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Found 6 results

  1. Has anyone here ever thought about living off the network grid? "Off the network grid" means with little to no dependency on modern means of communication. No social media, no web service accounts. If you wanted to go the whole nine yards you could even remove your email and just send by post... or learn how to keep homing pigeons. I recently decided enough was enough after watching some videos on hackers and the Snowden incident, and deleted my Twitter account. Honestly if possible I want to erase any content here by deleting my MLPForums account also. All that should be left is my email tbh. And maybe delete my FIMFiction - those stories will be hard to delete though... I love 'em... Bottom line is the less info about you is on the net, the better. Especially for me as a Muslim in this day and age I am an easy easy EASY target. Think for a minute - how easy is it for an Islamophobe to make up a fake story about me if he can't find my FB or twitter or forum profile and the data on it?
  2. This is going to scare you, but that is exactly what the truth does. All information is directly from this website: Also, thanks to my college's Executive Director of Information Technology for making me aware of this issue through email. The following is the direct words of the website, all credit goes to them: (Quote begins) "Mobile surveillance apps and programs remain prevalent in the free apps we use every day. This problem mainly affects Android users, however jailbroken iPhones are victims as well. As of this writing, Android represents about 85% of all mobile smartphones sold worldwide. A much larger attack vector for bad actors. The main difference in Android and iPhone apps lies in the marketplaces. Google allows third party marketplaces while Apple iPhones use a store controlled by Apple (called a walled garden). All apps coming through the iTunes Store has to be approved by Apple. This has pros and cons depending on who you ask, but without doubt it gives Apple more control over the security in the apps. A jailbroken iPhone is where the owners perform an unapproved action to unlock the phone from Apple's control. This allows unapproved third party marketplaces and apps to be installed. Many Google users love the open architecture of the Android and its ability to use multiple sources for apps and content. This very openness is what opens those phones up to more security risks. There are a large number of cyber security people that are also interested in privacy. The short reason is that when you share data, use social media, allow location tracking, and allow access to your data you open yourself up to more security risks. You are creating a larger attack surface for someone to steal your ID, manipulate you, be the victim of a phish, or worse. So to me, privacy and security are related. Free apps often come with a large price tag. The ToS, also known as the Terms of Service, often give the app makers access to your private data and other information you may not be aware of. One example is Angry Birds. This popular app collected so much information that government agencies just hacked Rovio instead of hacking users to get information on private citizens, and why not? The plethora of data Angry Birds collected was impressive, all while you were shooting birds at green pigs. Some of these "free" apps can also come with surveillance software bundled in behind the scenes, secretly stealing even more information. After extensive research into current surveillance packages on the market. Here is what attackers can get from your Android phone: Turn on Microphone and Record Audio Track Device Location (Current and Historical) Record Screen Through Applications Like What's App Drop Calls From Blacklists Get Device Information (IMEI, Phone Number, Battery Life, Storage usage, Etc) Record Keystrokes (to steal passwords) Access Videos and Music Read and Delete Text Messages Retrieve Contacts Get Further Instructions So how is all this possible on an Android phone? You allow it. The phones prompt you when launching the app to give it access to this information. most users just click Yes or Okay. So to reiterate that point, this software is not an exploit. You are allowing it. Why do they get this data? So they can sell it. That is how the pay for the apps. You are not a customer, you are the product. They are selling you and your identity. So next time you want to grab a free app, think carefully." (Quote ends) That conclusion was very scary and bone-chilling. Alarming, isn't it? Well for me, it's goodbye to my Android tablet. It won't be missed. This reminds me of Facebook, how people get into your information and sell it online. Looks like it can happen on Android as well. At least we can trust Apple. How can we tell that what was said in the quote is 100% accurate? Look at your Android apps permissions, they say it all. Look at what your Android apps can do to your device. It's stupid when you think about it. Why the heck (I'm really pissed just thinking about it) would your games and apps need those stupid permissions for? Are you going to let Android hold your life in it's unprotective hands? What are your thoughts on this?
