[bittorrent] BT, Nats, and hackers at the door...

Elliott Mitchell ehem at m5p.com
Mon May 30 22:20:15 EDT 2005

>From: Kenneth Porter <shiva at sewingwitch.com>
> --On Monday, May 30, 2005 6:14 PM -0700 Elliott Mitchell <ehem at m5p.com> 
> wrote:
> > Prior to being compromised, neither IE nor OE ever has ports open. Yet
> > we're all aware that these are the two programs most often compromised.
> True, the prevalence of spyware and adware are primarily through "pull" 
> technologies, like web browsing and clicking on attachments. The user has 
> to initiate the infection.

You're dead wrong on that last sentence. Most of them come through one of
zillions of ways that cause IE to download and install without asking.

> > Though another minor delaying factor that will slow down an attacker, and
> > perhaps make them move onto someone more vulernerable firewalls are not
> > magical security end-alls. The three main things needed to stay secure
> > are patching your software, patching, and more patches. If you've got
> > that problem solved, who needs a firewall?
> Except that it doesn't protect against ignorance or poor practice, as one 
> sees in pull technologies.

And firewalls help against ignorant users? Patches do result in better
defaults and better warnings that do help ignorant users some. Even then,
that is so far behind patches in severity, why worry about them?

I've only seen one test done, but a security person randomly tried
visiting an unfriendly website with an XP SP1 system. After 3 articles
written he had spotted the download of over 30 pieces of software, and
was working on subsequent articles where those were analyzed. Don't worry
about users until you've got everything patches.

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