by taking interest in your privacy and safety, you have proven
yourself to be above the rest. you can never have enough
information. information is power and the more informed you as
a user become the less likely you are to fall prey to the sharks of
the internet.
in this manual, i will cover with you things that may scare you.
some things may even make you paranoid about having a
computer. don’t be discouraged though, as i will also tell you
how to protect yourself. the reasons for telling you the “dirtÃ¢à ‚¬Â if
you will is that i feel it important for you to know what is at risk.
i wrote this manual as a guide. to show you how hackers gain
access to your system using security flaws and programs. the
theory goes that if you are aware of what they are doing and how
they are doing it you’ll be in a much better position to protect
yourself from these attacks.
(through out this manual you will see reference to the term
“hacker.â € this is a term i use very loosely for these individuals.)
these are just a few of the topics that will be covered:
• how “hackersâ € get into your system
• what tools they use
• how a hacker can effectively “bugâ⠂¬Â your house via your
computer. (don’t believe me, read on you’ll be very
surprised)
• what information they have access to. and why you
should try to protect yourself. (you might be surprised to
find out what they know.)
• tips and tricks that hackers use
• how your antivirus software alone is not enough
• what to look for if you suspect you’re being hacked
• what the greatest flaw to all computers are
• and more…
5
by no means am i going to make a ludicrous claim that this
manual will protect you from everything. what i will say is that
by reading this manual hopefully you will be in a better situation
to protect yourself from having your information compromised.
did you know it doesn’t matter if you’re connected to the net
24hrs a day or 15 min’s a day your system is vulnerable. not
only is it vulnerable in that 15 min’s you can possibly loose all
your data get locked out of your own system and have all your
confidential information like your “bank account numbers”, “your
budget”, “your personal home address” compromised.
don’t give me wrong, i’m not trying to throw you into a state of
paranoia either. what i am saying is that if you’re not careful
you leave yourself open to a wide range of attacks.
perhaps you’re skeptical and saying to yourself “oh i don’t do
anything on the net except check my e-mail etc that sort of thing
can’t happen to me.”
okay i like a challenge let’s do a test!
6
system intrusion in 15 seconds
system intrusion in 15 seconds, that’s right it can be done. if
you possess certain security flaws your system can be broken
into in less that 15 seconds.
to begin this chapter i’d like you to do the following. connect to
the internet using your dial up account if you are on dial up. if
you are on dedicated service like high speed connections (ie,
cable and dsl) then just proceed with the steps below.
• click start
• go to run
• click run (it’s a step by step manual) :-)
• type winipcfg
• hit the enter key
chapter 1
7
this should bring up a window that looks like the following
* for editorial reason the above info has been omitted *
what you should see under ip address is a number that looks
something like this. 207.175.1.1 (the number will be different.)
if you use dial up internet access then you will find your ip
address under ppp adapter. if you have dedicated access you
will find your ip address under another adapter name like (pci
busmaster, smc adapter, etc.) you can see a list by clicking
on the down arrow.
8
once you have the ip address write it down, then close that
window by clicking (ok) and do the following.
• click start
• go to run (click on run)
• type command then click ok
at this point you should see a screen that looks like this.
type the following at the dos prompt
• nbtstat –a ip address
for example: nbtstat –a 207.175.1.1
(please note that you must type the a in capitol letters.)
9
this will give you a read out that looks like this
netbios remote machine name table
____________________________________
name type status
-------------------------------------------
j-1 <00> unique registered
work <00> group registered
j-1 <03> unique registered
j-1 <20> unique registered
work <1e> group registered
work <1d> unique registered
__msbrowse__.<01>group registered
(again info has been omitted due to privacy reasons)
the numbers in the <> are hex code values. what we are
interested in is the “hex code” number of <20>. if you do not
see a hex code of <20> in the list that’s a good thing. if you do
have a hex code <20> then you may have cause for concern.
now you’re probably confused about this so i’ll explain.
a hex code of <20> means you have file and printer sharing
turned on. this is how a “hacker⠢‚¬Â would check to see if you
have “file and printer sharing” turned on. if he/she becomes
aware of the fact that you do have “file and printer sharing”
turned on then they would proceed to attempt to gain access to
your system.
(note: to exit out of the dos prompt window, type exit
and hit enter)
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i’ll show you now how that information can be used to gain
access to your system.
a potential hacker would do a scan on a range of ip address for
systems with “file and printer sharing” turned on. once they
have encountered a system with sharing turned on the next step
would be to find out what is being shared.
this is how:
net view \\<insert ip_address here>
our potential hacker would then get a response that looks
something like this.
shared resources at \\ip_address
sharename type comment
my documents disk
temp disk
the command was completed successfully.
this shows the hacker that his potential victim has their my
documents folder shared and their temp directory shared. for
the hacker to then get access to those folders his next command
will be.
net use x: \\<insert ip address here>\temp
if all goes well for the hacker, he/she will then get a response of
(the command was completed successfully.)
at this point the hacker now has access to the temp directory of
his victim.
q. the approximate time it takes for the average hacker to do
this attack?
r. 15 seconds or less.
