Do you fear you will be hacked?

Discussion in 'polls' started by Mrkvonic, Mar 5, 2006.

?

Are you afraid of being hacked?

  1. Of course, I dread it and live in ever-growing constant paranoia evey day

    4 vote(s)
    2.7%
  2. Yes, I'm afraid, and I take every precaution to prevent

    30 vote(s)
    20.0%
  3. Not really; it can happen, but a firewall and common sense will keep you safe

    80 vote(s)
    53.3%
  4. As far as I'm concerned, the threat is virtually non-existent

    36 vote(s)
    24.0%
  1. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    People run security programs because ... they want to be secure. Oftentimes, though, I see many people mention the issue of hacking, in various contexts. And often, hacking is brought up as an imminent threat looming above people's head, and the only thing that keeps the hackers away is the vast panoply of softwares they run.
    However, I think the man is his own greatest enemy.
    So, my question is:

    Do you use a lot of security software because you fear outsides or your own mistakes?

    I will also add a little poll, but I would like people if they could justify why they use their security setups as they do. For instance, someone in finance business is afraid of his passwords being stolen, so he uses a keylogger. Another is an avid tester, so he needs a good anti-virus. And so forth.

    So if you don't mind, step in and rationalize your choices, if you like.

    Cheers all,
    Mrk
     
  2. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    You need a bath...(He he he just kidding.) :D

    Of course, yes, I am afraid to be hacked. Even though I am just an ordinary surfer with no very important files that a hackers can possibly steal, still I am very afraid, very very afraid. Outside attacks are unexpected anytime and these hackers are very passionate...:blink: but I hope my security softwares installed will protect me like an armour plate capable of deflecting and bulletproofing my system. I don't like my pc to become an easy target for them. And my gosh..o_O I don't like CIA's to investigate me thinking that I am the one who hacked their system. Some hackers can possibly make any pc's to become a stage point for their activities. But, I think most hackers are more interested hacking a bank rather than hacking an ordinary people's pc. :(
     
  3. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    i do very much. mainly because i like hanging out in hacking forums. alot of the members have those sigs which show you your IP, user agent etc. the scripts they use to do that are hosted on their servers. they then go through the IPs and try to hack them, then post about it when they do :eek:

    they mainly get in through weak passwords for things like SSH and VPNs. and one of the forums uses weak authentication for SIDs meaning they can hack your account if you click on a link in the forum which has a SID they set up :eek:

    it does make me abit paranoid if i see something odd on netstat, but it's great seeing the things they can do, and what i can learn from them :cautious:

    i only have one security program running and that's my FW. i also use an HTTP Proxy and i use Ubuntu :cool:
     
  4. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    And did they manage to hack you yet iceni?
    Mrk
     
  5. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    i'm fairly certain, no. but i get paranoid if my computer starts acting up, like it is alittle atm. :oops: :D
     
  6. Antarctica

    Antarctica Registered Member

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    I have nothing important to hide on my PC but still it is private. Have you ever been stolen at home?
    We were a couple of month ago and let me tell you it is a strange feeling when you get back home and you think that someone has been looking everyehere in your private things.:( We have a alarm system since then to protect us.

    It is the same thing for your PC, you don't want any stranger to be able to "brake in" your private life.:)
     
  7. beetlejuice69

    beetlejuice69 Registered Member

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    I took the 3rd choice. I fear making a stupid mistake more than someone getting into my machine.
     
  8. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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    Curious - what forums - what do you learn that is worth the time?
     
  9. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    3º option...
     
