Computer Security
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  • Setting up BIOS password: power on, hit designated key when prompt appears (must do quickly), when BIOS screens come up, look for password option and set it
  • ZoneAlarm basic version is free, Pro version is ~$40
  • No good free solutions
  • Alternative software is not perfectly secure, but is less vulnerable than the primary targets
  • Demo/Hands-on!
  • “ Supercookie” is accessible from ANY web site
  • Most places require at least six characters for passwords, but longer is better
  • Even then, data is still on disk, but will require more sophisticated means to recover
  • When making online purchases, I always make them from a wired connection, not wireless
  • In Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla Firefox allows clearing all data in one step Tools->Options -> Privacy, Clear All button
  • When making online purchases, I always make them from a wired connection, not wireless

Transcript

  • 1. Computer Security CPEs for CPAs Program Georgia Perimeter College December 9, 2005
  • 2. Today’s Topics
    • The Need for Computer Security
    • Setting Up a Secure Computer System
    • Using Your Computer Securely
    • Special Concerns for Wireless Networks
  • 3. Today’s Topics
    • Focus on
      • Quality and effectiveness
      • Free or low-cost solutions
      • Ease of use
  • 4. The Need for Computer Security
    • Computers face a wide variety of threats
      • Intrusions
      • Privacy invasions
      • Hijackings
      • Data corruption
      • Viruses
      • And more
  • 5. The Need for Computer Security (cont.)
    • Threats come from many sources
      • Physical access
      • Network access
      • Use of removable media
      • Use of common programs
    • http://media. trendmicro .com/product/general/ malware .html
  • 6. How to Keep a System Perfectly Secure
    • Don’t connect it to any type of network
      • Don’t use email
      • Don’t have Internet access
      • Don’t shop online
      • Don’t bank online
      • Don’t share files with other users
  • 7. How to Keep a System Perfectly Secure (cont.)
    • Don’t use any removable media
      • Floppy disks
      • CDs/DVDs
      • Flash Drives/USB devices
    • Exception: New, unused CDs for backup of data
  • 8. How to Keep a System Perfectly Secure (cont.)
    • Don’t let anyone but yourself ever use the computer
    • Permanently secure it to the building structure
  • 9. Okay, this may not be feasible! So what do we do?
  • 10. What about security for the REST of us?
  • 11. Setting Up a Secure System
    • Three Critical Steps
      • Access Control / Password Protection
      • Hardware Solutions
      • Software Solutions
  • 12. Access Control
    • Simple solution to some problems
    • No cost involved
    • Only handles some problems
  • 13. Password Protection
    • Set up login password on ALL computers
      • Handled in operating system
      • Do not allow a “guest” account on computers
      • With Windows, accounts can be bypassed
      • Never allow automatic login
  • 14. Password Protection (cont.)
    • Extra protection desirable for laptops
      • Set up BIOS password
        • Power on
        • Hit designated key when prompt appears (must do quickly)
        • Locate password option on BIOS screen
      • Caution: if you forget this password, NO ONE can get into your computer
  • 15. Hardware Solutions
    • Acts as “first line of defense” by controlling network access
    • Only protects from external threats
    • Does not protect against invasion from within network itself
    • Does not protect against threats hidden inside legitimate data
  • 16. Hardware Firewall
    • Monitors network data transfers
      • LANs
      • Internet
    • Blocks unauthorized traffic while allowing legitimate traffic
    • May also perform additional security functions
  • 17. Hardware Firewall (cont.)
    • Any computer connected to Internet needs a firewall
      • Broadband connections are more vulnerable
      • Even dial-up users can be attacked from outside
  • 18. Hardware Firewall (cont.)
    • Makes your computer “invisible” from outside the local network
    • Often found as part of network routing device
    • Invaders “see” the router, not computers behind it
  • 19. Hardware Firewall (cont.)
    • Install between computers and modem in a local network
    Internet Connection Router Modem Computer Computer Computer
  • 20. Hardware Firewall (cont.)
    • Setup and configuration depends on specific device
    • Follow directions given by manufacturer
  • 21. Hardware Firewall (cont.)
    • Solution for the truly paranoid, or the truly geeky
    • Bare-bones machine running Linux instead of Windows, combined with switch to connect machines
  • 22. Hardware Firewall (cont.)
    • Most hacking attacks target Windows features
    • Using Linux machine instead of router prevents these attacks
    • For information and instructions:
      • Router Design Project, http://www.routerdesign.com
      • Coyote Linux Project, http://www.coyotelinux.com
  • 23. Software Solutions
    • Software firewalls
    • Anti-virus software
    • Anti-malware software
    • Alternatives to common programs
    • Fixes for common programs
  • 24. Software Firewalls
    • Not a replacement for hardware firewalls
    • Protect individual computers within a network
      • Hardware firewall protects entire network
    • Protect portable machines which may not always use a hardware firewall
  • 25. Software Firewalls (cont.)