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not a lot of time to gain access to your machine is it? how many
of you had “file and printer sharing” turned on?
ladies and gentlemen: this is called a netbios attack. if you are
running a home network then the chances are you have file and
printer sharing turned on. this may not be the case for all of you
but i’m sure there is quite a number of you who probably do. if
you are sharing resources please password protect the
directories.
any shared directory you have on your system within your
network will have a hand holding the folder. which looks like
this.
you can check to find which folders are shared through windows
explorer.
• click on start
• scroll up to programs
at this point you will see a listing of all the different programs on
your system
find windows explorer and look for any folders that look like the
above picture.
once you have found those folders password protect them. don’t
worry i’ll show you how to accomplish this in chapter 8 in a
visual step by step instruction format.
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netbios is one of the older forms of system attacks that occur. it
is usually overlooked because most systems are protected
against it. recently there has been an increase of netbios
attacks.
further on in this manual we shall cover some prevention
methods. for now i wish only to show you the potential security
flaws.
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the trojan “horseâà ¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚
i found it necessary to devote a chapter to trojans. trojan’s are
probably the most compromising of all types of attacks. trojans
are being released by the hundreds every week, each more
cleverly designed that the other. we all know the story of the
trojan horse probably the greatest strategic move ever made.
in my studies i have found that trojans are primarily responsible
for almost all windows based machines being compromised.
for those of you who do not know what trojans are i’ll briefly
explain. trojans are small programs that effectively give
“hackersâ € remote control over your entire computer.
chapter 2
1 4
some common features with trojans are as follows:
• open your cd-rom drive
• capture a screenshot of your computer
• record your key strokes and send them to the “hacker⠢‚¬Â
• full access to all your drives and files
• ability to use your computer as a bridge to do other
hacking related activities.
• disable your keyboard
• disable your mouse…and more!
let’s take a closer look at a couple of more popular
trojans:
• netbus
• subseven
the netbus trojan has two parts to it as almost all trojans do.
there is a client and a server. the server is the file that
would have to get installed on your system in order to have
your system compromised. here’s how the hack would go.
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the hack
objective: getting the potential victim to install the server
onto his/her system.
method 1
send the server file (for explanation purposes we’ll call the file
netbusserver.exe) to you via e-mail. this was how it was
originally done.
the hacker would claim the file to be a game of some sort.
when you then double click on the file, the result is nothing.
you don’t see anything. (very suspicious)
note: (how many times have you double clicked on a
file someone has sent you and it apparently did
nothing)
at this point what has happened is the server has now been
installed on your system. all the “hacker⠢‚¬Â has to do is use the
netbus client to connect to your system and everything you
have on your system is now accessible to this “hacker.â €
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with increasing awareness of the use of trojans, “hackersâ €
became smarter, hence method 2.
method 2
objective: getting you to install the server on your system.
let’s see, how many of you receive games from friends?
games like hit gates in the face with a pie. perhaps the game
shoot saddam? there are lots of funny little files like that.
now i’ll show you how someone intent on getting access to
your computer can use that against you.
there are utility programs available that can combine the
(“serverâ € (a.k.a. trojan)) file with a legitimate “executable
file.” (an executable file is any file ending in .exe). it will
then output another (.exe) file of some kind. think of this
process as mixing poison in a drink.
for example:
tomato juice + poison = something
now the result is not really tomato juice anymore but you can
call it whatever you want. same procedure goes for
combining the trojan with another file.
for example:
the “hacker⠢‚¬Â in question would do this: (for demonstration
purposes we’ll use a chess game)
name: chess.exe (name of file that starts the chess
game)
trojan: netbusserver.exe (the trojan)
(again for explanation purposes we’ll call it that)
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the joiner utility will combine the two files together and output
1 executable file called:
<insert name here>.exe
this file can then be renamed back to chess.exe. it’s not
exactly the same chess game. it’s like the tomato juice, it’s
just slightly different.
the difference in these files will be noticed in their size.
the original file: chess.exe size: 50,000 bytes
the new file (with trojan): chess.exe size: 65,000 bytes
(note: these numbers and figures are just for explanation
purposes only)
the process of joining the two files, takes about 10 seconds to
get done. now the “hacker⠢‚¬Â has a new chess file to send out
with the trojan in it.
q. what happens when you click on the new chess.exe file?
answer: the chess program starts like normal. no more
suspicion because the file did something. the only difference
is while the chess program starts the trojan also gets installed
on your system.
now you receive an email with the attachment except in the
format of chess.exe.
the unsuspecting will execute the file and see a chess game.
meanwhile in the background the “trojan⠢‚¬Â gets silently
installed on your computer.
