Maintain your old Siemens Hipath system

Hacked: Who Else Is Using Your Computer?

A friend called me one day and asked if I would stop by to look at his computer. He said it was running abnormally slow and he had found something on his hard-drive he could not explain. I could almost guess what it was he found. Have I been hacked?

You see, his computer had been hacked. Actually, in his case, his computer had been tagged. Similar to the image you see here.

Tag, You're It!
---------------
The file transfer protocol, commonly referred to as "FTP", has been around for many years. In the early days of the Internet, it was one of the few ways to easily upload and download files from one computer to another. Many commercial operating systems come with an FTP server installed. In other cases, the option for FTP services is selected by a user when they are installing or updating their operating system. If this service is not setup properly, or you don't have an adequately configured software or hardware firewall, it is an open invitation for a hacker or intruder.

FTP Tagging - The most common purpose for someone to compromise your FTP server is for the storage and distribution of illegally obtained software and files. This could include cracked software, stolen movies, audio files, and pornography. Removing this type of contraband from your computer can be difficult, particularly if you are using a Microsoft Windows platform. Hackers use sophisticated scripts to create a maze of directory structures to house their wares on your computer. They may use a combination of names with spaces in them, and in some cases use extended characters (characters outside the normal alpha-numeric range). Deleting these directories through normal means may be difficult, if not impossible, for the average user. Many people wind up wiping their system and re-installing it, and that is if they're lucky enough to find out their system has been compromised.

The above is a perfect example of why the statement, "I'm not worried about being hacked. What do I have that a hacker would want?" is not a good position to take. The fact is, you do have something they want, your computers resources. Why should a hacker store tons of illegally obtained files on their systems when they can use yours.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
-------------------------------

The Good
--------
When I was young I use to spend hours upon hours on the Internet Relay Chat, also know as the IRC. The IRC is another method of Internet communication, which has been around for quite a long time. When I was a frequent user of the IRC, it was just plain fun. You would meet all kinds of people from all over the world. It was the instant messenger of the time.

The Bad
-------
Today, the IRC is a huge communications network. It is made up of thousands of channels, and can be accessed by pretty much any operating system platform. It is also a favorite means of communication for hackers. They can discuss new exploits, methods of compromise, and even send and receive files. Many hacker groups use a cryptic language to communicate with each other on the IRC channels. Unless you know the language constructs they use, their conversations can look like a bunch of nonsense.

There are many exploits, backdoors, and Trojans that effect, or are contained in, the myriad of IRC clients on the Internet. Making sure you choose one that's relatively safe to use is not an easy task. As an example, take a look at this list of IRC safety and security info at irc.org.

The Ugly
--------
It's not just the exploits and security risks associated with using the IRC, which need to concern you. If a hacker is able to install an IRC relay agent on your computer, it can become a conduit through which they communicate and distribute information. In my line of work, I've identified many systems with IRC backdoors or relay agents installed. The only thing the end user typically experiences is a decrease in system performance and Internet access.

Just Open The Door And Let Them In Peer-to-Peer File Sharing
----------------------------------
If a total stranger were to knock on your door, and ask to come in to just hang out for awhile, would you let them in?; Most likely not. If you're using peer-to-peer file sharing software to locate and download files on the Internet, you're opening the door to destruction. Many of the file sharing services and software available on the Internet now tout themselves as being "safe" and "clean". This is as far from the truth as you can get. If you're a regular user of these services, the chance of your computer being back-doored or hacked is significant.

If you have anti-virus software installed (and up-to-date), you've undoubtedly received messages regarding viruses when downloading files from peer-to-peer services. These are not the only things you could be downloading. Many hackers imbed root-kits in files and distribute them using peer-to-peer file sharing. Root kits contain many types of tools used by hackers to gain control over computers. If the installation of the kit on your computer goes undetected and is successful, it's only a matter of time before your computer is completely compromised.

I can't tell you how many times I've found company employees (and technical personnel) using peer-to-peer file sharing services. Any organization that permits this is putting itself at risk. And, the risk is much greater as compared to a single home computer because of the number of potential internal targets.

Conclusion
----------
Of course, the above is just a few examples of different methods and types of computer compromise. There are many ways your computer can be hacked. Your best defense is a good offense along with education and awareness. When you configure your computer make sure you enable only the software and services that you need. Many programs have known exploits and / or require additional steps be taken to adequately secure them.

Don't make the assumption that you are not a target just because you don't think you have anything of interest on your computer.

If our computer becomes unstable or dramatically decreases in performance, don't assume it's just a quirk or that it's time to upgrade.

Make sure you have a software or hardware firewall in place to protect you from the Internet. Your firewall should be configured not to allow anonymous inbound access from the Internet. This is the default configuration for most firewalls, but you should make sure the one you are using is properly configured.

Make sure you have adequate virus and spyware protection, and your pattern signatures are up-to-date. Many anti-virus applications work on a subscription basis. It's not uncommon to find out your subscription expired. If it is expired, your software may not protect you from new and emerging threats.

And, do what ever you can to stay away from any type of Internet peer-to-peer file sharing service. No matter how safe the developer claims it is.

