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Old 05-13-2008, 05:37 AM   #21
sreigle
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If I may add one thing to what Rich said, never, ever, click a link in an email to log into your account on any site. Any site. Rarely does a legitimate email include a link to log on to an account. A few do, though. Generally, if you understand what a url looks like and what redirection means, if you hover your cursor over the link in an email you'll see whether it is going to a legitimate site. In any case, it is far safer to use your browser to log into the site to see if you really do need to update your information.
 
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:30 AM   #22
richfaa
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With the "proper Equipment" and technology and money..all kinds of eavesdropping and hacking is possible..Governments do it on a regular basis.
I held a top secret crypto clearance in the Federal Government for many years on the technical and administrative side so I have a tiny bit of Knowledge on how this stuff works. Anything can be hacked..

however

SSL uses public-key encryption to exchange a session key between the client and server; this session key is used to encrypt the http transaction (both request and response). Each transaction uses a different session key so that even if someone did manage to decrypt a transaction, that would not mean that they would have found the server's secret key; if they wanted to decrypt another transaction, they'd need to spend as much time and effort on the second transaction as they did on the first. Of course, they would have first have to have figured out some method of intercepting the transaction data in the first place, which is in itself extremely difficult. It would be significantly easier to tap your phone, or to intercept your mail to acquire your credit card number than to somehow intercept and decode Internet Data.

Servers and browsers do encryption ranging from a 40-bit secret key to a 128-bit secret key, that is to say '2 to the 40th power' or '2 to the 128th power'. Many people have heard that 40-bit is insecure and that you need 128-bit to keep your credit card info safe. They feel that using a 40-bit key is insecure because it's vulnerable to a "brute force" attack (basically trying each of the 2^40 possible keys until you find the one that decrypts the message). This was in fact demonstrated when a French researcher used a network of fast workstations to crack a 40-bit encrypted message in a little over a week. Of course, even this 'vulnerability' is not really applicable to applications like an online credit card transaction, since the transaction is completed in a few moments. If a network of fast computers takes a week to crack a 40-bit key, you'd be completed your transaction and long gone before the hacker even got started.

Of course, using a 128-bit key eliminates any problem at all because there are 2^128 instead of 2^40 possible keys. Using the same method (a networked of fast workstations) to crack a message encrypted with such a key would take significantly longer than the age of the universe using conventional technology. Remember that 128-bit is not just 'three times' as powerful as 40-bit encryption. 2^128 is 'two times two, times two, times two...' with 128 two's. That is two, doubled on itself 128 times. 2^40 is already a HUGE number, about a trillion (that's a million, million!). Therefor 2^128 is that number (a trillion), doubled over and over on itself another 88 times. Again, it would take significantly longer than the age of the universe to crack a 128-bit key.

Key Size
Possible Key Combinations
2-bit 2^2 2x2 = 4
3-bit 2^3 2x2x2 = 8
4-bit 2^4 2x2x2x2 = 16
5-bit 2^5 2x2x2x2x2 = 32
6-bit 2^6 2x2x2x2x2x2 = 64
7-bit 2^7 2x2x2x2x2x2x2 = 128
8-bit 2^8 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 = 256
9-bit 2^9 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 = 512
10-bit 2^10 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 = 1024
11-bit 2^11 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2... = 2048
12-bit 2^12 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2... = 4096
16-bit 2^16 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2... = 65536
24-bit 2^24 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2... = 16.7 million
30-bit 2^30 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2... = 1 billion (1,073,741,800)
40-bit 2^40 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2... = 1 trillion (1,097,728,000,000)
56-bit 2^56 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2.... = 72 thousand quadrillion (71,892,000,000,000,000)
128-bit 2^128 2 multiplied by 2
128 times over. = 339,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
(give or take a couple trillion...)

Doing the math, you can see that using the same method that was used to break 40-bit encryption in a week, it would take about 72 million weeks (about 1.4 million years) to even break '56-bit medium' encryption and significantly longer than the age of the universe to crack a 128-bit key. Of course the argument is that computers will keep getting faster, about doubling in power every 18 months. That is true, but even when computers are a million times faster than they are now (about 20 years from now if they double in speed every year), it would then still take about 6 thousand, trillion years, which is about a million times longer than the Earth has been around. Plus, simply upgrading to 129-bit encryption would take twice as long, and 130-bit would take twice as long again. As you can see, it's far easier for the encryption to keep well ahead of the technology in this case. Simply put, 128-bit encryption is totally secure.( well now.. I wouldn't say that?????)(Rich)

Oh and would you like to tune in to cell phone conversations all over the world..with the proper equipment..you can do it. How to information available on the internet

http://www.privateline.com/PCS/Frequencies.htm


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Old 05-14-2008, 08:46 AM   #23
PowellsMonty
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What in the heck did Rich just say?
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:56 AM   #24
richfaa
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You see..you see..If that is hard to understand think of how hard it is to hack your system... I don't even know what I said.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:16 PM   #25
MacDR50
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LOL Mike. That was some technical eh. JK Richfaa.