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if that’s not scary enough, after the trojan installs itself on
your computer, it will then send a message from your
computer to the hacker telling him the following information.
username: (a name they call you)
ip address: (your ip address)
online: (your victim is online)
so it doesn’t matter if you are on dial up. the potential
hacker will automatically be notified when you log on to your
computer.
you’re probably asking yourself “how likely is it that this has
happened to me?” well think about this. take into
consideration the second chapter of this manual. used in
conjunction with the above mentioned methods can make for
a deadly combination.
these methods are just but a few ways that “hackersâ € can
gain access to your machine.
listed below are some other ways they can get the infected
file to you.
news groups:
by posting articles in newsgroups with file attachments like
(mypic.exe) in adult newsgroups are almost guaranteed to
have someone fall victim.
don’t be fooled though, as these folks will post these files to
any newsgroups.
grapevine:
unfortunately there is no way to control this effect. you
receive the file from a friend who received it from a friend etc.
etc.
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email:
the most widely used delivery method. it can be sent as an
attachment in an email addressed to you.
unsafe web sites:
web sites that are not “above the table” so to speak. files
downloaded from such places should always be accepted with
high suspicion.
irc:
on irc servers sometimes when you join a channel you will
automatically get sent a file like “mypic.exeà¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚ or “***y.exeà€ or
***y.jpg.vbs something to that effect. usually you’ll find
wannabe’s are at fault for this.
chat sites:
chat sites are probably one of the primary places that this sort
of activity takes place. the sad part to that is 80% are not
aware of it.
as you can see there are many different ways to deliver that
file to you as a user. by informing you of these methods i
hope i have made you more aware of the potential dangers
around you. in chapter 3 we’ll discuss what files should be
considered acceptable.
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acceptable files
from the last chapter you’re probably asking yourself what
exactly is safe to accept as a file from anyone. hopefully i’ll
answer most if not all your questions about what types of files
can be considered safe or more to the point normal.
i’ll show you what normal extensions should be for different types
of files and what type of files should never come in .exe formats.
we’ll start with something i’m sure most if not all folks have had
happen to them at least once.
pictures
ever had someone send you a picture of themselves? if you
hang around on a chat site of any kind then chances are
you’ve met someone or a group of people perhaps who’ve
wanted to send you their picture. if they did then hopefully it
was not in the form of (mypic.exe). if it was you may want
to run a virus check on those files in particular.
chapter 3
2 1
for all intensive purposes pictures should really only come in the
formats listed below.
• jpg (jpeg) for example (steve.jpg)
• bmp (bitmap) for example (steve.bmp)
• tiff (tag image file format)
for example (steve.tiff)
• gif (graphics interchange format)
for example (steve.gif)
these are all legitimate!
your browser can view almost all of these files short of the tiff
format. other programs that can be used to view these files are
photoshop, paintshop, netscape, internet explorer and imaging
just to name a few.
warning!
these are the file types by which images should come as.
anything else should be unacceptable. there is no reason to
have an image of any kind come as a .exe file. don’t ever
accept the excuse that it’s an auto extracting image file!
read me and text files
almost all program information documents on the net come in
one of these formats. these files are simply information
documents typed up in some word processing program or text
editor.
2 2
some examples of their extensions are:
• doc document format for microsoft word, word.
example: (readme.doc)
• txt text format file can be opened by notepad, word,
microsoft word.
example: (readme.txt)
• rtf (rich text format)
those are all acceptable legitimate formats. the truth is that a
text files can come in almost any format. however there are
formats that they really should never come in.
for example:
• <anything>.com
• <anything>.exe
• <anything>.txt.vbs
there is no reason for any files to be sent to you in any of the
above formats if they are text documents. i can also assure you
there is no reason a file should have a double extension. such
files if you should ever receive them should be treated with
suspicion.
by no means should you ever open a file if you do not
know what type of file it is.
2 3
if you are uncertain about what a file type is here is a method by
which you can check. go to your favorite search engine for
example:
altavista: http://www.altavista.com
or
metacrawler: http://www.metacrawler.com
• click into the search field
(then type the file type you are inquiring about for example)
• doc file type
• exe file type
• rtf file type
this will pull up sites that will give a more detailed explanation of
exactly what type of file it is.
you can use the above information to better understand what
type of files you receive from individuals. without risking
installing anything on your machine.
we’ve covered methods by which your computer can be accessed
by a netbios attack, how files can be infected, and how they can
be delivered. in chapter 4 we’ll discuss who is responsible for
these attacks. we will look at the type of individuals behind the
keyboard responsible for these attacks.