  3. Well, in addition to Network Security, I thought I drop this down that a friend of mine and I wrote. It will explain details on NAT and Improving Connectivity in your home (you can do this with almost anything that requires connection, like your Computer, Laptop, Mobile Device, Xbox, PS4, whatever. Feel free to take a moment and read through it and hope it serves as a guide, What is a NAT? NAT stands for Network Address Translation. Basically, your ISP gives you ONE IP address through your Modem. Your Router takes all devices (Computer, Printer, Xbox, PS4, etc) attached to the router, and assigns them "private IP addresses". The NAT then translates these private addresses into the single IP address given to you by your ISP, thus allowing you to connect multiple devices. How Can I Improve My Connection? 1) Go WIRED Wired is simply faster than wireless. It's also more reliable and consistent. Though not as convenient, just a better way to go. 2) Call your ISP (Internet Service Provider, ex: Optimum, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, etc.) Try visiting and running a test. If your results are lower than 10MB/s download, 1.5MB/s upload, and more than 40 ping, you should try to improve your connection (Note, these numbers change depending on variables such as if you are wireless, how far you are from your router, and what type of Ethernet cord you are using). If you are getting results lower than you are paying for, ask them to fix it. 3) Port Forward This is where you're going to make a huge difference at no cost but your own time. Let's take Xbox LIVE as an example (This will apply to PC's, etc). Now, this prefers certain ports on your router for connections. However, sometimes these ports are used by other things on your network. Port Forwarding these ports to your Xbox's connection "reserves" these ports specifically for Xbox LIVE. This process will also Open your NAT. To continue with this process, go to a PC you have at home. Open up an internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) and type in your home IP address (this is usually or You will now be asked for a login and password (the login is usually admin and the password is usually password unless you changed it). Now, locate a section called "Port Forwarding" or "Port Triggering" or "IP Forwarding" or something similar (every router is different). Once you have found the Port Forwarding settings, look for an option called "Add" or "Add custom Service" or something similar. Once you find it, click it. You are now going to enter 10 separate items to this list. When you add an item, it is going to ask you for 4 things. It will ask you for a "Service Name" (or something similar), a "Start Port", an "End Port", and a "Server IP Address" (or something similar). For the Service Names, simply put something you'll remember, such as "Xbox_LIVE1", "Xbox_LIVE2", "Xbox_LIVE3" etc for all 10 times. You will put in the Start and End Ports I list below. For the IP Address, put something similar to what your router's IP address is, but with a different number at the end. For instance, if your router's IP is, then make your Xbox's new IP or something like that. That last number can be anything between 1 and 255. However, choosing a higher number such as "55" will prevent any problems with other connections in your household trying to use the same number (connections count up, so you'd have to have 55 connections in your house to have a conflict). Next, you will add these connections I list below in the following format (NOTE: your Service IP Address may be different than mine): Service Name - Start Port - End Port - Service IP Address - Connection Type Xbox_LIVE1 - 3074 - 3074 - - TCP/UDP Xbox_LIVE2 - 80 - 80 - - TCP Xbox_LIVE3 - 88 - 88 - - UDP Xbox_LIVE4 - 53 - 53 - - TCP/UDP Xbox_LIVE5 - 77 - 77 - - TCP/UDP Xbox_LIVE6 - 3330 - 3330 - - TCP/UDP Xbox_LIVE7 - 1900 - 1900 - - UDP Xbox_LIVE8 - 2869 - 2869 - - TCP/UDP Xbox_LIVE9 - 10243 - 10243 - - TCP/UDP Xbox_LIVE10 - 10280 - 10284 - - TCP/UDP(WATCH OUT, this one's end is different than the start!) Xbox_LIVE11 - 1863 - 1863 - - TCP/UDP Now, you may notice that unlike other IP forwarding guides, I forward 11 services rather than the 5 or so they do. That is because those extra services are for Video connections and such that Xbox LIVE uses as well. Think of it as a FULL 360 port forward, not just gaming. Now, you are going to need to open up Command Prompt. You can do this by going to "Start" and clicking "Run" or by holding the "Windows" button your keyboard, and pressing the "R" key. Once it pops up, type in "cmd" (without the quotes) and press Enter. Now you have opened Command Prompt. Now type in "ipconfig /all" (without the quotes) and press Enter. A bunch of info will be listed. Look for a section labled as "Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection". Look for the info labeled as "Subnet Mask", "Default Gateway", and "DNS Servers" and write down the addresses they list. Now, it's time to change your Xbox's IP settings. Go to your Xbox and turn it on. Now go to the System Settings by going to the "My Xbox" section and scrolling right. Open it up and look for "Network Settings". Select your connection type, and then change your settings from Automatic to Manual. It will now ask you what your Xbox's manual IP address is. Now input the IP address you chose (I have been using for an example). You will also be asked for your Subnet Mask and DNS Servers, which you can fill in with the information you wrote down earlier. 