  10. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    I think my answer would be 3.5.
    My brother uses p2p 24/7, downloading porn and programs, he visits porn sites like a maniac using out-of-the-box firefox without even a single extension, and only firewall and av running real-time. And yet, whenever he does a bimonthly run with a variety of scanners, he never finds even one cookie surprise.
    I'm a little more strict, but not much...
    So I wonders...
    Getting hit by something planted on a site requires good solid effort on behalf of the user. Being targeted by a hacker? In the world of DHCP, when private identification is virtually impossible, and so many people using totally unpatched pcs with outdated softwares and no firewall, a 'normal' Wilders user has a very good chance of staying safe and peaceful.
    I ask myself - how can you know? Either way? How can you be so sure? How can you not be so sure? What is the ... ultimate standard?
    Well, I think the best way to estimate the security / hackability is by personal experience / statistics. It's not as if they invented the port scanners only this year. The scanning of ports, the search for exploits, vulnerabilities has existed for many years. It's happening millions of times every second across the world of web, and many pcs are being scanned without even knowing - including firewalled pcs that simply drop the probe requests.
    And the hackers scanned you and me many many times. And we visited many many sites. And they had exploits and vulnerabilities planted in, and drive-by-downloads. And what happened?
    If a person did not get hacked in the last 2, 3 or 5 years, why should they all of a sudden be hacked? What's the cardinal difference that will all of a sudden change the fate against them?
    Thinking this way you may then assume that you exist on the Internet only on the whim of the hackers - it's as if they decide when you will be hacked and you have no saying. It's the matter of time, or maybe chance.
    Well ...
    Chance - I think chance favors the smarter ones here. EVEN if hackers could hack everyone, they simply do not have time to do that - go for the dumb masses first. And reality?
    I don't think so. Experience should mean something. Otherwise assuming anything we know about pcs - based on experience - is just an illusion. And I do not think that. I think there is a reason why someone does not get hacked. Not because it has not been done yet (you're on a waiting queue - we'll bot the dumb ones first, you wait your turn in 2010), but because it cannot be done. Not because hackers are dumb. On the contrary - because the computers are dumb.
    If thought could kill so a thought could hack - but fortunately, pcs work by a very limited set of rules - and just as limited they are in their ability to help us (they don't make coffee, do they), they are limited in the scope of their vulnerabilities.
    You need to communicate with a computer, you need a port, you need something behind the port to listen to it, you need that something to have a breach in its protocols that can be exploited, you need a gateway out of the weak application into the system. No black magic here ... too much.
    Some people get hackedm unfortunately. Some get botted. But mainly, mostly, the majority clicks and clicks, and they have no clue what happens.
    To sum my bullshiat speech...
    I judge the world through experience and knowledge. Sometimes, fear and panic stand against you, but hey ... and this goes for everyone here, if you did not contract hackers in the last 1-10 years, why should you now? What's so different about March 2006?
    Mrk
     
  11. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    I put my own answer at 3.8, maybe higher. So my simple answer is..., no.

    Blue
     
  12. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    For the sake of everyone, I would kindly ask you to elaborate. No need for hysterical post like mine, just something to calm the folks ... :)
    Your input is highly valued.
    Mrk
     
  13. dog

    dog Guest

    I go with "As far as I'm concerned, the threat is virtually non-existent" ... I'm not much into paranoia - common sense is all it really takes. The only real threat is from RATs ... there isn't really any threat of being hacked directly. The social engineering methods aren't a secret, most savy users would be aware of and have the common sense to avoid such things - which would protected them from approx. 90% of the total possiblities. Browser exploits would be the most significant remaining threat (which is minimal), those too can be handled with relative easy, with proper browser configuration, reg hacks, web filters and available software ... particularly AVs with HTTP scanning.

    So IMO the average user who is slightly PC savy and/or security conscience, practicing safe hex has nothing to worry about.

    *puppy*
     
  14. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    No I am not worried about getting hacked. The threat is real but my knowledge ,common sense and security apps I feel keep the possibility almost nil.
     
  15. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

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    I think if we want to use the correct terminology, it would be cracked not hacked ;)

    But back on subject, I have very little fear as long as I practice safe hex and ensure I have a solid av and firewall to catch any weird case like being redirected to a bad website or accidently clicking a malicious link in a security forum before the moderators get to it :p

    Alphalutra1
     
  16. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    I wouldn't challenge any cracker to try to violate my system as some of those guys are unfortunately very clever at that. But it's been more than a year that my system appears to be clean as a whistle and I've visited all sorts dangerous sites (not a habit though).