2 4
who are hackers?
i feel it is necessary to clarify the term hacker. perhaps your
definition of a hacker has been influenced and tainted over the
years. there have been various computer related activities
attributed to the term “hacker⠢‚¬Â, but were greatly misunderstood.
unfortunately for the people who are truly defined within the
underground tech world as a “hacker⠢‚¬Â this is an insult to them.
there are various types of “hackersâ €, each with their own
agenda. my goal is to help protect you from the worst of them.
anarchist hackers
these are the individuals who you should be weary of. their sole
intent on system infiltration is to cause damage or use
information to create havoc. they are primarily the individuals
who are responsible for the majority of system attacks against
home users. they are more likely to be interested in what lies on
another person’s machine for example yours.
mostly you’ll find that these individuals have slightly above
computer skill level and consider themselves hackers. they
glorify themselves on the accomplishments of others. their idea
chapter 4
2 5
of classing themselves as a hacker is that of acquire programs
and utilities readily available on the net, use these programs with
no real knowledge of how these applications work and if they
manage to “breakâà ¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚ into someone’s system class themselves as a
hacker. these individuals are called “kiddie hackers.”
they use these programs given to them in a malicious fashion on
anyone they can infect. they have no real purpose to what they
are doing except the fact of saying “yeah! i broke into <insert
name here> computer!” it gives them bragging rights to their
friends.
if there is any damage to occur in a system being broken into
these individuals will accomplish it.
these individuals are usually high school students. they brag
about their accomplishments to their friends and try to build an
image of being hackers.
hackers
a hacker by definition believes in access to free information.
they are usually very intelligent people who could care very little
about what you have on your system. their thrill comes from
system infiltration for information reasons. hackers unlike
“crackers and anarchist” know being able to break system
security doesn’t make you a hacker any more than adding 2+2
makes you a mathematician. unfortunately, many journalists
and writers have been fooled into using the word ‘hacker.âà ¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚ they
have attributed any computer related illegal activities to the term
“hacker.â €
real hackers target mainly government institution. they believe
important information can be found within government
institutions. to them the risk is worth it. the higher the security
the better the challenge. the better the challenge the better they
need to be. who’s the best keyboard cowboy? so to speak!
these individuals come in a variety of age classes. they range
from high school students to university grads. they are quite
2 6
adept at programming and are smart enough to stay out of the
spotlight.
they don’t particularly care about bragging about their
accomplishments as it exposes them to suspicion. they prefer to
work from behind the scenes and preserve their anonymity.
not all hackers are loners, often you’ll find they have a very tight
circle of associates, but still there is a level of anonymity between
them. an associate of mine once said to me “if they say they are
a hacker, then they’re not!”
crackers
for definition purposes i have included this term. this is
primarily the term given to individuals who are skilled at the art
of bypassing software copyright protection. they are usually
highly skilled in programming languages.
they are often confused with hackers. as you can see they are
similar in their agenda. they both fight security of some kind,
but they are completely different “animals.à€
being able to attribute your attacks to the right type of attacker is
very important. by identifying your attacker to be either an
anarchist hacker or a hacker you get a better idea of what you’re
up against.
“know your enemy and know yourself and you will always be
victorious...”
2 7
tools of the trade
what is a carpenter without a hammer? “hackersâ € require tools
in order to attempt to compromise a systems security. some
tools are readily available and some are actually written by other
hackers, with the sole intent of being used for system break-ins.
some “hackersâ €™ use a little ingenuity with their attacks and don’t
necessarily rely on any particular tool. in the end however it
boils down to they need to infect your system in order to
compromise it.
to better understand the means by which “hackersâ € compromise
system security i feel it important to understand what tools they
use. this will give you as a user insight as to what exactly they
look for and how they obtain this information. in this section, i
also explain how these tools are used in conjunction with each
other.
chapter 5
2 8
port scanners
what is a port scanner?
a port scanner is a handy tool that scans a computer looking
for active ports. with this utility, a potential “hacker⠢‚¬Â can
figure out what services are available on a targeted computer
from the responses the port scanner receives. take a look at
the list below for reference.
starting scan.
target host: http://www.yourcompany.com
tcp port :7 (echo)
tcp port :9 (discard)
tcp port :13 (daytime)
tcp port :19 (chargen)
tcp port :21 (ftp)
tcp port :23 (telnet)
tcp port :25 (smtp)
tcp port :37 (time)
tcp port :53 (domain)
tcp port :79 (finger)
tcp port :80 (www)
tcp port :110 (pop)
tcp port :111 (sunrpc)
finished.
scanning for open ports is done in two ways. the first is to
scan a single ip address for open ports. the second is to scan
a range of ip address to find open ports.
try to think about this like calling a single phone-number of
say 555-4321 and asking for every extension available. in
relation to scanning, the phone-number is equivalent to the ip
address and the extensions to open ports.
2 9
scanning a range of ip address is like calling every number
between 555-0000 to 555-9999 and asking for every
extension available at every number.
q. what does a port scanner look like?
trojans
trojans are definitely one of the tools that “hackersâ € use.
there are hundreds of trojans. to list them all would make
this manual extremely long. for definition purposes we’ll focus
on a couple.
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sub seven
the sub seven trojan has many features and capabilities. it
is in my opinion by far the most advance trojan i have seen.
take a look at some of the features of sub seven.
