Internet - Shark Infested Waters - How To Protect Yourself

Internet - Shark Infested Waters - How To Protect Yourself

I asked zipulrich (Our Security Expert and MVP) at
Bud's Windows Troubleshooter Questions and Answers Forum this question:


Here's his reply:

That's a loaded question. It truly depends on the hijacker you're infected with!

I'm a Sysop/SysAdmin/NetAdmin where I work. I handle a Cisco unmanaged network (I manage it!) doling out a T-1 connection to about 300 other words, I AM their ISP. It's fun. But daily I'm confronted with spyware infected/trojaned/hijacked computers, sucking down bandwidth like its going out of style. :-) So, I deal with this stuff a lot. Thankfully, I get paid for it!

What I carry with me in my back pocket is a disk I made with the following
• Latest version of AdAware
• Latest version of AVG anti-virus
• Latest version of CoolWebShredder
• Latest version of Swat It!
• Latest version of Spybot Search & Destroy
• Aida32
• LSP Fix
• Mozilla (in case their Internet Explorer is broken)
• An un-Zip program (a lot of the above is zipped, to fit on the disk)
• AdKiller
• KillBox

• In my other pocket I carry Knoppix, a 'live' distro of Linux that runs straight off the disk. No need to install.

If I can't clean up a PC enough to at least connect to the Internet using the above tools, I'll slap a copy of HijackThis! on it and sit down to analyze it. Analyzing HiJackThis! logs is not for everyone, and I only know of a dozen or so "pros" that will catch about 99% the first time through.

Unfortunately, a few of them have called it quits lately. Tony Kleinkramer over in the Netherlands has given up (for now). So has Ed (in Hong Kong). Ron ("rmbox" - the one who pretty much started it all, with his 'Reticulated Toys'. Google it if you haven't heard of it) has gotten pretty sick . His health just ain't that good anymore. Even Merijn Bellekom is just about done with it - don't expect any new HijackThis! updates for awhile (if ever). See, there's too much money in hijacking. In the old days, certain kids would hack into a network. The admins would slap on a patch to lock them out. They'd find another exploit, and the netadmins would block that one, too. On and on it went. Eventually, either we'd get tired and move on or the netadmins would quit and go to work somewhere else. It was done simply to gain the knowlege. No harm/damage intended, and most network guys understood that.

Now, however, certain Russian sites are getting $$ per clickthrough. Real cash. The advertisers pay up, too. So everytime Merijn - or anyone else - figures how to 'break' the hijack, they write new exploits. It's their job. There's no hacker ethic with them, either. They don't care whose PC they screw up. They just care about cashing checks at the local RusBank. To them, it's serious.

So, that's the state of things today. Who knows where it'll go tomorrow? That's one reason sites like the WinTrouble forums are popular, and provide a much-needed service. Hurry up and get yours back on-line!! Take a look over at the Cyber Safety forum at CyberTechHelp. We're getting about 100 new members a day. Most of them come, initially, because they're spywared/hijacked, or have a backdoor installed. Sad state of affairs.

Well, that didn't answer your question, but I got that rant off my chest! :-)

Take care and God bless,

Thank You zip!!
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