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Shields Up test: Totally Stealthed-And No Firewall!!

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Reviews' started by jillian2, Sep 21, 2004.

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  1. jillian2

    jillian2 Thread Starter

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    Just had my computer checked out at Shields Up and it was totally stealthed on each test. I have Windows Xp Home Edition with a built in firewall. Seems like this does the job without the need for another firewall.

    Jillian
     
  2. Abdhul

    Abdhul

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    nice...
    If you ever get hacked let us know, this should prove interesting.
     
  3. buckaroo

    buckaroo

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    Firewall security is a two-way street. Yes, the XP firewall is effective keeping anything from outside coming in. However, it does nothing to stop or alert you to any applications on your PC from contacting the mother ship. These may be benign applications doing their benign thing, or they could be applications you either willing installed, or more nefarious apllications surreptitously installed via web browsing, with Ad & spyware components (or worse) calling home with all sorts of information about you.

    For this reason I would still recommend the use of a regular firewall. There's free versions of Zone Alarm and Sygate, to name two, that you can download. Besides protecting you from outside-in, they protect you from inside-out. You'll have the ability to see and control what applications on your PC are trying to call home to the mother ship.

    IMHO.

    :)
     
  4. hewee

    hewee

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    ZA free version is many times better and the ZA Pro is even better.
     
  5. buckaroo

    buckaroo

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    Hey hewee! Fancy meeting you here. :p

    :)
     
  6. hewee

    hewee

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    Yea I have not seen you hear in a long time buckaroo.

    Wonder where you been hiding at mate. :D
     
  7. Gwaihir

    Gwaihir

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    I've also read but not bothered to check too thoroughly that the Windows Firewall can be disabled with relative ease by installed programs, which would still leave you vulnerable to a one-two punch using a trojan or other piece of malware. Not that other firewalls are immune . . . I'm just noting what I've heard.

    As buckaroo noted, one of the best although secondary features of a firewall is its ability to prevent programs from "phoning home," or at the least to report on when and to whom they're phoning. I have a good bit of software that doesn't get phone privileges, which I only feel comfortable using because I've locked it down. With a nice one, you can even set specific rules for each app, allowing you to, for example, block ad retrieval from an ad-based program, prevent connections to a program on all but several standard ports, or anything else you want.

    Plus, the standard Windows issue applies - lots and lots and lots of people will be using it, so it will be hacker target #1 - any flaws will be found and rapidly exploited. (Flaws as in vulnerabilities through permissive internet apps and other voluntary holes in the system, which may be used to open involuntary ones.)
     
  8. jillian2

    jillian2 Thread Starter

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  9. linskyjack

    linskyjack

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    Someone explain this paradox---If your firewall blocks incoming--how could anyone get into your computer to send outgoing? If the front door and alll the windows are secure, how does someone get into your computer in order to send stuff out the front door?
     
  10. ianscotm

    ianscotm

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  11. buckaroo

    buckaroo

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    What seems like a paradox really isn't. Being protected fromfrom the outside-in intrusions protects you from hacker types scanning networks, or IP addresses, looking for vulerable or open ports. However, if you willing download or otherwise install questionable applications that have spy or adware components that call home; then by inviting those applications in, you willing by-passed your outside-in protection. Folks who install file sharing applications like KaZaa are really vulnerable to all sorts of crap ending up on their PC just by "willing" installing the likes of P2P software.

    Remember too, your firewall doesn't stop malicious e-mail from reaching your PC.

    Also, you could visit a web site with malicious code embeded in it. Just visiting the web site is inviting the site onto your PC, and you do notice that web-surfing is not stopped by your firewall. Your browser security settings may keep bad things at bay, but not your firewall. If the malcious code get's by your browser security settings, then it's free to make itself at home on your PC and call home or do whatever.

    For this reason, only using a router or XP's firewall to block outside-in intrusions is only protecting yourself half-way. Having the "doors and windows locked" will keep the burglars out, however, by "allowing" malicious applications in (either willing or un-willing); then you completley by-passed your locked doors and windows and allowed the bad guys inside.

    :)
     
  12. ianscotm

    ianscotm

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    It's a bad world out there
     
  13. buckaroo

    buckaroo

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    (y) Yes it is.

    One last thing. Just cruise the Security Forum here and you'll see folks with all sorts of problems even though they're running XP or are behind a router.

    :)
     
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