• address book
• wwp pager retriever
• uin2ip
• remote ip scanner
• host lookup
• get windows cd-key
• update victim from url
• icq takeover
• ftp root folder
• retrieve dial-up passwords along with phone numbers
and usernames
• port redirect
• irc bot. for a list of commands
• file manager bookmarks
• make folder, delete folder [empty or full]
• process manager
• text 2 speech
• restart server
• aol instant messenger spy
• yahoo messenger spy
• microsoft messenger spy
• retrieve list of icq uins and passwords
• retrieve list of aim users and passwords
• app redirect
• edit file
• perform clicks on victim's desktop
• set/change screen saver settings [scrolling marquee]
• restart windows [see below]
• ping server
• compress/decompress files before and after transfers
• the matrix
• ultra fast ip scanner
• ip tool [resolve host names/ping ip addresses]
continued…
3 1
• get victim's home info [not possible on all servers]:
- address
- bussiness name
- city
- company
- country
- customer type
- e-mail
- real name
- state
- city code
- country code
- local phone
- zip code
and more…
i think you get the picture of just exactly what that trojan
is capable of. here is a picture of what subseven looks
like.
3 2
netbus:
netbus is an older trojan however nonetheless is still used.
it consists of a server and a client-part. the serverpart
is the program which must be running on your
computer. this should give you an idea of what netbus is
capable of.
netbus features:
• open/close the cd-rom once or in intervals (specified in
seconds).
• show optional image. if no full path of the image is given it
will look for it in the patch-directory. the supported imageformats
is bmp and jpg.
• swap mouse buttons – the right mouse button gets the left
mouse button’s functions and vice versa.
• start optional application.
• play optional sound-file. if no full path of the sound-file is
given it will look for it in the patch-directory. the supported
sound-format is wav.
• point the mouse to optional coordinates. you can even
navigate the mouse on the target computer with your own.
• show a message dialog on the screen. the answer is always
sent back to you.
• shutdown the system, logoff the user etc.
• go to an optional url within the default web-browser.
• send keystrokes to the active application on the target
computer. the text in the field ”message/text” will be
inserted in the application that has focus. (”|ââ⠚¬Â represents
enter).
• listen for keystrokes and send them back to you.
• get a screendump (should not be used over slow
connections).
• return information about the target computer.
• upload any file from you to the target computer. with this
feature it will be possible to remotely update patch with a
new version.
3 3
• increase and decrease the sound-volume.
• record sounds that the microphone catch. the sound is sent
back to you.
• make click sounds every time a key is pressed.
• download and deletion of any file from the target. you
choose which file you wish to download/delete in a view that
represents the harddisks on the target.
• keys (letters) on the keyboard can be disabled.
• password-protection management.
• show, kill and focus windows on the system.
• redirect data on a specified tcp-port to another host and
port.
• redirect console applications i/o to a specified tcp-port
(telnet the host at the specified port to interact with the
application).
• configure the server-exe with options like tcp-port and mail
notification.
this is what the netbus client looks like.
3 4
joiners
earlier you saw me make references to utilities that
combine two executable files into one. that’s what these
programs are. these programs make it possible to hide the
trojans in legitimate files.
icq
though as itself is not a utility for hacking there are
program files written by un-named programmers for it.
the more advance trojans have the ability to notify the
“hacker⠢‚¬Â via icq of whether or not you are online. given
that you are infected with a trojan.
if you are not infected then icq can serve as a utility to
give away your ip address. currently there are
files/programs available on the net that allows you to
“patchâà ¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚ icq so it reveals the ip numbers of anyone on the
“hackersâ € list. there are also files that allow you add users
in icq without their authorization or notification.
3 5
for demonstration purposes let’s see how a hack would go
if a hacker with the above mentioned utilities were to
attempt to hack into a users machine.
hack 1:
objective: obtain entry to the users machine.
step1: obtain user’s icq #
step2: add user to icq list
step3: use get info on user
step4: record user’s ip address
step5: start a dos prompt
step6: nbtstat –a <ipaddress>
step7: look for hex code <20>
step8: (assuming a hex of <20> is there) net view
\\ip_address.
step9: see what shares are available we’ll say “cââ⠀šÂ¬Ã‚ is being
shared.
step10: net use x: \\ip_address\c
access to the user’s machine has been achieved.
in the above scenario our “potential hacker” used the patch
programs available for icq to gain the ip address of the
“victim⠢‚¬Â and then launch his assault.
with the realization of how an “individualà ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚ can gain access
to your machine let’s move on to chapter 6. we will
discuss what’s at risk once your computer has been
compromised.
3 6
access granted
quite often i hear comments like “so what if they hack into my
system there’s nothing on my system of interest.” i can’t tell you
how more wrong you can be. the only thing i can think of when
i hear someone say that is that person is not aware of just what
type of information they have access to.
i’ll show you exactly what type of information a “hacker⠢‚¬Â has
access to once your system has been broken into. try to
remember this is not meant to scare you, it is meant to inform
you. keep in mind you are reading this manual to gain a better
understanding of how to protect your-self.
chapter 6
3 7
bank account information
i’m sure if you’re like most people you have web banking of some
kind. you probably pay your bills online via your banks website.
most banks require you to use 128bit encryption browsers to do
your banking online. this form of banking online does encrypt
your information and protect it from otherwise prying eyes of the
world that may wish to gain access to such vital information.
this should further illustrate how powerful the encryption method
is:
• 40-bit encryption, means there are 240 possible keys
that could fit into the lock that holds your account
information. that means there are many billions (a 1
followed by 12 zeroes) of possible keys.
