you should have
Is it useful
Often, people ask "Why
should I care about crackers, there's nothing interesting
for them on my system?"
Just as often, they will
point out they keep their credit card data away from their
PC, don't do their banking on it, etc.
not really what crackers are looking for
Here's a couple of
reasons they might be interested in your
you. Some people
think it's a great idea to scare people like you. There's
software out there that let them take over your PC, and
allow them to open a new window with threatening text in
it. You've got to admit, it's pretty unnerving if your
simple working on your computer, and suddenly all kind of
messages pop up.
who like to break into commercial web sites don't like to
be traced by law enforcement. One thing they often do to
prevent the police from tracing them is doing their crack
via several other unreleated computers. They launch their
attack from a computer that is not theirs but in their
control. Yours could be one of them. You won't notice
your system is being abused until the FBI is at your
front door. Of course, you won't be arrested for cracking
yourself, but it is definately not the sort of thing
you'd want to tell about at birthday parties.
literaly millions of junk email messages passing around
the net every day. Lot's of people know how to read the
arcane technical details in message headers and report
junk email they receive to the Internet provider that the
spam originated from, and those Internet providers often
quickly turn off access from the account that was used to
send the junk messages. That's why junk emailers never
email from their own computers. Your computer, if
connected through a fast line for 24 hours a day, would
be a great place to send the spam from, if they could get
access to your computer. And if your provider disconnects
you, they'll simply move on to the next computer they can
crack, and leave you with the problems.
people pass on pirated software to others, some others
send pirated music around (often in mp3 files), or
complete movies. Almost none of them are stupid enough to
use their own computers to break the laws in this way, so
they need the computers of others to store these files
on. If you have a large amount of free disk space, a fast
connection to the net that is always available, they are
interested in you.
So yes, your credit card
information, or your electronic banking information is not
the first thing that should come to mind when you want to
protect your systems. People who want to break into your
system do that because it is connected to the net 24 hours a
day, with a fast connection. It's a resource for them to
use, and they don't care about you, or your data.
The next questions are, how
do they do it, and what does the firewall do to protect you,
and more importantly, what does the firewall not
the standard system.
Windows systems are often set up to share some of the
things they do over the network. Printers are often
shared, but disk space is often easily made available on
the network as well. If you don't have it turned on now,
a virus or trojan horse may do it for you, without your
knowledge. Also, if you have more than one computer at
home, there's often very good reasons to turn on file
sharing. The Firewall will make sure nobody on the
Internet can connect to the file sharing features on your
- Protect an
Although the firewall will not protect you from a virus
you receive through email, or through files you download
from floppy or off the net, if that virus or trojan horse
turns your computer into a server, or if it turns on
features that allow others to fully control your computer
remotely, the Firewall will protect your computer from
being abused by people on the Internet. Of course, many
virii out there are meant to do other things, such as
mail themselves around, or wipe your harddisk. The
Firewall does not protect you from this kind of virus, so
be sure to install adequate virus protection on all your
hardware (if only!).
The Firewall does not protect your hard disk from
breaking down if its time comes, so be sure to make
adequate backups of your data as well.
(Oh, and also
note that the press often calls them "hackers".
We prefer to call them "crackers",
since there's some historic reasons why "hackers"
is not a negative phrase. If you really want to know, click