4) Improve your Hardware This includes upgrading your Router, Modem, and Ethernet cords. As far as your Modem goes, you're probably renting from your ISP. Try going into their office and asking for an updated model. Otherwise, try to buy your own. A good quality gaming modem is the Motorola Surfboard Extreme. You may also want to look for an updated router. Try looking for any form of Gigabit router for a reasonable price. If you wish to stay up with current times, make sure it is a Wireless N router as well. An example would be the Netgear WNDR3700. After that, change your ethernet cords to CAT6 Ethernet Cables. Though Xbox 360 cannot fully utilize them, they are significantly more reliable than CAT6, if for nothing more than lower packet loss. Be aware that having a CAT6 cable between your Xbox and Router means nothing if you're still using a CAT5 or CAT5e between your Router & Modem. Additionally, here is a little more information to know and check to make sure you are fully optimized: 1. Xbox live certified routers/modems list. 2. Switch off wireless in your router if you're not using it, it takes resources and latency away from your router response times. 3. Switch off devices communicating with your router/modem and therefore competing with your xbox e.g. you siblings using a laptop or your mobile phone checking email. 4. Signal to Noise Ratio, contact your ISP or check your toolbox/account settings with your ISP. Usually they have settings they or you can set specifically for gaming configurations. Gaming prefers a more persistent connection over say large downloads for example. ISP/broadband can be configured in many ways to handle this and this can change per ISP too. 5. Router level: disable ping to stop a common form of cheating. 6. Router level: enable/disable packet security, stop cheating but adds some latency. 7. Router level: Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) setting requires a minimum of 1364, you can change this in your router to a maximum of 1500. This is the largest "chunk" of data at any one time your router can communicate, try increasing this to recommended 1452 to gain more performance. 8. Cable level: Shorten your cable distance between router/xbox. Also keep cables untwisted and away from power cables. 9. Quality of Service Rules (QoS): You can set rules in your router for which data traffic has the highest priority. Helpful in shared dorms/houses for example. 10. Demilitarized Zone or DMZ: is more open method for allowing open NAT as well as a faster method than port forwarding as the router essentially has no filtering work to do. It means your xbox is outside of any firewall/router protection but is free to communicate with xbox live, game hosts or game clients. Having port forwarding enables protection against things like packet flooding, ping flooding and other basic network manipulation cheats. However using a DMZ is a simplistic and fast method for maximising your gaming experience. After you've entered all the new information, restart your Xbox, and enjoy your improved connection. As mentioned before, this is an example of improving connection, and can be applied to PC connectivity.
  4. Well, some folks in the past have asked me, what is my career and what does it involve and there are some who have taken it as a joke, so instead, I'm gonna teach all of you a bit of IT/Network Security 101. There are some parts I've taken from other forums, wiki, etc. yet I will also include my thoughts as well. Now one thing I want to mention to all of it or not, there are a lot of Sons of Bitches out there who would do such cruel things, especially on the internet, so want to provide some of my knowledge to you as a "safety" measure or members who wish to pursue a career in IT, this will highly assist you. In addition, there are several type of IT security categories, but I will explain the common one, and what are its functions. What is Network Security? As a professional Network Administrator, specialized in Network Security, it involves the authorization of access to data in a network. Users choose or are assigned an ID and password or other authenticating information that allows them access to information and programs within their authority. Network security covers a variety of computer networks, both public and private, that are used in everyday jobs conducting transactions and communications among businesses, government agencies and individuals. Networks can be private, such as within a company (This is what I primarily did at my job, by managing them, specifically private forums), and others which might be open to public access. Network security is involved in organizations, enterprises, and other types of institutions. It does as its title explains: It secures the network, as well as protecting and overseeing operations being done. The most common and simple way of protecting a network resource is by assigning it a unique name and a corresponding password. What Are Its Concepts? Now, I don't think many will understand some of the terms (yes there are some funny ones, lol), but network security starts with authenticating, commonly with a username and a password. Once authenticated, a firewall enforces access policies such as what services are allowed to be accessed by the network users. Though effective to prevent unauthorized access, this component may fail to check potentially harmful content such as: Worms Viruses Trojans being transmitted over the network. Anti-virus software or an intrusion prevention system (IPS) help detect and inhibit the action of such malware. An anomaly-based intrusion detection system may also monitor the network like wireshark traffic and may be logged for audit purposes and for later high-level analysis. With communication between two hosts using a network may be encrypted to maintain privacy. Honeypots, essentially decoy network-accessible resources, may be deployed in a network as surveillance and early-warning tools, as the honeypots are not normally accessed for legitimate purposes. Techniques used by the attackers that attempt to compromise these decoy resources are studied during and after an attack to keep an eye on new exploitation techniques. Such analysis may be used to further tighten security of the actual network being protected by the honeypot. A