• 128-bit encryption, means there are 288 (a three
followed by 26 zeroes) times as many key combinations
than there are for 40-bit encryption. that means a
computer would require exponentially more processing
power than for 40-bit encryption to find the correct key.
that’s a very powerful method of encrypting data sent from your
machine to the banks machine. unfortunately it’s useless to you
once your computer has been compromised.
question: how?
one of the features of a “trojan⠢‚¬Â is a key logger. the principle
behind this is all keystrokes pressed will be recorded and sent
back to the “hacker.â €
what sort of information do you enter when you are banking
online?
most banks have a login screen of some kind, where you type in
your username and password. here’s where it gets interesting.
this means that once you type your login and password for your
online bank account the “hacker⠢‚¬Â now has access to that.
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you’re probably asking yourself well “how do they know what
bank i’m with?”
this information is easily achieved by doing what is called a
screen shot. this gives the “hacker⠢‚¬Â a picture of your desktop
and all windows currently open at the time. the screen shot
would look like this.
from that screen shot they can tell what site you are at (in which
case it would be your bank). from there it’s just a matter of
logging into your bank account and doing whatever they want.
as you can see although you are on a secure web site, it still
doesn’t protect your information once your computer is
compromised.
perhaps there are some of you who do not use online banking.
perhaps you use another program for managing your finances.
there is a variety of programs out there available for financial
purposes.
problem is that once a “hacker⠢‚¬Â has access to your system, they
have access to those files. they can copy the files from your
computer to theirs and browse through them at their leisure.
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email
simply put all emails sent to you are accessible to a “hacker⠢‚¬Â
once your system has been compromised. they can read them
and possibly check your mail before you do.
pictures
if you have pictures of yourself or family members on your
system, they are also available to the “hacker.â € i don’t think i
need to explain the danger here. not only has the individual
compromised your computer system, they also know what you
look like.
resume
this may not sound like a priority file for a “hacker⠢‚¬Â but stay with
me for a second. how many of you have resumes typed up on
your computers? i’m sure a lot of you do. if a “hacker⠢‚¬Â were to
download your resume they now have access to:
name:
address:
phone:
workplace:
add to that the above and let’s take a look at what they know.
• email address of friends, family, associates.
• your home address.
• phone number
• what you look like
• where you work (and have worked)
• bank account (including how much money you have)
4 0
it doesn’t stop there either. those are just a few of the things
that can happen when your system is compromised. this is no
science fiction these are real life possibilities. the extent of that
information was gathered just from files on your system. take
into consideration the following.
survellance via internet connection
make no mistake this is very real. depending on how much you
read and how much you know about trojans you are probably
aware of what i am talking about.
if you are not aware, then i am referring to the ability to
effectively turn your computer into an audio/video survellance
unit without you knowing.
question: how?
answer: how many of you have webcams? how many of you
have microphones?
not all trojans have the ability to access your web cam and
microphone. the ones that do, have the ability to turn your
computer into a video/audio survellance camera.
the trojan records the sounds in a room via your microphone
and then sends the file back to the “hacker.â € the hacker then
plays the file back and can hear any sounds recorded in the
room. add to that since the recording is a file they can play it
back whenever they want to who ever they want.
by the same method they access your web cam effectively
getting both a video and audio feed from your house of what is
currently going on in that room.
that sounds crazy, but i can assure you it is not. i don’t think i
need to tell you what type of security hazard this represents to
you and your family.
4 1
by now you are probably worried/scared of the possible
vulnerabilities of your computer. don’t be. in chapter 7 we will
discuss methods to protect yourself from these individuals.
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how to protect yourself
there is a saying that goes “prevention is better than cure.”
after reading this manual hopefully you are looking for ways to
protect your privacy. take it back from those who may invade it.
the individuals who are responsible for these attacks will always
prey off those who do not take an interest in defending their
privacy.
“give a man a fish and he’ll eat for the day. teach a man how to
fish and he’ll never starve.”
by showing you steps and procedures you can use to protect
your system from being hacked, you’ll quickly regain your sense
of security.
chapter 7
4 3
firewalls
a firewall in layman terms is essentially a program which filters
network data to decide whether or not to forward them to their
destination or to deny it.
these programs will generally protect you from inbound “net
attacks.” this means unauthorized network request from foreign
computers will be blocked.
i cannot stress how important it is in this day and age to have a
firewall of some kind installed and “runningâ € on your computer.
i personally recommend that you use one of the following or both
if you can.
black ice defender
this is a very user-friendly comprehensive firewall program. i
highly recommend it to both advance and novice users. it has a
simple graphical interface that is easy to understand and pleasing
to the eye.
it detects your attacker, stops their attack and or scan and gives
you as much information available on the “attacker.à¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚
you can download black ice defender at:
http://www.networkice.com
4 4
lockdown 2000
i also recommend lockdown 2000 as a security measure.