Back in the 1980's exporting high encryption software such as PGP was banned. It isn't now, leading me to believe that "Big Brother" has it licked. For those who like the conspiracy genre here is a bit of interesting reading.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON

Now here is a link which isn't theory but fact and it explains why unsecured wireless is not a good thing.

http://ncecc.ca/fact_sheets/wireless_network_e.htm

If you doubt this I can attest to at least one instance. I wasn't going to share this but I changed my mind. A neighbour was using my S-I-L's unsecured router to participate in some pretty disgusting newsgroups. The technician from the cable company who installed her router left it wide open. I discovered this while trying to find out why her usage was going over her monthly plan limit. I installed a router monitor (Wallwatcher)and was surprised when I saw the results. I should have checked the router security right from the start but didn't. When I visited some of the sites that showed up in the URL log I quickly realized what had been happening. A quick change to the router settings and the network was secured. Since the router doesn't have a significant range, Wireless "G", it was a close neighbour but no way of telling which one.

If you have an unsecured router secure it please. If you don't know how, ask and I will assist you.

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Old 05-14-2008, 03:41 PM   #26
richfaa
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Yea..That was mouthful..Of course it did not come out of my mouth..The internet said it.
I was a assistant network administrator for awhile in a large organization and we could, of course see what everyone was doing. It is very spooky out there..
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:16 PM   #27
Waynem
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Rich,
With 12,000+ workstations, at my last place of work, we monitored the networks for all kinds of things. Pictures would come streaming by and at the push of a button, tell me the IP address, user, and all kinds of information and give me a listing of all URL's within the past 6 months that the user had visited, along with all pictures in thumbnail size, clickable to expand. All is in the name of security (and possible policy violations) Big Brother CAN be watching.

But of course, you had to have access to the network firewall to do this.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:29 PM   #28
dsprik
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Yes, but can you guys ballroom dance???

Hah! Didn't think so!!!

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Old 05-14-2008, 06:03 PM   #29
Waynem
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Yes I Can!!! So there!

Edited: I also can multi-task, so I can talk about wireless and tick people off at the same time.

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Old 05-14-2008, 07:03 PM   #30
dsprik
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Great Wayne! Now THAT is multitalented. Should I be looking for you next season on Dancing With the Stars?

I am currently using a KR1 router (Alltel aircard) with my two laptops and I am not secured. I am trying to get a hold of someone who can speak English (w/o the strong Indian accent) with Kyocera. Also, I know I need a software/firmware upgrade.

I do not like being unsecured...
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Old 05-15-2008, 02:40 AM   #31
richfaa
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Dave..You are secured..you are not password protected..You can do that yourself..it is in the operation setup manual. I could use your system being a couple of campers down from you at MM because I needed no PSW to get into your system but I could not see what you were doing.Would need that "special equipment" for that It is not difficult to Password protect your router..
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:16 AM   #32
dsprik
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That router I was using at our CG, Rich, was a standard router with an incoming internet signal from the cable company. I lost my cd that came with it and the manual said to insert that cd to begin the encryption process. I will just buy a new router before next fall when we head back to FL. Then I can try and secure that at that time. I may borrow you if I have trouble with that.

This summer, I am using an Alltel aircard with a Kyocera KR1 router. We are in hi speed EVDO land here. I don't know what difference these two routers would be to secure, but I just fired up this one and I don't believe I have the manual. I will try to get the info online before calling India to get Kyocera help...
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:04 AM   #33
Waynem
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Internet security is a subject that goes so deep that no one individual has all the answers. Nor, do I believe does any one corporate entity. However, there is one organization that does give some very good "guidlines" on Internet Security. That is the National Security Agency. Rather than bore you with my limited knowledge, and since I worked indirectly for the NSA when active duty, let me just provide y'all with a link for those rainy days.

Security Configuration Guides

Just remember that security is only as strong as its weakest link.

Ah! Heck! Let me bore you. In the late 80's, early 90's, Instant Messaging was the "rave." There was one corporate organization that provided a small download package that allowed two workstations to communicate with each other via text messaging. (We take it for granted today) Everyone was jumping on the Instant Messaging bandwagon, including the organization I worked for, but WITHOUT permission from the Chief Information Officer in charge of networks security. Our firewalls were very good. We could, through network logs, tell who was using the program. We could not block the port that was being used because the program had an automatic feature which would select an unused port up to 65,535.

Here lies the problem. The IP Range of the provider was well publicized. Any one could TELNET to the IP that was having two way IM and be into the network of the sending computer. No special equipment was needed.

We ended up blocking the entire corporate network until they had it straightened out.

In this case, the providing corporate network was "THE WEAKEST LINK."

The only secure computer is one that is placed inside a vault, without an outside connection, the combination destroyed, and a 24 hour guard placed outside the vault.

