password. Some pass- word-recovery utilities may have success where others fail, and a lot depends on the processing horsepower of the machine attempting to crack the password see the sidebar on p. Just like the lock on your home or car door — the idea is to make it difficult to get in, not impossible.

A professional thief can probably still pick your lock in under a couple minutes, but the average person will be deterred by a lock and even thieves of moderate skill may be dissuaded by more complex or intricate lock systems. The goal isn't to come up with a password that is unbreakable — although that would be nice as well. The goal is to create a password that you can remember but that the average person won't be able to guess based on knowing a few details about your life and that would take so long to crack using a password-recovery utility that a hacker of moderate skill would be dissuaded.

In the end, someone skilled or dedi- cated enough could still find a way to break or go around your password, which is one of the reasons this is not the only defense mechanism you "will use. Aside from coming up with strong passwords, it is also important to change your passwords on a regular basis. Even if you have done everything possible to protect your passwords, it is still possible that through a security breach on a server or by an attacker intercepting network traffic, that your password could be intercepted or cracked.

I would recommend that you change your passwords every 30 days at a minimum. Storing Your Passwords Obviously having 70, 20, or even 5 different passwords at a given time can be diffi- cult to keep track of. It becomes more complex when different Web sites or pro- www. These are some of the reasons why so many people resort to tracking their usernames and passwords in a text file. In spite of the energy that security experts expend to convince people not to write down their passwords or store them in files on their computer, their advice goes largely unheeded.

So, if you find that you're not going to be able to remember all the passwords you create, at least try to store them as securely as possible. Password Safe, an open-source password-management utility shown in Figure 2. At least a title and a password are required. If you have set a default username, it should already be entered into the username field.

You can pass- word protect your entire computer by setting a password in the BIOS. What is the BIOS? The operating system, such as Windows XP, enables your different programs www. The BIOS is typically contained in a chip on the motherboard. Table 2. They won't even be able to begin trying to guess or crack your operating system or file passwords, because without the BIOS the computer cannot even start loading the operating system. The exact key to press varies from computer to computer.

You should see a message when the computer first begins to boot, letting you know which key to press to enter the "Setup" screen. For details about accessing the BIOS and how to configure it, check your computer owner's manual. In this chapter you learned about the important role that passwords play and some of the adverse affects that can occur if someone obtains your password.

To prevent an attacker from being able to guess or crack your passwords, you learned how to create stronger, more complex passwords, and how to use passphrases to generate even more complex passwords that you can still remember. Lastly, this chapter covered some tools that you can use to securely store and track your passwords when remembering them all just seems too difficult, and how to lock access to your computer entirely by using a BIOS password. Creating Secure Passwords. RSA Security, Inc.

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Press Release. September 27, www. Microsoft Windows Server TechCenter. PV27 www. McAfee, maker of security and antivirus software, recently announced that it has identified and created protection for its ,th threat. It took almost 18 years to reach the , mark, but that number doubled in only two years. Fortunately for computer users, McAfee's growth rate for identifying threats has slowed now. Viruses rank "with spam as one of the most well-known threats to computer security. Notorious threats — such as Slammer, Nimda, and MyDoom — even make headline news. Just about everyone knows that a computer virus is something to be actively avoided.

Many threats combine elements from different types of malicious software together, These blended threats don't fit into any one class, so the term malware, short for malicious software, is used as a catch-all term to describe a number of malicious threats, including viruses, worms, and more. Malware presents arguably the largest security threat to computer users.

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New viruses are dis- covered daily. Some exist simply to replicate themselves. Others can do serious damage such as erasing files or even rendering the computer itself inoperable.

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They replicate themselves like viruses, but do not alter files like viruses do. The main difference is that worms reside in memory and usually remain unnoticed until the rate of replication reduces system resources to the point that it becomes noticeable.

It is a malicious program disguised as a normal application. Trojan horse programs do not replicate themselves like a virus, but they can be propagated as attachments to a virus. Rootkit A rootkit is a set of tools and utilities that a hacker can use to maintain access once they have hacked a system.

