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 [TUT] Security part 1

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PostSubject: [TUT] Security part 1   Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:12 pm

Being secure is important. Just because you call yourself a hacker, it doesn't mean you're immune to attacks towards your computer. Without my anti-virus, I doubt I'd actually be typing this now - I'd probably be searching through my registries and screaming like a chicken on speed. I'm like that.
Not all anti-viruses work the same way. Some anti-virus programs are bad; some are good, and some are just plain useless. We'll be looking at which ones are the best of the best, and which ones are just plain fail.
Being infected with something can also put your friends and family at risk, other users of your computer could be having their login & credit card details stolen without any knowledge of it. Worms can also spread to your email contacts and friends on popular websites such as Facebook.

Downloads & Scanning
For example, you download a program and the poster is claiming that it is a clean botnet controller. If we can this, it will come up with results such as "Win32/RBot" etc.. This means that the file should be what we wanted.
Now, if the botnet-controller scan came up as something like "Win32/trojan.agent.a", we can tell that this is a malicious program that will work against us. This is an example of a download you do not want to use.
All in all, the scan should show results similar to what you were downloading.
You should always be careful what you download. You may often be downloading malicious software without even realizing sometimes. Trust me, this happens to a lot more people than you think.
If you're expecting a file to be much bigger than the download you find, don't touch it. An example of this would be "Windows XP Theme - 350kb!" when it should be a lot higher, such as 30-50mb.
Remember to always check the names of the files you download.. If you're downloading a cracked program, it would be unusual for it to have no credits or advertisements in it. I would trust " 'x' cracked by 'y' " more than I'd trust " 'x' crack". Credits, names or advertisements should nearly always be in .rar or .zip files, this is one good way of recognizing a trusted download.
Here is a quote from Wikipedia which you may find helpful: "Example: ZTreeWin_1.5.zip contains a crack to register ZtreeWin 1.51 included files are: keygen.exe, one.nfo, file_id.diz and 'RUN.EXE'. It is the 'RUN.EXE' that contains the rogue program"
Downloading really isn't necessary and is often risky, but we have some clean content in the HF-L33t section if you want to upgrade for that.

Online File Scanners
Web-scanners such as "VirusTotal" and "NoVirusThanks" are becoming increasingly popular with the amount of anonymous downloads posted all over the internet.
If you want to scan a file you find suspicious, you can go to either
http://virustotal.com/ or
http://novirusthanks.org/ to do so.
VirusTotal will send samples of the file to the antivirus companies, so this is not recommended if you want to keep your file undetectable.
NoVirusThanks has an "Advanced options" area where you can choose to not distribute your file to the antivirus companies, this is handy for keeping things fully undetectable, but if it's a file you don't trust and don't want yourself or others to be infected by it in the future, I suggest you allow them to distribute it to the antivirus companies. I respect what these websites and the malware fighting websites do, and so should you.

Visiting Websites & Reading Emails.
Be cautious of the websites you visit. I wouldn't recommend visiting any websites that seem cheap, uncommon, or freely hosted. Malicious websites are often misleading or can just inject things into your system without your consent. If you use the "Chrome" browser from Google, you may have noticed that it automatically downloads files without prompting you. Chrome is a browser I would not recommend just because it is so new, all new things have vulnerabilities, and if a vulnerability can be exploited, it will be exploited.
I'm behind a firewall and anti-virus anyway, but the only websites I visit are popular ones. The untrustworthy and uncommon websites usually don't appeal to me, for obvious reasons..
When opening emails, you should also be cautious. Just because it's an email from your friend - it doesn't mean you can trust it! You may see some emails asking you to update your bank details -- your banks should never ask you to do that via email. The details you enter will be sent out to someone who is going to exploit your details, so steer away from these emails.
Worms can be spread via email. For example, you open an email from Bob containing a worm, this worm is then sent to all of your contacts. This is how most worms will work, and it is suggested that you change your emailing service if it could be vulnerable. You can use Microsoft's live hotmail service which is excellent, it will also disable any harmful content from downloading onto your computer. You can find this service at

By using a sandbox, everything that is downloaded onto your computer will remain in the sandbox. It will not escape, meaning that malicious downloads cannot harm your computer. Sandboxing is a great way to test whether or not a website can be trusted. I rarely do this, but it's so useful sometimes.
Sandboxing will also protect your cookies, history and cached temporary files from being leaked. Downloads are isolated, meaning that they are trapped and your computer is protected.

The good antiviruses will have a built-in Firewall, but if not, then it may be worth downloading one. Firewalls aren't essential, but can help a lot.
Some firewalls have IP masking options, but these can usually slow down your computer and are not worth using unless you're doing something illegal.
The main use of a firewall is to prevent incoming traffic, which will stop things like 'telnet' from reaching your connection, and can also stop worms etc. from accessing your network. Firewalls will also block the backdoors that trojans create, so if you find yourself unlucky enough to have a RAT (Remote Access Trojan) on your computer, the backdoor should be blocked by your firewall, but it is possible for a trojan to bypass this. Having a firewall does not mean you are secure, many firewalls can be easily disabled or bypassed by malware. Some firewalls will also block legit connections, such as downloads for software. Do not think you're secure just because you have a firewall, this is a common misconception with firewalls. Too many people think that by installing a highly popular firewall, they'll instantly be secure against the latest intrusions, but this is not at all true.
Firewalls may also make an effect on your connection speed. If you have a very fast download speed, you may notice a difference when you get a firewall, but the download speed may remain normal on users with slower speeds. This effect can vary between users, and depends on the connection. It's best to try several firewalls to find out which one suits you best - reviews are personal and will not always be the same for everyone.
One of the favourite firewalls is "ZoneAlarm" which is very popular and has a free version. The paid version is obviously better, but it isn't necessary at all.
If you're using Windows Vista, I'd recommend choosing ZoneAlarm as your firewall. The same goes for XP, but you might want to get your hands on a "BlackIce" crack instead, if possible.
Another great Firewall is "Comodo" which is also free can be found here...
Zone Alarm:

Part 2 : part 2
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