Sunday, January 1, 2012
It's About To Get Real!
The first thing that detected my attack last night was the firewall, when a certain program was requesting to use the internet. It's not so often that this happens... Usually it's just Adobe or Java trying to update. I had no idea what the program was, but it looked legit. I ran a scan on its location, and Malware Bytes said it was a Trojan seeking access to the internet from my computer. A Trojan is a piece of software designed with the intent of harming your computer. The difference between a Trojan and a Virus is that a Trojan can give a computer hacker remote access to your computer. When this program was trying to access the internet, the hacker could have been receiving very personal or valuable information from me, watching my keystrokes, watching my screen, monitoring my running processes, or even using my internet browser as a proxy to cloak themselves.
The first one is Malware Bytes--www.malwarebytes.org. This is an Anti-Spyware and Anti-Virus piece of software that is FREE to use. It is HIGH performance, easy to use, and highly effective, able to eliminate the most powerful of viruses. It is useful to run one this program at minimum once per week, maximum once per month. Run it while you sleep. It's free and effective.
The next program that I use is Zone Alarm Pro Firewall--www.zonealarm.com. A firewall allows you to regulate what goes in, and what comes out of your computer. There is a FREE version of this, but the pro version, you have to pay for. Your firewall is one of your first lines of defense against attacks. It detects when programs are logging your keystrokes (which for the most part is okay when you are opening a file), but in other cases if you're entering in credit card information on your browser, and Zone Alarm freaks out... It's about to get real.
www.peerblock.com. PeerBlock is another FREE piece of software that blocks known "bad" computers from accessing your computer, and visa-verse. These "bad" computers are all regulated by the internet community, and the list gets updated frequently. This piece of software has its ups and downs though: Some of the security on websites is so thick, like banking websites, they need to BE SURE that YOU ARE YOU. Therefore, they're requesting too much information from your computer, that some of the lists restrict these types of sites, and you'll have to disable PeerBlock in order to be able to access them. Disabling PeerBlock is nothing more than the click of a mouse button.
Three small, but powerful programs to constantly keep running in the background should give enough protection against most attacks, PeerBlock being the most optional because of its limitations when browsing the internet. How well protected are you? What kind of software do you run?