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Securing Your Home Network

Posted in Firewalls

Introduction

Most people who use computers these days have had to deal with a security issue of some kind – whether they are aware of it or not. Everyone has been infected by one of the many worms or viruses floating around the Internet, or have had someone use your password. Most home computer users are victims of attacks that they have no idea about.

For example, certain programs called ‘spyware' come packaged into seemingly friendly programs you download, this spyware can do any one of a number of things, though most often they send your personal information (such as name and email address) and information about what sites you visit to certain companies.

Locking Windows

Posted in Firewalls

Introduction

Static IPs are part of the persistent-connection problem, but Windows itself is also to blame. (Consumer editions of Windows, anyway--NT and Windows 2000 are a different game entirely.) Windows 95 and 98 are full of security gaps. Here are a few things you should do to close them up.

DoS & DDoS Attacks

Posted in Firewalls

Introduction

In this section we are going to have a quick look at DoS and DDoS attacks, how they are performed and why they attract so much attention ! We won't be getting into much detail as we are just trying to give everyone a better understanding of the problem.

 

Denial of Service Attacks

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks can be a serious federal crime with penalties that include years of imprisonment and many countries have laws that attempt to protect against this. At the very least, offenders routinely lose their Internet Service Provider (ISP) accounts, get suspended if school resources are involved, etc.

There are two types of DoS attacks:

1) Operating System attacks: Which target bugs in specific operating systems and can be fixed with patches.

2) Networking attacks: Which exploit inherent limitations of networking and may require firewall protection.

Firewall DMZ Zone

Posted in Firewalls

Introduction

The De-Militarized Zone, or DMZ, is an expression that comes from the Korean War. There, it meant a strip of land forcibly kept clear of enemy soldiers. The idea was to accomplish this without risking your own soldiers' lives, thus mines were scattered throughout the DMZ like grated Romano on a plate of fettucine :) The term has been assimilated into the networking world, without the cheese :)

Another meaning to the term DMZ Zone is a portion of your network which, although under your control, is outside your heaviest security. Compared to the rest of your network, machines you place in the DMZ are less protected, or flat-out unprotected, from the Internet.

Once a machine has entered the DMZ, it should not be brought back inside the network again. Assuming that it has been compromised in some way, bringing it back into the network is a big security hazard.


Use of the DMZ

If you decide to build one, what do you do with it? Machines placed in the DMZ usually offer services to the general public, like Web services, domain name services (DNS), mail relaying and FTP services (all these buzzwords will be explained next). Proxy servers can also go in the DMZ. If you decide to allow your users Web access only via a proxy server, you can put the proxy in the firewall and set your firewall rules to permit outgoing access only to the proxy server.

Firewall Topologies

Posted in Firewalls

Introduction

In this section we are going to talk about the different ways a firewall can be set up. Depending on your needs, you can have a very simple firewall setup which will provide enough protection for your personal computer or small network, or you can choose a more complicated setup which will provide more protection and security.

Let's have a look starting from the simple solutions, and then move on to the more complicated ones. Just keep in mind we are not talking about a firewall which is only a piece of software which runs on the same computer you use to connect to the internet and do your work, but we are talking about a physical computer which is a dedicated firewall.

CCENT/CCNA

Cisco Routers

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