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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger PaulB's Avatar
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    May 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario
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    I do not have a password on my home computer. Never really saw the need for one (in my case). Bigaldoc's Post 775522 about why he uses a password set me to thinking about this, though. He seems to imply that if his computer were not password protected, I could somehow access his system over the Internet and presumably do whatever I wanted to with his computer and data.

    I'm having some trouble accepting this but, like Big Al, I really don't know enough of the internals of the OS and the Internet to comment one way or the other. I can understand someone inadvertently downloading malware, opening a malicious email attachment or getting bitten by a drive-by download when visiting some web site. But I can't see how user A can attack user B over the Internet without user B's involvement.

    Has anyone heard of such an attack?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    A cultural area in SW England
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    [quote name='PaulB' post='775524' date='16-May-2009 23:37']Has anyone heard of such an attack?[/quote]
    Regardless of the merits or otherwise of passwords, you should consider the reason for the existence of hardware firewalls (and of at least one of the components of software firewalls). If you have only a software firewall (like ZoneAlarm), you would be absolutely staggered by the number of attacks recorded in the firewall log. from people who want to 'own' your machine, and perhaps turn it into one of the PCs on a botnet. An unprotected PC on the internet has, on average, a lifetime of (much) less than an hour before it is discovered and attacked by people who wish to use it for nefarious purposes. Plenty of studies on this available on the internet!

    Mission: identify what we do best and find more ways of doing less of it better

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Oct 2001
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
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    [quote name='PaulB' post='775524' date='16-May-2009 18:37']Has anyone heard of such an attack?[/quote]
    Let me add to the "volume" of what Batcher said. The reason I alluded to how long ago it's been in my post that you referenced is that those were my "pre-router" days!

    When I first started using the internet and heard about attackers and hackers, I bought my first copy of a software firewall. I think it was called Black Ice Defender and they have terminated the product a couple of years ago. Anyway, I used to check the incoming logs every day and there were literally dozens of attempted "break ins" to my computer. I know you read the occasional newspaper story about some company or organization getting hacked and it's no different in a one-computer environment. The bad guys are out there and if you let them they'll break in and steal whatever looks interesting or profitable!

    Anyways, that's when (in those days) many, many gurus used to preach using a logon password and (if you shared any folders) a password on individual hard drives. I've been doing it ever since!

    Enter the hardware router! It didn't take too long for me to hear about and study about a router adding extra protection. So I rushed out and bought my first one and have not looked back ever since. In very, very brief terms, my router will not allow, answer or recognize any entry attempts that are "unsolicited" efforts to enter my computer.

    Have fun...

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