Ever since I wrote about the 34,000 MySpace passwords I analyzed, people have been asking how to choose secure passwords.
My piece aside, there's been a lot written on this topic over the years -- both serious and humorous -- but most of it seems to be based on anecdotal suggestions rather than actual analytic evidence. What follows is some serious advice.
I’m often asked: what’s the most common type of hacker and attack? Over time I’ve discovered that the general public holds a somewhat romantic image of hackers. One mental picture involves an emaciated young man in a poverty-stricken corner of the world. Greasy-haired and red-eyed, he types late into the night on an old TRS-80 workstation, trying desperately to get your American Express account number for nefarious purposes.
Another favorite image is of a cherub-faced pre-teen with extreme computer skills and little knowledge of law and order. Thanks to too much hardware and too little parental supervision, she creates a new virus that brings down every business on the Eastern seaboard.
This is an idea I’ve been rolling around in my head for some time. Now that I have a blog, I can finally share it with you:
For years, system administrators and savvy users have needed to create long passwords to thwart password guessing attacks. However, those passwords are complicated and hard to remember. Is there a way to create strong, easy to remember passwords that are impervious to most attacks? Yes, thanks to something I call the compound password. It’s very simple, but also incredibly powerful.
"The Clapco D29 is the most impenetrable lock on the market today. It has only one design flaw… the door… must be closed!" –Seinfeld (1990)
After installing an expensive alarm system in his apartment and then getting robbed, Jerry Seinfeld learned a valuable lesson: no matter how good the security system, if it isn't used correctly, it is completely ineffective. That lesson holds just as true when it comes to everyday computer users and their firewalls.
This is a article that would show how to reassemble a packet using Ethereal.There are a few things you’ll need in place to begin.The first, is a packetsniffer, Ethereal. Why Ethereal? It’s free. It’s cross-platform. It doesn’t require a server OS. And it has one key feature that makes the process easier.Along with Ethereal, you’ll need a text editor – and those that ship with a Windows OS wont’ work: notepad,Word, wordpad – none of those will suffice, because even notepad modifies the data just enough to corrupt what we’re trying to accomplish. I’m going to recommend a tool that works for me: Textpad. So, with a packet sniffer, and Textpad, we’ll be good to go.
Encryption is no longer the exclusive domain of flamboyant 007-type agents and shady thugs, playing the sort of cloak and dagger games you'd find in a John le Carré novel. Easy to use software brings it within reach of less conspiciuous types, such as yourself. It's even freely available, to boot.This site is a five step guide that quickly and easily gets you up and running with PGP, the most wide spread e-mail encryption standard. The site is loaded with screen shots, so that you'll get the full picture of what will happen during installation. Hopefully, knowing all this beforehand will remove any barriers you might have against installing the software.
There is a community, a shared culture, of expert programmers and networking wizards that traces its history back through decades to the first time-sharing minicomputers and the earliest ARPAnet experiments.The members of this culture originated the term ‘hacker’. Hackers built the Internet. Hackers made the Unix operating system what it is today. Hackers run Usenet. Hackers make the World Wide Web work. If you are part of this culture, if you have contributed to it and other people in it know who you are and call you a hacker, you're a hacker.
Intrusion detection systems have come a long way over the past few years. Almost all organizations have some sort of intrusion detection system (IDS) running at the network and/or host-based level, and almost every IDS will automatically report bad or anomalous behavior via a console and e-mail or paging.If configured properly, the IDS will do a good job of catching intrusion events that it knows about. It's typically the job of the security staff to monitor these events and report any problems to the manager and/or network administrator.
Finding and fixing vulnerabilities on your systems is not a task you can complete once and then cross off your list�it's an ongoing process that requires diligence and consistent attention. There's never a point when you can feel confident you've discovered every possible vulnerability.Of course, you've hopefully signed up to receive notifications on patches and security updates for every product deployed on your organization's network, which can go a long way toward keeping things secure. However, the only way you can verify that you've successfully closed the vulnerabilities is to perform a vulnerability assessment.
Patch management is an issue that will always plague your organization's network. There will always be patches, updates, and security fixes to apply. Unfortunately, there will not always be unlimited time to evaluate and distribute fixes to close a security hole that attackers are currently exploiting.
The goal of this article is to present a few effective methods to revamp the way you work in a restricted corporation-like network. In order to achieve it we’re going to use SSH tunneling to bypass the firewall rules applied by your system administrator. We’ll start with breaking through simple restrictions and gradually pass to more and more elaborate firewalls while we move on.
Securing your organization's LAN and WAN traffic from prying eyes is an ongoing struggle. In the past, I've written about securing that traffic using IPSec policies. If you followed my recommendations, then good for you!But what if you've been experiencing problems with your IPSec implementation? We can usually trace most IPSec problems to difficulties during the Internet Key Exchange (IKE) phase of authentication.
I think everyone has heard of this one, recently evolved into the 4.x series.
Nmap (”Network Mapper”) is a free open source utility for network exploration or security auditing. It was designed to rapidly scan large networks, although it works fine against single hosts. Nmap uses raw IP packets in novel ways to determine what hosts are available on the network, what services (application name and version) those hosts are offering, what operating systems (and OS versions) they are running, what type of packet filters/firewalls are in use, and dozens of other characteristics. Nmap runs on most types of computers and both console and graphical versions are available. Nmap is free and open source.
Takeaway: In Windows Vista, Microsoft has bolstered the security of the Windows Firewall, keeping the GUI accessible through the Control Panel for novice users but allowing savvy users to configure advanced features through an MMC snap-in. Here are some of the highlights.
This article is also available as a PDF download.
Microsoft has made significant changes to the Windows Firewall in Vista that enhance security and make it more configurable and customizable for advanced users, while retaining the simplicity required by novices. Here are some key aspects of the changes.
The Data Encryption Standard (also known as DES) is a cipher (method of encryption) selected as an official Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) for the U.S in 1976, and was subsequently used internationally as a widespread encryption method. The algorithm was initiall controverssial, with classied design elements, a relatively short key length annd suspicions about a National Security Agency (NSA) backdoor. DES consequently came under intense academic scrutinty and motivated the modern understanding of block ciphers and their cryptanalysis.