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Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

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Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

<Start Serious Question>
Call me a geek or whatever you want, but has anyone noticed the increasing number of DoS attacks that seem to have sprung from nowhere since about the 3rd August. I for one have about 10 - 15 emails per day from my "hardware" firewall alerting me to attempted attacks, sometimes listing multiple IP's or from the same source. (I was lucky to get one per year up until now!)

Obviously this isnt helped by the use of a static address, but jesus something is going on (it's more annoying now rather than denying me any services). Surely PN must be seeing increased levels of traffic across their network.
<End of Serious Question>

<Start of Rant and complete move off on a tangent!>
I am putting this down though to the recent M$ security vulnerability and the large number of unpatched, non virus protected, spyware infested PC's that many a parent seem to ignore once they have it out of the doors of PC World, and once the Eval versions of software that the PC world staff worked so hard in providing for FREE has expired (because we all know PC World staff know what they are talking about don't we, giving such sound advice that many a punter listens carefully too - and it's such a good investment spending your money in a shop where the staff have no idea - im surprised they can tie their shoe laces)

In addition the PC has sat on a desk for a year still on it's vanilla install, whilst the person who purchased it has no comprehension of whats happening, and all because they thought it would be a good idea so they can see what the internet looks like, or their kids have pestered them so much to get one - It really annoys me the number of people who think buying a PC is just like going down to your local electical store and picking up a toaster :x they never even bother to click "windows update" or Update Virus signatures or type into a search engine, why is my pc screwed? or any sort of variation on that theme! Why is that!

It's when you get a call to have a look a their PC and one of two things are needed:

A) They don't inderstand (or rather cant be bothered understanding because it's too technical) why they have some sort of infestation or their ISP has blocked their connection, - HELLO you bought a PC, learn, invest some time... so you have to spend the next two and a half hours cleaning it up because they would sooner ask you than take it back to PC world and be charged £69.99 for a "health check" (or whatever the astronomical robbing cost is now) - hey you bought your PC there, need i say more!

B) They ask for it to be upgraded and cant understand why they have to replace half the components, because its only a year old and the guy in the shop said it was top of the range.....oh boy!

I could go on...but i think it would end up being about 20 pages...so im gonna end it here, plus it's Sunday tommorow, so i can go to PC world and annoy the hell out of the staff, by aimlessly wandering around and asking questions they are never going to answer in a million years....yes sad i know, but fun and it passes 20 minutes while im waiting for a pizza.
<Rant Over>

So there you are, a small number of people understand what im saying, and a large number are calling me fit to burn, mainly because they fall into the above category and still dont understand, I have added a poll, just to see how many do (if you can be bothered).

But back to the original point, anyone else noticed?Huh
17 REPLIES
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Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

I think you will find its a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) meaning more than one source (IP) attacking you. Due to the current Botnet craze which you can read about here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/18/pnp_worm_wars

From what i know you can request a dynamic IP system from Plusnet? But if your router/firewall is blocking these attacks out and you have updated/patched your Windows install you shouldnt be at much risk.

Hope I helped a little.

btw I agree with your stament that people buying pre-built computers with pre-installed software and dont have a clue how to use it are a danger and a risk to the rest of us.
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Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

Don't you think you are being a little too hard on those poor parents - who having been as you say been pestered - into buying a PC and who do not know what is going on inside like their television only interested in what is on the screen.
it's not them you should be going after but rather go after those with nothing better to do with their talent or new found skill, knowledge write those programs to attack the people who just want to surf the internet or leave things to their children - to have the experience they want
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Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

Quote
From what i know you can request a dynamic IP system from Plusnet?


