Monday, August 02, 2004

More Power to the Shields, Mr. Scott

The Internet Tourbus (Hop On the Internet Tourbus!) has another good article on computer security, this time firewalls. In particular, they mention the site Gibson Research Corporation, which runs a service called SHIELDS UP!. This probes your computer, DSL router, hardware/software firewall, etc., to see how secure your installation is against hackers. I tried it, and it taught me a few things about security -- specifically, I found that my router was replying to pings, and figured out how to shut that off.

A word of warning -- as they say, these people are going to probe your computer. If you don't want them doing that, or if it's your employer's computer, not yours, and you don't have permission, then don't go through with the test. And, even though I've used it, I'm not going to say that this is totally secure, or even a Good Idea. But it's something you should consider if you are worried that your computer could be hacked. (If you run a business and don't know how to do this for yourself, you should probably seek professional help to do the tests.)

Forgot to Mention: The Tourbus guys have a tutorial on running the Shields Up! tests.