About The Author
----------------
Darren Miller is an Information Security Consultant with over sixteen years experience. He has written many technology & security articles, some of which have been published in nationally circulated magazines & periodicals. Darren is a staff writer for http://www.defendingthenet.com and several other e-zines. If you would like to contact Darren you can e-mail him at Darren.Miller@ParaLogic.Net or DefendTheNet@ParaLogic.Net.

If you would like to know more about computer security please visit us at our website. If someone you know has sent you this article, please take a moment to visit our site and register for the free newsletter at Newsletter Subscribe.

Original URL
------------
http://www.defendingthenet.c om/NewsLetters/HaveYouBeenHacked.htm

In The News:

Lockdown protests intensify in China as UK journalist 'beaten and kicked by police' covering unrest
Sun, 27 Nov 2022 22:16:00 +0000
Protests against stringent COVID restrictions have intensified across China - as a British journalist was beaten and kicked by police.

Monkeypox given new name by World Health Organisation
Mon, 28 Nov 2022 11:27:00 +0000
Monkeypox has been rebranded 'mpox' by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Chinese Communist Party faces threat not seen since protests that led to Tiananmen Square massacre
Sun, 27 Nov 2022 19:11:00 +0000
These protests are momentous. Wherever they lead, they are already hugely significant.

What's being done about 'murder-for-hire' sites on the dark web, and how dangerous are they?
Sun, 27 Nov 2022 05:05:00 +0000
At some point in our lives most of us have done something to upset someone.

Plane crashes into live power lines
Mon, 28 Nov 2022 09:34:00 +0000
Two people, who spent nearly seven hours trapped 100ft (30 metres) above ground after their plane crashed into live power lines, have been rescued.



tikatoshop.it

Erfahrungen mit Pallhuber Wein
Agen Bola SBOBET Terpercaya

Travel in comfort and at your leisure with CT Airlink Limousine & Car Service for top quality private transportation and exceptional customer service. We operate Sedans, SUVs & Vans for CT Car Services to covering all Connecticut airports including Car Service from CT to Newark Airport , Mohegan Casino Uncasville CT, Foxwoods Casino Mashantucket CT, Manhattan Cruise Terminal NYC, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal NYC and Bayonne Cruise Terminal NJ. CT Airlink hire licensed and friendly chauffeurs who have in-depth knowledge of the Areas.

How to Protect Yourself Against Online Criminals

Credit card fraud is a growing problem for online businesses... Read More

How To Give Away Your Personal Information

Identity Theft and Your Personal Information -------------------------------------------- Identity theft is... Read More

Lets Talk About Antivirus Software!

Nowadays more and more people are using a computer. A... Read More

Free Ways to Tackle Threats to Your Computer

Protect Your PCHaving problems with your pc? Do your kids,... Read More

Dialing Up a Scam: Avoiding the Auto-Dialer Virus

For many, the daily walk to the mailbox evokes mixed... Read More

How to Prevent Online Identity Theft

Identity theft rates one of the fastest growing crimes in... Read More

Online Shopping: 10 Tips For Safe Online Shopping

Have you ever bought a product or service from the... Read More

How To Avoid Hackers From Destroying Your Site?

Recently, my site and other internet accounts ( http://www.nabaza.com/sites.htm )... Read More

Do You Know What your Kids Are Doing Online?

It's a sad statistic, but hundreds of unsuspecting kids are... Read More

Why you Must Secure your Digital Product and Thank You Web Page

A couple of years back, I paid my dues the... Read More

Email Hoaxes, Urban Legends, Scams, Spams, And Other CyberJunk

The trash folder in my main inbox hit 4000 today.... Read More

Virus Nightmare..Lessons Learned

I got a virus the other day, Thursday I believe... Read More

Wells Fargo Report Phishing Scam

First off I should explain what phishing is. Phishing is... Read More

Web and Computer Security

Well, if that would have been said to me by... Read More

How to Get Rid of New Sobig.F Virus?

As you know, this time the virus under the name... Read More

Steganography ? The Art Of Deception & Concealment

The Message Must Get Through ----------------------------- The year is 300A.D.,... Read More

Data Security; Are Your Company Assets Really Secure?

Is your data secure? Think again. Securing data is unlike... Read More

Top Five Online Scams

The top five online scams on the Internet hit nearly... Read More

Phishing: An Interesting Twist On A Common Scam

After Two Security Assessments I Must Be Secure, Right? ---------------------------------------... Read More

Internet Privacy

Over the past few years as the internet has become... Read More

SPYWARE - Whos Watching Who?

I am in the midst of Oscar Wilde's The Picture... Read More

Passwords or Pass Phrase? Protecting your Intellectual Property

Much has been said on the theory of password protection... Read More

How Can Someone Get Private Information From My Computer?

From the "Ask Booster" column in the June 17, 2005... Read More

Corporate Security for Your Home Business

The words Corporate Security may conjure up images of a... Read More

Is That Free Stuff Like An iPod Or Desktop Computer Really Free?

Have you seen the web site, www.freestuff.com? Or have you... Read More