The rootkit tools allow them to seek out usernames and passwords, launch attacks against remote systems, and conceal their actions by hiding their files and processes and erasing their activity from system logs and a plethora of other malicious stealth tools. Computers that are infected with a bot are generally referred to as zombies. The History of Malware Every year seems to mark a new record for the most new malware introduced, as well as the most systems impacted by malware. The year was not only a record- setting year for malware but also the 20th anniversary of computer viruses.

In , graduate student Fred Cohen first used the term virus in a paper describing a program that can spread by infecting other computers "with copies of itself. There were a handful of viruses discovered over the next 1 5 years, but it wasn't until , when the Melissa virus stormed the Internet, that viruses became common knowledge. Since then, there have been a number of high-profile viruses and worms which have spread rapidly around the world.

The number of new malware threats and the speed at which the threats spread across the Internet has grown each year. The Brain virus was the first virus designed to infect personal computer systems. It was introduced in , at a time when the general public didn't know what the Internet was and the World Wide Web had not even been created.

It could only spread to other computers by infecting floppy disks that were passed between users and therefore had much less impact. Compare that with more recent threats such as SQL Slammer which, by spreading through the Internet to the millions of computers now connected to it, was able to infect hundreds of thousands of computers and cripple the Internet in less than 30 minutes.

Exploiting a vulnerability that had been identified more than six months earlier, the worm was able to infect more than 75, systems in less than ten minutes. The sheer volume of traffic generated by this worm, as it replicated and continued to seek out other vulnerable systems, crippled the Internet by over- whelming routers and servers to the point that they could no longer communi- cate. The effects of SQL Slammer went as far as impacting personal banking in some cases.

ATM machines require network communications to process transac- tions. Gone are the days when new threats were few and far between and had no simple means of propagating from system to system. The explosion of the Internet and the advent of broadband Internet service mean that there are millions of com- puters with high-speed connections linked to the Internet at any given moment. With millions of potential targets, it is almost a guarantee that at least a few thousand will fall victim to a new threat.

As we discussed earlier in the book, when you are on the Internet you are a part of a worldwide network of computers. You have a responsibility to the rest of us sharing the network "with you to make sure your computer system is not infected and spreading malware to everyone else. It is much less of a headache and a lot easier in the long run to proactively make sure your system is secure and to protect your- self by installing antivirus software to detect and remove threats such as these before they infect your computer system.

Protect Yourself with Antivirus Software The term antivirus is a misnomer of sorts. Antivirus software has evolved to include many other security components. Depending on the vendor, the antivirus software may also contain anti-spyware tools, anti-spam filtering, a personal firewall, and more. In fact, recently the major security vendors such as McAfee and Trend Micro www. Typically antivirus software will detect and protect you from viruses, worms, Trojan horse programs, and backdoors, as well as blended threats which combine aspects of different threats.

Some antivirus programs will also help block well-known joke or hoax e-mail messages, spyware programs, and program exploits. As you can see in Figure 3. You should take the time to understand what your security software does and does not protect your computer against. Figure 3. These programs are not always harmful, but may cause a security risk or undesired behavior. Real-time scanning is the main line of defense that will keep your computer system clean as you access the Internet and surf the Web.

This is the scan- ning that is done on-the-fly while you are using the computer. Antivirus software real-time scanning typically scans all inbound Web traffic for signs of malicious code, as well as inspects all incoming e-mail and e-mail file attachments. Often, you can also enable outbound scanning to try and catch any malicious code which might be coming from your computer.

These scans can be initiated by you if something suspicious seems to be going on, but they should also be run periodically to make sure that no malware got past the real-time scanners. It is also possible that an infected file may make its way onto your computer before your antivirus software vendor updated their software to detect it. Performing a periodic manual scan can help identify and remove these threats. You can choose to scan all files, or only those recommended by Trend Micro, "which limits the scan to only the file types more likely to contain malware.

You can also configure how you want the software to handle cleaning or removing any threats it finds. Most antivirus products allow you to set up a schedule to run the scan auto- matically. You should configure the scan to run at least once a week, preferably late at night or at some other time when you won't be using your computer. Scanning your entire computer system usually hogs a lot of the computer's processing power and makes using it difficult "while the scan is running.