honeypot can also direct an attacker's attention away from legitimate servers. A honeypot encourages attackers to spend their time and energy on the decoy server while distracting their attention from the data on the real server. Similar to a honeypot, a honeynet is a network set up with intentional vulnerabilities. Its purpose is also to invite attacks so that the attacker ’ s methods can be studied and that information can be used to increase network security. A honeynet typically contains one or more honeypots. Types of Security? There are several, but I will explain Security Management (which is common). With Security Management, there are two types of securities. The first one, is a home or small office, which may only require basic security (what you guys have in your home, is an example). The second, is a more complex one which is heavily monitored in large businesses that may require high-maintenance and advanced software and hardware to prevent malicious attacks from hacking and spamming. You'll see that in Hospitals, Banks, Companies, etc. (Federal Offices are a little different and they have specific type of security). What Are Attacks? Let me hint you guys on a important thing, and I think many already know this. NOTHING IS PRIVATE. Networks are subject to attacks from malicious sources. However, there are two categories: Passive - when a network intruder intercepts data traveling through the network Active - in which an intruder initiates commands to disrupt the network's normal operation. Now, to give you an example of attacks from each category, this will serve as somewhat of an easy guide, making it easier for you to identify a problem. HINT: Some individuals can see it faster than others, by the level of activity. Passive: ---NETWORK Wiretapping Port Scanner Idle Scan Active: Denial-of-service attack (Yes, very common for websites, and yes, you have seen them here) Spoofing Man in the middle ARP poisoning Smurf attack Buffer overflow Brute-Force Password Cracking Packet Sniffer Heap overflow Format string attack Rootkit SQL injection Cyber attack Social Engineering (The most trickiest one in the book, and are split into 4 categories) Our Defense: Beside Network Security, everyone has this to prevent attacks such as ones listed above. The following defenses are: Access Control Systems Application securityAntivirus software Secure coding Security by design Secure operating systems AuthenticationTwo-factor authentication Multi-factor authentication Authorization Firewall (computing) Intrusion detection system Intrusion prevention system With these Defenses, it ensures safety within your walls, and thus prevents future attacks. Unguarded and unwatched, these attacks can occur again and again. Following these steps could assist you in preventing problems, on pretty much anything you have........whether its a home PC, network, website, forum, whatever......... This is pretty much what I can explain, however, there is a lot on Computer Security, but if members are interested in pursuing a career involving that sort of specialty, be prepared, b/c you'll be doing a lot of studying and hands on work. In addition, if you wish to contact me on a specific subject I didn't mention, please feel free to comment and I could give you a possible explanation (hint: even though i've done moderation for 6 years, and Security for 4 years, be aware that I may not have all the answers, which i may end up researching them). Hope you enjoy reading this, UPDATE: Had to Add some info on the Types of Attacks...........Expect a detail of each one later, for better understand of them.
  5. After consulting Google, I was disappointed to find that this topic did not yet exist. It does now. I have heard two very different opinions on Skype. Some people act like it's he greatest thing since sliced bread, others seem to disagree. Many people have accounts and find the site useful, yet it has been said to have problems, such as questionable security, high bandwidth usage, and secretive owners. Another major problem is that they have a server in the united states, which falls under the Patriot Act. What do you all think about Skype? Is it useful, reliable, secure? This thread is dedicated to general reviews and opinions regarding Skype, so let us hear what the users have to say.
  6. Does this "feature" bother anyone else? I'm programming away late last night and decide to stop and get some sleep. I hover over the shutdown button and apparently Windows needs to update before shutting down. I never leave my updates run unattended because that's just generally not a great idea. I don't do that for Linux and I certainly wouldn't for Windows. So what now? I can't tell Windows "do that stuff the next time I turn the machine on", it has to be done now. At 1 AM. Do I concede and install the update like Microsoft wants? No, I hold the power button for around 5 seconds and go to sleep at the risk of corrupting my file system. The update installs fine the next morning anyway when I turned the computer on. Why is there so little control over Windows Update? On the Linux side of my PC, it's a sudo pacman -Syu and you're up to date with the latest in security fixes. It doesn't say "Your kernel has updated! You will restart in 15 minutes!" or "A new kernel is available! It will automatically install the next time you shut down!", the user is responsible for keeping their machine up to date and in exchange, the system doesn't get in their way. That is good unobtrusive design that encourages users to stay up to date rather than disabling updates all together. Sorry, I just really needed to say this. I'm sure there's a policy somewhere that I can modify to change that behaviour, but I'm on Windows so infrequently that it isn't that big of a deal. It's just really annoying when it does... (Hah... first post ever on this thing and it's a rant about something regarding Windows. Fitting.)