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Tag Archives: Phishing


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After listening to a few Security Now! podcast on encryption I wonder if it is possible for businesses who want to to protect their intellectual property from phishing attacks to offer server side SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) authentication then allowing the client (end user) to encrypt outgoing data from the client side through the use of SSL Certificates.

I have also found with some web sites it is possible to put in the S after http in order to obtain a secure connection from the start to prevent phishing.

For example https://www.coles.com.au/ will take you to an encrypted copy of the Coles supermarket web site.

WestPac and the National Australia Banks allow you to do this, by looking at the orange padlock either next to the address bar of at the bottom of the browser window depending on the version of Windows you are using and the web browser you use.

By clicking on the orange padlock you can tell whether the web page has been authenticated by a certification authority such as Verisign.

If you don’t see that orange padlock it is safe to say you are at a phishing site requesting you for your log-in details.

This is how these people gain access to your bank account and are able to transfer your money without your knowledge until it is too late.

It’s not just a point of owning a computer these days all computer users need to be knowledgeable about online security and the best way to protect themselves from the various types of malevolent behaviour of some people.

Always make sure your operating system is up to date with the latest security patches as well as making sure your antivirus and firewall software is up to date and is configured correctly.

This is also very important if you have a home network whether it’s wired or wireless and are behind a NAT router (Network Address Translation) to have it correctly configured in order to protect yourself from hackers.

I would recommend that you make sure all the network ports on your computer are stealthed the best way to check is to go to Steve Gibson’s great web site and use Shields Up to check your computer for vulnerabilities the URL is www.grc.com.

Be safe and don’t let your computer become compromised, sure it takes a lot of effort to secure a computer but in the long term you will thank yourself that you did take the time to make it secure.

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If you are concerned as I am about the increase in online threats you will be happy to know that there is a way you can rate a web site based on criteria such as:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Vendor Reliability
  • Privacy
  • Child Safety

To do this you need to download the Web Of Trust (WOT) program from www.mywot.com and join as a basic member.

After you install the Web Of Trust add-on you will notice a green circle in your toolbar, this is the Web Of Trust add-on.

If you click on it a menu will open as depicted in Figure 1: Web Of Trust Add-on Menu for Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

You can rate any web page you are visiting by clicking on the green circle and when the menu opens simply click anywhere on the coloured bar, red represents poor and green represents excellent.

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Figure 1: Web Of Trust Add-on Menu for Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox

As you can see from Figure 2: Profile Tab below the profile tab displays information about yourself, though you can opt to hide this information, this tab also displays any comments you have left about the web sites you have rated.

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Figure 2: Profile Tab

The next tab allows you to edit different aspects of your profile, unfortunately I can’t show you a screenshot of that tab.

The next tab over is the My Ratings as you can see from Figure 2: My Ratings Tab shows you how you have rated web sites you have visited over time.

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Figure 3: My Ratings Tab

The next tab is the Public View Tab, this is how other members see your profile as you can see from the Figure 3: Public View Tab screenshot.

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Figure 4: Public View Tab

You can also see from Figures 2 & 3 of my profile I start off as a rookie level member and in Figure 4 I am a bronze level member as you rate web sites you go through different levels for example.

If you want to know more about the different levels go to www.mywot.com and go to the support menu for further assistance.

The Web Of Trust (WOT) add-on is available for both Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox web browsers, you will also find videos on how the add-on works and how to use it efficiently.

I hope you all enjoy this blog as I thought I would use screenshots to show you all what the Web Of Trust is and how it can help reduce Internet threats such as phishing attempts.