Only available by switching to Broadband Plus at the moment.
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Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

Maybe we should point all the newbies here
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Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

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Don't you think you are being a little too hard on those poor parents - who having been as you say been pestered - into buying a PC and who do not know what is going on inside like their television only interested in what is on the screen.
it's not them you should be going after but rather go after those with nothing better to do with their talent or new found skill, knowledge write those programs to attack the people who just want to surf the internet or leave things to their children - to have the experience they want



Whilst i agree with your sentiment in these "script kiddies", ad companies and the just downright evil individuals praying (and hoping) on the unsuspecting, I do hold a certain amount of contempt (is it that obvious) for those individuals who purchase equipment without first looking into what they are actually buying, at the end of the day a PC is not that dissimilar than a pet, granted not exactly the same but it still needs looking after, a litte investment and once in a while someone taking a interest in what it is doing or how "well" it is.

I can't abide the number of times those questions or hundreds of others are asked, granted for someone like me it makes me a living but sometimes it can be a real nuisance, particularly when anything with a plug seems to fall into the category of "oh you know about that don't you", beleive it or not i have actually had someone ask about a damn vending machine while i was looking at their PC!

But back to what bothers me, like you say they are not interested in anything past the screen, and that to me is just a mentality that doesn't go well with the majority of people who actually "know", if you buy a PC you have no excuse to not at least find out what you need, now ok I am a little bias against PC world, but only because they dont help, when you can nip down to the local shop on a sunday when you are bored and be sold something you don't really need, or is extortionate, and by extortionate i dont mean the £599 reduced to £499 bargain, but rather the £499, not £599 piece of crap that you have just bought, (there are some exceptions to this) the next step is that you are surely to ask for it to a) be upgraded in 12 months, but because you didnt understand what you bought end up having to replace 75% of the components inside, b) for some poor sole to take a look, because "billy the happy penguin" wont run, and complain repeatedly because you or your kids have loaded every piece of ad invested freeware you could find in the first 4 months of its life, and you still wonder why it doesnt work!

All i am saying is SPEND SOME TIME looking into what you have or need or need to to do to keep it going.

Some hints:

A) Install some Free anti-spyware (Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware etc) and conduct regular scans

B) Install some decent AV (AVG - Free, Norton etc)

C) Install a firewall - Zonealarm etc (if you can be bothered to spend a little for $49 you can have the security suite which has AV/Antispyware and a good firewall)

D) Install a pop-up blocker - Google Bar etc

E) Dont use IE, Mozilla Firefox is a good alternative choice

F) Install a free cleaner i.e. CCLeaner for all you temp files etc.
Metalguru
Grafter
Posts: 791
Registered: 04-08-2007

Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

Yes we can all moan about the users .

But there are many other players not pulling their weight when it comes to dealing with the dangers lurking on-line.

Not just the Viruses & Trojans ........................... What about the various scams (419), rogue diallers and the sexual weirdo's.

IMHO I believe the ISP's should tighten up their act a bit.

They often have a pretty good idea where some of the bad stuff is originating from.

Pull the plug on them ............. that's what I say.

One strike and your OUT.

Of course the ISP's will say that the baddies will just sign up in another name or with another ISP.

Well if that is the case, how about some real partnership here.
Share your intelligence with other ISP's and Mr Plod.

Some will argue that the Old Bill aren't equipped to deal with on-line crime

Others will say that there isn't the appropriate legislation to deal with these miscreants.

So (for both the above) the government could also be at fault.

And good old HMG say that most of this stuff originates from abroard.

Bl**dy difficult but not impossible.

Lets look at another community where initially there was no law an order.

Take the other www ( the Wild Wild West ).

What happened there before the sheriffs started arriving on the scene?

Well, until real law and order arrived there, the locals formed their own temporary police force ............................. A few hangings by the local townsfolk tended to keep the peace, and the ocassional miscarriage of justice soon speeded up the arrival of sheriffs and judges.

Anyone wanna form an "e" posse ?

Hang Erm High :!:
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

Hi,

The online security of our customers is very important to us and while the onus is generally on the individual to ensure their PC's are secure, we want to do as much as we can ease this task with tools for the purpose.

