BBC TV programme on Cyber Crime is well worth watching

March 19, 2009

A BBC TV programme broadcast on the 14th March about Cyber Crime is well worth watching.

“Software used to control thousands of home computers has been acquired online by the BBC as part of an investigation into global cyber crime.

The technology programme Click has demonstrated just how at risk PCs are of being taken over by hackers. Almost 22,000 computers made up Click’s network of hijacked machines, which has now been disabled. The BBC has now warned users that their PCs are infected, and advised them on how to make their systems more secure.”

The programme can be seem here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00jctj1/Click_14_03_2009/

Chris
ASL Computer Services
“If you have a PC problem, ASL can fix it”

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Internet Explorer vulnerability

December 18, 2008

Microsoft has issued a security patch to fix a critical vulnerability in its Internet Explorer browser which has attacked over 2 million Windows users.

Their advice is to update Windows with the security patch as soon as possible. The relevant patch for your version of Windows and Internet Explorer can be downloaded below

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/results.aspx?pocId=&freetext=960714&DisplayLang=en

Chris Moody

ASL Computer Services


Computer Security

March 30, 2008

Is your computer secure? You may have set a password to stop anyone in your house logging on to it, but is someone sitting outside your house accessing your files?

 

I was talking to someone the other day who found the hotel they had booked into did not have wireless broadband. So what did they do? They got in their car, drove around, and within a few minutes found an unsecured wireless connection they could access with their laptop to check their emails. This use of someone else’s broadband connection was not malicious; all they stole was a small amount of data transfer which was unlikely to cost the broadband owner anything extra. But what could have happened if their intensions were more sinister.

 Once on someone else’s wireless network what can you do? Well you could:

  • Access files in any shared folders on the PC’s in that household or office if they are connected to the broadband router, via wires or wireless, and even put files onto those PC’s.
  •  Send anything to their printers, if shared, that will print out when they turn their printer on.
  • Use that broadband connection to download files, browse dubious websites, or send SPAM e-mails.
  • Infect the PC’s with viruses

 So how do you protect yourself? There are a number of simple steps you can take when setting up your wireless router

  1. Make sure your wireless connection is encrypted using WPA encryption
  2. Pick an encryption passphrase that is not easily guessed, ideally containing letters and numbers
  3. Change your routers logon password to something other than the default
  4. Disable access to the router management pages via wireless
  5. Do not use a wireless name (SSID) that could identify yourself, your location, or the model of your router

By implementing the above you will protect yourself from the risk of someone sitting outside your house, browsing through your files, and possibly stealing your passwords and bank account details. So don’t delay, check your wireless router is really secure.

 Chris Moody
ASL Computer Services
Specialists in computer support for small businesses


Firewalls for Windows PC’s

September 23, 2007

 A few years ago firewall products such as Zone Alarm were very popular, and rightly so, as they protected your computer from external attack. Then when Windows XP Service pack 2 was introduced the operating system included it’s own built in firewall, so everyone tended to forget about firewall products. However, hackers are getting more devious. More and more people are on broadband and leave their PC on all the time (just waiting to be attacked by a hacker who wants to empty your bank account).

 

We have been looking at some of the firewall products available and they have improved a lot in the last couple of years. Both “Comodo Firewall” and “Kerio Personal Firewall” are impressive products, far more sophisticated that the Windows XP built in firewall, and they offer a good level of protection. The best part is Comodo is totally free, and the Kerio product comes in both free and paid for versions (the free version looses some the the more advanced features after the initial 30 day trial).

You can download these programs below

Comodo: http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/

Kerio:  http://www.sunbelt-software.com/Kerio.cfm

Chris Moody
www.aslcomputerservices.co.uk
Specialists in Computer support for Small Businesses and
home PC users in Northamptonshire and Warwickshire

 


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