I believe it was Robert Morris who made a statement in context of above. Robert Morris was the "inventor" of the first Internet worm.

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Old 05-15-2008, 07:53 AM   #34
richfaa
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Dave..I think that if you go online for the KR1 router you can download the manual??
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:58 AM   #35
sreigle
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Ah, yes, NSA. Ft. Meade, MD. It would be interesting (maybe scary) to be able to see what actually goes on there. NSA was my Uncle's last duty station while on active duty. He then returned to work there as a civil servant, retiring again. But, of course, he would tell us absolutely nothing about what he did there or what went on. All I know is he was a Navy Radioman. And lived in Odenton, MD.
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:02 AM   #36
richfaa
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We worked with these guys all the time.Crypto came under their jurisdiction.Just your ordinary every day spooks.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:06 AM   #37
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Lets do a little "How it happens review" with the typical wireless router. John Doe user buys a second computer for the house or just wants to be able to use his notebook anywhere he wants without running wires through walls. He goes down to his local electronics store and buys a wireless router. He opts for the newest "Wireless "N"" to get max. range. Once he gets it home he runs the installation wizard or a similar application that helps him get it up and running. Unplugged and happy John heads for the John to do some serious surfing on his notebook. Now while he is blissful in his new realm of wireless access, unaware to him, Harry Hacker is parked on the street scanning for wireless routers that are not secured. He finds John's broadcasting the default SSID used by the manufacturer with open access still enabled. He logs on, opens his browser and types in the URL for the router. Bingo! Sure enough John hasn't changed the username or password for the router administrator access. Now Harry has access to the
router. He now can redirect ports to his computer or even change John's connection to pass through a proxy server. John meanwhile is on a popular P2P program looking for music. Harry intercepts one download and substitutes or adds a stealth install keylogger file that will install in background when John tries to play the song. Of course John always signs on to his computer with administrator privileges. His player simply reports that the file can't be played and John figures it got corrupted. He tries a re-download and sure enough it works. Harry then puts everything back as it was because now every keystroke that John makes on his notebook is being logged and sent in spaced packets to Harry. Harry doesn't bother reading all John's keystrokes. He has a Bot to do that. It looks for certain combinations such as birthdates, phone numbers and numbers that have 12 or more digits. These are most likely passwords (we all use our Aunt Jane's birth date)bank account, credit card and similar numbers. He then simply has the Bot print out the previous and subsequent 100 keystrokes. Since a keylogger sits before any encryption software, everything is in plain English.

As to firewalls, unless you turn them to the highest level of security, i.e. every web access requires positive permission from you every time something goes out or into your computer and can reognize a fake site, they are a piece of cake to defeat in the scenario above. When you hit, "Permit this site from now on" you also mean permit anything that spoofs this site. Since Harry can catch what he wants he can catch the necessary security certificate, cookie or whatever and the URL of the site you allowed. Redirecting a URL and URL spoofing is child's play for beginners. Harry is now in past your firewall and your computer is pretty much wide open.

Solution:

1. Change your router's SSID and then turn off it being broadcast.
2. Use your router's network password security feature preferably WPA not WEP. WPA2 is supported in XP service pack 3.
3. Change your router's Administrator User ID and password.
4. When you surf, sign into your computer using an account with user privileges only. It will prevent the installation of programs by all but the most determined hacker.
5. Make sure your Anti-spyware program checks for keyloggers.
6. Run your anti-spyware and anti-virus scanner on everything you download before opening the file.

Since hacking your computer may not pay big dividends Harry might move-on instead of spending time beating your defences.

I am setting up an access point for the CG where I have a seasonal site. It will be secured. It will also have a monitor set-up to view sites visited. This CG is run by the Shriners and they want to make sure they don't inadvertently assist in illegal activities.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:56 AM   #38
richfaa
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The above is all so true,,and it only takes maybe 15 mins to implement the solutions suggested.It is just that so many of us have no clue. I alway got a kick out of the Snow bird Rv'ers lurking around the outside walls of campgrounds and parking lots looking for wi fi signals they could pirate.Even ran into one dunderhead that was so proud of his skills that he had published a list of wi fi sites were folks could steal a signal.. Easy pickings for the data thief..set up a unsecrued wi fi point...and they will come.. I did not have the heart to enlighten him...he was so proud of his stupidity.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:23 PM   #39
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Steve, way back when, they were called radiomen. Now they are called Communications Technician, and there are different categories of them. Radiomen are still a viable asset to the fleet, but they are general service radio operators. The Communications Technicians are affectionately called "spooks."

What we could not talk about many years ago, is now common knowledge and it was called: Signals Intelligence

It makes you wonder what they are keeping to themselves now-a-days, doesn't it?
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:43 PM   #40
sreigle
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Thanks, Wayne. In my Navy days they were still Radiomen, but that was a long time ago. My Dad was a Radioman First in WWII. My Uncle retired as a Master Chief Radioman. I got us off topic so will cease and desist on this thread.
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