The standard malware scanning relies on signatures or pattern files used to identify known threats. However, until a threat is discovered and researchers identify its unique traits that they can use to detect it, your standard mal- ware scanning won't detect the new threat. Heuristic detection doesn't look for spe- cific malware threats.

Heuristic detection uses general characteristics of typical malware to identify suspicious network traffic or e-mail behavior. Based on known traits from past threats, heuristic detection attempts to detect similar traits to identify possible threats. Keep Your Antivirus Software Updated So, after reading all of this you have decided that viruses, worms, and other malware are bad things to have and that it may be worth a few dollars to spring for some antivirus software to install to protect your computer.

Now you can close the book and go back to "watching Everybody Loves Raymond reruns, right? Unfortunately, no. Subscription-Based Antivirus Software It doesn't have to cost a fortune to protect your computer. Generally, antivirus software and personal computer security suites are priced affordably. It is not a one-time purchase though in most cases. The major antivirus soft- ware vendors such as Symantec or McAfee use a subscription-based system.

Users are required to continue to pay annually for the privilege of continuing to get updated protection. There are certainly advantages to buying from established, well-known antivirus software vendors. But, if money is an issue, there are alternatives.

Products like Antivir www. New threats are constant. Securing your computer or network requires mainte- nance to keep pace "with the changing attack methods and techniques. In any given week there may be anywhere from five to twenty new malware threats discovered. If you install antivirus software today and do nothing else, your computer will be vul- nerable to dozens of new threats within a couple of weeks.

It used to be that updating your antivirus software on a weekly basis was suffi- cient in most cases. But, as you can see from looking at the timeline discussed earlier, there were three years between officially defining a virus and the first virus affecting Microsoft systems.

Five years later, Code Red spread around the world in a day and infected more than , systems. Two years after that the SQL Slammer worm spread around the world in 30 minutes and crippled the Internet. The frequency and potency of new threats seems to increase exponentially from year to year.

For these reasons, I recommend you update your antivirus software daily. You could try to remember or make a note in your date book reminding you to visit the web site of your antivirus software vendor each day to see if a new update has been released and then download and install it, but I'm sure you have better things to do with your time.

Antivirus software can be configured to automatically check with the vendor site for any updates on a scheduled basis. Check your antivirus software instructions for how to configure automatic updates for your application. Keep in www. How Not to Get Infected Running up-to-date antivirus software is great, but there is an even better protection against viruses, worms, and other malware threats.

A little common sense is the abso- lute best defense against computer threats of all kinds. When you receive an e-mail titled "re: your mortgage loan," but you don't rec- ognize the sender and you know that you never sent a message titled "your mort- gage loan" in the first place, it's guaranteed to be spam, and may even contain some sort of malware. Fight your curiosity. Don't even bother opening it.

Just delete it. If you follow our advice in Chapter 1, the User Account you use should not have Administrator privileges. If you're using a User Account that does not have the authority to install software or make configuration changes to the operating system, most malware will be unable to infect the system. You should also avoid suspicious or questionable Web sites. The Web is filled with millions of Web pages, the vast majority of which are just fine.

No matter what you're searching for, there is probably a perfectly reputable site where you can find it. But once you venture into the dark and shady side of the Internet, there is no telling what kind of nasty things you can pick up. Another common source of malware is file sharing. Many of the files and pro- grams that can be found on peer-to-peer file sharing networks, such as Bit Torrent, contain Trojans or other malware.

Be cautious when executing files from question- able sources. You should always scan these files with your antivirus software before executing them. You can get malware infections by surfing the Web, using your e-mail, sharing network resources, or opening Microsoft Office files.

It can be scary to think that just about everything you might want to use your computer for exposes you to threats of one kind or another. However, a little common sense and a healthy dose of skepticism should keep you safe. Do You Think You're Infected? Is your computer system acting weird? Have you noticed files "where there didn't used to be files, or had files suddenly disappear? Does your system seem like it is running slower than normal, or you notice that the hard drive seems to keep on cranking away even "when you aren't doing anything on the computer?

Does your system freeze up or crash all of a sudden? If you have suspicions that your computer may be infected, you should run a manual scan using your antivirus software. First, make sure that your software has the most up-to-date virus information available from your antivirus software vendor, and then initiate the manual scan.

