internet.com
You are in the: Small Business Computing Channelarrow View Sites +
Small Business Technology
» ECommerce-Guide | Small Business Computing | Webopedia | WinPlanet |  »Close
Webopedia.com
Enter a word for a definition... ...or choose a computer category.
 
 

menu
   Home
   Term of the Day
   New Terms
   Pronunciation
   New Links
   Quick Reference
   Did You Know?
   Categories
   Tech Support
   Webopedia Jobs
   About Us
   Link to Us
   Advertising
  

talk to us
   Submit a URL
   Suggest a Term
   Report an Error

internet.com
Developer
Downloads
International
Internet Lists
Internet News
Internet Resources
IT
Linux/Open Source
Personal Technology
Small Business
Windows Technology
xSP Resources
Search internet.com
Advertise
Corporate Info
Newsletters
Tech Jobs
E-mail Offers
commerce
  Be a Commerce Partner
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Are Cable Internet Connections
Vulnerable to Hackers?

A PC that is connected to the Internet via a cable modem (i.e., using a cable television ISP) is always vulnerable to a malicious hack attack whenever the PC is on. Even if a browser is not opened, merely turning on a PC with a cable connection renders the device vulnerable to attack.

Why is this? Because cable ISPs, in providing the Internet access to a user, essentially are creating giant always-connected networks of PCs comprised of all their customers. Cable connections utilize Ethernet cards, which render the user one link in a giant network. Even if a browser is never opened, a cable-connected PC links to the Ethernet-enabled network (i.e., the Internet) as soon as the PC is booted -- just as a connection to a LAN or other corporate network renders the device vulnerable to attacks across that network. This gives a hacker access to the user's hard drive, and opens the door for many kinds of malicious hack attacks.

One way to protect a cable-connected PC from malicious hacks is to disable file-sharing and print-sharing capabilities in the operating system. This is a simple solution for some but for others not a reality as this method basically disables any kind of home networking.

A better method is to install either a hardware or software firewall. A hardware firewall typically is a small device that the cable and the Ethernet card are both connected to. All transmissions pass through the hardware firewall. A software firewall, which is the more common and cheaper of the two methods, is a piece of code that resides on your PC and is always running. The software watches interactions between the PC and the Internet and blocks any suspicious activities.

Last updated: August 28, 2003




Do you have an interesting piece of computer-related trivia that you would like us to explore?
Tell us about it.



JupiterWeb networks:

internet.comearthweb.comDevx.com graphics.com

Search JupiterWeb:

Jupitermedia Corporation has three divisions:
Jupiterimages, JupiterWeb and JupiterResearch


Legal Notices, Licensing, Reprints, & Permissions, Privacy Policy.

Jupitermedia Corporate Info | Newsletters | Tech Jobs | Shopping | E-mail Offers