For starters we have the anti-virus/spam protection on email, and the blocking of certain ports that are used by worms such as Blaster and SQL Slammer.

We've also set up pages on the portal with information on security as have the Tutorials Team.

Where we receive reports of people port scanning, spamming, or being infected with a virus we will contact that customer to advise them of this. Repeated reports over a longer period (we give them time to read the mail and take appropriate action first) could mean that, for example, someone with an open mail relay would have port 25 blocked until they close the relay, or the connection suspended until the PC was "cleaned".

We are also looking at what else we can offer to customers in terms of security, as previously suggested a feasability of a per customer port block is being looked into (I don't know yet if this can done easily) as well as other choices for firewall options, improvements to anti-spam and others are also being investigated.

If there are things you think we could do then by all means let us know and we can raise them. For example, is there content you'd like to see on the portal, or a tutorial that could be written?
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

Why not make up a CD that you send out with the BB equipment, to check for upto date antivirus, firewall etc, if none exists then the disk can install it.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

My only concern with that, is the CD would quickly get out of date.
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Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

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For starters we have the anti-virus/spam protection on email,


A little off topic and I doubt it is the problem but I said I would ask.Is that a possable reason that my workmate has difficulty forwarding e-mails to ie ones that have in the subject line "fwd: something" to me, or is the anti-virus/spam protection something I would need to subscribe to first?
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

I'm not really sure, when you say he has difficulties what are we talking about? And what error message/bounceback does he get?
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Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

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I'm not really sure, when you say he has difficulties what are we talking about? And what error message/bounceback does he get?


Hi Dave

I think your reply just about answers the question really..... all he knows is that they apparently leave his outbox (Outlook Express) don't get bounced back but don't arrive at the location they are supposed to.Strange but I don't personally think it is anything to do with Plusnet.But thanks for the reply
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Make Tools Available Ivan

Hello all,

Dave could the security tutorial be linked to a page on the portal where freeware software might be recommended then also be made available like in the file vault but specifically related to security.

So how about a link on the page taking you to some free anti virus programs that PN might recommend (such as Free AVG or Anti Vir or F-Prot) or freeware basic software firewalls such as ZoneAlarms free version etc. But make these downloadable from PlusNet's server so it would be a relatively local download to your customers.

**Also privacy tools like cache cleaners, spyware removal such as Ad Aware or A2 Squared?

**The benefit of this would be that versions could be kept current by PN and that PN would be actively offering tools to increase the wider security of its customers!!

Ivan
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passer
Grafter
Posts: 381
Registered: 06-04-2007

Increased DoS Attacks & Security Alerts - And The Annoya

Hi Infosec -
music to my ears! In my neighbourhood I'm "that bloke who knows a bit about computers", and am constantly being called because little Mark was just talking to his mates on MSN when one of them sent him a file called "get a load of Britney's t**s" or some such, and when he innocently clicked on it the PC went haywire and now I've got some message to someone called Larissa popping up on certain dates and I can't get on the Internet and that Task Manager thingy won't work any more". You know the scenario.
I think PCs, especially when linked with broadband/cable access, should only be available to people who have passed a test! You don't let someone drive a car without a test, you don't let someone build a house without training, you don't let someone etc. etc. etc.
I believe that before someone is let loose on a grand's worth of hardware and software, they should have to prove they actually have some kind of vague understanding of what they're buying. Mind you, at 70 quid a hit for reformatting the hard drive (sorry, I mean clearing out viruses and trojans) you can understand why PC World and co. are happy with the present state of affairs. It must generate even more revenue than those superb optional insurance opportunities..........
Anyway, I've not noticed any particular increase in DOS attacks myself (remember the thread?).
By the way, have you noticed how you can always tell when you last visited someone's PC to de-louse it? You just look at the date of the last update on all that security software you put in for them, and which they promised to update weekly..... I have to take my tablets now, and have my lie-down.