If the manual scan detects and removes the problem, you're all set. But what if it doesn't? What should you do if your antivirus software detects a threat, but is unable to remove it? Or what if your antivirus software says your computer is clean, but you still suspect it's infected? You can dig a little deeper to make sure. Antivirus and security software vendors often create stand-alone tools that are available for free to help detect and remove some of the more insidious threats see Figure 3.

Microsoft, which has recently entered the arena of providing antivirus and other security software products, also offers a Malicious Software Removal Tool which they update monthly to detect and remove some of the more pervasive and tenacious malware threats. These applications are also valuable because of their size, making them easily downloadable even with a slow Internet connection. If you suspect your system to be infected with one of the following viruses, these invaluable FREE tools will allow you to repair any damages to your computer.

Get up-to-date protection tcdav. If your computer system is infected by one of these threats, your antivirus software may be useless. You can try to find a stand-alone tool like those mentioned earlier, but an alter- native is to scan your system with a different antivirus software. Of course, you prob- ably don't have extra antivirus programs on standby that you can just install on a www. If all else fails, you should be able to get your system cleaned up using this service.

Step 2: Scanning local computer and connected components Step 3: Listing and removing detected infections and vulnerabilities If you want to scan the complete machine for viruses , worms , gray ware or spy ware and vulnerabilities, please click the first "Next" button in "Quick Select". Viruses, worms and other malware are a constant threat and the source of many problems and tremendous frustration for many users. The subject of malware could fill an entire book by itself.

In fact, there are entire books on the subject. The goal of this chapter was not to make antivirus or malware experts out of you, but to arm you with the knowledge that you need to safely use your computer for your day-to-day tasks. This chapter provided you with some explanation of the different types of mal- ware and what makes them different, as well as a brief overview of the history of malware. We then talked about how to protect your computer system using antivirus software and how to make sure it is configured properly and kept up-to-date.

You also learned how to exercise some common sense to ensure you don't become a victim of malware, and what to do to clean your system up if you are unfortunate enough to become infected. December 9, www. Microsoft's Security Web Page, January 1 1 , www. McAfee, Inc. Your toaster may not need any attention, but the car requires oil changes, new tires, tune-ups, and more, to keep it running properly. This chapter covers the information that you need to know to understand patches and updates and what you need to do to maintain your computer and pro- tect it from vulnerabilities.

But, I remember when I was growing up that a hole didn't guarantee a new pair of jeans. My mother would just get a patch and apply it to the hole and, presto, jeans were as good as new. With computer software it works pretty much the same "way In between releases of major versions of software, software publishers typically release patches to fix what's broken. They don't want to give you that new pair of jeans just yet; they've got the iron-on patches ready to go — you just have to install them. There are different kinds of patches and it can help to know the difference between them because some are big fixes and others are small.

Don't worry about learning this stuff; just use this list as a reference. And be sure to read the description for the fixes you're planning to install. Batches of Patches Patching comes in a variety of "flavors. Service packs are generally very large files that typically include lots of patches to all sorts of things. Why Should I Patch? Once a month, Microsoft releases their new Security Bulletins identifying new vul- nerabilities and providing the links to download the necessary patches.

There is typi- cally at least one vulnerability that could result in your computer being controlled remotely by an attacker and enable them to access your personal files and informa- tion, or hijack your computer to propagate viruses or mass-distribute spam e-mail. These Security Bulletins are generally rated as Critical by Microsoft because they consider it fairly urgent that you apply the patch to protect your computer system.

If your computer seems to be working just fine, you may wonder "Why bother upsetting the apple cart by applying a patch? Many viruses, "worms, and other malware exploit flaws and vulnerabilities in your system in order www. Your system may seem fine now, but by not applying a patch you might be opening the door for malware or attackers to come in. For example, the SQL Slammer worm, discussed in Chapter 3, was able to spread around the world in less than 30 minutes and cripple the Internet by exploiting a vulnerability that had a patch available for more than six months.

Had users and network administrators been more proactive about applying the patch, SQL Slammer may have fizzled out without being noticed. Some patches may fix a flaw in some particular service or underlying program that only a relative minority of users actually uses in the first place and which may not be urgent enough for you to bother downloading and installing. However, some flaws may expose your computer to remote attacks that enable the attacker to assume full control of your computer system enabling them to install software, delete files, distribute e-mail in your name, view your personal and confidential data, and more.

