Did You Assist In The Recent Denial Of Service Attacks…….

Or Every One Needs A Fire Wall.

Remember hearing about the recent attacks on such sites as E-Trade etc., when hackers basically shut the sites down by overwhelming the subject servers with hits?  This is what’s called a “Denial of Service Attack”.  The subject site is so inundated with “Hits” that it simply cannot keep up, and effectively shuts down.  The public at large just can’t get any response when they try to go to the targeted site.


Is it possible you helped the hackers in this attack?  It is if you have an Internet Connection that you keep running all the time.  This is especially true for such connections as DSL or Cable Modems.  It can also apply to any connection (dial up etc.) that simply leaves you connected to the Internet.  The Internet is simply the worlds biggest Network.  From your computer you can connect to other computers all over the world… And they can connect with you (with or without your knowledge).


If a hacker connects to your computer he (or she) can make it do anything.  He can take all your information.  He can change it, or delete it.  He can even use your computer to then connect to other computers he wants to attack.  This then makes it look like the attack came from your computer.


What’s the answer?  Pull the plug on your internet connection?  No just use some form of a “Firewall”.


With a Firewall your computer is protected form outside attacks.


The term “Firewall” comes from real buildings.  A firewall is a solid wall that stops fire from getting past it…. What does this have to do with computers????  In the computer world, a Firewall is a software program, or a hardware device, or both, that protects unauthorized access to your computer from the outside world.


Is your computer connected to the outside world?  It is with DSL or Cable, or even with that modem that is always plugged into the phone line.  A Firewall stops the world from getting to your information (as in being Hacked).


Think of your computer, as your car.  Now do you want to drive your car on the Highway with no safety belts?  Are you willing to leave it parked on the side of the road with the windows open, doors, unlocked, and the keys in the ignition?  No? What a surprise… Then get a Firewall for your Internet Connection.


There are some very low cost options.  You can downloaded a Firewall software program called Zone Alarm from a company called Zone Labs (http://www.zonelabs.com/ ).  At this time, the price is right.  It’s a free download.  Better then being free, it works.  You can use it to stop connections to and from your computer.  Not only over the Internet, but over your own Network as well.  So, if you have private information on your computer you can keep it private.  The program is very easy to load, configure, and use.  After you connect to the Internet, your first download should be Zone Alarm.  It simply works.  


If you have a DSL Or Cable Modem do yourself a big favor and check out Linksys.  They make a great Cable/DSL Router.  This unit functions as a true Hardware Firewall, and a high-speed router.  Best of all is it’s extremely reasonably priced.  It can be found for WAY under $200.00. Check out Linksys at: http://www.linksys.com/. You can also read the Review on the unit in this month’s issue.


Zone Alarm was Presented  Winner Award in our February 2000 Issue

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Last modified: November 08, 2002