lockdown2000 has a very nice graphical interface to it also and is
user friendly. it does the same thing black ice defender does but
also runs scans on your system for trojans. it monitors your
registry and system files for changes that occur. then gives you
the option of either undoing all the changes or allowing it.
you can obtain a copy of lockdown2000 from:
http://www.lockdown2000.com
i find using both firewalls in conjunction with each other works
quite well. as they both compensate for the short-comings of the
other.
anti virus software
this is also another piece of software you should by all means
have on your system. we all know it’s a necessity however we
are all guilty of not using them.
there are numerous anti-virus software out there. norton
antivirus and mcafee are two of the more common ones. they
are all good and do their job.
you can find each of these programs at:
http://www.norton.com
http://www.mcafee.com
4 5
i personally recommend using 1 virus scanner and both firewalls.
the reason is i find black ice defender blocks incoming attacks
and any system changes that occur on your system lockdown
catches.
tips & tricks
i feel it necessary for you to pay particular attention to this
section. the above programs will function and do their job, but
that’s only half the battle.
there are certain precautions you need to take as a user to
ensure your system remains a “fortress.à¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚
tip #1:
for dial up users: if you are a dial up user then you use a
modem either internal or external kind to get online. if you have
an external modem then this tip is easy. if you look at the
modem you’ll see lights on the front of it.
when you’re doing anything on the net you’ll notice lights
blinking that indicate that you are sending data, and receiving
data. depending on how often the lights blink and how fast they
blink gives a rough idea of how much activity is going on between
your computer and the net.
here’s where a little perception comes into play. if you are
connected to the internet, and are just sitting by your system
doing absolutely nothing, those lights have no business to be
blinking rapidly. they will flash periodically indicating it’s
checking it’s connectivity, however there should be no heavy data
transfer of any kind if you are not doing anything on the net.
for example: if you have your email program open and you are
just sitting there reading your mail, you may notice that every 15
sometimes 20 mins that the lights will blink back and forth
4 6
indicating it’s sending and receiving data. this is normal because
chances are you have your email program configured to check
your mail every 20 mins.
if by chance you notice the lights on your modem is blinking
consistently for let’s say a period of 2mins non stop be extremely
suspicious.
if you have an internal modem, you will not be able to see the
lights on your modem, instead you can rely on the two tv looking
icons at the bottom right corner of your screen near the clock.
they will look something like this.
any data being sent and received will be noticed by the blinking
of the lights rapidly.
if you are on cable or dsl, the same applies. there should never
be any form of heavy data transfer of any kind from your system
to anything unless you are authorizing it. some examples of
activity that can justify heavy data transfer are as follows:
• legitimate programs running that may need to access the
net occasionally. (ie, email programs)
• if you are running an ftp server where people purposely
log into your machine to download files you have given
them access to.
• if you are downloading files off the internet
things of that nature will generate a lot of data transfer.
4 7
allow me to take this opportunity to explain to you another “toolÃ¢à ‚¬Â
you should be aware of. let’s assume you realize that there is a
lot of data being sent and received from your machine and you’re
not even sitting at it.
how do you know what’s going on?
let’s do a short exercise.
• click start
• go to run (click run)
• type command
• click ok
again you should get a screen that looks like this.
4 8
once you have this screen type the following:
• netstat –a
this command will give you a listing of everything your
computer is communicating with online currently.
the list you get will look something like this:
active connections
protocol local address foreign address state
tcp comp: 0000 10.0.0.1 : 0000 established
tcp comp:2020 10.0.0.5 : 1010 established
tcp comp:9090 10.0.0.3 : 1918 established
you’ll see a variety of listings like the above. it will give you the
protocal being used, the local address (your computer) and what
port on your computer the “foreign address” is being connected
to and the (state) of which the (foreign address) is. for
example if it is (established) then that means whatever the
foreign address says is currently connected to your machine.
there is software available that will show you this information
without typing all those commands.
the name of the software is called xnetstat, you can obtain a
copy of it from here:
http://www.arez.com/fs/xns/
if for whatever reason you believe you are sending and receiving
a lot of data then it is wise to do a netstat –a to see what is
connected to your computer and at what ports.
4 9
protecting shared resources
for those of you who have internal networks between two
computers probably have a shared resource of some kind. earlier
in this manual i showed you how to find what is being shared.
let’s have a look at how to protect those shared resources.
• click start
• scroll up to programs
• go to windows explorer (click on it)
once you have done this you should see a window that comes up
with a bunch of folders listed on the left and more folders listed
on the right.
scroll through the listing and look for whatever shared files you
have. for a refresher the folder will look like this.
5 0
once you have found those folders you must now protect them.
• click on the folder (once) so it is highlighted
• use the right mouse button, (the one closest to your pinky
finger) and click on the folder.
you will get a menu:
your menu may look different than mine, but what you’re looking
for is the word “sharing.à€
5 1
when you click on sharing you will see another window that looks
like the following.
5 2
this is where you can either share this folder or turn it off. if you
wish to turn off the sharing you would select (not shared).
