Introduction to web security

 

Knowledge is power. Learn how to keep your business well protected. Find out about Spyware, Viruses and Firewalls. For personal assistance with keeping your organisation safe from malicious online threats, please contact our expert team on 1300 133 888.

Connexus is working hard to keep your connection to the Internet as productive and enjoyable as possible. As part of Connexus’ dedication to a high quality of service we are proud to present the Security Advisory Service Team.

Staff

Connexus has trained a section of our technical support department to participate in the Security Advisory Service.

What does the Security Advisory Service team do?

Using various technologies developed by Connexus (detailed below) our friendly staff will actively contact all customers in the event of their computers/network being compromised by Viruses, Trojans, malware, spyware (where detectable from our network), open relay mail servers etc.
Our consultants will give you the name of the virus, if available, which will aide in the removal of the virus from your computer.
Connexus participates in many contributed internet projects that report on suspicious network activity and addresses ALL emails referred to us by other ISPs worldwide who recognise problems originating from our IP space (just as we alert other ISPs contributing to these projects).

Technology

Using the latest technology Connexus is endeavouring to bring you a more productive and hassle free internet experience by using, amongst others, the following detections devices:

  • Multiple commercial Anti-Virus Engines at the server side (checking email before it even gets to you)
  • Netflow analysis and suspicious network activity detection on our Cisco routers and flow capturing machines.
  • Anti-SPAM technology including username harvesting attacks
  • Detailed log analysis from our SafeMail server cluster reporting hourly to our Security Advisory staff when customer networks are sending suspicious quantities of email, email content containing SPAM or Virus content, or a high volume of content addressed to non-existent recipients. We actively alert customers to these problems as they arise.

Connexus Internet provides this unique and proactive service free to our customers in an effort to reduce the amount of detrimental emails entering your email inbox and corrupting your system.

Detection

How you can identify a Virus/Malware on your system:

  • Has your connection slowed down recently?
  • Are you paying for extra usage on a regular basis?
  • Friends and colleagues complain of virus emails coming from your email address?

If you answered yes to one or more of the questions you may be infected with a Trojan or Worm.
A slow connection can be the result of an infected computer sending out large numbers of emails with copies of the Trojan attached. As a result of this increase in outbound traffic you will possibly go over your monthly usage thereby incurring extra usage charges.

Proactive is better than reactive: What you can do

Anti-virus programs will not detect most Worms or Trojans, you will need to install and run anti-Spyware products such as Adaware and SpyBot.

  • Adware / Spyware
  • Virus / Worms
  • Firewalls

Time Check

To keep tabs on your ADSL internet usage, go to the Connexus website and log into the MyAccounts page. Click the Time Check link to find out how much data you are using on a daily basis. (Note: This is not a real time monitor).

What is SpyWare?

Spyware is a program that is designed to collect information about the internet habits of a user, usually without their knowledge or consent. The data collected is then sent to the creator(s) of the spyware in order to gain a profit from it in some way.

How do they get onto my computer?

There are a couple of ways that spyware can install itself on your computer. The first way is by downloading some shareware or freeware programs. Unfortunately not all shareware is legitimate so you need to be careful about what you download.

Another method spyware uses to install itself is to utilise security flaws in Internet Explorer.

Tips and programs to remove them

To ensure this does not happen to you it is advised that you keep your Operating System up-to-date so that all flaws and security holes are dealt with, of course if you are using a different browser or not running Windows this may not apply.
Also available are programs like Adaware and Spybot.

What is a Virus?

Usually a destructive program designed to either damage a computer or send copies of itself out via various mean to other machines.
Viruses can infect your Computer via a number of methods. The most common method is via email, usually as an attachment but sometimes by opening the email itself.

Tips and programs to help keep your computer healthy

Never open emails that have attachments from people you don’t know. If you don’t know the sender of an email it will more than likely be SPAM or an email containing a virus.

Purchase anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. All anti-virus programs have a automatic/live update feature that will update your virus profile when you are online. During times when there is a new and aggressive virus travelling the Internet you will want to have the live-update updating almost hourly.

There are a number of anti-virus programs available of which below are just a few;

  • Nortons Anti-virus
  • VET
  • McAfee

What is a worm?

Unlike a virus which becomes part of a program to replicate, a worm is a self contained program that runs itself. A worm doesn’t solely require email to propagate but can exploit security flaws in your Operating System or Internet Explorer.

How to protect yourself from Worms

Keeping your computers Operating System up-to-date is the best was to prevent your system becoming infected with worms. If you are running Windows 98 through to XP you can set Windows to automatically notify you when there is a critical update to be made for the Operating System. (check your Windows Help file for more details).

What is a Firewall?

Whether it be software or hardware, a firewall acts as a device to protect your computer from malicious attacks from the Internet. A personal firewall is a piece of software that is loaded onto your computer, such as the list of free firewall software below, designed to control the flow of data to your computer.

Why have a firewall?

It has become necessary for every computer user to have a firewall on their PC in order to keep out unwanted connections. If you have a computer connected to the internet you MUST have some form of firewall protection, especially if you are an ADSL/Broadband user.

In order to keep your PC safe you will need to close all unnecessary ports, for example don’t have port 21 open if you are not intending to run an ftp server. Of course most personal firewalls do this for you and there is little to no interaction needed most of the time.

Below are links to just some of the personal firewall software that is available to computer users.