How secure are your systems from Hackers probes?
Think of a “computer port” as being just like a door on your office or house.. If it’s open, a thief can walk right in without difficulty. If it’s closed, they can try to break in. But what if it could be made invisible?
Hackers are constantly probing the Internet with tools designed to automatically find open ports on computers all over the world. As a result, I make it a habit of periodically running through a series of tests to ensure our security is up to scratch and that there aren’t any open computer doors (ports) on our network that would allow a hacker to just waltz right in.
There’s many different levels and ways to check how secure your computer is from the Internet, but the purpose of this newsletter is to show how YOU can easily do a basic test on your own systems to ensure you don’t have any “obvious” security vulnerabilities.
ShieldsUP! – Internet Vulnerability Profiling
Shields Up! is a totally free service provided by a very well known security expert in IT circles – Steve Gibson, of Gibson Research Corporation.
The site and tool is very simple to use so as long as you know how to use a web browser, you can use the tool on his site to do a basic check for security vulnerabilities on your system.
The “ideal” results of the test I’m about to point you to is to get a “Stealth” result – which basically means that for all intents and purposes, your computer is invisible from automated Port Probes to the outside world, unless a hacker already knows your Internet IP address.
Click here -> Our Sheilds Up Results – to download and see a condensed PDF version of our own recent scan results (IP Information Removed)
To run the same free & simple test on YOUR computer, click the following link and follow the instructions below..
(If the above link fails to work for some reason, type Shields Up into the Google search engine and click what should be the first link, titled "ShieldsUP! - Home of Gibson Research Corporation")
- Once the web site loads, read the information presented and Click on the Proceed button
- About a third of the way down the next page, a rectangular box will appear named SheildsUP!! Services – Click on the “All Service Ports” button below the boxes name to initiate a vulnerability scan of the most commonly searched for ports that many hacker tools scan the Internet for..
- The ShieldsUP! site will now begin to start a TrueStealth Analysis and start scanning the first 1056 ports on your computer and Internet connection for vulnerabilities or open doors. After about a minute or so, you’ll get a whole page full of information about the results of the scan.
Interpreting the results
It’s important to know that if you don’t get a nice green “PASSED” stamp and perfect score right away, don’t panic!
Most systems will have a few ports show up as closed (blue squares) and that’s generally fine.
The only thing you really need to worry about is if you get any “Red” boxes in the tests.
The meanings of the colours in the test results are as follows;
- GREEN BOX – The Port is in Stealth Mode and Invisible to most port scanners that hackers tend to use. This is the ideal result you’re looking for.
- BLUE BOX – The port is visible to scanners and can be found/seen by scanners, but the door is closed. Although this makes your computer easily found on the Internet, it’s still fine for most ports and nothing to really worry about. The door is closed and locked.
- RED BOX – Any boxes marked red means an Open Door and indicates your system is vulnerable to attacks if scanned and found and should not be ignored. Should you get any RED results in the test, read the information the site gives you on what the problem is and what steps you can take to correct it if you feel comfortable enough to attempt to fix the problem yourself.
Alternatively, contact us for advice on how to secure your system. We’ll be more than happy to help get you secure.
I hope the above information has proven helpful.
Till the next time…