Most people will not have File and Printer sharing enabled on their home computers. However, they may still have other vulnerabilities. Windows XP comes with web server and remote administration disabled by default. Look into ; rapid default detection.
And then there are those port scanner programs hackers use, scanning the Internet for vulnerable PCs. Some sites, such as Shields Up, make great play of this, especially having the key Netbios ports 135-139 open, but fail to clearly explain exactly what hackers can do with them.
More Random Default Detection Stuff
The fact is that even though a hacker did interrogate these ports, all they would retrieve is your computer and workgroup name, along with its description-no big deal for a stand alone home system. Still, you may wish to close these ports anyway. To go deeper into hidden defect detection, take a look at that blog.
There are also personal firewall programs which can find and stop attempted probes into your system. Windows XP comes with a firewall by default. However, this is a one way firewall. A more secure, and free firewall is zone alarm. If you’re a novice its best to stick with the default Windows firewall, but if you are a more advanced user and familiar with most technical details on your computer then you may consider it best to install a more secure firewall like Zone Alarm, or something else.
Upon Further Consideration…
Firewalls can detect and stop probes into your system. If your system is properly secured, any probes will have no effect at all, so all the firewall is doing is telling you about them. It’s better to spend time checking your computer’s security rather than spend money on a firewall.
PC Tools Firewall Plus is a powerful free personal firewall for Windows that protects your computer by preventing unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer through the Internet or a network. By monitoring applications that connect to the network Firewall Plus can stop Trojans, keyloggers, backdoors, and other malware from damaging your computer and stealing your private information.
Outpost Firewall Free gives you solid firewall protection with standard packet and application filtering to safeguard your data against unauthorized third parties. In addition, you get advanced protection against illegal program activity that will help stymie unknown threats. All this coupled with minimal impact on your system resources makes Outpost Firewall Free a must-have instrument for an unprotected PC.
Anyone who knows about Trojans will realize that it is not entirely safe out there. A Trojan differs from a virus in that it seems to be a useful program. These you happily install and use. Unfortunately for you, the apparent function masks something much nastier. The real payload can be anything the author likes. However, the specific type of program we are interested in is referred to as a ‘backdoor Trojan’.
One of the worst part is known as SubSeven. Once you have installed the active part (the ‘server’. This can be bound to any other EXE file so you will never know what is going on), it attempts to broadcast to its author via IRC every time you go online. They can then use the ‘client’ part of the program to literary take over your computer. Of course, it’s unlikely to do something dramatic immediately, but the potential features are very dangerous indeed.
It can log key presses, for example, even while offline, then transmit them to the author, so anything you type (passwords, credit card numbers) is at risk. SubSeven also has a comprehensive file manager, enabling the remote client program to browse your system, accessing or running any file on your computer. And if you really wanna be frightened, email us for a full list of the 113 functions it is in a position to perform.
Wrong, Unfortunately-take a look at SubSeven. Anyone can download the program, and even get help about how to use it, just like any other software package. It’s easy and it is free; kids could set it up (and some probably do).
But surely your anti virus program will be in a position to detect it? Well, perhaps, but the author of SubSeven has a means to bypass that. New versions are released frequently, with more powerful features than the last, and once the server part is mounted on your system it can be updated remotely. This means that by the time your anti virus software knows how to pick up one version, the copy on your system might be quite different.
All detection software requires frequent updates just to keep up. No one can guarantee to defeat all future threats.