    Yes I'm confident my setup can withstand just about any malware contingency and therefore my answer is definetly no.
     
  17. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Registered Member

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    The hackers are getting more skillful, more determined, more professional, malware is more stealthy etc etc. :)

    Not surprised at Sweater's answers. Suprised at Iceni60's but i suppose running with the leet (lol) crowd might tend to make one paranoid.

    The poll as I write this shows, a 50% split between "the afraid" and "the not afraid". I suspect a certain selection effect at work, and most of the comments will be by the "unafraid".

    Of course among the ranks of "the unafraid" are people running some serious arsenal for protection......
     
  18. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    I don't think the coders have become more skillful or professional - determined yes. But so has the Internet grown by thousands of percents, hence the need for determination ... :)
    Mrk
     
  19. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    i've got a big mouth :oops:

    here's a good security site nothing against this forum's TOS. i'd recommend listening to the podcasts in reverse 7,6,5 etc. i was going to say have a look at the forums but, it looks like they're having problems atm.
    http://www.sploitcast.com/

    i can't find anything else i can link to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2006
  20. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    Mrk,

    There are a few parts to this answer which considers the context of the hack. They are:
    • Hacked by someone with physical access to my machine who wants to learn something, perhaps via a keylogger or something akin to that. That basically won't happen on my home machines based on my trust in the family and what the rest of the family knows about PC's. If it did happen, I have a lot of confidence that either NOD32/KAV (depending on machine) or BOClean would flag the install if it occurred (it won't, but just to placate those who would say it could...). I also pay attention that all normal applications launch correctly and periodically check on logs (once every few weeks). On my work laptop, basically that's a locked down XP Pro install. The only installs possible are through an IT person logged in as an admin or via a push install. There's no personal information on that machine, I use it strictly for work activity. Ultimately, I trust the people who have physical access to my machines. If I didn't, they wouldn't have physical access period.
    • Installation of some malware application via a trojandownloader..., see above. Yes, I rely on the security applications I use, that's why I purchased them, but I also rely on knowing how my machine typically functions in normal use contexts. If I notice a deviation from the norm, I find the cause.
    • As a directed targeting by someone on the internet who wants revenge/to annoy me/etc..., well, as a private user on the net, my reaction is to get real. I see posts in many forums on the net from people who claim to have been hacked by some anonymous or stalking stranger. In virtually all the cases that I've personally followed, they could not provide even the simplest of technical details regarding the symptoms of the hack. It's always been that the machine has gone flaky, it's slowed down a lot, or random glitches have started to appear. All of these events are explainable using far simpler reasons (hardware on the verge of failure, software incompatibility, turning off a needed service trying to run a minimal install and not really knowing what you're doing, having a plethora of adware installed on a PC, having a multitude of autostart entries - all of which are valid - but you're simply letting too much start and they are encountering issues on start due to timing phenomena). William of Ockham was quite right, Do not introduce unnecessary entities in explanations.
    • I pay attention to what's running on my PC. Not on an hourly basis, maybe every few weeks. If I don't recognize the process, I check it out to verify it is valid.
    • I have a relatively static machine. It is fully patched, but except for those updates, I am not continually loading and unloading new applications from an unclear origin. Virtually all my testing of new software is done on a second boot partition. For this reason, I have a reasonable expectation of how the primary boot partition of this machine should behave. There is merit in sticking with a solution/configuration for a while if it works well, you will be in a position to notice minor deviations from the norm.
    Now, for anyone concerned about rootkits, malware infecting your BIOS, stealth code inhabiting your video memory, or whatever the flavor of today's alarmist call is, I didn't put my answer at precisely 4.00000. I recognize there is a finite chance of being hacked. My personal opinion is that this likelyhood is extremely close to zero.... (i.e. I'm a 3.999'er).

    Let me go a bit off-topic here, and go a bit beyond being hacked, since I feel that is a non-issue.

