Advice from one who should know
 
PC World has an article providing some good general advice from an admitted hacker about how to secure your machines. This hacker was caught, so you might question his intelligence and hence his advice, but what he say makes sense, and it certainly comes from one who should know.
 
Gary McKinnon got caught because he was using a graphical remote control tool (perhaps VNC) and the user whose machine he was controlling was apparently at the computer at the time, or someone noticed the computer doing things on the screen with no one there. Not too bright, but it’s a good story to go with Gary’s first piece of advice: turn your computer off if you’re not using it. (Other options would be putting it to sleep, or at least disconnecting it from the Internet).
 
Other pieces of advice from one who should know (the first two apply more to security at work than at home):
 
  1.  Watch out for people bringing in portable devices like iPods and copying data off your computer.
  2.  Store log files on off-site servers where possible, since hackers often try to modify log files to cover their tracks.
  3.  Be sure to enable password protection and use good passwords (where have you heard that one before?)
  4.  Use anti-virus software and firewalls (that one too!)
Friday, April 28, 2006