Originally posted by debro
[B]Methinks the worst ones are exe's, .pif and .scr's.
The problem is that often viruses are sent with filenames like
The real issue lies in the fact that people usually have "HIDE Filename extension" turned on, by default.
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It's only a matter of time before someone starts detecting hardware firewall limitations and bugs and starts exploiting those.
I know the firmware that came with my router coes from a relatively large company. A good target audience then if they attack THAT group.
I'm curious how long it's gonna be before people start writing viruses for the symbian OS's (mobile phones). [/B]
checker and good work practices to minimise the chance of letting one slip through. The other thing that neophytes often don't realise is that the virus checker must be kept up-to-date. The annual subscription only offers a warm feeling, it's those daily updates that confer the early protection against new viruses.
Unfortunately, most of the "personal firewall" software products are weak and are really self marketing products... Let's be clear, here. A firewall won't protect from viruses, as most are carried through the firewall in email. The purpose of a Firewall is to stop active probing and prevent services that you may have open in a LAN from being exposed to the Internet. While I don't advocate not using some form of firewall protection (especially if you're on broadband), a well set-up PC, with all unnecessary network services disabled, is reasonably safe. What these personal firewalls tend to do is open all the network ports, catch all sorts of rubbish on them and report that they are thus protecting the system. A convincing ploy if you don't realise that, but for the firewall product, your PC would have ignored the packet anyway.
A good Firewall is invisible from the outside, and thus it is less likely that anyone will worry about looking for vulnerabilities in hardware firewalls.. Firstly, they cost money to purchase to investigate, and secondly, there's a much bigger target out there... unprotected Microsoft OSes. It's human nature to go for the [i]low hanging fruit[/].
In the same vein, as you also alude to, a firewall and virus checker aren't the complete answer, as any network services exposed through a firewall can be used to try buffer overflow or other exploitable weaknesses in the server application. So monitoring security patch releases for such software and putting such systems in a "Demilitarised Zone" are also important... now I'm getting really off-topic, as the latter is usually not a financial possibility in a domestic environment.
In respect of mobile phones.. There's been a few hoaxes, but AFIK, no actual viruses yet. The liklihood increases as the phones start to have more applications that connect into the computer world (email, chat, computer originated SMS). Most scams with phones are of a more simple nature, eg. Person calls at door and asks to make a phone call (excuse could be anything compelling and encapsulating sympathy - social engineering). The home owner lets them in and they make a brief call which sounds convincing... may even offer to pay for the call and give $10. When the bill arrives, it is discovered that the call was to a special service that charges several hundred dollars a minute connect time. The householder is left with no choice but to pay the phone bill. Its been done! The moral; ask for the phone number and dial it yourself or offer to make the call on their behalf and pass on a message (in Oz, services that charge fees for just calling or high rates per minute that go to the owner of the number are prefixed with 0055, so they are easily recognisable).