    Those who read my posts, and have a view of my basic security package, may feel the perspective above it at variance with what I run. If so, I respectfully disagree. My main issues are maintaining uptime, performance, dealing with junkware (very irritating but not aggressively malicious adware/spyware), and with the infrequent challange from the outside. I do download programs from the internet, so I do like independent confirmation they are fine. I do occasionally run into downloaders/adware/mild spyware and the like, and I do prefer an automated approach to removing that from my machine as well as the remaining family machines. Finally, there is that point at which I get a genuine malware challenge. From my experience working with computers starting in the mid-'70's and being on the internet/ARPANET since the '80's, I've seen what I would term a serious challenge every 3-4 years. Let me repeat that, one every 3-4 years. That is the average that I've seen since the '70's. This is not hacking/rootkit type challenge, but a more mundane simple malicious piece of malware. Hacking I place at a much lower frequency simply because I've never experienced it. Does it happen? Sure, but let's put some context here. An individual PC user is a value-lean target, that implicitly sets a ceiling on the complexity and novelty of malware that one needs to operationally guard against. It simply does not make sense to devote resources in the form of a powerful and sophisticated piece of malware for so little return. For the most part, individual users need to be able to handle malware that is, excluding the zero-day case, very well characterized by the time they are exposed to it. Basic packages handle this well. If one has a public presence, say a commercial operation or a fixed controversial target (say a controversial blog), the value, if you will, ramps up significantly. Now, there are plenty of machines out there which are part of botnets and you can view these as hacked/cracked. I don't dispute that, what I do maintain is that even a minimal practice of cyber-hygiene with a standard commercial AV would completely eliminate that problem.

    I use what I view as a very strong complement of approaches to deal with the threat level I see. In terms of yearly cost, it's about $60-75/machine (i.e. a buck a week) after an initial outlay of a couple of hundred in addition to that. To me, that's an appropriate level for something that may come around every few years and put my machine off-line for a few days and require me to spend a number of hours on a rebuild. That is the frequency I expect and configure for. My main machine/partition which I'm typing this from uses NOD32/SafenSec/BOClean/and a software firewall (I flip between Outpost & LooknStop). The remaining home machines are configured similarly. There are a number of other tools available if needed, many free, some paid, and some purchased for in-depth evaluation but currently on the sidelines for a variety of reasons. I keep abreast with developments out there since I want to have my plan B in place if one of the applications I use is discontinued. It's happened before (TDS-3), it could happen again.

    Finally, in viewing this whole thing as an exercise in risk assessment and mitigation, it is useful to use health as an analogy since you are dealing with the health of your PC. For those who cringe at analogies, sorry. What do you carry health insurance for? It's not for simple cuts and bruises, it is for the infrequent out of ordinary health event which could be quite costly. How much coverage is needed? I won't tackle that, but I do know that while it is possible to run up bills in excess of $1 million, it is basically not physically possible to run up bills (for the individual) in, say, the $ 1 billion range. However, I'm sure you could get someone to provide that level of insurance, but the cost will be completely out of scope with regards to the potential payback. The case is similar with your PC, except replace insurance coverage with security directed applications. My own read is that too many people run without any coverage (who need it), and a number run with billion dollar policies which are simply unneeded. Since I can afford it, and lost time is a priority to me, I go with million dollar coverage. You can do quite well with much less. Conversely, you get the million dollar coverage, engage in behavior much riskier than I do, and do quite well in that instance as well. What you don't need is billion dollar coverage or to worry incessantly about how you would deal with that billion dollar hospital bill....

    Sorry for the length....

    Blue
     
  21. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Registered Member

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    iceni60 the stuff you mention is interesting and typical but are they of any direct relevance to the question of whether you can hack say the "afraid" Sweater's system? Given his ip?

    Why are you all so unafraid?? On average we have 2-3 links being posted that reports on either some dangerous vul found (cookies can be stolen!) , some expert commenting on a future dangerous trend (Spyware for firefox by the end of the year!) , people reporting that so and so antivirus missed a sample or is bypassed simply by hex editing or packing , outbound firewalls are easily bypassed, some sample test is posted for which you fail....

    It makes sense to be scared.
     
  22. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    Hey yeah DA "It makes sense to be scared" you're right lol

    . . .

