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Internet Annoyances

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2005

    some annoyances are dangerous

    For most of us, a huge value of our computers is being able to hook to the Internet. This once science fictional dream has now become an everyday reality. Alas, as this book mentions, such a reality also includes many annoying problems. One way to read this book is to divide those annoyances into two groups. The first group is the little things, like tweaking the various Microsoft Office products. The second group of annoyances can be more troublesome. Like viruses/worms and spam. Malware. Consider spam. The universal scourge. The book has a good, quick discussion of the main antispam techniques, like Bayesians or hashing. Plus advice that is a little cynical, but realistic. Like how the Can Spam act has largely proved useless. Or how you should not use naughty words in your outgoing email, to minimise chances of it being tagged as spam by your recipient's email provider. Hotspots are also discussed heavily, due to their popularity and often insecure mode of operation. There is a great danger of someone running a packet sniffer. So often, your key communications should use https, if you are engaged in sensitive matters, like using your credit card. But the book does not go into how a phisher could launch a deadlier man in the middle attack. Where she replaces the hot spot device with her own, or subverts the device's software. Then, she runs a pocket universe, where she might have copied the websites of various banks, and she directs http queries to those banks to her fake websites [pharms]. This method totally negates https. Granted, it is technically quite hard to do and so is still somewhat uncommon. But the book should warn of it, if you want to stay ahead of the curve.

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