Sunday, February 05, 2006

Staying away from Phishing

Today I'll be talking about one of the biggest things to hit Email, phishing. And no, I'm not spelling it wrong, when we talk about the Internet term, it's spelled with a "ph". Phishing is when people (or a company) send out Emails (works a lot like spam) asking for the user to update personal information such as passwords or credit cards, but the link they provide you in the email is a fake.

It's likely that the links provided in the Email are fake also. They may bring you to a "mock-up" version of some companies website. I remember sometime this year they made a fake Yahoo! website. It'll trick you into submitted personal information such as your name, address, and even your credit card number. One way is looking at the address. It is common sense to know that if a website is trying to mimik another company, it's fake. For example, is not the same as (although Yahoo! owns Sometimes it's easy to know that this Email is phishing. Look at this screenshot from my Gmail:

Damn PayPal Emails!

I don't even have a PayPal account. Luckily, Gmail has a built-in AntiPhishing protection system is it will remove any links in the Email to protect you. Since Gmail has such a great spam filter, this Email didn't even reach my Inbox. But you want to know how to protect yourselve? Here's how:
  1. Look for a personal greeting of some sort. Most companies will only address you by your full name and not just as "User" or "Member".
  2. Never, and I mean NEVER give out your personal information over Email. Sometimes you don't know who might read it. If the Email looks like it is really from the company, visit the companies website and look for some form of contact. If you need to, call them or Email them with the Email address they provide. Companies shouldn't even be asking for personal information over Email anyways!
  3. Do NOT download any of the attachments in the Email unless you are 120% sure it's safe and you know it's from someone you know (like close friends or family). Trust no one.
If you think you are a victim of a phishing attack, change your password on the official company website and report the phishing scam to the official company. Should you have been fooled into giving away your credit card, contact your credit card company and have it locked out.

If you need a AntiPhishing tool, I suggest the Netcraft Toolbar (works with both Firefox and Internet Explorer. Microsoft also has an AntiPhishing toolbar for Internet Explorer and there's a built-in AntiPhishing program in Internet Explorer 7.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

It's Alive!

Greetings everyone, my name is Alex Morganis and I run the AMCP Tech Blog. I was invited by Kent to start posting here again. I know that IntSecure hasn't been touched in months, but I'm head over heels excited to be working on this blog. Expect some really great posts focused on, you guessed it! Computer Security.

Until next time,


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Back for Now

IntSecure Logo
Hello visitors just wanted to post again in some of my spare time to explain to why we are not posting as much. We've decided to open up a main site and are currently working hard on the design and content.

The main site will have such features as
  • Security Software Reviews
  • Help Forums
  • More Quality Content
  • Dictionary of Comptuer Terms
  • User Polls
and much more....

You can visit the new site here:
(But you will have to be patient and give the DNS's some time to propegate the site across the net.)

We are looking forward to posting again and hearing from you all!

The IntSecure Team

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Covering Your Tracks

Whenever you browse the internet no matter what browser you use, you leave tracks on your computer which can tell anyone looking in the right spots, exactly where you have been and in some cases, what you have been doing there. This is why you need to clean up after yourself if you are using a public computer and also if you think someone might be spying on what websites you visit.

The remnants of websites you visit include the temporary internet files, cookies, and just a simple list of all the websites you visited. Temporary Internet Files consist of files downloaded from sites including images and actual content pages. For example when you visit any website, while the page is loading all the images and text that you see, is downloaded onto your computer so that you can view it. You can find out exactly what cookies are here.

Its easy to clear up this trail left behind by simply activating the browsers cleanup function or by disabling it entirely. This differs from browser to browser so you will just have to explore to find out where to go exactly. But doing this does not always remove everything you would like it to, as some cookies and files can be left over. Which is why I would recommend using a 3rd party application like Webroot Window Washer.

This program will assist you in cleaning up all the recent activities, and not only those which are associated with browsing the internet. This program does all of the following:
  • Safely and easily deletes extraneous files and folders that clog your computer's hard drive. This frees up space to increase PC performance.
  • Cleans up free space so fragments of previously deleted files are removed.
  • Allows you to choose the cookies you want to keep to optimize your Internet experience.
  • Instantly detects and cleans hundreds of popular programs.
  • Includes "bleach" as an added security measure that completely overwrites files, making recovery impossible.
  • Safely and effectively erases the contents of your hard drive so that you can donate or sell your computer with the knowledge that your private data is protected.
There are also many other programs out there that can do similar things, so Google it and have a look around. Let me know if you find any programs you think are worthy.