Obviously, a patch for such a vulnerability has a higher urgency than the first one. Patches that repair vulnerabilities that can be exploited remotely, in other "words, from some other system, rather than requiring the attacker to physically sit down in front of your computer, are even more urgent "when you consider that many viruses and worms take advantage of these flaws to exploit systems and propagate to other vulnerable systems. These vulnerabilities provide a relatively easy method of attack for malware authors, and the time frame between the patch being released and a virus or worm exploiting the vulnerability being released on the Internet is getting shorter and shorter.

There are often more than 50 new vulnerabilities discovered or announced in a given "week. Some of them will affect products you use, but the majority of them will probably affect other products or technologies that don't affect you. How can you keep up with so many vulnerabilities and filter through to find the ones that matter to you? More than that, how can you sift through the vulnerabili- ties that affect your system and choose which ones don't really matter and which ones are urgent?

Keeping Up with Vulnerabilities A number of sources are available to help you stay informed about newly dis- covered vulnerabilities and current patches. You can subscribe to e-mail mailing lists from sources such as Security Focus's Bugtraq. Bugtraq actually offers a wide variety of mailing lists to keep you informed on various subjects related to tech- nology and information security. You can get similar vulnerability information by subscribing to Secunia's mailing list as well. The problem with both of these solutions is that the amount of information generated is significantly more than the common user needs or can comprehend.

In either case, you can narrow the list of alerts you wish to receive and cus- tomize it as much as possible to only those products that affect you. However , the more commonly used a pro- gram is the bigger target it represents and the more likely it is that a vulnerability will be exploited through some sort of automated malware or manual attack. Still, for the more obscure programs you might use you should look into whether or not the vendor offers any sort of mailing list you can join to receive news of updates, patches, or vulnerability alerts. For users of Microsoft Windows operating systems, Microsoft offers a couple of alternatives to stay informed of the latest vulnerabilities and to make sure you have the necessary patches applied.

One is passive — automatically checking for and down- loading any new patches — while the other requires some active participation on the part of the user. Bull's Eye on Your Back When you play darts, the idea generally is to hit the bull's eye in the center of the board. Obviously, if that bull's eye is 10 feet across it will be a lot easier to hit than if it is only 1 inch across. The same logic holds true for attackers who want to exploit vulnerabilities. Because Microsoft Windows dominates the personal computer operating system market, it is a large target.

Because Microsoft Internet Explorer dominates the Web browser market, it is a large target. Granted, there are products that are written more securely than Microsoft's products and that are less prone to attack. But, once a product gains significant enough market share to attract attention, it too will become a target.

The Apple Mac has generally been regarded as virtually impenetrable. But, the increasing popularity of the Mac OS X operating system has made it the target of more fre- quent attacks. To be precise, it is up to you to choose just how passive you want the Windows Automatic Update feature to be. You can opt to be notified of any existing updates before downloading them; you can configure Automatic Update to automatically download any updates and notify you when they are ready to be installed; or you can configure it to simply download and install the updates on a schedule of your choosing.

The Automatic Updates tab offers four radio buttons to choose how to con- figure it. If you leave your computer on during the night and opt for automatically downloading and installing the updates, you may want to choose a time while you are sleeping so that any downloading and installing activity won't bog down the computer while you are trying to use it see Figure 4.

Tuir "; :". QTurn off Automatic Updates. These configuration options may be helpful for users who don't "want their com- puting interrupted by patches being installed or "who have limited Internet connec- tivity and want more control over when patches are downloaded. In general though, home users should stick with the recommended setting of Automatic.

When new patches are available, or have been downloaded and are pending installation on your system, the Windows Security Center shield icon will appear yellow in the Systray By clicking on the icon you can view the Details of the updates and then choose "whether or not you want to install them. If you choose not to install updates that have already been downloaded to your system, the files are deleted from your computer. You have password helps n't be! This is a handmade safety; the way p. He sent made in Seoul into the additional recording neighborhood and first progress as an term of implementation against the Eulsa Treaty visited by Japan on Korea.

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