    No i'm not afraid at all ! Afraid is the wrong word as far as i'm concerned, but i know what you meant, so that's ok. Paranoia is the fear or something happening that may never happen. Being open and aware that stuff can and sometimes does occur for all sorts of reasons, including failures of software etc, oh yeah and people, is just wise i feel. No need for fear etc.

    I have purposely visted many sites with dangerous content embedded and/or linked to further such sites. I also visit various exploit etc sites too for info. Sometimes i look at my FW logs in real time whilst i do that, and notice blocked inbounds that start to come from different IP's directed at the same ports. None have ever got through, and after a while they cease. As my ports are all stealthed they can't see me anyway, especially after i have left their sites. And as i have a dynamic IP they can't specifically target me either.

    In the last few months or so, i started to check my FW logs more often again just out of curiousity. I found that i was, and have been ever since, probed hourly every single day to the same 5 ports by many different Gov etc security services, both US and others ! Also others which you might think were innocuous on the face of it, but i've checked them out, and the're not. I believe they are fronts within innocent sounding organisations and some companys, both large and small. It might seem like the matrix etc, but it definately is happening all the time. Why they should be " appearing " to scan me, i don't know. The only way they could know my IP at any given time is with assistance from my ISP.

    One other alternative is all, and i mean ALL, those people etc are scanning those 5 specific ports across at least my ISP's whole range, and maybe others too. Why would the Mil and Gov etc etc do all that and so often and precisely the way they do it ? I actually think it's funny, as i'm not doing anything wrong, and if they or anybody else did manage somehow to break in, well they'd be very dissapointed as to what they'd find lol.

    Here's that thread with more details about it all

    The Feds and Mil just scanned me https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=115870

    DA's response "Of course among the ranks of "the unafraid" are people running some serious arsenal for protection......" It's nice to hear you agree some people are seriously protected with Apps, whoever they are, i've only got a few serious ones, but the're pretty good i think !


    StevieO
     
  23. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Registered Member

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    You are not afraid. But you are scared? Is that the word? :)


    *Yawn* yet another boast of visiting dangerous sites. Mrv does it too. So do I, so does everyone it seem on this board :).

    Still, a real good hacker just needs your ip... nothing else... If he needs to get me to download and run his stuff, what's the fun in that?

    I don't believe in stealth. You can still be seen. As for dynamic ip.....

    Wow... scary stuff xfiles stuff... lol The sky might not be falling, but it's close.
     
  24. manOFpeace

    manOFpeace Registered Member

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    As far as I'm concerned, the threat is virtually non-existent
     
  25. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    No, I have no fear.

    FEAR

    An uneasiness of mind, upon the thought of future evil likely to befall us.
    The passion of our nature which excites us to provide for our security, on the approach of evil.

    EVIL

    adj: Wicked; corrupt; perverse; wrong.
    n: All wickedness, all crimes, all violations of law and right are moral evils.

    SECURITY

    Freedom from fear or apprehension; confidence of safety;
    -----

    I've always felt that all of security starts with handling fear. It's a state of mind. There are philosophical and religious implications connected with this which I won't go into here, but just to say that for me, computer security is just another facet of overall security (confidence of safety) that I deal with in my life.

    In the state in which I grew up, you had to pass a drivers' edcuation course if you wanted your license at age sixteen. In that course, we learned how the automobile worked. That experience has stayed with me, so that today, I learn as much as possible about something new that I acquire. So, it was just natural that I took a short training session offered at the store where I bought my first computer many years ago. I also sought advice from a friend who had recently retired from working in the computer industry. I learned to apply risk assessment (a term Blue uses often) in deciding what security measures to employ.

    1) Starting with a "worst case scenario," I have insurance to replace the computer if physically destroyed or stolen; copies of all programs, and an external HD with all personal files are stored off site.

    2) Knowing that malware doesn't just "happen" - it has to install and execute - I'm confident enough that it won't, and it hasn't in 12+ years of computing.

    Only a Firewall and Deep Freeze at the moment. I keep things simple, and enjoy my computer in a peaceful state of mind with no fear.

    ----
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2006
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