Monday, June 13, 2005

"Routing" for Dial-up Security

We had an email recently regarding the "Routing" for Security post, and the question was if you could use a router on a dial-up connection. The response was large enough that it warranted its own post. The original question was:
Concerning your blog on June 6 "Routing" for Security
Is it possible and or advisable to use a router on a
dial-up connection?
Thank you for your response.
Yes it is possible and advisable if you can get your hands on the hardware. While it isn't possible to use today's broadband or Cable/DSL routers for a dial-up connection as they do not have the required hookups, there are products out there that support what you are looking for. The market these days is obviously not geared towards dial-up internet access and therefore little support to no support exists and it could be tricky to get your hands on some decent hardware.

Webramp is a company which used to manufacture just what you were looking for until they were bought out by Nokia. Located here ( click on any of the products under the analog heading. These are dial-up routers. You can no longer purchase these unfortunately, but if you have a search on eBay you can usually come across one of these products or other similar ones made by other manufacturers like 3Com.

One thing to watch for though, is that some of these products require you to have an external modem with a serial DB-9 or a serial DB-25 connection in order for it to work. Mainly the Webramp products have this requirement while 3Com normally has a modem built directly into
the router itself.

I found this product by SMC ( which is actually a broadband router with a dial-up backup. I'm sure this could just be used as a router for dial-up but it does also require an external modem. This product is still being sold on Amazon but I would only recommend using this if more appropriate hardware cannot be found.

My best recommendation though, is that you have a look on eBay for a "dial-up router" and a "dialup router". I have included both those quotations to use as a search query on eBay as they bring up different results depending on how the seller spells dial-up. You may also try modifying those searches more too. I saw a 3Com dial-up router with 2 built in dial-up modems which might be the best option, however I have not actually used these products myself so I
cannot guarantee any success. I just hope this gives you a little more information and a place to start if you are seriously considering this.

There is also one other option, but it would require some advanced knowledge concerning networks. It would be to use an older PC that you may have kicking around somewhere and installing some proxy software on it that would act as the router. You would connect your modem and all the required hardware for your dial-up internet access and also you would connect your personal computer to it through a regular RJ-45 network connection. This option as I said though, would require a lot of knowledge in order to get the proxy software setup and working properly.

It was a good question because you would normally think that getting a router for a dial-up connection is pointless because the main feature of a router is to share one internet connection between multiple computers. I would image that if you did attempt to share a dial-up connection between 2 or more computers that it would become really slow, but if you look at the security features of a router, and depending on its price it could be a very beneficial purchase.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Cookie Security Internet Explorer

This post is a follow up to Learning and Understanding Cookies where I explained how the internet uses cookies to store personal data of websites. Today I will explain how you can partake in safe cookie exchanging among websites. We will look through privacy settings of our web browsers and learn how they will help keep us safe.

Settings in Internet Explorer

Navigate to Internet Options by either opening Internet Explorer>Tools in the top menu bar>click Internet Options


My Computer>Control Panel>Switch to Classic Mode button on sidebar>Internet Options

In internet options we want to click on the privacy tab to locate our cookie settings. You screen will look something like this :

Privacy Tab
From here we see a slider bar that lets us navigate to 6 settings but before you understand how these settings work you must be educated on first and third party cookies.

First Party Cookies: These cookies are left on your machine by the host website you are visiting at the moment. So for example if you visit and you get a cookie from them called internetwebsites.txt

Third Party Cookies: These cookies are left on your machine by another website one that you are not visiting at the time. For example you are visiting and you get a cookie from called anotherwebsite.txt this is a third party cookie. This cookies are usually present through advertising on the site from another website.

Compact Cookie Privacy Policy: Part of website code that contains privacy statement stating how the cookie is to be used.

So your goal is to pick a setting in the privacy tab that best matches your security needs while browsing the internet. Basically you want to make sure third party cookies have compact cookie privacy policies and you want to make sure this cookie isn't trying to get access to personal information stored on your computer. You also want to make sure first party cookies ask for consent before trying to use personal identifiable information. I believe medium or medium high are good settings to pick providing you have a spyware scanner to protect you from such bad cookies as the Atlas cookie, Bluestreak cookie, and Passport cookie.

I am currently testing out some software for better cookie protection and will share it with you once I am concluded the testing.

If you want more information check out this link

Cookie FAQ

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Blogging About Blogs

We are listed at Blogging About Blogs a great site that identifies great blogs on the internet. I suggest you check it out and view all the great work and effort people put into their blogs. Thanks to Ken the webmaster of the site please visit through this link:
Listed on BlogsCanada Blogwise - blog directory
Blogarama - The Blog Directory Find Blogs in the Blog Directory
blog search directory
Listed in LS Blogs