    • Analyze incoming data from network
    • Block undesirable data
    • Better programs block undesirable outgoing data as well
  • 26. Software Firewalls (cont.)
    • Windows XP Internet Connection Firewall (ICF)
      • Monitors/blocks incoming traffic only
      • Will NOT block hijack attempts
      • Better than nothing but not an optimal solution
  • 27. Software Firewalls (cont.)
    • ZoneAlarm – top choice
      • Monitors traffic in both directions
      • Helps prevent hijacking of your computer
      • Basic free version is adequate for most users
  • 28. Software Firewalls (cont.)
    • Download from http://www.zonealarm.com/
    • Install via wizard
    • Configuration
      • Done through normal computer usage
      • Does take time
  • 29. Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware Software
    • Viruses and spyware are two different problems
      • Both technologies can cause problems
      • Require two different solutions
  • 30. Anti-Virus Software
    • Virus -- n : a software program capable of reproducing itself and usually capable of causing great harm to files or other programs on the same computer; "a true virus cannot spread to another computer without human assistance" -- dictionary.com
  • 31. Anti-Virus Software (cont.)
    • AVG AntiVirus
      • Free for personal use
      • May not provide quality of protection of a commercial program
  • 32. Anti-Virus Software (cont.)
    • Trend MicroSystems PC-Cillin
      • Top-rated choice
      • Very effective
    • Norton Anti-Virus
      • Not my favorite – I’ve had problems
    • McAfee Anti-Virus
  • 33. Anti-Virus Software (cont.)
    • Wizards handle installation seamlessly
    • Configure automatic email/file attachment scans
    • Need to upgrade virus signature subscription yearly if you don’t upgrade program
  • 34. Anti-Malware Software
    • Malware is catchall term for spyware and adware-type programs
    • Adware
      • Software that, without your consent, tracks and reports your web usage to another entity without reporting personally identifying information
  • 35. Anti-Malware Software (cont.)
    • Spyware
      • Software whose purpose is to collect personally identifying demographic and usage information from your computer, usually for advertising purposes
      • Software that 'sneaks' onto the system or performs other activities hidden to the user. --http://cexx.org
  • 36. Anti-Malware Software
    • No one program today catches all spyware – multiple programs needed
      • SpyBot Search and Destroy
        • http://www.safer-networking.org
      • AdAware
        • http://www.lavasoft.com
      • Trend MicroSystems Anti-Spyware
        • Web-based scan
        • http://www.trendmicro.com
  • 37. Software Alternatives
    • Microsoft products are favorite targets of crackers
      • Widespread use (80%+ of PCs use these)
      • Easily exploitable security holes
      • Particularly vulnerable
        • Internet Explorer – web browser
        • Outlook – email client
  • 38. Software Alternatives (cont.)
    • Web Browsers
      • Mozilla Firefox
      • Opera
    • Email Clients
      • Mozilla Thunderbird
      • Eudora
    • Office Software
      • OpenOffice
  • 39. Alternatives to Internet Explorer
    • Mozilla Firefox
    • Tutorial: http://opensourcearticles.com/articles/firefox_15/english/part_01
    • Opera
  • 40. Alternatives to Outlook
    • Email is most vulnerable feature of Outlook
    • Most alternatives only deal with email
      • Scheduling, memo, other features not provided
  • 41. Eudora
    • Download from http://www.eudora.com
    • Available in free, ad-supported, or paid versions
    • Supports multiple email accounts, folders, junk email filtering
  • 42. Mozilla Thunderbird
    • Imports existing email and contact information
    • Similar look & feel to Outlook
    • Handles multiple email accounts
    • Provides adaptive junk email filtering
    • Automatically blocks scripts
      • Deters spread of viruses
  • 43. Mozilla Thunderbird (cont.)
    • Download from http://www. mozilla .com/
    • Excellent tutorial: http://opensourcearticles.com/articles/thunderbird_15/english/part_01
  • 44. Mozilla Thunderbird (cont.)
    • Installation
      • Wizard handles all work
    • Configuration
      • Set up account(s)
      • Import existing email/contact info
      • Set up spam filtering
  • 45. Office Software
    • Open Office
      • Alternative to Microsoft Office
      • Mostly, but not fully, compatible
    • Available from http://www.openoffice.org/
  • 46. Other Software
    • Windows Media Player
      • Potential for privacy invasion through “supercookie”
      • Disable with following step:
        • Tools->Options->Player
        • Uncheck box beside “Allow Internet sites to uniquely identify your Player.”
  • 47. Other Software (cont.)
    • Windows Messenger
      • Allows pop-ups without an active browser
      • Not to be confused with MSN Messenger!
