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How to Protect yourself in a Hacker War

What, you don't find getting caught up in a hacker war immensely entertaining? You don't want to be the innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of an rm command? Here are a few rules that can help you. But remember, these are only the most basic of protections. We'll cover the industrial-strength techniques in later Guides in this series, as well as how to catch the culprits.

Top Ten Beginner Defenses in Hacker Wars

10) Backup, backup, backup.
9) Assume anything is being sniffed, unless protected by strong encryption.
8) Assume your phone is tapped.
7) Never, never, ever telnet into your shell account. Use Secure Shell instead.
6) Pick a good password. It should be long, not a name or a word from a dictionary, and should include numbers and/or characters such as !@#$%^&*. If you use a computer where others have physical access to it, don't write your password on anything.
5) This applies to shell accounts: assume your attacker will get root control anyhow, so your password won't do you any good. That means you should encrypt any files you don't want to have passed around, and send your shell history files to /dev/null each time you log out.
4) Do you use the Pine or Elm email programs? Don't keep email addresses in your shell account. Your saved mail files are a good place for cybernazis to find email addresses and send out threatening and obscene messages to them. GALF specializes in this tactic.
3) Regularly patrol your Web site. You never know when it may sprout rude body parts or naughty words. Preferably use a Web server hosted on a computer system dedicated to nothing but Web sites. Best of all, use a MacOS web server.
2)Disable Java on your Web browser. Don't even *think* of using ActiveX or Internet Explorer.

And, the number one defense:

1) Join us Internet freedom fighters. It will take many of us to win the battle against those who want to pick and choose whose voices will be heard on the Internet.
________________________________________________________
Where are those back issues of the GTMHHs? Try
http://www.spaziopiu.it/elettrici/gtmhh/.

© 1997 Carolyn P. Meinel. You may forward or post this GUIDE TO (mostly) HARMLESS HACKING on your Web site as long as you leave this notice at the end.


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