5 3
if you must share a folder then follows these steps. this will
make the folder read only. that means no one can delete
anything from those folders if they were to break into your
system using a “netbiosâ € attack.
5 4
the next step is to password protect the directory.
once you type in the password click (ok) and you’re done.
my personal suggestion is to set any directory you are sharing to
(read only) and password protect it. this is only if you must
share resources.
5 5
disabling file and printer sharing
for those of you who do not have a home network going you
should disable file and printer sharing. there’s no reason to have
this feature turned on. do the following steps to disable it.
(you will require your windows 95/98 cd for this)
• click on start
• scroll up to settings
• click on control panel
this will bring you into your control panel. you will see a variety
of icons the one you are looking for will be the icon that says
(network) and it looks like this.
5 6
once you have found the icon double click on it. you will then
receive a screen that looks like this.
5 7
to turn off the file and printer sharing you will need to click on
the button that says (file and print sharing).
after clicking on that a box will open:
5 8
uncheck both of these then click okay.
you must then click (ok) again and this will return you to the
control panel.
at this point will be prompted for you windows cd. simply insert
it and click ok.
sometimes you will receive a message that says
“the file being copied is older than the existing file ..etc.etc. do
you wish to keep your existing file?”
you should click no.
when the process is completely done your system will ask you if
you wish to reboot. click on yes. once your system has
rebooted you can come back to the network screen and check to
make sure the “file and print sharing” has been disabled.
software wise up until this point we have talked about how to
protect your system. i’d like to discuss the process involved for if
you system is infected.
5 9
oh no! my system’s infected
hope-fully this is not the case for the majority of you, but i know
there will be a few people who are going to be infected. the only
way you are really going to know if you are infected is diagnosing
your computer properly.
i recommend getting lockdown 2000 for this. install it on your
system and run a full system scan on your machine. (consult the
documentation for lockdown 2000)
after running lockdown 2000, run your anti virus scanner just
in case lockdown missed anything. you may ask yourself why i
suggest such redundancy? computers are built on the principle
of redundancy. one program will always compensate for the
short-comings of the other.
this should reveal most if not all trojans currently residing on
your machine. until you are absolutely sure about not possessing
any trojans on your machine i suggest being alert of the
happenings on your computer.
1. watch the transmit and receive lights on the modem like
we discussed.
2. run the firewall programs i suggested to block out
intruders.
3. monitor your system for unusual happenings (cd rom
opening for no reason)
4. use the netstat command to see what ports are being used
if you get suspicious.
the ultimate goal is not to be paranoid about the use of your
computer. it’s about being smart about how you use your
computer.
6 0
every systems greatest flaw
to every computer system there is always this one system flaw.
it does not matter how powerful a system you have, how many
different firewall programs you run or how many virus scanners
you have. in the end you are your systems worst enemy.
all “hackersâ € know this, make no mistake about that. thankfully
not very many have the stamina necessary for a form of hacking
called “social engineering.”
social engineering: this is a term used among “hackersâ € for
techniques that rely on weaknesses in people rather than
software; the goal is to trick people into revealing passwords or
other information that compromises an individual system's
security.
this is a lot easier said than done, but it can be done. most
telemarketing ****s that rob people of money are forms of
“social engineering.” most of these ****s occur due to the
individuals impersonating credit card companies and or
investment firms. those socially engineered attacks are focused
on getting you to give them your money, bottom line.
chapter 8
6 1
transverse that process into a tech industry where a lot of people
are not as computer knowledgeable and you have the “wolf in
sheeps clothing!
some of the most common forms of social engineering focused
on any particular user is to phone up a “mark/victim” who has
the required information, and posing as a field service tech or a
fellow employee with an urgent access problem. this type of
attack happens primarily more in business scenes.
social engineering directed to a business setting usually occur as
a phone ****. the **** boils down to how believable the
“hacker⠢‚¬Â sounds on the phone. they pit their knowledge and wits
against another human. this technique is used for a lot of things,
such as gaining passwords and basic information on a system or
organization. be it known that it’s not the only type of “social
engineering” that is used.
these same principles are applied when it comes to your personal
computer. chat lines make people highly susceptible to such
social mayhem.
chatline example
on a chat line a person isn’t evaluated by how they appear. they
become as believable as their ability to write and express
themselves.
on a chat line your perception and intuition is all you have to
rely on. the person on the other end of the keyboard can be
nothing as they describe themselves. the same goes for e-mail
or any form of communication without visual recognition.
you read what they send/say to you and your own imagination is
what fills in the blanks. this person may sound romantic, funny
and down to earth. there is a trust value that is built up and
depending on how long you’ve been on the internet , this initial
base of trust is formed very quickly.
6 2
at this point after the ice has been broken so to speak the
“hacker⠢‚¬Â may ask if you wish to see his/her picture. this is the
turning point of your conversation. most people would reply sure
and then receive the picture from the “hacker.â €
this is where the situation gets interesting. the “hacker⠢‚¬Â in
question has the window of opportu