      • To stop, disable the service
        • Start->Run, type services.msc & click OK
        • Double-click the Messenger entry
        • Choose Stop
        • Choose Disabled from the StartUpType list
  • 48. Using Your Computer Securely
    • Monitor your computer’s behavior
    • Schedule maintenance tasks
    • Use hard-to-break passwords
    • Protect your data files
    • Take precautions with Internet data
    • Be extra careful with wireless networks
  • 49. Monitor Your Computer
    • Watch for unusual activity
    • Signs of problems:
      • Excessive hard disk access
      • Slow operation
      • Pop-up windows
  • 50. Schedule Maintenance Tasks
    • Running tasks automatically ensures they are actually run!
    • Many programs let you schedule them from the program itself
    • Other programs can be scheduled from Control Panel
      • Start->Settings->Control Panel-> Scheduled Tasks
  • 51. Schedule Maintenance Tasks
    • Recommendations:
      • Full virus scan weekly
      • Full spyware scan with Spybot weekly
      • Full spyware scan with Ad-Aware weekly
      • Automatic updates for software
      • Automatic updates of signature files weekly for all programs using them
  • 52. Password Choices
    • Choose passwords that are
      • Combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols
      • Do not contain any identifying data
        • Birth dates
        • Family members’ names/variations
      • Are at least eight to ten characters long
  • 53. Password Security
    • Do not write down passwords or PINs
      • Especially don’t keep written passwords or PINs with the item using them!
    • Do NOT give ANYONE your password or PIN
  • 54. Changing Passwords
    • Do not use the same password for everything
    • Change your passwords regularly
    • However, it’s better to use a “good” password badly than to use “bad” passwords well
  • 55. Data File Protection
    • Do not make sensitive files accessible through network
      • Disable file sharing
      • If files must be shared, password-protect them
  • 56. Data File Protection (cont.)
    • Simply deleting a file is not enough!
      • Files remain in the Recycle/Trash bin after deletion
      • Recovery from here is simple
      • Must either specifically delete files from Recycle Bin or empty Recycle Bin
  • 57. Precautions with Internet Data
    • Use secure browsers and sites
    • Clear your data after use, especially from public computers
  • 58. Browser Security
    • Make sure you are using Secure Socket technology if sending personal information to a web site
      • Indicated by
        • Lock icon at bottom of browser window
        • https:// prefix on site URL (not http://)
  • 59. Smart Use of Cookies
    • Most users will need to use cookies
      • Many legitimate Internet uses require them
    • Browsers should be set to
      • Reject third-party cookies
      • Restrict first-party cookies
  • 60. Smart Use of Cookies
    • Internet Explorer
      • Tools->Internet Options->Privacy Select Advanced Button Check Override Automatic Cookie Handling Select Block Third-Party cookies
    • Mozilla Firefox
      • Tools->Options->Privacy->Cookies Allow only originating site to set cookies
  • 61. Browser History
    • Internet Explorer
      • History button on Toolbar
      • Select all items in window and delete
    • Mozilla Firefox
      • Tools->Options->Privacy Click on Clear button beside history
  • 62. Removing Temp Files
    • Make hidden files visible
      • Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Windows Explorer.
      • Tools -> Folder Options-> View -> Show Hidden Files and Folders, Apply
    • Navigate in the left-hand pane to C:Documents and Settingsyour username%Local Settings.
  • 63. Removing Temp Files (cont.)
    • Delete all contents in the following folders:
      • Temp
      • Temporary Internet Files
      • Content.IE5 (subfolder to Temporary Internet Files) Note: Windows will warn you that you are trying to delete system files. This is okay, so click Yes.
  • 64. Wireless Networking Concerns
    • Wireless network connections are inherently insecure
    • Broadcast, not point to point
      • Anyone within range can intercept signal
      • Once signal is intercepted, anyone can view data
      • Many tools exist to do this
  • 65. Wireless Networking Concerns (cont.)
    • Even encrypted transmissions are vulnerable
      • Any currently used encryption scheme can be broken
      • Most common scheme can be broken by a middle-schooler in about 15 minutes!
  • 66. Wireless Networking Concerns (cont.)
    • Don’t enable file sharing on computers using wireless network connections
    • Don’t transmit sensitive data OF ANY TYPE over a wireless network
      • Don’t shop
      • Don’t bank online
  • 67. In Closing
    • Suggestions and recommendations are for the normal user
    • The truly paranoid do need additional precautions
      • But these require much more knowledge
    • Once your security is set up, maintenance will not be much effort
  • 68. Thank you for attending!
    • This presentation is available online at http://www.gpc.edu/~jbenson/presentations/security. ppt
    • Contact information:
      • Julia Benson-Slaughter Associate Professor of Computer Science Department of Business/Computer Science Georgia Perimeter College 2101 Womack Road Dunwoody, GA 30338