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  1. #1
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Come on...take an educated guess. A post below about hackers got my curiousity up, so I went digging for answers.

    Made your guess yet?
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    FOUR MINUTES!

    That's right.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Unprotected PCs Fall To Hacker Bots In Just Four Minutes

    The lifespan of a poorly protected PC connected to the Internet is a mere four minutes, research released Tuesday claimed. After that, it's owned by a hacker.

    In the two-week test, marketing-communications firm AvanteGarde deployed half a dozen systems in "honeypot" style, using default security settings. It then analyzed the machines' performance by tallying the attacks, counting the number of compromises, and timing how long it took an attack to successfully hijack a computer once it was connected to the Internet.

    The six machines were equipped with Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003, Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1), Microsoft Windows XP SP1 with the free ZoneAlarm personal firewall, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Macintosh OS X 10.3.5, and Linspire's distribution of Linux.

    Not surprisingly, Windows XP SP1 sans third-party firewall had the poorest showing.

    "In some instances, someone had taken complete control of the machine in as little as 30 seconds," said Marcus Colombano, a partner with AvanteGarde, and, along with former hacker Kevin Mitnick, a co-investigator in the experiment. "The average was just four minutes. Think about that. Plug in a new PC--and many are still sold with Windows XP SP1--to a DSL line, go get a cup of coffee, and come back to find your machine has been taken over." Windows XP SP1 with the for-free ZoneAlarm firewall, however, as well as Windows XP SP2, fared much better. Although both configurations were probed by attackers, neither was compromised during the two weeks.

    Continue reading the article in http://www.techweb.com/wire/security/54201306
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Scary, huh?

    Later,
    Rick K.
    "Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't...You're right!" -Henry Ford-

  2. #2
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    Unless you have some compelling reason, and I can' think what it would be, NEVER use a simple modem for your broadband access, always get a combined modem/router/firewall hardware box.

    That is then your first line of defence to hacker before he/she has got anywhere near your pc(s).

    Oh and don't forget to change the default password on the router.

    Of course, the bonus is that it is then dead simple to share your internet connection between PCs.

    Les

  3. #3
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I think the four minutes is an exaggeration. I believe a more realistic timescale is about 10-20 minutes. Of course, that's still quick enough for an unprotected Windows PC to be compromised before the security patches can be downloaded from Microsoft.

    Let's face it.. if you don't have a firewall and you're running Windows (especially XP or 2000) then you've probably been 0wned.

    I use ZoneAlarm. Nice, easy product to use and highly configurable. The firewall built in to XP isn't exactly great, but it's pretty effective. However, if you've got crapware on your PC already, the XP firewall will happily let it talk to its masters, ZoneAlarm won't.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  4. #4
    Full Member BrattyKitty's Avatar
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    Wow, only 4 minutes!

    I was guessing between 5 and 10 - I guess I have that old image in mind, of someone sitting at their computer going through a series of passwords until they "hit" the right one.
    Never argue with an idiot.
    The person watching, may not be able to tell the difference!

    :female: :star: :envelope: [url="http://www.bridalbasics.ca/"]:weddingca[/url]

  5. #5
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    and open ports don't necessarily need passwords

  6. #6
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Yes, this won't be a password exploit, it'll normally be a DCOM or LSASS vulnerability at the moment (the same things that worms spread through).
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

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