Opinion » Cybernaut


Hack attack



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CSS’s basic function is to stop piracy, but it also functions as a "regional coding" enforcer and ensures that viewers can’t skip the obligatory FBI warning. Regional coding means that a DVD purchased in the U.K., for example, won’t work on North American computers.

Anyhoo, the DeCSS program lets you copy a DVD to your hard drive, but since DVDs are around seven GIGs in size you can’t recopy it to a normal CD… Unless you change it to a different file format. That’s where the problems start to come in.

If you’re concerned that your computer system or network is vulnerable to hackers, here are a few sites that can help you plug up the cracks in your security system.


If you want to protect yourself against hackers, you’re going to need some professional help. This is the most comprehensive site on computer and network security on the Web, with articles covering everything you could ever want to know.


Zone Labs makes the ZoneAlarm firewall software for computers. A firewall can be either a software or hardware application whose function is to create barriers in order to prevent unauthorized access to a network.

All Internet communication is accomplished by computers exchanging little bits of information, called "packets." For the information to reach the correct destination properly, each packet must have a destination address and port number, telling it where the information is suppose to go.

Firewalls protect your computer by inspecting all the packets that come to your computer system before it reaches its destination or interacts with any of your software.

Since the firewall gets to "see" the destination information before any other software you can tell it not to reply to packets coming into blocked ports on your computer, and prevent outsiders from making connections to your computer through those ports. Basically it makes your computer look like it is turned off, because it doesn’t reply to unwanted packets.

I have been running ZoneAlarms since I got my ADSL line and it is amazing how well it really works. I block between three and 10 attempts to access to my computer daily.

At the same time, a friend who owns and operates a local server runs a hardware firewall for extra protection (since it is considerably harder to hack hardware than it is to hack software) and he logs over 600 malicious attacks a day.

Installing a firewall is one of the best ways to protect yourself from attacks online. The only thing that is safer is to stay offline, and in today’s world that’s just not an option.